Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Paint an Owl Class - Week 1

I mentioned in my previous post that I've signed up for Juliette's How to Paint an Owl E-course.

Week 1 is working with backgrounds, here's what I've come up with.

I made some quick "canvases" by sizing and cutting down some cardboard, then sizing some watercolor paper which I adhered to the cardboard.  I figured that would be a little cheaper that ruining a bunch of canvases and I wouldn't be so bummed if I ruined here's how they initially started.

I messed up several times and just kept re-working them until I was happy with the final backgrounds:

I used stencils, acrylic paint, paint dabbers, and colorwash spray.  :-)
So far so good...

My biggest frustration was the colorwash...the bottles they come in suck.  Period.  I can't tell you how many times drips of wash fell on to what I was working on.  It was very annoying, but thankfully these backgrounds aren't meant to be perfect.  I wanted them to be messy and creative, so I put my annoyance aside and kept working on my backgrounds and cleaning up the dripped wash - careful not to get any onto my carpet, cuz that would be bad. 

One technique I had seen in a video prior to buying them was actually quite helpful.  Instead of lifting the stencils and having the wash spread into a blob (which I did a few times until I remembered the technique), I finally grabbed a paper towel and dabbed at the wash before lifting the stencil.  Made for a much nicer background that I've become pleased with.

I can't wait for week 2 when we start on owls...think I might whip out a sketchbook and try to think of fun characters.


  1. So far, so good Leila. I look forward to watching these progress. =D

  2. Love, love, LOVE your backgrounds! Hmmm . . . I've never thought of using a paper towel to soak up the extra wash! Thanks for a great tip, and thanks for your blog visit too! Hugs, Terri

  3. Thank you ladies, it's been very interesting working with paint and stencils. I'm not used to it, but I've been playing around with more to see what I come up with and so far so good! :-)

  4. Great blog!
    Leila about your question: yes the "Siren dreams" classes will be all downloadable, it would be great to see you there ^.^
    Take care and keep making art !


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