My daughter wanted to try her hand at painting with acrylics, and she's not such a fantastic artist that her old man doesn't have a couple things left to teach her. We decided to get her toes wet in the new medium by painting from a photograph I had taken a couple weeks ago, laying on my back looking up into the branches of the biggest, gnarled old oak tree left standing in the little patch of nature preserve near our house.

  

The original photo, taken with my new PowerShot S3-IS. I finally have a digital camera! Yay!

(I didn't pop for a Rebel XTi because of the increased cost, and the thousands of dollars of lenses I would have wanted to have in order to take a few silly pictures once in awhile.)

Of course, as it would happen, I would go on to inherit Mom's anyway. It turned out just as well that I didn't get sucked into buying all that stuff for myself, for once I had it, I didn't use it that much. Mom had one thing I likely never will: gobs and gobs of free time.

This is her rendition of the photograph. She did my style of quasi-impressionistic dabble painting much more effectively than I did. Hers looks better. Apparently the school people thought so too, because this photo is the only evidence I have that my daughter ever did a painting. It went to the statewide competition, and was never seen again.

  
  

This is mine. The more I look at it, the less happy I am in comparison to hers. It's too cartoonish.

The palettes left over after the job.

  
  

The brushes we used. Most notably a stencil brush I mangled so as to give it a more random, irregular contact with the page.

The really interesting thing about all of this is that she would never repeat this feat. I did give her a lot of step by step guidance on what to do on that, but it was her hand, her vision, her unique interpretation using my techinique. The curious thing is that it didn't scale forward at all, and her next painting was an apple tree with a big straight brown line, a big solid green oval, and some red dots. Weird. I guess I had more of a hand in guiding her hand than I thought at the time. That is apparently the case anyway, based on her later work. Oh well. I wouldn't be the only parent to help a kid cheat if that's what I did. In Cub Scouts, we always lost the Pinewood Derby to the kid whose dad owned a machine shop, or the kid whose dad was an engineer.



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