My first painting… at the end of painting week

I read Misty Mawn’s painting lesson for this week with excitement and enthusiasm on Monday. I spent my evening curled up with a nice cup of vanilla tea watching her painting videos for our class.

Then on Tuesday, I had errands and such to do during the day and my beginners knitting class in the evening. I came home and practiced knitting.

I continued to practice knitting on Wednesday. I did this because I was really getting into experimenting with the different stitches you can produce with various combinations of the basic knit stitch & the newly learned purl stitch, and because – let’s face it – I was putting off sitting down to paint. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving Misty’s class! I am just a little intimidated by the fact that her portrait painting video started off with an excellent basic sketch, complete with shading & contours. I am weak in the area of contouring and haven’t yet produced a sketch of a portrait that I believe worthy of turning into a painting. To be fair to Misty, she suggested starting out with color mixing and painting a banana.

As you can see, I finally took her advice and started with this banana… a mere 6 days after the lessons were posted and 1 day shy of the end of painting week.

What was I doing between Wednesday and Saturday, you may ask?

Well, I’ll tell you…

On Wednesday afternoon, I decided that perhaps I should start with something basic like color mixing. This required a stalling trip to the art store, even though I have tubes of primary colors in my studio. That was beside the point. At the end of this trip, I felt that I had done my painting assignment for the day by gathering the proper supplies and told myself that I would be all set to hit the ground running the following day.

Thursday came and it suddenly seemed like an excellent idea to browse my photo collection for pictures that I could use as models to sketch that portrait I am still obsessing about. I have many vintage images and managed to kill several hours assembling a selection of those to print out and have with my sketch pad when the mood struck to draw. I must not have been feeling very moody because, the next thing I knew another trip out to the art store to grab a pallet and some canvas paper on the way to pick up my husband at the airport seemed the most reasonable use of my time. Then, of course, hubby became the perfect distraction for the evening.

That brings us up to Friday. I spent Friday puttering about the house, running up to the studio where I did absolutely nothing except drop off a couple of things and make a quick run for it, and talking about the fact that I really needed to get started on my painting assignment. I did manage to get over to the grocery store, where I purchased a bunch of bananas, a tangerine, & a pear. I decided that perhaps starting out with the fruit was a good idea after all.

Which brings us to today. Finally, I have mixed my colors and attempted to paint fruit. I don’t love my banana, but I think it’s not so bad for a first attempt.

I’m fascinated with how difficult it has been for me to do something I was really excited about doing at the first of the week.

What was the hold up, really? Fear of failure? Fear of getting discouraged? Simple lack of focus? I’m still working that out… but in the meantime, I have painted my very first banana.

Yay me!


At any rate, it did make for kind of a fun post over at the facebook group for the class. Isn’t there something about when life gives you bananas…?

How to Paint a Banana

Step 1: Decided that your contours & values aren’t so good. Choose to practice for your beginners knitting class, and get distracted by yarn for a day or two.

Step 2: Come back to your sketch pad and doodle without doing anything to practice contours and values.

Step 3: Decide that you aren’t ready to paint because you haven’t got a basic sketch that you are happy enough with to attempt a painting of it.

Step 4: Stall on the sketch by going out to the local art store to buy paints and brushes even though you have everything you need in your studio. Feel like you have worked on your painting assignment by gathering the proper tools.

Step 5: Talk about how you are going to paint for another 2 days, during which you go back to the art store for a pallet & canvas paper.

Step 6: Go to the grocery store to gather a banana, a tangerine, & a pear. Who can say where inspiration will strike first?

Step 7: FINALLY, sit down to mix paint. Discover that the mixing is tricky to get just the color you want, but make do with what you can manage anyway, vowing to practice that better at a later time.

Step 8: Start painting & be pleasantly surprised at  the fact that it isn’t as bad as you had feared. It’s actually kinda fun. 

Step 9: Accept the fact that you are not going to produce a perfect banana like one of the Dutch Masters. Enjoy the process anyway.

Step 10: Discover that adding in the background is way harder than Misty made it look!

Step 11: Go back and fix the parts of your banana that you overpainted with that stoopid background.

Step 12: Decide that you have done ok for your first time out and admire your sad little banana.


2 Responses to “My first painting… at the end of painting week”

  1. I am still cracking up! I think you did a most awesome job….stalling and all….its so awesome! I am SO glad we are friends!!!

  2. I know the feeling.Sounds like you were going through the process necessary for you to be creative. I have similar experiences. Different times of the day are better or worse for me at times.
    Your banana turned out really very well!

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