For awhile, I’d been meaning to try out a social painting experience, but when searching the calendars of the local art studios offering that type of service, I was always deterred because the more whimsical-type paintings always seemed to be offered during a weekday (when I am at work). A social painting experience can manifest in several ways, from a group of people replicating the same painting on each of their own canvases, to each member of a group painting an aspect of a larger image so that when placed together, the sum of the canvases produces a lovely work of art.
As it turns out, I had a stroke of scheduling luck this month and jumped on Four Seasons, an individual replication. It’s a pretty, vivid painting that was a little challenging to create, but I had a lot of fun making it.
- We started by blending bright colors across the canvas. I learned how to use a combination of white paint and water to blur the boundary between colors. I later learned that blending paint in such a way is a challenge for even the most experienced artist.
- The next step was to use muted hues to create spots. I was instructed that when I felt there were enough spots, I was to add even more. To give them a glow, I gave about two-thirds of them a white highlight. Though larger than dust particles, these spots give the illusion of illuminated pixie dust or perhaps luminous baubles.
- The next step was to outline a tree – the subject of this piece. A confident downward stroke produced the trunk, followed by outward strokes for the five branches. Even moreso than the spot baubles, the tree silhouette creates an air of whimsy with it’s gently bowing branches — if I hadn’t been careful it could have easily become a gnarled, naked, branchy mess.
- The last step was to build the tree’s form. Layer upon layer, slightly widening it with each pass, I saw my tree emerge as though going through seasons of growth. I ended with white highlights for depth.
If you ever have a chance to social paint, give it a go, you might be surprised at how well your artwork turns out!