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***

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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.

face 9 (1280x853)

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. 🙂

face 16 (916x1280)

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?

girls drawing (1024x377).jpg

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***

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. 😉

art 1 (1280x974)

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.

art 2 (1280x960)

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?

art 3 (1280x973)

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

art 4 (1280x960)

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.

art 5 (1280x979)

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 )

art 6 (1280x960)

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. 🙂

art 7 (1280x929)

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.

art 9 (1280x960)

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

galaxy silhouette 1 (800x600).jpg

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***

Episode 25

Guys, guys, guys, look! It’s the 25th Art Lab post! WOOP WOOP! And today I’m doing something a little different, to celebrate. Okay, not really to celebrate – it’s mostly because I wanted to, but we can say it’s to celebrate, right? 😛 Ahem. As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, today I’m just going to post some pictures of some of my recent art rather than using someone else’s art as inspiration. I’m always inspired when I look through bloggers’ art posts, so I hope this post inspires you to sit down and start drawing! 😀

First up I have a few ATCs. (If you don’t know what Arist Trading Cards are, I highly recommend you click here to find out! They’re so much fun!) Some of these are recent and some are not so recent.

YAY doughnuts! Yummy. I really like this one. 🙂

art (21) (1280x853)

I did these watercolor cherries from a tutorial on Pinterest. They turned out great – if you don’t look at the cherries on the tutorial, that is. XD

art (22) (1280x853)

I love this quote/verse thingy, and have a canvas with these words on my bed.

art (23) (1280x853)

We learned about geraniums in Nature Study, so I decided to draw one on an ATC.

art (24) (1280x853)

I made this ATC ages ago, but I still love it. 🙂

art (25) (1280x853)

This is the first page (besides the title page) in my new sketchbook. Eh, could be better, but it least it’s welcoming. XD

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It’s a rainbow lion! It didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped, but I still like it.

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I liked drawing the lion’s eyes so much that I did another one on a separate page.

art (12) (1280x853)

Ahhhh, I love this one! I wish our roosters looked this pretty. 😛 I actually just finished this today with my new Prismacolor colored pencil set. It took me several days to draw this, but I’m very pleased with how it turned out! (And in case you’re wondering, I did look off of a photo.)

art (16) (1280x853)

This is another of my absolute favorites! On my birthday I decided I wanted to draw a fox. I had a picture in my mind, and what do you know – I got it down on paper and it actually looked good! XD I didn’t copy anything but I did look off of some photos and drawings for reference. She’s such a cute wittle thing, don’t you agree?

art (17) (1280x853)

I drew this for my horse-loving friends, and for those of you who requested a horse drawing. Here you go, girls!

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Here’s another ATC which I drew a long time ago. I think it’s so funny but neat. XD

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Another mandala ATC…

art (20) (1280x853)

I drew this for art class because my art teacher wanted me to experiment with an art medium I’d never used before. I was like, “Um… I can’t really think of any art supplies that I have at home but have never used.” XD Finally we came up with artist’s pastels! It was fun to experiment, but I don’t especially like how easily they smudge.

art (5) (1280x853)
My little sister thinks this picture is so weird. XD
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And this one too. 😛 Well they’re kind of SUPPOSED to be weird, so…

art (6) (1280x853)

I haven’t finished this one yet and probably won’t for a long time, but I wanted to show you guys how it looks so far. I had the idea to make a collage of barcodes, and I think it’s looking really neat! I’m only using the ones off of receipts, so it’s going to take a while to collect enough to cover the whole page. Heh heh.

art (7) (1280x853)

A random Sharpie doodle…

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I love how this one turned out. I’m kind of proud that I could get the highlights to look fairly realistic because I usually have trouble with them. 😛

art (10) (1280x853)
Just in case you were wondering, my little sister LOVES this one. XD

We were playing around with charcoal in Art Class, and this is what my practice page turned out like:

art (2) (1280x853)

Here’s my actual drawing made with charcoal:

art (3) (1280x853)

And last but not least, one of my very favorite favorites, a picture I drew of Bethany from a photo Loren’s gorgeous post. I just LOVE how it turned out! The background was inspired by a super good teenage artist named Sydney Nielsen that I follow on Instagram. She also has a YouTube channel here. You should check it out – she’s really amazing!

art (13) (1280x853)

Are you inspired yet? XD I hope so! Which was your favorite piece of art from this post?

Also, I wondered if you have any drawing requests for me! I’m not guaranteeing I’ll draw whatever you ask, but I’d sure love to hear your suggestions and I’ll definitely try some of them!

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day (or night). ♥

***Allison***

Episode 24

Oh my, I think it’s past time for an Art Lab post, don’t you? Today I want to show you a beautiful piece of art and some art I made inspired by it. Here’s the prompt:

Art Prompt:

Blue Ridge Mountains Watercolor Print / Nature от RainStain:

{via}

Ohhhh isn’t it gorgeous? I love it! And in case you don’t have mountains near you to look off of (you poor things XD ), I’ll give you a picture that I took of the real thing. (If you’re curious, it’s from this post.)

Photo Prompt:

sunset 3 (1280x960)
I love this. ♥
 Now are you ready to break out the watercolors? Here’s how I made my mountainscape…

Step 1:

mountain 1 (1280x853)

(The proper way would probably be to start with the background, but I started with the mountains because I didn’t know quite how far back they would go. 🙂 )

Use a really deep blue for the foreground mountains. Paint an irregular, medium-wet line of dark watercolor and draw it downwards, lightening it with more water as you go. (Okay that sounded really complicated, but basically just play around with it until you get dark at the top and light at the bottom. XD )

Step 2:

mountain 2 (1280x853)

Use a different, lighter blue for the mountain ridge behind it, and do the same thing. Keep going until the mountains fade away to barely visible. I also decided to add a few more ridges in the foreground, like so:

mountain 3 (1280x853)

Step 3:

mountain 4 (1280x853)

Next you can work on the hills. Use a few different greens, and gradient your color from dark at the top to light at the bottom like you did with the mountains. Looking great!

Step 4:

mountain 5 (1280x853)

Now for the sky. Again, start with a dark blue at the top and fade it downwards (are you starting to see a theme here? XD ). I dabbed off some of the paint with a paper towel to make puffy clouds.

And you’re done! So pretty! 🙂

mountain 7 (800x800)

I also made an ATC kind of like my painting but without the hills.

mountain 8 (1280x853)

So, do you like this idea? Which was your favorite, the main painting or the ATC? Do you have mountains where you live?

If you made a piece of art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Click here to see how to enter your artwork into our Art Lab gallery.

Thanks for reading, my friends!

***Allison***