Summary of Learning

Well, it’s time for the bittersweet ending of EDTC 300. Be prepared for me to talk a million miles a minute to fit all my learnings (well almost all) into 6 ½ minutes.

I’d like to add this to my video since I ran out of time: Thank you for everyone who contributed to my learning in this class this semester. I have learned so much from all of my EDTC 300 classmates. From using Piktochart to learning how to write my name in Japanese (thanks Garrett!) to how to braid a mohawk (thanks Justine!) and everything inbetween! There are so many things that I could have talked about in this video, but I just couldn’t seem to sum it all up fast enough!

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Birds need houses too!

And just like that, it is the last week of the winter semester! This is also my last week of uni classes for my education degree!!!

Mother Nature has been giving us tastes here and there of some wonderful warm weather. With warmer weather, the chirp chirp chirping of birds has returned. And those little birdies inspired my final Learning Project post.

Two summers ago, my dad and I found a pile of old license plates in our shed and started 19145901_10210179385582397_3460725761922234987_nbuilding bird houses. We used the license plates as the roofs and used 3/4″ plywood to build the walls and floor. These six houses are just some of the ones we’ve built. The only bird house of these six that we still have at home (the rest are at the lake) is the blue one in the back left. This is actually one of my favourite ones, so that’s what I used as a guide. I’ll explain more later in this post!

I knew that for my final Learning Project post and painting I wanted to create a bird house and use some of the techniques I’ve learned while learning how to paint with acrylics. I remember from my very first learning project post that I wanted to paint a photo that I had taken. I went digging through my Photo’s on my laptop and found the one I was looking for:

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I LOVE this photo, it just looks so peaceful and serene. I also love sunsets, and that was just the cherry on top! I figured that this photo would pose a nice challenge I hadn’t tackled yet; using/blending yellows and blues WITHOUT making green.

So now I’m just going to hop right into the process of building the birdhouse!! But first, I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to my dad for being patient with me and for helping me not lose any fingers while using the power tools (haha). Removing the roof..

The first thing that I did was take the license plate roof off of the Blue Spoon house. I decided to dance around a few corners and just trace the sides instead of fighting with a measuring tape (it worked!).

The next step was to trace the back of the house onto the sheet of plywood. Once that piece was cut out, I traced that piece again on the plywood, that way they would be as close to the same as possible (hopefully). Once the front and back were cut out, I moved onto measuring the sides of the Blue Spoon house and drawing those out on the plywood. The sides measured out to be 3 ½” x 7″, easy enough! Below you can see me using a jig saw to cut these pieces out. A skill saw freaks me out, so that’s why I chose to use the jig saw, plus with a jig saw I find it is a lot easier to control! After all four sides and the bottom were cut out, it was time to sand the outsides down to make it smooth for the paint.

Now that the ‘hard work’ was over it was time to paint. I brought all four side pieces into the kitchen, laid some paper down and started to think.56910239_1001368813584435_4128046596086562816_n

I had originally wanted to paint my photo as a scene across all four sides, almost like a panorama. I ended up deciding against that and only choosing to paint the photo scene on the front and the back sides of the bird house. I love looking at flowers and I have always loved how lavender looks painted. I decided I wanted to learn a new technique so I hopped over to Youtube to learn how to paint lavender. I found a video tutorial that used cotton swabs to paint the lavender. “Well this is COOL,” I thought to myself. I clicked that video and watched it through before I started to paint, just to make sure it wasn’t too challenging! This is the video:

So after watching the video through, I restarted the tutorial and started to paint!

I actually really enjoyed this tutorial and learned quite a bit about shadows and highlights! Throughout this whole learning project I have used paintbrushes, palette knives and now cotton swabs. It is so refreshing and interesting to know that you don’t need the most expensive materials to create art!56470341_813558855678002_7608950502381846528_n

Next up, it was time to paint my photo. This was a bit challenging. I had several mistakes where the blue and yellow mixed together and made green. This was frustrating. But I learned to wait for the yellow paint to dry before I added the blue and this seemed to solve my little dilemma.56610477_1274553436027206_6691119770797867008_n

So now all four sides were painted, it was time to nail them together and to add the license plate roof!

Here it is, the final bird house all put together! I ended up painting the edges with black paint, made the scenes stand out a bit more! I am super happy with how this turned out. I know that there are some minor things I wish I could change or wish I would have done differently, but I’m still happy nonetheless!

 

And that my friends, is a wrap on my Learning Project. I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to use acrylic paints and learning new techniques. I found that following painting tutorials on Youtube was one of my favourite ways to learn. I also found that reading step by step tutorials was useful in some painting situations. As soon as I would finish a painting, I often found myself disappointed if it didn’t look like the tutorial or picture I was following. I know I am a perfectionist, so this was hard for me when aspects weren’t identical. I would just have to remind myself that I am a beginner, and in no means am I a Bob Ross and that he would just call the mistakes I made “happy little accidents”.

I am proud of myself for what I have learned and how I have improved since I first started this painting journey. Thank you for following along with me!

How have you contributed to the learning of others?

Throughout this semester, a part of our EDTC 300 class was based on how we help one another and aid in each other’s learning experience. This took place in our class’s Slack community, Twitter, blogs (both posts and comments), creating and sharing other resources online, etc. To show many of my interactions I took screenshots, provided links, and inserted Twitter threads into this blog post. I will also try to keep the screenshots, links, etc. organized in the remainder of this post, but bear with me!

Slack Community:

Below is a collection of screenshots of interactions and conversations that I have had with other EDTC 300 classmates, as well as EDTC 400 students:

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Twitter:

Below is a collection of screenshots, and links, to Twitter interactions that I have had with others from EDTC 300, EDTC 400, and other people from the Twitter-verse:

A Bitmoji Twitter Thread I started and others joined in!

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Miss Mallo – a link to my Twitter page

Blogging Posts/Comments/Interactions:

As a part of EDTC 300, we were to be blogging weekly and commenting on our classmates blogs as well. Here are a few of the examples of my comments that I have made on some of my classmate’s blogs:

Need a Hand? Here’s How NOT to Become Ambidextrous

Hands Down a Calligraphy Career is Not in my Near Future

FINISH LINE IS NEAR

THE BEST IDEA EVER!

What’s Up Week 3?!

French Fishtail Success Story 

Mohawks & Long Hair??! Yes, We Did!

Here is the link to my own EDTC 300 page where you can find links to my blog posts and my Learning Project posts.

Other Shared Resources:

I retweeted this wonderful idea that I saw on twitter:Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 10.12.20 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-05 at 10.15.58 PM.png

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Would You Rather – Journal or Discussion Prompts for ELA.

Patterns & Relations – Grade 7 Math – A collection of grade 7 Math lessons that I created, adapted and used during my internship.

Mindfulness Lessons – A unit that I created during my pre-internship that I taught to a grade 7/8 class.


Looking back, I am glad that I had so many opportunities to contribute to the learning of others throughout this course and I feel (and hope) that my interactions and contributions were meaningful. I plan to continue to interact with other educators on Twitter to expand and build upon my PLC. I have also learned that technology is such a handy and meaningful tool that can be used in the classroom to communicate and interact with others from all over the world.

Abstract Painting (kind of?)

Heyo, it’s been a bit since I’ve posting another painting!

A few weeks ago, for the hell of it, I watched an abstract painting youtube video. This one called, Lavender Field / Simple Floral / Abstract Painting Demonstration / Project 365 days / Day #0362, to be exact. I was inspired to brush off the dust, and bring out the acrylic paints again.

This was going to be a little bit different, as I wasn’t going to be using paint brushes at all!! I was only going to be using a palette knife. This was only my second time using a palette (check out the first time I used one in this blog post!). I was actually really excited to try using only the knife, and I loved the tutorial so thought to myself, “Let’s give it a go!”.

WELL, this is what I created. Yikes. Abstract 1.jpg

So turns out, purple and green makes brown. Yuck. If you look closely, you can actually see where I blobbed down the purple paint, acrylic paint dries FAST so it left little blobs. I’m not super disappointed in this, but I’m also not super happy with it. Using the knife was a lot easier than I expected. But I did find because of the colours I used, I had to wipe the knife off frequently to make sure it didn’t make any more unwanted brown smears.

Two weeks later *insert Spongebob narrator voice*

I finally had another minute to sit down with my paints and try another abstract piece again. I went back to SurajFineArts – Abstract ART‘s channel and searched “blue abstract”. Blue is my favourite colour, and I decided I wanted to solely use blue, avoid that brown mess like last time.

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These are the first three videos that popped up after I searched “blue abstract” on this channel. All three videos area fairly short, so I decided to watch all three. Near the end of all three videos, the artist adds in pops of colour. I decided to not follow their steps exactly and stick to my safe shades of blue and teal.

I dug around in my paint bucket and picked these paints out:

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Again, I was also going to be using the palette knife instead of a paint brush, how exciting! So I started blobbing some blue around on the page, and just used vertical strokes(?) with the palette knife. I was liking the way it was turning out! It was a fairly quick process, I didn’t have to over think any little aspects or colour mixes this time!

This is how the Blue Vertical turned out:

56842778_577131192808149_8714908923313782784_n(The white corners are because I used tape to hold the paper down so it wouldn’t curl as I added more paint)

I decided that this was fun. I liked it! So I got out another piece of paper, and did it again! This time, instead of vertical lines, I started out painting, with the palette knife of course, the letter M (my favourite letter) just off centre on the paper in Prussian Blue. I then added more blues all over the page and used both diagonal and vertical strokes with the palette knife. I used more black in this painting, and I accidentally put a little too much black on the paper, and had to scrape some off and add some white to counteract it. If you look close, you can spy a few hints of pink where the painting is the darkest. I felt like adding a pop of colour this time and I figured pink was a safe colour as it wouldn’t make brown when mixed with blue.

I’ll called this one the M Abstract. Not very creative, I know! This is what it looked like:

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A final reflection tidbit: Abstract painting is fun and a great way to express creativity and feelings! Abstract art is so freeing and I definitely plan on doing this technique again in the future. Maybe one day I will get braver and mix some more fun pops of colour.

 

Sccrratch

I had an experience with coding tonight! Do I 100% understand what I’m doing? Not a chance! But hey, it’s fun, educational and I can see why student’s would enjoy it!

When I first went onto Scratch I was a little overwhelmed, there is a lot to do and see on there! I wasn’t sure where to start so when I clicked on the Create button at the top of the page. Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 8.20.15 PM.png

Now this is when I realized I was in for a learning experience. There was so many objects to drag and place around, I wasn’t sure where to start! I started playing around, and ended up having a cat sprite that said hello and constantly grew bigger and bigger and spun in circles. It was a bit of a gong show tbh. So that project got scrapped real quit.

Next up I decided to try the feature that says Try out starter projectsI thought this might be a better starting point.

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Then I had to decide on what starter project I wanted to work with, I chose the Animate The Crab one. This one was actually fairly straight forward to play around with, which was great for me!

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I ended up making the crab grow bigger and smaller with the click of the up and down arrow keys. I did have a whoops and accidentally made the crab MASSIVE and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to shrink the fellow down again. Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 8.43.15 PM.pngFinally, I figured out to put a minus (-) in front of the number.

Click here if you want to check out the Scratch I created!

I definitely see how coding could be used in the classroom and why it is important. It provides students with opportunities to build and use their problem solving skills. We are living in a technology era, learning the skill of using and creating code with be a lifelong skill for students. Edutopia even has a whole topic revolving around resources, reasons, and more about Coding in the Classroom. After doing some reading online, coding is also thought of as a new type of literacy. Coding is used across the world and it is becoming more and more popular as the tech world develop. Coding also helps students to work on and develop math skills. When we encourage our students to learn how to code, we are basically helping them practice their math as well (x, y coordinates, negative and positive numbers, etc.). Coding would also help to foster students’ creativity. They can create anything they want, from a game, to a presentation, to a funny GIF!

The possibilities are endless!!

 

FAKE news and digital literacy…

Last class, we talked about fake news and digital literacy. The week before last, we cyber sleuthed a fellow classmate to see what we could ‘dig’ up on them on the world wide web. Can you see a theme here? Digital literacy, etiquette, and awareness are all reoccurring themes I have noticed recently. The internet has allowed us to connect, learn, teach, and work in a way that used to not be possible. We are able to have access to resources online from around the world at the touch of our fingertips, one Google search away.

With the digital world becoming bigger and better than ever, there comes the ever present fake news. And with fake news, it’s important to teach our students how to detect the fake news from the true news. According to How to choose your news by Damon Brown the internet has multiplied the amount of information and viewpoints with social media, blogs, and online video turning every citizen into a reporter. But if everyone is a reporter, then nobody is and different sources may disagree, not only on opinions, but on facts themselves. So it is important to help our students know how to get to the truth. This TEDEd talk discusses that it is important to get the original news from the unfiltered middlemen. This would be finding the actual material that people are writing about. In Digital Citizenship Education in Saskatchewan Schools, Dr. Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt state that reinforce that idea, “We need to ensure that students are equipped with the skills to safely and smartly sift through this abundance of information and to navigate online spaces in ways that contribute to their learning.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Students are often growing up with technology at their fingertips that we as teachers are sometimes just figuring out how to use. They are little tech experts themselves more often than not but as their teachers, we can teach our students how to refine those Google searches to help them to access the factual information they might be looking for and how to use the internet effectively and responsibly utilize the technology that they have access to.

One example where we can teach digital literacy is in grade 8 English Language Arts class. In grade 8 ELA outcome CR8.7. This outcome states that students should be able to: “Read independently and demonstrate comprehension of a variety of information texts including understanding the main ideas and supporting evidence, explaining connections between new ideas and information and previous thoughts, and recognizing any biases or false reasoning.” To reach this outcome, a teacher could teach a mini-unit revolving around digital literacy. This mini-unit would also include other outcomes as well from ELA and Social Studies, but with CR8.7 being a main focus. Students could do research online about a current event that is a topic of interest for them, but students would be taught on how to identify if that source online is reliable or not. Students would be taught how to critically evaluate information as mentioned in What’s News: Fake, False, Misleading, Clickbait, Satire, or Carefully Reported?. This article mentions six tips that can be used to navigate the news and social media for accuracy and validity. The six tips mentioned are: Be critical of images, investigate the URL/site, read beyond the headline, verify the author, track down the original source (I mentioned this earlier), and watch out for new technologies. Each of these tips could be broken down into its own lesson, teaching students how to investigate and look for each step.

 

 

 

Using iMovie for the first(ish) time

Last week for my Learning Project I painted along to a Bob Ross painting video and I recorded myself painting too! I used my camera (Nikon D5100) to record myself, well, for most of the video. My camera battery ended up dying about half way through painting (I totally forgot to charge it before hand) so I used my cell phone, Samsung Galaxy S9, to finish recording! I am super happy that I had a Popsocket on the back of my phone because I was able to stand my phone up to record it! After I had the videos recorded, my next step was to figure out how to use iMovie. I had no issues at all uploading the video off of my camera’s SD card to my Macbook Pro. The problem came when I needed to get my video off of my SAMSUNG phone onto my APPLE laptop. After a few choice words, I finally figured out what I could do. Google Drive! Take that Apple! So I uploaded the video from my phone to my Google Drive that I could access on my laptop. However, this took over a day to upload (screw you rural wi-fi) but when it did upload I was able to move it over into my iMovie media!

Now it was time for the real fun to begin. I have only used iMovie once before in my second year of university (2 years ago) and it’s had a few updates since then and I also completely forgot how to use it. SO it was a whole new learning process for me!!

I’m not one for following written instructions, never have been. I’d much rather dive in head first and problem solve on my own. So with that said, I dove right on into iMovie. When you first open up iMovie, this is what it looks like for the most part (ignore my videos, this screen was empty before I made my videos):Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 1.25.44 PMTo create a new video, you have to click the square that has the + sign, and these are the options it give you:Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 1.25.57 PM

I chose the Movie option because I know I didn’t want to make a trailer, so the Movie option was most likely my best. After you’ve clicked on the movie option, this is the screen you get:Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 1.45.10 PM.png

I was definitely a bit intimidated when I first saw that screen. But I pulled up my socks and got right to work. I went to my Google Drive and saved my video that I had recorded on my phone and then dragged it over to the ‘Import Media’ area on the iMovie screen. Then I went to my SD card file and imported those video files. I messed up a few times while recording so I had a few different videos on my camera’s SD card that needed to be merged into one along with my cell-phone video.

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This is what my media library looked like with everything uploaded and imported into it. The green rectangles are audio clips that I recorder with the audio recording option on iMovie. I used these to add in some voice overs for some parts where I messed up (like at the beginning I was painted on the wrong side of the paper) and also where a swear or two might have slipped out (hey, I’m not perfect!). My next step was to organize and combine all the audio and video clips to make one cohesive video. I had to drag and drop the clips from the above image into the area right below it (below image), in my own desired order.Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 1.58.17 PM.png

This seemed too easy…but hey it was working! Once I had all my video and audio clips in the order I wanted, I looked at the length of whole video…. it was a total of 1:08:38 WHAT!?! Okay, now is when I knew I had to find a way to speed parts (or most) of the video up so it would be a much more reasonable length. So I started looking around on iMovie for something that reasonable speed. To be honest, I really had no idea what I was looking for and I just started clicking different things BUT I just so happened to find out how to adjust the speed!! The red circle shows what you have to click in order to adjust the speed. It gives options for slower, normal, fast, freeze frame and custom.Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 2.06.41 PM

I was then able to select the clips that I wanted sped up and the ones that I also wanted to leave at a normal speed so the viewer could still understand what I was saying. There is also the option to Preserve Pitch when speeding up or slowing down clips. I used this for certain parts throughout my video so I wouldn’t sound like a chipmunk running on only espresso shots for the entire video.

My video was coming along nicely at this point. After speeding things up and omitting so selected parts from videos (you just have to click and drag on the video and then hit delete), I was down to 37:09…WOOHOO. Okay, so my video was done. Now I needed to upload my video to YouTube. I right clicked my video and then clicked Share Project and then clicked YouTube.Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 2.47.10 PM.pngI was then greeted by this lovely warning message:Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 3.06.38 PM.pngSo after all my hard work of reducing the time of my video IT WAS STILL TOO LONG. Are you kidding me?!

So I went back to my video and cut and paste my video into three sections. I made Part 1 14:58 minutes, Part 2 was 11:36 and Part 3 was 10:38. So then I was FINALLY able to upload my videos to YouTube.

You know the sound that a plane makes when it’s taking off? Well that’s what my laptop sounded like trying to upload those damn videos.

Well, this sums up my experience recording a video of myself painting along to Bob Ross’ Distant Mountains and using iMovie for my Learning Project. It was quite a learning process, but it was fun to teach myself how to use a new program!

Bob Ross’d It

I did a thing…Screen Shot 2019-03-12 at 1.40.17 PM

So I decided to follow a Bob Ross tutorial off of Youtube. I followed along with Bob’s Distant Mountains from season 14 episode 1. I think it went fairly well. There were a few little mess ups, for example, mountains are HARD. And I probably should have practiced using the knife and I should have maybe used a canvas instead of paper. I should add that the paper I used is meant for water colour….not acrylic.

I’ll attach the videos below, and you can watch my process! I had to speed things up a bit because otherwise it would have been over an hour long of a video. I also had to split the video up into three parts, so bear with me!

 

The finished painting!

Tweeting our way through ELA

My friend and EDTC 300 classmate, Brooklyn Selinger, and I held a conversation from the perspective of a grade 9 English Language Art’s (ELA) teacher and a School Community Council member students on whether or not students should be permitted/required to use Twitter for ELA class. I acted as the grade 9 ELA teacher who was wanting her students to use Twitter and Brooklyn acted as the SCC member who voiced concerns on internet accessibility, safety and appropriateness. Check out our conversation here!

A little throwback personal reflection: When I was in high school, my ELA teacher for ELA 10, ELA 20 and ELA 30, used Twitter and had us do book reviews and answers vocabulary questions. I really enjoyed this because it was nice to use social media in a ‘new way’. Looking back at it now, it probably also helped me to gain my first sense of digital literacy because I made sure what I was posting on my Twitter was appropriate since my teacher was going to see it.

Before we had the conversation about Twitter I went searching the internet for why other educators might choose to use Twitter in their ELA classroom. I found this article 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom. I used this as my starting point. Some of the ways this article mentioned that I enjoyed the most were: connecting classrooms, writing reviews and creating polls. I think these are great ideas and really interesting ways to connect with other classrooms, without even leaving your classroom!

I think if that if I ever teach high school English Language Art’s I will try to incorporate some type of technology. I definitely look and lean towards Twitter because it is such a great resource to use to connect to other people in a concise, educational and professional way.

And finally, before we started our conversation I went on to Twitter and asked my Twitter followers what they thought about using Twitter in an ELA 9 classroom!

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And this is what I received in return, thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts!

Research has shown that students writing improves when they have an audience and Twitter allows for students to reach an audience. (@MrBourassaED)

The majority of future writing will most likely be online. Students need to learn how to be smart digital citizens and have proper online etiquette now, under the watchful eye of a teacher that already is. Twitter is a great place to start learning about this! (@GlascockKennedy)

I think Twitter gives students a purpose for writing in the real world and an opportunity to make global connections. They can also find their voice online. (@WendyMymryk)

Using clear language to deliver a brief but measured response to any text or media assigned. A clear statement of comprehension through an explicit response to texts. (@HeculuckDave)

Critical media literacy skills- understanding how to judge opinions, spot bias, how to be able to decide what, when and how much to share. (@cumby_l)

Twitter is an easy way to communicate with members of a group. Using twitter by students is a way to learn to use social media for quality communication. (@JaapSoft)

 

Painting and Procrastinating

Okay. So I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting off this post for a long time. I painted a landscape-y picture two weeks ago. And I hate it. Okay, hate is a strong word, I mostly just strongly dislike it. I’ll attach photo’s at the end of this post, just for the sake of your eyes.

I used this photograph I took this spring in my home town as inspiration:46488044_307721039830152_4711103958595141632_n

Look at the sky!! That pink and purple!! And the way the Paterson elevator stands out against the background and the dirt in the foreground!!  That is why I chose to use water colours instead of acrylics because I have found that water colours are just so much easier to blend.

I found this article that I could read and this video to watch (skip to about 1:50 to watch the painting magic and listen to the artists soothing, magical voice). Both of these resources helped me to understand and to see the different techniques there are that you can use when watercolour painting. Two of these techniques are: wet on wet and wet on dry. Wet on wet is when you apply wet paint onto a wet surface. So you pretty much have wet the surface of a paper, and then you apply the paint with a wet brush. Wet on dry is when you apply wet paint onto dry surfaces, this is ideal for when you want to outline or create details. When I did the background of my painting, I used the wet on wet technique to create a smooth, pink, purple, luscious, cotton-candy-like, sky. After this step is when things got ugly because I added in the elevator, ‘trees’, and the ground in acrylic paint. Yeesh.

So now I suppose I should attach a photo of what I painted…

Before I show you that, I actually did one more thing. Before I even thought about starting to paint, I sketched out the photo onto a piece of watercolour paper in pencil.

SketchedI was going originally going to paint this picture that I had sketched out, but I decided I didn’t want to quite yet. I wanted to wait until I was a little more practiced in the world of acrylics, which was a good call on my part (haha).

Instead of using a nice sketched out picture, I totally winged it on a blank piece of paper. Now, this is probably where things went south, but again, I am proud of the sky in the background that I created with watercolour, just not the foreground scene that was made with acrylic. So here is my disliked-ugly-ish painting:

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Two Three things I learned from this short ordeal:

  1. Practice, practice, practice
  2. Don’t dive in head first into the deep end without learning how to swim with acrylics first.
  3. Stop procrastinating and take make the time to PRACTICE.