Welcome back to Connoisseur of Creativity! :)
I was in need of some much need rest and relaxation. Open House is on Thursday this week and if you aren't a teacher just know that a lot of stress and preparation goes into the big day. Today was an all about me day. I knew I wanted to paint and had already found an oil painting online that I wanted to replicate. The picture below is the original I found it at this link: http://oil-painting-art.blogspot.com/ - follow the link to find more information including the artist, medium, price and where you can purchase this amazing original landscape painting. I simply typed 'tree painting' into google images and scrolled through until I found something that I would like and would match my decor. :)
After finding it online I copied and pasted it into a Microsoft Office Publisher document and used the rulers to separate it into 4 columns and 4 rows. I did this same process on my actual canvas. I used a pen but I recommend using a pencil if you are doing this craft... for some reason the pen repelled my paint and no matter how much I tried painting over it, the pen mark kept showing through. After I marked my grid lines I drew a very informal outline of my tree since that was the prominent part of my painting and I could use it as a guideline when painting.
Then I organized all my acrylic paints. You could use another medium but I am more comfortable with acrylic. This brand "artist loft" is very inexpensive if you are just painting for fun like I am. It's even more inexpensive if you use a coupon at your local craft store.
Then I got the colors ready for my sky. As you'll see in a minute I only used the dark blue and white and never touched the light blue. When painting with acrylic don't mix your colors before putting it on your canvas, let them mix while you are painting as it adds to the effect and look.
Here is my sky. Notice how since I didn't mix before painting that the colors look multi-dimensional. I am not sure if that is the right terminology, I am very new to painting. :)
Here is the colors I plan on using for my leaves.
With the leaves I just started with the dark yellow and scattered my brush across the canvas. I tried to make it not so 'leaf-heavy' the closer they were to the tree trunk. All the while I am using the grids from my computer example to help guide me. The great part about painting is that you don't have to stick with a certain idea you can change it up as you go along.
Then I added dark brown and scattered my brush across certain spots. Once again you let the brush mix with the colors as you go. Also try not to make it globby, but start heavy and lighten your brush strokes as you move outward to make it look more natural. If you mess up, let it dry and go back over with the dark yellow and start again. :)
I tried to make some of my leaves go behind my tree trunk (that I have not painted yet) so whe I start the tree the look like they are behind the trunk. You can see the side by side example with my computer here.
Here I started adding bright yellow to lighten up some of my leaves like in the original painting I found online. Once again, if you mess up wait for it to dry paint it over and start again. No big deal. Then I painting my whole trunk white before slowly adding black starting at the bottom and working my way up. I let the colors mix on the canvas to create the gray color.
Here I started adding more detailing from my picture. You can see the white from the sun shining through part of the leaves and adding more black and browns to the trunk. to make it look more real on the trunk keep your brush very light instead of pressing it hard and down on the canvas.
Here I started adding individual leaves using a mixture of my yellows and white and just dabbing it along my leaves. You can add more dark yellow or brown or white as you go to make it as you want it.
Here I started adding black branches, using my computer example (with the publisher grid lines and my own lines) to guide me. I started with heavy brush strokes towards the trunk of my tree and kept it very light as I extended the branches outward. Then I added brown strokes within the black ones on my branches and ended it with white all along the tops. You could always add more or put on less branches if you like. Once again, if you mess up, it is very easy to fix. I tried to make my branches look like they were covered by leaves by leaving spaces every so often when drawing the branches. Remember branches are stiff straight lines, so a wobbly hand works great here. :)Here is my final product. I added just a couple more highlighted leaves. Then stopped (don't go overboard!).
Here is a close up of my finished product. I am very happy with it! :)
When replicating a painting make sure to choose one with a simple drawing and few colors if you are new. Using publisher and drawing grid lines is the key here to help you if you aren't comfortable with just going free hand in. This was definitely a fun and relaxing project and can't wait for it to dry to hang it up. Acrylic is a great paint to use because it can be very forgiving and fast drying. This whole painting took me about 4 hours, with several breaks in between.
Come back soon for more creativity! :)
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
For Christmas last year, I made my little sister two camera strap covers for her Nikon DSLR camera. I went to JoAnn's and picked a hounds tooth fabric that I knew she would love and got a hole of her favorite Vera Bradley pattern. I got the idea from Pinterest and used the tutorial from Priddycreations.com. You will need: Two pieces of fabric printed/matching solid, Fusible fleece, thread, needles, a sewing machine, an iron and board.
The linked tutorial makes this a super easy project and the result is so cute!! My sister uses hers all the time and loves that she can switch straps with her mood.
My Mom asked me the other day to help her put a back splash up in her laundry room above the sink, she had already gotten all of the supplies from Home Depot so all I had to do was the manual labor. She bought Aspect peel and stick metal long grain silver tiles, some double sided tape so we could get an idea of what the tiles would look like before we began to stick the to the wall, a metal outlet cover, Power Grab Loctite glue. Some tools I ended up needing from my Dad's garage were a screwdriver for the outlet cover, some shears to cut the tiles in half and a black sharpie. My Mom let me know that she wanted the pattern to look like subway tiles and then I was finally able to begin.
Be sure to read all of the directions that come in the Aspect tile box before you begin. These tiles are really neat and they can be used on many different surfaces. So if you're planning on using them on drywall all you have to do is literally peel and stick. Since the wall we were using is already painted we had to use the Loctite as additional sealant to stick. As you can see below you should just put a pea size amount on all of the corners at least 1/2" away from the edge and in the middle.
Since my Mom wanted to have the tiles in the subway tile pattern I knew that I would need to cut some tiles in half, I measured the tiles and drew my sharpie line and cut along the line with my shears. Be sure to complete the cut from the same direction as you started are you will end up with a crooked cut and then you will not be able to place these tiles level against any other tile. Also the Sharpie line comes off really easy with isopropyl alcohol.
Below you can begin to imagine how the back splash will turn out. The outlet proved to be a bit more challenging than I though it would be and I had to figure out whether or not I wanted to cut the tiles to the outlet cover or the actual outlet.
I realized that I wanted to use the outlet cover to hide any of the rough cut marks that would come from cutting the tiles. Something else that is important is to make sure that you do not cover up the small hole that the outlet cover screws into that you can still install the outlet cover. Also I ended up adjusting the tiles so they were not even touching the metal ends at the top and the bottom, that way I could loosen the actual outlet so it would install flush to the outlet cover. You can see in the photo below that we still needed to cut more room for the entire outlet.
Below you can see the outlet cover installed.
It's really coming along now! My mom decided that she really liked the way the step up led up to the cabinet on the left hand side of the back splash so we kept it that way instead of creating a straight line on that edge. There was also a plastic protector on each tile that we removed after the install was complete.
After:This project took about an hour and a half, but was really easy going. It changed the whole look of the room and added a great look to it. Hope you enjoy this DIY!
Monday, February 6, 2012
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
While watching the Super Bowl I decided it was finally time to complete my tool belt that I'd been thinking about for quite come time now. I went to Home Depot and got this apron for only $0.77 and believe it or not that's all I spent on this project!
I used my sewing machine which is the machine I use for all of my sewing crafts the Brother CE-4000.
I went through my scrap fabric and I chose these two fabrics because I loved the way they looked together, I got them both from JoAnn's a few years ago. I also used red thread so it would pop against the fabric.
I cut enough fabric so that I would not have to sew the bottom seam of the apron. I pinned the blue fabric along the sides of the apron and made sure that the fabric lined up on both sides of the apron. I made sure not to pin the pockets closed. I did a 1/4" turn hem on the two sides and along the top that runs along the top of the pockets.
I hadn't planned on covering the back of the apron when I first started thinking of this project, but I ended up having enough fabric to do so. After pinning the blue fabric, I pinned the yellow fabric to the back of the apron like pictured below with a 1/4" turn hem.
And then I flipped the apron back over to the front and pinned as far into the pockets as I could. This is when the project get a lot harder than I had planned for.
I realized I would have to sew along each pocket by fitting each pocket onto the base of my sewing machine so that I would not sew the pockets shut. The hardest part was feeding the pockets through to complete the stitch because it was circular and the apron has two separate pockets rather than one big pocket. Because of this I was unable to get a solid stitch from one side to the other.
When it came time to sew the yellow fabric I stitched as close to the pocket as I could so the seam would be covered as much as possible. When I was done I tried it on and used my sewing scissors as a tool for my new tool belt!
Now I'm ready to decorate our new house!