May I have a drum roll, please?! The moment you’ve all been waiting for is here! You have been waiting for it, haven’t you? Without further ado, I give you Rupert Smiling, my debut artistic effort, effort being the operative word….
Truthfully, this photo doesn’t do the painting justice. It looks much better in person, especially his eyebrows and whiskers. You can even stand close to it and you don’t have to squint. I’m not even saying that tongue in cheek. It’s the truth. Those of you who know me in real life can attest to the fact that I’m not a pat myself on the back kinda girl. So, when I say that I haven’t been this proud of almost anything since I popped a kid out 20 years ago, well, that’s saying something!
Rupert Smiling, as I’ve chosen to call my masterpiece just in case the MFA wants to hang it in their next installation, is a project very much in the spirit of Begin in the Middle. I got a wild hair up my butt and started painting – just jumped right in! That’s what this is all about, jumping into something new, figuring it out as I go along, AND TOTALLY KICKING ASS AT IT!!! Ok. “Kicking ass” might be a little dramatic and maybe an overstatement, but the painting doesn’t suck.
Seriously, though, the final product is much better than I ever hoped it would be. More importantly, I enjoyed doing it. Hiring an artist or going to one of those art places that lets you get all boozed up while you paint would have been cheaper, no doubt. However, now I have enough supplies to paint many, many, many more portraits of Rupert. Unfortunately, my palette of mostly brown limits my choice of subjects, so Rupert it is!
Do you want to paint a portrait of your pet or anything else? Here’s what I learned:
- If you’ve never painted before, don’t overestimate your ability to mix colors. Spend a little extra and buy the colors you need. There will be much less cussing and frustration that way.
- Acrylics are hard to work with because they dry really quickly, but they’re easy to clean up.
- Buy decent brushes. Don’t blow the bank, but don’t buy the super cheapies, either. Otherwise, you’ll be picking brush hairs out of your painting with your good tweezers and a magnifying glass.
- Take pictures as your painting progresses. I didn’t realize how much better I was getting at shading until I looked at the gallery below. I’m not saying I’m GOOD at it or anything, only that I did get better as I went along. I wouldn’t have seen that improvement without the pictures.
- Don’t over-think what you’re doing. Have fun! That’s the whole point. Be proud of the finished product no matter how it turns out! It’s your work. OWN IT!
If you DO end up painting a masterpiece of your own, email me a photo (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll put it up on the website for your fellow Beginners to admire! Finally, here are the photos I took of the painting as it progressed. Enjoy!