I Painted a Painting

by Heather on November 27, 2012

Y’all, I have been feeling so crafty lately.

How to DIY:  Fall-Inspired Abstract Leaf Painting

Honestly I don’t know why or how – I like being creative, but I haven’t ever had just this burning desire to make something at all times.  Could it be the waning pregnancy/postpartum hormones?  Or the fact that I have a baby now?  Or now I’m staying at home with our little guy and (as if I don’t have enough to do) and I can actually take time to make things if I want to?


No clue.  But I’m going with it.


Embracing it even.

How to DIY:  Fall-Inspired Abstract Leaf Painting

Truth be told, I saw this video from the beautiful Casey and just thought, “HEY! I can do that!”


Granted her painting is WAAAAAAAY cooler and prettier and more whimsically awesome than anything I could have done, but the point is I tried, right?


When I was in college I took a class where we basically had to plant flowers and then paint pictures of their development with water colors – a kind of mish-mash of both science and art.  Guys, that was the last time I painted anything other than the bathroom in our old house, so I wasn’t really expecting much even though I was HOPING.  I ran to Michael’s and got a canvas (50% off), a beginner brush and 4 paint colors and came home.


Then I let it sit on the counter for a week or so.  And then I started.

How to DIY:  Fall-Inspired Abstract Leaf Painting

I had no idea what I really wanted to paint, although I knew the color scheme because it’s basically my favorite colors ever.  I knew I wanted it to feel fun and colorful, but otherwise I had zero inspiration.  So I started at the beginning:  I painted the canvas with a fairly neutral yellow/white combination with a paper towel to create some texture.


Let it dry for a day.


Then I figured I’d do something fall-inspired.  The skies are just the prettiest blue, and the leaves have so many colors and shapes – so I went outside in the yard, picked up some leaves, and figured I’d use them as stamps to make the painting look like a big pile of beautiful fall leaves.


Let’s just say it was much easier thought than done 😉

How to DIY:  Fall-Inspired Abstract Leaf Painting

Sigh.  I love the way the painting turned out – the colors are beautiful and it was really fun to play with paint and make a mess.  That being said it’s not exactly what I was hoping for, but I definitely learned a lot about how and what I would paint in the future!

  • Doing the neutral coat + texture before was great and I’m glad I did it.  I like paintings that stand out both figuratively and literally, and the added texture really worked well for this.
  • The whole leaves-as-stamps thing was a good idea, but it took me doing the entire thing wrong before I figured out my right way to do it.  I was putting too much paint on the leaves before stamping, so a lot of them turned out like blobs rather than leaf shapes.  The key for me was to paint the leaves (the back where the stem stands out) lightly with a paintbrush before stamping.  It was more time intensive, but gave me the look I wanted.
  • I don’t have an easel so I taped a big trash bag on our counter to catch the paint – worked great!  I also don’t have anything to put the paint on, so I taped a gallon plastic bag to the counter and mixed my paint colors on that. It was great because I basically had 4 surfaces I could mix paint on and mess up since I could turn the bag inside out and use the inside as well!
  • Next time I think I’ll sketch out what I’m wanting to do first. I just dove in to this one and got a little frustrated at times because it didn’t look like what I wanted it to.  The reality is that I had no idea what I really wanted though!
  • Like Casey’s video I was really wanting to put Wes’s foot or handprints on the painting, but since he’s a master wrestler and always has things in his mouth I decided I’d wait til he’s older.  No one wants to clean paint out of a baby’s mouth!

How to DIY:  Fall-Inspired Abstract Leaf Painting

So there you have it: my first painting.  The next craft (my yarn wreath!) is almost done, and I have about 4 other things that I’m thinking/dreaming about!  Now if I can just find the wall space to hang it all…

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