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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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