Paint a Wave Like Hokusai

I think it’s safe to say everyone has seen the wave painting by Katsushika Hokusai. If you’re not sure, here’s a reminder of which painting I’m talking about, which is also the focus of this week’s Let’s Paint tutorial:


Quick history lesson: Hokusai was considered Japan’s leading expert on Chinese painting, according to this biographical website dedicated to the artist. He is most famous for his Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji series, including The Great Wave painting (you can see Mount Fuji behind the far boat). Apparently Hokusai painted Mount Fuji partially because during the 1820s it had become a popular travel destination but also because he just really liked that mountain. The artist started painting when he was six years but did not begin the Thirty-Six Views series until he was around 50+ years old.


This week’s tutorial is inspired by a tutorial by Stephanie at Harrington Harmonies, which is more so for kids and uses markers, watercolors and acrylic paint splatter technique similar to the flower garden tutorial I tried about a month ago.

And finally, this is my last video tutorial for this blog! This blog was part of a class assignment, and as the semester comes to an end, so does my blog. Although I’m sure I will continue to find time to paint, my days filming and editing together tutorials have come to an end. If you’re interested in keeping in touch and/or seeing any of my future art projects, you can follow me on Instagram.

Stay tuned for my final blog post next Thursday: Top 8 Tips for Beginner Painters (based on lessons learned from my past 8 painting tutorials).

Until then, have a Happy Thanksgiving!


How to Paint a Rose AND Create an “Ugh” Sign

I started this project a couple weeks ago, and now it’s ready — the beautiful, wall-worthy “ugh” sign.


This week’s video teaches you how to paint a rose based on a tutorial on Flower Patch Farmhouse by Pamela. Her tutorial is interactive and helpful, so check out her website if you want to learn the detailed steps describing how she paints a rose.

But before we get to the roses, here’s how to make the “ugh” sign:

photo (16)

  1. Buy a wooden sign and one of those wooden craft words that says “laugh” — I bought mine from the craft section in Walmart for a couple dollars.
  2. Cut off the “la” half of the word, leaving you with “ugh” — You can use a knife, just don’t hurt yourself. Also don’t use too much pressure or else the wood will crack. You’ll need to have patience. Put on an episode of Gilmore Girls or something while you work.
  3. Paint the background yellow first — Apply several coats because the paint spreads thin and the wood is visible if you don’t. Let dry.
  4. Place down masking tape in a row of vertical stripes — Using masking tape ensures the yellow stripes will all be the same width and have straight lines, basically making your job easier. Make sure you firmly press the tape down flat.
  5. Apply several layers of white paint — Paint over the masking tape with white paint to create the second layer of stripes. Peel away the tape, and you’re done with the background! Watch this week’s video to move on to the next step: painting roses.

Take your sign to the next level by giving it that “vintage” look. Make your paint crack like a worn, antique sign: apply a healthy layer of Elmer’s Glue, let dry for a minute, then apply a top layer of paint and watch it crack. Or, you can make wood look aged by applying a thin layer of dark brown furniture wax over the wood and letting it dry. Although that might work better with real wood and not a 99 cent piece of wood from Walmart.

If you like painting flowers, check out the other acrylic flower tutorials I’ve done.

What do you do to make yourself feel better when you have an “ugh” kind of week? (obviously I like to paint!) Leave a comment below!

Fall Trees: Paint Leaves in Less Than a Minute

Snow flurries have been falling these past few days, yet here I am in denial, posting an art tutorial about a totally different season. Sorry about the delay in posting. Look forward to more posts in the future to make up for it!

In remembrance of fall, here’s a quick recap of the Hodgepodge’s Acrylic Fall Trees Tutorial. Her first words are:

I am a firm believer that each of us can paint; especially children, who possess an innate ability to create art. The hardest lesson is this: you cannot paint exactly like someone else. Embrace the freedom to please yourself!!”

This whole blog is dedicated to painting things others have already painted. I’ve never actually painted anything original yet. But at some point, when I feel like I know what I’m doing a little bit more, I’ll paint something completely my own. Until then, these tutorials keep me painting. Also, these tutorials are good for “painter’s block” since most of these projects are quick and easy.

5 Reasons Why YOU Can Paint Fall Trees

  1. You don’t need a paint brush. This painting can be done entirely with paper towels — the sky, the grass, and especially the leaves. The paper towel’s texture is perfect for leaves. If you tried to paint each dot by hand, not only would that take hours, it would look too planned and symmetrical. A paper towel will give it an uncontrolled, unbalanced look that is actually common in nature.
  2. You can let colors mix. Dab on some yellow paint to make leaves then use the same paper towel to add red. The colors will mix in a natural-looking way. Who knew taking shortcuts would actually make your painting look better.
  3. The colors you need are simple. Red, orange, yellow… No weird turquoise or lilac needed. Just squeeze directly from the tube on to the canvas.
  4. Because the weather doesn’t control you. Paint beaches during snowstorms if you want. You do you.
  5. Your tree painting doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s tree painting. No two trees look alike. Paint a trunk, some branches, and a clump of leaves and you’ve done it. No matter how chunky or pointy your tree looks, there’s probably a tree out there that looks like it.

Have I convinced you? Leave a comment about any projects you’re working on now, or let me know if they’re any tutorials you want me to try!

Create Flowers with Paint Splatters

Paint flowers in a rush with a flick of your brush. This flower garden painting is based on a tutorial by Tammy Northrup, who has a lot of splattered paintings similar to the one she highlights in her tutorial I referenced.

She suggests watercolors for the background. Since I only own acrylic paint, I watered the paint down to make it thinner and easier to spread. What’s the difference between the two paints? Mainly, watercolor tends to be more transparent, making it great for layering. Acrylic paint is opaque, so you can’t add a transparent layer over other layers. Acrylic also dries faster.


BONUS: My dog makes an appearance in this week’s video. 🙂

Which do you like better, watercolors or acrylics? Answer below, or tell me about what project you’re working on now!

Birch Trees Painting Tutorial

These birch trees may look tricky to paint, but there’s actually a simple trick to it!


Besides the usual paint and canvas, you will need:

  • masking/duck tape
  • on old gift card or credit card
  • something circular (e.g., a cup, a bottle lid, a soda can)
  • a sponge

For a more in-depth guide, watch the full tutorial by Angela Anderson available on youtube.

This was my first time painting with a sponge and I loved it. Much faster than using a brush. What’s the strangest object you’ve ever painted with?