Yard Sale Art - Making Ugly into Fun

There’s a local gallery in my town that likes to buy yard sale and thrift shop paintings and sculptures.

Particularly the REALLY bad ones.

They take these crappy pieces and turn them into entirely new pieces.

These yard sale paintings become something entirely new, humorous, cute and entertaining.

I had to get in on some of that action!  I like to think of it as recycling.  And it sort of is, we’re taking paintings only the artist and their mother could love and giving them a new, refreshing face.  I thought I might share some of the process photos of the ones I’ve been working on.

blueuntouched  Here is the original painting.  Nothing too spectacular, its not horrible, but   its kind of boring.

There’s nothing to really draw the eye.

  Honestly, I sat on this one for months before I figured out what to do with it.  Some pieces I get, I know what to do with right away.  Others, I need to take some time to think about it.

I sketch lightly right onto the canvas using simple, crayola colored pencils.  I start with the lightest color I can manage first, usually lime green and then work my way through the spectrum as I tighten up details.  My sketches generally look like a crazy rainbow.  This piece was fairly simple, and I knew what I wanted right away so I went straight from lime green to black.

 blueprocesssketch blueprocesssketch2

I decided a big, furry muppet monster would be awesome in this piece.  It would also be a nice challenge since I rarely paint fur.  Even bright blue fur.


I started by painting in all the base colors over my sketch.  Blue, blue and more blue.

   Also a little white for good measure.  He’s got big horns and floppy ears which are a bit difficult to see against the pale                   sky background.

blueprocessfur  Next I added in the fur details.  This was the fun part.  I am a total freak for details.

  I enjoy meticulous things like this.

  You can also see where I started putting in the tail scales.

Here’s some detail pics of the rest of the process.  I painted in the scales on the tail.


 I added in some more details under the eyes.


Then I finished up by adding red into the eyes ears and nose of the beast, as well as a little yellow to the horns, tusks and eyes.


Oh yeah and teeny tiny little pupils.

My final step was adding the tree branches back in that I had covered over with my initial base painting.


  And now, we have a big blue beast playing peekaboo in a winter landscape.

….. I kinda feel like Bob Ross right now.

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