Are you the sort of farmgirl who likes to dabble and doodle? If so, I’ve got a fun ( and easy) way for you to get started on your Make It Pretty, Merit Badge. Follow me and bring your pencils and paint brushes!
I’ve always wanted to paint my garden flowers just like the Master, Monet’ but I have no formal art training. So when I get an itch to try something new, I rely on inspiration, motivation and my CAN-DO attitude to get the job done! If you’ve been with me for a while now, you know that I love to PAINT! I’ve transformed many a yard sale find, walls, kitchen cabinets, and even floors with good old paint. I’ve dragged, ragged, glazed and stenciled, stippled and striped practically every surface I could get my hands on over the years. And let’s not forget my first career as a hairdresser where I painted hair too! For whatever reason, painting on large canvases ( or people ) doesn’t scare me. Give me a hen-house, a hutch or a head of hair and I’m ready to go. But, plop a blank canvas in front of me and I turn into a puddle of nerves. That was me until I discovered the Waterlogue app created by Tinrocket.
One day for fun, I downloaded the app to my iPhone and started to play. I simply chose a photo from my photo library and selected an application within the app. I watched in amazement as each photo was painted in watercolors in an instant. This app is downright amazing in what it can do. That’s when I had my ah ha moment. For the first time I could see my flowers ” as painted art ” and how I could finally be the artist behind the brush too. Call me crazy, but I kind of felt like I was cheating a little by letting an app paint my photos for me. Something inside me wanted to make it my own.
Before I show you how I did it, I have to tell you about the ” date ” part of this post. My sweet mom is an artist. She always has been. When I was little she made all of my clothes and decorated our homes in flea market fashion like a pro. She hung wall paper, upholstered furniture, and hung draperies. I’ll never forget the square dancing skirts she made or the blue and silver lame’ two piece outfit she whipped together for $5.00 for a holiday party in the 1970’s. I know she turned a few heads that night. She’s a master seamstress, but her latest artistic passion is painting on canvas. She’s been taking art lessons for about three years now. And she’s GOOD! Below is one of the first pieces she finished. It should come as no surprise to you that it’s one of my favorites!
She’s been asking me to paint with her for months so we’re making a date with paint, ( and each other) every Saturday until spring arrives.
This photo is the one I uploaded into the app. It’s one of my favorites in color and composition. It’s part of my note-card collection as well.
The app turned my photo into this work of art faster than it took me to type this sentence!
I absolutely fell in love with it. The application within the app for this ” look ” is called, Fashionable. Seeing my photo broken down into color blocks, shapes and lines gave me that aha moment I was needing to get started on painting my first piece of art. And how could I fail with mom by my side guiding me along. ” Be sure to cover the edges well or they won’t be sharp when you take the canvas off of your board ” , she’d say. Or, ” Try adding a little water to your brush;the paint will go on smoother. Mom says this is called ” Stylistic Painting.” I like that. To me the process felt akin to those paint by number kits I did as a child, but in this case it was more like paint by shapes and colors, which when you look at it that way it’s easy!
Mom set me up for success. She let me borrow her clip board, acrylic paints, her table top easel and her best brushes for my first lesson. She taped my canvas to a board with painters tape which holds it down firmly. It also and creates a matte around the painting once the tape is removed. I covered the entire canvas in white paint and let it dry. This is called an undercoat. Much like priming a wall or piece of furniture before you move on to the top coat.
Once it was dry I sketched out the outlines of the vase and where the flowers would sit on the canvas with a #2 pencil and then I began painting in the background and all of the lighter shapes using my Waterlogue image as a guide for color and placement.
After the lighter tones were down, I moved on to the mid tones. Soft pink, peachy coral and light red followed by the deeper, darker reds and touches of golden-yellow and light gray-green.
Then it was time to add the outlines in black. By this time I was very happy with what I had done so far and I got a little nervous about ” drawing ” with a skinny paint brush dipped in black paint. Doubt flooded in. ” What if you ruin it?, I thought. What if the black just looks stupid? What if…? Oh well? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I took a deep breath and went for it. With the first little swipe of the brush the painting began to come to life. I relaxed and really enjoyed finishing the painting. In the end I had a feeling of such contentment and satisfaction. It was as if I had finally gotten something out of my system I’d been wanting to do forever. Plus I got to spend the whole afternoon with my mom at the kitchen table painting and chatting away AND I’m on my way to earning my Make It Pretty Merit Badge too!I have 3 more paintings to complete the intermediate level of that merit badge. I’ve already started on the second one. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
Did I “make it pretty?” Mom said, I did! I think we made a great team. She gave me the tools I needed to get it done and I brought my can-do spirit and a sense of play and joy to my painting. Did I mention my mom’s name is, Joy? 😉
More importantly, did I/we make you believe you could do it too? I hope so. I’d love to hear how many of you have done the Make It Pretty merit badge and how you completed it!
Until our next shoreline visit~ Remember Farmgirls you CAN-DO a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. you set your heart and your mind to, with a little help from someone who loves you.
Beach Blessings and Much Love,
Deb # 1199