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Paint A Picture For Your Mom On Mother's Day

Updated on July 8, 2011

Painting a picture for you mom would be a very thoughtful mother's day gift.  This project will be of a moderate cost because you have to buy a canvas, paintbrushes, and paint.  However, if you are like me you probably already have these supplies lying around the house.  The next task is deciding what you are going to paint.  I usually visualize what I am going to paint and go from there.  For my mother's day painting I decided to create a Hawaiian sunset scene for my mother.  My preference is to sketch out the drawing before painting, but some artists prefer to just start painting.  Choose your own personal style and remember that you are not being judge by your art teacher here. 

Here is a picture of the tropical sunset I painted for my mom.
Here is a picture of the tropical sunset I painted for my mom.

Step One: Sketch Out Your Drawing

Sketch out the drawing on canvas.
Sketch out the drawing on canvas.

Take your time sketching out the drawing first on canvas.  The sketch is like a roadmap for the painting.  However, some artists prefer jumping to the actual painting, so decide what is best for you.  Affordable canvases can be purchased at Michael's, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafting Stores, and Wal-Mart. 

Step Two: Start Painting The Background

Start painting the background.
Start painting the background.

I especially love using bright and vibrant colors with I paint, even if these are not necessarily the exact colors of a sunset.  When I mix oil paints I do it on a whim and each time my hues are slightly different.  To achieve this really bright color I mixed together lemon yellow, yellow ochre, and cadium red.

Step Three: Adding In Background Details

Add in the details with finer brushes.
Add in the details with finer brushes.

Another reason I love painting sunsets is because these are easy.  At sunset we are focusing on shadow details, which means there is less hassle when it comes to adding colors to the canvas.  I wanted the water to stand out from the sky, so I added burnt sienna to my mix of red cadium, lemon yellow, and ochre yellow.  When I painted the sky and the ocean I used larger brushes to cover as much of the canvas as possible, but I go in with smaller brushes to add the details.  This is my vision of a sunset, so it may not look like an actual sunet, but I am happy with it.  Painting is a very personal experience where you and the canvas have a long dialogue together.  Sometimes you fight the canvas because it does not allow you to execute the strokes exactly as you plan, but when you slow down and are patient the canvas will work with you. 

Step Four: Adding The Final Details

I used black to add the shadow detailing.
I used black to add the shadow detailing.

When I was fourteen I came up with the idea of adding black for the shadowy foreground of sunset paintings.  It is just one of my favorite techniques, and I have seen some sunsets that have this look.  Here is a sunset near my parent's house that has those brilliant colors I mentioned.

Step Five: Cleaning The Brushes

I absolutely hate cleaning my paint brushes, and back when I used turpentine I could barely stand the smell.  Turpentine never cleaned my brushes exactly the way I wanted, and I was also looking for a cleaner that was more environmental friendly and did not smell.  In 2007 I was wandering around the aisles of Michael's and I discovered my new friend The Master Brush Cleaner and Preserver.  It comes in a contain that you open, wet the brush, and then you swish it around a few more times until the bristles are free of paint.  The Masters Brush Cleaner does a better job than turpentine in my opinion, and it actually helped to restore some of my damaged paint brushes.  I am cheap and usually only buy the cheaper variety of paint brushes, but with this new cleaner I am able to clean these easily.  If you hate the smell of turpentine and love oil paints the way I do, I recommend trying out this great product.  When I paint with oils I have a rule for myself of keeping the odors down to a minimum, which is easy to do since I only use this for a cleaner.

Step Six: Giving The Painting To Mother

If mom does not have room for a painting turn it into a card.
If mom does not have room for a painting turn it into a card.

If your mom does not have room for a painting you can turn it into a postcard.  Simply take a photograph of your painting and using photo editing software to cut it down to size.  Next, print out the picture on cardstock and cut off the excess edges. 

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    • profile image

      Alex-Bailey 

      6 years ago

      how cool is this website I could get anything with this website

    • profile image

      wenddy 

      6 years ago

      HaPpY mOtHeRs Day.I wish u all a nice day.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thanks for the comments everyone!

    • JohnBarret profile image

      JohnBarret 

      7 years ago

      That's really a good idea.

    • henry1robertson profile image

      henry1robertson 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA 90013

      Wow really awesome mother's day photo is amazing.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Paint a picture of something your mom loves and enjoys!

    • profile image

      lil' devil 

      7 years ago

      im 12 and im in 7th grade begining art and i always paint my mom a picture for holidays and such, today i have time to take out my paint but i have absoloutly no idea what to paint. i asked some of my friends but my mom is awesome so i want to make it special, any suggestions??

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I hope you enjoy taking one of those classes Whitney. It sounds like an enjoyable way to experiment with painting, and to create a gift for someone special.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      There are a few places semi-locally to me that teach you how to draw paintings. There is a new painting for each class, and you decide which one you want to paint and that's the class you go in for. It's like $30-$50 a class depending on the piece that you want to paint. They go step by step. It's pretty cool. Definitely something that would be good for Mother's Day, a holiday, or a birthday gift because there are many different options to choose from in regards to theme and style.

    • dealrocker profile image

      dealrocker 

      8 years ago from California

      Cool idea. I'll try. Overall, a nice hub. Liked your other hubs too. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Anamika,

      Appreciate your comments!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Yes, A picture for Mom sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the share.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thank you so much!

    • Sexy jonty profile image

      Sexy jonty 

      9 years ago from India

      SweetiePie .... This is just so sweet article ......

      You love your mother so much ..... it looks in your hub ....

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I am glad you liked it Kari.  I did write a hub about how to bake a cake, it is really easy one too it is from a boxed mix.

    • Princess Kari profile image

      Princess Kari 

      9 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      awwww that's so sweet :)

      I'm gonna go try it. this is a great hub, you make art look like something we can all do which is awesome.

      P.S. can you please write a hub about how to bake a cake

    • profile image

      garima 

      9 years ago

      my mother is very good and i ioves my mother very much from garima

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      You are really talented, thanks for sharing this. I have a brother who is an artist too.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I like your analysis ratcliffe. Thanks for commenting.

    • ratcliffe07 profile image

      ratcliffe07 

      9 years ago

      great painting! its very interesting and abastract...great use of colors

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very much so :). Thanks :)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      Great way to start the week, isn't it?

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Princessa,

      That is great to hear. I just commented on the blog and I am so happy!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      Congratulations SweetiePie, you did it again... you are in Google's first page. And guess what? You are being featured in the HubPages blog as the winner for last week's Mother's day Hubmob: http://blog.hubpages.com/2009/04/how-to-paint-you-...

      Way to go!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Anna,

      I am sure your mom loved the portrait. Also, my philosophy is the more we draw the better we can get, but if we are not practicing we cannot finely hone are techniques. I am sure your portrait was better than you thought.

      ripplemaker,

      You are so sweet :). Thanks for the compliment :).

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a sweet idea SweetiePie. :-) And I am sure your mom loved your painting esp. when it was done with so much love. :-)

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 

      9 years ago from Florida

      That is a wonderful idea!!!! You are very talented!! I did something similar for my mom one year. I drew her a portrait of my sister. I am no artist, and it turned out ok. Little did I know that just before that, she had commissioned an artist to draw a portrait of my sister. Mine wasn't nearly as good, but my mom loved it anyway.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very great ideas Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Sweetie, such a nice idea and lovely painting as well. You could even turn the postcard sized print into greeting cards.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Glassvisage,

      I saw your drawing hub and you are very good with sketching, so I am sure your painting is not as bad as you think. I will definitely make a painting hub in the future as I have not done that exact type of hub. Thanks for the great suggestion.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      That's a beautiful painting! I'm a terrible painter... I usually just keep it to black-and-white :) You should make a "How to Paint" Hub, unless if you already have. Great idea for Mother's Day!

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 

      9 years ago from MA, USA

      A fantastic idea. I love tropical sunsets and would treasure if my kids painted that for me. Another well detailed hub.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thanks Lgali!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 

      9 years ago

      Sweetie pie..

      What a nice idea to celebrate mother day excellent hub

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 

      9 years ago

      This is a great idea. I am not the best with painting though but I am fairly good with a camera. Taking a picture of somewhere special for my mom and framing it would be a good alternative for me.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      SoManyPaths,

      Any dodo who paints their mom a picture that is disturbing needs to make someone else buy a gift for them. Really I would not even think about that lol.

      Charanjeet,

      Thank you!

    • charanjeet kaur profile image

      charanjeet kaur 

      9 years ago from Delhi

      Sweetie pie a beautiful and clearly illustrated idea, love the pictures. The best fact is its simplicity and gives us an excellent option to try our hand with it thanks for sharing this.

    • SoManyPaths profile image

      SoManyPaths 

      9 years ago from West Coast USA

      That's is nice to do (as long as it is not a disturbing picture, of course :-))

    • aniketgore profile image

      aniketgore 

      9 years ago from India

      What a nice idea. And you explained it with beautiful pictures. Thanks for the Hub.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Thanks for the comments Frieda!

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      What a fantastic idea. Mother's do really appreciate our talents, so this is a good one, and so easy, even for people who aren't artistically inclined. Great step by step. Lovely work, SweetiePie. Thanks.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      waynet,

      I always sketched slow and kids used to get mad at me at school for it. I like painting, but I hate cleaning the paint brushes.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      9 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      It sure does, I can sketch pretty quick, but painting is my kryptonite as it were it just slows me down, even though I like to paint!

      Keep up these great hubs!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Waynet,

      I am sure your painting will be great. You are a master, so I understand that it is a process that takes time.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 

      9 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Yet another nice sunset painting and art instructions too.

      I myself have loads of paintings I painted years ago, but lately I have been buying new canvases but not got on with painting any new pictures, except one painting that I am trying to do for my own Hubpage, but I'm a slow and delicate painter and it's taking me awhile.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi CennyWenny,

      Art is definitely a personal thing, and it does make a wonderful mother's day gift. You can even make a card if you do not want to paint.

    • CennyWenny profile image

      CennyWenny 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Art is so personal, I would much rather have a painting from my genius friend then a genuine VanGogh in my house. I think that art is so subjective that it's the personal feelings one has for a piece that give it meaning. Were I a mother, I'd be thrilled with such a present!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Pete,

      I know many people paint better than I do, but I love to do it and that is why I continue. I stopped painting and drawing for most of my twenties because of art classes with professors that discouraged me. However, us fellow students always noted their were certain nice components to our painting, and thought the two professors I had were a little biased. One spent the entire course flirting with a pregnant married student, and the other one proclaimed he had never taken any teaching theory courses in his life, but back in his day they simply mailed you the credentials to teach. These professors had certain good points, but I did not major in art because of them.

    • Pete Maida profile image

      Pete Maida 

      9 years ago

      You've created a good how to for painting for any occasion. Unfortunately my sure there are a fair number of chimps that can paint better than I can.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hi Princessa,

      I am sure you can paint a beautiful picture Princessa!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      9 years ago from France

      What a wonderful idea. Like always so carefully explained, that even I am tempted to do it. Thanks for the idea !

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