For the month of September, I’m doing something a little different with my blog. For 30 days, I’ll produce one quick painting, with the goal of expanding my limited artistic skill set and grow in comfort with – and command of – the paint brush. I take my inspiration for this project from the blog Of Robots and Whales‘s series “30 Days of Python”. Watching Robb (the author of the blog, with whom I share a home office) work at his projects in an accountable way made me want to do the same. Painting has always been a hobby of mine, but I’ve never really taken it at all seriously. I don’t really intend to take it too seriously now, but I’d love to be able to illustrate some of my stories for myself and my family, and that requires more familiarity and fluency than I currently possess.
Most of my paintings look something like this:
And without further ado: 30 Days of Painting.
Day 1: Floral Vine and Lace Doodles
As long as I can remember, I would doodle vines with leaves and flowers in the margins of my notebooks and on my paper bag book covers. I wanted to give it a try in acrylic and see where it took me. I thought to either do a stationary border in the style of Rifle Paper Co., which also has a number of gorgeous illustrations to look through (this one is my favorite) or a pattern, like the artist Bouffants and Broken Hearts, which you should definitely check out if you’re into whimsical yet edgy and vintagey patterns – Kendra is incredibly talented.
Now my work will be far, far below that caliber, but I thought it was a good point of inspiration. I also wanted to start with something simple which would allow me to just play with different kinds of brush strokes. Mainly, I wanted to practice mixing clear outlines with layers of color in an illustrative style, and to see if I could get my painting to feel just a little bit like a crayon drawing.
I did two tiny pieces, trying out two different techniques. With the first, I put down layers of color to create a wash effect of flowers, and then when it was dry, came back in with my detail brush to add the lace overlay. In the second, I put down alternate layers of detail and a light wash to see if I could create some depth.
And that’s Day 1. Check back tomorrow for my next project, as I’ll be posting (almost) daily for the next 29 days. Not everything will be worthy of a long lasting post, but I’ll try to keep the highlights up for anyone who wishes to follow along.