I have so little time these days that it’s a miracle I managed to get this post ready in the first place! I have been planning on writing about my sister’s graduation dress, but it feels too demanding to concentrate on the dress mathematics that post requires, so instead I chose to write a short report on my most recent crafting project: a phone cover painting featuring carnation flower!
(It probably says something about my hectic life style that this “most recent” project was finished back in January…)
Today I want to keep it short and head straight to the tutorial itself. A word about the inspiration behind this painting though: I found online images of impressionistic flower paintings but also of palette-knife paintings and wanted to combine the atmosphere of the first with the style of the latter.
For the project I had a second-hand phone cover which you can see below. It has pink and white stripes on it and it’s made from some sort of plastic. It had minor scratches allover it, but I didn’t mind because I was going to apply a thick layer of acrylics onto it. Before I started the painting process I made sure the cover was dry and clean.
I wondered whether I could have used gesso for the preparation work, but because I didn’t have any, I went for white acrylic paint (problem solved!). However, I was going to need many layers of it to cover the pink, but because I didn’t want to waste my limited free-time to applying way too many layers of white, I covered the pink parts of the cover in a roughly sort of way in the first and third layer. What I want to say is that I left the paint to dry to an uneven surface so that the next layer of paint would stick to the bumps and result in a thicker coating more quickly.
Here’s layer number 2. My sly scheme proved itself functional, as the pink is beginning to be hidden already.
Layer 3. Did I mention that I made sure to coat the sides too?
And layer 4. I was happy with how the pink was hidden, so I moved on to the painting. It wasn’t actually necessary to cover the pink so thoroughly but I wanted to play it safe :). My acrylic colors are quite transparent when applied thinly.
Time for a hint my high school arts teacher taught me about keeping acrylic paints from drying: cut a piece from a plastic bag and place it on the paint so that no air-contact remains. The trick once helped me to store a specific color mix when I could only continue painting work after a weekend and ever since I have used it to storing leftovers (when I find that useful, that is). As I’m always trying to avoid loss of materials, I stored the excess white this time :P.
As to the painting itself, my vision was to paint the edges with darker shades of green and to slowly lighten the colors towards the center (like there was a light been cast upon the flower that would to dominate the piece). I mixed the color I wanted from black, blue, green and yellow. I used the leftover white for the mix as well.
Because I wanted each brush stroke to be visible, I began by applying the darkest green little bit everywhere near the edges, one stroke at a time.
Then I made the paint mixture lighter with yellow (frankly, I don’t remember but that’s my lucky guess, at some point I used white as well) and applied more brush strokes.
I continued mixing in lighter colors and applying more paint. At one point I realized it would look good to turn down the saturation of my green, so I began mixing in small amounts of red.
I wasn’t too precise with the mixing. My paint mixture wasn’t that smooth (or even? I really don’t know the right word) so I ended up having clearly visible streaks of red, white and even black on the background, but looking back on it, I love the painting-like look I was able to achieve because of it.
Once again, sorry for the varying quality of my photos. It’s not easy to take high-quality pictures when daylight fades at 4 p.m. Happy news is that summer is coming, which means there’ll be more daylight and better photos in the up-coming posts!
When the background was completely dry, I took my smallest brush (size 1, maybe? Even if it’s my smallest, there are smaller brushes out there for sure) and black paint and started to create the stem of my carnation. I didn’t sketch beforehand, as that is my personal taste, but I see no reason why someone couldn’t to that. After the stem I added tiny little leaves with the same color.
I let the black color dry and then began working on the carnation blooms. I mixed white and different kinds of reds to create a nice pink color. Again I didn’t mix the paint smooth because I thought the blooms would look more realistic that way! Having finished the blooms I also signed the work :).
A friend of mine was visiting me at the time of painting, and she was kind enough to remind me to apply some green paint to the underside, too. I painted only the areas near the holes and sides (i.e. everything that would, or could, be visible when the cover is placed on my phone).
To ensure the durability I coated the cover lastly with the same indoor varnishing I always use (I have used the same coating for example with my Bulbasaur and the wooden bars of my canvas painting). I placed it on a vitamin jar to dry, as the sides had also varnishing on them and it couldn’t be placed on the table.
It’s the most beautiful phone cover I’ve ever made (and so far the only one). If I had another boring plastic cover, I would definitely paint that as well. Now that I have been using the cover, I can confirm that the paint doesn’t wear out. Yes, there is a bunch of itsy-bitsy white dots (the base layers shows through) on the left side that has been exposed to the hardest use, but otherwise it looks as good as new after a month of use.
I still have loads of work to do at uni, but hopefully I’ll be back a little bit sooner next time. If I stick to the plans, the next post will about the bodice of my sister’s graduation dress.
Thank you for reading!