Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ballard Designs Inspired Art

  Hi!  I'm here again with an inexpensive and fairly easy project.  (Don't you just love inexpensive and easy?!)  One of the websites I like to visit for inspiration is Knock Off Decor.  I love how people take items that come from somewhat expensive stores and make their own versions for cheap.  I have wanted to do a knock off myself ever since I discovered the site.  I looked at the different "high-end" store websites for inspiration and stumbled upon this little beauty.
Ballard Designs Quarter to Pink Outdoor Print
   This is a beautiful piece of art, but I can't afford the $159 price tag!  It seemed like a simple enough design that I could put a twist on and make my own.
   First of all, I selected a canvas that I got on sale at Michaels.  (Gotta love those sales!!!)  In pencil, I sketched a rough drawing of my inspiration piece.

   After I had my design sketched out, I decided what colors I wanted to use.  I called this Ballard Designs inspired art because I didn't want to copy the art exactly.  I used it as a sort of "jumping-off point" for my own design.  So I chose colors that I liked a little better than those in the inspiration piece.
If you like "paint by numbers," you're in luck! :)
   After I decided on my colors, I painted in the spaces designated in the photo above with the appropriate color.  For some reason, I didn't take a picture of this step for this particular painting, but here's a photo from another painting that shows this step.
   The above photo comes from my second piece of art I created using the same pattern.  I decided to paint the entire flower with the lighter color from my color scheme and then come back in with the darker color.  It worked fine.
   After you have all your colors "blocked" in, it's time for the only somewhat tricky part.  It's time for blending and shading.  Blending and shading takes a bit of practice, but they're much easier to do when you have an inspiration piece to guide you along.  If you look at my inspiration piece again, you can see that there are darker spots where the flower petals would have shadows and lighter spots.  You just need to try to mimic this with your paint.  Get a bit of the color you would like to use for a shadow or light spot on a small brush and dip your paint brush in water.  Then paint a line where you would like the shadow or light spot to be.  (Don't get too much water on your brush or you will have a mess!)  Then you can take another damp brush and blend the color so that it fades from darker to see through.  You can also do this without the water if your base color is still wet, but unless you use glaze, paint dries pretty quickly. It's hard to get the colors blended well when they're dry.
   When you have the petals shaded, you can work on the center of the flower.  I used the same wet brush technique to blend circular patterns on the outer ring of the flower.  I did this with a few different colors.  For the center of the flower, I stippled a lot of different shades of colors.  Since this is your piece of art, you can add as little or as much detail as you want.  When I finished my shading, I thought my petals needed a little something else, so I added some different colored streaks to them.  Then I had my finished piece of art!!!

   I forgot to mention that I added another petal to the left of my canvas before I was happy with the completed project.  It had a gap there that needed to be filled, so I filled it.  (This is definitely not an exact science!)
   As you can see, it's not that difficult to create a pretty piece of art when you have an inspiration piece to guide you.  Just keep in mind that you should choose a simple inspiration piece at first until you get more comfortable with painting.  And your first project may not turn out perfect, but that's okay.  If you would have wanted perfect, you could have bought a print. ;)
DISCLAIMER:  The purpose of this tutorial is purely for inspiration.  Please don't think you can copy Ballard or anyone's design (including mine) and sell it.  Thanks!


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