Can you believe we made it to the last tutorial video? We have been on such a journey with our paintings, and today is all about tending to the finishing touches that will bring them together to a place where we can declare them complete.
Today’s video is another long one as Lynx and I settle into the detail work. While we work side by side, we also talk about the highs and lows of this experience together, reviewing the soul work and the heart work that goes with guiding a painting all the way through to the end. We also celebrate, glass of wine in hand, and declare our paintings complete with a little blessing and a little dance.
Let’s dive in!
Get some perspective:
In the demo, you’ll see me step back from my canvas and assess all the things that I still need to do to pull my canvas together. I want to encourage you to do the same. We see things differently when we get some distance from the canvas, a fresh perspective!
While you are looking at your canvas from a distance, consider the balance of its composition. Lynx’s painting is pretty balanced while mine isn’t. It has a big bright yellow wing on one side of the canvas, and I knew that repeating some mustard yellow color that’s on the wing on the other side of the canvas would help balance it all out. Although we’re in the finishing touches stage, it’s never too late to circle back to all the tools in our “mixed-media toolbox” and add more color and texture if it will help balance your paintings a bit.
Detail pen/pencil work
I love using my Stabilo All pencil. As you’ll see in the demo, it’s a great tool for “embedding” your collaged imagery pieces into your canvas, but also a great tool for doodling and mark making around your words. Another option, however, is to use your black Pitt Pen. OR your white gel pen. Have fun with this!
Framing your painting
I used Raw Umber paint and my fingertips to help “frame” the edges of my canvas, and Lynx used a combination of Black with Phthalo Turquoise to help “frame” hers. In both instances, our paintings popped with the framing, especially Lynx’s. I would encourage you to have fun with this. Play with colors, scallops, dots, and any other ideas that could help “frame” your painting.
White gel pen/paint pen
Do not underestimate the power of your white gel pen or paint pen! It’s often the very last thing I do, but it’s often my favorite part of my paintings. It’s an excellent way to brighten up a painting, so if you’re feeling like your canvas needs some brightening, sit down with your white gel pen for awhile and go to town, making dots, lines, outlining shapes, making doodles inside your imagery, inside your letters perhaps, and more. You’ll see Lynx and I both spend quite a bit of time with our white pens in this demo.
Raw Umber Glaze
You’ll see me use Raw Umber Glaze to help dim down the brightness of my paint colors in this video. Unfortunately, Golden no longer makes the product. Oh no! Not to worry, you either try adding a little bit of raw umber fluid acrylic paint to your bright color to help tone down the brightness OR you can make your own glaze by simply mixing a little bit of your gel medium with your raw umber acrylic paint and that should give you the same or very similar effect.
Tend and nourish
While you tend to the finishing touches on your painting, be sure to tend to your heart, too. Consider how your mantra has supported you as you painted it into life. Celebrate that, honor it. Pablo Picasso once said, “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” So true! Our mantra paintings are deeply meaningful chapters of our journey and represent so much of our hearts.
What shows up on the canvas, is also an opportunity for growth, possibility, and all things love-filled in our lives off the canvas. It’s so much deeper than just painting a canvas!
Until you love it:
“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” – Vincent van Gogh
Throughout this last demo video you’ll hear Lynx and I review some of the life lessons that we’ve learned from painting – all the same stuff that we’ve been talking about in these “Let Art Out, Let Love In” musings. I loved what Lynx said about her friend and art mentor, La, encouraging her not to stop working on a piece until you love it. I love that!
It not only speaks into all the things we’ve been talking about throughout this course – unleashing our joy, surrendering, letting go, embracing the chaos, staying with a painting through its ugly phase, following what delights us – but it also speaks into the idea of keeping the conversation open and not giving up .
“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” – Gary Zukav
I can think of countless times, not just on the canvas, but in my life off the canvas when I wished that I had kept the conversation open and had not closed the door to a friendship, to an opportunity, and more. I love the idea of sticking with something until you love it – until it feels clean, right, healed, soft, and complete. Yes, yes, yes!
Q: Do you spray anything on your finished product to set it?
A: Yes! I generally use a Golden spray varnish in Gloss, click here.
Q: Do you paint the sides of your canvas and if so, when do you do that – beginning or end?
A: Yes, the sides! I usually paint the sides black, but you can paint yours whatever color you’d like of course! Sometimes it’s nice to coordinate a color that is in your painting. Painting the sides is the last thing I do!
Q: How do I finish my canvas so it looks sealed or uniform in sheen?
A: Once you’re done with your canvas, you’ll want to put a coat of varnish on it so that it both gets sealed and has one uniform finish. I usually use a spray varnish in gloss, but you may want to choose a different sheen.
Below are the specific supplies that we used in this lesson, but be sure to head on over to the big ol’ supply page for a lot more details and more information!
**Special note about paint color links: Below you’ll find the colors that both Lynx and I used in the demo. I’ve included the specific name of each paint color, and whether it’s a fluid acrylic or soft body. The links, however, will take you to a page that lists ALL the colors, so be sure to refer to the paint color noted below. **
We want to see your finished paintings!
It has been a remarkable journey with you! I’d love it if you shared your finished mantra paintings with us! Here are some way you can do that:
1. Share photos of your canvases, your post-it note or on-your-body intentions, selfies of you, your painted up hands, your work table (let’s see those joyful messes!), and more on Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #hellosoulhellomantras. Search that same hashtags to find your fellow classmates.
2. Share your progress and photos to our private Facebook group.
3. Leave a comment here in this lesson, sharing what you’re learning, links back to your social networks so that classmates can find you!
4. Need help on how to do any of the above? Head on over to our Community Page where all is explained in further detail!
Be sure to celebrate your finished painting! Bless it, do a little happy dance, and declare it finished. It’s a big brave journey, creating a painting – so much learned, and embraced, and discovered. Be sure to honor your (and its) journey.
Although this is the last demo in Part 3, it’s still not the end of our journey. Be sure to head over to the farewell post, and don’t miss all of the bonus goodies, including the bonus video where Lynx and I each paint another painting and share that process with you from start to finish.
As always, if you have any questions about today’s demo that haven’t been answered, leave them in the comments and I’ll be sure to address them.
I cannot wait to see your gorgeous finished mantra paintings! Hello inspiration!