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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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***

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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. 😉

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 19

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Hi, guys! Welcome back to Art Lab.

I’m so excited for today’s “art lesson” on how to draw galaxies! I learned this from the lovely video down below which was made by a teenage artist named Sydney Nielsen. She is super good at drawing!

Art Inspiration:

Ahh, so pretty. 🙂 I decided to use a slightly different technique but with the same idea for today’s art.

I started with a black paper, so it would blend in with the rest of the drawing better, but you could definitely use white if you want. I also wanted to try using oil pastels instead of colored pencils, and it turned out very well! So just a note: whenever I say “oil pastels” in this tutorial, you can also use colored pencils like she showed in the video.

Let’s get started!

You will need the following:

  • paper, blank envelope, or ATC
  • oil pastels (or colored pencils – the higher quality ones like Prismacolor work best for blending)
  • white acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • white gel pen (optional)

1. Like the video showed, I started with light colors and gradually blended in the darker shades. I used the pink and blue combination because 1.) it looked so pretty when Sydney used them and 2.) there were several shades of each in my oil pastel box. 😄

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Blech, what terrible picture quality. 😄

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2. Next I drew in the white sparkle stars. I think this is what makes the piece really special and space-y. 🙂

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3. Almost done! Just need to finish the stars yet. Get out your white acrylic paint and start splattering. It works best to get your brush a little wet before splattering the paint, but you don’t have to. Do NOT do this step on your mom’s favorite fuzzy rug or in your best Sunday clothes. Trust me, that will not end well. 😄

If you want, add a few more sparkle stars with a white gel pen. I like to do this because they stand out more than the pastel or colored pencil stars do. And you’re done!

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Isn’t it pretty?
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Art Lab, dear readers. 😀 Have fun! And like always, if you make some art inspired by this post and would like to share it with us, we’d be delighted to see it! Get the details on how to send to us here, over at The Art Lab blog.

***Allison***