I can draw with pastels, chalk, carbon, pens, pencils, and more. I would even say I’m good at it. But I’ve always disliked painting. Somewhere in the painting process, something would be off, or I would miss a step and be faced with having to restart a large section or even the whole thing. Restarting was something I never let myself do, therefore the paintings kept these errors and ended up rather murky versions of what I intended.
I still don’t like painting, but I’ve painted often over the last few months. You know when they say “learn from your mistakes"? Well, I’ve definitely done that and painting has become so much easier. In fact, my paintings have become pretty good. I hope to share some of the techniques and skills I’ve learned with all of you. With them, I’m hoping to pull off one of the hardest paint projects I’ve ever attempted.
The first thing anyone needs to know before beginning their project is: Where are you going with it? What is it for? Or in my case: what do you want it to look like?
My painting is going to be for someone that I know well, and I know for a fact that she loves angels. So I looked up images that I thought she’d like. Using these images, I created a sketch, and then turned this sketch into a stencil.
The first thing I usually do after creating my concept sketch is to paint base colours onto my canvas. Other artists would suggest using gesso as a base for your canvas, but I prefer using my acrylic paints to keep my canvas' unique texture. I suggest a base paint because if you make a mistake early on, it's easier to match to a paint colour compared to a blank canvas.
Once you have your dried base colour and your completed sketch, use the sketch (or make a copy and use that instead) to make a stencil. Then pencil in the outline of your stencil onto your canvas. I always have at least one sketch and stencil before I begin or else it becomes a bit malformed.
I'm painting this as a birthday gift so there’s definitely no backing out now. I find another great way to encourage myself to do things like art projects is to tell someone I intend to do it. That way I’m not alone and I have someone to support me and help push me forward.
Meaghan Côté is a second-year student at Algonquin College in the Professional Writing program. Other than spending time with her cat, Buffy, she enjoys reading (all the time, anytime, everywhere and anywhere), creating art, reading, drinking tea, more reading, and writing! She also enjoys cooking, although the results aren't always edible.