Painting For Yourself - from guest blogger Artsy Bat Brooke

Painting For Yourself - from guest blogger Artsy Bat Brooke

Surprises of glitter and shine in paints are often the bright spot of a painting which draws the eye. In videos, your eyes focus on those parts to watch it change. Sometimes taking those things that make your eyes focus on one part can be used for something else. It could be that while you are focused on the glitter of the paints, your mind is able to process something that you are going through. Let me show you how.

Welcome to my first blog post. I go by Artsy Bat Brooke on all my art social medias and you can find me on Instagram at @artsy.bat.brooke and on YouTube at ArtsyBatBrooke. I have been taking a winding path when it come to my art. I never went a semester without art in High School and was taught by knowledgeable teachers in Middle and High School who gave me a great foundation in art. I went away from art to pursue a Biochemistry degree. After mental health draining jobs, I’ve returned to a childhood dream to write and illustrate children’s books. I love experimenting with different mediums and stylesto use for book illustrations, but my go to favorite is watercolors.

Painting for yourself can be difficult. Even when you don’t have plans to post it to social media, you might feel compelled to making it perfect like you are going to post it. In doing so, you could cause yourself more pressure and stress when you might have been trying to reverse the effects of stress. How do you eliminate it? This was something that took me a long time to figure out and I am going to show you what I do. This can be for when you are feeling down, stressed, anxious, or sorting through things.

The example that I will be doing is to sort through a tough situation and the sadness which resulted. I had to say goodbye to many kids I had worked with for over a year because of my work shutting down. Letting myself feel sad is difficult, but there are good things waiting for me once I process the sadness. My work shutting down gave me the opportunity to take time to do this blog and work on children’s books I have been wanting to get published. If I don’t process the negative emotions, I will not be able to focus on the positives.

For this journey, I’ll be using tape, colors which reflect my mood, and colors that make me happy. If there is something positive you know is waiting on the other side, you could use colors to represent it. All watercolors that I will be using is The Smiling Hippo watercolors.

To start off, I am taping down the edges of my paper and using some thin washi tape to create some shapes or lines on the page. You can do a specific shape using the washi tape, or you can lay down the tape on a mat, sketch it out, then use a cutter to cut out the shape. (Cutting out the shape is advised when prepping and you have a clear head) Once you have the tape down, it is time for the painting.

First wet your watercolors for your mood and your paper to use a wet-on-wet technique. As you are laying down the colors, be mindful of your intentions of the painting. It could be every worry you have or in my case, I was thinking the names of the children I will miss working with. As you lay it down, you can watch how all the colors mix together. In some spots, if you chose colors that don’t mix well, the colors will be muddied. I enjoy when that happens in these pieces because I feel like it reflects the inner turmoil I may be feeling. With my example, the grey was sometimes taking over other spots.

TIP: When doing wet on wet with The Smiling Hippo watercolors with large pieces of glitter, limit the water being used. When you use too much water, the ingredient in the watercolors that make the glitter stick to the page won’t work and the glitter will fall off. (I have made this mistake before.)

Let the paper dry completely. Depending on how you react to the mindfulness, you may need more time before continuing, so it would be best to have it air dry. For me, I need this time afterwards since sometimes I feel like a weight has been lifted and I need time to adjust to the feeling.

Once dry, Remove the decorative tape you used for lines or a design.

For some, you make feel like you have processed enough and you could stop here, but you could continue. I am now going to use the happy colors. My happy colors are vibrant and always includes orange. I have neons from the first Smiling Hippo Encanto collection plus a new red orange that I received.While thinking about the good things I will be able to do, I am painting the lines and the star shapes. I love watching how colors mix, so I did make sure the neons touched to mix.


Once dry, remove the border tape. This piece doesn’t have to be beautiful because it was about the process and being mindful. If I wanted to post it to Instagram as a perfect piece, I would have chosen a different palette and would have been more careful with the edges. I like looking at the color combination being slightly strange and remembering how I was feeling.

Painting for yourself and mental health can be hard when there are so many pictures on social media which are impeccable. It is these messy pictures those people are hiding and are important for growth as a person and artist. I hope this post has been helpful to you.

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