finished painting by KatCanPaint

Painting Progression

I ordered some art supplies for my birthday! Canvas and brushes and paint and mediums, I’m like a kid in a candy store.  This painting is the first on my new birthday canvas and I love the new direction.


My Invisible Heart acrylic painting by KatCanPaint

My Invisible Heart, acrylic on canvas, 9″x12″


My Invisible Heart is the first in a series.  I was thinking about the idea of holding onto something vs letting it go and I have a lot of ideas for paintings. She has a very vintage look, an atmosphere of age, the background reminds me of curio cabinets and old leather.


The progress was relatively smooth from start to finish.  I think it is because I had such a strong idea in my head about what I wanted this painting to look like.


underpainting of My Invisible Heart by KatCanPaint

under painting of My Invisible Heart, acrylic on canvas, 9″x12″



The under painting is a wash of browns and skin tones.  I knew I wanted her hair to be very light so I left the white of the canvas showing in those areas.  I’ve had this image stuck in my head for a while, so I had a good idea of the color scheme for the whole piece.


face and body details

Adding color to the painting, mostly pinks, yellows, brown, and purple.


The second part of the painting was adding in the body and face details.  I wanted to keep the painting loose at this point, blocking in large areas of color before refining.  I added lavender to her hair to keep the color tone cool, she will end up with silvery blond hair, to keep it silvery and not golden an undercoat of blue and purple is needed.


detailing hair and figure by KatCanPaint

Hair and face detailing starts.


In the third stage of this painting I started pulling the figure off of the background with a lot of brown and white washes.  The same antique white was added to her hair over the purple and brown was used to define the shape.  At this point the painting is all about detail work: nailing the expression and polishing the facial features, painting realistic hair.   This is about 80% finished, all the components are here, but I could spend forever tweaking the eyes and hair and never feel finished.  The most important thing is to remember my vision for the painting, revisit my sketchbook, and paint as well as I can.


finished painting by KatCanPaint

My Invisible Heart finished art


not much was added to the piece, except eh moth.  Details were refined and polished.  Her eyes were painted in, the darkest darks and lightest lights were adjusted, and the curve of her lips and eyebrow were edited.


This is my favorite painting that I have created so far.

<3 Kat

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