365 Days of Art: Day 299 – More Rose Petal Detail

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I just spent about two hours buffing the chalk-painted chairs I did a few days ago. Basically, I had already applied two coats of wax and waited 24 hours. Today I buffed the wax, and trust me, two hours of buffing wax on two chairs with lots of bracket thingies is a full-body workout. Hence, short blog tonight.

I completed a few more rose petals today in car line. I still have a ways to go as I darken the shadows and add more detail, and the whole picture looks odd right now because some shadows are dark and some aren’t. Give me a few days and it will start looking normal.

Here is a closeup of what I’ve done:

Here is what it looks like with half the amount of detail after the initial layers of color.

Here is the reference:

I’ve got to go. I’ve hit REM three times now, as I’ve been writing this blog post on my phone.

I’m she a great evening everyone!

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365 Days of Art: Day 298 – Detailing Rose Petals

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I started doing the detail work on the rose today. First, I looked at the dark shadows on the rose, and decided how I would illustrate those values on my picture. I filled in the darkest shadow first, which gave me a concrete value to use when deciding how dark to make my other shadows.

I then decided to start in the middle of the rose and work my way out. I finished the first two interior petals and began the third, one of the main ones, but I ran out of time.

Here is the close up on what I tried to do:

This is the picture so far. (You can see my darkest value in the bottom petal. I haven’t caught up to it yet, if that makes sense.)

This is the reference picture:

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365 Days of Art: Day 297 – Distressing Chalk-Painted Chairs

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished painting two of my dining room chairs white. I don’t necessarily consider just painting a chair white “art” in a pure sense of the word. If I had painted a design in the chair, that would be one thing, but not just a plain white chair. I do, however, consider distressing and finishing chalk-painted furniture art:

  • Distressing should never be tackling something with sand paper without a plan. Oh my goodness, I hate seeing distressed furniture that is distressed in ways it would never be distressed in real life, or overdone.
  • Often times, I might lay down a wash in a different color on top of the paint to create dimension. This sounds a lot like watercolor, doesn’t it. I didn’t do a wash this time, but I will when it comes to painting my trunk next week.
  • To use dark wax or not to use dark wax? That is the question. It’s also a question of whether to mix the dark wax with a little bit of white wax. And do I want to “erase” some of the dark wax using the light wax? Or do I want to use white wax for a pickled effect? Or do I want to use black wax? I could also mix the white and black wax to make grey…. All of these require planning and an artistic mind, especially when considering how the wax will change the initial color.

Anyway, today I just used clear wax. I needed to make the chairs look the same as the other chairs I had done four years ago, so I didn’t get any creativity points. However, I spent almost three hours sanding these things to create distress marks. (It took one-and-a-half football games. Most of that was spent using sandpaper that was too fine, and it took forever until I switched to a coarser grade.

Anyway, for these chairs, I used distressing to accomplish two things:

  • I wanted the chairs to look old, like they’ve been in a cottage and lovingly used for a long time. Therefore, I made sure to rub off places the chairs would naturally get hit, such as the feet of the chairs and anything sticking out. I also sanded down the seat to make it look like people sitting in it for years had worn it down. (Yes, I have a pic.)
  • Since I wasn’t using antiquing wax, I wanted to show the texture of the chair. Therefore, I sanded many edges that may not necessarily have been rubbed away naturally with the intention of bringing out that texture. The slats in the seats are the best example.

Today, I sanded and added coat one of wax. Tomorrow I will add coat two, but I won’t consider that art since it is only clear wax and the distressing was done today. Here are some pics. I have one white chair that I haven’t distressed yet and the distressed chair next to it so you can see the difference.

The chair on the right is distressed. If you enlarge it, you can see where I rubbed away the seat.
Here is an up-close view of the slats. I did the same to the back.
I distressed the legs and other parts of this with the chair on the right.

That is it for tonight. Have a great evening everyone!

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365 Days of Art: Day 296 – Adding Thorns, Chalk Painting Chairs, and Carving a Pumpkin

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I guess you could say today was full of “art” but the only art I’m counting are the thorns I just drew on the rose at 11:52pm. (More on that after I post this so it counts as today’s blog post.)

Art Stuff I did today:

  • I finished the third coat of white chalk paint on two dining room chairs. These are part of a set of six. About four years ago, I painted the first four, and I’m finally getting around to painting these two. Yes, that means for four years, we’ve been sitting around a white table with four white chairs and two oak chairs. Tomorrow, I will distress and then put the first coat of wax on these. (If you are wondering what chalk paint is and why people are crazy about it and why it’s so expensive and is it worth it, let me put it this way. It took me only three coats of white paint to fully cover these chairs—without primer. And it took less than 1/3 of a quart of paint total,) I’m not sure if just painting furniture falls into the art category, but tomorrow’s distressing should, I think. I do know that painting these chairs and the trunk is taking up a lot of my art time, so some of it counts.
  • I carved a Jack O’Lantern. Now I don’t actually consider this art on my part since I didn’t create the pattern. However, I carved the pumpkin and made it look nice and saved the seeds to roast tomorrow, so gosh darn it, I earn some art points here.
  • I added thorns to my rose stem. This is probably the least amount of work for all 3, but it counts the most as Art. Basically, I fell asleep in my daughter’s bed again. I’m fighting her cold, and she is still coughing, and I didn’t want to leave her so I stayed until she fell asleep and then I fell asleep. I woke up just in time to draw something.

Here is everything:

I will shad these when I finish all my real shading.
These are sitting on a table in my bedroom. It’s supposed to be tall enough so I don’t hurt my back bending over, but it’s not working.

My daughter picked the pattern. I would have done something cute. I live in southwest Florida, so I’ve got bets placed on weather the pumpkin will rot before Halloween.

Have a great evening, Folks!

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365 Days of Art: Day 295 – Initial Rose Shading Complete

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Okay, now this thing is starting to look like a Rose instead of just a bunch of lines. I completed the initial shading. Most of this I did in car line, but I needed to compete three more petals, so I just finished up those.

Now I have to go and darken the shadows and increase the contrast, and then add the details in the petals. I’m falling asleep, so I’m just going to post the pictures and head off to bed.

Here it is so far:

Here is the reference photo:

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

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365 Days of Art: Day 294 – Shading the Rose

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

The plan tonight was to do some watercolor and watch some baseball.

Note that I don’t have any watercolor to show you…

My daughter has a cold, and I put her to bed right on time. I rubbed some Vick’s Vapor Rub on her chest and feet, turned on her humidifier, and left the room. My long haired dog had a few matts that needed to come out, so I bribed him with carrots while I cut out the knots.

The next thing I know, a pitter patter of little feet heads toward my room. It’s my kid with some made up excuse as to why she was up. I think she just wanted more mommy time, so I let her feed the dog more carrots while I finished cutting his hair. Then I put her back to bed and she asked if I could lay down with her. I did. I checked the baseball score: Atlanta 2, Brooklyn (I mean LA) 0, and she started coughing and really couldn’t stop. I got her more vapor rub, and she went right to sleep. So did I.

I just woke up. Apparently, the Dodgers decided they wanted to play baseball again? And the score is now 2-7 Dodgers, so that tells you how long I slept.

Anyway, so while I can’t show you a watercolor acorn, I can show you my initial shading progress with my rose:

I’m hoping to finish the initial shading tomorrow.

I’m going back to sleep. Have a great evening, folks!

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365 Days of Art: Day 293 – Building a Rose

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Today, I hit car line late, and I didn’t have a a much time to draw as I wanted. I took yesterday’s roughy rose sketch, and added in more of the detail with the outlines. Instead of just a curved petal, I made sure the curves followed more of the imperfect curves of the picture. I was hoping to shade the whole thing, but I only got around to shading the stem.

Here it is:

That’s really all I’ve got today. Have a great evening, folks!

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365 Days of Art: Day 292 – Sketching a Rose

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I’ve discovered Pixabay, a site with royalty-free pictures many artists use for reference pictures. I found a picture of a rose on it, and I loved the contrast with the red and dark, almost black shadows, so I decided to draw it with the hope of doing it in watercolor as well.

There are a few things I’m looking for when it comes to reference pictures of flowers:

  • I have to like the flower. I really don’t like drawing things I don’t like.
  • I am aiming for high contrast. I shy away from contrast in my drawings, and it’s so important in art. Choosing a reference picture with a high contrast already present helps force me into that area.
  • It needs to have enough petals to look like a flower, but not three billion tiny things that I would have to sort through. Some of these heirloom roses are no goes.
  • I would like to have a definite light source. Shadows not only create contrast but make things look realistic.

Anyway, today I started drawing this rose. It’s just a sketch right now… It’s the initial layout. it’s really hard to see the lines right now. Tomorrow I’m going to straighten them out a bit more.

I had to mess with some settings in order for the pencil lines to show up. Tomorrow it should look a lot more like a rose.

Here is the reference picture:

I’m definitely not doing a black background for this, but I may end up pulling out some carbon pencils that I just got for those shadows.

Have a great evening, folks!

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365 Days of Art: Day 291 – Drawing an Acorn

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

I’m going to attempt to do more watercolor. My goal is to treat watercolor the way I treated drawing. When I first started this challenge, I began drawing smaller items around my house. My drawing skills improved and I began drawing bigger pictures until at last I attempted a waterfall picture and realized just how much I improved. I feel like my watercolor skill development was slightly set back from following books too much and not just learning in my own, the way I did with drawing. I’m going to attempt to start doing watercolors of things I find around my house and yard, the way I did with drawing.

Of course, I say that and you will notice I have drawn—not painted—an acorn that I found in my driveway. I want to paint this puppy this week, but for now, I have to settle for car line drawings.

Here is my acorn:

Here is the reference photo:

It’s kind of turned at a different angle, but it works. I’m really hoping I get time to paint this later in the week.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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365 Days of Art: Day 290 – Plumeria Sketches

The challenge: Create some form of visual art, no matter how small, each day for a full year.

Oh my goodness! I just realized that I forgot to post my art on Sunday! I finished up my sketches of the watercolor plumerias, and it took forever, and I didn’t like them, and I totally forgot to post about it!

This was one of my first ventures into doing a painting all my own without any books for help. I started by doing some studies in a watercolor sketch book, mainly so I could practice messing up before I did the bigger picture.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • I do not paint in the lines well. I’m sure this will come with practice but you can see below how my flowers edges are shaky.
  • I chose a few different colors for the cast shadows: a grey made with Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine violet, and Windsor Violet. I think I ended up preferring the Ultramarine Violet.
  • I experimented with backgrounds. I’m surprised that I didn’t like the sap green as much as the Ultramarine violet and the Ultramarine Blue. (You can see them below)
  • I overworked it, my colors got muddy from trying to work in too many shadows.
  • Next time, I’m going to put the cast shadows in first. I put them in last and it really didn’t work.
  • I felt like I was able to get the colors right, but now I want to get more of the 3D look right. It’s kind of hard with white flowers…
  • I really, really don’t like rough paper. I’m definitely a cold press girl.

Anyway, here is the sketch book. You can see where my daughter grabbed a paint brush and went to town in the upper left part.

Have a great evening everyone!

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