Episode 29

Yay, I’m so excited to show you this art today, guys! According to your requests, here is a tutorial for the technique I used to create the last envelope art in this post. It’s a super fun technique and the inspiration behind it is absolutely beautiful too. So let’s get started, shall we?

First of all, the…

Art Prompt:

I found this really amazing spray paint artist who has a YouTube channel called “Skech Art.” He is SO good! When I think of spray paint art I picture graffiti, but he makes actual paintings on canvases. Here’s the video:

 

Okay, so I could do without the unicorn (I think it kinda distracts from the gorgeous scenery), but isn’t it AMAZING?! There’s another equally amazing video here that you should really watch too. 🙂

Alright, now for the tutorial. This technique is great for lots of things, like envelope art, ATCs, or just a painting on watercolor paper, but I think it would look especially nice on a canvas. (I used a piece of white cardboard, though, if you’re wondering.)

1. You’ll need a few different colors of acrylic paint that go together well, plus white and black. I used pink, a few different shades of purple, and a dark indigo.

Paint the outer ring with your darkest color. Don’t worry if it gets a little messy, like so. 😉

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2. Blend a ring of the next darkest color (like dark purple) into the outer ring you just made, overlapping the paint colors so they blend.

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3. Now just keep adding new rings of color, making a gradient from dark to light. Use white for the very center. Tip: Blending works a lot better if the paint is still wet, so try to do these rings all at once instead of letting them dry between circles.

Ahh, it’s looking so pretty, isn’t it?

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4. Add some long black blobs for islands to the bottom third of the picture, like so.

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5. The islands kinda look like they’re floating, so we need to anchor them. Use your ugliest brush with coarse or frazzled bristles to paint some white streaks under the islands and create the illusion of water. Tip: Don’t use much paint and make sure your brush is nice and dry to create perfectly imperfect streaks.

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6.  The islands still need shadows to cement them into the picture. Paint some black streaks right under the islands to make their dark reflections. (Wow, that sounds scary. XD )

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7. This is probably the hardest part: painting the tree. If you’re good at drawing trees, go right ahead and start painting, but if you’re not the best, like me, it might help to practice a few on a scrap piece of paper. My tree didn’t turn out quite as good as I had hoped, but you know what – that’s okay! You can always make a new and improved picture next time. 🙂 It also helps to look at some pictures of trees for inspiration.

Tip: I’ve found that it makes the branches look more realistic if they’re wider where they join the main branch and then taper to a point.

I also made a bumpy line for trees on the second island. 🙂

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8. The stars are the finishing touch. Use your coarse paintbrush to splatter white paint all over your picture. Actually I should have done this part before I painted the islands, but I just painted over the black silhouettes and it turned out fine. 😉

Tip: It’s easier to splatter the white paint if you thin it with just a bit of water. Then tap the paintbrush handle on your finger to flick paint across the paper. If I do this again I think I’ll make slightly fewer stars because it can get overwhelming.

I also like to make a some twinkling stars by painting small crosses over a few of the dots.

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Ta-daa! And there you have a beautiful galaxy-moonset-silhouette-ish picture. 😀

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, my friends! Do you think you’ll give it a try? If you do, I’d love to see your artwork! Click here to see how to submit in your artwork to the Art Lab blog and help us fill our gallery.

Thanks for reading, dears!

***Allison***

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Episode 18

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Are you guys excited for Christmas? I sure am! Today I have a fun Christmasy way to decorate an envelope for your pen pal or friend or family. Grab an envelope, fine-tip markers or gel pens, and colored pencils, and here we go…

Idea: Christmasy envelope

  1. Set the stage. envelope-1-1280x960
  2. Hang up the strands. envelope-2-1280x853
  3. String on the lights. envelope-3-1280x853
  4. Turn the lights on.envelope-4-1280x853envelope 5 (1280x853).jpg
  5. Add the lyrics of a favorite Christmas carol.
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    CHRISTMAS BOKEH!
  6. Send it off to make someone happy!

Ahh, I love Christmas lights. They’re so cheery, and really make Christmas feel cozy. Don’t you agree? Do you string lights up around your house? We don’t usually, but this year we strung some on our front porch, and it looks beautiful!😀

If you made some art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Visit our “Art Gallery” page here to see the details. Thanks for reading!😀

***Allison***

Episode 6

Wow, it’s already the sixth episode of Art Lab! Today I made a sunny, breezy, dandelion envelope.

I used these two pieces of art as inspiration. Aren’t they so pretty? Unfortunately, the links to the original websites didn’t work (or in the case of the last one, it was an Etsy piece that had already been sold.) 😦 Argh! It’s so annoying when that happens. Anyway…

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Continue reading

Episode 4

*Announcer’s voice* Hello, and welcome to the fourth episode of Art Lab!😄

Recently I’ve been having fun arranging simple rainbow patterns in interesting ways. This is pretty much no-fail art. As long as you can wield a marker and a pair of scissors without dying yourself blue or hacking off a finger, you’re in good shape.😄

Word Prompt: Rainbow

Rainbow is kind of boring, and unoriginal, right? Wrong! Here is how to spruce up a plain rainbow drawing (or any drawing, really):

Start by covering your paper in rainbow stripes, splotches, swirls, or pretty much any pattern you can think of. Here is a pattern I drew: (Note: Your pattern can be super simple – plain rainbow stripes work wonderfully.)

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The colors were brighter in real life.😦 Bad camera! (Or maybe just bad photographer. XD)

 

Now, cut it up! (Although if you really like your art so far, you should save it and make another piece to cut up.) You may cut it up into nice even strips, but it’s much more fun to go wild. Cut it up into big pieces and small pieces, jagged and smooth, circles and stripes. Now place your “puzzle pieces” on a paper, but leave spaces between each of them. This is what makes it neat. The white space distorts your picture while still letting the pretty design show through. Like so…

For this one I cut a circle from the above design, then hacked it to pieces and re-glued it onto an ATC with spaces between each of the jigsaw pieces. The circle spread into a sort of Easter-eggish shape.

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This one started as a simple rainbow-striped square. You can see how all of the pieces fit back together.

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The background of the next one came from a marker-testing swatch.😀 It makes things more interesting if you cut out shapes, like I did with the circle here. Just make sure that the inner circle is small enough to be glued on with space to spare.

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Oh, and I almost forgot: rainbow stripes make bright and fun envelope art too, especially if you have several different shades of each color:

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So there you are! A simple way to make beautiful art. Now break out those rainbow markers, colored pencils, or watercolors, and get drawing!

***Allison***

Welcome to The Art Lab! (Episode 1)

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Welcome to the first episode of The Art Lab!

What is ArtLab?

ArtLab is a collaborative series put together by Hayley and Allison to give you inspiration for artistic adventures. One of us will post an art inspiration here every week to get your creative juices flowing. We’ll also show you some art that we made (usually either an ATC or a decorated envelope) using that inspiration.Usually we’ll take turns posting, but today we’re doing an introductory post together.

Now that you’re properly introduced, let’s get started, shall we?

Today’s inspiration is a party-themed envelope. If you make this envelope and send it off in the mail to one of your pen pals or friends (for their birthday or otherwise), it’s sure to brighten their day!

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Hayley’s Art:

From the above inspiration I (Hayley) made my own version…

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Isn’t it beautiful? Sorry, I’m tooting my own horn😉.

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I made the “banner” at the bottom with washi tape that I cut up into triangles. But instead of washi tape, you can also use card stock, tissue paper, or anything else like that… Be creative!

Once I  finished the banner, I outlined the triangles with a white gel pen on one side and a black sharpie on the other side. I loved how it turned out!

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The polka dots were printed with an old pencil eraser and a few different colors of ink pads. It’s so simple–but it’s so cute!

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After I finished the banner and the polka dots, I cut out a piece of card stock paper and glued it onto the envelope–this is were the address will go. I outlined the circle with a black sharpie. And added little cut-up pieces of washi tape over top of the line.

And it was done! See? It’s SO simple, but it’s SO cute!

Allison’s Art:

I’m afraid my part is a bit short and sweet. (But at least it’s not short and sour, right? 😀 ) Before I start, if you don’t know what ATCs are, check out the page at the top of our blog called, well, “What Are ATCs?”, or click here to visit it. Now we may proceed. 🙂

 I was inspired by the pretty banner and fun confetti on the envelope to make a party-themed ATC, so I made this: “Hedgie’s Birthday.”   I used watercolor crayons, water, and a black pen to illustrate the ATC.

Isn’t the lil’ guy so cute? He is being rained upon by many colored sprinkles… which will probably get stuck to his spines. XD 😀 I love hedgehogs!

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If you enjoyed this, make sure to save it to Pinterest so you can come back to it!

We hope you enjoyed this first installment of The Art Lab. Check back every week for more fun!

♥Hayley

♥Allison