Looking Painterly

Saintvi and I have been trying to do a Wine and Canvas painting since before June last year. We were scheduled to paint irises in the style of Van Gogh but due to illness I went alone. We tried to schedule another time but between my whirlwind travel and retirement schedule and her hectic travel and work schedule it didn’t happen as planned. First it was going to be a rustic scene last fall but the class was cancelled. Then we figured we’d wait until the weather cooperated. One thing led to another and we signed up for a painting that was going to be last month – Birch Tree Forest. It too was cancelled. We were a tiny bit bummed. After some discussion we decided to try one more time this last Saturday since they were doing the Birch Tree Forest again. With fingers crossed that the weather would cooperate and there were enough people signed up so they wouldn’t cancel again, we waited for the day. It was cold but no rain or snow. There were no tragic emails indicating we would have to reschedule yet again. So I present to you my version of the Birch Tree Forest:

First we painted the whole canvas yellow. My arm got a work out! That was followed by putting a orange sherbet halo on the upper 2/3. This was difficult but not impossible. Which was followed by some fancy adding of white and blending the color to create the “glow” in the center. I ended up adding a little more pink to the sky to give it a little contrast. I didn’t take a photo of that step because we were working very fast!

This first shot shows the glow in the sky quite well. I was very happy with the result. We had to turn it upside down and put in the grass along the horizon line. It took me much longer to do the grass than I had expected. With the painting still upside down, we put in the tree trunks. There was a great gnashing of teeth during that part. I think the trees were one of the easier parts. At this point I thought my trees looked purple and I wasn’t very happy with them. The next step was to turn the canvas right side up to put in the vegetation in the foreground. GAH! This was absolutely the hardest part for me. The instructor went so fast and I couldn’t see what she was doing. I was winging it. At that point I was having a bit of a panic as I could see what saintvi was doing and what the woman on the other side of me was up to and neither one was close to what I was doing. Luckily we had a break to let the canvas dry a bit before putting on the leaves and the final touches to the foreground. The second photo shows the leaves and the changes I made to the forest floor. I was able to add more grass and some flowers and a little bit of shading to give it more depth. We also finished the tree trunks. At first I wasn’t too pleased with the tree trunks. After seeing some of the other efforts I really think I nailed them! The rest of the class went ahead and painted a turkey in the bottom corner but saintvi and I decided that the turkey looked lame and so we omitted it. Instead we spent a little mote time on the vegetation – adding some additional color.

Above is the official painting from the website. The one the instructor did had a less interesting turkey and a much darker foreground…

Here we are looking pleased with ourselves. I’m not sure if you can see clearly but saintvi’s painting has a lovely butterfly, some cheerful lavender mums and a little grouping of red mushrooms. The bonus is that they are now doing a “punch card” that after 10 punches you get a free session. Saintvi thinks we should do a painting per month with the goal of finishing our card before the end of 2020. I’m not so sure I have room for that many paintings!!

35 thoughts on “Looking Painterly

    1. At first I really didn’t like my tree trunks or my leaves but after a couple days I think they are really good… But then I’m my own worst critic! Glad to get an outside opinion – Thanks!


  1. I prefer your trees due to height. Can’t make out the trunks. 🙂 I have fond memories when daughter and I went to our first class, results were great, I hung both. The second trip I was less than pleased with my work and it sits on a high shelf in the hall. lol Yes those instructors move fast.


    1. The instructor we had (Jess) was good. There have been others that went so fast that I couldn’t keep up and still others that were not clear in what the steps were… They are fun and you end up with original art!!


                    1. I must be a well kept secret since I have been living in my hometown married since 2013. And I will run into people and they are like are you visiting your mom or you still live here.


  2. I love how both of yours turned out! I’m not being polite, either :). I love to go to those kinds of events when I like the picture, but going alone is not always as much fun. As far as having to hang all of them, I don’t. I change them out and store them behind my dresser (it’s a long low boy) until it’s their turn. I have one spot in the kitchen and one spot in the living room. My grandson picked a spot in my bedroom, so there are three to change out with the seasons. I can keep going as much as I want, hehehe.


    1. You are one smart mouse!! I’ve got one hanging in my computer room and one in the family room. I’ve been rotating the one in the family room but I think I’ll have to rotate both spots and maybe add another! I have several in the basement recreation area that were done in a van Gogh style since we have several prints and even a crewel work picture. I might have to start rotating the paintings in the basement too!


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