Starting to Get Serious

Hi. This time, I didn’t make another painting. I was wondering of trying other things like sketching people. I’m very bad at painting people. I want to paint them someday but I guess I would start small again and just do some sketching. So this picture below was my schoolmate. She really looked good in that picture and was interested of sketching it πŸ™‚ I hope I could paint it too. But again, I’ll do some sketches first. And didn’t do the hands well. I was thinking of practicing drawing and painting body parts and soon put it all together. So, tell me what you think guys πŸ™‚

Violin with Acrylic medium

Hi Friends! I’ve been practicing my painting skills since May 5, 2012. I think I’m not taking good care of my talent well because its been a year since I stopped painting. I turned to carving and architecture but ignored painting. So I’m going back and I’m practicing it again. I still have the talent. I believe that once you own a talent, you won’t ever lose it. I’m practicing subjects that are hard for me to paint (like last time, I practiced painting furs). This time, I’m practicing painting still objects with acrylic medium. I usually use watercolor but for a change, I’m going to use acrylic so that my skill in painting would improve more.

So, right, I painted a violin. I chose that because of the details in it. I can’t say I painted it perfectly. I’m still practicing. If you look it in person, it looks great but there are still flaws in my painting. I’m sharing this so that I can know your views about my painting and so you can give me friendly comments andΒ advice. So this violin is painted on my practice board (1/8 bainbridge illustration board). It was fun painting this violin but it took me a lot of time.

I painted the strings using tape. I could have used white colored pencil but I forgot to bring it with me to the province. I put tapes on the area where the strings should be painted and it served as a “mask”. The only part where there’s no tape is the string. I painted them white (acrylic) and removed the tape. Then, there it is, a straight line! πŸ™‚

Vermont Barn

Hello Everyone, today, I saw a forum, a great forum. Its like a family there and I could take a look of their paintings and comment them. They are really good in painting too! πŸ™‚

So there is a topic “weekly photo challenge” where the members submit a photo and other painters could paint it but there is a challenge of course and I think its fun!Β  I saved the picture. Here it is:

The challenge is to make a painting based from the picture. WeΒ  can use any types of medium and can change the color or the composition. And there is a date of deadline or sometimes date of target post. And this one is the latest. So I tried this. Since the challenge was to paint a picture based from this I did not copy it totally. I made some changes in the middle because while I was working, I just realized that I do not have to copy the picture. So I just made some few changes.

Here is how I made it:

First Method:

Light sketches first. Because the picture was very challenging and it really suits the weekly photo challenge for many painters. It took me one hour to sketch though. It was hard for me because it’s the first time I painted something like this.

After sketching, of course the usual. I made light washes. Unfortunately I don’t have the picture. After washing I went into detail. So here is the final picture:

When I was painting the colors, I just realized that I don’t have to copy the picture totally. So What I added was a house in the left side. and also I changed the look of the trees. And made my own shadows.

I don’t know if you’ll like it. Because was not so fascinated by it. For me, it was good. I was not just amazed by it. So what do you think? Is it good? What I like here is the grass and the barns. I just wish I could get better in landscape soon πŸ™‚

~Martha Tomas

Still Life ~ pitcher and mug

Hellooooooooo Guys!!! I’m back!! I made a new painting and I was really happy and this painting I made is really special. You want to know why? because if you see how It looks like, It look like I was not the one who did it! haha. By the way, I was so excited. Really really, really excited!! πŸ™‚

I think I improved if you compare this word from the Church I painted. Later on, you will know what made this painting so special to me. πŸ™‚ Here is the still life subject I found on google. I picked this because I thought this will be very challenging for me to do. Something new and something I’ve been wanting to do. It will challenge me in lighting effects, from shading to detail and more πŸ™‚

But though, it was not actually imitated. My painting was lighter in color than this. But speaking of lighting and details, I think It was good enough. This was very special to me because before I did this project, I read the book I was reading about art. I was learning first the tones, the details, the values and everything I need to learn about. I also read about how to do still life in watercolors. Later I’m going to show you how. That was what I learned.

So Here is my methods and the method I read on the art book:

I used many sizes of brush. I used a large flat brush for washing. For the very little light effects, I used a very thin Chinese brush. And for painting other parts, I used a watercolor brush and a small flat brush.

First Method:

The first thing I did was soft sketches. It was really hard for me to do the sketches and rubbed many times. So maybe it took me one hour to do this.

I also looked and looked over the picture to estimate size and measurement. It was a hard work but in the end, I made it successfully.

Second Method:

After the soft sketches, I did the washing just to guide me. The picture you are seeing now is not the wash I did. The first wash I did was a light but warm colour. I think it is peach color.

After that light wash, I washed it with its colors. it is just to guide me in painting. Because I was so aware of painting it with the right colors.

Third Method:

I went into detailing now. In the second method, I washed it with its original colors also because it helps me in detailing. If you notice, the pitcher and the mug’s color became lighter than in the second method.

I kinda messed up a little here – the shadows. But I managed to repair it. Also, in the light effects, it was sort of hard to do. There must be some areas that should not be painted because the white paper is the lightest tone that must be there. Thankfully, I managed to make a good lighting. After the cloth, the jar, I also fixed the detailing in the pitcher and mug. Also in the table and background.


I really went into detail. I made the background light in color so that the table, the cloth, the pitcher and the mug would be emphasized. I messed up in the background but it was okay. After detailing, I just add up touches to satisfy me. You can say that a painting is finish when you think you have express all what you want to express on the flat surface. So my last touches were just the shadows and lighting in the table. I painted the table brown but it got darker so what I did was flooded it with water and absorbed it with a paper. It was not that hard to make changes in watercolor medium. To make lighter areas in the table, I painted some areas with white paint. After the lighting, I went with shadows but that was not that hard.

For the background, there are some blue and light green painted on some areas. I made it by painting blue first but it was very watery and also with the light green.The shadow in the background was a mess but I think its alright.

If you compare my painting to the picture, it is much lighter in color. So, that’s it. It was very hard. I made it with no rest, no drinking water so I was thirsty after finishing. Haha, it took me three hours to finish but it was all worth it! I learned about tones and value. Tones and Value are really important in painting because it gives drama to the painting. While I was painting it, I learned all about it and a great look of a painting. That really made me happy :).

So, what do you think? πŸ™‚

What I learned about tone and value –

A simple way to understand tone is to thing of a colored photograph of a scene and then imagine the scene rendered as a black and white photograph

There is no shortcute in understanding tone.

Direction of light isΒ  very important.

Light and shadow and create atmosphere and drama in the painting

In watercolor, you always work from light to dark- the white of the paper will be your lightest areas.

A Landscape

Hello again everyone! I was really busy doing a painting yesterday and I made a landscape πŸ™‚ A silhouette of a ligh pole.

I don’t know what you can say, but I was really happy about it πŸ™‚ I found the picture from google . Here, take a look πŸ™‚

I was quite amazed with that picture so I tried painting it with watercolor and pastel. I just used oil pastel to crisp the watercolor though. So I don’t know if it was really really good, but I was happy with it.

I first painted the background. I did not do any sketches. I just stroke my brush everywhere of course with the appropriate color and brush. I did not do the silhouette of the light pole and the trees because I think I could overlap it with black. For the sunset, it was hard for me to do that. First is layering it with light orange and cover the center with yellow. I don’t know how to make the circle in the middle at first because it is really a rich yellow color. So what I did was I took a white paint and painted a circle there. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do but it looked good to me. and for the grey clouds, I painted it with grey. If you could examine the picture very clearly, the grey clouds somehow have crisps.Β  That was the oil pastel. I did not abuse the use of oil pastel too much because I might make it look bad since I am not really good at using oil pastels.

And the last step I made was painting the bottom black. I just made curved edges but I did not do much details.

FINALLY, I did the silhouette of the light pole and the trees. I also made more details in my painting. After it was finished, I used the oil pastel again for the grey cloud again. Just to make more details and do a little smudges with my pointing finger.

And then that’s it. I worked with it quite long with hard work. At first I thought, “whoa.. I could not make the light effects since I am bad at it.” and “how can I make the skies and the grey clouds?”. So I experimented on it. I was also careful with the colors. Before I paint it with the illustration board, I tested the color in a scrap paper first πŸ™‚ I was happy it looked OK.

So, what do you think? πŸ™‚

Still Life ~ Getting to Know Colour

People who just started painting (including me) always look for a hope of succes that someday we might be really good at it. We sometimes think that only if we could control everything, we could be such great painters like so many great artists. But the only formula of success is Hard Work and Practice.

Painting is about colour on a flat surface and you use to do it to express what you feel and describe what you see. Still life has one of those. You paint still life and describe anything you see, from tones, textures, value or light. But in order to do that familiarize yourself with colors.

It sounds untrue but it really is hard to recognize a color especially at your first look. I discovered that fact from the book I read and I realized that sometimes when you lookΒ  at an object first, take for an example a tree, you know their leaves are gream but if you examine carefully and look at it for many times, it is actually quite yellowish green. But when you practice and practice, you become better and it will train your eyes to make fine judgments. So you need to train your eyes to carefully look and to really see, to identify and sort a colour. A person who is at first time of painting can also do this because there are only some of the basics to become good.

I found this simple exercise from the book I read about getting to know color. everybody can do this even for those who don’t really paint or draw. Maybe this will encourage youΒ  to pursue painting. This exercise is just using shapes, colors and examinations.

Take a simple subject. I am taking a banana as my subject.

TIP: Take a your own subject. A subject that will be challenging for you to examine colors.

What you need to do is to paint your subject flat, ignoring the shadows, texture, light or dark sides of it.

You can use watercolor, acrylic or any medium you found easy to use and not too complicated with colors.

First Thing: Outlining the area of colors with your brush.

Second Thing: Fill it with the colors. Before painting on the area, test the color on any scrap paper your find because the color can look different on the paper and on a palette.

Third Thing: Finishing the painting, look carefully on the detail but ignore those dark and lights. Touches of color will complete the painting.

After that, you produce a color that was seen by your eye. Look carefully at the painted banana, it is flat because I disregarded the shadows and the light to dark tones.

That exercise only train your eyes to recognize colors. Do it often or regularly and soon your eyes will be good at recognizing colors.



Use twoΒ  bowls of water. One to mix colors and the other to clean your brush.

Don’t worry about shades, texture or anything. Of course that is needed to make a great painting but that is not applied in this exercise. It is not what the picture looks like but what you have learned in this article.

Step one

Step two


Anyone can draw!

“Anyone who has started painting has a seed of an artist within them. That seed may grow into something creative and wonderful or it may be somewhat limited but we cannot know the extent of our potential unless we develop it to the full” ~Ken Howard

I was reading a book entitled “The Complete Artist”. That book is obviously all about art. Then I read those lines and found them so inspiring. Everybody can paint and draw even if it is just people made of sticks or just shapes. That is how everyone start. Some people give up on drawing easily because they wanted to be good fast like in a blink of an eye. It may only be limited but it all takes time. You can’t do magic to make good, good paintings in two to four minutes at your first time of painting or drawing. Practice first. Everybody has the potential, we just don’t know to what extent. So, we should develop it to the full.

Don’t be in a hurry. Take small steps. Start drawing with pencils and after that take another step until to the extent you know everything about art or drawing. Remember that when you draw something like an object or a good view or landscape even if it is only shapes of a circle or 2D shapes like a drawing of a baby child, you will see it in your own personal way because the picture you drew was drawn through your own hands.

Don’t be afraid to express your love and passion for art. Practice, practice and practice. Just remember to take it easy. take small steps to success.

“Practice hard, for it is only through practice that you will finally discover the freedom and fluent command” ~Ken Howard.

Practice is everything. It is how all people start. When you practice painting or drawing there will be a time your hands are really developed. But still improve them because you don’t know the extent of that talent. Keep discovering things and dont be satisfied with just knowing at the beginning. Know all the things you need to know. Look for improvements until you find how well-developed your skill in art becomes. Don’t just stand on that same position, walk forward.

I believe painting is the life around us. The picture of beauty of your emotions through simple strokes of a pencil or a brush and the flow of your hands.

Start doing what you really love. Be dedicated to it. Be inspired about it! You can start anytime or rather, NOW! πŸ™‚

~Martha Tomas

How to clean your oil pastels!

Hey Everyone. I just found out how we can take care of our oil pastels, I mean, cleaning them. Simple and inexpensive! Maybe you have this at your home or in the groceries. πŸ™‚

I found this fact from youtube, and I would like to share it to you. You can clean your pastels just with the use of cornmeal!

I am sorry I could not make it bigger. This is just the available size.

Ok, as what I’ve studied, it is a flour ground from dried corn..I know everyone knows that :)) haha anyways, you can clean your pastels just with the use of that. Very inexpensive, right?

So, what you need to have is your pastels, and a bowl of cornmeal. When you have that, all you have to do is put your pastels into the bowl of cornmeal and spread your pastels there. Do clean the pastels like you are washing them. After that, you can see your pastels not very clean but clean! Your cornmeal will look dirty and muddy after cleaning but don’t throw them away because there are still clean parts. When you can’t see anymore clean parts in your cornmeal and looks really really muddy, you can throw them away.

That is how simple you can clean your oil pastels. I hope this is a helpful information for you. πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

images from wikipedia: and from google about pastels:

Green Butterfly

I got bored this day and all I wanted to do is paint and paint. But early in the morning, I don’t have any ideas so I asked help from my classmate and she gave me a picture that she wanted me to paint. Here it is:

This is the Picture my classmate wanted me to paint…Her name is Celine. πŸ™‚ When I saw this, I really wanted to try painting this. But IT WAS SO HARD!! I was imagining on finishing it for 5 days!! It was so challenging… and the outcome… I don’t know if you’ll like..

Well, I worked hard on the outcome so I guess it was ok. There is still next time. And That time, I wish I could make it good πŸ™‚

This is how I painted it. I painted with watercolors in tubes. And Illustration Board and of course, the brushes. And somehow my strokes were hard and rough.


Sketching First Step:

I sketched the butterflies lightly. I did not sketch the background. IT WAS SO HARD FOR ME. MAYBE OTHERS CAN DO THAT. I WISH I COULD SOMEDAY DO THAT! I was so nervous in sketching because so far, this is the hardest picture I have ever painted. And also you know why I sketch first because I was so scared of making any mistakes…

Second Step:

I painted the background with yellow-green and wash the two little butterflies. Then I painted the butterfly first. I did not do the flat wash because it might be muddy. It took me one hour to do that! PHEW! My classmate keep on encouraging me so I was somehow happy that it gave me the strength to finish it in one day.

Third Step:

I painted the two little butterflies. The reason why I washed them because it was too little and I could not see them clearly…I did not do anything with the background.

Then After I painted the butterflies. I took a rest. It was really challenging and I don’t want to take days to finish it.

Fourth Step:

Then I abused all my time to make the background after doing the butterflies. It was hard. When I finished the left side of the background, I took a rest again. It took me less than an hour but more than 30 minutes, I guess. I did repeated strokes because I was not satisfied. But gladly, it somehow looked good. But I was not expecting that it would look the same as the original picture. So I decided to make my own touch in the background. Then after I rested, I did the last step…


I couldn’t say it was really good like the fruits I painted. (

I was kinda proud because I was able to paint something like this although it was not imitated perfectly. I was proud by the fact that I made my own touch in this painting. And somehow, the composition looked the same. So , over all, I was satisfied.

What do you think? πŸ™‚