A DIY Christmas - Painting

Now that Christmas is over, I can finally share some of the DIY Christmas gifts that I made.  I did not expect to share most of these pictures, so sorry (not sorry) for the terrible picture quality and messes in the the background of almost every pulled back shot... I would rather spend time creating than cleaning.
This first one (above right) was pretty quick and easy.  I put dots of black and white all over the mat and let Cora go wild.  She added some more paint on her own and discovered a couple new painting techniques while she was working on this... it mostly involved her flinging paint everywhere.  I printed the 11x14" out through Shutterfly and taped it on the filler paper that comes with the frame (both frames were purchased at IKEA).

This next one took me a little longer.  Going along with the unintentional Wisconsin sunset theme, I decided to do a painting inspired by a picture I took of my sister and brother-in-law sitting on the dock together.  I started out by painting the whole canvas area gray (moodier sunset), sketched out a rough idea of where the horizon/trees, dock, and people were, then added in larger blocks of color.

I started adding in the warmer colors of the sun and played around with how that would look in the sky.  I also started working in more colors and details into the water.

Looking back, I kind of love how it looked here ^ but I'm also super happy with the final result, so I'm glad that I kept working on it.  below is where I hit my oh-crap-why-did-I-think-this-would-be-a-good-present stage of creating.  While I was really happy with the water, the sky was a challenge for me and I had to take a break from it for a couple days.

Quick sidetrack: in my art class in high school, we used magazines as palettes, so I started taking the leftover paint and folding the paper to make ink blot-ish art.  I still love to do that these days and will usually make sure to also put the 'blot' in my sketchbook so I have another layer to sketch on.  Here I used some of Alisa Burke's coloring page printouts as palettes.  I'll let it dry and then make a card or something out of it.

Back to the painting... So I kept at it and tried some different textures for the sky and finally came up with something I love.  I added all of the black/dark gray details and called it finished.  I couldn't get a super accurate picture color-wise because of the lighting in our home is always dark, but I also think this piece looks a million times better in person because you can see all of the details and texture.

I threw it in a frame and let it hang on my wall for a couple days before I wrapped it up.

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