Monday, August 16, 2010

longest post everrrr

After my big brother Ben saw my fish painting, he told me he wanted me to do a painting for his office. He told me the colors of the wall and carpet in his office, about how big he wanted it, and that he wanted it simple like the fish one. And that's all. After that, I had full artistic license, or whatever - which is kind of nice, and kind of scary!

So I'm going to share with you my thought process of deciding what to do for the painting, how I did it, etc. etc. etc., and finally, the end result!



*I draw everything in Microsoft Paint (fancy!) before I paint - it helps me decide on everything from composition to colors. Please forgive me.*

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First, I decided I wanted to do these little bumpy wave pattern things because they were part of the pattern on one of my dresses and while wearing it a few weeks before Ben "commissioned" me, I decided I really like the pattern and wanted to put it to use somehow. So, I thought, perfect way to put this pattern to use!

So I drew it up in Paint . . .

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. . . and decided I wanted to do this for the background of the painting. So then I just had to decide what the main image of the painting would be. I went to Google Images and typed in random things that came to my head. I'm very productive like that, you see. Finally, somehow, I don't know exactly why, I decided to do a tree. So I started typing in "Tree silhouette" and "tree wall decal" and things of that nature to come up with some images that I liked. These are they:

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Using these trees for inspiration, here is the first tree I drew in Paint:
[Yes, it's hideous!] [don't you love the bird??]
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Then, after feeling sad and like this painting was going to really suck, I tried again, more copying the little orange tree. I Paint-ed this:


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Okay, things are looking up! Before getting any further on this project, I decided to Facebook-send Ben the Paint-ing above, and below, and see what he thought.

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I told him this was a subject matter and composition thing only - the colors could be changed.
He told me he liked the portrait oriented one better, so next up was deciding colors (the fun part)!

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So then I Facebook-sent him all these different color schemes to give him an idea of what he might like - he liked the blue one (one of the walls of his office is a pretty sky blue), so that was that!

**Just a little side note, my favorite one was the green and yellow one - oh well!**

Next step - buying the supplies. I bought an 18 x 24 inch canvas from Michaels, and the paint. Oh, the paint. I would be using acrylics, as always. And I knew I didn't want to go around mixing my own colors - if I ever need to replicate the same color again, it's nearly impossible. So, I spent a while grabbing a bunch of different blues and seeing how they looked together to decide on the final contenders.

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I ended up using all of these except one color - it was a bit too green.

Also, I learned a valuable lesson about paint - the cheap stuff is cheap for a reason! You have to spend a lot more time painting to get a solid looking coat, so next time I am definitely spending the extra quarter to get a little better quality paint. My favorite of the 3 types I got was Americana.


Next I had to get my design onto the canvas so I could get started painting! It was a long and dumb process, but basically I drew my design onto some poster board as a rough draft before doing anything to the canvas. Then I cut it out so I could arrange it on the canvas. The hardest part was arranging the leaves. I cut out tons of leaves in 3 uniform sizes (except I made 1 BIG leaf), 2 big ones, some mediums, and tons and tons of the smallest ones. I arranged them all on the poster board first, would take a picture, and rearrange them until I got an arrangement that I liked.

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This is the final arrangement - very messy. I colored the leaves blue so I could see them better.

So I took this picture and then took the cut-outs and put them on the canvas, trying to get everything in the same place it was on the poster board - this is where taking a picture came in handy.

***It was during this process that I realized doing the bumpy wave pattern would be too much work! So, lazily, I ditched that idea.***

After I had the cut-outs where I wanted them, I traced them, lightly, with a regular old pencil onto the canvas (which I had painted white earlier). I decided which leaves I wanted which color (to try to avoid getting any of the same colors right next to each other), and started painting!

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Basically, I sat and watched a million Netflix movies while I painted. I don't know exactly how many hours it took me in total, but from start to finish - Ben telling me he wanted a painting, and me actually giving it to him - it took 2 months. But most of that was me procrastinating and letting it sit.


Without further ado,

The finished product - TA DA!!!

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I had a lot of fun doing this project. It's the first time I've ever painted anything for someone other than myself, so I liked it a lot. =) I went and saw it hanging in Ben's office the other day and it looks pretty good in there!

Sorry for the overload of information and pictures. =)

5 comments:

Madi said...

LOVE IT!!! Good job Berrie :) I'm next! ;) Where in the office is it? I didn't even see it when I was in there! Dang now I'll have to wait a few days :(

Aariel said...

It's just in the Brigham office, on the wall across from the door. You can't miss it.

Brein said...

I love this post! It really shows how much work it takes to create art! You did a fantastic job and I can testify, it looks even better in real life!

oddpeterson said...

You did a good job. The green and Yellow was also my favorite one.

Emily Harkness said...

I LOVE IT!!! I may have to ask a favor of you one of these days :) You are super talented. I love the style.