April 23, 2012

The Process of Painting

Okeydoke, before we get started, I just wanted to let you know that I am an amateur painter.  I have only done about 8-10 paintings before, so the hints and tips I would like to share with you are just my way of painting or setting up how to paint a picture.  Ok, now on to the fun part.

Here is the finished painting of Mr. Octopus.  So how did I get there?


5 (10 1/4 x 35 1/4)  3/4 Plywood Boards
Ruler/Yard stick
White paint (Your Choice to cover the entire piece)
Paint colors of your choice  (I used a bright Yellow and Folk Art's Bark Brown, Deep Ocean Blue, and Metallic Pearl White)
Measuring Tape
Paint brushes of various sizes
Paint dobbers in various sizes
Small paint roller

Start with your boards...

I had previously painted them with this pattern below, so I actually needed to repaint my boards.

I just threw three coats of white paint over it...

Once it was all painted white and dry, I began to draw the Octopus out on the boards.
Sometimes I just freehand my paintings, but since this picture had more detail, I wanted to make sure I had the dimensions correct.

Here is the picture I printed from online.  I took the paper and divided it as if it was the five boards.  I drew my first line across the center of the page and then I did the next 4 lines vertical to see where the parts of the Octopus would lay on the boards.

I pushed all of the boards together and found the center and drew the horizontal line across all 5 boards.  I didn't have to draw the vertical lines since the cuts of the boards are where the vertical lines are.

Following the template on the paper I knew what part of the Octopus was on each board.  I started on the MIDDLE board and drew it from there.  I then drew on the left two boards and then the right two boards. 

Notice all the smudge marks, yucky yuck.  There goes my fresh white paint job.  Nothing a little touch up won't fix.

A little color makes a huge difference!  To get the yellowish-green color, I mixed the yellow with some turquoise and a couple small blops of brown to deepen the color.  I always either add gray or brown to a color to tone things down.  To me, it always makes a more pleasant color.

More than halfway finished with the base color.

So now that all of the Chartreuse base coat is complete, I needed to add dimension.  In this picture, you can see how one dimensional it looks.  So instead of just going with white circles, I went with a metallic pearl color to give it some depth.

Paint dobbers are one of my favorite things to use when painting.  You can use them to make precise circles or even use it to push paint to the outside of the object. 

I was able to make the circles and then push down with more pressure to create a lip around the circle that gave the suckers some depth.

This is where you would first color in the circle and then again, just put down some pressure, make your circular motions and you will have a 3 dimensional circle :)

Here is a close up of what I mean with the dimension on the circles.  I finished by lightening up the chartreuse color with a little white paint  and then used this color to add the center dots in the middle of the circles.  I also painted a little eye for Mr. Octopus. 

Where you can see the darker green lines on the outside of the tentacle, I used the same method of adding a thick line of paint to give it dimension.  I did this by adding a lot of paint to the paint brush and putting pressure down as I went along the lines.  It seemed to section out the tentacles and allowed the head of the octopus to go into the background.

I used the paint roller with white paint and got as close to Mr. Octopus as I could without touching to clean up all the pencil smudges.  Then I used a small paint brush with white paint to clean up the edges of the octopus and I called it done!

So how did we get Mr. Octopus up on the wall?  Here is where my handy dandy husband helped :)


Measuring Tape
Drill Bits
Dry Wall Anchors
Square Measure

First measure the hole  1 in. from the top and 1 in. from the side.  Do this for the hole on the right too.  Use the square measure to draw your line across.

 Drill at the intersection of the 1 in. top and 1 in. across with a paddle bit (bit on the left) to start your hole.  Drill down to where the higher points on the paddle bit touches the wood (you will see a circle forming).  MAKE SURE NOT TO GO TO FAR or your point of your paddle bit will go through the front of the wood!  

Change to a drill bit of equal size to your paddle bit.   Use drill bit to drill out hole to desired depth.  There are other ways to do this, but Dustin said that for him, this was the most accurate way to have uniformed holes throughout the wood boards. 

We used 1 in. distance between each board.  Measuring the entire painting with the 1 in. distances added in we got a measurement of 55 1/2 inches.  Our measurements between the screws on each board is 8 1/2 inches.

One last shot of Mr. Octopus in the Family Room :)

Whew! All done!! 

Keep in mind there are other ways to hang the painting, such as picture hangers, but this is how Dustin did ours so I just wanted to share!!

Linking to:

                                                              Skip To My Lou

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My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
DIY Show Off


  1. Pretty impressive for someone who only has painted a few times. It looks great!

  2. Wow this is so gorgeous! I cannot draw anything well at all, so I admire this so much! Love it!

  3. I really appreciate your comments, so sweet of you to say that, thanks :)

  4. Very cool composition! It looks great with your light blue wall.

    : )

    Julie M.

  5. Wow, I think it looks brilliant and really original, I would love to be able to paint. Xxx

  6. Thanks, I was hoping that the combination of the blue/green walls and Mr. Octopus would flow smoothly together :)

  7. Helen, Thanks so much for following my blog! I cam by to check yours out, I love the Octopus! So great! I just posted onto my facebook page. Have a great day!


    1. Thanks so much Linda, I'm so glad you like it and thanks for posting it on your fb page :)

  8. Just saw this on FB (posted by Linda of Seaside Style). I'm sooo impressed! Octi looks fantastic. You might get a kick out a post I did, featuring a diy octopus triptych. If you wish you can check it out here.

    1. Thanks for sharing Maya, she did an awesome job on her knock off!!