Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I've always wanted to  paint, but starting was the hardest part. In America, good, quality acrylic or oil paint is expensive, and then you have to buy the brushes, the canvas, everything. It gets complicated. And for someone like me, a teenager in a third world country, how was I ever going to be able to LEARN how to paint?

My mom met an artist at a craft fair, and he agreed to teach my friend and I how to paint. Little did we know. 

First, where do you get your canvas? 

You learn to stretch it yourself. Our teacher got canvas cloth, wooden frames (although the ones in this photo aren't the proper wooden frames; we fixed that later), and...shoe tacks. You nail the canvas onto the frame, stretching it as tight as you can. 

Next, primer. 

We bought a bucket of white water paint, added a little more water, and wood glue. We coated the canvas, and then we were ready for painting!

Unfortunately, to buy one tube of 'cheap' acrylic paint is crazy expensive, so we got to make our own. We got oil house paint from the store - red, yellow, blue, black, and white. We opened them up and set them on the coal pot (sorry - no picture) until the paint began to boil. We broke plain wax candles and removed the wick. We then added those to the boiling paint, stirring until the wax had mixed in completely.

Taking it off the fire, we set the bucket of paint in water so that it would cool, constantly stirring. After that, we let it sit...and thicken!

It may not be the best paint in the world, but we've done pretty well with it. Three months later, we still have plenty of paint, and the paintings far outweigh the costs of the materials! 

My teacher wanted me to start with a flower. 

I'm very happy with the result! 

Since then, I've painted quite a bit - we do lessons every Saturday. I don't have photos of all of my paintings, but here are a few of the recent ones. 

'Bold' is the word for this one. Thankfully, that's what I was going for. I painted the whole background first, and then the tree and the elephants. 

I am super happy with this one. Normally I'm a pencil artist, so I'm used to black and white shading. I found this one immensely satisfying, even if it did take forever! I'm estimating around fourteen hours, but I didn't keep track. 

Also pleased to announce that I SOLD it. Like, someone asked me if they could buy it and they actually did. :D

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Fabulous work! I especially love the elephant picture, but they're all amazing. And I love hearing about how you made the paint yourself; that's cool.