Monday, July 16, 2012

Ombre Painting.

I've been looking, for what seems like years, for a painting or piece of art for the bathroom. I have found nothing... I'm really not even that picky (or maybe I am...). I just wanted something simple. I've been seeing some interesting things over on Pinterst and with some painting under my belt, figure I would give it a go.

This image is from Simply Smitten and I would love to direct you to a direct link, but I can't seem to find it on her blog...
But that image above is one of my inspirations. I've seen a few others, some really bad others pretty awesome, but I didn't save them.... oops.

I already had a canvas, just a cheapo one from Michael's. I actually have two because I bought a 2-pack. I'm 99% sure that most of the canvases there come all ready to paint on. Normally, when you buy canvas and build out your own frame, you need to apply gesso to prepare the surface for paint. I went ahead and did this anyways, simply because I can't remember what the packaging said. I also did it to give the canvas more texture.

All you really need to do is just paint the Gesso on and let it dry. I believe they always said to do two coats in the painting class I took in college, but because I thought it was already paint ready, I just did one.

I waited and let that dry... like a few days (or maybe a week) because I do way too many things at once. If you do two coats, I would try to give it an hour or two in between. Then probably at least the same amount of time or more before you actually start painting.

I didn't use that short jar looking guy because I couldn't get it open... The other white bottle is sort of the same things, Acrylic Flow Release. It essentially 'thins' out the paint. It's purpose it to make it take a little longer to dry, make it smoother, etc. At least that's what I thought, but now reading the description for it linked above.... I do not really use it properly.  It has all sorts of warnings about how you're supposed to dilute it with water and what not. I've never done that.

The paint is just cheap Liquitex acrylic paint. Nothing fancy.  I also really like the Dick Blick brand acrylic paint. I actually ended up using Dick Blick white too.

Everything I used was stuff that I already have. Most of it was purchased while I was in college for a painting class, but some of the paint I have is from before then. Like, probably that purple because we weren't allowed to buy pre-mixed colors.

I started off mixing some paint. I squirted a bunch of purple onto a plate. There is no scientific method behind this, but I tend to start off with the closest color to where I want to end up, in my case a darker purple to match my bathroom towels. Then I added a little bit of black at a time to get the color where I wanted. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND using a palette knife. Best tool ever for mixing paint. I own one made by Dick Blick (it looks like the style has changed slightly over the years). I also have a really super crappy plastic one somewhere, but I would definitely go for the metal ones. The flexibility in the metal works well in my opinion.

I wasn't exactly sure if I was going to go all the way to the edges of my canvas because the original ombre painting I saw (which I cannot find...) didn't go to the edges and I thought it looked great. So, I started off with that in mind, knowing it was easier to start there and then go to the edges if I didn't like how that was working out.

To get the change in opacity, I started with the darkest and  I simply kept pulling paint out of my brush and adding flow release to the canvas. If you're trying it out for the first time, you may want to try it out on some paper first.

That wasn't really working for me... I decided to go all the way to the edges. Basically starting the process all over again over the top of what I already did, making sure I got the sides as I went.

And then... ta da! 

If I had been smart, I would have just stopped. But there was that one slightly darker spot on the middle top and so I tried to fix it... and just ended up destroying it. I had to go back in with white in order to get it to look normal again. I'm not really sure which version I like better, but I probably should have just stopped when I first thought to.

And here it is all dry and up in the bathroom in it's place. The lighting does change it at times. Sometimes it's more pink, other times it's more purple. Not a super fan of the pink times, but it works and I like it. 

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