AHAtober 2024

AHAtober 2024

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: July 2024

AHAtober 2024

Welcome to AHAtober 2024!

AHAtober is a special event for meditative artists, inspired by the popular Inktober challenge.

This month-long journey is designed to bring calmness and creativity together, providing a space for artists to explore and express themselves through gentle and reflective prompts.

 

Acknowledgement

Inktober is an art movement devised by Jake Parker way back in 2009. To do Inktober you draw one ink artwork for every day of October.  At the end you have thirty-one artworks.

What is AHAtober?

AHAtober is an annual event that takes place throughout the entire month of October.

Unlike traditional art challenges, AHAtober focuses on mindfulness and meditation, encouraging artists to create with intention and serenity.

Each day in October features a unique prompt, making a total of 31 prompts for you to enjoy.

Why Join AHAtober?

Many artists choose AHAtober over Inktober because it offers a softer, more introspective approach to daily art challenges.

The prompts are thoughtfully designed to inspire calm and meditative creativity, allowing you to connect deeply with your artistic practice.

Get Ready for AHAtober 2024

We are excited to announce that the AHAtober 2024 prompts will be released on September 1, 2024.

This early release gives you ample time to prepare your materials, set your intentions, and get ready for a month of peaceful artistic exploration.

How to Participate

Check the Prompts

On September 1, 2024, visit our website or social media channels to view the complete list of AHAtober prompts.

Gather Your Supplies

Prepare your favorite art supplies and create a cozy, peaceful space for your daily practice.

Create Daily

Starting October 1, follow each daily prompt and allow yourself to create with mindfulness and intention.

Share Your Art

Join the community of AHAtober artists by sharing your creations online using the hashtag #AHAtober2024.

ahatober

Previous AHAtobers

AHAtober has been inspiring meditative artists for several years now, offering a unique and calming alternative to traditional art challenges.

Over the years, many artists have found joy and peace through participating in AHAtober.

You can explore my past AHAtober posts.

One inspiring story comes from a dedicated participant who completed the entire AHAtober challenge. Her journey is a testament to the transformative power of mindful creativity.

You can read her story and see her beautiful artwork.

I encourage you to dive into these stories and artworks from previous AHAtobers, as they offer a glimpse into the serene and reflective nature of this unique art challenge. 

 

I hope you join us for this unique and enriching experience.

AHAtober offers a wonderful opportunity to slow down, reflect and create art that resonates with your inner calm.

ahatober-2024-pin

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Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Travel Journal Pages: Mexico

Travel Journal Pages: Mexico

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: June 2024

Mexico Travel Journal Pages

I recently went to Mexico with my daughter for a week in May.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya, that is the Caribbean sea side of the country on the east coast.

I had been to Mexico twenty years ago and at that time I had four kids and a husband so it was quite hectic.

This time it was grown ups only.

There was a steady cadence to each day.

Mexico-resort-pool

Breakfast

Around 7am we went for breakfast with lovely fresh fruit and cooked eggs, meat and pastries.

The coffee was excellent.

Poolside

After breakfast we moved to the poolside and chose a different spot each morning.

The pools were sparkling and cleaned every day.

The water was warm and inviting.

Lots of lounging around…

Lunch

For lunch we could take a walk back to the restaurant.

Alternatively, we could choose from a cheeseburger and all the fixings tomato, lettuce, chili, pickles and a side salad.

That was available at the poolside burger grill kiosk so you didn’t have to walk far.

Dinner

For our evening meal we chose a different restaurant within the resort each night.

They had Mexican, Thai, a steak house, Spanish, Teppanyaki, American Country and Italian.

Each eatery was its own experience.

Mexico-dinner

Entertainment

The after-dinner entertainment was varied.

Some evenings were singing and dancing and on others, jugglers and a fire show.

I was not up to the late-night events every night and I frequently turned in early at around 9pm.

My daughter stayed out later for some shows, but that is youth.

There was a fabulous Full Moon gracing some of the early evening skies.

Travel Journal

I took my travel sketchbook with me as I had plans to make a sketch journal of the trip.

The book is an A5 size that’s about 5 by 8 inches.

The pages are plain with no lines or dots.

travel-journal

Travel Art Supplies

I took a few art supplies, but not too many.

These days I never check a suitcase and everything I need for a week’s vacation fits into my cabin overhead bag.

Pencils and Pens

I had tree pencils an HB, 2H and 4H.

Eraser

A small eraser.

Faber Castell Pitt Artist brushs in grey, beige, light blue, dark blue and a dull green.

Travel Paint Set

A travel watercolor paint set by Schmincke. It has twelve color pans.

Paintbrushes

Three paint brushes:

  • A fat number 16 for water only.
  • 2 x number 4 brushes, one with a red handle (for warm colors) and one with a blue handle (for cool colors).
sketching-in-the-gazebo

Layout

For my sketches I wanted to simply capture what went on in the day.

The drawings did not need to be everything we did, but just the essence of what happened, the mood and the highlights.

I thought I’d do about five small sketches on each page which then grew into three two-page spreads.

Each page has a little story block with a small sketch.

I like this idea because then you can do micro and the macro views.

First you zoom in for a closeup of something and then pull back for a wider landscape view.

travel-sketch-journal

Subjects

I tried to have one sketch for each of the seven days that depicted what we did, ate and experienced.

Wildlife

There was far more wildlife that I had expected.

So, a few animals popped up in the journal.

I’m not good at drawing animals, or humans for that matter.

The creatures we saw were:

  

  • Cats.
  • Coatis.
  • Lizards.
  • Alligator signs, but thankfully no actual snappy sightings.
  • Woodpeckers.
  • Big birds.
coati

Foliage

In the gorgeous rolling gardens were planted forests of palm trees.

I believe they were coconut palms, but I’m not sure.

The flowers on the shrubs were bright red and pink, bold and huge. This was a hot place and the plants reflected their environment.

No wishy-washy pale blues and pinks here as we often see in Vancouver.

The broad leaves were tropical, shiny, emerald, large and flat.

Mexico-plants

Weather

It was hot with around a high of 32C each day. On one scorcher it went up to 34C.

The UV (ultraviolet) index was through the roof at UV12.

I’d not paid much attention to this number before as back home it is only ever UV3.

The days were filled with sun, sun, sun and not a cloud in the sky.

Mexico-weather

Sketch Spreads

Below are the sketch pages I made.

I am simply a hobby artist and my goal is to capture some of my life through my art.

I hope this inspires you to make a travel sketch journal for your next trip.

Mexico-sketch-journal-page

Left Page

Top to bottom.

At the airport, the swim-up rooms at the pool, a map of Mexico, temperature 32C and a coati.

 

Right Page

Mexico name, rooms they moved up to, ice cream, poolside, thermometer, drinks and burger lunch.

Mexico-sketch-journal-page-2

Left Page

Blue drink, lizard, lazing by the pool gazebos and palm trees.

 

Right Page

Evening’s entertainment a Fire Show, Mayan sculptures, we watched an online stream for a friend’s graduation at UBC (congrats Marco) and the Air Canada airplane tail logo.

Mexico-travel-journal-page-3

Left Page

Teppanyaki dinner show with my daughter and I, a blue sticker from resort, a stray cat we called Senor Pickles and another Mayan sculpture.

 

Right Page

Large leafy palms, fancy cocktails, the UV index number and the Caribbean sea beach with a “beware of the alligators” sign over the river.

Final Thoughts

I’ve done a few travel journal pages before.

The thing is that I don’t travel much really.

But now, as I develop my hobby art lifestyle whihc includes a sketchbook almost every day, I’m looking forward to capturing some more memories in my travel sketch journal.

Extend Yourself

If you are interested, you can make some travel journal pages too.

In your travel journal please do the following.:

  • Prepare a two-page spread for your next weekend away or vacation.
  • Write the name of the place you visited at the top.
  • Draw a map of the city, country or how you got there.
  • Draw the transport that you got there.
  • Write the to and from dates for your trip.
  • Draw a circle and write in the high temperature.
  • Draw an animal you noticed.
  • Draw a plant or tree you saw.

Extend Yourself Further

Continue adding and embelishing your travel sketch jurnal pages as follows:

 

  • Draw a meal you ate on the plate. Perhaps add the name of the restaurant.
  • Draw a drink you had. It could be coffee or a more exotic concoction.
  • Write the name of the hotel or guest house or retreat that you stayed at in fancy lettering or use their own logo.
  • Write the name of some people you casually chatted with in passing.
  • Write the names or draw the faces of the good folks you went with, your travel companions and anyone who shared the experiences with you.
  • Sketch your luggage.
  • Draw your sun hat and sunglasses or snow goggles and skis.
  • If there is any space left on the pages create a themed border for the page. This can be a full margin or just a partial edging to show off the inner doodles.
  • Write one word in bold lettering which represents the whole experience.

 

Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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How to Draw the Face of Jesus

How to Draw the Face of Jesus

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: February 2024

Reference and Acknowledgement

Today I’m going to show you how I draw the face of Jesus as an icon. This is not my original idea as I am following along and referencing the work of Mikhail Fadi at UK Coptic Icons and you can see more of Mikhail’s work on his YouTube channel.

 

Watch >>> UK Coptic Items Video

Getting Started

I plan to create more Christian art. It doesn’t have to be super religious, but calm and simple art that reflects what I believe. I’ve been trying more Christian art pieces recently.

  

St Chad’s

You can look at the watercolor I did of the church in which I was christened. This is trip down memory lane as clearly, I can’t remember the auspicious day.

The place is a dim memory now, but still I enjoyed researching the church’s history as I tried to make a watercolor artwork.

Watercolor is a medium that I do like, but I have not yet mastered. Maybe I never will and I certainly won’t get better if I don’t do more watercolor.

 

Read more >>> Ink and Wash: St. Chads Church

 

St Andrew’s

Then I did a pen and ink sketch of the church closest to my home here in Vancouver.

St Andrew’s is on an extremely busy street in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I think it is on the highest point in the city. This makes sense as the early church builders want the churches to be visible for miles around. When churches are prominent on the horizon parishioners can see them and are moved to attend worship each Sunday.

 

Read more >>> Pen and Ink: St Andrew’s Church

 

Religious Sculpture Pencils Sketches

I’ve also been trying to sketch some religious sculpture such as la Pieta by Michelangelo. Which depicts Mary holding her dead son after they took him down from the cross. This is a sketch I did in graphite. I feel it requires some more darker shadows and I may do that to bring more depth.

la-pieta-pencil-sketch

Recent Project: Drawing the Face of Christ

Now I’ve turned my attention to religious icons and how they are styled. First up is my drawing of the face of Jesus. The layout is quite specific.

Paper Size

Here in Canada my paper size is letter which is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, but you can use A4 as well.

Art Supplies

To create this exact sketch, you will need a 2H pencil, a compass, a ruler and an eraser.

 

Read more >>> My Art Supplies

 

Guidelines: Crosshair

I use a 2H pencil for all my guidelines. Find the center of the page by lightly drawing a diagonal line from each corner.

Draw a vertical line at the center. We will call this line A-B. Measure down from the top 110mm. Draw a horizontal line and we will call this line C-D. This creates a crosshair in the center of the face.

We will create marks at specific points along these two guidelines A-B and C-D.

face-of-christ-crosshairs

Christ’s Halo

Proportion

Typically, His face is two thirds the width of the halo. Draw a circle with a radius of 80mm for the outside of the halo.

Face

For the face, draw a circle with a 50mm radius.

Where the face intersects the line C-D, mark the points as E and F and the center cross as H.

face-of-christ-halo

Eyes

On the lines E-G and G-F inside the face circle, divide both sides into three equal parts as follows:

  • On the line E-G, divide into 3 and mark H and I.
  • On the line J-K, divide into 3 and mark J and K.

 

Irises

The irises are at the two points of I and J.

The irises are the colored parts of the eye. The irises diameter is 14mm diameter or roughly the distance between the chin and the nose (see later). Draw a circle for each iris at positions I and J.

 

Pupils

The pupils are 5mm diameter or about one third the diameter of the iris. Draw the pupils in the center of the iris.

face-of-christ-eyes

Eyelids

Right Eyelid

Divide line H-I and mark with L. Divide line I-G and mark with M. For the right eyelid lower line, draw a soft curve from position L to position M and line up with the top of the pupil. For the top eyelid line draw a light curve from L just on the top of the iris to point M.

Left Eyelid

Divide line G-J and mark with N. Divide line J-K and mark with O. For the left eyelid lower line draw a soft curve from point N to O and align with the top of the pupil. For the top eyelid line draw a light curve from N to just on the top of the iris to point O.

face-of-christ-eyelids

Eyebrows

Eyebrow Guidelines

Place a P at the intersection of line A-G and the halo circle. Divide the vertical line G-P into 4 equal parts and mark with S, R and T. 

 

  • Draw a light guideline horizontally at position T. 
  • Draw a light guideline vertically at positions H, M, N and K. Where M and T intersect mark as U. Where N and T intersect mark as V.

Eyebrows Curve

The eyebrows curve from the above the eye, across the top of the eye and gently tail off slightly longer than the outside edge. The eyebrows begin directly above the inner eye position.

  

  • Draw a curved line parallel the eyelid reaching the top curve at U and outwards to slightly past the outer eyelid (between H and L).
  • Draw a curved line up to V outwards to slightly past the outer eyelid (between K and F). Slightly thicken the eyebrow where it is above the pupil and tail off at the sides.
face-of-jesus-eyebrows

Nose

Nose Guidelines

The nose is usually long and thin and in the center of the face. Starting from the inner eye position midway between M and G mark as W. From midway between positions G and N mark as W.

  

Nose Lines

  • Draw two vertical lines down from W and X to as far as U horizontal. 
  • Softly add a soft curve as the point of the nose below.
  • Lightly add two nostril curves on each side of the nose. 
  • You may wish to emphasize one side of the nose with a darker line for shadow (see later).
face-of-jesus-nose

Mouth

Mouth Guidelines

At position V draw a light horizontal line. The mouth width lines up to just past the nostril curves.

Mouth Lines

The mouth is typically closed. The upper lip is thinner but wider than the lower lip. 

  • Gently add a generous rosebud curve to the bottom lip.
  • Add the top lip peaking up twice for a natural look.

Do not to add a too small mouth as it can look pinched. Work on the mouth as this feature can give expression to the face. Ideally you want a generous expression.

face-of-christ-mouth

Cheeks and Jaw

Jawline

  • Draw a curved line from each side of the face to the chin.

Avoid a too sharp chin as this makes the image look pinched. Make sure both sides are the same evenly.

face-of-christ-cheeks

Ears

Ears Position

Where vertical H and F intersect horizontal U is the ear position X and Z.

Ear Shapes

Only the earlobes show in this image and not the full ear.

  • Draw in a fishhook shaped earlobe on each side of the face.

The earlobes are nestled just below the hairline.

face-of-christ-ears

Neck and Shoulders

Christ’s Age

Depending on the age of Christ that you are drawing, the neck starts in different places. In general, younger men (and women) have thinner necks. Mature men have thicker necks. 

Young Christ

For a younger Christ (and female Saints and Mary), draw a line down (from vertical L and O) in a slight curve from the edge of the face to the shoulders.

Mature Christ

For a mature Christ (and mature male Saints) start the neck at the full side of the face circle.

Shoulders

Sketch the shoulders in a gentle curve across the page. Again, a younger Christ (and female Saints and Mary) will have longer necks and slightly thinner shoulders. Whereas a mature Christ has a thicker neck and broader shoulders.

face-of-jesus-neck

Hair

Hair Guidelines

At position R draw a horizontal guideline. The hair is drawn in three separate folds which gently curve in an “S” shape.

  

First Lock of Hair

  • From position S, draw a soft curve to position E on the right of the face and to F on the left of the face (see diagram). 
  • Draw in more hair strands by following the original outside curves so each hair locks has parallel lines within it.

  

Second Lock of Hair

At the point where horizontal R intersects the first lock begin the second lock of hair. 

  • Draw a curve from under the first lock and gently curve in an “S” shape to the outside.

  

Third Lock of Hair

  • Draw the third lock of hair from under the second lock starting at the earlobe and curve it outwards gently to cascade on the shoulders.
face-of-christ-hair

Halo

Halo Design

Only Jesus has a cross in his halo. This is so you can pick him out in a scene. People without halos are not Christ. You can draw a second halo line just inside the original sketch to add emphasis to the halo. In religious icons the halos are always gold.

  

Halo Cross

Only draw the halo cross in images of Jesus.

  • Line up with the horizontal crosshair and draw a line about 20mm above and 20mm below.
  • Draw the vertical lines 20mm to the right and left of the vertical crosshair.

You can gently curve or taper the halo cross towards the outside halo circle for artistic effect.

face-of-jesus-halo-cross

Clothes

Jesus Garments

Jesus’ clothes are usually blue with a red sash and gold trim. The three primary colors red, blue and yellow (gold) and are often all you need for an icon image. Of course, you can choose other colors to match the situation within the image.

Mary’s Robes

For example, Mary is always in blue robes and often baby Jesus is in white wraps. The trick is to avoid being too busy with your color palette.

Other Color Options

If you have a particular theme or place where this icon image will be displayed you can choose colours to suit. You may have a church with special color theme inside and you may wish to make the artwork feel a part of the whole.

Or perhaps you plan to hang the picture on a wall in a room with a color theme. You could change the robe colors to align with the decor. This will create a cohesive feeling for the space.

face-ofjesus-robes

Backgrounds

Traditional and Plain

The backgrounds of icons should always be plain. You can choose a color that complements the robes of the icon. The backdrops must be simple and not detract from the glory of Jesus, angel, saint or religious figure in the portrait.

Backgrounds to Avoid

Avoid busy backgrounds with:

  • Patterns
  • Wallpaper
  • Animals
  • Furniture
  • Landscapes

  

Keep the background as plain and simple as possible.

Finishing

Your Art Style

Your image of Jesus will be slightly different to mine. This is a natural expression of each of us and our own art. You are not trying to reproduce the exact same image every time. You can add some nuance to your artwork.

If you do this project with your children, they too will have different results on the look and shape of Christ’s face and this is okay. Everyone draws art in their own style, through their own hand and with their own brain. Individual artistic expression and interpretation is the beauty of each original drawing.

Darken Outlines

Continue slowly darkening the main lines to make the image just how you want it. You may carefully erase the pencil guidelines if you want to pen and ink the final image as I did.

Color

I have a digital image of Christ.

I have one with colored pencils to show you. The last one is the very first attempt I had of drawing the face of Christ. You can see the evolution of my style and skill with this drawing.

face-of-jesus-watercolor

Where to Position Your Face of Jesus

In Your Home

Your face of Jesus artwork needs to be the focus wherever it is located. Place your icon either in a corner, in a shrine or hang it on wall where there are no distractions.

People who visit your home and see this art will want to take a moment to pause and appreciate the piece. Individuals will need room to sit, kneel, stand or pray. Give your artwork some space to be enjoyed. Let this art piece breathe.

Where Not to Place Your Face of Jesus Image

This art needs respect which is found by carefully choosing a place for it to live. Do not hang your face of Jesus in a complex wall gallery of other images from your vacation, your kids and your cat. Avoid unsuitable places like hot kitchens and wet bathrooms.

The Face of Jesus in Your Sketchbook

If you have this drawing of Christ in your sketchbook, place a sheet of tissue paper over the face to protect it. It is usual to have many practice drawings before you get the best one and these sketches may be in your sketchbook. Due to the importance of Jesus always slip in some tissue paper to protect the image and give respect.

face-of-jesus-heavy-lines

Free Template

When I first followed along witrh the video I found that this was not an easy design to start with. I personally had many attempts at drawing the face of Jesus. To help you out, I have created a template with all the lines and shapes you need to draw the face of Christ.

This design can be used as a guide and you can pen over and color in to your heart’s content. I suggest you follow your intuition when working with this template.

  

Final Image

Here is my final image. An icon of Christ colored in shades that I like with red and blue robes. I do like the cross in the halo. I will probably repeat this drawing in my sketchbook. It is one that needs time to be perfect. And it is what I want, a perfect drawing of Christ’s face. Let me know how you get on drawing the face of Jesus.

 

face-of-christ-color

Older Christ

This is the saem drawing but with a moustache and beard. I also added some crow’s feet and brow furrows to add age.

face-of-christ-when-older
Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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The Creation: 7-Day Challenge

The Creation: 7-Day Challenge

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published:  January 2024

Inspiration

I’m trying to do more Christian artwork on this channel. It occured to me just to go back to basics, so I thought I could just do some simple artworks that depict the Creation in Genesis for the very first week.

7-Day Challenge.

I am a fan of art challenges. Some art challenges are harder than others because there’s just so much you have to do. I have a few challenges on this site.

When I started looking into the Creation Seven Day Art Challenge. I thought this is a good idea, I can do a 7-Day Art Challenge and it’s not going to kill me. It’s a way of continuing working with daily art practice. I created these seven simple, extremely simple images for the Creation.

 

Read more >>> Seasonal Art Challenge

 

Day 1

Light and day and night.

day-1-the-creation

Day 2

The vault of the sky.

day-2-the-creation

Day 3

Sea and land.

Vegetation plants, trees, fruit and seeds.

day-3-the-creation

Day 4

The Sun to light the day and the Moon and stars to light the night.

day-4-the-creation

Day 5

Birds to fly in the sky. Sea creatures to team in the oceans.

day-5-the-creation

Day 6

Land animals, livestock and wild animals. Mankind, male and female to rule the animals and the food and seeds of the green plants and the seas.

day-6-the-creation

Day 7

The Holy day of rest. The sun is shining and all is good. Everything is there. Everything is poised for greatness and to continue to flourish.

day-7-the-creation

Final Thoughts

These few drawings have to be the simplest depiction of the Creation with flat color and limited palette. The idea is that if you reduce your art down to the most minimal strokes, it can still denote what it is supposed to represent.

Symbolism

I think this type of work can be the origin for symbolism where one stroke can symbolize a nation, group, or movement.

 

the-creation-challenge
Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

Send Alison a quick message.

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Acrylic Overpainting: Ikea Artwork

Acrylic Overpainting: Ikea Artwork

Author: Alison Hazel   –   Published: January 2024

Overpainting

Last month I decided to paint over, or overpaint, a large Ikea artwork I had in my living room. Over painting is a technique used by many of the great artists when supplies were short and canvasses hard to come by. It is an age-old tradition and I decided to use it on this artwork.

Original Image

The original image was a photograph of a London bus in a bustling street. It was in black and white except the bus which was a bright red and stands as an icon for London, England. We’d had this piece for over seven years, and I had become a little tired of it, so I wanted to make a change.

Rather than giving it away I thought that as it was such a large canvas, I could do something with it art wise in my quest to be a better artist.

 

Read more >>> Alison’s Art Journey

 

Ikea-original-image

Acrylic Overpainting Video

If you want you can watch the video I made for YouTube about this exact process. 

Process

Creating an acrylic overpainting of an Ikea artwork, or any other artwork, can be a delightful and creative process. As a hobby artist with a liking for mindfulness, my approach to this project is that I wanted it to be both relaxing and fulfilling.

Remember, your hobby art is a sanctuary for your thoughts and creativity. Enjoy the process, be kind to yourself, and let your upbeat and creative energy flow onto the canvas.

Ikea-bus

Material Preparation

I gathered my meagre acrylic paints, brushes, palette and any other materials I might need. I made sure that my workspace was organized and free of distractions to maintain a mindful and focused environment.

I was going to do this work on my dining room table. This is a very old table made from 100year old floorboards. We originally got it so that the kids could work at it and if they made a dent or drew on the top, it didn’t matter. It is a working table and I’ve now commandeered it as my creator studio table.

masking-tape-detail

Acrylic Paint

I began by trying to cover the very black and darker parts of the image. I used both white and yellow acrylic paints whcih were left over from my kid’s school art classes.

Next, I bought some dollar store white and red to continue to cover the darkness in the painting. This took several coats and I left each one to dry overnight.

Then I bought some better acrylic paints and a few colors. Additionally, I purchased a half-liter bottle of white which finally managed to cover the canvas.

white-and-yellow

Inspiration

During this process I’d been watching the YouTuber Betty Franks and watching how she was working with acrylics.

If you recall this was my fifth every acrylic painting and I was not sure what I was doing.

Betty worked he canvasses by adding colors in blobs and circles. Her palette was bright much like mine, so I thought I’d do what she was doing.

I began adding blobs of yellow, blue and green. I added ciclles and groups of bigger blobs and shapes. This I did for several days allowing the paint to dry each night.

Then I realized that because she was drawing flowers that was why she did blobs and circles. This was a revelation.

By this time, I had a highly colored very busy canvas that was almost humming.

I took the art from the table and propped it up against my wall in the living room and lived with it for a few days.

This was a very distracting piece and there was no where for the eye to rest.

abstract

Seascape

I though then that I’d like to have a seascape as that would be restful and easy on the eye. This painting hangs in a place and dominates the room. I wanted something that I could live with and that would not be intrusive.

I live at the coast and I decided to try to create the visual from English Bay which is the closest beach to me.

seascape

Completed Layer

The seascape is what I did in the end. I partitioned the whole canvas into three horizontal bands thus:

Top

The top horizontal band is the sky.

Middle

The middle horizontal is the sea.

Beach

The bottom horizontal band is the beach.

I then brought in colours more related to these three areas. Whites and light blue for the skies. For the sea I tended to go for more a green/blue because really that is the colour what the water looks like.

For the beach I used a variety of colours in yellows, oranges and reds with a lot more dots and speckles to kind of represent the sand and the roughness on the beach. I finished up with some seaweed on either side, just to give a visual focus towards the center of the painting and draw the eye towards the white on the horizon.

seascape

How Long it Took

This final painting took about six days of daily paint and then let it dry overnight then painting again the next morning. But in the end, I was quite happy with what I created.

I added some finer details with Posca paint pens. I signed it in the bottom right with my gold pen that I love.

A few days later when it was dry, I removed all the masking tape and hung it back on the wall. This is an incredibly heavy painting for one person to wrangle, but I did. Phew…

acrylic-abstract-seascape-of-english-bay-vancouver

Final Thoughts on Overpainting

When I started this project, I didn’t really know where it was going to end up. I just knew that I couldn’t live with the grey photograph anymore.

This painting has gone through several iterations of colours and shapes. Until finally I found my groove. In a way as I created the two smaller paintings that are almost, miniatures, if you will, of the actual big painting.

I’m beginning to think that perhaps acrylic seascapes might be my thing. This is the first painting I’ve done which is acrylic and abstract and a seascape. I’m bringing these three components together might be a way forward for me.

Previously I’ve dabbled in watercolors and coloured inks, which I still love, but I found a lot of satisfaction working with these acrylic paints. I think I’ll explore more of this medium more in the future.

Now I’ve just got to find a name for the piece. Any ideas?

Art Supplies

You can find links to the art supplies I used on this page.

Alison Hazel

Author Bio: Alison Hazel

Alison Hazel is a hobby artist and she shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.

Read more about Alison’s story.

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