Paint your love a picture. It’s not hard, I promise! The trick is in the layers…
That is my inspiration piece on the left (I pulled it out of a magazine and the artist was not mentioned.) I started with a simple 12″ x 12″ canvas (from Meinenger’s here in Denver, but you can get one anywhere they sell art supplies), acrylic paint (I used red, pink and white, but use any color combo that tickles your fancy), a medium flat paint brush, a smaller round brush, and a skinny palette knife. My inspiration piece had what looked like scribbles, I chose to hand-write words from that famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem “How do I love thee?” (Sonnet 43). If your love has written you a great love letter, use that! Or choose something a bit saucier if that’s how you roll.
The first later is just a dark red brushed on thick. Let it dry.
Next, I used a tick layer of a darkish pink. This is the tricky part of the project. You have to move fast here before the paint dries to scratch in the letters. I used the butt end of my paint brush and just loosely long-handed the lettering, scrapping off the top layer, and stopping periodically to wipe the paint of the end of the brush.
Let that layer dry. Next draw on your heart shape with a pencil. (I free-handed my heart, and it is not symmetrical. I’m ok with this, but make yourself a heart template and trace it on if you want a perfect heart.) I used a lighter pink and started filling in the heart with only up-down, and side to side strokes.
Then continue adding a couple different shades of your colors in the same motion to fill in, and start using that palette knife to gently scrape over the wet paint to give it more texture.
Have a damp rag and some water standing by in case you mess up. You can remove the paint if it is still wet. You can fill in with a little paint up to the edges of your heart if you like. Remember to keep scrapping with the palette knife in up-down, side-to-side motions.
Then comes some more palette knife fun. Get a little paint (on the thick side, not drippy) on the knife and randomly scrape it on the whole painting in the same vertical-horizontal motion for added artsy texture. I did this in a couple colors.
Now it’s time to edge the heart in a rough, uneven way, still scraping over the lines with your palette knife.
Lastly, paint a few more words (I did a few in a light pink and a few in red) on top, and that’s it! A sweet, personalized artsy Valentine’s Day painting.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re having a fun one.