creativity, How to, Paintings

How I made this. #3 Basil.

Well, I’ve had an idea floating around in my head for at least a week now.

It’s spring, which means everything is starting to grow. It means gardening. People are starting to think about what plants and vegetables they are going to grow this year. Where they will put everything. How it will all look, what kind of meals they will plan with home grown food. Spring has the air of possibility. Which got me to thinking that I want to do some pictures of different herbs.

There are so many to choose from. I thought for sure that I would like to do basil, maybe some oregano, rosemary, and thyme. I want to make sure that they look nice, so they will turn into nice pictures. I have a bit more research to do in that area. I know that I would like to do at least four different kinds, and those I think, are probably some of the more popular herbs that people use regularly.

Embed from Getty Images

First, I thought I could just do some line drawings. Then I thought, well, I could make those line drawings into printable art. I could make magnets. I could make paintings. I could make a set of four magnets. I could make a set of four small paintings. I could do some more colored pencil drawings. I could use my really cool Pebeo paints. I could use regular acrylics. I could use my small 6×6 canvas panels. Or my bigger ones!

I got really overwhelmed with all the possibilities that this project held! Overwhelmed in a good way though, because I’m very excited about this! I couldn’t wait to start!

It took me a few days before I finally did start though. I had taken a week off of work as vacation time while my son was home on spring break. I spent a lot of that time working on my Etsy shop. (Check it out here!) Anyway, I was busy making that the best I could over that time, not planning on creating anything. Then I went back to work, and I had to work six days straight. After all that time off, I was absolutely EXHAUSTED! I had no energy to start new projects!

Today, I not only started two (two!) new paintings, but I finished one of them!!!! This post is going to take us step by step on the one I completed!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what medium I wanted to start these in. I hadn’t painted in a while though. I’ve been drawing a lot lately, so I decided to see what kind of canvas I had laying around.

I had a few different sizes, so I decided on an 8″ x 10″ canvas panel board. I really like these because they have the same surface as a traditional canvas, but they are sturdier and lay flat. There is no “give” when painting on this surface. Plus I like that you can just pop these into a frame!

I chose basil as my first herb in this series. I already knew what it looked like, and it seemed like a good place to start. So, I had found an image that I liked enough to sketch from on Google images (Google is my friend), and just sketched it out right on my canvas with a 2H pencil.


So, since I knew that the leaves on this plant were a pretty green color, I had to decide on a background. I already knew that I didn’t really want anything going on in the background, no patterns or anything like that. I wanted the focus of this piece to be on the actual plant. So basically I just needed to pick a color that would work with the green of the basil leaves.

I chose a shade of yellow, because I thought it would make the green pop.


That was kind of boring on it’s own, so I mixed some orange in with it.


This is actually two different yellows and an orange mixed together now. So after that, this is what I ended up with.


I liked how this looked, so I decided to leave it as is. I figured if I wanted to add more to it, then I could go back at the end after I had the basil done to see if I thought it needed more.

Now, onto the leaves. I probably mixed about four different greens together.


At this point, I’m digging it. It’s a little different that what I had envisioned in my head, but I still really like it.


Even though there were so many different colors and layers already, I went back and added two other yellows, plus some white and another green! Also remember that there is already a base layer of yellow under all of these leaves as well.


I think that this big leaf in the front is my most favorite part of this painting. I really, really, like how it turned out!

I also really like how this next leaf turned out!


Here is the finished piece!


There is a bit of glare off the top of this photograph, but I was really just taking some step by step pictures so I could write this post, and put some up on social media. I’ll take better ones at a later date, when I put this up for sale.

All in all, this took me about two and a half hours from start to finish. Not bad for one project! I’ve been trying to keep track of the time involved when I create anything. That way I know some kind of time frame on how long it takes me to do things. Some take longer than others, but this, I sat down, put some music on, and just kept working. I suppose it helps that it really was not an overly complicated subject!

I’m not really sure if I will be selling the original of this, or prints yet. Possibly both. You will have to keep checking my Etsy shop for it!

Thanks for visiting! I would love to hear some feedback on these step by step posts!


1 thought on “How I made this. #3 Basil.”

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