Well, it’s that time of year again…time for another Cheap Joe’s Art Swap!
The theme this time was “spring”–and I took that pretty literally in my panel.
I sketched out this idea in my Hand•Book Artist Journal. I absolutely LOVE these journals. This is actually my third one of them; I fill them up so quickly because I use them for literally anything! Sketching, journaling, pen and ink drawing, some light watercolor and acrylic work, even stuff like making grocery lists or little notes (or planning out blog projects–you can see my mobile there on the left page!)
Once I got the general idea I wanted, I was ready for my panel!
For this Swap, we all got to pick the size of our panels. Mine is a 5×7″ Joe’s Prime Cradled Painting Panel. I began by priming it with a layer of Joe’s Prime Really Good Gesso, since I knew I’d be working with some lighter colors.
Once that dried, I was ready to transfer my image over.
To make this a million times easier than redrawing it onto the panel, I used Saral Wax-Free Transfer Paper. All I had to do was line up my design, slip a sliver of transfer paper under it, and trace! Without bearing down hard at all, I got crisp, dark lines that would be easy to follow with my brush!
The next step was laying down my background.
I went with this beautiful gradient of Joe’s Prime Really Good Lightfast Acrylic in Green Light and Deep Turquoise because of how vibrant they are together, and, after all, spring is the time when everything comes alive!
The impression left by the transfer paper is so dark, it even shows clearly through the layer of paint!
Once this layer dried, I went ahead and knocked out my lettering.
I chose Payne’s Gray, not straight black, because I didn’t want the appearance to be too harsh or formal.
Next, I added the little ribbons that the flowers would hang off of.
Since I didn’t want anything too starkly different from the tone of the lettering, Phthalo Blue ended up being a great choice.
Then I just mixed in a bit of Titanium White to add some highlights and give them a little dimension.
Next, I painted in some leaves.
I did a base color of Permanent Green Deep and, while it was still partially wet, went back in with Permanent Green Deep mixed with some white to give it a subtle texture.
And then it was time for the best part: flowers!
For some of them, I used Deep Magenta as a base layer and mixed it with some Magenta + White. For the rest, I combined Ultramarine Blue and White as the base and then used Light Blue Violet as the accent layer. Then I filled their little centers with Warm Yellow and dot of Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue.
At this point, I was happy–but I still felt like something was missing…like I needed one more thing to really make this piece pop… Gold accents, of course!
I’m worried that I am becoming a bit predictable with this, but if I’m ever presented the opportunity to use gold accents, I’m gonna take it!
Gold in the Joe’s Prime line is absolutely stunning and did turn out to be exactly right for giving this piece a little somethin’ extra.
After letting everything get good and dry, I finished the piece with a layer of Golden Soft Gel Medium in the Gloss finish:
Now let’s look at what some other folks here at CJ’s did!
A quaint field of flowers by Amy, a packer in our distribution center.
Nicole, from the Boone retail store, created a butterfly so lifelike, it could practically fly off the page!
And speaking of flying, Erin, one of our graphic designers, gave us this little guy who’s trying his hardest to stay in the air.
Alex, from the Charlotte retail store, gave us this adorable bunny pushing a cart full of Art Stuff!
And we got another sweet bunny from Tippy in our Boone retail store!
Edwina, the workshop coordinator, came up with this clever seasonal clock-thermometer!
Jana, who works in receiving and maintaining our inventory, painted this stunning bunch of our state flower: the Dogwood!
Amanda from the Boone retail store used her signature style to add some whimsy to the swap!
But our Charlotte retail store Manager, Aly, really stole the show with the cutest little duckling anyone’s ever seen.
And here’s an alien baby with tons of value changes, courtesy of Luke in our Charlotte store, which ended up coming with me!
Yet another successful Art Swap from the Cheap Joe’s gang!