Episode 53

Hello fellow artists! Have you ever wondered how people get those super amazing watercolor backgrounds for their art? Well look no further, today Iโ€™m going to be showing you a super easy and fun tutorial for how to get a unique watercolor background. Continue reading

Episode 51

Hello, dears!

This week I have something a little different than my usual watercolor art for you today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Quite different, in fact: in this post I shall give you guys a tutorial on how to make a cute owl with graphite and colored pencil shavings! ๐Ÿ˜€

But first, the inspiration behind the art:

Art Inspiration:

neat!

{via}

Pretty neat, isn’t it? I’ve seen things like this before and I think it’s a great idea, so I decided to make something like it myself! Let’s get started.

You will need the following:

  • paper or a canvas of some sort (I used an ATC)
  • sketching pencils or a normal pencil
  • a tortillon/blending stump or a tissue
  • a hand sharpener (NO WAIT I mean a pencil sharpener, but not an electric one XD)
  • colored pencils
  • liquid glue (I used Mod Podge but Elmer’s glue or Tacky Glue would also work)
  1. Begin by lightly sketching a rounded rectangle onto your paper.ย owl 1
  2. Sketch a wide “u” at the top of the rectangle to shape the owl’s “horns.”ย owl 2
  3. Fill out the horns, and add a small teardrop-shaped beak.ย owl 3
  4. Make the eyes. Don’t make either the iris or the pupils complete circles for a more realistic look.ย owl 4
  5. Start shading. I colored the pupils with my darkest pencil (soft ones in the “B” range work well), leaving a small highlight, and then shaded the iris darker at the top, gradually fading toward the bottom. Don’t worry too much about the rest of the facial details because we’ll fix them up in the next step…ย owl 5
  6. Now take your blending tool and soften everything but the eyes. As you can see, I made my owl quite soft and fluffy. You can keep yours more neat and trim if you wish. ๐Ÿ™‚ย After all smudging is complete, darken any areas that might need it. I also added a starburst of lines around the owl’s eyes for a cute detail. I suggest skipping to #8 at this point, if you want to learn from my mistakes. XDย owl 7
  7. Now the fun part! If your sharpener is already full of colorful shavings, you can use those, but otherwise you’ll need to sharpen some bright colored pencils. Turn the pencil slowly and firmly to get a nice shaving. My pencils were already so sharp that it hardly worked to sharpen them again, so your feathers might look different (and better!) than mine. Glue them on from the bottom up, overlapping the shavings as you ascend the owl’s body.ย owl 8
  8. I really should have added the wings first because they were hard to color in without breaking off the shavings, but oh well. XD Now add two parallel curves on both sides for wings, and two little feet holding on to a branch. If you took my advice and skipped #7, go back and do it now.ย owl 10

And you’re done!

owl 11

Nothing very complicated or impressively realistic, but fun for different, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how the colored shavings pop against the gray graphite, don’t you? Oh, and I covered my ATC with packing tape to protect the feathers once I was done, but you don’t have to if yours are glued down well enough.

What do you think? Did it turn out pretty cute? Have you ever used colored pencil shavings to make art or used an art supply in an unexpected way?

Oh yes, and if you make art inspired by this piece, we’d love to see it! Check out this pageย  to help us fill our art gallery. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

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Episode 50

Hello fellow artists! Welcome back to another Art Lab post! Today is actually our 50th posts, so as you might expect, that is quite exciting! ๐Ÿ˜€ I thought it would be fun to show you guys 5 of my favorite ways to make cute greeting cards! They are all super easy, and require no special surprise, so let’s get our making caps on ๐Ÿ™‚

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Episode 49

Hello, dears!

Welcome back to another episode of The Art Lab! It’s a bit late because I kind of got the posting schedule confused but ANYWAY, here we go! Today I’m going to show you how to draw cute, summery popsicles inspired by some popsicle stamps Megan bought at the post office the other day. Here’s our art inspiration for this post:

{via}

And here’s what you’ll need to re-create it:

  • Some sort of paper to draw on (I used an ATC)
  • watercolor crayons (you can also use watercolor colored pencils or just plain watercolors)
  • a pencil
  • brown colored pencil (optional)
  • a normal or white gel pen (optional)

Ahem. We are now ready to start the tutorial.

  1. Sketch out three popsicle shapes + corresponding popsicle sticks on your paper. The shape is up to you, but I like making ones with a flat base that taper slightly up to a rounded oval or square top. If you want, draw a bite taken out of one of them.ย popsicles forever (2)
  2. Sketch in some details on your popsicles. There are SO many options for this, so have fun and be creative! I mainly did varying degrees and sizes of squiggles to separate the different colors (I mean flavors) later.popsicles forever (3)
  3. I penciled in the popsicles darker than they should have been so you guys could see them. If your sketch is like mine, erase it for the most part until it’s barely visible. You don’t want to see pencil lines under the paint later on. Next, choose a limited color scheme of colors that go well together and won’t make brown if they get mixed. I chose a summery palette of warm colors + white.popsicles forever (4)
  4. Loosely color in your sketches with your crayons (or whatever you’re using). Cover the space, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. For the middle popsicle, I got an ombre effect by blending gradually less and less coral with more and more white.popsicles forever (5)
  5. Now the fun part: add water and watch the magic! If you want to blend colors, I suggest starting with the lighter colors and blending into the darker. If you do the opposite, the lighter color might disappear under the more dominant darker one.popsicles forever (6)
  6. Draw two parallel lines in the center of the popsicle, about the same distance apart as the popsicle stick is wide. (This is the bump where the popsicle stick is inside the ice.) Use a darker color (I used red), and blend it out with water to soften the shadows.popsicles forever (7)
  7. Next we’ll add shadows to the popsicle sticks. When you’re drawing from a reference, it helps to think in terms of simple shapes. If you look at the stamps, the shadows on the sticks are basically brown triangles. So make brown triangles! You can also faintly outline the whole stick in brown. You can certainly use your watercolors for this part, but I used a brown colored pencil for more precision.ย popsicles forever (9)
  8. Finally, add some details with a white gel pen. I added squiggles to the first, shiny highlights to the second, and cute sprinkles to the third, but you can add whatever you want.popsicles forever (10)

Ta-daa! Step back and try to admire your work of art without eating it. It doesn’t taste as good as it looks, trust me.

popsicles forever 10

If you make art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Send us a picture at theartlabblog@gmail.com and we’ll add it to our gallery on The Art Lab website.

What do you think of this art idea? Did you get the new popsicle stamps? And what is your favorite popsicle flavor?

***Allison***

Episode 48

Hello fellow artists! I hope you are having a wonderful summer so far! Today I wanted to share a really beautiful technique for painting watercolor sunsets. It is seriously so easy, and fun, and well it’s just a blast!

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