Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life Lessons Chapter 2: Light

Author's Note: I'd planned on getting this up yesterday, but I ended up being out with my friend Ji for longer than I expected. I wasn't sure if I was going to have time to get it up today either, but luckily, I've managed to get it up! The theme for this one is light. I hope you enjoy it!

"Why are we out here so early?"

Peeta chuckled at his daughter's questioning as he watched her rub the sleep out of her eyes. "If we're going to paint the sunrise, we have to be up to see it."

Dani turned from the easel she was setting up to look at her mother who was currently lounging on the steps of their back porch. "And why are you up?" She couldn't understand why Katniss would willingly leave the comfort of her bed at such an early hour.

Katniss smiled sleepily at her daughter. "Couldn't sleep," she said without elaborating. Her and Peeta shared a look. Dani still didn't understand why her mom would wake up so early just to watch her and her father paint, but she knew that no amount of questioning would get her an answer.

"Whatever," she sighed as she began setting up her paints.

Dani and Peeta painted in companionable silence for a few hours as Katniss quietly watched on. Dani tried her hardest to make the sunrise look just right, but no matter how hard she tried it just didn't look as good as her father's. Peeta had assured his daughter many times that it just took practice. After all, he'd been painting much longer than she had. Dani supposed she was pretty good for her age and level of experience, but she longed for the day that she would come even close to being as good as her father.

Dani hadn't realized just how difficult it would be to capture the light correctly. Most of her outdoor paintings took place in the afternoon, and she'd only ever painted the sun itself once or twice. She'd underestimated the difficulty of capturing the many colors of the sky and how the sun beams poked slowly over the horizon. She glanced quickly at her father's canvas to see that he had captured it almost perfectly. Dani felt slightly disheartened when she looked back at her own canvas. The colors weren't exactly the right shade even though she'd probably spent more time mixing them than actually painting. Peeta, on the other hand, had seemed to know exactly how much of each paint to mix together and had created colors, in just the right shades, before Dani had even decided on what colors of paint to mix.

Peeta seemed to notice her frustration, and he glanced over at her painting for the first time. "It looks great." And his smile was so genuine that Dani almost believed him. In fact, she didn't think he was lying at all. Her father seemed to like all of her paintings. She could probably throw random blobs of paint on a canvas, and he'd still praise her.

"It does not." Dani began to let out all of her frustration. "Everything looks wrong. This bit right here should be yellower, and the sun beams aren't hitting this tree just right. Plus-"

"Dandelion," Peeta cut her off gently. "It's okay. It's your first time painting a sunrise. No one paints something perfectly the first time. You'd never done something like this before."

"I know," Dani's agreement only came from the knowledge that her father would never see it differently.

"Here," Peeta moved over to her canvas. "Let me show you how to fix the shading of the tree."

Peeta spent the next hour teaching Dani how to show the light hitting the tree just perfectly. By the time Peeta had finished his lesson, Dani's tree was on its way to looking almost as good as her father's. She beamed with pride as her mother came over to check out her work. There was a lot more work to be done on the painting, but Dani felt a lot more confident in how it would turn out. It still wasn't as good as her father's, but with a bit of work, maybe Dani really could be as good a painter as her father some day.

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