Painting Mountains

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on painting mountains with those fun watercolour pencils I found. The reason being, I was practicing to come up with an image to paint onto a dresser. One of my favourite furniture people, Marion Parsons (Aka: Miss Mustard Seed), did some beautiful dressers with landscapes, and ever since seeing them I've been wanting to try it so badly!

I've been on a Magnum P.I. marathon, as it happens to be one of my favourite tv shows ever, Higgie baby! As everyone knows, it's filmed in Hawaii, and after seeing all those beautiful mountains I was inspired to paint some! 

I finally came up with an image that I really liked, and decided to use that one for the dresser. 

Here's the patient I chose for my little experiement.

I first painted a pale blue base colour over the whole piece, as my girl Marion did. Then I got Isaac to help me bring the dresser in the house and we plopped it on the coffee table. It's the best room for light, plus I knew it was going to be a long process and I wanted to be comfy.

 So there I sat, on my couch with my pal Magnum on tv to keep me company for the whole day. It took about 8 hours or so. I drew with chalk the main outlines of the mountains and plains, and started filling in with colour. 

To do the sky I applied some blue paint around the mountain and hill tops. Then I would dip my brush in water to dilute it, and spread it out and up from there, creating a smooth transitional ombre look. 


Texture was one of the biggest challenges I found. Trying to make it look natural and not just like a bunch of boring brush marks was kinda tough. By the end of the day I figured out that cotton balls dipped in some water and rubbed or dabbed over the wet paint worked pretty good to create different blending and shading. 

 There was a lot of back and forth for the mountains and hills. I'd paint something I thought I liked, and then I'd end up hating it, so I'd paint over it. It definitely wasn't as easy as doing a little watercolour painting. Trying to mimic my original drawing was impossible, as you can see the dresser mural turned out a lot different. Watercolours blend and blotch and texturize with minimal effort and really make their own magic, and working with acrylic paint is totally different. Because of that I feel the dresser pales in comparison, but c'est la vie. I'm still quite pleased with how it came out, and I have plans to do another in the future!

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Out of the whole thing, I find that I'm most content with the sky part. That shade of blue is so dreamy, and I've decided the next time I'm going to use all pastels!