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!

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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***

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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 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!:

{via}

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

colorful cacti 2

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

colorful cacti 3

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***

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***