A Little Bit of Paint...

A month or so ago, my friend Kris invited some of us 'Material Girls' to join her in attending a Paint Your Pet art party, a fundraiser for Hug-a-Bunny Rabbit Rescue.

It sounded like fun, but I was ambivalent about attending since most of my painting experience involves rollers or stencils on walls and spray paint on furniture - and nothing requiring drawing a face! I finally decided to give it a whirl and I'm glad I did because the more I look at my painting, the less I critique it:

Penny & Keli

The fundraiser event was held at a local volunteer ambulance meeting room and was run by Bottle & Bottega New Jersey-Central. They set us up with canvas to paint on, brushes, easels, aprons and paint and guided us through creating a painting based on a photo of our pets. This was not so much a painting lesson as it was an introduction to the experience of creating. For me, it was challenging, but fun.

I have lots of acrylic paints and various brushes in my craft stash, which I've accumulated and used to paint things like wood shelves and frames or stencils on walls. I rarely draw anything, unless it's to sketch a pattern for a bag or some sewing or building project.

Of course, I made it more difficult on myself, because I insisted on using a photo with both Keli and Penny in it, so I had to do everything twice - but really, how could I choose one over the other? Here's my inspiration photo, taken last November for Thanksgiving:

Penny & Keli

We started by sketching shapes onto the canvas with pencil. I was rather proud of my efforts:

Sketch

Next we filled in the background and began shading our pets' features. I picked bright blue colors for my background and planned to change the bandanas colors, too. Here, one of the instructors is trying to help me figure out how to add some shading and mix colors:

Photo by Bottle & Bottega New Jersey-Central
We were given acrylic paints in basic colors - red, blue, yellow, green, purple, black and white. For other colors, we needed to mix and blend these together.

We had about 1.5 hours for painting and the time flew by so quickly! I spent a lot of time fixated on trying to mix just the right shades of Westie whites, and by the time I figured it out, we were almost out of time. So my face details were a bit rushed and to me, feel a bit unfinished. As a learning piece, I'm happy with it, but I think I could have done better.

Kris did a great job painting her bunny, Galen, one of Hug-A-Bunny's rescues; she even brought her own brush:

Photo by Bottle & Bottega New Jersey-Central

Here's Kris's finished painting:

Galen

You can see lots more photos of the event including a group photo on Bottle & Bottega New Jersey-Central's Facebook page in this Photo Album: 5-5-2013 Hug-A-Bunny Rabbit Rescue Fundraiser. Everyone did a good job of painting their pets and the rescue raised about $700!

Will I try painting again? Maybe. I see myself doing some sketching again soon, because I'd love to use this same photo to make a small picture quilt.... and maybe painting with thread!

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