Hi! How are ya? I was just reading under yet another Blogging Tips post that you shouldn’t assume you’re talking to people that’ve been to your blog before.
It hit me. I do that all the time. I promise today I’ll try and write as if you’ve never been here before – especially for this painting tutorial. Ok?
So today’s tutorial is for painting oak leaves. I try to write steps on the actual photos (although I don’t always remember to do that) so you can quickly refer to the pics when you’re painting and not have to read all my ramblings in between.
In all of my tutorials I use acrylic craft paint – usually Plaid. I try to give you the actual colors I’ve used. But please, please, please use colors that you like. You don’t have to use the exact color I did.
Especially with fall leaves. Any shade will work. Beautifully.
And, and! all of my tutorials are geared for people with absolutely NO painting experience. None. Nada. Zip.
You don’t have to know how to blend colors. You don’t have to know how to hold and use a particular paint brush. It’s all about layering colors.
Here’s the general process for almost all of my painting tutorials.
- basecoat – medium value (shade)
- highlight – white or complementary color to base
- shading – deeper than basecoat
- topcoat – use original basecoat color
Now, here’s the deal. Some of you will paint pretty heavy, meaning you’ll get a really opaque coverage with each coat. And then, some of you will paint really light.
If you find you’re painting kinda heavy, that’s fine. Just get some Floating Medium or Martha’s Tintable Glaze – both by Plaid. If you dip your brush in the glaze, then add some paint and mix together, you’ll get a perfect layered result.
If you find your paint layers are a little light, that’s fine too. You’ll just need to paint 2 or 3 coats of each layer to get a good effect. You can use glaze too because it really helps the paint move smoothly.
The first couple of times you paint one of these tutorials, it might feel awkward. But pretty soon, it’ll become old hat. Seriously! It’s the same thing over and over and over again.
And, like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get. The main thing is that you enjoy the process. The end result will get better the more you do it.
But I will say this . . . we are our own worst critics. Me too. Still. After thousands of paintings, I still see all the things that ‘should’ be done.
Here’s a huge tip. When you finish a step, stand back from your painting. At least 3 feet. Or more. You’ll get a much better perspective on what it actually looks like when you stand back.
When you’re finished, you might want to actually leave the room, take a walk or something for a few minutes, then come back in and look at the painting.
It’ll never look the way you think it ought to. At least mine don’t. But if you really can’t stand it, no worries. Just paint it all out with the basecoat and start over.
That’s the beauty of paint! Do-overs are absolutely no problem!
Okay – so I didn’t talk at all about this oak leaf. Here are the colors I used (all by Plaid):
- Chestnut Brown
- Turner Yellow
I used a #8 flat brush and a #1 liner. But it really doesn’t matter what kind of brush. Any kind will work. Just use one that you’re fairly comfortable with.
Usually I try to use the biggest brush I can because I can cover more space. But it can’t be so big that you don’t have control. Right?
And liners . . . well, liners take some practice, I’ll admit it.
And, yes, it would be a whole lot easier for you to watch a video than look at still photographs. I’m trying, really, I’m trying.
One more thing today – all of my tutorials are hand done. That means the printables are hand drawn, not digitized. The paintings too. So, yes, there’ll be some imperfections.
Use them however you choose – paint them, let your kids color them, use them as patterns to cut out fabric or paper. One request – I’d love it if you’d provide a link back to me if you do a post on your project though.
Tomorrow I’ll do another oak leaf – a really simple one. Not that this one is hard. It’s not. But it looks a little intimidating, if you haven’t painted since, well, since grade school.
And an acorn. What’s an oak leaf with out a cute little acorn?
Just give it a try. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for Fall with stuff you’ve painted yourself! Not that you want a bunch of painted leaves stuck on your refrigerator though.
Uh-unh. Wall hangings, napkins, runners, tote bags, coasters, etc., etc., etc. You don’t have to paint each thing either. Paint it once and then print it off. Can you say “Christmas present”?
Okay, so right now you might be saying, “Colleen, you’re crazy.” (which is true btw) “I’ll never be able to paint something and give it away as a gift.”
I beg to differ. Maybe not your first painting. Or your second. But after a few weeks of painting, I think you’ll surprise yourself.
Maybe by then I’ll finally have some videos edited!