Most of us see those old-school $2 landscape paintings featuring mountains and forests at thrift shops and pass right by them. They don't feel fresh enough, or the colors just aren't right for our interiors. I always thought the same thing, too - until I saw the work of the very talented Washington-based painter Scott Erickson.
He takes painted naturescapes from Goodwill and adds something that I want-I need-to hang on my wall. With just a few supplies and a little imagination, he adds treehouses, boats, and tree carvings to personalize these paintings. Luckily, Scott swears you don't have to be a master painter to create great customized art like this.
Scott agreed to share his secrets for creating these one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Here's how:
SuppliesSeveral small brushes
Various colors of acrylic paint
Acrylic matte varnish
1. Don't take it too seriously. Scott does these paintings purely for the fun of it. "For me, I see an ugly or boring painting and I think about what might be unexpected in it," Scott says. When he looks at these landscapes, he says he imagines a party that took place there before the scene he's buying at the thrift shop. Then he looks to tell that story.
2. Don't overthink it. "If you don't feel like you can do anything complicated, then stick with something simple like kites, streamers, boats, clouds, and flowers-simple shapes," Scott says.
3. Use pencil first. You can always transfer an image with a paper transfer technique. There are lots of videos online that walk you through this process. Scott suggests watching this transfer paper technique video on YouTube if you're looking to learn how to do it."Painting with acrylics is all about the laying down of layers," Scott explains. To do this, you paint a thin layer of black or purple paint in the shape of the image you are trying to create before you paint with light colors. Then add the colors you want over that layer. "It gives the shape some volume and helps it look like it belongs there," Scott says.
Tell us: Have you ever customized something you found at the thrift store?
(Photos courtesy of Scott Erickson)
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