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Being an actual artist

Not only have I been styling myself as an actual artist lately, I've also been doing actual art! The Facebook algorithm served up some Life of Colour boards and acrylic paint markers one day and they looked cool so I bought them.

And then, rather than let this new craft sit unopened for years, I actually started them!

The paint pens are really easy to use, just like normal textas, but are filled with acrylic paint rather than ink. You can colour with them just like a normal texta and don't have the mess of paint palettes, brushes and water.

I started out dabbling with the mandala design on the shipping box.

I liked the idea of blending the colours a bit and found that the cardboard could get overworked when I did that and start to pill a bit, so I did some research and got some All Purpose Sealer from Spotlight. The sealer makes the surface smoother, so easiler to blend colours, and also stops the cardboard from pilling.

Now that I've learned a few things with the practice on to the real thing!

I was going to start with the board I liked the least so I could practice on that and save the 'better' ones so I don't muck them up. ... But that's a trap a lot of new crafters fall into which then turns into a hurdle that stops them enjoying their new craft. So I decided to dive right in with my favourite design, the tree and sunset. It was the one I had the most ideas for and was the most excited to do.

I was inspired by Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree from Norse mytho- ok I confess the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I wanted the tree's roots to be in space. The sealer on the board came in useful here to make a kinda smudgy nebula effect.

I dabbled briefly with the idea of doing some Nordic runes on the tree branches, but felt that it would be appropriation of a culture I really don't understand or have any connection to.

Once I worked out I was happy with the tree being a plain brown I started on the hills. I had no idea what technique I wanted to do there. In the picture above I'm sampling two approaches - one more stained glass like from the Life of Colour website, and another more simple green/blue. I didn't really like either option.

I rummaged through my partner's woodwork shed and found some acrylic paint, including this forest green. I painted over the hills using this green to make them more natural looking (on the right in the picture above), but that was too boring so I then coloured over some of the hills again in blues and purples.

I then took a moment to discuss the merits of each approach with Sienna. Sienna said that neither of the artistic styles I went for here involved eating cabanossi so really the whole endeavour was pointless.

She does have a point.

My brief foray into actually painting the green hills with paint and a brush reinforced just how messy and irritating actual painting is. I'm looking forward to playing more with my paint markers.

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