Hey Pretty! Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration

Hey Pretty!  Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration.

This has been a crazy productive week for painting.  So many ideas, so much inspiration that all came after I got out of my own way.   All my scarcity thinking led me to hoarding canvas and paper and paint like it was precious, like there would never be more.  I held back a lot of ideas and creativity because I wasn’t sure which painting was ‘perfect’ for which canvas. 

Its a map!

Its a map… that probably only makes sense to me. Pretty painted girls and how they influenced other paintings of pretty girls.

Too many ideas = unused canvas? That doesn’t even make sense.

I wasn’t even aware of how I was keeping myself so small, until I started to plan out a new body of work for my Etsy.  These lessons cycle for me, this isn’t the first time I’ve blocked myself by trying to be perfect. A lot of my ideas are confined to my tiny sketchbook, precious canvas empty and unused, waiting for my best ideas. But, derp, I don’t have enough canvas for all my ideas!  So my canvas is blank and unused?  That doesn’t even make sense. I have to start somewhere.  Inside my sketchbook now is a road map of paintings I want to do to guide me, complete with the exact colors I want to use and even alternate ideas if I get bored with something.

So hello, messy desk. 

Part of the productivity this week was thanks to abundant unblocking.  I chose a set of acrylics to serve as my color inspiration for a crazy color experiment: three shades of pink, blue, aqua, and turquoise, yellow, vanilla, orange sherbet, and purple. Tired of seeing blank canvas so I base coated everything with pastel pink. Pink! Now I have pink palms, pink arms, pink elbows… And 9 pink canvases.

I have a variety of sizes and shapes to us… but more importantly, I gave myself the space to make mistakes.  I feel free.

Hey Pretty Cupcake by Kat Can Paint

Cupcakes and pink hair and tattoos, oh my!

Yes! This pretty sh0oting-star-tattooed cupcake baker portrait represents the delicious color palette I chose and the space I gave myself to be free.

+ crazy art math

She isn’t perfect, but if I painted with perfection in mind I would never have finished.  This week was all about little wins and big lessons.  I have to get the ideas out because I figure out a lot of things while I am painting.  Sketching and sketching and refining a sketch then using that sketch like a paint by number doesn’t always work for me.  I like having a map (the sketch) but the magic happens when I start painting.

Abundant unblocking = free = pink = magic = painting.  This will be a great weekend.

<3 Kat

Come say hi! I hang out on Twitter +  Etsy + Pinterest.

Do you have a gorgeous photograph with an ugly background? No worries, you can still own a custom portrait painting..

Do you have a gorgeous photograph with an ugly background? It happens, I can help.

Sometimes photos don’t capture a memory quite the way I want; the pose is perfect! …but the lighting is off.

My son looked so cute in this photo, but it was early Spring and our yard was dead. (Seriously dead, the only time I have a green thumb is if I smear paint on it.) 2/3 of this sweet moment was ugly brown patches of grass and I was pretty bummed.

Summer came, the grass was green, and I kept trying to figure out how to get a 2 year old to stop destroying the dandelions.  

Waiting to take another picture seemed silly, anyway.  How was I supposed to set up a cute picture of a toddler and get perfect results?  How was I supposed to stop him from destroying the nice green grass and dandelions with his toy truck?  Mission: Impossible.

Thankfully I am an artist, and I love painting portraits!

Acrylic Portrait Painting of my son

Have you had the same problem? Have a great picture you would like painted but the background is you at the grocery store? No worries- I can work with you to create a great work of art you’ll love.

Plus! I can paint from any photo; couple’s photos, best friend portraits, prom, family photos, senior pictures, graduation, vacation pictures, even candid shots.

custom painted portraits by Kat Can Paint

I’ve been painting portraits professionally (say that 3 times fast!) since 2007. 5 years and almost 100 portraits later and I have the process perfected.

After checking out through Etsy you e-mail or message me a great, high resolution photo of the people for your painting, or a couple if you’d like me to combine portraits from separate photographs. I can add a beautiful painterly, classic, background to your painting or a solid color of your choice. I use professional quality acrylic on 140lb, cold pressed, Fabriano brand archival watercolor paper.

If you don’t speak artist this means it is a high quality, thick paper with a great texture.  It looks gorgeous and is easy to display: pop your portrait into any frame with an 8 x 10 opening and you are set!

It takes only takes about a week to sketch,  paint, seal, and mail your original painting.

I stay connected with you through out the process.  I email you photos of the sketch, the work in progress, and the finished piece so you can be sure your custom painting is perfect.

Not to brag, but I have awesome customers who leave glowing feedback!

Kat is amazingly talented. She did an unbelievable portrait for me, was so quick to communicate, and sent it out in a fast timeline with no extra fees. I will DEFINITELY be ordering portraits from her in the future!!! Best deal on etsy!

– M. Shuty

Owning a custom portrait couldn’t be easier or more affordable, if you’d like one you can order online through my etsy.com store: KatCanPaint.etsy.com

<3 Kat

Mixed Media on Canvas Work in Progress

11 x 14

mixed media on canvas


This piece started out with a color wash on canvas, purples yellow and grey.  I do this before I have any plan for a finished painting- it stops me from staring at a blank canvas, and if I have no other ideas usually getting started painting helps me get into the flow. With out any inspiration or plan, I doodled swirls and roses in marker and pen then collaged flowers from some pretty paper over top. I drew the girl in marker because I really liked the doodles, then painted the first skin tones in acrylic… I think I’m having more fun with doodles and collage. There are several more layers to go!

Check out some other artist’s mixed media works:

<3 Kat


Snippets of my day a photo journal

Snippets of my day : a photo journal
The last rose on the bush.
Detail of the embroidery
on my favorite purse,
taken in the blue evening light.

My jar of paint brushes
Paints waiting to be used
Paintings waiting to be finished

But those will wait,
its bath time.
These moments go by so fast
my tiny baby boy
is almost too big to fit
in the sink and be bathed
 and he hates bath time
so I try to finish quickly
so he can be warm and dry
and happy
air guitar baby!

Sleepy baby

<3 Kat

You can find me on Twitter ::  Etsy :: and Pinterest.

Custom dog portrait by KatCanPaint

Custom Pet Portrait : Golden Labrador

I painted a Golden Labrador as a Christmas Present.  (It is a cross between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador
Retriever.)  Custom pet portraits are a fun break from normal portraits, and animals are just as expressive as people.  He was made with acrylics on a canvas panel, the finished painting is easy to frame while still keeping that canvas texture.

Custom dog portrait by KatCanPaint

I’m still painting and sculpting even if morning sickness is kicking my booty!

I’m officially pregnant,  due in May, and so far being pregnant has been kicking my butt. I think I slept entirely through my first trimester. It, being pregnant that is, makes me nervous and excited all at the same time.

I don’t just paint portraits of people, I can custom paint a portrait of your favorite pet too!  Visit my etsy if you’d like to order one: katcanpaint.etsy.com

<3 Kat

You can find me on Twitter ::  Etsy :: and Pinterest.

Magical Dream Squid original acrylic painting by KatCanPaint

Magical Dream Squid original mixed media painting

While other little girls had sparkle ponies to play with, my little sister would go on dream adventures with her magical squid.

Magical Dream Squid original acrylic painting by KatCanPaint

Magical Dream Squid is an original mixed media painting, made for my little sister Krista.  I started this painting with acrylics, and I finished it digitally.


<3 Kat

You can find me on Twitter ::  Etsy :: and Pinterest.