Hi Friends and welcome to the October blog hop for the Jessica Sporn Designs Creative Team.
Today I’m hopping along with Jessica Sporn, Kristen Van Valkenburgh, Lizzy Wurmann, Marit Barentsen and Denise Alloca, to share some fall creations using Jessica’s stamps and stencils. We have an amazing giveaway – One Lucky Commenter Will Win: Jessica’s Cascading Leaves stencil and Tree of Life stamp. All comments on all the blog hop participants count – so make sure to visit everyone and leave some kind words!
So what do I have in store for you today??? Well many know that I just absolutely LOVE sunflowers and I have painted them in every color of the rainbow. So today I’m sharing with you my process of creating this Helen Keller Inspired canvas, (which of course has a sunflower) she has a quote that inspires me and is one of the reasons I love sunflowers:
Keep your face to the sunshine & you
cannot see the shadow.
It’s what the sunflowers do.
So Grab your paints and a canvas and lets get started 🙂
I started out with a 14 inch by 14 inch canvas, covered it with a layer of white gesso and then used the following colors: Primary Cyan, ultramarine blue and titanium white, with an old plastic store card just scraping the paint in different directions to create a nice and quick background.
I then used a piece of white chalk (kids chalk is fine) to sketch out where I wanted my sunflower. Don’t be to fussy with this just get a general idea down and don’t worry chalk wipes right off with a damp rag or baby wipe.
Using a flat brush (any brush is fine this is my “got to brush” but you use the one you are comfortable using) and Permanent Violet Dark I painted in the petals. As you can see I did not worry about getting a thick or even coat. This is just to give me guidelines, get a base coat down and create some depth. For the stem and leaf I used Quinacridone Burnt Orange.
Then I used my titanium white to put in where I want some highlights.
Many times when I’m working I mix 2 or more colors together so I will often put out on my palette several colors as I’m not always sure what I will end up using. For this canvas I put out on my palette a medium yellow, cadmium orange, and yellow orange azo. Here I stared with using mostly the medium yellow and the yellow orange azo, mixed them a bit on my palette and put down a base layer. Again I used a flat brush but a round brush will give you just as good results. I stroke the paint inward towards the center. This is for 2 reasons: It gives the flower petals the lines and creases that they have in nature and since I haven’t done the center yet it helps me stay in the lines starting from the outside and dragging the paintbrush inward.
Here is where you have to be patient and let it dry between coats. The more coats the more depth your petals will have. Mine have about 3-4 coats some petals maybe more. I also mixed a little of the white with the medium yellow to bring the highlights back out. I also used the Burnt Orange to accentuate my shadow spots, which you can also see above. Remember the petals do not have to be perfect ( I actually prefer mine not to be) as nothing is perfect in nature.
On the stem and leaf I used sap green and vivid lime green and mixed them, then painted the entire leaf and stem in my mixed color. Then to give it a bit of a highlight I went back in with the same mix but added some titanium white to it on my palette then applied this color to one side of the stem and the top of the leaf where the sun would be hitting it. I also accentuated the veins on the leaf with this same color. I am still using my flat brush and just using the edge of it to create the thin lines. Be sure to use a dry brush for your veins in your leaf with very little paint. Do one quick stroke from the center of the vein out.
Moving on to the center of the flower the colors used were: Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Medium and Nickel Azo Yellow. For this I use this really OLD ruined flat brush that I have. But certainly a stipple brush would work. The reason I like my old brush is because unlike a stipple brush, the bristles on my old brush are all uneven so I get a more natural look. Use a dry brush when doing this part, just dab in your paint lightly and apply in a stippling motion to the center, you can always go back and add more so again more is less here. I don’t cover the entire center but go back in with a bit of the raw sienna and continue to work back and forth between these colors until I am happy with the results. I also use the Raw Umber as you can see to go up into the petals a bit.
To get a look of pollen in the center I use the Nickel Azo Yellow in a very light stippling motion. This is a great color to use because it gives off a greenish yellow look over the raw umber. I also add just a few bits of the medium yellow to accent the pollen in the flower.
Let your sunflower dry completely before this next step. Once the sunflower is complete and dry we are going to be using one of my favorite stencils by Jessica Sporn Designs called “Rain Stencil”
I selected the girl with her arms back and head up to the sky because it reminded me of the Helen Keller quote and so I decided to place her below the sunflower as if she was lifting her head high to smell the flower or to be like a sunflower. I used my Dylusions black paint to stencil her in with a sponge. I choose the Dylusions paint because it’s a nice flat black paint that I knew would give good coverage, as I wanted her to look like a silhouette. Just remember when stenciling, less is more, so go easy on the paint and be sure to really dab it off before going in to stencil, you can always add another layer if you want to make it darker.
Typically I do not wash my stencils but in this case I would or at least wipe it dry. The Dylusions paint to me, seems like it stays wetter on your stencil longer than regular acrylic paint and since we are now going to use another part of the stencil I cleaned it off and then dried it with a paper towel before doing more stenciling.
One of the reasons I love Jessica Sporn Designs stencils is because they are SUPER versatile. Each stencil has sooooo many elements and gives you so many possibilities. I picked out 2 words from the different quotes on this same stencil that worked together and fit perfectly with the message I wanted to convey for this canvas. “Embrace Today”.
Again using my black Dylusions paint and the skinny part of my sponge I went in and stenciled one word at a time cleaning my stencil in between to be sure not to transfer any unwanted paint onto my canvas. When stenciling small areas again I can’t stress enough with using VERY LITTLE PAINT, I added 2 layers here. I stenciled it once then lifted – let it dry and cleaned my stencil while it was drying and then lined it back up again and went back over it to get it a bit darker.
Here are some close ups of the details and the completed painting. Hope everyone enjoyed this tutorial. As always your comments are so very much appreciated and today they could win you a prize!
Thanks so much for visiting me on this blog hop, and don’t forget to hop on over to the other amazing blogs listed below. Remember to leave a comment on each blog for your chance to win the Cascading Leaves Stencil and the Tree of Life Stamp. You have until 9pm EST on Monday, 10/10 to comment and the winners will be announced on Jessica’s Blog Tuesday, 10/11/16.