WIP

WIP - New Succulent Garden Painting

Hi! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas holiday! Mine was quite lovely. We got to spend a ton of time with family and ate soooo much. I did find a few quiet moments to start a new painting that’s been rolling around in my head. I feel like this one will be one of my most ambitious paintings yet. There is so much going on here. Usually, I stick to a larger, single flower/succulent type of image. This one is PACKED with succulents!

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting

First, I loosely sketch out my drawing to make sure I can fit everything on my large 24”x24” canvas. I just want to get the basic shapes down. The next step is a more detailed drawing, where I start to draw in the actual leafs and petals.

Work in progress - succulent garden painting on easel. First step: Drawing it out.

Just a note: I love my new neutral grey glass palette. It’s fantastic! It’s easy to clean and the colors appear more true than the white plastic palette I was using. This cost a little more than the plastic palettes, but it’s really worth it.

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint!

Finally, it’s time to paint! I didn’t finish drawing all the details on the right side. I was too eager to start painting. I will continue to make slight adjustments as I go along.

Work in progress - Succulent Garden Painting. Starting to paint.

I am so excited to paint again! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this one before April of 2019…


What projects are you working on? What are you going to start next year? Let me know in the comments section below!


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WIP - The100DayProject. Halfway Finished!

Wooohoooo!!!! I'm at the halfway point for this years #the100dayproject. I have to be completely honest, I'm ready to be done with this project. I've created these teeny (but cute!) little paintings, but I haven't worked on anything larger than 3"x3" canvases since the start of this project. I'm anxious to create something BIG! I have so many ideas for new paintings. Working on this project has been really beneficial. Since I need to make a painting a day, I feel like I have freedom to experiment and try new techniques (palette knife is challenging) and play with new subject matter (hello landscapes!) I can't wait to try these on a larger scale.

 

SO MANY PAINTINGS!!!!! 

SO MANY PAINTINGS!!!!! 

day 42/100 of #the100dayproject. Experimenting with palette knife.
These are two of my favorites paintings.

These are two of my favorites paintings.

 

50 down, 50 to go!

Here's a video showcasing the first 50 days/paintings from #the100dayproject. Hit play and enjoy! Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're there. I'm working on more videos (paintings in real time, time lapse painting, videos of my garden adventures and more!) and would love if you were part of my adventure!

I have quite a few favorites! Which are yours? Let me know in the comment section below.

If you're participating in the 100 day project and need some encouragement, I wrote about some of the challenges I faced last year and the lessons I learned from completing this project. You can find those posts here:

#the100dayproject - A few thoughts after the first week

Lessons I learned from completing #the100dayproject

I'd love to chat with you and send some encouragement your way.

Happy creating!

-a

 

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WIP - New pilea plant and succulent paintings

Happy.... March? Really? Well then. I have a lot to share with you. Today though, I would like to share two of my latest works in progress. First is my new Pilea Peperomioides painting. I love this little plant and I can't wait to get my grubby little paws on a real one. In the meantime, painting them will have to suffice. 

This pilea painting is painted in oils on a 6x6 by 1.5 inch canvas.

pilea-painting-01.jpg
pilea-painting-02.jpg

Next up is, maybe a little unsurprisingly, a succulent. This painting is still very much a work in progress. I just sketched it out and started laying down some colors. The colors aren't right at all and I need to do a little bit of work refining them. But, it's a good start.

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succulent-painting-01.jpg
succulent-painting-02.jpg
succulent-painting-03.jpg
succulent-painting-04.jpg
succulent-painting-05.jpg

I really love that the image is carried over onto all fours sides. It will look fantastic when it's finished and hanging on the wall.

 

What projects have you been working on? Let me know in the comment section below!

Have a great day!

-a

 

 

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WIP - Cactus Painting

Hello! Happy Wednesday ! I am super excited to show you my WIP for this cute little cactus painting. You saw a sneak peek of it in the last WIP post featuring the large succulent painting I finished. Here it is in all of it's messy, unfisnished glory:

cactus-WIP1.jpg
cactus-WIP2.jpg
current+paintings+succulent+cactus.jpg

So there it is, on the bottom left. It looked okay, but I wasn't happy with the background and I thought that the greens looked a little flat. I decided to re-work the background and give it a little depth and interest and I added more yellow and even some red to the greens to make them look a bit more interesting.

Here's where we're currently at:

cactus-WIP4.jpg

A little better, right?

The next step will be to add the little spines, and then I think I'll be finished! I need to step it up though-- I have a craft show that I will be participating in the first weekend of December. I'll post more details soon!

What are you working on? Let me know in the comment section below!

-a

WIP COMPLETE - Large Succulent Painting

Hey! How's it going? Remember last week, when I posted the WIP of the large succulent painting I've been diligently working on? I'm happy to report that it's FINISHED and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.

FINISHED! Large Succulent Oil Painting by april bern

My favorite part of this painting? Using this new paint color:

Phthalo Turquoise

It is such a gorgeous color and it blends so well with pinks to make the beautiful shades of purple you see in this painting. It also makes a gorgeous shade of green when mixed with yellow. I really should do a color swatch and show you guys. Do yourself a favor and pick up this paint color. You won't be disappointed.

current paintings.jpg

Check out the great shades of green in my newest WIP on the bottom left corner. That's a combination of the phthalo turquoise, cadmium yellow pale and white. I added phthalo blue to darken the greens. Pretty right? I'll post a proper WIP featuring that painting next week.

What are you working on? I'd love to see it. Leave a comment and a link to your latest WIP in the comments section below.

-a

 

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WIP - Large Succulent Painting

Well hello!

I decided to take a little break from blogging and painting after #the100dayproject.  As I was nearing the end of the project, I began worrying I might not go back to oils and painting the super detailed and blendy way I usually do. Diving into abstracts, working with acrylics, and painting with my fingers was so fast, and so fun. Really, quite freeing. It's how I've always wished that I could paint. So I was a little apprehensive when I picked up my brush to begin a new oil painting few weeks ago. I went in with no preconceived ideas of how it was going to turn out. If it was full of brushstrokes, I'd be okay. If it was super blended, I was fine with that too. I just wanted to paint.

And then I made this:

succulent painting 8x8

I know, right?! This little 8x8 inch painting happened so fast! It took a week from start to finish. I can't get over how amazing it turned out. There are some bits that I didn't blend to death and I love them. I think I might be finally learning to embrace the visible brush strokes!

 

This is my current work in progress:

succulent1.jpg

I'm clearly not finished drawing/painting succulents. I decided to be a little more adventurous and paint on a 16x20 inch canvas panel. Again, I drew pretty loosely, and figured I can fix the shapes when I go in and start painting.

succulent2.jpg
This is what I lovingly call the "ugly phase"

This is what I lovingly call the "ugly phase"

succulent4.jpg

This is where I'm currently at. I've been painting nearly every evening (thank you #the100dayproject for helping build a painting habit!) The top half is totally done and I'm super happy with it. Now, onto the bottom portion. I can't wait to see how the rest of this one turns out! 

-a

 

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100 paintings in 100 days - I completed #the100dayproject!

I can’t believe I did it, but I successfully completed the #100dayproject; 100 paintings in 100 days! It seems a little unreal because I didn’t think I would even be able to get through the first two weeks. There were many (many!) days I didn't feel like painting. And there were that many more where I wanted to straight up quit, because I hated what I made. I have to give a BIG shout out to my friends and family who gave me the space and time to create, and who gave me inspirational pep talks whenever I contemplating quitting.

100 paintings in 100 days - #the100dayproject complete

Seeing them all together like this is a little impressive!

100 paintings in 100 days
#the100dayproject 2017 abstract painting

I wish I would have taken notes, or journaled during this process. Truthfully, I didn't think about it. I just painted. But looking back, there are a few lessons that this challenge has taught me.


1. You can’t wait for inspiration, the right mood, your muse, or divine intervention to create. The act of creating begets more creating. It’s so true. You have to just sit down and do it!

2. Don’t judge. Your only job is to make the work.

3. Don’t let other’s opinions (or lack of) deter you. Again, just make the work.

4. Make the time for your art/project. If it's important to you and you really want to do it, you will find a way. Even if you have to get up a little earlier before work in the morning or miss your favorite show, or order take-out a little more often; you can figure out how to make the time. Where there's a will, there's a way.

There it is! The Final Painting for my 100dayproject

And there she is! The last painting of my #the100dayproject for 2017.  I'm SUPER happy to have stuck with this project despite my doubts, insecurities, and occasional laziness.

So now that I've completed that personal challenge, I'm going to work on finishing all the little painting projects I started prior and then get my shops ready for the holidays. Also all my 100day paintings are for sale and will be slowly added to my shop. If you're interested in any of them, feel free to browse them on instagram and send me an message and we'll work out the details.

How did your 100 day project go? What did you learn? Would you do it again? What are you planning next? Are you psyched to do another right away?

I hope your experience was fantastic. And if you're not finished yet, just keep at it! You got this!

 

-a

 

 

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WIP Wednesday - Trying out Abstract

Happy Work in Progress Wednesday! Wait, it's not a thing yet? Don't worry, it will be soon.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

This week, I worked on something completely different. I tried abstract art! I'm so used to painting what I see and from reference photos and I want my paintings to be as close to photo realistic as possible. But I LOVE abstract art. I've always to be more "free" in my paintings. I am a "tight" painter and I tend to blend the heck out of everything (this isn't a bad thing.) I think painting abstractly might be a way to achieve that "freedom" in my painting.

This painting was fun. I had a canvas that I whitewashed with gesso and I thought to myself "Why not? What have I got to lose?" and I plopped a few colors down. I did blend the paint a little bit, but I made sure to leave some brush marks showing.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

I put it down and came back to it a few days later and added a little more color, and I added those splotches. The splotches are my favorite part of the painting so far.

In Between Days - Abstract Art by April Bern

I'm not sure if I'm finished or not. That's the problem with abstract paintings, I think. You aren't ever quite sure if it's finished. I could go back and play with it some more, but then I worry about "ruining" it. It's at a good place right now. Who knows, in the future I might think "why not" and play with it again.

 

 

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