I took a co-worker and couple of 40% off coupons to Michaels Craft store on a lunch break last week and with my co-workers help I purchased two 12"x24" canvasses for a total of 15 dollars. This was a bit pricey for me but hey when your working on a time crunch sometimes you gotta pay the price.
I thought I'd create a couple of mixed media paintings using owls as a main focus. This was because my sister likes owls and I thought she may want the paintings to hang in her house when they were completed. (I Facetimed her when they were completed and asked but while she liked them they weren't "her colors".) I went on the internet and searched mixed media owl images and came across this woman's blog called Sweet Repeats (actually I may have misspoke- I may have found her by looking up owl images on Pinterest and a painting came up and provided a link to her blog). I really enjoyed looking at her artwork, style and technique in general. http://sweetrepeats.blogspot.com/ I saw that she even offered a course/workshop on how to create whimsical owls. After researching the net for some inspiration I got down on the floor (literally) with newspapers, paint and canvasses to start to create.
I ended up creating my own backgrounds on the canvasses by layering a few different shades of paint after first applying one color to each background. I used different materials around the house to create different textures and patterns, including a pick/comb, an old credit card, the paper holders around coffee cups from a cafe hot cocoa purchase, a body wash luffa sponge, a couple of paint rollers, and stamps. This was a fun process. I must say that a blow dryer that I got just for craft purposes was the best investment and idea ever! Up until a year and a half ago for some reason I never thought to use a blow dryer when layering paints. I have no idea why since I'm soooo impatient. Any how the blow dryer (which was purchased at a thrift store for $4) came in very handy since I made so many layers. The first canvas was easy to get to a place where I was satisfied with the background. The second canvas not so much. There's probably about 20 different layers on it until I got to a point where I was satisfied with it. I then referenced different images of owls and created one on each canvas. I put a tree and flowers on one and a moon, stars and branch on the other. I drew the images on with pencil charcoal lightly then repeated when I had firmed up my image. I watered down the paint colors and proceeded to paint the image and followed up with another layer of charcoal outline.
Overall I created both paintings in about 6 hours. Oh my let's just say I was sore from sitting on the floor that long even with an occasional break. Boy must be a sign of how old I'm getting. I was really pleased with the outcome as I focused on not being perfect and just had fun experimenting with layers and colors. It came together well and the charcoal pencil was an added dimension that was different and brought interest to the pieces.
It ended up being worth the pain as my co-workers response to the paintings were very positive and when I turned them in to the exhibit coordinator she and another woman commented on how great they were. A couple of people even mentioned how they would like them hanging in their homes. To bad we can't sell are artwork at the exhibit! Now I'll have to decide what I'll do with them!