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:

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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. 😉

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Thanks for reading, and have fun! 😀

***Allison***

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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***

Episode 13

marbling-with-paint

Welcome back to Art Lab! Today I’m going to show you how to make some fun marbled art inspired by some this gorgeous art prompt!

Technique: Marbling

Art Prompt:

Ooooohhhh! Marbled/swirled paint.:

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Wow. Aren’t those marbled canvases just stunning? I’m going to show you how to create your own mini marbled masterpiece using just acrylic paint and a toothpick! (I’m afraid they won’t look quite the same as the canvases above, but… XD 😉 )

Step 1:

Spread a layer of paint on your paper (heavy paper such as cardstock works best). Make your layer nice and “juicy” but not too thick.

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Step 2: Pour or drip a little bit of different colored paint onto your base paint. Here I added a drop of purple and pink-purple (which was already kind of marbled together in my palette).

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Step 3: This is the fun part! Drag your toothpick through the paint to marble it. It works best if you drag through the paint without scraping the paper underneath. I chose to drag from the center point out which made a beautiful starburst pattern!

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Here are a few other marbling suggestions:

Start with four different colors:

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Go wild with your toothpick! Swirl it, drag it, move it up and down and side to side…

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Make a swirly pattern by drawing a spiral with your toothpick:

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Isn’t this neat? I put a drop of white down, then purple, then white again, and dragged the white outwards to make a star-ish shape. Then I dropped some white and purple spots around. Beautiful!

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You can even make marbled hearts:

Start with a few drops of paint close together on a contrasting color…

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Then drag your toothpick through the drops vertically: (Sorry, this example didn’t turn out too well, but trust me, it looks really neat when it works! 😛 The top two hearts are what they’re supposed to look like.)

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If you swirl the paint in your palette before dropping it onto your paper, you can get more blended designs:

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Or you can simply drop paint onto paint:

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The paint may take a while to dry since it’s pretty thick. When it’s completely dry you can hang up your canvas/sign your art, or make a “sampler” ATC of your experiments!

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I especially love how this turned out. 🙂

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What do you think? Have you marbled with paint before? I love seeing how each piece turns out – they’re so different but so beautiful.

***Allison***

 

Episode 11

Hello, dear readers! It’s Allison here, back with Episode 11. Today I’m going to show you how to concoct some colorful cacti. (That was fun to write.)

This is the gorgeous inspiration I found:

Pretty!:

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I’m going to use a canvas and acrylic paint for the first piece of art.

Begin by painting the background of your picture. I scooped up both white and blue paint on my brush to make a more textured background.

colorful cacti 1

Now you need to populate your desert. Here are some ideas for cactus shapes: (And yes, I am aware that these cacti look rather sickly. Maybe their desert was extra dry this year or something. XD

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Paint your cacti the same way as the background – blending together different colors of wet paint onto the canvas.

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And finally, embellish your plants! Add dots, dashes, and beautiful blooms. Ta-daa!

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I also made these ATCs:

I had fun painting the flowers with the one on the left. So pretty! The one on the right was inspired by an actual cactus we have that looks kind of like that.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s prompt. If you were inspired to make art from this post, we’d love to see it! Get the details on how to send in art on our Art Gallery page.

***Allison***