Step One: The Outlines
First, I used to transfer paper to trace around the castle and the silhouette of Rapunzel and Flynn in the boat (I am not very good at drawing complex shapes, so transfer paper it is!) onto a 16×20 canvas. Then I used a thin, medium lengthened scripture brush to outline them in black paint. This way, after I am done with the background, I can still see the outlines to fill in the shapes later.
Step Two: The Sky
For the sky, I used several shades of purple. I used a large, rounded scruffy brush that was slightly damp (wet enough to flick a little bit of water off, but not dripping). I painted about an inch from the top of the canvas, and used “Wild Iris” (a pinkish purple) and painted about three quarters of the length of the castle. I used a lot of paint so it would still be relatively wet for blending. Without rinsing my brush, I then used a darker purple called “Royal Violet”, and blended it into the “Wild Iris” on the very top of the canvas (the inch of space left at the top). I drug the paint down into the “Wild Iris,” which was still pretty wet in order to get the colors to blend nicely. I did the same method under the “Wild Iris” with a regular purple (the paint color was just purple), except I blended down towards the bottom line of the castle rather than up. I continued this process until I was the bottom of the castle, never rinsing the brush, and using lighter shades of purple (“Petunia Purple” and Purple Lilac”). (Ignore the gray that extends past the castle- it gets covered up in step two.)
This is the video I used to learn how to do this blending technique.
Step Three: The Water
For the water, I used the same brush as I did for the sky (rinse off the purple first) and used the same blending technique. I started with a darker blue called “Admiral Blue” and started right at the bottom line of the castle, again putting it on thick so that it is relatively wet for blending. I painted about halfway down the bottom portion of the canvas. I then used “Royal Purple”, and blended it directly into the bottom of the blue. This made the water look more “realistic” for this picture and added a little depth. For the bottom portion, I used a slightly lighter blue called “Copen Blue,” and blended it a little with the darker blue where the colors met, and painted it all the way down to the bottom of the canvas, making sure to paint it thick enough to stay wet. I then used “Royal Purple,” “Admiral Blue,” and “Purple” to blend into the bottom, to make it look more realistic. The weird lighting coming from the sihouettes is from the camera, however I may attempt to add it in to the actual painting, because I like it.
Step Four: The Clouds
This was probably the hardest step. It took awhile to get the clouds how I wanted them to be, but it paid off in the end. I stated by mixing white with about two drops of “Slate Gray”, to get a smokey color. I loaded the same rounded scruffy brush I used for the sky and water, and started by making circular motions on the side closet to the castle. Without ever reloading the bush, I spread the paint all the way to the edge of the castle and the canvas, using circular motions and forming a cloud shape. This gave the cloud a wispy shape to it. I drug the loud down into the water, to cover the seam between the sky and the water. I did this on both sides of the canvas. Once it dried, I continued to do the same thing, always starting on the side of the castle for both clouds, and making the circular motion. This made the paint thin out the closer I got to the edge of the canvas, giving the clouds a more realistic look. After I was satisfied with the white clouds, I mixed in “Purple Lilac” to give the color a purple haze. I then did the same technique on one side of the canvas, but only covered half the space, to make it appear as though the white, lighter cloud was in front of it.
These directions are kind of confusing, so below is the video I used to learn how to paint clouds this way.
Step Five: The Lighting
This idea came from step three’s picture, although it didn’t turn exactly as I had hoped. This step could be skipped, and the painting would still turn out beautifully. I did this with a small standard scruffy brush, which I lightly loaded with metallic “Pure Gold”. After brushing most of the paint off, I brushed the paint on using light pressure, and short, whispy strokes. I did this around Rapunzel and Flynn, and made the beam of light more narrow as I got closer to the castle. I also mixed in metallic silver and metaillic white, to give the lighting some depth. I kept making stokes all around the charcaters and up to the caslte until I was satisifed with the way it looked. Again, this step could easily be skipped, especially since it wasn’t part of the original plan.
Step Six: Filling in the Silhouettes
The lighting in the picture is weird for this one, but it was done to show the mixing of colors in the black. I mixed black with some metallic silver and silver sparkle paint (everything but the glitter dries clear). This gave the black a hint of a shine and glitter, which fits the theme of the painting well. Gold sparkle paint would also look good in the paining. Using the same scripture brush I used for the outline, I filled in the silhouette. For some of the more open areas, I used a small, flat brush to fill in to better hide the brush strokes and speed the process up. Most of the black outline from step one could be seen through the paint, but the more difficult parts and the parts that were hidden, I used a small flashlight to see. Simply, put the flashlight under the canvas where the line is, and it shows up much brighter and is easier to follow. When I was done filling them in, I went back and put a second coat on the parts where the paint was filler, and some of the canvas was showing through. I then used metallic gold to fill in parts of the lantern, so it appears lit.
Step Seven: The Lanterns
The lanterns were the quickest step. I used the same metallic gold from above and mixed it with a few drops of “Lemon Chiffon,” (a very soft, faint yellow.) I used a small flat brush that the size of the lanterns that I wanted, and made short vertical strokes across the sky. You can do as many as you would like- I did more closer to the castle, because that where they are coming from. I used the same color to make smaller ones in the water, to show the reflections of the lanterns in the sky. (If you don’t like the look of them, you could easily leave them off the painting.) While the water ones were still a little wet, I used a small scruffy brush to distort the paint around them, because reflections are usually a little distorted. I then finished the lanterns in the sky by lightly dabbing my scruffy brush in metaillic cold, and making light cirlces on and around the lanterns, to make them look as though they are giving off light. (This could also be skipped if you don’t like the look of it). As you can see, the gold paint around the lanterns is very light and doesn’t go out too far from the lantern.
That’s all there was to this painting. It took about four-five hours to finish, which I spread over two days, not including dry time in between certain steps. Everyone I showed it to, loved it and thought it was beautiful. My friend who got it as a gift loved it, and now has it hanging in her room. Definitely a good paintng for décor or for a gift. I’m thinking of doing a Frozen one for my next project.