FFA Paint Night April 19, 2017

Background Information

Development of the Image

  • Based off original watercolor painting created for a wedding invitation
Clare Norris, 2016, All rights reserved
  • Above watercolor scanned and digitally placed on different backgrounds
  • Image chosen for our paint night
  • A simplified acrylic version created for this paint night event
Clare Norris, 2017, All Rights Reserved

All works of art are original creations created by Clare Norris. All reproductions created at this paint night event are acceptable. Any reproductions outside of this event are not permitted.

Customizing your Painting

  • Add a personalized quote to the background
  • Add an initial to the watering can
  • Elaborate on the greenery among the flowers
Elizabeth Miller, 2017

Important Reminders

  • Your painting will be SIMILAR; not IDENTICAL, and that's OK!
  • Stay with the instructor
  • Hold brush like a pencil
  • Dry brush VERY well after washing (excess water from your brush will dilute your paint)
  • When it comes to paint, LESS IS MORE!
  • Dip only the end of the brush into the paint; not the whole brush
  • Apply thin layers of paint as opposed to thick globs
  • Brush running out of paint? Before you reload, rotate your brush and apply more pressure
  • If the canvas (or pre existing layer of paint) is showing through, it's time to reload.

"Reminders" Recap

  • Your painting WILL be similar; NOT identical
  • Stay with the instructor
  • Hold brush like a pencil
  • Dry brush VERY well after washing
  • The less paint used, the better
  • Work in multiple, thin layers as opposed to all at once globs
  • Press out all paint from brush onto canvas before reloading

Setting Up Work Area

First Round of Materials

  • 11 x 14 primed, stretched canvas (vertical orientation)
  • Cotton towel
  • Water cup filled 1/2 way
  • 3 paint brushes: small, medium, large
  • First "clock" paint palette, with 6 colors (do NOT throw away)
  • 1 pencil with eraser
  • "Spacer Guide" template (do NOT throw away)
  • Materials should be set up on the same side as you write
  • All stations have been set up assuming everyone is right handed
  • Left handed people: move your materials to your left side; keep canvas in front of you.

Label your canvas

  • On the back of your canvas, using your pencil, write the following info.
  • This paint night is brought to you by, "Clare's Custom Studio"

Drawing The Background

  • Use "Spacer Guide" template and pencil to lightly draw out space between wood planks
  • Place "Spacer Guide" on left side of canvas

Line "top" line of "Spacer Guide" at top of canvas

Line "bottom" line at bottom of canvas

Use pencil to mark canvas at each "Spacer Guide" mark.

Begin with mark "A"...

...continue down to "E"

  • Slide "Spacer Guide" to ride side of canvas and repeat above process.

Marks should still be made directly next to "Spacer Guide" marks; it's OK if marks are not on extreme right edge of canvas

Turn "Spacer Guide" horizontally across canvas.

Line top edge of guide up with each set of marks.

With pencil, draw light line along edge of "Spacer Guide"

  • 5 horizontal lines = 6 planks
  • Lines not so straight? Remember, wood planks have flaws!
  • MOVE ON!

Painting The Background

Your Palette

  • Set up like a clock
  • Colors placed light to dark, starting at 12:00
  • 12:00 = white
  • 2:00 = Cobalt Blue
  • 4:00 = Phthalo Green
  • 5:00 = Phthalo Blue
  • Will be mixed together later
  • 7:00 = Raw Umber (a cool, dark brown)
  • 10:00 = Black

Painting the Space between the Boards

Use LARGE brush

Dip in 7:00 color: Raw Umber


Turn brush horizontal

Go over pencil lines with ONE smooth stroke WITHOUT lifting brush until the end.


Make spaces different thicknesses

Larger = apply another stroke of Raw Umber directly above (or below) first stroke applied

Smaller = use smaller brush

Painting The Planks

First layer, Dark side

  • Visually divide canvas in half
  • Left = dark
  • Right = light

Mix 4:00 and 5:00 colors together...

...thoroughly so it becomes one new color; No swirls

Place brush on far left edge of canvas in middle of first plank

Apply pressure to release paint from brush onto canvas.

Use straight horizontal strokes

Pull paint from left side of canvas toward right side

Repeat for top and bottom of plank: 3 strokes across total

Allow paint to fade out as it travels across...

... like this

Overlapping spacer lines is OK!

Go back to each plank edge

Paint over the edge of canvas a bit

  • Each plank will have 3 strokes: middle, top, bottom
  • Repeat process for each plank: about 18 strokes total
  • Rotate brush, press down on canvas, and try another stroke before reloading paint
  • Spread paint thoroughly; no globs

First layer, Light side

  • Turn canvas upside down

Dip brush in 2:00, Cobalt Blue

Repeat same process as dark side

Light side and dark side will overlap in middle

White Streaks, Light side

  • Turn canvas right side up

Dip brush in 12:00 color, White

Position brush horizontally at top of plank

Sweep white streak across cobalt blue from right to left about 2 to 3 inches...

...back and forth

Turn brush vertically

Brush and blend over white streaks once or twice, then STOP!

Caution: too much blending will eliminate streaks altogether

Second Layer, Dark Side

  • Each plank will follow the follwoing process

Dip brush in the 4:00/5:00 mixture

Place brush vertically on left edge of canvas in middle of plank

Press brush down to release paint...

...sweep/push paint across canvas about 2 or 3 inches toward middle of canvas and release

Repeat at top of plank...

...and bottom of plank

Turn brush horizontally

Streak paint across canvas, overlapping into light side...

...so it looks like this

  • Repeat same process for each plank so it looks like this

Third Layer, Dark SidE

7:00, Raw Umber

Use same stroke/streak process

Stay close to left edge

Repeat for each plank

Fourth Layer, Dark Side

  • Same stroke/streak process
  • Apply another layer of 4:00/5:00 dark Phthalo Blue/Green mixture on top of Raw Umber

White streaks, Center

  • 12:00, White
  • Turn brush horizontally
  • In middle of canvas where light and dark overlap, apply white streaks back and forth
  • Blend over top with brush turned vertically
  • Repeat for all planks

Third Layer, Light Side

  • 12:00, White
  • Turn brush horizontally
  • On light side, far right of canvas, place brush at top of plank
  • Streak paint about an inch or two toward middle, back and forth down plank
  • Repeat for all planks.

Painting Spaces between planks

Dip brush in 10:00, Black

Position brush horizontally along each spacer line

Press down and push black paint along this line in one smooth stroke across the canvas

  • Repeat for all 5 spaces

Painting the edge of Canvas

  • Use medium brush and rest of black paint to paint side edges of canvas
  • Not enough paint right now? Wait until palette #2

Break Time

  • Allow background to dry before we add watering can and flowers
  • Refresh water cup (cafe' window)
  • Get out printed quote and initial
  • Turn in "Spacer Guide" (stage)
  • Trade in "clock" palette #1 for palette #2 (cafe' window)

Watering Can and Flowers

Second Round of materialS

  • Fresh water cup
  • Palette #2
  • "Watering can and flowers" template
  • Carbon paper
  • 2 small pieces of masking tape

TracinG and blocking in Watering Can

  • Do not do this step until canvas is dry. Fan if needed
  • Lay dry canvas flat on table
  • Lay carbon paper, black side down, lined up with left edge and bottom edge of canvas
  • At the top, with 1 piece of masking tape, tape carbon paper to canvas
  • Lay "watering can and flowers" template right side up on top of carbon paper with left edge along left edge of canvas, and bottom edge along bottom edge of canvas
  • Tape template, at top, on top of carbon paper
  • Use pencil to trace ONLY the outline (outermost edge) of template image
  • Lift bottom of carbon paper to peek at progress until finished
  • Peel off carbon paper and template, save for later
  • Use small brush, paint outer edge of outline and inside small spaces
  • Use medium brush to fill in rest of shape
  • Spread thin; no globs

Shadow under Watering Can

Small brush

Black paint

Carefully pull a stroke of black along bottom of watering can

Go up left side...

... to the top of background plank

Medium brush

Black paint

Fill in rest of left side of plank

Prepare quote

  • While watering can and shadow dry, prepare quote
  • Turn printed quote over
  • On back side, over letters, rub pencil
  • Repeat until all letters have pencil on back
  • The darker the pencil, the better
  • Save for later

Tracing Interior Details of Watering Can

  • Place template and carbon paper combo back on canvas EXACTLY as before
  • Use pencil and trace the rest of the "watering can and flowers" template
  • Lift bottom of carbon paper/template combo to peek at progress
  • Peel off carbon paper/template combo when all interior detail lines are traced
  • Go over any lines that didn't transfer well enough

Painting the flowers

  • Small brush, Phthalo Blue (dark blue)
  • Trace over center circles of each flower
  • Trace over all lines that touch and radiate out from flower centers
  • DO NOT trace over outer edges of flower petals
  • Medium brush, Cobalt blue (light blue)
  • Brush on in short sweeps
  • Begin at edge of flower center circle and brush out
  • Only fill middle of petals; keep edges white
  • Will have a "starburst" effect/look
  • Remember to spread all paint thin; no globs
  • Small brush, Phthalo blue (dark blue)
  • Repeat same process as with light blue strokes
  • Do not sweep strokes out as far; stay closer to center of flower
  • Begin at flower center circle
  • Sweep out in a starburst fashion
  • Mix together white, cobalt blue (light blue), and a bit of Phthalo green
  • Follow instructions below
  • Always begin with lightest color first; start with white
  • Scoop with medium brush from main white
  • Transplant scoop to open area on palette
  • Roll paint off brush onto palette
  • Wash and dry brush
  • Scoop a smaller amount of cobalt blue (light blue)
  • Roll cobalt blue next to white
  • Dip brush into Phthalo green (dark green); small pin sized amount
  • Mix all 3 colors thoroughly
  • Mix until well blended; no swirls of color visible
  • Use mixture to paint in next layer of blues on petals
  • Leave some of the white edge of petal showing unless that petal is touching another petal
  • Add another layer of Phthalo blue (dark blue) to those areas
  • Add another layer of cobalt blue (light blue) to blend
  • Touch up white edges of petals with another layer of white if needed
  • Small brush, deep yellow
  • In curved "c" shape paint on yellow centers of each flower
  • Leave white showing or paint entire center yellow- your choice
  • Add a bit of medium green to each edge of yellow center

Painting the LEaves

  • Small brush, Raw Umber (dark brown)
  • Shadows first
  • Small brush, Green Oxide, medium green
  • Medium value
  • Paint over shadows and fill in leaf
  • Adding highlights to tips of leaves
  • Mix deep yellow and green oxide
  • Scoop portion of yellow and transplant to clean spot on palette
  • Wash and dry brush
  • Scoop portion of green oxide and transplant into yellow
  • Mix thoroughly; no swirls
  • Brush on tips of leaves
  • Apply another layer of shadow
  • Use either Raw Umber (as before); Or, see modification below
  • Modification: use phthalo green as an alternate "shadow color" to give more color to leaves
  • Continue layering the shadows (raw umber or phthalo green), the medium green, and the highlight (yellow and green mixture) as needed or if desired.

Painting the Watering Can

  • Small brush, grey
  • Paint in first layer of shadows on watering can
  • Spread paint thin; more layers added later
  • Spout opening
  • Top of spout
  • Thin at top, wider toward bottom
  • Spout base and under spout base
  • Under flowers that overlap watering can
  • Bottom and right edge of handle
  • Lower left corner of base


All photos, Clare Norris, 2017

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