Episode 61

Hey guys! Welcome back to Art Lab! We all know that distressed clothing items are in right now, but what about distressed art? I got the idea of “distressed art” from an old pair of jeans while cleaning out my closet the other day. (who knew that old jeans could be art inspiration? XD) After a few attempts I finally got it right – and I’m super excited to share it!

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Episode 56

Hello friends! Today I’m excited to be back with another Art Lab post! Since fall has officially begun, I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a neat watercolor leaf tutorial. It’s super easy, yet super cute!

I’d recommend practicing a little first, as if you’re not an expert watercolor painter (like me) then the leaves shape can be a little tricky at first. But then again, if you’re an expert……


Basically just paint some random leaf shapes, if you want you could also lightly pencil them out.


But of course all of this is just your personal preference.


Next, paint some leaves on your actually canvas, ATC, sketchbook page, or whatever material you’re using. You can make them as simple as you want, or as complex as you want. I’d recommend trying a few colors and sticking to them, rather than just using whatever colors you want at the moment. Although that could and couldn’t turn out neat. Remember, there is no wrong way to do art.

IMG_0304 (2)

After the paint is dry and you are happy with it, then you can start adding details with a fine tip pen, such as stems, veins, etc.


Once you are happy with the pen details, then you’re finished! Congratulations!

Also, if you did try this technique, I’d love to see it, just email me at theartlabblog@gmail.com to share a picture! 😀


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Episode 42


Do you have a ton of old and empty mint/candy tins? Ever wonder what to do with them other than throw them out? I have a small collection and was wondering how to spruce the tins and make them artsy!

Let’s begin! You’ll need:

  • old metal tin
  • acrylic paints (I’m using Jane Davenport Acrylic Paints in portrait colors)
  • brushes
  • water
  • paper towels
  • paper scraps/stickers/ephemera (I’m using Jane Davenport Collage Papers)
  • texture pastes/mediums (I’m using Heidi Swapp Metallic Paste and Art Screen Ink)
  • PVA glue/Mod Podge to seal it
  • masking tape/painter’s tape

Step 1

Separate the tin into the lid and the bottom. For taping, you have two options regarding the lid–tape the border and just paint the top OR paint the whole lid. For the bottom, tape the upper half, where the lid rests when closed.

I’ve created a tape holder to reduce messiness.

Step 2

Think of a theme. Brush on smooth and thin layers of paint. Allow it to dry between coats. You will need at least 2-3 coats of paint depending on your paint quality and coverage. Wash your brushes between coats and dry before re-painting.


After several coats of paint…

Step 3

After you are completely finished painting, glue on paper scraps and seal with PVA glue. You can use any texture medium as well (I’m using Heidi Swapp Metallic Texture Paste in teal and Heidi Swapp Art Screen ink). I applied the paste with my fingers. Wash your brush and fingers every so often to prevent a stiff and unusable brush OR messy fingers. After I applied the paste, I glued on some Jane Davenport Collage papers.


Drying out…

Step 4

Seal and protect your painted surface with PVA glue diluted with a few drops of water. Let dry completely for a few hours before putting the tin back together.

Finished and Complete! Aren’t they gorgeous?

That’s a wrap folks! What did you think? Will you try this? Have any questions (maybe about the paint, brushes, etc.)? Ask me in the comments.

Live creatively,


This post originally appeared on quaint & darling.

Episode 16

pen pal mandala poster.jpgMethinks it’s past time for another Art Lab episode, don’t you agree? Quite, quite.😀

Well, today I have a fun “two-player” art prompt for you to do with a friend or a pen-pal (or of course you could draw the whole thing by yourself).

Art Prompt: Here’s a mandala I really like.

Henna on Canvas by KeepAustinDreaming on Etsy, $40.00:

{from this Etsy shop}

And here is a bunch of inspiration for mandala-type doodles:

50 Hand Drawn Vector Pattern Brushes - Brushes Illustrator:


Technique: Two-Player Mandala

My pen-pal Grace and I made this mandala together. We took turns adding a section each time we sent our letters until it turned out like this! Isn’t it pretty?😀pen-pal-mandala-poster

Mandalas don’t have many rules. The basic idea is to create a symmetrical,  circular design by adding consecutive rings of doodles. It’s fun to play with the position of the mandala – you can have it in the center of the page, running off the page, or in the corner, which is what Grace and I did. This is how the mandala looked from start to finish:


Wow. I realized this post is really short.😄 Heh heh, oh well! I hope you enjoyed it, short though it may be! If you made some art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Visit this page to see how to help fill our art gallery.

Do you like doodling mandalas? Do you have a pen-pal?