Friday, June 22, 2012

Paradise Falls.

I watched Up again a couple of weeks ago. I love that movie so much. It's hilarious {South America! It's like America....but south!} and heartbreaking (the Ellie and Carl montage, anyone?) and just lovely. I had sort of forgotten about Ellie's painting of Paradise Falls. When I saw it in the film again, I decided that I wanted to try to recreate it.

Please know that I am not an artist. I sew and do other crafty things. But besides some sketches, my last experience with "art" was winning a prize in kindergarten for an awful color pencil drawing of a dalmatian with a perfectly round head, surrounded by flowers (the dog, not its head).

But when I found a picture of the painting online, it seemed fairly simple. This was the painting project I mentioned recently, by the way. And now it's finished. :)

I'm showing these close-ups to prove that it is so far from perfect. But looking at it from a distance makes a big improvement. :) I actually spent almost as much time on the house as I did the whole rest of the picture, because it was so detailed. And yes, I know the roof detail on the left side got a little weird. My cheapo paintbrush was losing its fine tip and I was getting a bit panicky. :)

For the swirls, I used an old, dried-out sewing marking pen dipped in paint.

The canvas is something like 16 x 20, so it just barely fit on top of my dresser (no mantle piece in my room :). P.S. Wasn't my grandpa handsome in his 40s Navy portrait?

I promise that I'm not adding painting as a new hobby. I spend enough money in Hobby Lobby as it is, thank you very much. {Though the canvas was in a two-pack, so I have another one to fill sometime.} But I did learn a couple of things from this little adventure:

1. When paintbrushes are labeled "Value Brushes," this pretty much translates to "Cheap Brushes." Maybe it was because of me and my lack of painting experience, but bristles were coming out after just a few minutes of use.

2. Cardstock is not an ideal surface for mixing paints. Because it absorbs the paint. {I knew that. But we didn't have any paper plates and I don't have a fancy artist's palette or whatever it's called. I did use some old plastic containers sometimes.} But it looks cool when you're done.

3. It's impossible to get the colors exactly like they are in the original painting. No need to stress out over that. Also, cheap paints are fine but don't exactly mix well sometimes (I used Americana, the cheapest brand at Hobby Lobby). And I mixed colors like crazy. Sometimes I think I used every shade of blue I had for one little section of cliff. :) And I repainted the light blue background about four times to get it just right. It kept turning out too dark and greyish.

This project took about four(ish) evenings (maybe an hour or so each evening?) to finish. Not nearly as long as I expected, honestly. And it cost about $12 or less. The canvas was a special two-pack that, with a 40% off coupon, cost about $4. The brushes cost a couple of dollars a pack, and the paints were 99 cents each (I already had a couple of the colors and some of them I got for 30% off). Not bad at all.

Here are some in progress shots I remembered to take.

I love how the cliffs are so geometric, with a lot of triangles and such. I sketched out the main areas from the original painting, though some of the lines got changed or disregarded when I actually painted the sections.

It looked like this before I added the house.

I really love it. It reminds me of a sweet story and gave me a chance to try out something completely new. I'm also hoping to do an Up embroidery piece sometime in the next month or two.

Do you love the movie Up, too? Have you tried something new and adventurous lately? {I do realize that I must be a boring person if painting this picture felt adventurous.} Adventure is out there, you guys! {And I can't tell you how many times I laughed while rewatching that clip. Ellie is the best and I think Pixar should give her a movie of her Up prequel featuring her and Carl?}

Until next time,


  1. "Y'know, you don't talk very much. ...I like you!" <-- Favorite Ellie line.

    What do you mean you're not an artist?! I could just sit back and look at your painting for awhile. You did an incredible job.

    I love the movie as well and love this idea. I'm going to ask my twin to do something similar. If *I* tried, Carl and Ellie's house would look like it was a colorful igloo on the back of a grey whale. (Or something like that.) I lack artistic ability outside of stick figures.

    Awesome work!

  2. This looks amazing. Seriously, you did a fantastic job. It looks just like the painting in the film! I don't do much with paints, but I think I might have to give this a try sometime; it looks so cool!

  3. Your painting is AMAZING!! Really, truly amazing. I'd say you definitely have talent as an artist:)
    And now you've inspired me to paint Paradise Falls. I doubt I actually will, but you never know...;)

    Oh, Up is one of my favorite movies! Especially the first part with Ellie and Carl. So, so sweet. My family quotes that movie all the time. *grin*

  4. I love this movie so much! It's definitely one of my favorites. Your painting is really, really good. It's so cute! If I had so much as an inkling of artistic talent, I would try to paint one. I'd say you're a pretty good painter, considering my specialty is stick figures and I never really go beyond that.
    Kristin @

  5. Girl, I can't believe you--this is amazing! I don't think I could paint something like that. I love it! Great job :) Oh, I love UP, but you already knew that ;)

  6. Your painting is amazing - I wish I could find a cross-stitch pattern for this. Congratulations on the completion of a wonderful project :)


  7. ~ * ♥ * ~

    I love your rendition of that picture ~ it's so cute and just about spot on for the style! I haven't done any painting in ages, but I do enjoy it, so maybe I should pick up again... I dunno ~ so much to do and so little time to do it! Anyway, kudos on the excellent job. : )

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  8. Your painting is gorgeous, Kristin! Well done!


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