Creative Process & The Canon T5i

Recently I was approached by Canon to be a part of their True Originals campaign, a project showcasing various Canadian artists’ creative processes. I immediately jumped on board! I think it’s great that they want to feature the work of artists on their various outlets, and to top it off, I was given a Canon T5i to aid in documenting the way in which I create art.

One of the features of the camera that I’m particularly excited to try out is the HDR video recording. I’ve been wanting to make some high quality footage of how I paint, and now I’ll be able to give it a go. However, because of time constraints and the fact that I need to figure out video editing, I decided to document my creative process through the photos below.

The Process

Lately I’ve been inspired by old lithographs of birds like the kind you see in the famous Audubon books, and that’s what influenced me to create the subject matter of this painting. Typically, I like to start off with a detailed sketch; usually drawn digitally with my Cintiq in Photoshop. As you can see in the photo above on my second moniter, I have plenty of great references for my little warblers.

Once I’m happy with the sketch, I reduce the opacity of the line work to about 20% and then I print it directly on to watercolor paper. (I like to use hot pressed Fabriano paper.)

My painting medium of choice is gouache. It’s a water-based paint similar to watercolor, but more opaque. I find it can produce beautiful and vibrant colors!

I begin with the background elements like the branches and then the leaves.

Then I move on to painting the foreground objects, which are the birds.

To finish off the piece, I like to use pencil crayons to help define some of the edges.

And here’s the finished piece!

In terms of what fuels my creativity and passion for creating art, I’d have to say it’s as simple as wanting to make something memorable and beautiful. I think back to other artists’ work that have made a big impact on me, and I strive to make that same kind of affect on others with my art. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into how I paint.

This post was created in partnership with Canon. For details about the Canon T5i, you can check out this link: #TrueOriginals

Liquid Gilding A Mirror

I love the look of Louis Philippe-style mirrors with their rounded top corners and gilded finish. I’d been looking for one of these mirror to go on the mantle of our living room for a long time, but nothing was the right size or price. I finally came across this mirror, which is actually meant for a dresser, but I still really liked its shape. It happened to be the perfect size and came at a very decent price tag, the only problem was I didn’t like the color. Luckily, there are so many options available for painting these kinds of things now!

At first I decided to gold leaf the mirror…but that didn’t turn out since I’m terrible at it and it would have taken me forever to finish. So I decided to try out Martha Stewart’s Liquid Gilding, which turned out great! It’s incredibly easy to use and the end results were all that I wanted.

Here’s what the mirror originally looked like. (It’s 35″ x 37.8″)

I used Martha Stewart’s Liquid Gilding in the Brass color and 2 ratty paintbrushes. Don’t use your nice brushes with this stuff, it’s really hard to wash off!

It was a nice sunny day so I brought the mirror on to the deck to paint it. I didn’t want any gilding fumes in the house..

At first I used the gilding too sparingly as you can see in the picture above. This is 1 coat.

This is also just 1 coat, but I learned it was better to use a generous amount of it. The little bottle of Liquid Gilding goes a long way, I still have over half of it after this mirror.

This is with the 2nd (and final) coat.

I let the mirror dry for around 4 hours.

And it was ready to go on the mantle! Overall, I love how the Liquid Gilding worked out. It’s not as reflective as real gold leaf, but it still has a very nice sheen. There are some blotchy parts that you can see, but I like how those look. A 3rd coat would definitely even it out if that’s what you’re going for.

Makeup Pouch Winner: Kat U.

I’m excited to announce that the winner of the makeup pouch giveaway is: Kat U. ! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Thank you so much to all those who participated in my first giveaway <3