Count it all joy!

painted cross.jpg

I was recently asked to create a painted cross on canvas for a group’s painting party coming up. This will be at a church for about 80 people. This painting party will also be a fundraiser for an awesome local organization providing clothes for teenagers in need. Count me in on that!

When coming up with this design I thought about my favorite Bible verses and considered a color palette that would work in my home. Black, gold, grays, blues…all very popular right now! And the great thing about this design is that anyone can change the colors to suit their decor and tastes.

One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:2, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” I love this verse because it reminds me how I should look at the hard times in life. And we are all guaranteed hard times, amen?? We laugh in our family that I am the optimist and I won’t name names for who we dub the “pessimist”. I think because I have verses like these etched on my heart I can remember to be happy and optimistic, even in times of trial.

For this painting I started by writing the verse from James in sharpie straight onto the canvas. I didn’t worry too much about getting it perfect because I knew I’d be painting over most of it. I did capitalize and bold the words “JOY”, “FAITH”, “STEADFASTNESS”, “PERFECT”, and “COMPLETE” to make them stand out. Even though most of the verse is covered in paint, I know what it says and I will be reminded of that every time I see it!


After the lettering, I used a phthalo blue to make a rough outline of a rounded cross. This is just to get the approximate shape.


I then mixed the phthalo blue and black together to paint the background all around the cross. I got my paintbrush pretty watery to blend the background. Next, I rinsed my brush and then used the blue paint water to do a light wash over the inside of the cross, straight over the letters. I let this all dry a bit and then used black to darken the border and corners.


Now for the fun part! Using cobalt turquoise, teal, phthalo blue, titanium white, and antique gold I made several passes with each color to outline the cross roughly, and then make concentric loopy crosses over the words. I finished with adding some highlights around the cross, using gold as my final color.


I love how this turned out and hope you have FUN painting it too! Please leave me a comment if you give this a go and let me know your thoughts!

Keep creating! - Rachel