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:

19956944_10210496257824005_7008100864680729180_o

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!

Advertisements

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.

Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 8.53.55 PM.png

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:

56291017_2148903978511725_7482176468101890048_n-e1554519781580.jpg

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:

55961981_2207264112666712_2110608729538822144_n

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.

 

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.

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 1.44.34 PM

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!

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:

52597966_627985547645062_6836435655636025344_n

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.

Let’s attempt some colour

Hello friends.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve picked up my paint brushes and blogged for my #LearningProject. I was at home in Carievale, SK all of last week, which is 3 hours Southeast of Regina and an hour and a half South of where I live during the school week. My dad came and picked me up from Broadview (where I live during the week) at 5am, and drove me to the hospital and then home to Carievale because I was sicker than all hell and just wanted my own bed. Turns out that I should’ve gotten the flu shot this year. But here I am, back and healthier than I was last week!

Tonight I dug out my acrylic paints, brushes, paper and tile. I say tile because I needed something to put the paint on and to mix paint on so my dad let me use one of our left over kitchen floor tiles. I took some felt pads, these things, and stuck one under each corner of the tile so it could slide around on the table/counter.

My next step was to search the ol’ Google machine to see what I could find to paint. I wanted to first play around and experiment with some colour and the different brushes. So I went to this website to give me an idea of different techniques and things to try out when just beginning to paint with acrylics. 51398907_309815006338888_6730756623813312512_nSide note: I used those metallic paints I bought by accident (click here to read that blog post if you missed it) and they actually worked pretty good!

This is what I ended up painting, a whole page of nonsense. I mixed water in with the blue paint to get a more faded effect. I mixed a darker blue and red to make a purple colour and continued to add either more red or blue to change the overall hue of the purple. On the bottom where the green blobs are, well, those are my attempts at mixing paints to make green to create bushes. I mixed a neon metallic yellow, a turquoise, a metallic blue and a touch of red in different amounts to create the green.

After I was pretty comfortable with holding a paintbrush in my hand and mixing the colours I went back to Google and searched ‘How to draw a flower in acrylic paint‘. After looking at the results that popped up, I decided I needed to add ‘for beginners’ at the end because the flowers that popped up were way to complex and intense for my liking. So with that changed, this Birch and Button creative blog page popped up. With a few clicks I was scrolling and reading through how to paint a pretty purple flower. 51336966_774217446291605_4444694494503239680_nI have to admit, I was expecting a video, not a blog post, on how to paint a flower so this was, at first, an unpleasant surprise. But you know what? I actually found that I enjoyed reading on how to do something instead of watching it. By reading the how-to, I had to trust the words to guide me in painting, I couldn’t just mirror the motions of an artist from a video recording. Normally, I am a visual learner so watching videos and reading instructions makes sense to me. I think by reading instructions and only being shown the final result, the process was a bit more explorative.  So here’s my attempt at a little purple flower!51790057_2486288971384794_2485223770030080000_n

I really like the layout of Birch and Button’s blog page, and I was able to find another post about how to paint simple leaves. The title is misleading (or I am just a beginner with no patience) and these leaves were hard! I definitely know that I need to practice more with different brush strokes, mostly the flicking, twisting and turning motions of the paint brush. I also painted a fun little cactus for the hell of it.

And here’s an overall panorama of what my painting station looked like!

Read the labels BEFORE you buy the paint

To sum up last week in two sentences: I went out and bought some paints, some brushes and some paper. I got home, opened everything up and then I said a few choice words. *insert face palm emoji here*

Now I’ll give you some more details. I went to the acrylic paint isle at Michaels and grabbed this awesome looking 20 pack of acrylic paints that I saw. In that same isle there were acrylic paintbrushes so I grabbed two packs of those as well. I cheaped out and got all-purpose paper instead of acrylic paper or canvases because hey, I’m a broke university student. So I go to the check-out and I pay for my haul, I even had found a cute mint-green tote to store all my wonderful painting supplies in. I get home from the city, close to 11:30pm and I crack open my goodies. As I am opening the paints, I see a tiny, shiny, little word on the front of the box: Metallics and Neon Acrylics. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Sigh. Well what can you do? Things happen. Of course I’m still a little bitter that I didn’t read the darn box before buying it but I’ll find a way to make those shiny and bright paints work some how!

Instead of calling it a night like I should of, since it was midnight, I opened the pack of paint brushes that had the fan brush in it and I started using the Bob Ross tree technique to try to make an evergreen tree.

Happy Little Shiny 'Trees'

As you can see in the above photo, my first tree (if you can even call it that) was a “happy little accident” (Thanks Bob).  Tree #2 has a much more tree shape but still kind of just like a blob with upward strokes. Finally, my third tree actually looked like a tree!! Bob Ross makes painting trees so easy! I am so glad I tried some practice trees with the fan brush. Working with a fan brush is definitely more tricky than I expected, the bristles kept bunching together and not staying as a nice fan. I am going to need much more practice I think, but I’m not defeated!! The fourth and fifth try were ‘meh’ but they still look are tree-like blobs. And just to point it out, the fourth tree was actually painted by my boyfriend, he wanted to attempt it.

The metallic paint really isn’t that bad, I was kind of worried that it would look like the tin man from Wizard of Oz. I probably won’t use the metallic or neon paints for full paintings, but I might use them for certain aspects within those paintings. I could use the metallics and neons to highlight the bright points in a painting.

So with that, I went to Walmart and purchased some *classic* finish, acrylic paints. And yes, I read the box this time. I wasn’t making that “happy little accident” again.

 

Let’s get crazy

Im diving head first into the world of painting. My plan for the #LearningProject is to learn how to paint, so I am hoping to pick up on some acrylic and water colour painting techniques.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Bob Ross, mostly at night when I can’t sleep and the internet is at my fingertips and Youtube is only one tap of a finger away… His voice is just so soothing! Anyways, back to painting. If you are unfamiliar with Bob Ross, you must live under a rock. Just kidding, kind of. He was the host and creator of the show The Joys of  Painting that ran on TV from the 80’s until the early 90’s. He was an artist who used the painting technique called ‘wet on wet’ as you can see in many of his episodes. These episodes are conveniently free on Youtube to watch so I highly recommend you check this one out, it’s one of my favourites!

I love the way that he creates trees. That is the number one thing that inspired me to learn painting for this project. I don’t think I am going to do the ‘wet on wet’ technique while painting because I feel that may get o pricey with the materials I’d need to achieve that. I plan on using other techniques that I found on this blog that talks about 13 different techniques that beginners can try when it comes to acrylic. Once I become more confident in basic skills and basic shapes I plan to use those skills to create simple paintings. Maybe a flower vase, or an animal, or a lone tree for a simple painting. Once I get a few simple paintings done, I want to create a prairie landscape with a sunset or maybe a lake sunset. I would really like to recreate a photograph or two that I’ve captured because I think that would be really cool to compare the two. Maybe my painting will look even better than the photograph or maybe my painting will be totally awful and look like a blob of undefined colour on a piece of paper OR maybe my painting will be an interpretive piece that was inspired by the colours in the photograph 🤔

I’ll just have to keep Bob Ross’s voice in my head when making happy little painting accidents.

Stay tuned!