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Paint A Picture For Your Mom On Mother's Day

Updated on June 23, 2019

Painting a picture for your mom would be a very thoughtful mother's day gift. This project is of a moderate cost because you have to buy a canvas, paintbrushes, and paint. However, if you are like me then 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 judged 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. | Source

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 when 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 lemon yellow, yellow ochre, and cadmium 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 since these are easy compositions to create. 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 cadmium, 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 sunset, 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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