Art Night Inspires Clarkies’ Inner Bob Ross

Emma Theisen, Contributing Writer

Hello, welcome back. It’s certainly great to see you today at art night. You know what, I’ve put all the colors across the screen for you so you can run to the back of the room and really panic looking for colors just as this tutorial is starting. Now, of course, to start off, the canvas has been covered in a nice layer of liquid white that no one watching at home has or understands. And for today’s painting, why don’t we do just a simple little scene that once you get into it, won’t seem so simple anymore.  

Let’s start off with just a tiny bit of paint on your brush and do some nice criss crossing strokes on the canvas. Turns out that no matter how hard you try, your red just doesn’t look as pink as mine. This is when you’ll realize that I’m using oil paints, and you only have acrylics, which dry almost immediately and make all the important techniques like blending impossible. But anyhow, let’s keep up the fast paced tutorial. Remember, as you lose more and more confidence as time passes, this is our world, and in our world we can do any old thing. 

Now let’s add some blue to our nice pink sky, but remember the blue is much stronger than the pink and it’ll just eat it right up. Oh, looks like you may have learned that the hard way. That’s alright, there are no mistakes, only happy little accidents. If you want, just make an indication of a happy little cloud, those little fellows make everything better. What’s fantastic about this is that anybody can put a little masterpiece on canvas – what, you don’t believe me?

Now I’m thinking we need some still water, I love water. And luckily, it’s pretty simple to paint – just straight strokes going towards the middle. If you accidentally connect the side strokes, just try to mix some colors and dab them on and hope for the best and maybe the depth we are aiming for will appear. I’m thinking now to darken the corners of the painting, but you entirely missed that since your water just doesn’t quite look right.

We are going to now move on to the parts that can cover up anything that’s looking a little off, and let’s be honest, that could be everything. Let’s create some mountain shapes that are actually distant trees that kind of look like more clouds. Time to be brave now, as we are adding some dark little trees and my fan brush scratching technique might be hard to emulate. The trees will get bigger and more intimidating, but can also be used to cover the ugly ones you made in the back. Add some white here and there because I did, and get some random colors that you think can fix the parts of your painting you don’t like and put your signature on it. 

Once you let it dry and step back a little, and maybe even squint, you can really appreciate the art you’ve made and maybe send it to your mom so she can tell you how creative you are.

Now remember, the whole reason we got to have this nice time together was thanks to the Educational Studies Program, so if you feel inspired and want to teach others something, like how I helped you to paint your beautiful little masterpiece, talk to them about how to get involved. The next Splash event is November 10th, and I don’t think anything is more rewarding than expressing yourself to others through a creative outlet, and as long as you believe in yourself, you can be an amazing participant for this event.

Happy painting!