How I made my first painting.

Now that you know why I made my first painting, Let me tell you how I made it. The morning after I bought my first canvas, I waited until I finished my chores. Then I got to wonder, what shall I paint?

Hmm, that’s one big question. Well, I decided to Google painting pictures. Boy was I overwhelmed! Since I didn’t like to draw, I decided to go for something abstract; an abstract tree. I had enough sense to know that I cannot do it all at once since it is oil paint that I was working with. So I got started with the background. Blending colors on canvas was fun, and it came to me naturally. Wait, how did I know how to do that? I guess something good came out of watching my mom paint (besides the beautiful curtains). But then came the tricky part, making the tree. My husband Pascal came back home that afternoon and asked, ‘Are you done?’ Not even close, I said. I’ll draw the tree tomorrow.

Pascal is constant encouragement. He loved the background and said leave it like that. It is beautiful.

Come on, I know better than to believe that.

I wanted the tree to be perfect. But how? I took a thick sheet of paper the next day and drew an awesome looking tree.  Then I took a blade and cut it out like a stencil. Yeah, that was a lot of work.  And I was all prepared to transfer it onto the background when I touched the canvas and realized that it wasn’t dry. I smudged the background a bit, oops!  I then found out (thanks to Google again), that it takes four days to a week to dry. I waited and then once it was dry I made the tree. Believe me when I say stenciling oil paint isn’t an easy task. I finally ended up drawing the tree free hand. Getting rid of the oil from the brushes was a whole other task. I actually thought I had to wipe it off with a rag. Hmm, can you imagine that I dint know about a magic potion named ‘Turpentine’. Oh, the many number of paint brushes I’ve destroyed.

Voila! My very first painting.


Do let me know what you think in the comments below.

And yes, I still get to see the painting whenever I want to. I gifted it to my parents.

More about my experiences in the next blog post.


The start of my Journey towards being an Artist.


I’m Sylvia D’Silva and I’m an Artist. But I wasn’t always one. I was the kind of girl who would watch my mom paint fabric curtains and tablecloths and wonder,’ why is she wasting her time?’ How can anyone have so much patience?’

Honestly, my journey began out of boredom. Being an Engineering graduate, I had no job opportunities in the remote locations my husband was posted to. He is an Army Officer and I prefer living wherever he is. Having said that, living in a small town I felt trapped and I was so bored. And I was expected to cook. Well, I don’t know how much cooking I did but I sure did burn a lot of pans. I lived in Mhow with him during the first few months of my marriage. Mhow is a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India; which is famous for leather goods and paintings (Painting classes all over the place. Any Tom, Dick and Harry in Mhow, teaches painting). My husband suggested that I attend a painting class there, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to sit in a classroom and listen to anyone. Besides, I hated drawing.

Eventually, I made a few friends. One evening, Vinsilaa (Another Army wife and a good friend) invited me and my friend Ishu over to her place and said she’ll teach me decoupage-the art of decorating objects with paper cut-outs. And with that came my very first oil paint set.  I was interested because the main element in the decoupage piece was a magazine cutting and I didn’t have to draw anything. I just had to paint around it. The oil paint was something else, I loved it. I don’t know if it was the smell or the feel of it on the canvas. Once I was done with my decoupage piece, I got lazy and didn’t think about the oil paints again. Meanwhile, I got a job as a part-time Lecturer in the Military Engineering College, not to mention the fact that my husband was a student in the same college where I was a lecturer, how awkward is that? Anyway, I got busy with the job. And life went on. Seven months later, I had to pack up my belongings and move to a new place.

Hello, Madhopur; A tiny little village in the outskirts of Punjab. A stone throw distance away from the J&K border. Ugh, Imagine a Bangalore city girl living in a village where even a simple luxury such as Ice-cream during summer was something I could only dream of. I was more bored and frustrated than ever.

One evening, I visited a city called Pathankot with my husband to buy an inverter for the house since I had spent three nights in the dark due to a power cut. Pathankot is the nearest city to Madhopur at a distance of about 22kms. The first shop that I saw the minute I entered the city market was an art supplies shop, and a really big one. I knew I had nothing to do at home besides being a pretty little homemaker, and I remembered that I had a basic set of oil paints in my trunk, back at home.  So I went ahead and bought a small canvas board. I painted my very first painting that week and I WAS AWED. I really like doing this. Although I didn’t know most of the very important things I needed to know, like how to wash the oil paint off the brushes, what kind of brushes are available and so on, yet I continued painting. And oh the drying time of oil paint was very frustrating. Patience Sylvia! I told myself. But the end result was something I will never forget for the rest of my life. My husband saw it and told me I was going to be a well know artist someday. I didn’t believe him then. 🙂

I would love to take all my readers through my journey forward. This blog is going to be all about art and my crazy life.

Want to know what happened next? Watch out for more of my stories and experiences and my very first painting picture in my next post.


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