Friday Photo Roundup - November 17

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week! This week was pretty low key. I painted a lot, but not anything for my upcoming craft shows. I'm in love with a new painting technique you might have heard about-- acrylic paint pouring. I know, I know. It's the trend du jour, but I just love it. I'll post a few pics of the ones I've made that turned out super pretty. This weekend though, I HAVE to work on craft show prep-- no excuses.

This week's photo roundup features more of my favorite waterlilies from the Chicago Botanic Garden. I miss the Garden (and nice weather and sunshine...) I don't go often this time of year because it gets dark so early, I don't have a chance to make it there after work before the sun sets. But, thankfully, I have tons of photos to get me through the long dark winter!

02-tranquil waterlily.jpg

I hope you have a fabulous weekend and maybe get out and enjoy the last bits of autumn!



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Mermaid Theme Smash Cake Session - Baby Ellie

It's been a while since I've done a smash cake session, so when Ellie's mom asked us if we could do one for her, it was a resounding "YES!"  Smash cake sessions are so much fun to plan and to shoot. We discussed with mom what sort of theme she wanted and she mentioned she was considering a mermaid theme. You know when you hear something and you get a flood of ideas about how that thing should look or be? That was totally me. I had a TON of ideas and I couldn't wait to get started!

Mermaid Theme Smash Cake Session

This photo shoot turned out EXACTLY the way I had planned. I found a paper mache box and painted it to look like a treasure chest. We made pearl and beaded jewelry and used starfish and other shells from previous photo shoots to decorate in and around the chest. The fabric backdrop was from Joann's and my mom and I made the little headband Ellie is wearing and it's totally my favorite part of this whole setup.


Oh my goodness!!! Isn't she the sweetest?!


Ellie's mom even picked up the perfect cake for her that matched our theme perfectly!


Ellie wasn't too sure of the cake though. She was way more interested in her necklace and the other shiny beads. She's totally a girl after my own heart...


Ellie was so sweet and expressive and thoroughly enjoyed the balloons, her cake, and most of all, her jewelry.  And the best part is that mom and dad will have super cute photos to remember this special occasion for years to come!




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Friday Photo Roundup - October 13

Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week. I had a lovely week filled with quite a few photo adventures. Last Saturday I photographed a first birthday smash cake session that was mermaid themed. It was a total blast! I realized that I really really enjoy creating these magical and a little over the top scenes and I LOVE photographing the little ones. It just occurred to me that I should blog about it. It was really quite cool... Sunday, I took my mom to the Anderson Japanese Garden to check out the autumn colors. Spoiler alert! It was beautiful. And on Monday I went to the Botanic Garden to check out their fall colors and to scope out some locations for an engagement session I'm shooting next week.

This weeks photos are super fun. I've been taking my normally quiet little gnomes out and about with me and photographing their antics. They are quite an adventurous bunch!

Happy Trails Camper Adventure Gnome
Adventure Gnome

I hope you have a lovely weekend filled with lots of adventures, even if they are smallish!



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WIP - Cactus Painting

Hello! Happy Wednesday ! I am super excited to show you my WIP for this cute little cactus painting. You saw a sneak peek of it in the last WIP post featuring the large succulent painting I finished. Here it is in all of it's messy, unfisnished glory:


So there it is, on the bottom left. It looked okay, but I wasn't happy with the background and I thought that the greens looked a little flat. I decided to re-work the background and give it a little depth and interest and I added more yellow and even some red to the greens to make them look a bit more interesting.

Here's where we're currently at:


A little better, right?

The next step will be to add the little spines, and then I think I'll be finished! I need to step it up though-- I have a craft show that I will be participating in the first weekend of December. I'll post more details soon!

What are you working on? Let me know in the comment section below!


Friday Photo Roundup - September 29

Oh goodness! How is it already the end of September! Last I remember, I was writing about how glad I was it was finally September, and how I had all of these amazing adventures planned out. It's been a fantastic month. We celebrated G's birthday with an amazing dinner downtown with his family. We went on a 8 day adventure to Sedona (OMG! It was amazing!) and celebrated my birthday. I visited pumpkins (shhh! I'll liberate them when G isn't around...) and went to the Garden to check on signs of fall. I also signed up to be a part of a craft market in December (oh boy! This will be a whole new adventure! I'll update you with more details a little later.)

Here we are. End of September. I didn't update my flickr while we were on vacation. I've made it a habit to upload an image to flickr on the days that I go to work. So, on my days off and while I was out of town, I didn't upload any photos. I did post photos everyday while on our Sedona adventure on my Instagram. If you're curious, go check it out! I'll post more about our adventure and post more photos a little bit later.

Since I was home and working most of last week, I did manage to upload a few photos! They are from my last to the garden way back at the end of August. Enjoy!

end of season waterlily.jpg



I hope you have a lovely weekend and you get a chance to get out and enjoy some fall weather and PSL's!




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Friday Photo Roundup - September 1

How is it September already?! Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset at all. It is my most favorite month. First of all, I feel like September 1 is the unofficial start of Pumpkin everything season (no complaints here!) AND, it's our birthday month. <insert crowd cheering noises> This September is going to be full of photo adventures and cake.

This weeks photos are from my last trip to the Botanic Garden. I wanted to showcase more almost-the-end of season flowers that I cannot get enough of, like waterlilys, passion flowers, and those yellow Helenium (also known as sneezeweed!) Enjoy!

august waterlily by april bern photography
passion flower by april bern photography
late summer hosta by april bern photography
sneezeweed and bee.jpg
blue flowers by april bern photography

I hope you have a good weekend and a fantastic start to your September!



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WIP COMPLETE - Large Succulent Painting

Hey! How's it going? Remember last week, when I posted the WIP of the large succulent painting I've been diligently working on? I'm happy to report that it's FINISHED and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.

FINISHED! Large Succulent Oil Painting by april bern

My favorite part of this painting? Using this new paint color:

Phthalo Turquoise

It is such a gorgeous color and it blends so well with pinks to make the beautiful shades of purple you see in this painting. It also makes a gorgeous shade of green when mixed with yellow. I really should do a color swatch and show you guys. Do yourself a favor and pick up this paint color. You won't be disappointed.

current paintings.jpg

Check out the great shades of green in my newest WIP on the bottom left corner. That's a combination of the phthalo turquoise, cadmium yellow pale and white. I added phthalo blue to darken the greens. Pretty right? I'll post a proper WIP featuring that painting next week.

What are you working on? I'd love to see it. Leave a comment and a link to your latest WIP in the comments section below.



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Friday Photo Roundup - August 25

Happy Friday!
This week was great! I painted and made a ton of progress on my latest succulent painting. I made plans for a new painting, new posts for the blog, and new items my shops that I'm super excited about. And, I went to the garden. I can't ask for anything more. It was wonderful week. 

With summer (sadly!) coming to a close, I wanted to post flowers that are quintessentially summer. That means sunflowers, Japanese anemones, and bright yellow daisies! I hope you enjoy this weeks photos from Flickr.

Summer Sunflower
japanese anemones by aprilbern photography
my favorite cactus by april bern photography
summer dasies by april bern photography
Harvest by april bern photography

If you need more lovely photo inspiration, follow me on over on Instagram. I post flowers and pretty things as well as behind the scenes photos every day!


Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy this last weekend of August!



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