Finishing Touches

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

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!

Color balance:

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!

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

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.

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

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.

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

photo credit: Zipporah Lomax

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!

IMG_4377

 

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!

roots and wings prop photo

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!

Celebrate!

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.

11641789194_34722a964a_o

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!

23 Comments

  1. Deborah L

    Hi Kelly,
    Is it necessary to cover the finished canvas with the Golden gel medium before spraying it with varnish?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Nope! The varnish will seal it perfectly:)
      Also, the gel may make some of your finishing touches smudge, so a spray varnish is best as the last thing you do vs gel 🙂

      Reply
  2. sandrine a

    hi Kelly Rae

    i have another question, last night I used some black faber artist pitt pen to doodle a lot on top part of my canvas. i can see it disappear easily with touch. however I haven t finished layering with the rest of the painting. do i use gloss spray fixatif only on that part so i can go with the rest of the painting or another kind of fixing agent please?
    thank you!

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Sandrine,
      You’ve got it exactly. Spray the fixative on the parts that you don’t want to go anywhere or smudge off and continue with the other parts of the painting without it. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Siobhan Wolf S

    Like someone else said, I got a little teary when I read the info on this page. I’m saving my quiet morning tomorrow when the kids are at school to finish up the last of the videos. I’ve had to watch all the way through before continuing on with my background canvases because of life things, but I now cannot wait to start back in on them! Spring feels like a great time for that new life to happen. 😀

    Thank you both so much for that time and openness that you shared in your process. It has been so heart-opening for me. I’m going to MISS you two so much!! I wish we could sit around the cafe together enjoying a coffee or glass of wine. You two are fabulous company!

    I had a question about the paint pens that Lynx used. I didn’t see them on the supplies list and wanted to know what they were. I really liked the effect and think I would like to try that along with painting and stamping on my canvasses.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing all these techniques and tips – and for the wisdom, that it’s okay for it to get ugly and that nothing is ever wasted and that happy accidents are just waiting to happen – and especially to know that it’s finished when you LOVE it. I’m committing to only bringing things that delight me, things that I love, into my home and into my heart from this moment on. It feels liberating! (And who knows, maybe one or more of these canvases will end up being liberated in next year’s Liberate Your Art postcard swap. Wouldn’t that be fun?!)

    One last thing – is there an address where you two receive mail? I would love be to able to send a happy mail thank you and maybe even a photo of something finished when it is finally all complete.

    Much much love to you both! Thank you for the journey.

    Siobhan Wolf

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Siobhan,
      Thanks so much for your kind words!
      I wanted to answer a few of your questions:
      – Lynx says that Molotov paint pens are good, sharpie ones are too. She likes acrylic paint pens, not oil ones.
      – You can definitely send us mail to PO Box 13271, Portland OR 97213

      MUCH love to YOU. I love how much you got out of this course – exactly what I had hoped!
      Keep painting and bringing delight and joy into your life and loves!
      xo

      Reply
  4. sandrine a

    hello Kelly Rae
    such a fabulous class! thank you! i was wondering about the easiest surface to paint on,… when I use the non flat canvas i found it hard to stencil or even paint as the surface goes curvy when i push with brush or brayer. what kind of panel do u use for the bigger pieces please? wood covered with Gesso or flat panel?
    thank you
    Sandrine

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Sandrine,
      For those reasons, I almost exclusively use canvas boards – much more durable and easy to stencil and stamp on!

      Reply
  5. Julie G

    Hi Kelly Rae,

    Not that I am quite there yet, but I’m wondering about how to hang my finished painting. It is on a flat canvas panel; thought maybe I could attach a ribbon to the back then gel medium a solid covering over the entire back of the canvas. What are some other options?

    Thanks so much for the fun experience and all the great info; I’m looking forward to using it all over and over again in a bunch of future projects!

    Julie

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Julie,
      I love your idea of hanging it. Sometimes I have these flat panels framed at the framer. Sometimes I just hang them on the wall and put an old vintage frame (no glass) around it, which is another creative way. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. Bernardita V

    HELLO Kelly
    First thank, thank you very much for the course, for your generosity in sharing all your knowledge.. it is being a pleasure to do it ! I really enjoyed THIS JOURNEY !

    on the other hand, talking about copyright , is it ok to use for example images of Cavallini Papers in the Canvas ? even if I want to sell my piece later on ?

    thanks again …
    and please let me know if you are planning a second e-course ( journey !) !!!
    xx
    Berni

    Reply
    • Bernardita V

      Kelly
      Hi ! Just a little question I have being using the stabillo pencil to line the edges of a face or body of my drawing when it is all done but I find it hard to seal it! Because if you touch the paint and pencil is all mixed and it is a mess !,,
      What do you suggest ? Should I use something different ?

      Thanks
      Berni

      Reply
      • Kelly Rae Roberts

        Hi Bernadita!
        Yes, I understand exactly what you’re talking about. I generally wait to do my face or body outlining with the stabilo until the very end, after the paint is dry. Then, I’ll seal it with spray varnish. That said, I do a VERY thin line of outlining before filling in with paint, and yes, it will smudge a bit into the paint – I call it texture and history, and try not to worry too much about it 🙂
        I hope that helps!

        Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Bernardita!
      I’m pasting one of the FAQ’s for you. I hope this helps.

      Q: What do I need to know about copyright when it comes to using quotes, lyrics, and papers in my paintings?
      A: I want to first say that I am not an expert in copyright law, nor is this e-course about the legalities of things you need to consider when you want to create a business from your paintings. If you are creating your paintings for yourself or to give away, then you have nothing to worry about when it comes to violating copyright law, though when it comes to quotes and lyrics, it’s always a good idea to attribute the author.

      If, however, you are planning to reproduce your work in any manner, and if you are using someone else’s words (quote or lyrics), or are using gift wrap, scrapbook papers, or anything else with someone else’s designs in your collage work, then you will need to consult an intellectual property attorney to be sure you are within copyright law. It can get tricky to navigate, and there are MANY misconceptions and myths about copyright law (it’s likely an e-course all on its own), but any IP attorney should be able to walk you through it should you want to reproduce your work in any way.

      Reply
  7. Rozanne W

    Hi, Kelly Rae–

    I so loved your videos and this course! Thank you so much for being so generous as to share your talent!

    One little thing: You might want to add the spray varnish to the supply list.

    Thank you, again!!

    With love,

    Rozanne

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Ahhh, Yes! Thanks for that reminder!

      Reply
  8. linda g

    I have loved every moment of this course. Lynx made a point that really hit home with me when she said she felt the discomfort of not liking the piece. The same thing happened to me. Not liking the piece felt very visceral, and the discomfort really rattled me-making me feel very insecure and not good enough.

    I just kept going (work on it until you love it) and then the confidence and joy returned. Thank you so much for this course. I loved this journey!

    Reply
  9. Danna T

    I teared up as you guys got to the end! Thank you for this! I cannot tell you how much this journey has meant to me!

    Reply
  10. Lisa G

    I love both of your finished projects so much!!! It was brilliant to have Lynx work alongside you. So glad you added a bit of green paint on the lace. Love! Love! Now I need to go back and choose one of my first practice canvases to work on (this is pretty new to me so I needed to see the whole process once). But I’m sure I’ll be watching all these over and over in the coming months.

    Reply
  11. Roxane J

    Kelly– I have had problems with glaze, paint or gel medium reactivating ink. I end up with a smeary mess. Does it not happen with Colorbox ink? Or, maybe I’m not waiting long enough for the ink to dry.

    Thanks

    Roxy

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Roxy,
      You many need to spray a “workable fixative” to your surface after applying the ink. Depending on the ink, it may smear. Try spraying the workable fixative and THEN applying your glaze/paint/gel medium after it’s dry. It *should* keep your ink from smearing. I hope that helps!

      Reply
  12. Sandi K

    Kelly,
    What are the copyright laws regarding using new magazine art in a very different medium like a collage?

    Reply
    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Sandi, I’m including an FAQ for you below. I hope this helps!

      Q: What do I need to know about copyright when it comes to using quotes, lyrics, and papers (including magazine images) in my paintings?
      A: I want to first say that I am not an expert in copyright law, nor is this ecourse about the legalities of things you need to consider when you want to create a business from your paintings. If you are creating your paintings for yourself or to give away, then you have nothing to worry about when it comes to violating copyright law, though when it comes to quotes and lyrics, it’s always a good idea to attribute the author.

      If, however, you are planning to reproduce your work in any manner, and if you are using someone else’s words (quote, lyrics, poems, etc), or are using gift wrap, scrapbook papers, or anything else with someone else’s designs in your collage work, then you will need to consult an intellectual property attorney to be sure you are within copyright law. It can get tricky to navigate, and there are MANY misconceptions and myths about copyright law (it’s likely an e-course all on its own), but any IP attorney should be able to walk you through it should you want to reproduce your work in any way. I hope this helps!

      Reply

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