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Buildings from a Background

Remember the canvas I found was getting too precious last week?  You can see the post here.

After I stepped away I began to see buildings in it, so that’s the direction I went.  I wanted to stay with the purples and I didn’t have a lot of purple colors.  I started mixing the ones I had together to make new ones.  Suddenly, I had all the purples I needed.




Blue paint washed on the sky – I was hesitant to cover up the background because I liked it, but I had to sacrifice it for the final look.



Not enough contrast between the sky and the buildings for the look I was aiming for, so I darkened the sky (see the next picture) to make the windows pop a bit more.




A few words and numbers covered in paints, cardboard birds, and I darkened up the blue sky a bit more.





I had to add more whimsy to it so I added photos of my family but colored them with Portfolio oil pastels.  A shrink plastic banner.  A few painted cardboard stars for the sky and I felt it was finished.




Want to see what other artists are up to?  Stop by Paint Party Friday and check them out!

{ 45 comments… add one }

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  • Annette G May 4, 2012, 7:41 am

    wow its turned out brilliantly. Happy PPF, Annette x

  • jane w. May 4, 2012, 7:46 am

    incredibly awesome…love it

  • Nordljus May 4, 2012, 8:38 am

    Love how you included the photos of your family in the picture! Great to see what became of it, you did a wonderful job on it! Happy PPF!

  • Faye May 4, 2012, 9:03 am

    Great transformation, Carolyn. This is bright and beautifully colored. It looks like it belongs in a children’s storybook.

  • Susan May 4, 2012, 9:23 am

    Amazing transformation. You give me confidence to rework something hiding under the bed. Thanks and Happy PPF

  • Bleubeard and ELizabeth May 4, 2012, 9:30 am

    I read every word, looked at every photo, and admired every detail as you worked your way to the completed piece. I’m in LOVE with this. If it were not quite so large, and way too personal (with your family photos), I would want it for my Houses AB. It is fantastic.

  • Rinda May 4, 2012, 10:56 am

    Love how the background because the interior for the windows. You’re very talented!
    Thanks for the ideas.

  • Debbie May 4, 2012, 11:13 am

    So fun to see your process in this piece. Your buildings are so fun to look at, and I love your colors. I think mixing leads to more interesting results than relying only on the pre-mixed colors.

  • minnemie May 4, 2012, 11:37 am

    OH I love it. Each little detail had story potential: the people, birds, little flags, numbers and words. A great piece after an ever evolving process:-)

  • Terrie: Creative Explorer May 4, 2012, 12:12 pm

    Quite a transformation from the beginning randomness! It’s fun and colorful and such a great result. You’re inspiring.

  • Christine May 4, 2012, 12:38 pm

    This is a lovely inspired piece!

  • molly May 4, 2012, 12:53 pm

    you really changed it up a lot since last week. i like seeing the progression of how it came to be… even after you decided on the buildings. it just kept getting better and better. the details, like the pictures of your family, are a really nice personal touch. very pretty!

  • Carol May 4, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Wonderfully creative and colorful ~ great transformation ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

  • Kristin Van Valkenburgh May 4, 2012, 1:43 pm

    NO WAY! This is brilliant! A new favorite. So glad you came back to it – I loved it before but this really blows me away! xoxo

  • Marji May 4, 2012, 1:52 pm

    I love all the interst in the final piece. The girls in the windows are great!! Happy PPF

  • Ginny May 4, 2012, 2:58 pm

    I LOVE IT Carolyn. The colors are so vibrant and the people in the windows are perfect. It is such a happy joyful piece of art.

  • Michelle V. Alkerton May 4, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Oh, that is so much fun!!
    Stay inspired!

  • Cynthia May 4, 2012, 3:32 pm

    That is so awesome!! I love all the little details (like the numbers and the stars) that went on the page to make a gorgeous page. Really really well done.

  • giggles May 4, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I’m loving this painting and all the detail!! I do love houses, and purple! I did a large painting similar to the whimsy of this, it’s on my bedroom wall and I still love it!! Good job!! Happy ppf! This is top on my list!!

    Hugs Giggles

  • kristin May 4, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I love to see the process. Thanks for sharing! Your work is lovely! Happy PPF!

  • Corrine May 4, 2012, 4:06 pm

    Wow, you really expanded this and it’s not at all precious, quite wonderful actually and starlit. xox

  • Carol Samsel May 4, 2012, 5:27 pm

    I really love the colors in this one!!!! A fun place to visit and live in :0)

  • Caitlyn May 4, 2012, 9:08 pm

    Well done! It’s cool to pick a direction and stick with it

  • Andrea May 4, 2012, 9:21 pm

    I love the photos!! And darkening the sky a touch worked very well!!

  • Tammie May 4, 2012, 9:30 pm

    i love how creativity can work! Such a charming piece.

  • Mary Jo Stevens May 4, 2012, 10:21 pm

    Love your creation and the way you created it. Sometimes you have to take chances and you did!

  • Mitzi Zohar May 4, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Wow, what a great piece.

  • mary May 4, 2012, 11:29 pm

    the woman doing Egyptian dancing in the window is so whimsical! Love it!

  • Anne May 5, 2012, 2:45 am

    Fabulous, fun and original, just awesome! <3 thank you for sharing the process shots!

  • Valerie-Jael May 5, 2012, 3:23 am

    Great! I would like to live in one of those buildings! Valerie

  • Amy* May 5, 2012, 9:02 am

    Oh My!! As beautiful as the “Precious” background was this is just too beautiful for words! What an amazing transformation! I love the style and shape of the buildings, the different tones of blue in the sky and how you have added photos of your own family within the windows. The cardboard stars are the perfect finishing touch of whimsy to this magnificent work of art! I hope you will hang this with pride in a room where everyone will see it…thanks you for sharing your creative journey 🙂


  • Harriet May 5, 2012, 9:42 am

    wow that is amazing ……

  • Denise May 5, 2012, 2:21 pm

    I love the buildings they have so much character. The color combinations are wonderful too.

  • Jo May 5, 2012, 4:41 pm

    I love the step-by-step pics showing your creative process. My fave spots are the bunting flags and the yellow birds – adorable without being too cutesy!.

  • cat @ sea.sky.stone. May 5, 2012, 4:52 pm

    I LOVE it–but then I loved it in it’s “precious” version, too! Really like how you added your family in the windows–so cute!

  • Terri Stephens May 5, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Hi Carolyn — (inspired to write) I live out of a Dr. Suess book. I mean I really live in Suessville, USA. All of my family live on the same street and our houses are painted in different shades of purple and they never close their blinds and are constantly at their windows and it’d be okay if they just kind of looked out, but no, they put on weird clothes, like scuba gear and dance; there’s no privacy at all; it’s so embarrassing. We even attract weird birds on our street. — Blessings Terri

  • viola May 5, 2012, 7:51 pm

    So smart and filled with joy! 🙂 I like the colors of both the buildnings and the blue background! 🙂

  • Scarlett May 5, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Great piece! I keep peeking in at all the windows, it’s a great design!

  • Tracey Fletcher King May 6, 2012, 12:47 am

    looks wonderful of course, but I expect nothing less from you, but have to say the colour and texture in the background is wonderful on steroids… awesome…xx

  • muriel May 6, 2012, 3:33 am

    Wow! This is fabulous! Adding family photos was such agreat idea! I was just wondering what “steroids” are (I’m French and the only steroids I could find in my dictionary were anabolisants) and it is the seconf time I’ve come upon this word this week.

  • Kat May 6, 2012, 5:47 am

    Carolyn I absolutely love this, well done to you, you have achieved such a great effect! You can be well proud of this one, it has such a style and charcter of its own!

  • carlarey May 6, 2012, 10:12 am

    I want to live on this street! Love these whimsical buildings.

  • AJ May 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I Love this Carolyn, just like all those comments above, great work, well done.
    Big love
    AJ 🙂

  • Susan May 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Love this piece Carolyn. The color contrast is awesome and I love the way you’ve ‘constructed’ your buildings. Pasting the photos of the family members is such a cool idea.
    Thank you for visiting Ariel.

  • Pauline Leger May 7, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Carolyn, this is just SO much fucking fun… (there, i said it).
    i love the colors and i could so see this in a children’s book. You did a fabulous job.