Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Water Lilies-Wall Art DIY

With a giant canvas I had bought from Hobby Lobby when it was on sale (about 30 USD) and inexpensive acrylic paint I found at Walmart (about 1USD each), I created an impressionism artwork, inspired by Monet's water lilies, here's how I drew mine.
I grew up with Monet's Water Lilies. There is a framed Monet's artwork in my house, and at a time there was even Monet water lily bedding in the house as well. As a young girl I didn't especially pay attention to Monet's water lilies, they were just always there, a blur of pretty colors. When I decided my new room in the U.S. needed some color above the bed, I decided to be artistic and paint myself something. I don't think I can draw anything too exact, but I could draw a blur of pretty colors. And immediately Monet's water lilies came to mind, and I decided I will draw myself some water lilies, in a blur of pretty colors, just like Monet. Or, to put it more academic terms, to give impressionism a try, and try and capture the changes of light and shadow.

I looked at many pictures of Monet's water lilies to get inspired, and there are so many of them. Sometimes when it's really sunny, other times it's a bit darker. Some scenes with a bridge, other scenes with the trees and clouds reflecting in the pond. I decided on drawing the water lilies, with the pond reflecting the sky and the trees.

Here are some of Monet's work that inspired me.

Water Lilies, c. 1915, Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Water Lilies, 1919, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

I was rather nervous before I began, I really wanted a nice art work, and painting with acrylic paints means I can't erase anything like a pencil. I put on some music, and told myself to relax, and just feel the colors. It was impressionism so nothing needs to be exact. And I later on learned you can layer the colors on, so if something doesn't look quite the way you want it to, you paint more on it and it's fine.

When painting with acrylic it's handy to have a spray bottle with you, so you can mist your paints so they don't go dry when you are creating art.

My tools may be cheap, but I'm full of creativity and in a great mood to create something pretty!

Really the whole thing is about layering on colors, layer after layer after layer. I started with a back ground of a light blue and green, I squeezed paint right from the bottle onto the canvas and spread it out with a sponge brush. Don't forget to cover the edges of the canvas as well.

I began by adding a background to my canvas. I squeezed paint right out from the bottles, and spread it out with a brush.

Then I drew ovals for the lily pads. The lily pads looks very bland, the key to making everything look pretty is to layer colors on. Add some darker green here, some lighter green there, add in some yellow, or blue. Next I drew pink lilies and the tree's reflection. It's the same for everything in the painting: start by drawing it out with one color, then add a little bit of color here and there. Sometimes you add in some colors that are very "close" to the color you have, and beautiful surprises result. For example, for a green lily pad, other than just darker green, lighter green, and maybe some yellow, pastel peach actually looks great with green.

Work in progress, water lilies are just only one pink, lily pads are just two shades of green.

Don't think too much, play your favorite music, just paint on, and never leave one area with only one color.

After completing my art work, I'm really happy with what I achieved. I've never worked with a canvas this big, or tried painting with acrylic. This would look great above my bed, I'll post a picture of it later on since at this moment I'm not home. A sad thought did come to my mind though, I probably won't be able to take this piece with me if I move back to Taiwan or any other country...but that's not in a while, and I'm sure I'll be able to find someone who would enjoy the artwork brightening their living space just as much as I do.

My complete work!

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