Episode 56

Hello friends! Today I’m excited to be back with another Art Lab post! Since fall has officially begun, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a neat watercolor leaf tutorial. It’s super easy, yet super cute!

I’d recommend practicing a little first, as if you’re not an expert watercolor painter (like me) then the leaves shape can be a little tricky at first. But then again, if you’re an expert……

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Basically just paint some random leaf shapes, if you want you could also lightly pencil them out.

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But of course all of this is just your personal preference.

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Next, paint some leaves on your actually canvas, ATC, sketchbook page, or whatever material you’re using. You can make them as simple as you want, or as complex as you want. I’d recommend trying a few colors and sticking to them, rather than just using whatever colors you want at the moment. Although that could and couldn’t turn out neat. Remember, there is no wrong way to do art.

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After the paint is dry and you are happy with it, then you can start adding details with a fine tip pen, such as stems, veins, etc.

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Once you are happy with the pen details, then you’re finished! Congratulations!

Also, if you did try this technique, I’d love to see it, just email me at theartlabblog@gmail.com to share a picture! 😀

-Hannah

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Episode 55

Hello mates!

Today, we’ll be making alcohol ink. Alcohol ink art has been trending and I’ve been looking at buying alcohol ink but I decided to make some of my own.

You will need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Chopsticks
  • old markers that don’t work anymore
  • utility knife
  • paper towels
  • something to line your workspace with
  • Plastic tubes, jars, something to store your ink
  • gloves (optional)

1) Take apart the markers to get the cartridge out. I’m using some old calligraphy markers. Don’t be hesitant to use some force!

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2) Make two small slices in the catridges. Don’t slice all the way through. It makes it harder the fish them out later.

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3) Grab your two plastic containers and put the cartridges into them and fill the containers about 80% full. Leave some space on the top.

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4) Leave the ink to “marinate” and set for at least a few hours or until the color has stopped changing.

5) With gloves on, use the chopsticks to fish out the cartridges and squeeze all the alcohol out of them. Give your inks a swirl. That’s it!

6) Make some art! I made the ATC’s below by placing drops of ink and using a heat gun to move them around and dry them.

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TIP! Don’t use normal paper. Alchol ink will bleed right trhough. Use GLOSSY paper, like photo paper OR you can cover paper with some Elmer’s or Mod Podge which works well enough.

 

Let’s chat below! Will you try this tutorial? Have you ever tried alcohol inks?

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Episode 54

Hello, dears!

Welcome to another Art Lab post. 🙂 Today I’ll be showing you how to paint some lovely watercolor clouds in candy-like colors, and at the end of the post I’ll announce which two artists we have selected to join our team!

But first, the art inspiration for today.

Photo Inspiration:

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I took this picture a long time ago and was going to put it in an Etcetera post, but I thought, “Ooh, I want to draw this. I’m going to save it for Art Lab.” So I did. 🙂 Are you ready to recreate this picture?

You will need the following:

  • watercolor (you could also use watered-down acrylic or gouache)
  • a paintbrush, preferably a medium-sized round one and a larger flat one
  • a canvas (I used my sketchbook, but this would make a great canvas or envelope!)
  • clean water
  • a paper towel
  • a black pen, marker or Sharpie (you could use black paint instead)

You have all your supplies? Alright, let’s do this!

  1. For pieces where you’ll be painting the whole space, I like to put washi tape around the edges and peel it up at the end. It makes the piece look more finished and professional to have a white border. 🙂 candy clouds 1
  2. Start by sketching out several layers of clouds. The trick to making them look realistic is to be random: make big piles of clouds and small ones, tiny bumps and bigger curves. candy clouds 2
  3. Erase your sketch until it’s barely visible. Outline the top layer of clouds with light blue watercolor. candy clouds 3
  4. Paint in the rest of the space above that cloud layer. When you’re painting sky, make the top darker and then fade it lighter toward the horizon, since this is how it looks in real life. (I should have made the top darker but I didn’t. :/ )candy clouds 4
  5. Do the same with the clouds, but in reverse. Start with blue at the bottom of the page, and then gradually fade into purple and a light pink at the top of the clouds.  It’s okay if it looks a bit messy right now, since we’ll paint over most of it later.candy clouds 5
  6. Now start defining the layers. Just like we’ve been doing, start with dark at the top and fade to light by washing your brush out and using clean water to lighten the paint as you pull it downward. candy clouds 6
  7. Keep adding more layers, changing from pink to purple to blue as you go down the page. Also add a few curvy lines inside the clouds like you did for their outlines, to make them more three dimensional. candy clouds 8
  8. Looking good! Now we’ll add the telephone pole. Go for contrast: the soft, curvy clouds accentuate the bold, straight lines of the telephone pole. Sketch it out first if you want to, but press lightly! Then draw a long, narrow rectangle with a tiny mushroom shape on top, and a pin shape sticking through the pole a little ways down. Like so: candy clouds 9
  9. Add the cables, referring to the picture. Pay attention to perspective and foreshortening: the lines to the left of the picture are closest to you, so they start wide apart and get closer as they head to the pole (which is farther away). Do the same with the second set of lines, but slant it toward the ground instead of toward the pole. I made the lines a little thicker to the left, but you don’t have to. candy clouds 10
  10. Now for the birds! You can add just one, like in the picture, or a bunch all along the lines, but I did two. If you’re adding a bunch, remember to make the birds smaller  the farther away (the more to the right of the picture) you get. candy clouds 11
  11. Erase any sketch lines, sign your piece, and add any other finishing touches. Now for the fun part – carefully peel off the washi tape, and admire your work!candy clouds 12

I think it turned out pretty, although my telephone lines could have been better. XD Oh well, art is never perfect – that’s part of the beauty of making something by hand! If you want something perfectly realistic, take a photo. But with art, you can make it into whatever you want, beyond the limits of what you can see through the viewfinder.

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AND NOW. The new artists! Let me tell you, guys, this was a REALLY hard choice – we got several amazing entries! But we finally picked…

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Amie and Danielle! Congratulations on joining our team, girls, and thank you SO much for being willing to do so! We’ll send you an email soon. I’m really looking forward to seeing your art!

Make sure and follow The Art Lab blog if you haven’t already, so you won’t miss a post from any of the five artists! Also, if you made a piece of art inspired by this tutorial, we’d love to see it! Click here to help us fill our gallery.

So. What did you think of the art? Do you prefer this soft color scheme or fiery sunset colors? Are you getting tired of watercolor tutorials yet? XD (If so, you’re in luck – we have new artists now!) Are telephone poles neat or ugly?

Thank you so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day. ❤

***Allison***

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 I’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. 🙂 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! 😀

But first, the inspiration behind the art:

Art Inspiration:

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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. owl 1
  2. Sketch a wide “u” at the top of the rectangle to shape the owl’s “horns.” owl 2
  3. Fill out the horns, and add a small teardrop-shaped beak. owl 3
  4. Make the eyes. Don’t make either the iris or the pupils complete circles for a more realistic look. 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… 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. 🙂 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. XD 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. 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. owl 10

And you’re done!

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Nothing very complicated or impressively realistic, but fun for different, I think. 🙂 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 page  to help us fill our art gallery. 😀

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

***Allison***