Cheating – Part 2

[If you haven’t read Cheating – Part 1, then start here]

So continuing from the previous post, I’m going to continue shamelessly going through a list of offences I commit while painting.

6. I trace any object I can find to make my life easier.

I don’t own any fancy shmancy drafting tools (although as an engineer, you would think I would finally invest in some). Actually, I don’t even own basic ones, like a ruler beyond 10 cm in length. So instead I use random objects around my apartment when I need certain lines/curves. Canvases make good straight edges while lampshades, lids from various containers, and candles make great circles/curved edges.

I actually free handed the rest of these lines
I actually had to free handed these lines


7. I don’t like washing paintbrushes so I use the same one far too long.

This one really just comes down to laziness. I don’t like having lots to clean-up, so I avoid getting things dirty. I’ll use a palette knife instead of brushes whenever possible since they can usually be cleaned by just wiping them with a wet paper towel. When I use paintbrushes, I’ll use the same one to the point that there’s dried clumped on paint all over the bristles. It adds some interesting effects to the painting…[sometimes…] When I reach this point, I usually call it a day.

Strings Attached - Violin - Acrylic on Canvas - 48x20"
Strings Attached – Violin – Acrylic on Canvas – 48×20″


8. I don’t use any painting mediums. 

I’m aware that this stuff exists since I see it in the art store all the time, and I’ve heard others discus “priming the canvas” but I really have no idea what they’re talking about. Apparently there are mediums to speed up/delay the drying time, change the texture of the paint, and many many others. There’s a whole (overwhelming) section devoted to this stuff in the art store. I like to keep it simple: paint+brush/palette knife. Easy. Breezy.

Unfortunately the Dollarama doesn't carry this size of canvas
Any texture you see is the result of globs of paint, and not a medium.


9. I buy canvases at the Dollarama.

Unscrunch your nose! No, I don’t exclusively shop there, since they only carry the very small sizes, but you can bet that all those little ones are straight from the dollar store. They’re gallery wrapped [ie. staples are on the back and not the side] and I don’t notice any difference in quality. Just price. $1.25 versus about $5, yes please!

Unfortunately the dollar store doesn't carry canvases this big.
Unfortunately the dollar store doesn’t carry canvases this big.


10. I use acrylic paint instead of oil.

I used to paint with oils when I first started painting about 7 years ago. Oils are rough. First, they need to be thinned with either turpentine (which is super toxic) and/or oil (I used linseed oil). Next, they take FOREVER to dry. Weeks to MONTHS!!! I like painting in layers, and letting each layer dry before adding the next one, and when it takes several weeks for each layer to dry, it takes several months to finish a painting. I think “real” artists paint “wet-on-wet” but I find that far too difficult. I put my hands all over the painting as I go, and I like to sketch out guidelines with chalk. You can’t do that with wet paint on your canvas. Trust me. I used to get paint on absolutely everything, and oil paint is toxic and not washable, unlike acrylic paint. As I’ve already mentioned, I hate washing paintbrushes, and that hatred probably started from my days of oil painting. That stuff just does not wash out! I love acrylic paint <3 Dries in minutes, washable, non-toxic, doesn’t require thinning… Just lovely.

All acrylic baby
All acrylic baby


11. I copy my own paintings in different combinations to make new ones.

I find things that work (usually by accident) and then I run wild with it! With regards to this violin painting, I had the idea for the acoustic guitar first, really liked the finished piece, so have done 3 other instruments since. I also noticed that my paintings with people walking with an umbrella were a big hit, so I threw them into many paintings. Sometimes looking identical as before, other times wearing new outfits. I suppose this is a giant step up from copying other people’s paintings, which is what I used to do when I first started painting.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A


So basically this list concludes that I am cheap and lazy. The engineer in me prefers to call this efficient and resourceful.

Check out the reflection in the mirror for a sneak peak at what's on my easel.
Check out the reflection in the mirror for a sneak peak at what’s on my easel.


Thoughts? Do any of these confessions surprise you? Can you relate or am I in fact just cheap and lazy?!

Like this painting? Strings Attached – Violin is now SOLD but check out my other listings here.


Strings Attached

I’m really not sure what to write about today, but I have a painting I completed this morning that I wanted to share, so I’ll just leave you with that. Here goes.

Yeah you get the point
One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish

And TA DA!

48x20" - Acrylic on three 16x20" canvases
48×20″ – Acrylic on three 16×20″ canvases

A blog reader commented on the first painting I did in this series (of the acoustic guitar) and suggested I title it “Strings Attached.” I love the title, but I’m actually going to use it for the whole series of paintings instead. So this one would be the third in the series. Here it is displayed with the Electric Guitar.

Sorry about the misaligned shelf for anyone who's OCD...
Sorry about the misaligned shelf for anyone who’s OCD…
No more shelf. You can stop squirming.
No more shelf. You can stop squirming.

As someone with no musical talent, experience, or even much interest, I sure do paint a lot of instruments eh? I’m not gonna lie, I actually had to Google search “Saxophone” to get an idea of what one looks like since I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up close… maybe at a concert but I was probably distracted by the yummy musicians… Just being honest!

In other news, now that my blog is self hosted, I was able to create an online store. If you’re interested in this painting, check it out here.

Leave a comment (because I LOVE comments…online equivalent to getting snail mail!) and let me know what instrument you’d like to see next in the series. I’m thinking either a violin or a piano… 

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 

Like this painting? The original is available for sale here.





Sometimes inspiration strikes me in the strangest most unexpected ways. I used to struggle a lot with getting inspired (probably due to lack of experience too), so if I felt like painting, I would essentially recreate someone else’s work. In these cases, my ‘inspiration’ was either Home Sense or the internet. In hindsight, it was a great way to learn to paint and practice, but I always prefer when I have my own original inspiration.

The other day, a friend of mine (Hi Darren!) said that he likes my painting with the birds and the music notes, and thinks that perhaps something similar might look good in his new home. I’ve never seen his house, however I strongly disagreed. Darren is an outdoorsy, upbeat young musician, and that painting has a baby pink and baby blue background. I just didn’t see it.

However, that conversation immediately set off a light bulb and I got painting. And here’s what I came up with.

[Darren, no pressure to actually like it…but thanks for the inspiration! ] 

Acrylic on Canvas – 36×16″ (three 12×16″ panels)
Close-up of left panel
Close up of middle panel
Close up of right panel
Sides painted. No staples.
Top view of middle panel
Side view of right panel


All together again!


I don’t have any progress photos because I essentially did this one in one sitting. One long sitting…

Also, I should mention that no paint brushes were harmed in the creation of this masterpiece! This whole painting was done with a palette knife so it has a really nice thick textured appearance. Did I mention that I love painting with a palette knife? Clean up is sooo easy!

Lastly, I can’t think of a name for this one. Any suggestions?

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