This blog has moved!

Please join me at: and there I will share with you my art and life!

Monday, October 14, 2013

How I painted a canvas custom painting for a nursery

My husband's sweet friend contacted me and asked me to do a special painting. She is having a baby girl around late December and wanted to use the painting as the focal point of the room as well as the inspiration for wall color, bedding, etc. I also have to tell you that this gal is gorgeous. As in, we all wish we looked half as good as her while we were pregnant. She is a doll!

Now first off, what an honor! I know that when I was expecting my two pumpkins decorating the nursery was one of the most supreme delights. What you put into the baby's space or room defines you hopes for your sweet little baby. Working on this felt really special.

But...custom orders are intimidating! Especially to a newbie like me. You worry a lot about whether you are heading in the right direction. You feel really self conscious too. When you are painting for yourself it doesn't matter if you mess up. You just get a new sheet of paper or whitewash the canvas. When it is an order you don't want to waste time! Who wants to dilly dally? Thankfully this painting was a fun assignment and right up my alley. I enjoy doing whimsical, sweet, children's paintings.


These were the guidelines or suggestions I was given:

-Acrylic or Oil Paint
-Large canvas painting 2x3 feet (a really great size for a kid's room)
-Color: pinks, purples, yellows, soft blues, and greens
-Little girl on a swing with dark hair and a white dress

And then the process:

So I first started sketching with a pen and paper.

Then I wanted to get a feel for the colors and the setup, so I made a collage in photoshop using photos I manipulated. You can do this too! Collect some favorite pictures from the internet from sites like Getty Images and use them as inspiration or a model for what you want to create. The internet is such a great resource for artists. Especially when doing human forms.

Collage made in Photoshop to give an idea for colors and setup.

Next came color blocking the sky light blue and the ground green.

Next I tried something different from normal: I mod podged torn tissue paper onto the canvas. It gave it a cool, random crinkle effect and since it was a lustre finish it had a glossy gleam to it. I made the mistake of painting a sky with gloss before, but I ended up loving the effect! When I painted images on top of it they would lack the gloss, so when the painting was angled a certain way only the background would gleam! The effect shows off most during sunset.

After that dried I started to work on the clouds.

Then came the meat of the picture: sketching the details.

I drew the tree limbs, the girl, and some flowers. I got bored drawing the flowers and just decided to paint.

And then finished!

I hope this helped anyone that is starting to paint or that is starting to get custom work orders! What is wonderful is that if you like it, then you can make art prints of it. Sometimes something that is requested isn't normally something you would do...but ends up being a hit! So take a chance on it.

Just be YOU :)


  1. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I love how her hair looks flowing behind her just perfect!

  2. This is beautiful. You are an amazing artist!