Do you guys remember the kitchen towel holder that I just made? And do you remember how I had no idea what to do with the area above the knobs? Well, you guys gave me some GREAT suggestions and I had an idea of what I was going to do, until I got a random memory of how I wanted to use artichokes in the kitchen. Dilemma solved!...Well, sort of. I didn't want to go searching for the perfect artichoke print, which meant I would have to paint my own, and I haven't painted in a really long time (think last Christmas!), which meant super duper rusty painting skills...but alas, I bit the bullet and went to Michael's for some canvas. I bought a 3-pack of 11x14 canvases and used a coupon, so it came out to somewhere around $3 total.
Are you guys ready for blogland's worst tutorial ever? Sorry, but when I paint I get in a zone and kinda sorta forget to take pictures =)
So once the little guy was down for his nap, I brought out my good ol' paint supplies and painted my canvas white. Then I mixed what was supposed to be a lime green (according to the bottle, but it so wasn't the color I was expecting!) and just a smidgen of black.
TIP: It only takes a teeny tiny itty bitty amount of black to darken something and a lot of white to lighten something.
I didn't have an actual artichoke in front of me so I found an artichoke painting online and used it as a reference (is that like stealing??). I then drew an artichoke on my canvas with pencil and roughly filled in the spaces. I left some white around the edges so that it didn't all blend together.
Next, I mixed in a little bit more black and did some shading.
This is the point in my paintings where I usually think it looks so ugly and there is no way to turn it around and then I have to give myself a little pep talk and try and convince myself that it will get better.
So after my convo with myself, I took some black to do some more shading, and I also added a little bit of red on random spots.
TIP: Water is your best friend if you are using acrylics! If you get too much paint on your canvas, you can easily take some off or blend it if you add water. Sometimes I'll even dip my finger in water instead of using a brush.
It was looking a wee bit bright and the lines were too harsh for me at this point so I did a very light white wash over the entire artichoke and also added some Minwax Dark Walnut to age the painting.
But I really didn't like how muddy the stain looked, so I went back and did another white wash over the entire piece, which gave it some dimension.
The last thing I did was paint some white on some areas that would naturally be highlighted.
At this point, I called it a day because it was late and I was tired of painting, but I kind of wish I spent more time on it. Oh well!
I felt like it still needed a little somethin' somethin' so I printed the word 'Artichoke', with a little border, out to attach to the top.
So, back to the kitchen towel holder. I didn't want to secure it directly to the front because I was afraid it might take some of the stain off the door if I ever removed it, so I ended up attaching a floor tack to the front and hanging it with twine.
Ready for the final product?
Please excuse the blurriness.
I wanted to add a little bit more interest to the 'Artichoke' label, so I added a copper brad in each corner.
And a closeup.
My kitchen towels are green and I think they will look great with this!