I got to do something very grown-up and artistic this month. I got a right fancy art commission – like, when someone actually asks you to do a painting and wants to pay you for it. It made me feel like I knew what I was doing as an artist, and that was a pretty swell gift to me.

My friend sent me a pin (of course this all goes back to pinterest.com – where did you think it started?) and a request to paint something like this:

I wish I knew who the original artist was, but the image only links to a blog of a woman who used this as a reference and refrained from citing her source. Whoever you are, good job at thinking pretty.

I knew mine was going to be similar, but I didn’t want to just straight-up copy. Firstly, the source image wasn’t clear enough for me to get the details of the copy. Second, there were tiny elements of it which worked well in the original, but which I wasn’t excited about. Third, I had a few ideas for alterations that I wanted to try.

In essence, I wanted to paint a picture that was the reflection of what this painting made me feel.

Here it is in progress:

I started with four 12″x 24″ stretched canvases from misterart.com (they often have good deals on canvases – if I don’t buy from them, I buy from amazon.com or Hobby Lobby depending on sales and my location). Gradients are fun. I love gradients.

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Then I stenciled in the shape of the tree and the circles of the leaves. I knew doing so many circles freehand was going to be murder, so I didn’t do it. I used a stencil. Stencils are a wonderful thing, it also helped me keep up a pattern of randomness with the sizes.

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Again, I knew that the shape of the tree would dictate the painting of the circles, so that was my next step.

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The original image has very willowy, flowing branches, more like an impression of branches. I wanted mine to be a little more spindly, a little more knobbly, and just a bit more delicate.

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The next thing I did was prime the bubbles with color, blend in other colors, and putter around until I was pleased with the color arrangement. Then I glazed quite a few of bubbles with silver paint so they might shine in shifting light.

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I wanted each panel to have bubbles reflecting colors from at least two panels away. There are shadows of crimson on a few blue bubbles, and a hint of deep blue at the bottom of a few reds. Some of the yellows have faint greens, and the green has yellow highlights.

For a finishing touch, I traced silver veins through the tree bark to impart a hint of magic. See, it’s shiny!

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I hope these bubbly leaves brightened your day – I know they did mine. Happy painter, happy client, happy painting.

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