Blank Canvas No More

I pulled up my chosen picture of Marge Simpson on my Macbook Pro and began mixing my colours. I had already sketched her figure onto the canvas, so now it was time to fill her in. I started with her yellow skin, the tone of which I was able to find online (see my last blog post).

As I looked at her picture online, I took note of lighter and darker tones, particularly in her hair. When I mixed my colours, I had one light, one medium, and one darker tone. On the right side of her body, I used the dark tones. On the left, I used the lighter tones. It created a really cool effect. I did this with her green dress, her yellow skin, and her blue hair. She was composed of just those three colours, plus her red/orange necklace.


While using the brushes, some of the bristles were very hard and coarse, while others were soft and thin. I had no clue when to use which brush, so I simply Googled it. I was brought to, which outlined the different types of brushes and what they are used for. It was very helpful, particularly in realizing that I had really “cheaped out” when buying my supplies. It was very clear to me that I did not have the appropriate brushes. But I kept on painting anyway. It was too late in the game.


After I had finished colouring her in, I gave her a pink background colour, which is a colour quite commonly used on The Simpsons. I then took out my thick Sharpie marker and began to trace out her eyes, her dress, her hand. As I did this, she began to “pop” – she started looking like a real cartoon character. I’d love to say this idea came to me from research, however, while I was in Dollarama, I saw the biggest Sharpie I had ever seen in my life and stopped to look at it. When I did, I thought it would be perfect for my project, rather than unsteadily tracing Marge out with black paint (which was my original game plan). I was more confident with the marker. Perhaps in other blog posts, I will teach myself how to successfully outline with black paint instead. Time will tell.


All in all, I am happy with my final product and am actually very excited to continue working on my style and technique. I’d also like to incorporate a more complex background to accompany my chosen character. Next week’s challenge: Squidward Tentacles from Spongebob Squarepants.

6 thoughts on “Blank Canvas No More

    1. Thanks for the great comment, Tanya. Fortunately, I did find a video that shows how to outline in black acrylic paint. It looks pretty simple. The person uses smaller brush strokes… I’ll have to start working on the steadiness of my hand. Here is the link to the video:


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