Time for something a little sweet! I completed this girl in one long sitting, and I have a video of the process below:
I did not have a plan – just went in with oodles of different paints and started getting them down onto the canvas. I varied my brush strokes and tools used, and also scribbled with different pencils to make random marks.
This girl was born by sketching right onto the painted background and filling her in with gesso. Pencils and paints colored her and gave her life. She looked like she needed a balloon (and then a crown) and so she got one! 🙂
More colorful paint and drips and marks were added. She was given some shadowing with a charcoal pencil, and she was done.
Hello friends! I return from art and blog hibernation (i.e. spending all of my time on spring gardening, costuming, and painting fails!) with the start of a new acrylic & mixed media canvas series. This is directly inspired by Donna Downey’s 10 10×10 Canvases in 10 Days online workshop. If I had to pick an artist whose talent, technique and style I most want to strive towards, I think Donna would be it (though Tamara from willowingarts is right up there!) Such beautiful use of color and combination of abstract and representational subjects in her work, and THE TEXTURE! Oh my, I love it. Donna has a fun, energetic and informative teaching style, making her workshops a joy. I watched the 10×10 workshop through twice now, and likely will again to really let all of the nuances sink in.
This first canvas in my own series is, well, not actually the first one. The actual first one was painted, gessoed over, painted again, and… well, it’s still not posted here, so guess how that one is going 😉 This is technically the second, and while I still struggle with all of my art, it did come through easier.
The theme for this series is numbers, and a limited palette throughout the series. Donna opted for Payne’s Grey, Teal, and Yellow Ochre for her workshop. I swapped the ochre out with Green Gold, and find that going from a warm to a cooler color does change the feeling quite a bit, and this is leaning more towards an analogous color scheme. Raw Umber is also used for some grunge glazing techniques. White, black or gray may also be used.
Watch the process video below:
Donna’s obsession with numbers ignited the same in me, and I found myself scouring stores. New obsessions are hard on an impulse buyer! 😀
If you are looking for number components, here are some ideas:
Home improvement stores: Check the mailbox aisle. Lots of cheap number stickers here, and bigger/heavier numbers as well if you are looking for some focal points. I also found some stencils in many sizes in this section.
Dollar store: I found sheets of vinyl numbers (and letters) with some “garage sale” signs. Three sheets for a buck, black numbers about 2 inches (example: the “3” on this canvas). I bought them out! They also sometimes have alphabet stickers in the stationary aisle. Other ideas include flash cards, playing cards, sudoku and other puzzle books, and the teaching/kids section had some “number puzzles” – foam sheets with letter and number pop-outs. They are awful colors, but I figured they can be adhered to a canvas and painted for a super dimensional look.
Craft stores/Amazon: The sticker aisle will have oodles of letter and number stickers, though check the two above first. Chipboard characters. Stencils. Also check stamp sets with numbers. The “002” tag on this canvas was created with stamps from a Michaels “Recollections” set. I have a few number sets, and grabbed some blank tags from Staples and Amazon (Amazon being cheaper, of course) and stamped a bunch up at once. If you have a die cutting machine such as a Cuttlebug or Sizzix, consider getting some alphanumeric die sets. The punched out numbers can be adhered with matte medium and left as-is or painted over, which would give you a cool number background texture.
Target: Try the $1-3 section. I found some large alphanumeric cutouts here.
Silhouette Cameo Owners: Cut your own number stencils in various sizes! I use clear plastic projector transparencies to cut my own stencils. While not super durable (they can tear if handled wrong) they are easy to cut and cheap. Stencils are great for either paint or modeling paste.
More Amazon: If the above isn’t enough, check out coat check tags and bingo sheets!
As you can see from the process video, I started out arranging a few number components on the blank white background, and the acrylic paint came after, adding several layers and glazes. Golden Fluid acrylic paint was the main supply, though I threw in some Dye-Na-Flow ink sprays, gesso, and a little bit of charcoal pencil at the end.
Stay tuned for more from this series! 🙂 Thanks all!
Happy happy Friday, lovely people! Are you ready for weekend fun? It’s the time of year where art and gardening are going to be playing tug-of-war with my time… but nature also provides wonderful inspiration, ideas, and reference for beautiful artwork. If you need a creative boost, spend some time at your local park, botanical garden, or your own backyard and see what happens!
Today I am sharing an easy watercolor greeting card that resembles a hand/brush lettering technique, but actually requires no lettering skill at all! Woohoo! Do you need watercolor skill, though? Nope! Yippee!
Select a font and size it for your piece. You can print this on plain printer paper – the paper itself will not be used on the card.
Step 2: Trace and fill in the word on your watercolor card with embossing pen
Lay the printout and your watercolor paper on top of your light pad or bright screen. Use a clear embossing pen to trace and fill in the letters. I worked on embossing a few letters at a time, since my word was fairly large and I didn’t want the embossing ink to dry out before I could adhere the powder.
This would also work well with masking fluid or a masking pen instead of embossing. This embossed technique will create a raised surface, while masking fluid will reveal the bare watercolor paper at the end.
Remember that the printout can just be a guideline – you can deviate from it and make it your own! Change the letter shapes, add swooshes, play with it!
Step 3: Cover in embossing powder and set with a craft heat tool
Cover your word with the powder. Just like glitter, you can dump the excess powder onto a sheet of paper and fold it to pour back in the jar. Use a crafting heat tool to melt the powder. Repeat steps 2-3 if you are doing your word in sections.
Step 4: Time to watercolor!
Wet the paper around the word, and dab in some color. The paint will spread throughout the wet sections of paper. The design of the background and the color palette are up to you. Go with whatever makes you smile!
Step 5: Add additional details (optional!)
If you’d like, you can add some watercolor splashes by tapping a loaded paintbrush over the card. Here I also added some shading with colored pencil and graphite, and some white dots with a Posca paint pen. This is also the step when you would remove your masking fluid if you opted for that over the embossing.
Design or write the interior card however you like, and you are done!
Hello friends! Today I am sharing a super simple tutorial on making your own primitive foam stamps for ink or acrylic paint. If you would like to carve detailed stamps for more realistic imagery, you can purchase stamp making rubber and tools. However, if you like the look of larger organic or geometric shapes that are great for filling in background layers and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is for you!
This requires only a few supplies, most of which I’m sure you already have.
Stamp-Making Material List:
Cardboard – sturdy is easier to handle, such as an old shipping box, but anything to adhere the foam to is fine
Kid’s craft foam – to make this extra easy, get the self adhesive kind! A while ago I purchased a bundle of small sheets and used a 40% off coupon, so a pack that will last forever only cost about $5. You can also find larger single adhesive sheets for $1-2.
Optional: A tool to draw simple texture and patterns into the craft foam. I used clay sculpting ball tools because I have them handy, though a pen or end of a thin paintbrush would probably work just fine!
And to use your stamps, you will need ink or paint, and a brayer or paint brush.
Step 1 – Cut your foam into shapes
Use your scissors to cut out shapes and designs. You don’t need to get this perfect – these are primitive mark making stamps, so it is allowed to be asymmetrical or random here. Don’t forget, you can also use the “negative” space, the leftover from the bits you cut out!
Step 2 – Peel back the adhesive and arrange your shapes on the cardboard
You can also use glue if you do not have the adhesive type of foam. Just like with the cutting, don’t fret too much about this! It will look better if it is less perfect. Remember that your image will stamp in reverse.
Step 3 – Optional – Draw designs into the foam
Use your tool of choice to draw lines in the foam. These designs will not catch as much paint when you stamp, leaving those areas blank. This is not going to be exact, though you can press deeper for a better chance at the line showing in your image.
And that’s all you need to do to make your stamp! The next steps show you how you can make an impression with acrylic paint.
Step 4 – Load up a brayer with acrylic paint and roll onto stamp
I am using DecoArt Media fluid acrylic here with a small touch of glazing medium. You can use a paint brush and paint directly over your stamp – this will use less paint, but the paint may get in the lines you drew in step 3. If you did not draw lines, then there will be no problem!
Step 5 – Press the stamp to your surface with even pressure
I like using a clean brayer for this step to help with even coverage. Try not to move the stamp once you press it down, or your image will be blurred.
Carefully peel up the stamp, and admire your work! Go ahead and press the image again – you may still have enough paint on the stamp to get another impression, though each subsequent image will be lighter and more distressed looking until you load up with paint again.
If you wish, you can clean up your stamp with a baby wipe, though be careful to not get the cardboard wet or it will deteriorate. You can let the paint dry on the stamp, but know that eventually this will wind up filling in the lines you drew.
Below are some very quick (and very basic!) stamps I made for this tutorial that will come in handy filling in background layers on future art pieces. I hope this lesson has inspired you to make your own stamps! Have fun and I will see you all soon! 🙂
Greetings friends! Today I have a new mixed media art process video as promised. A new girl has come to life with the help of oodles of different paints, pencils and markers. She proved to be a lesson in perseverance and patience (I supposed most art is, at least when you are still new!) Some techniques worked as expected, and others, like the butterfly in her hair, did not even after several attempts. I learned that this just forces you to look at the art and your problem from a different angle, opening your eyes to new ideas.
Of course, there is always the old fallback: if you don’t like it or it is not working… cover it up! 🙂 Don’t be afraid to push a little out of your comfort zone to try new materials, techniques, colors, or subject matter. The process will teach you lessons you can take to your next piece of art, and the only way to get there is to keep experimenting!
This was my first play with Spectrum AquaBlend watercolor pencils! I don’t have much luck with fully dissolving watercolor pencil lines, so I took a wet brush to the tips of several skin tones to shade in her face. As usual, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens (what a mouthful!) were used for her hair and eyes, and Prismacolor colored pencils and Posca pens filled in details.
Modeling/texture paste by Liquitex added some interest to the background with the help of a stencil. Daniel Smith watercolors and Golden fluid acrylics were painted in vibrant purples and blues. Doodles are a fun way to add more detail to backgrounds.
I tried repeatedly to paint the butterfly in her hair, but, ack! No luck! So I dug into my papercrafting stash and found some die-cuts of flowers and butterflies. These saved the day! I added more paint and markers to make them my own, and the piece was complete. Yay!
Watercolor Pencils (I used Spectrum AquaBlend. These are a little hard to find – I purchased mine from Hallmark Scrapbook)
Whew! I told you everything went into this art piece! 🙂 I hope this post and video have inspired you. Special thank you to Tamara Laporte at willowing.org for her teachings and inspiration. Please remember to subscribe here and over at my YouTube channel to check out future art and process videos.
Thank you everyone! I’ll catch you soon!
Disclaimer: Affiliate links used when possible. Thank you for your support!