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How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints

A lot of you guys have been asking me on social media how to turn your paintings into prints and what is the correct way in taking photos of your paintings. Here is my process in taking pictures of my paintings.

If you’d like to watch the video I created on this topic, you can check it out here.

The Angle

The first thing you want to do when you take pictures of your paintings is to make sure that you take the picture at a 90 degree angle. If you have a look at the image below, you’ll notice that the painting seems to look smaller from the top than the bottom and this is because the photo wasn’t taken straight from above.

With that being said, it can still be difficult to get it completely 90 degrees when you are holding the camera in your hand. Cam Scanner is an app which really helps me to straighten the painting to make it appear as if the photo has been taken from a 90 degree angle. All you need to do is just upload the photo to the app, outline your painting and cam scanner will do the rest.

You can also make use of your photo editor in your iphone. All you need to do here is go to your photo app, select the photo you want to edit, click edit, go to crop settings and then you’ll have the option to straighten out your painting from there as well.

How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints
How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints

The lighting

The best time of the day to shoot is in the afternoon, when the sun isn’t so strong. Another option is to take pictures on an overcast day.

But, there are also ways around the sun when you need to take pictures on a sunny day. You can make use of some wax paper or diffusion material and stick it on a window where the sun is coming through. The diffusion material serves as a cloud and gives you a softer light to work with.

How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints
How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints

Camera settings

F-stop: The f-stop setting deals with the aperture. The aperture has to do with the amount of light that enters the camera. The higher you set the f-stop, the smaller the aperture, which means the less light comes into the camera. For this tutorial we were shooting at an f4 for as much light as possible to enter the camera.

Shutter speed: The shutter speed has to do with how fast or slow the shutter opens and closes. We recommend setting your shutter speed at 1/100 minimum in order to avoid any motion blur that could occur when your hands are moving slightly when taking the picture.

ISO: The ISO has to do with the amount of artificial light that enters the camera. We recommend setting this to 100-800 and no higher than that. If your ISO is set too high, you’ll eventually start seeing some digital noise. This is why it’s important to keep this as low as possible.

How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints
How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints

Editing your photos

Once you’re done taking photos of your paintings, you need to make sure that they are as close to the original as possible. You can make use of light room for this just to adjust the contrast and saturation a bit. You generally don’t need any major changes in this step.

Once you’re done editing your photo, make sure that you export them in a large size, because this is going to give your the freedom to create prints on a larger scale. You can even create prints that are larger than the painting itself!

I usually export my paintings at 9000 – 12000 pixels per cm.

Platforms to create and sell your prints on

Two platforms I would like to recommend is printful.com and society6. On both platforms you are able to create a wide variety of designs and you can even incorporate printful.com with your website so people can find all your products in one place.

How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints
How to take pictures of your paintings to turn them into prints

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How to organize your painting studio

I know they say that artists are free spirited and everything. But I am absolutely obsessed with organizing. I love having everything in it’s place, especially when it comes to my painting area, since I don’t like looking for something when I am busy working. So I thoroughly enjoyed creating this post for you guys, because it’s one of my favourite things to talk about.

Watch my painting studio here:

Here are some organizational tips you can use to organize your painting area.

Store your paintings efficiently

One of the first things I would recommend is to store your paintings efficiently. If you haven’t seen my you tube video on how to store your paintings, you can check that out on my channel. Oh and you guys, this is the wall that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks! If you want to see my process in this you can go check out my epic fail studio tour video series!

Utilize your walls

In my studio space I also decided to add a bunch of shelves to make use of the walls for storage. Not only can this lift everything off my table and give me a larger space to work, but adding shelves to the wall, especially when you add a couple of them high up, make the room look larger in itself.

Make use of jars

I absolutely love making use of jars, especially for dividing my paint brushes. I also have a jar dedicated to old paint brushes who served their time. And i leave them on the shelf as a sort of a remembrance because they served me well.

I find it pretty useful to keep my brushes that I use on a daily basis separate and also more accessible than others. I also then have a jar for my palette knifes and other tools.

Pour your turpentine into bottles

I love pouring my turpentine into bottles because for one it looks way better, but also I like to recycle my turpentine. And I do this by letting the used turpentine sit for a day so that the pigment goes to the bottom of the jar. And I then slowly pour it into my recycled turpentine bottle, where its practically as good as new. Then i just need to get rid of the pigment in the jar.

Get things off your work area

I got this board from ikea where you can buy the hooks as well. I like using this because it’s close to where I paint and I can just hang all my rags and everything I use often there. It’s very handy for when you want to keep your work area clear of clutter.

Only keep the absolute essentials on your table

The only things I keep on my table material wise are the paints I use regularly. I use oil paint for my own paintings and sometimes acrylic paint for tutorials.

Get a dresser

Marat and I store spray paint in this dresser which he uses for his backdrops in his photos and I sometimes use it in my work as well. I also store other materials that I barely use like my watercolour paint and some extra containers for mixing a large amount of paint at a time.

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How to store your paintings

If you’ve been painting for a while, I’m sure you have quite a bit of paintings lying around. And this can become frustrating because not only are they in the way, but we’re also scared that they can get damaged. So here are some things you can do to store your paintings so that they’re not only out of the way but stay dust free and protected at the same time.

The first and most obvious solution is to hang them all up on your wall. And why not, you worked hard on them and they are something you should be proud of!

how to store your paintings

The second thing you can do when it comes to storing your paintings are to bubble wrap them and store them all in a box. This works great for small paintings!

how to store your paintings

The third thing you can do is to use a flat head screw driver to remove the staples off the back of the canvas frame. This way, you can remove the painting from the frame and roll it up.

You can then safely store all your paintings in a postal tube like the one below. This method takes up the least amount of space and is by far my favourite. And the reason why is say this is because you can add multiple paintings on top of each other before rolling it up.

And then lastly, you can also remove all your small paintings off the frame and place them on top of each other in a box. Just make sure that you put something heavy on the edges over night to flatten them so that they are all stored neatly.

how to store your paintings

And there you have it, four tips for storing your paintings!

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How to be a confident artist

Once I graduated from art school, I was downright terrified to paint, because I would constantly think if my lecturers would approve of my paintings.  I felt so lost because I had no one telling me if I’m on the right track with a painting and eventually I began to feel like I wasn’t creating real art. 

I was also scared to post my paintings on social media in the fear of one of my old classmates or lecturers seeing the work I was currently doing and laugh at me.  It also didn’t help that I had no idea how to market my art properly and the little likes that I received on social media made me think that my art was not good enough.

This eventually led to me not posting my paintings on instagram and I also stopped painting for an entire year because of the belief that I’m not a real artist. 

Eventually I began painting again because i just couldn’t stay away and I thought that no one has to see my work.  So I continued to paint but I stopped putting my work on social media because I still had the belief that I wasn’t really an artist.

It was only when I began to teach art for beginners on my youtube channel that I became more confident to show my actual artworks online. I figured that if people liked my paintings that I just made to help beginner artists, then surely they should like my own art which I spent way more time on to create. 

Once I started to put myself out there and also had a look at what other successful artists are doing, who actually make a living off their art, I realised that there are many different ways of doing things and that there truly is a place for everyone in the art world.

Step 1: Get over the imposter syndrome 

The imposter syndrome is something that a lot of artists get.  They believe that they are not  truly artists and that they don’t really belong in the art world, because they believe that their work isn’t good enough.  Sound familiar?  

So I want to tell you a secret today.  Have you ever walked into an art gallery and felt insecure and that you don’t belong there.  A lot of artists do.  I still felt like I didn’t belong in an art gallery even after I graduated. So here’s how I got over the imposter syndrome:

When you walk into an art gallery and you like a work of art, start asking questions about that work.  Just be genuinely interested in the work and the questions will start to flow. There’s usually someone at the ready to talk about the artist’s work.  And by asking questions, you take the spotlight off yourself and put it on the person who has been hired to talk about art.  And it’s a great way for you to learn more about a specific artist and art in general.

And another secret:  If you act interested, you will appear interesting.  That person will walk away thinking wow, what a great conversation.  Even though he or she did most of the talking!  It’s the same as when you go on a date with a guy and you end up laughing at all of his jokes.  He’ll walk away thinking, wow, she has a great sense of humour. 

So get out of your comfort zone and ask questions about art next time you’re in an art gallery.  The proof that you’ll appear interesting and learn something:  I worked in an art gallery for a while where I was paid to talk about art and I absolutely LOVED the clients who asked me tons of questions because I am so passionate about art and I love talking about it!  I always ended up walking away super fulfilled when the conversation was done and I was also more interested in the person who asked all the questions.

Next I want to talk to you about your work.  One thing you need to realize here is that there are many many successful artists out there and they are vastly different in the way they do things, conduct themselves and in the way they communicate their message.  

This means that there definitely IS a space for you in the art world as long as you are authentic.  People can easily pick up when someone is not themselves and this can really hurt your art.  So as cliche as it sounds, be yourself and be honest about the art you’re making and you’ll attract people who can relate to you on a real level and be genuinely interested in your art.

Step 2: Become a confident artist

The first thing you need to do is to stop comparing yourself to other artists, because everyone is on their own journey.  And remember that we only see the outcome of an artist’s work.  We don’t see the years of practice it took for that artist to get to where he or she is today.  

The only comparison we need to do when it comes to our art is ourselves.  Have a look at the art you’ve done about a year back and see how you’ve progressed as an artist. You’ll be amazed to see how much you’ve grown and  at the end of the day, that is all that matters.

And this brings me to my next point.  Start putting your work online.  We live in a digital world where technology is only getting better and taking over more areas of our lives.  This means that the old way of doing things like exhibiting in an art gallery is no longer the only way for you to become a successful artist.  Putting your work on a platform like instagram not only allows you to connect with anyone from around the world, and potentially sell your work without having to give away 40% to an art gallery, but you also allow your audience to see how you have grown over the years and this will help them develop a better connection with you. And people like to buy from artists who they feel like they have a connection with.

And while there are plenty of artists who will always be better than you, there will also be plenty of artists out there who will start looking up to you and become inspired by your work.  

And besides, how boring would it be if we were the best at everything.  There will be no one to look up to and there will be no challenge and room for improving ourselves. Being an artist is about being all about the journey and making the art.  It’s not a destination.

Another way you can become a confident artist is by joining an art community.  There are plenty of facebook groups out there that are all about art.  Join them and take part in conversations.  You’ll soon notice that you fit right in.  

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Artist interview with Rachel Christopoulos

I recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Rachel about her art and I also asked about some tips she might have for beginner artists.

I feel like I know you already, because your instagram stories and captions are so inspiring, I end up watching them all the time!  But to our fellow artists who haven’t met you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello, I’m Rachel. I’m an acrylic artist with a focus on pet and people portraits and creative coaching for beginner artists! I love exploring colors on the canvas and tend to have a very loose style! I have a big passion for helping beginner artists find their confidence and footing in the art world and love to talk about the struggles that can often accompany that (and how to overcome them!). You can just about always find me with a coffee cup in one hand and brushes in the other.

What is your main goal when it comes to your art? Is there a certain message that you want to convey or a certain way you want people to feel when they look at your work?  

If we’re talking specifically about my paintings, I’d say I want people to feel confident. Individuality is something I highly value and to me, that means ‘you doing you’ and striving for imperfect growth on the canvas (and off), and choosing to share things that don’t always hit the “vision”. I think this is an important part of being an artist. Another big goal is to empower and educate beginner artists to be able to hold their own and build up a thriving business according to their terms. I think I could keep going on and on about goals (total overachiever over here) but I’ll leave it at that!

What’s your favourite art tool that you can’t live without?

Fluorescent pink. It’s my go to mixer for most of my warm colors… and definitely a filbert brush.

What inspires you to paint and what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?

I’m inspired by the people around me on Instagram! The creativity from other influencers, artists, and makers, constantly push me to be innovative with my work and to challenge myself to see where it could go and to find new, subject matter! When I’m feeling uninspired, I still make an effort to paint something. It doesn’t have to turn out good, but I try to practice my craft daily so I don’t get rusty. I keep a list and photo album of things I want to paint and I give myself 10 seconds to pick an idea and 5 minutes if I need to source a reference photo. It does the job and gets me painting! 

Who are your biggest influences? Is there a particular artist that inspired you to pursue art?  Whose techniques do you study or admire?

I wasn’t inspired by any particular one artist to pursue art, that was more of an accident! But, the women artists who have built amazing businesses around their gifts is what pushes me to do the same with mine. I am constantly inspired by the work and techniques of Henri Matisse, Ashley Longshore, Sarah Stieber, and Ashley Mary (oh and about a hundred others!).  

What advice do you have for artists who don’t have enough time to be creative?  Is there any way to practice your art skills without having to paint for hours?

I am one of those believers in the idea that we have more time than we think. We make time for what’s truly important to us, and if you want to increase your skill, you’ll have to show up for it! That being said, try to find 30 minutes a day (skip the IG scroll and doodle!) to work on your creative habit. You could source inspiration, draw with crayons, or crack out the watercolors. Start with small increments of time and increase as you consistently show up for the small amount you have. You don’t always have to pull out the entire studio to do creative work!  

What advice do you have for beginner artists with a small following wanting to sell their work online?

Start building relationships with your followers NOW. I was able to go part time with my following of under 2k because the number of followers doesn’t equate to the sales you will make! When you take the time to treat your followers as more than a metric, you are conveying that you really care about their input. Start conversations around the ideas that fuel your art and ask questions! Bring your art to people you think might be interested in it and ask for the sale! 

Throughout the years, I’ve noticed a lot of artists struggle to find their artist style.  It took me years to really find my own style as well.  Is an artist style important to have in your opinion?  And how do feel does an artist find their own style?

I think that “style” is often misunderstood, which is why it becomes a big stresser for beginners. It doesn’t just appear and make you original. Many people will paint like you and vice versa! Style is just how you paint things, the way you go about presenting them becomes your brand, and your voice becomes your marketing. If you’re trying to find your style overnight, you’ll be disappointed. But if you consistently put in the work, allow yourself to explore and combine, you will find it with time. Practice unveils the way you are naturally inclined to paint.

Where do you hang out most online?  Where can we find you?  And where can we apply for your Rooted course?

I’m mostly on Instagram, so slide into my DMs and we can talk more: 

@rachelsshoppe.co

www.rachelsshoppe.com/coaching is where you can find a link to my coaching and sign up for the July waitlist! 

Thanks so much for your time, Rachel! It was great talking to you and I’m looking forward to seeing your next paintings.

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Epic Fail studio tour and nervous breakdown episode #3 Oil painting tutorial – How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

I woke up this morning feeling so overwhelmed by this series and by the entire studio makeover, because I just realized that I am forcing things when it comes to my brand and my colour scheme and all the other stuff when it comes to an art business. And I lost sight of what is actually the most important, which is the art.

And I constantly felt forced to create these paintings that match my brand colours and I chose these particular brand colours because I wasnt sure that the world would accept me for who I am which is this dark chick who likes to wear black and has a lot of tattoos.

And so I ended up creating this marshmallow monster on my instagram and on you tube, if you would have a look at my recent thumbnails and also in some of my videos I would wear wigs in order to come across as more presentable for you guys. And while I still think the colours I chose are pretty and everything, it’s just not me and I can’t keep forcing myself to create works in this colour palette, because you’re going to end up picking up that resistance in my work, which means that the work isn’t going to be that great.

Have a look at last week’s video as an example. I think you could clearly see there that based on that painting I am not naturally inclined to using a pastel colour palette.

And I have heard so many times before that it is so important to build your brand when it comes to your art and I totally agree with that, because you want to attract a tribe that actually likes all of your work or at least the feeling of your work, because in this way, you’ll end up attracting people who actually look forward to your next painting, instead of just having people see one of your paintings, like it but then move on with their lives and forget about you.

I also feel like it’s way too early in my art career to be thinking that i cannot change things. I just became a full time artist about 7 months ago and I am of course going to have to find my own way when it comes to my art style and everything. The main reason why I create these art blogs in between my painting tutorials is also to share my journey as an artist with you guys and to also help you along the way when it comes to your own art.

And if you’re in a position where you don’t know your artist style or don’t know the direction that you want to go in with your art, I think that’s totally fine and I think you should remember that it is a journey at the end of the day. I think that is one of the reasons why art is so special because it constantly calls you to the moment and it can never be rushed and it has no time frame or time limit. That is also why it is so valuable in my opinion. It’s more than just a picture. But that is a whole other video.

I am very excited about it because as soon as I asked wait.. what the hell are you doing? This isn’t you… I started feeling so relieved and immediately less stressed about everything.

Especially because my art promotes being yourself and not comparing yourself to other stuff you see on social media, whether it’s models or other people’s art or whatever. Funny enough, I originally got inspired to do this when I saw my own overwhelm when I was looking at other artists’ work and perfect hair and perfect everything. I feel that I want to be true to this message, I am definitely going to have to do this in my own unique way.

So with that all being said, let’s dive into an oil painting tutorial! I’m going to show you

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

You will need some quinacridone red, burnt sienna, burnt umber, yellow ochre, sap green, white and orange oil paint.

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

To start with, you’ll mix your base colour, which you will constantly work from. For the base colour I used quinacridone red, yellow ochre, orange and white.

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

Once you’re done mixing the base layer, you can start focusing on small areas at a time and try and see what other undertones that specific area has.

As you can see here, I have already added the first layer, which is the same as what I’m going to be doing in the second layer. Seeing that it was a gold canvas that I worked from, the surface was a bit more smooth than what I am used to so the paint turnt out a bit patchy. But this is totally fine, seeing that we are now going to smooth things out in this second layer of paint.

If you’re starting out with your portrait, I would like to recommend that you do the same as I did here, where you blot out the main areas of light and shadow in the first layer, because it will just make it way easier to focus on adding more detail in the second layer.

A good idea is to do a wash in burnt sienna where you mix some turpentine with your burnt sienna and just focus on the light and dark tones by painting everything in burnt sienna first. The reason why we choose burnt sienna with this is because it is a translucent kind of paint which means that it lets a lot of light through behind the paint, which is great, because if you’re going to be working in layers, it will give your painting that inner glow.

I just decided to make use of a mixture of burnt sienna and the base colour which I have mixed for the first layer because honestly, I was too damn excited to get started on this gold canvas and also it brings the same kind of warmth that burnt sienna would bring. And this turnt out great by the way. I highly recommend that you try this canvas by Frederix out. It really creates a mood for your painting and brings so much warmth to it, which is great for when you’re painting skin.

Alternatively you can also paint your canvas with gold paint. For this you can use acrylic paint or a wash of oil paint, since you can paint over acrylic paint with oil paint.

Just remember that with your first layer, you’ll want to add a bit more turpentine to your paint mixture, to keep taking the fat over lean method into consideration. And this just means that with every layer of oil paint you add to your painting, the more oil you add. Whether it is applying thicker paint or adding a bit more linseed oil instead of turpentine to your mixture as you go is up to you. You can subscribe to my you tube channel, because I am planning on making a detailed video on the fat over lean method in the near future.

When you reach the second layer of the painting, you can start focusing on where you see more pink tones and where you see more green tones. In other areas it might even be a bit more blue, so you can then just add a touch of the undertone colour to your base mixture.

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

Another thing to take into consideration is your warm and cold shadows. For your deeper and heavier shadows you can make use of burnt umber, whereas for your lighter shadows you can use burnt sienna.

And don’t worry if your painting ends up looking a bit too bland. This just means that you need to add some more of the undertones. You can always let it dry and add more of these tones with your base mixture afterwards.

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

One of the most important things when it comes to painting skin in my opinion is to make sure that your reference isn’t airbrushed or photoshopped. If you can take the picture yourself this is even better. The reason why I say this is that when we look at a photoshopped image, most of the time all those nice colours are taken out and you’re left with a doll like image which won’t help you paint a face realistically. You are going to have way less tones to work with and your image will turn out bland.

Here I am retaking a picture of my hand, because in the reference image, the hand is cut off.

How to paint skin in oil paint for beginners

This is how far I have come with my painting at this point. I have painted the second layer of the face and the first layer everywhere else. You also want to make sure that after painting your first layer, you really let it dry for a good couple of days before working on it again, because this will ensure that you can blend smoothly and that your skin doesn’t turn out patchy.

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Epic fail Studio Tour and Trippy Painting idea episode #2

In case you haven’t seen the first episode on the epic fail studio tour series, it all started when I decided to tackle a very big project at 9pm at night. You can watch the first episode here:

By the way, this painting is available as a print on my website, so if you want one for yourself, go check it out! I’ll leave the link down below.

For this video I decided to do another trippy painting, since trippy paintings have kind of been my thing lately. You can follow me on instagram if you’d like, because there’s a lot of trippy paintings on there as well, which I haven’t posted here.

So for this week I decided to make a trippy painting on eyes. And because I’m a bit of a dork and I’m all about puns, I’m probably going to end up calling this one Eye see you. If you can come up with anything cooler, let me know in the comments!

To start off with this painting I decided to go on pexels.com to get my reference image. And i did make a quick little sketch of this painting in my art journal, because with trippy paintings its so important to make sure that you plan everything out pretty well, especially if you’re going to be painting in oil paint, otherwise you’re going to end up having to wait for the painting to dry for at least a week every time you need to add another element. And this is not ideal, especially if you’re as impatient as I am.

Trippy painting idea

I started painting and everything went pretty ok until I realized that the reference image wasn’t giving me enough information in some areas, because some of the light areas are just way too light and blown out. So I then had to take my own reference image, which I am not going to show you because I haven’t plucked my eyebrows for probably a month at the point of taking this picture. I had better things to do like overthink stuff and procrastinate completing this painting.

I have this thing where I sometimes stop working on a painting because it’s in the ugly phase and then I just look down on it with condemnation for a week before I pick up the courage to work on it again.

Once I had my very own reference image, it all went a lot smoother from there. I was able to add more colours to the skin which made it appear way more realistic and interesting to look at than before.

I absolutely love painting skin, because there are so many different colours that go into skin. It’s not just peach or brown. You also have colours like blue, sap green and yellow and pink in your skin! And then there’s certain areas where you can add burnt sienna and other sections where it’s more of a cooler shadow you can use burnt umber!

Trippy painting

By the way I’m not making this into a full on “how to paint an eye tutorial” because have already created one for you guys, you can check it out here. This one is in oil paint, but I also have an “how to paint an eye tutorial in acrylic paint” as well, so feel free to check out the rest of my channel, I have a whole bunch of painting tutorials, both in oil paint and in acrylic paint as well.

And here is where things started to get really fun! I added all my extra little eyeballs in and the painting started to look pretty cool. So I started adding some basic shading of where I’m putting all the planets and I also took it one step further by adding more eyes in the front of this painting.

Trippy painting

At this point I am very happy about the placement of everything, but unfortunately I’m going to have to wait for this to dry for probably a week until I can complete it and add all the details. I did not plan to add the eyeballs in the foreground of the painting, but I’m so happy I got the idea to add them, because to me it really makes the painting! My goal for the next week is to make the planets way more realistic, I want to bring in some more pastel shades in to make the colours a bit softer and dreamlike.

Trippy painting

If you want to see what the end product looks like, subscribe to my channel, because I will be posting another studio update next week! So I’ll show you how this one turnt out. And then I will of course also walk you through another trippy painting that I’m going to be creating.

I’m looking forward to hanging out with you again next week, and if you want to hang out with me between uploads, be sure to follow me on instagram, or on facebook because I’m mostly on there.

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Epic fail studio tour & painting tutorial #1

If you watch my instagram stories on the regular, you’ll know that I went on a little creative adventure not so long ago. It all started last night when I decided that I want to have one of the walls in the studio area match my brand colours.

So before tearing everything down I thought it would be really cool to do some before shots!  These artworks, btw, were also what came out of me starting a big project at 9 at night and then ending around 3 or 4 in the morning; a habit of mine I can’t seem to get rid of.

To do this new project, I ended up using coloured paper and spray paint… which is where everything kind of went south. 

The colours weren’t exactly what I wanted and pretty soon it all turned into a huge mess and I ended up hating the colours on the wall because not only did it match my brand colours, the entire idea just didn’t work out as I planned… even after getting the right shades eventually.

So I ended up leaving the entire mess for the next morning and ended up cleaning and scrubbing for half the day.

But! That’s ok because I get to share this all with you guys and you get to come with me on this journey where I am going to be creating original paintings in my style for each and every frame. 

It’s gonna look awesome… I’m pretty sure.

To start this painting I’m first scraping and sanding the one board I painted last night, so that we have a clean surface to work on today. I’m painting on the board that comes with the frame.

I had an old painting on this originally, which did not disappear when I painted over it last night. And my goal here is to really do everything properly because I don’t want to spend a whole day painting something really cool and then have the old brush strokes showing through. Plus, someone might be interested in buying this, so I want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect!

After painting the board this beautiful teal colour, I ended up waiting for it to dry, sanded it down again and then painted it the same colour again.

While I’m waiting for this to dry I’m just finishing up the cleaning. I don’t know about you but I can’t create in a messy space. I love knowing that everything is in its place, especially when it comes to the materials I use so that I don’t end up looking for something while I’m creating the artwork.

To start off, I’m using paper, which I’m tearing into the shapes of mountains. I’m going to use this as stencils, because i’m going to add it with spray paint. I’m tearing the paper instead of cutting because it gives it more of an organic shape. The trick here is to make sure that you don’t overthink the mountain shapes too much, otherwise it’s not going to look very natural.


You can then start from the back mountains and work your way into the foreground. Just remember if you want to add some depth you can make use of aerial perspective, which means that you make use of the colours to give the painting depth. In order to do this, you need to add the lighter colours in the back and then as the mountains come closer, you can use darker and brighter colours.

Next I’m just using any caps or round objects I found around the house and I’m placing these where I want the planets to be. And then I’m going to add some clouds and stars around them with spray paint.

To make stars with spray paint, all you need to do is just press the nozzle of the spray paint can about a third of the way down. The paint will then start to spit out instead of spraying evenly. Just make sure you move the can around a lot so you don’t put too much in one place.

Since I’m painting in oil paint today, I don’t want to waste time waiting for the paint to dry before I can complete the painting, so I decided beforehand where I want each object to be and now I’m just making sure that I don’t paint over that area with another colour paint.

If you follow me on instagram i’m sure you saw the painting I made called botox, which is also a spacey surrealistic theme with lips. I enjoyed making that so much that I decided to make another painting with where lips are the focal point.

The first thing I’m doing now is to just add all the light spots. By looking at my reference I try to mimic the shapes of the lighter areas I see as close as possible. For this step I used a very light pink instead of white, so that the shading is a bit more naturalistic.

I’m now going in with two different shades of red; one dark red and one bright red.

An important part is blending the light and medium tones very well, so that it transitions evenly and looks like one thing. And then to make the lips appear more plump, I added the medium shade mostly in the middle and the darker shade more on the corners of the mouth as well as the very edges.

For the dark area inside the mouth I mixed some ultramarine blue with burnt umber and some of that red shade instead of black. Using plain black would have made it appear too dull and cartoon like, so this is a better option for black or very dark areas.

For the teeth I used a mixture of light blue and white, as well as some of this dark mixture of the inside of the mouth for the shadows.

I then went on to paint a very thin layer of skin tone, so that you can still see the stars and some of the sky in some places of the skin. For a base tone for this skin I mixed some yellow ochre, quinacridone red and white. I then added some burnt sienna in other areas.

Now that the painting is done I’m moving on to the frame. I already spray painted it pink on the one side, but I decided to paint the other side this nice teal colour, since it’s the same colour as the planets and also one of the colours I have chosen for my brand!

I’m not exactly sure which colour I’m going to choose, but we’ll just have to wait and see for the big reveal at the end of the series!

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Artist interview with Alyssa

If you’re a horror movie fan then you’ll fall in love with Alyssa’s work, since all her work revolve around horror movies.

I feel like I know you already, because your presence on Instagram. But to our fellow artists who haven’t met you yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Alyssa and I’m a 29 year old high school teacher in south Florida. I teach biology, chemistry, and AP biology. Science is my first love and passion. I have my degree in Biology. Painting is my second love. I started painting as a hobby around 3-4 years ago to cope with anxiety and took it more seriously last year.

What is your main goal when it comes to your art? Is there a certain message that you want to convey or a certain way you want people to feel when they look at your work?  

My main goal is to enjoy the process, and learn something new every time I paint. I try to challenge myself. I want people to feel nostalgic when they look at my artwork. Sometimes, I want them to feel fear. It’s horror-based art afterall.

What’s your favourite art tool that you can’t live without?

Honestly, a good detail brush. Nothing beats a good detail brush.

Who are your biggest influences? Is there a particular artist that inspired you to pursue art?  Whose techniques do you study or admire?

Honestly, I started with no reference material or knowingly any artists. Now I’m very inspired by literally everybody I follow on insta.

What inspires you to paint and what do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?

 I have to force inspiration most days to be honest. When I want to find inspiration, I put on some of my favorite horror movies.

What advice do you have for artists who don’t have enough time to be creative?  Is there any way to practice your art skills without having to paint for hours?

There’s always time. Even if it’s 5 minutes. Squeeze it in while watching your favorite TV show. Even if that means part of a sketch or a few paint strokes. I’m a full time teacher with many preps and I find the time to finish one piece a week. Prioritize if it means something to you.

What advice do you have for beginner artists with a small following wanting to sell their work online?

Hustle. Go to art shows. Engage with people online. Find blogs. Ask to be featured. Put yourself out there. Be brave.

Throughout the years, I’ve noticed a lot of artists struggle to find their artist style.  It took me years to really find my own style as well.  Is an artist style important to have in your opinion?  And how do feel does an artist find their own style?

Finding a style happens naturally over time, I’m not sure if I’ve even found mine yet.

Where do you hang out most online?  Where can we find you? 

Instagram and Slasher! @tenebrificacrylics on both!

Thanks so much for your time, Alyssa!