Saturday, September 29, 2012

Do you Love crochet?

PDF Marvin the Monkey hat CROCHET PATTERN in 5 different sizes for babies and adults
Sweet Kiwi is hosting a giveaway and you can win some great new patterns.
I have a few of their patterns and love them.
Go to their Facebook page to sign up!
PDF Puppy Dog Hat CROCHET PATTERN in 5 different sizes for babies and adults
Link >Sweet Kiwi Crochet
Just thought I would share.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Learning to Paint, Lesson 3-some practice

You may recall my practice bench I posted back in May.  I have meant to add some design work to it but have not had the time.

When I thought about showing you a design in progress this was my choice.  That was good (am getting it painted) and then some bad (the surface sucked up the acrylics making it a pain).
(click the photo to go to the bench post if you wish)
I have done a post on Supplies. Lesson 1

I have posted on some basic Strokes. Lesson 2

Now lets see some in practice.

Many times I will lay out a design on a piece of paper but at other times I just start and go with what comes to mind or what I feel like painting.

An option is to lay down some background color, I do not always but it can create some depth or dimension. 

You can put pounce on some color like this (I used a mix of white, grey with a very tiny touch of light green)

It is only slightly darker than the background.   

Before this I had pounced on the colors and did not like it, it was too dark with too much green so I took a damp paint rag (I use my husbands old white t-shirts, perfect for wiping brushes on and fixing your mistakes)and wiped the paint off. Even the partially dried paint came off.

The most useful skill you will learn is different ways of correcting what you don’t like.  Taking a damp rag and wiping off paint is just one of them.

After I have pounced on an acceptable background I make white circles with my brush as placement of my roses.  You can see them in the video below but I also included a photo of my yellow roses post.

Of course, the circles are yellow in the photo. (if you wish to see the entire post just click the photo)


I base paint the leaves the lighter of the two colors I use when stroking them in.  This will make them more opaque. 

 I place the leaves first so the roses will look to sit atop them.  The video gives you an idea of how I stroke the undercoat and that I am not that neat about it. 

basing leaves

Next I double load my brush with the lighter green (delta Stonewedge) and the darker green (folkart Thicket).

 I stroke over the base coat, I make sure I do not flip the brush as I want the dark against the light in the center.  It creates the shadowing that makes it look like the veining or crease in center without having to come back in and shade it.
stroking the leaves.


This next video shows one method you can do to cover over something you don’t like.  You can stipple or pounce on some white, it will provide a base for fitting in different flower or design to hide what you don’t like.  Or add some stems and make it a yarrow. Use your imagination. 

fixing a bad leaf

I had more videos going on into the rose but I completely muffed them up. One was a partial of this rose being painted, somehow I caught the first two rows of strokes and the camera went off.  I think the card was full. I was doing a lot of retakes.  

Here it is, I downloaded to show you what I did get done and how it just cuts off.

I will be back with a good video of that.  But you have the basic background now. I build in layers and left room for some filler flowers which will be in another lesson. As you can see in this photo I ended up painting a new leaf over the leaf I did not like and had pounced white on. 

I just wanted to share one of my older paintings.  One of my first roses, to be precise.  Now this may help you if you are discouraged and think I got it down right off the bat because the proof that I did not is here.


The carnations are not to bad but the rose is rather sad.  But I am so glad I kept this one sign I made to look back on.  If you think that rose is bad, take a look at this iris.


See, we all start out struggling.  But as I said before it is like learning to write, you struggle to make the letters look like letters and we all do manage to learn it but then we develop our own styles so your rose will not look exactly like mine.  And even my roses never look exactly like each other. 

I also found out that decoratively painting on a surface that has been coated in chalk paint is difficult. Most of my signs and surfaces are finished with an eggshell or satin latex.  The chalk paint soaked up the moisture in the acrylics causing them to drag more.  So I would suggest having your base be either of those two finishes or go over the chalk paint with a water base varathane in a matte finish before painting on your design.

It took me over an hour of struggling with getting my strokes to flow today to remember that I had painted the bench with chalk paint. 

Next, is the video of the rose painting.  I will keep at this videoing until I get it right!

I am considering starting an MEME so you can share your attempts with me.  Just let me know if any would even share or not.  It would go a long way in encouraging me to keep at this even when I spend an entire day trying to make a short decent post.

Hmmm...maybe I will just post a Linky tool and go for it.  We shall see if any will play.

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 the weekend wrap up party! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bamboo, raccoons and chicks, I have it all.

I do hope you are all enjoying the Learn to Paint series. 
I am aiming to post another lesson this week.  I say aiming as sometimes life gets in the way of what I want to do.
But rest assured I will post it.
The weather has been perfect here in California.  Warm days in the 80’s and cool nights in the low, low 50’s. Great for garden work.
My plans this weekend were to get certain garden chores done for winter, things like separate my cherished bamboo plant so I can have more.  I am not sure why I love bamboo, maybe it is the tropical look it portrays for me. 
It proved quite challenging.
I thought to divide it like a do any perennial but it had other ideas.  I attempted to slice it down the middle of the root ball with a sharp shovel, I knew it would take great force but when my shovel connected with it the rebound rattled my teeth. 
It was solid! So I opted to unwind smaller canes along with the roots from the root mass instead.
I ended up with 3 new potted bamboos and high hopes they will take off and enjoy having room to spread their roots.
Here is one, the leaves did curl from the shock and I am not even sure I did this correctly so only time will tell.  I am sure to keep them well watered.
I have also been engaging in a raccoon relocation program.  They have become so destructive we have had to take drastic measures, like trapping and hauling off to new homes deep in the woods.
He may look cute but he is a vandal!
For those of you curious about my latest hatch, here is a shot of the chicks.  They are hiding behind this guy, he is a little rooster my mom hatched the month before.  He was so longsome in his little area that I let him join the girls here.
He is already showing his male leanings, he guards the girls valiantly.  He is improving in his looks, he was rather battered looking, the raccoons had plucked out some of his feathers trying to have him for dinner one night. 
My roses are making one last showing before they shut down for winter. 
I shared the bud last time of my Princess Diana rose and here she is, this is the first bloom after transplanting her, so she is flourishing in her new spot.
Soon I will need to drag in the geraniums to overwinter. 
I know you have heard me raving about this clematis before and his stellar performance, and now here he goes again blooming one last time before going dormant.
Warsaw Nike
For the most part my window boxes and hanging planters are looking rather sad but there are a few volunteer petunias just now blooming.  I need to pick up a few violas to add to the planter, they do well all winter and fill in thickly come Spring.
You remember my fancy little table set up??  Well I enjoyed seeing it so much that I left it for a bit.  Sunday afternoon I kept my nephews while their parents went on a dinner date. 
The 3 year old, Cayden, is a drama king.  He sees my table and exclaims “a tea pawty for me!” as he clasps his hands to his chest in delight.
So we had to sit and have a tea party.  He and his brother who is near 5 now had milk in their tea cups and tortilla chips on their plates. 
The crystal champagne flutes were put up for safe keeping.
It made a very nice ‘tea pawty’.
On that note I will leave you now.  Enjoy your day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Learning to Paint–Lesson 2, Basic Strokes

An old magazine rack I painted years ago that I use to hold towels in my upstairs bath.

(I thought to include an item I have painted over the years to each instruction post)


Now that you have collected your supplies lets get started. (If you missed that post go Click this link SUPPLIES)

First squeeze out two dime sized puddles of paint on your pallet (aka: Styrofoam plate) The puddles do not have to be close to each other. 


Dip a corner of a 12 inch flat brush into the white puddle then the opposite corner in the green.  The brush should now look somewhat like this.


Work the paint into the bristles by brushing back and forth until the two colors begin to blend into each others in the middle, one fades into the other color instead of there being a stark line between.


Start with a simple comma stroke.  Start on the chisel edge of your brush, press gently as you pull down and let the brush lift to a point. (a brief video at the end of this post will let you see how my brush moves as I make this stroke as well as others)



This is a pitiful example of an s stroke.  You start on the chisel edge pull down, add more pressure to flatten the bristles then lift to a point while gently making the shape of an S.  The video may help you more with this one. 


I will go ahead and let you see the video here, then maybe some of my explanations will make more sense to you.

(forgive the less than optimum video, I am learning my new camera’s abilities)

basic strokes

You can start on a chisel edge, press and wiggle the brush to get a scallop type shape, which if brought to a point by letting the brush spring back to the chisel edge can make a lovely leaf or modified a stroke in a rose.


A simple u stroke made with a flat stroke and two comma strokes opposite of each other.


A simple stroke leaf.  Start on a chisel edge, press, drag and let brush spring back to the chisel edge to make a leaf shape.


These strokes are part of the foundation of my decorative painting.  I am so used to just jumping in and painting it is taking some thinking on my part to break it down into parts for you. 

Bear with me, I may get it down yet. Smile

 If you have any questions feel free to ask, I will answer as best as I can ASAP.

These strokes are what I use to paint my rose.  Next I will paint a rose with leaves on video so you can get a visual in motion of the building of a rose. 

Until next time.
Come visit my website. Drop me a line and tell me what you would like to me paint next. Funky Junk's Sat Nite Special
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