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!

{via}

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.

nativity 2

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.

nativity 3

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.

nativity 5

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

nativity 6

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.

nativity 8

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.

nativity 9.jpg

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.

nativity 10

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.

nativity 11

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.

nativity 12

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***

Advertisement

Episode 61

Hello, dears!

Welcome back to another Art Lab post! Today I’m going to be showing you my drawings for Inktober 2018. Inktober is a challenge to draw one pen or ink drawing each day for the month of October. You’re supposed to follow the “official prompts” which I’ll show you in a bit, and then share your art with others.

I’ve never done this challenge before, although I’d heard of it, but one of my lovely readers asked if I was doing it, so I decided to try it! I’m glad I did. 😀 Even though I didn’t strictly follow the rules (it was close to the middle of October before I had time to start), I did use all the prompts and drew something every day when possible. 🙂 Here’s the prompt list:

Art Inspiration:

I usually tried to do something somewhat creative with the prompts and not use the first idea that came to my head. Some of my art turned out splendid, while other pieces I wish I could tear out of my sketchbook. XD Buuuut I suppose I’ll show you all of them anyway, as a reminder that to make good art, you have to make some bad art too. 😉
Alright, Day #1! I couldn’t decide whether to draw a poisonous mushroom or a black widow spider, so I drew both. 😉 I didn’t realize I had any colored inks other than gold ink until after I had “finished” the drawing, so I just added some random purple afterward.
inktober 1
For Day #2, I discovered I DID have colored inks! Do brush pens count? Because that’s what I used. If they don’t count… well, I didn’t use color for most of the pieces after this. Anyway, I drew a lake with trees around it/in it for the prompt “tranquil.” It was a nice idea, but with the bright colors and different sizes and directions of lines, it didn’t turn out very peaceful after all. XD
inktober 2
I like this one! Since it’s fall, I decided to draw roasted pumpkin seeds with a cut pumpkin in the background.
inktober 3
Ooh, this is one of my favorites – maybe even my favorite! The prompt was “spell,” so I took that two ways – one as in “magic spell” and the other as in “spell a word.” I wrote sentences from the chapter in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe called “The Spell Begins to Break,” forming them into the outline of snow melting from a flower as winter is defeated. It took rather a while to write so many tiny letters, but it was worth it. 🙂
inktober 4
I figured since I’ve already drawn a detailed chicken (here’s a print of it), I’d go for more of a cartoon style this time. That hen is one skilled balancer, eh?
inktober 5
For the prompt “drooling,” I thought about Anna from Frozen – remember that scene before the coronation? But I didn’t have internet access for days 2-12 (I drew them in one day to catch up) and I didn’t trust myself to draw it without a reference. XD So I used a picture from a dog breeds book to draw a St. Bernard.
inktober 6
How could I go through Inktober without drawing an eye, right? XD I attempted to draw an exhausted eye, and it sort of worked. It also kind of looks unimpressed, heh heh.
inktober 7
It was hard to pick an idea for the prompt “star” since there are so many beautiful things to draw with stars! I could have done a watercolor night sky illustration… but watercolors aren’t ink. Instead, I drew the Milky Way pouring into the Big Dipper. 🙂
inktober 8
This one was HARD! I drew a baby for the prompt “precious” – referring to both the baby and human life in general, born and unborn. Since I didn’t have internet, I took a picture of myself holding a lens bag so I could get the hands right. XD I didn’t exactly get the hands right, but it DID help. WHY ARE HANDS SO HARD??
inktober 9
Ooh, I really like this one! For the prompt, “flowing,” I drew a girl with flowing hair and a flowing dress standing in a flowing stream. 🙂
inktober 10
“Cruel” is a hard prompt, isn’t it? My cousin likes to doodle faces like the one on the left, so I took inspiration from her and made a Hitler-like face glaring cruelly at a little boy. O.o To accentuate the difference, I drew Hitler Guy with sharp, angular lines, and the boy with soft, curvy lines.
inktober 11
Ugh, this is one of my least favorites. It’s so scribbly and poorly drawn, but ANYWAY.
inktober 12
I quite like this one, though! It took a while. This castle is very well-guarded with I believe five knights in shining armor and many crocodiles swimming around the moat. Also a sturdy stone wall, a drawbridge, and iron bars across windows and doors. The kingdom should stay safe for years! XD I’m not the great at coming up with buildings, so I’m happy with how this one turned out!
inktober 13
I didn’t want to draw a boring, circular clock, so I drew a boring, circular clock in a clock tower. Eh. *shrugs* At least I drew patterns on the roof.
inktober 14
UGH I DO NOT LIKE THIS ONE. It’s hard when you don’t have a reference other than your own fingers! (After the internet came back on, I decided to try and draw without it for the rest of Inktober, to make it more of a challenge.) I drew a weak, falling-apart rope, and a hand not strong enough to hold on any longer. I guess the hand isn’t terrible, but I had to add extra lines to make the shape right since I couldn’t erase, and then add more lines to make those stand out less, and it just got really muddled.
inktober 15
This was inspired by some envelope art I did, which I’m sure will come up in a later post. I love mountains! ❤ These are more like lumps of rock, but oh well. They’re angular. 😉
inktober 16
I didn’t want to draw any gross swollen eyes or fingers or toes or something, so I drew the swollen-looking leaves of a succulent being watered by a rather swollen end of a watering can. XD
inktober 17
I forgot a prompt here, so I had to divide this page in half to add it in, since I had already written out the rest of the prompts in the sketchbook. I thought about doing a ship in a bottle or a world in a bottle, but decided that was kind of unoriginal, so I went with fireflies. 🙂 I used my gold ink to make them “shine.”
inktober 18
How do you like your marshmallows? Straight out of the bag? Lightly browned? Perfectly toasted? BURNT TO A CRISP? Apparently this person prefers the last option…
inktober 19
 Something with glass is the obvious choice for “breakable.” So I didn’t draw glass. 😉 I drew someone breaking a Hershey bar (maybe to go with the scorched marshmallow). The hands are improved, I think, although they’re rather out of proportion, with short, stubby fingers. All the same, I think this turned out alright.
inktober 20
This one is confusing, I know. I got confused myself many times while trying to draw it. The girl is drawing her arm which is drawing a card from the pile, and the person drawing the girl is erasing some errant lines. And then, of course, I drew all of it. PHEW.
inktober 21
I really wanted to draw a diamond for “precious,” but decided to save it for this prompt. Diamonds are so fun to draw! The ring is just a scribble, but ah well.
inktober 22
I first thought about a pig in the mud for this prompt; therefore I discarded that idea and drew a girl jumping in a mud puddle. Isn’t she cute? I’d like to draw more people in this style eventually.
inktober 23
I first thought about a knife chopping vegetables, and I kind of wish I drew that. But nope, I drew a guy (or girl) chopping down a tree. THE HANDS. WHY CAN’T I DRAW HANDS? *facepalm* This is where I really needed a reference picture because I could NOT, for the life of me, imagine how people hold axe handles! -_-
inktober 24
For “prickly,” I knew right away I wanted to draw a hedgehog, and this time I went with it. Hedgehogs are just too cute to pass up. 😉
inktober 25
OKAY I APOLOGIZE – THIS IS UTTERLY TERRIBLE. This is by far my least favorite. *hides* It would have helped so much to simply make a pencil sketch first, but I didn’t do that for a bunch of these drawings (again, more of a challenge!) and decided not to here either. THAT WAS A MISTAKE. I was going to draw two people stretching/bending to make a heart, but when that didn’t work, I kind of just drew random lines and eventually just gave up. *shudders*
inktober 26
This one is a tiny bit more acceptable. A bit. I puzzled over how to draw thunder without lightning accompanying it (because then the lightning would be the focus, not the thunder), and ended up shading some of the clouds and attempting to make the tree blowing in the winds of the storm. Eh.
inktober 27
Ooh, I do really like this one, though! I like this style of drawing. (That’s my problem – I like so many different styles of drawing that I haven’t really found MY style, since I draw in, like, 234875 different ways! XD) I am aware that this is pretty unoriginal, but I couldn’t think of many other options…
inktober 28
This one is simple, but I like it. For the prompt, “double,” I drew a double-yolk egg cracked into a bowl. And… yep. That’s that. XD
inktober 29
Jolt was a hard prompt too. (I think verbs are just hard in general.) I decided to draw a cow shocked by a jolt of electricity from an electric fence. 😛 The cow is, heh, cute… but not very cow-like. You’d think I could do better than that having lived on a dairy farm for most of my life, but as we already established, I HAVE TROUBLE DRAWING WITHOUT A REFERENCE SOMETIMES. :’D Ohhhh dear.
inktober 30
I was going to say, “and ending on a pie note,” as in “high note,” but this is more like a mediocre note, so… You are (sort of) spared a terrible pun. AHEM. For the final prompt, “slice,” I gave in and did what came to mind – a piece of pumpkin pie. The dots on the side of the pie took forever. *wipes brow*
inktober 31
And that’s all, folks! I hope you enjoyed seeing my interpretations of the 2018 Inktober prompts and listening to my mainly disparaging comments. XD Please don’t take them too seriously, though. I know sometimes it’s discouraging (“well if THAT’S bad, what about MY art?”). That’s happened to me as well. But don’t worry! #1, most of the time we’re our own worst critic (cliche, I know), and you’re not as bad off as you think. #2, I was annoyed at some drawings simply because I know I could have done better. However, it was still a fun challenge and it showed me that I REALLY NEED TO WORK ON HANDS, and also that a reference picture is often invaluable. 🙂
Before you go, I’d love to hear – have you ever done Inktober? Which of my drawings were your favorite? And what would you have drawn for one of the prompts?
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day!
***Allison***

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:

10

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.

candy clouds 14

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…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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 51

Hello, dears!

This week I have something a little different than my usual watercolor art for you today. 🙂 Quite different, in fact: in this post I shall give you guys a tutorial on how to make a cute owl with graphite and colored pencil shavings! 😀

But first, the inspiration behind the art:

Art Inspiration:

neat!

{via}

Pretty neat, isn’t it? I’ve seen things like this before and I think it’s a great idea, so I decided to make something like it myself! Let’s get started.

You will need the following:

  • paper or a canvas of some sort (I used an ATC)
  • sketching pencils or a normal pencil
  • a tortillon/blending stump or a tissue
  • a hand sharpener (NO WAIT I mean a pencil sharpener, but not an electric one XD)
  • colored pencils
  • liquid glue (I used Mod Podge but Elmer’s glue or Tacky Glue would also work)
  1. Begin by lightly sketching a rounded rectangle onto your paper. owl 1
  2. Sketch a wide “u” at the top of the rectangle to shape the owl’s “horns.” owl 2
  3. Fill out the horns, and add a small teardrop-shaped beak. owl 3
  4. Make the eyes. Don’t make either the iris or the pupils complete circles for a more realistic look. owl 4
  5. Start shading. I colored the pupils with my darkest pencil (soft ones in the “B” range work well), leaving a small highlight, and then shaded the iris darker at the top, gradually fading toward the bottom. Don’t worry too much about the rest of the facial details because we’ll fix them up in the next step… owl 5
  6. Now take your blending tool and soften everything but the eyes. As you can see, I made my owl quite soft and fluffy. You can keep yours more neat and trim if you wish. 🙂 After all smudging is complete, darken any areas that might need it. I also added a starburst of lines around the owl’s eyes for a cute detail. I suggest skipping to #8 at this point, if you want to learn from my mistakes. XD owl 7
  7. Now the fun part! If your sharpener is already full of colorful shavings, you can use those, but otherwise you’ll need to sharpen some bright colored pencils. Turn the pencil slowly and firmly to get a nice shaving. My pencils were already so sharp that it hardly worked to sharpen them again, so your feathers might look different (and better!) than mine. Glue them on from the bottom up, overlapping the shavings as you ascend the owl’s body. owl 8
  8. I really should have added the wings first because they were hard to color in without breaking off the shavings, but oh well. XD Now add two parallel curves on both sides for wings, and two little feet holding on to a branch. If you took my advice and skipped #7, go back and do it now. owl 10

And you’re done!

owl 11

Nothing very complicated or impressively realistic, but fun for different, I think. 🙂 I love how the colored shavings pop against the gray graphite, don’t you? Oh, and I covered my ATC with packing tape to protect the feathers once I was done, but you don’t have to if yours are glued down well enough.

What do you think? Did it turn out pretty cute? Have you ever used colored pencil shavings to make art or used an art supply in an unexpected way?

Oh yes, and if you make art inspired by this piece, we’d love to see it! Check out this page  to help us fill our art gallery. 😀

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

***Allison***

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.

DSC_3220.JPG

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. 🙂

DSC_3221

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.

envelope 8

 

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.

DSC_2629
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**