My Creative Resolution – Watercolor, Illustration, Print Pattern Design


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Acrylic Painting Winter Birch Trees

Acrylic Painting Winter Birch Trees for Beginners #painting #beginners #acrylics #winter #trees
I wanted to swap out the two canvases above the couch for something new and had been thinking of painting simple birch trees. I painted the blue background and white tree trunks but it needed more. I looked on Pinterest at successful birch paintings and thought of ways to improve mine. Once I had a few ideas, I hit the ground running and it was easy. It’s great when you have a plan!

The feelings of a beginner #creativity #painting
First steps:

  • Paint a medium blue background. I used a mixture of white and blue with a little red mixed in. (My goal was to coordinate with the blues in my living room.)
  • Paint vertical white areas for the trees. You don’t want perfect stripes because trees don’t have straight edges. They aren’t the same size and don’t grow perfectly up and down.
  • Add thin branches going at an upward angle from the tree trunks. (Be consistent – I had to cover up some of my branches with blue because I had too many in one area and none in another. In the end I painted just a few on each side of the trunks.)

Painting birch treesPainting birch trees
Add depth and details:

  • Paint a dark edge (black) on each side of the trees and then brushed it horizontally into the trunk to create that birch look.
  • Paint off white (buff white) on the trunks – the white alone is too flat. Cover part of the black edge and stroke horizontally.
  • Add white strokes to the trees here and there for highlights – with a dry brush (not too much paint).
  • Add white streaks vertically. Paint a few streaks and then with a dry brush, spread them out and blend them, so the blue shows through. This gives the background depth and makes it look more wintery.

 

I was really happy with how it came out and happy to hang it over the couch. I’m already planning another acrylic painting. Let me know if you give it a try!

Supplies:

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Revisiting an unfinished painting.

girldiggingnew
I’ve been playing around with what I’m calling a “practice canvas” (see below) – a painting I never finished, didn’t like where it was going, and recently started mindlessly dabbling with (on). I’ve enjoyed this. While I’m comfortable with watercolor, acrylics still feel new to me. Playing around with this “practice canvas” has pulled me back to acrylics and to another unfinished painting.

Here’s the practice canvas, although now it is unrecognizable!
  practice1 practice2

Looking through my other canvases, I found an unfinished painting I call “Little Girl Digging.” Even though, I was happy with progress on this painting at the time, I set it aside. Probably because after “sketching” out the figure I wasn’t confident on how to proceed.
girldiggingrev

So this past weekend, I decided to work on it again. I wanted to see if I could get the little girl to pop off the sand. I had some success (first picture in this post), so I’m motivated to continue working on it. We’ll see! 🙂


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Easy Acrylic Beach Painting

beachaerial
I needed something to hang on the bare wall over the couch. I had the idea to create an aerial view of the beach on two canvases. I wanted it to be very simple – 2 areas of solid color. The area where they meet would have a little more detail to hint that it is a beach shot from above.

Here’s my sketch and the acrylic paint colors I selected – Buff White and Cobalt Teal. Similar paints Windsor & Newton Buff Titanium and Liquitex Cobalt TealYou’ll also need a small amount of white.
beachacrylicaa
I put two 20 x 24″ canvases together to sketch where the shoreline would be and to ensure the canvases line up.
beachacrylic1
I painted each of the solid areas. 
beachacrylic2

Then, I added a thin layer of the blue over about 2″ of the sand nearest the shoreline. This is the shallow area of the ocean. At the edge of this area (and the sand) I added a thin uneven line of white for the ocean’s foam.

I was really happy with the results! Let me know if you give it a try.
overcouch

This contains affiliate links to products/brands I use and recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Have you read:
Six Ways to bring the Beach into your Home https://mycreativeresolution.com/2017/05/19/six-ways-to-brin…h-into-your-home/ Process for Painting the Beach in Watercolor 14 tips on painting waves in watercolor
Easy steps to paint a sunset sky and a tree in acrylic paints

Easy Acrylic Beach Painting anyone can make!


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Back to School – Back to Acrylics

girldiggingrev
I’m looking forward to the kids going back to school (lol!) and having more time to paint – especially with acrylics! This week I got a jump start and worked on my painting “Little Girl Digging.” It’s been almost 2 months since I worked on this! If I let too much time pass I lose momentum and then it’s really hard to get back into a painting.

Although I haven’t worked with acrylics all summer, I’ve been creative – sketching, painting with watercolor, etc. I’m proud of all I’ve done during these busy months. It will make September, when the house is quiet again, all the more productive.

Here is where I started from:
girl digging step 3
First I worked on the sand and added some definition to the ocean. Then (above) I added color to the ocean.
girldiggingc


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Painting a Figure (Little Girl Digging – Part 2)

girl digging step 2
It’s hard getting back into a painting when a week or more has past! I’m so glad I made notes on how I mixed the colors and saved some of each color. It reminds me of a bread starter – not that I’ve ever used one! I added a little bit of my saved color to my new mixes to keep some continuity. I mixed a skin tone color that isn’t as subtle as before. [Not a perfect match – but at this point I’m not going to over think it. I’m focusing on getting the Little Girl’s figure right.] As I painted Little Girl’s body with the new color, she is popping out of my background (above). I tweaked her shape as I painted. See how subtle she was when I started:
girldigging

A few days later, I mixed a lighter sand color and added it to my canvas. Still focusing on Little Girl’s shape, I used the sand color to edit her shape as needed.
girl digging step 3

I’m getting there – slow and steady! lol. Read my previous post – Painting a Figure (Little Girl Digging – Part 1) and see how I started this painting.


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Creating stencils for lettering a canvas

finalbythesea

I finished adding the lettering to my cabana stripes canvas! I played with the layout on the computer:
cabana letters computer
Then I figured out the sizing of the letters and printed them on cover stock. Using an exacto knife, I cut out the letters. When there was a shape inside a letter I left a thin connecting strip (like on the letter b).
stencils1 stencils2

Creating the stencils was easier than I thought it would be. The transparent white was a little too light, especially on the yellow. The letters didn’t pop enough, so I added the brownish glow around them. I’m happy with the end result. Finishing is such a great feeling!


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Painting a Figure (Little Girl Digging – Part I)

girldigging
I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m excited about this painting! I started by mixing a grey base color for my sand. I mixed thalo blue, cadmium red, and cad. yellow (as opposed to using black and white) because I wanted the sand to have color in it. I’ve struggled before with painting sand! I covered the entire canvas in this color, even where the ocean and little girl will be.
sandbackground

I added little ticks on my canvas to show where the grid is.
grid on digging

I mixed cad. red and white and added some cad. yellow to get a flesh tone, which I mixed with my base color. I wanted a color that would work as a base for the little girl, that wasn’t far off from my original (sand) base color. This way, I won’t feel intimidated to loosely sketch in the girl. Hopefully, I’ll easily be able to change any area “back” to sand if necessary.
mixingskintone

Following the grid closely, I added in the shape of the little girl. I plan on flipping the canvas over and refining her shape (with the same color). As I start to feel confident in her shape, I’ll start adding colors that will define her and pull her out of the sand. I’m developing this process on the fly – wish me luck!


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Cabana stripes on canvas

cabanastripes
I painted these stripes and plan on adding the words “by the sea.” The stripes make me think bleached/weathered wood, beach, cabana. I was inspired by a small sign I have. I’m going to experiment with layouts and transparency on the computer. Once I have a layout, my plan is to print out the letters and make a stencil. I’ve never really painted letters before. I’m glad I can play on the computer before touching the canvas!

Here’s how I created my stripes.

  • I used a ruler, to make sure the stripes were somewhat straight. First I added the base color of the stripe.
    cabana1
  • While, the base color was still wet, I blended in a lot of white (to make it look bleached) and a little light brown (in streaks). I also added the a thin stripe of the light brown on the edges of the colored stripes.
    cabana2
  • I made the stripes different widths. I wanted it to look like different sized slats of wood
    cabana3

Read Part II – Creating Stencils to add lettering to a canvas


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Easy steps to paint a sunset sky and a tree in acrylic paints

Easy steps to paint a sunset sky with a tree in acrylics
STEPS:

Select the colors you want in your background. I used six colors (see the list below). They can be straight from the tube or you can mix them.

Paint each area of color onto your canvas. I used foam brushes for the background.

sunrise3 sunrise

Next, blend the areas where the colors meet so there is a softer transition from color to color. You may have to add more paint during this step.

Allow the background to dry.

Add the trunk of the tree and then begin adding the branches. Look at a tree. Notice that the branches get thinner as they get further from the trunk, and branches are not straight lines. Using thinner brushes helps with the thinner branches.

newsunrise1

Add more branches until you achieve your desired effect.

newsunrise2

Colors I used:

Leave a comment with a link to your painting. I’d love to see!

This posts contains affiliate links to products I recommend. I earn a small commission whenever you buy using these links, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Have you read:
Six Ways to bring the Beach into your Home https://mycreativeresolution.com/2017/05/19/six-ways-to-brin…h-into-your-home/ Process for Painting the Beach in Watercolor 14 tips on painting waves in watercolor

Easy Acrylic Beach Painting anyone can make! 11 Art Supplies I can't paint without 19 Books for Creatives

Easy steps to paint a sunset sky and a tree in acrylic paints