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***

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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! 😀 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 🙂

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Episode 40

Hello, dears!

Unfortunately I couldn’t make my Art Lab post on Friday, but I have time (and data XD) to do it today! In this post I’ll show you a few tips and tricks on lettering, plus show you plenty of font inspiration to copy or use to think up your own fonts. (Because I usually run out of ideas after, like, three fonts. XD) So. Ready? GO!

Technique: Hand Lettering

Hand lettering is super fun, and also very useful for when you want to spiff up an envelope or gift tag or any number of things.

Fonts

Let’s start with one of my the most common and prettiest fonts in handlettering: fake calligraphy. Lovely name, isn’t it? 😛 That’s because it allows you to get a calligraphy-like effect without using any special calligraphy tools. It’s also super simple to write. See?

lettering 1.jpg

Step One: Write out your desired words in the neatest cursive you can.

Step Two: Find the downstrokes. Downstrokes are the places in a letter where you move your pen down the paper, like the little pink arrows show in the picture.

Step Three: Widen and color in the downstrokes to get the look of a calligraphy pen. Ta-daa! Pretty, isn’t it?

This is a great base font, especially when paired with a simple sans or serif.

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So basically sans doesn’t have the little “tags” on the ends of the letters and serif does. I like writing all caps sans and all lowercase serif. 🙂

And now, here are a bunch more simple fonts I wrote out to look through and use as inspiration or copy yourself. Which is your favorite?

Accents

Now that you got some fonts under your… um, pen XD, it’s fun to add little accents and flourishes to fill in the space beside the lettering. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and you can find a bunch more on Pinterest and the “Doodly Accents” section of PicMonkey. 🙂

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Inspiration

Still need some more ideas to get your creativity flowing? Here are a few of my recent (and not-so-recent) lettering pieces.

You can hand letter with any medium you wish! Here I used my watercolor brush pens which are super fun for lettering.

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Quote from Jane Austen’s Emma

For this one I used a blue notebook marker + a blue ballpoint pen. I love adding vines to letters, but it does take a bit of time and patience. 😉 Another fun thing to do for fonts with thick, solid bars of color like below is to add zigzags or circles or other patterns inside the bars for more interest.

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Quote from Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth

This is the first page in my second bullet journal. I like how the mix of colored pencil and ballpoint pen looks together. 🙂

Not quite the right season for this, but hey, it’s lettering! XD I think it looks really neat to overlap some letters, like I did with the ‘y’ and the ‘o’. Also a little extra line of a different color beside the downstrokes adds a shadow effect and makes it look more special.

art (1280x1280)

And lastly, a lovely Bible verse that I copied completely in blue ballpoint pen. (By the way, these Pilot G2 pens are practically THE BEST PENS EVERRR. They write super smoothly and you can get them in a range of point sizes.)

Bible journal 5 (1272x1280)

That’s all I have for today, so hopefully you’re inspired by now. 😀 If you did make some hand lettering inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Check out how to help us fill our art gallery here.

***Allison**

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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?

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

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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.

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13. Ta-daa! You’re finished!

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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 31

erase artist's block

WOOHOO Art Lab is back! I’m so excited to show you guys the post for today: 20 simple art prompts to help you erase artist’s block. 😀

Alright. So I’m going to give you the art prompts, explain each one a bit, and show you some of the art I’ve made using the prompts. Quite a few of these work especially well for ATCs, but you can use your sketchbook, a canvas, whatever! Ready?

Go.

  1. Draw a colorful black and white animal. Because art is great for showing things you never see. Paint a colorful panda, zebra, penguin… skunk. Have fun. I made this ATC ages ago…DSCN8577
  2. Draw your favorite music. Put on your playlist and draw what you hear. What color is the song? Blue, yellow, black, pink? Is it a soft, wavy line or an angry spiky one? Draw three or five of your favorite songs stacked on top of each other and frame it.
  3. Paint a pretty background and write a word/quote on top. Super simple, super pretty. I like to use watercolor and black or white gel pen. Look up pretty fonts on Pinterest if you like. art 4
  4. Use a white gel pen to doodle on black paper. This is SO satisfying and fun! I did another (rather short) Art Lab post about it here.
  5. Draw a huge picture of a tiny thing, and vice versa. A crumb, a bug, a part of your fingerprint… fill the whole page and draw in lots of detail. On the other hand, how small can you draw an elephant that still looks like an elephant? I know cats aren’t exactly huge, but I did draw them tiny. art 5
  6. Pick three markers without looking and only use those for a drawing. If you watch art videos on YouTube, you may know this as the Three Marker Challenge. 🙂 Somehow only having limited colors seems to kickstarts your creativity.
  7. Draw a close-up of a tiny detail of something. The stitching on your jeans, your dog’s nose, the center of a flower… I’ll bet a collage of several close-ups would look really neat! Like those mystery pictures in the backs of magazines. It’s also fun to draw several close-up views of one object: your cat’s eye, paw, nose, ear, whiskers, and put them together.
  8. Paint something by not painting. Negative space is fun to play with. I think watercolor is especially neat for this technique. It works well to paint the whole page with water except the silhouette of what you’re drawing, then swirl on some paint. What do you know, another cat.art 3
  9. Draw your dream house and decorate it. Or your dream bedroom, or craft studio, or kitchen. Who knows, this drawing might come in handy when you get a chance to build it!
  10. Close your eyes and scribble. Turn it into a drawing. This is a super fun and simple prompt, which I also made a post about here.
  11. Draw a silhouette with a galaxy behind it. Actually draw the galaxy first, but you know. And guess what? I ALSO made posts about how to draw galaxies! What do you know. There’s one here and one here. Once you’ve made the galaxy, draw a silhouette of a wolf, a person, a tree – the possibilities are endless (maybe)! Or you could draw a galaxy silhouette.art 8
  12. Draw on something unusual. A leaf, a crumpled brown paper bag, yesterday’s newspaper, an old book page, etc.
  13. Use words instead of lines to draw. Draw yourself a story. Instead of drawing lines, write tiny words. Instead of coloring something in, color it in with different colors of words.
  14. Draw a picture of what nothing would look like if it was something. I… don’t even know if this is possible. If you do it, I WANT TO SEE IT!
  15. Draw what smiling and crying feels like. Don’t actually draw someone smiling or crying. Use colors and lines (and objects besides people or facial features) to convey the feeling.
  16. Fill up a page with different versions of the same thing. Draw a hedgehog twenty different ways. Draw ten different cats. Fifteen different trees. It’s fun. CPC 3 (1038x1280)
  17. Draw with a non-art supply. Try using coffee, makeup, dirt, nail polish, smashed berries, food coloring, or whatever else you can find.
  18. Cover a page in lines, circles, or patterns, and watercolor on top. Another super simple but super pretty prompt! Just keep in mind that if you draw with a pen, you’ll need to let the ink dry before watercoloring over it. art 2
  19. Paint yourself without using lines – only colors that describe you. Go for sort of an impressionistic style here I guess. Use blotches of color instead of smooth lines, just for interesting.
  20. Fill a page with watercolor swatches and doodle on top. SO FUN! I got this idea from Pinterest here. And this is mine:

art 1

That was fun! I hope these ideas inspired you, dears. Which one was your favorite? Would you like to see more art prompt posts like this?

If you drew something inspired by these prompts, I’d love to see it! Click here to see how to send in a picture of your art and help us fill our gallery over at the Art Lab blog.

Also, here’s an image especially made for pinning if you want to save this to Pinterest for future reference. 😉

art block pin

Thanks for reading, and have fun! 😀

***Allison***