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how to draw oval #1I noticed several people found my series of posts about how to build your own custom frame by searching for how to cut an oval mat.  So, I thought I would write a more detailed article about how to draw or cut an oval. The easiest way would be if you already have an oval that you can trace. There are also several products available at art and craft stores that will cut a perfect oval;  however, these are a bit expensive (around $80 last time I checked) unless you need to cut a lot of ovals and need them exactly perfect.

how to draw an oval #2With some practice and a few simple tools you can get a pretty decent oval without breaking the bank. Most people probably already have all the necessary tools at home. You’ll need a pencil, ruler, scissors, eraser (optional), and some paper to practice with.

First fold your paper in half. Then fold it in half the other way–much like you would if you were going to make a paper snow flake. Measure half the width you would like your oval to be from the folded corner and mark that distance on the longer fold with your pencil. Next measure half the height you would like your oval to be, and mark it on the shorter fold. Now this is the part that will take practice: draw a curved line that connects the two marks and then unfold your paper. Be careful not to curve too sharply near the folds or you will end up with either a football or diamond shape. If you draw in a straight perpendicular line for about the first 1/4 inch or so it may help you avoid the temptation to curve too sharply.

how to cut an oval #4If after unfolding it, the oval does not look right there are several ways to fix it. You can either trim a little to round it more where the paper was folded, or place another paper under it ( or put tracing paper over it), then make corrections with your pencil on the uncut paper and try again. If you choose to trim the paper make sure it is folded or it will come out uneven and you will be unhappy with the results. Usually if I have an oval that did not turn out well it is because I tried to taper the oval too much near the fold. Try to stay as close to perpendicular near the fold to avoid having it look pointy when it is unfolded. Be patient and try this on scratch paper several times if necessary. It took time as a kid to learn how to cut hearts, circles, and snowflakes with ease, and with a little practice this will become easy to do.

Although this process does not always produce a perfect oval, with some practice you can make one that looks very good–all for the cost of several sheets of paper. Once you have a satisfactory oval, simply trace it onto the surface where you wanted it (such as your mat board or scrap book page), and VOILA–you just saved $80 on not having to buy a contraption to make one for you 😉

 

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I have received some requests for information about the weather conditions at the time I took the “Early Morning Sun Rays” photographs, so I thought I would post some pictures of the sky that I took out from the road that morning.

Early Morning Sun Rays #9early morning sunrays #11Early Morning Sunrays #10



The weather was frosty and cold with a light, misty fog, but not rainy. The sun was brilliant with a white silvery light behind an extraordinarily thin layer of cloud cover. My original idea was to capture a photo of the sun because it was so pretty and silvery like the moon; however, by the time i got home and could whip out my camera the clouds had thinned a little more and the trees were in the way (fortunately for me 🙂 ) Now I wish I had taken more pictures, but I got too cold and went inside. I think if I ever get another opportunity like that I’ll take a hike further down into the forest.

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
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Last night I went to a really great women’s meeting at my church. It was to celebrate the birthday of Relief Society which was organized in 1842.

One of the activities was to paint a 5×5 canvas. The teacher had prepared a demonstration on how to paint a lemon with “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”on it. Some of us decided to paint something else. Since one of the ladies asked me how to paint an apple, I decided I would paint one too and try to talk her through it. I don’t think I do a good job of explaining and painting at the same time because she gave up and went to a different activity.

Anyway I think It turned out pretty well so I thought I’d post it here. The canvas was already primed, so I started out with a coat of purple paint. Purple is one of my favorite colors, and I also thought it would complement the apple’s red color nicely. Next I added a red apple shape and began adding the highlights and shadows. It needed to dry for awhile before I could go any further with the apple so I laid in the green foreground–being careful to let some of the purple underpainting show through.

Next I added the white apple blossoms and put in a little light yellow highlights and some purple shadows.Adding the branch and apple stem next. It was to wet to do any fine tuning on the blossoms, So I went back to work on the apple deepening the shadows and brightening some of the highlights. Adding the shadows beneath the apple and blossoms was next, using a mixture of purple and a touch of black. Normally I would just use a bluer shade of purple but I did not have a dark enough blue available for that. Then It was time to dry brush the final highlights and shadows on the apple and retouch the blossoms. The background needed a bit more life and brightened up a bit. Adding a light behind the apple and fading it out really made the apple “pop.” At first I put too much yellow in it, so I lifted it out with a damp napkin and reapplied a lighter shade, and then dabbed it again to create a slightly mottled effect. Before signing it I added a few touches of red around the edges and softened it with the napkin as well.

I did get frustrated with it at times because acrylic is not a medium I use frequently and I also did not have my good brushes with me. working with larger brushes is a good learning experience though. It is a good idea to try new things an push outside of our comfort zones. You might just like the results ( when frustrated I find it helpful to get up and walk around the room and come back to it a few minutes later with fresh eyes.) I think I’ll try this exercise again . It’s fairly inexpensive since canvases this size can be found in the dollar section at Michael’s 🙂

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

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Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

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Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
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Photographs contained in this post are the intellectual copyright of Dawna Morton. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy in any form. Prints are available for purchase in Dawna’s Zazzle gallery.

Early Morning Sun Rays #18 print

Early Morning Sun Rays #18

As the early morning sun bursts through the trees, illuminating the forest with its heavenly glow, silhouettes of branches and leaves create a semblance of a stained glass window I love how the silhouettes of the forest trees and foliage in this photograph create a semblance of a stained glass window.

The Bright sunlight creates a high contrast photograph, almost like a black and white, except for the hint of green in the edges of the leaves and branches. There is also a small green sunspot followed by a larger red sunspot in the lower right corner.

The branch across the lower left corner resembles a fallen beam in an abbey of the ancient ruins of a ramshackle church. The warm glow of the sun speaks of hope, renewal, and restoration as it shines through the tangle of vines and branches.

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Early Morning Sun Rays #19 print

Early Morning Sun Rays #19

The early morning sun beams its rays from the azure winter sky through the leafless maples to the cedars and forest below.

The sky is a pristine light blue with a hint of thin white clouds in the background. Darkened outlines of bare branches in the foreground and cedar trees in the background provide stark contrast with the early morning sun.

As the rays travel from the sun through the forest, several large sunspots a of lighter and darker red radiate from the sun. One small green sunspot floats like a small orb in the midst of the trees.

 

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Early Morning Sunrays #26 print

Morning Sun Rays #26

The early morning sun bursts through the trees, radiating light through the dark forest. Ivy climbing the tree trunk becomes transparent as the sun shines through them.

The sun appears like a bright star floating in the midst of the forest as it shines through the translucent ivy on the trees. I love the warm coral half circle like a corona with sun rays streaming through it.

The air seems to sparkle with light and life as the green sunspot hovers like a remote star to the left of the sun, and the sun rays shine all around.

If you squint a little and look at it with eyes half shut and focus on the left of the photo, all the lighter areas where the blue sky peeks through the cedars look like a glimpse of stars in the galaxy surrounding the sun, or perhaps a white giant.

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Early Morning Sun Rays #25 print

Early Morning Sun Rays #25

Brilliantly the sun beams it’s rays through the shadowy center of the forest, creating 4 red sunspots near the corners of the photo. Beyond is seen the blue and white of a cold winter sky silhouetted by the cedars and ivy covered maples.

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Early Morning Sun Rays #28 print

Early Morning Sun Rays #28


The early morning sky is tranquil and blue, and the bare branches of the maples stalwartly await the coming of spring. The air seems to sizzle with energy as the sun’s rays stream through the forest ending in a burst of transparent red sunspots.

The sizzling effect is actually an optical illusion created by the wavy outline of the tree on the far left. When you look at it just right (look slightly to the right and don’t focus completely) it makes the sun Rays look as if they are wavy and dancing with energy.

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Early Morning Sun Rays #31 print

Early Morning Sun Rays #31

Softly radiant, the sun illuminates the forest from the calm winter sky. A solitary maple seems to shelter and guide the young saplings encircled by the evergreen foliage of the cedars.

Part 1, part 2, part 3

Images and content on this blog are the intellectual property of  Dawna Morton.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Do not copy.
Dawna’s Buy               my art Gallery of Greeting Cards, Matted Prints, and T-shirts at RedBubble Buy               art

Dawna’s Fine Art Prints at imagekind.com

Dawna’s Zazzle Gallery of items featuring her Art and Photography

Dawna’s art on FineArtAmerica

Dawna’s art on Amazon

Visit Dawna’s fan page and become a fan on facebook!

see Dawna’s art & photography with the poetry of Glennis Roper
http://PoemsProseAndArtistry.imagekind.com/
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http://www.redbubble.com/people/poemsproseart

Buy my t-shirts

 

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