Episode 64

Hello, dears!

In honor of it being less than three weeks until Christmas, today I’m going to show you guys a tutorial on how to make easy but beautiful Christmas-themed art. Grab some art supplies, turn on some Christmas music, and here we go! 😀

Art Prompt: Watercolor Nativity Scene

I hope this isn’t cheating, but the art prompt for today is actually my own art… XD I made a series of printables like this one for my Etsy shop, and liked making them so much I wanted to show you guys how you to paint it for yourselves!

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You Will Need:

  • Waterproof pen (like Microns) and/or a pencil
  • Blue, black, and white paint (I used watercolor)
  • White gel pen (optional)
  • Painting supplies (paintbrush, heavy paper, water, etc.)

1. First, let’s draw the stable. I’m using a pen so it will show through the watercolor better later, but you can use a pencil if you want. This part is pretty easy – make a simple house shape, and a line beneath it for the ground.

nativity 1

2. Next we’ll make the manger. Draw a rectangle with a thick “X” beneath it. Then draw a tiny face and half an oval for the body.

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3. Start drawing Joseph. (I penciled in the whole thing and then outlined it block by block in pen so it’s easier for you guys to follow along.) First, draw a tall, narrow triangle with a blunt end. If this looks weird, don’t worry – we’ll fill in everything with black later on, so the lines won’t show.

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4. Finish Joseph. Add a short line connecting to the stable wall for his legs, and a curved line almost touching the manger for knees. Draw what shows of his arm coming from about the middle of the blunt triangle. The head is the trickiest part – I always just redraw it until it looks good. XD I gave him a short headscarf thingy as well.

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5. Start drawing Mary. We’ll do the same thing with Mary. Draw a slightly shorter triangle than last time.

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6.  Finish Mary. Add a wavy line from her neck to the ground, and legs and an arm like with Joseph. As you can see, I had to extend the manger a little bit because she was too far away to reach it. XD I also tried to make her face a little softer than Joseph’s, with a more prominent forehead and less prominent chin, and then gave her a longer headscarf thingy.

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7. Paint the background. The hard part is over! Now cover the top portion of your paper with blue paint. Try to make it darkest at the top and lighter towards the ground. You can use a paper towel or a clean, dry brush to lift some paint and make lighter spots for a more galaxy-like texture.

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8. Add some stars. I used white gouache, but you can use other paint or a white gel pen.  Make sure the blue is mostly dry, especially if you’re using a pen. If you’re using paint, dilute it with a little water and tap the paintbrush handle to splatter it across the paper. While you’re waiting for everything to dry, you can go ahead and paint the ground in with black.

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9. Paint in the silhouettes. This part is fun. 🙂 After everything is dry, fill in your outlines with black paint, touching up  the shapes if you need to.

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10. Add details with a white gel pen. This step is optional, but I think it really makes the drawing pop! I added the Star of Bethlehem above the stable, a few rays of light over baby Jesus, and then outlined all silhouettes with white gel pen.

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And ta-daa! You’re finished. Looks lovely, doesn’t it? I love this type of art. ❤ If you made a piece of art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Find out how to add to our Art Lab gallery here.

What did you think of the painting? Are you excited for Christmas? (Like that’s even a question… XD) Isn’t splattering paint an entertaining pastime?  And do you think you’ll make this piece?

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

***Allison***

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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 38

Hey, guys! Welcome back to another episode of Art Lab. 🙂

Today I want to show you how to draw “spaghetti mountains,” which is what I decided to call this certain doodling technique. 😛 I think it looks so neat in the end, and it’s quite fun and relaxing to draw.

Art Inspiration:

Pointillist Line Drawings of Mountains by Christa Rijneveld

{via}

Isn’t this gorgeous? I love it! I made a similar piece using this as inspiration, and also made you guys a little tutorial if you’d like to try it yourself. 🙂

Materials Needed:

  • Paper, an ATC, canvas, etc.
  • Black pens or markers (I used varying sizes of Micron pens + a black brush pen)
  • A white gel pen (optional)
  • Some time

1. Draw some jagged lines for mountain ridges with your thickest pen (I made the lines thicker later). Make some ridges in the background and foreground.

art 1 (915x1280)

2. Take your second thickest pen and start filling the first mountain with “spaghetti.” XD Draw some curvy lines that all start and end at the same point, and follow each other closely. Like so.

art 2 (1280x854)

3. Add more spaghetti in a different direction, and connecting to the noodles you already drew.

art 3 (1280x854)

4. Keep adding more spaghetti in all different directions until you fill the whole mountain ridge.

art 4 (1280x854)

5. Now for the ridge behind it. Use a slightly thinner pen to show perspective, because things (like spaghetti) look smaller when farther away.

art 5 (1280x854)

6. Keep it up! After you finish that ridge, move onto the one behind, using a thinner pen each time and making the lines close together. Doesn’t it look so neat thus far?

art 6 (1280x1280)

7. Add a sun behind the last ridge. I left a white space, but you wouldn’t have to. 😉

art 7 (1280x854)

8. Next we’re going to make the “rays” of the sun. Using your thickest pen, fill in the space above the sun with rows of dots or ovals.

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9. Make the dots in each new row bigger than the last…

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10. Ta-daa! You’ve filled the whole page!

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11. You can definitely leave it like that, but I added a bit more embellishment with a white gel pen. First I colored in the sun black, (weird, I’ve never seen a black sun before, have you? XD), and then rimmed it with dainty white dots.

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12. And lastly, I added some white circles to the black dots, just to break things up a bit.

art 12 (1280x854)

13. Ta-daa! You’re finished!

art 13 (856x1280)

What do you think? I think… strange but neat. 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try this, because it’s quite fun and I love the end result.

If you DO make art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Check out this page to see how you can help us fill our gallery.

Thanks for reading, dears, and have fun making art! 🙂

***Allison***

Episode 30

Halloo, guys! I’m excited to present a simple tutorial for drawing faces! 😀 I’ve heard a lot of you say “I CANNOT draw people” or “faces are SO hard,” and you know what? I kinda agree. People can be really hard to draw. But you can do it! Today I’m going to show you an easy way to draw a face with just a pencil and paper, and then I’ll show you some different combinations you can use to get all sorts of interesting characters. 🙂

So. To begin, here’s how to draw an average, boring face without looking off a photo of a person. XD (I – and probably you too – can draw a better face when looking off of a picture, but sometimes you just want to make up something, right?)

Ahem.

Technique: Drawing Faces

Step One:

Sketch out an upside-down egg shape for the face and two short curved lines below for a neck. A grid like this is nice if you need help with the placement of the features (like I do). Just draw a vertical line down the middle of the face and a horizontal one between a half and a third down the face. You can see that my sketch is far from perfect, but that’s okay. We’ll touch it up as we go.

face 1 (853x1280)

Step Two:

Using the grid, draw two oval or almond-shaped eyes. (You can add more grid lines if you like, but you don’t need to.) Eyes are usually smaller than you think, at least in my case. I drew these a bit too big. Getting them symmetrical is hard, but you know what? In reality, no one’s eyes are perfectly symmetrical – look in the mirror!

face 2 (953x1280)

 

Step Three:

One common mistake made when drawing eyes is to draw the iris as a whole circle. Unless you are surprised or unusually pop-eyed, you won’t be able to see the whole iris. So make your circle go off the eyeball, like this:

face 3 (1280x853)

Step Four:

Draw a tiny circle towards one side for the highlight, and a bigger, filled-in circle (or dot) for the pupil. Also draw a curved line above and below each eye for the eyelids.

face 4 (1280x853)

Step Five:

Draw the eyelashes. This can be pretty tricky, and I think I drew too many eyelashes here. From far away, you can only see a few individual spikes of eyelashes, not a whole fringe. (Again, look in the mirror if you need help.)

face 5 (1280x853)

Step Six:

Heh heh, this would usually be where you color in the irises, but I kind of forgot about it until step ten. XD You can skip to there now if you’d like or just do it later.

Anyway, now we need the nose. Draw two curved lines (kind of like you did with the neck) for the bridge of the nose, and two parentheses-like curved lines below it. How far apart you make them determines how big the nose is, as well as how far down on the face you put them.

face 6 (1280x853)

Step Seven:

Curve your parentheses around a bit more to look like “C’s” facing each other. Then connect the bottoms with a wide curve or “U.”

face 7 (1280x853)

Step Eight:

For the top of the lips, make a flattened “M” shape, which I think looks kind of like a flying bird. 🙂

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Step Nine:

Connect the two ends of the “M” with a long curve. You can make it almost flat or very arched depending on how full you want the lips to be. Draw a line in the middle that echoes the curves of the top lip line.

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Step Ten:

Now I remembered to color in the eyes. XD A simple way to do this is to color a dark line around the outside of the iris and fill it in with lighter pencil. Make sure to darken especially the top of the iris to make it look more realistic.

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Step Eleven:

Now for the hair, which I am pretty terrible at. XD Oh well, you can tell it’s hair at least.

Using the face shape sketch you did at the very beginning, curve the hair around the head like so. (I decided to make the head a little shorter than I had originally sketched.) For this hairstyle, I kind of drew two elongated teardrop or comma shapes that meet at the middle line of the face grid.

Also now is the time to define the face shape at the jaw and chin. You kind of just have to play around with this part and experiment. A more round, curved jawline will look like a younger face, and a sharper, more angular jawline will look older or more masculine.

face 12 (1195x1280)

Step Twelve:

Start shading the hair. WAIT, DON’T PANIC BECAUSE I SAID SHADING. This is very simple. Draw darker, closer together lines beside the neck and at the top of the head, and lighter, farther apart lines for the rest of the hair. Don’t draw many lines at all at the top sides of the head, which will make the hair look more shiny and highlighted. Leave a little gap where the two sides of the hair meet for a part. Or just look at the picture and figure it out for yourself. XD

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Step Thirteen:

Finish shading the hair. Also *facepalm* I almost forgot the eyebrows. XD Oh well, you can add those sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter. But you should add them or the face will look kind of weird and blank. Eyebrows are simple: just draw a bunch or really short, slightly curved lines. Or you can draw just a single curved line for an even simpler, less realistic version.

Lastly, erase any grid lines and smudges, add shading around the face and under the neck if you want to (you don’t have to), and you’re done! Ta-da!

To tell the truth, this isn’t my best portrait. The face is too round, the eyes are too big… but that’s alright. This is what you have to do – if it doesn’t turn out good the first time, do it a second… and a third, and a fourth. 🙂

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Now since you know how to put everything together, here are some ways to change up the facial features. It’s so fun to try different combinations!

Here’s another Art Lab post I did on how to draw eyes: Episode 23.

faces 1 (1280x1277)faces 2 (1280x853)faces 3 (1280x1087)faces 4 (1280x1048)faces 5 (1280x1033)

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Have fun mixing and matching! Also before you go, I wanted to show you a colored pencil face drawing I did off of different pictures. You can tell I do a lot better when I look off of something. XD

Which little cutie is your favorite?

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Well, I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Would you like me to do another face tutorial, like maybe how to do colored pencil portraits or profile portraits or an easier or harder version? What do you want to learn how to draw? Maybe I can do the next Art Lab from one of your suggestions!

Thanks for reading, dears, and have fun drawing!

***Allison***