Footprints in the Sand

Painting is a form of expression that is gratifying, exciting, and completely expressive and unique. No two paintings are the same, even if they are painted over and over again by the same person. Some of the best gifts I’ve given to people and keepsakes I made of my childrenĀ have been paintings.

If you’re a bit turned off from painting or don’t think you have an artistic gene at all, the following steps is an easy way to make a very simple gift. While this is a step-by-step guide on how to paint the picture, just keep in mind that your own painting won’t look exactly like mine. That is ok because we all have different techniques, brush strokes, and different degrees of pressure with the brush while we’re applying paint. Besides, this should be your “own” creation and if you feel like adding to it, please do! In fact, you can add seashells, fish, waves in the ocean, less footprints or more footprints. Be creative and be inspired to make this painting your own!

Step 1:

You want to separate where the sea and the sand will meet. I used standard brown from my “Crayola” washable paint collection that I bought specifically for my toddlers to use. The line can be in the middle or as high or low as you want it to be. Make sure that before you put the line, that it is exactly where or nearly where you want it because it’s difficult to paint over lines you don’t want later.

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Draw a wavy line to separate sea and land

Step 2:

I started with the sand first and used brown, yellow, and orange. After defining the brown line a bit more, I started to fill in the sand using the same left to right wavy brush strokes to fill in the white space with yellow. You can let the paint dry before moving on to the ocean if you at worried about the paint colorsĀ blending in to each other.

Step 3:

Now it’s time to create the ocean! I used dark blue for the top, light blue in the middle, and white near the sand. I allowed the three colors to blend in with each other. Again, keeping with the flow of the sand I moved my brush along the canvas with the same “wave.” I added a touch of orange and a little brown to the sand to create more color and variation. After you are satisfied with your beach, let fully dry. Note: this is the last chance to make necessary touch-ups and to add more color if you want to.

Step 4:

Creating the footprints is the hardest part. Well, if you have little ones then it can be a challenge to keep their feet straight on the canvas. Before I stamped their footprints, I lined up their feet where I wanted them to go to help visualize how it would look. I wanted to create the feeling that they were both walking into the water so I staggered the footsteps. I used brown paint and painted the bottom of both feet, one at a time. Make sure to put plenty of paint so you get a good print! Gently press the foot onto the canvas. Don’t press too hard or you’ll dent the canvas. Repeat to create as many prints as you’d like.

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Footprints added

Step 5:

Now that your painting is near completion, you can add text. You can add a “beachy” phrase, poem, or just make it personal like I did and put your name or your kid’s names. Since this was a gift to their grandparents I put the names of my children using a “calligraphy” brush.

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Add text

Creating a memory like a personal painting has to come from the heart. Even if you are going to copy a painting such as the one we did here, it can still be uniquely yours based on your own style and inspiration. The fun part about creating your own special gift is what also makes it unique and cherish able. Making something is not only rewarding but can inspire you to create more.

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