Thursday, May 2, 2013

Van Gogh's Sunflowers

I have always loved the Sunflower paintings of Van Gogh.  Last year I found some pretty paper sunflowers in the dollar bin at Michael's and knew that I wanted to use them in my own version of a sunflower painting.  I need to preface all of this by saying that I have never put a brush to canvas before so it was very intimidating for me.  I had this great idea in my head and didn't think I could transfer it to canvas.  What to do?

I follow the blog of Alisa Burke and have found inspiration in the work that she does.  I always walk away from reading her blog feeling that the only rules I need to follow are my own!  It is my painting, doodle, sketch, what have you, and I can do what I want.  With this in mind I pulled out my canvas and my paints. 

First I brushed the top 3/4's of the canvas with a paint sample I had picked up at Lowe's.  These are great not only for testing a paint color for a room, but also for any little projects that you may want to do.  The paint I used was a light sage color.  After randomly brushing on a section, I wet my brush and went back over the area.  Then I took a paper towel and wiped off a lot of the color, giving it a slightly mottled look.  I completed the "wall" and did the same at the bottom of the canvas to create the table, only this time using brown acrylic craft paint.  I used a wide brush so it gave the "table" a grain.  Nothing I planned.  My sister was visiting and pointed it out to me as I was painting.  Next I painted the vase.  Since I'm not a painter I'm not going to try to describe what I did, but I did use a crumpled up bit of plastic wrap to add texture and design to the vase in a lighter blue.  Another technique I learned from Alisa Burke's blog. 

Next came the flower stems and centers.  Chunky lines with circles at the top.  I mixed a bit of brown with green acrylic paint to achieve the more natural color I was looking for.  Finally came the flower petals.  I started with yellow paint and just made big sweeps of color in arches around the center of the flower.  I then went back over the petals with brown to give it a bit of depth.  I kept dipping my brush in a cup of water as I applied the paint as I wanted the colors a bit muted. 

As a last step I glued the large paper sunflowers over the painting to give it dimension.  Here's the final result:

I'm very pleased with it, if I must say so myself....

The point is to try something you have never tried before.  It may work or it may not.  I'll never be a painter, but this challenged me to get out of my comfort zone (crocheting, knitting, sewing jewelry, etc.) and tackle a new media.

Happy Crafting...and Painting!!


1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Seriously, when I grew up I want to be like you!

    :) Kelly "Anonymous"