Tag: painting

How to make an easy watercolor autumn decoration

Last week was the official start of autumn, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the art in my room: some hyacinth paintings I made back in the spring of 2015. I thought of changing them in accordance with the season many times, but who has the time for room decorations! Well, now I finally found some time and I want to show you how you can make some for yourself too.

I believe the little paintings I made for my room are really simple and anyone with the basic skills to handle watercolor, brush and pen can pull it off. For the purpose of making these decorations there’s no need for expensive art supplies either, but I am using the best quality supplies I have nevertheless. I guess I just love the feel of them more.

So if you like throwing some paint on paper this is for you! Even if you don’t go all the way and add the pen sketch on top of the watercolor basis, you’ll still have an awesome piece of abstract art to hang on your wall. Just ask this red- yellow blot that was sitting on my shelf for at least 3 years now!

 

 

Supplies

  • Canson watercolor paper 300 g/m2

  • Sonnet Watercolors | hanza yellow | orange | carmine | violet deep | ultramarine light

  • Guld-mår Watercolor Round brush #8

  • Uni Pin Fine liner 0.1

If you are curious to see how to make your own autumn decorations, just follow the instructions in the video bellow. And if you decide to try it don’t forget to share your results with me!

Have fun!

Cheap Art Supply Challenge

Using cheap art supplies is nothing new to me and I never thought of it as much of a challenge, but then I came across the “Cheap Art Supply Challenge” on You Tube where artist try to create a good piece using cheap markers, watercolors and what not.

As someone who didn’t take her art seriously for years and years, I never felt comfortable spending extra on good professional art supplies and always tried to make it work with what I had. I used to paint watercolors on printer paper, I’ve made digital pieces in MS Paint, using the mouse… and now I’m making YouTube videos on my smart phone. I grew up in a very frugal environment, in times when there was either nothing available to buy or we could not afford it. So I became quite good at doing the best I can with the materials I already have available. While I’m trying to get out of this mindset and allow myself to expand to more professional materials, I still sometimes have troubles purchasing something I’m not entirely sure I’ll use a lot.

When I picked up watercolors again (as an adult), I resisted buying quality supplies, before I could prove to myself that I’m really interested and that “it isn’t just a phase”. Now 3 years later I’m still not using the top quality supplies, because I don’t paint every day, I don’t offer any watercolor paintings for sale and it just doesn’t feel justified yet. That being said I have tried quality paints, paper and brushes and know for a fact that quality art supplies are worth it. Switching from “whatever I can get my hands on” to “the real deal” feels so amazing, it’s almost as if the materials are drawing by themselves and I don’t need to do a thing! So there’s the upside to using non- professional, low quality materials, when you finally make the switch drawing feels so effortless!

It doesn’t always work that way of course, sometimes you need to re-learn how the new materials behave and interact. I would however recommend it to anyone, especially to beginners and people who are not sure whether a new interest will stick: hold on the big investments, try the more affordable options first!

Now I am finally moving away from the “cheap stuff”, so I’m not too eager to go back to it, but I thought it might be fun to do a “Cheap Art Supply Challenge” anyway. I didn’t buy anything especially for the challenge, because I don’t like buying stuff I know for sure I’m not going to need. Using old supplies I already have, on the other hand, felt like a bit of a cheat, since I know them already. So I tried to be creative and to pick up pens and markers, that would not even be considered “art supplies”, but maybe “office supplies”.

Mechanical pencil

Mine came in a package of 3 at Tiger (a local low price store) for 10 dkk (1,34 € | 1,5$).

 

Staedtler marker

(brown)

Even cheaper! I got this one at a Startup Weekend event. Yay!

 

Talon Double Highlighters

(orange and green, yellow and purple, blue and pink)

10 dkk (1,34 € | 1,5$) at Normal (a local low price store).

 

Paper

(probably mixed media)

I’m fairly certain the paper I used is actually good quality, I got it from an art friend, who moved to a different country, so it was definitely “cheap” for me 🙂

 

Coffee

The one thing on the list that is absolutely 100% , not even a little bit an art supply. Well, I guess one can argue about that, since it has been used in the creation of more art then probably any other art supply 😀 As for the price, I wouldn’t know, got it from my mom.

 

Daler Rowney round brush 4

Ok, this one is actual watercolor brush, because I couldn’t find anything that’s not a brush, but can be used as a brush. It was too big and my coffee was too watery to have a good control anyway, hope that makes it ok 🙂

Coffee Flower Girl

I was pretty sure I’ll nail this illustration, because what can go wrong? Well everything! I haven’t used most of these together and even though I made a quick test in the beginning, it didn’t stop me from messing up. As I actually expected the paper didn’t take the water al that well, but it was still working out pretty fine. It all went fairly well until I decided to go for a second layer of coffee to make the color deeper. That’s when I found out all my markers are neither water proof, nor resistent and they bled all over the place. I saved it as best I could, but the illustration is still a bit of a fail. It was still fun to draw and I learned from it. It makes me wonder what can I do now that I am aware of the reaction, probably all kinds of cool effects that I should go back and experiment with!

 

 

Do you sometimes use cheap art supplies or not even art supplies? What have you experimented with and what have you discovered? Share with me some cool ideas in the comments 😉

Fave fun!

30 Days Drawing Challenge: A Road Trip Through Art History

Lately I’ve been looking into ways to motivate myself to create personal pieces on a more regular schedule. It all kept coming back to doing a (at least) 30 days drawing challenge. Inktober is coming, but I don’t want to wait a month, I want to start already now! So I was looking into various existing challenges online and while they all seemed fun enough nothing really spoke to me. It became clear that if I’m to make this work I’ll have to find an exciting topic myself.  Somehow in the process of searching for inspiration an idea popped up in my head: I will create my own interpretations of classical paintings. My goal is to come up with 30 (for a start) digital (vector) pieces, in which I’ll be trying to keep to the following “rules”:

  • Keep to a minimal (maximum 6 colours) colour palette
  • Keep to a flat vector style with outlines
  • Keep the visual style as consistent as possible (another one of those “time-to-define-my-personal-style-already” things)
  • Keep as close to the original as the style allows, but deviations are still ok, it is also ok to chose to work only from a segment of the original piece
  • Any piece of art since the beginning of time till around mid- XX century is fine, as well as any place of origin of the artwork
  • There’s no list of art pieces prepared upfront (I want to keep this open and feel free to approach any piece that may catch my interest, although there are quite a few I’m pretty sure will make it in the chosen 30)

I’ll probably make up more rules as I go, but for now it is all pretty wide open. I only know that I want to explore a wide variety of art pieces from all corners of art history, but my goal is to interpret them in “my own style”, while at the same time keeping a feel of the original, but making all my interpretations consistent with each other and visually connected as a part of the same series. Oh, and let’s face it, these will probably be dominated by portraits of pretty girls, because that’s usually what I revert to when left to my own devices.

So what am I trying to achieve?

  • Have fun
  • Explore “my style”
  • Become more consistent in “my style”
  • Draw every day
  • Post new art every day
  • Refresh my art history knowledge
  • Explore and study different artists, periods and places
  • Practice
  • … and more?

For my first piece in the series I chose a painting I didn’t even know the name of ( I didn’t know the name of the artist neither), but have always loved. After some research I found out the painting is called “Magdalene with the Smoking Flame” by Georges de La Tour. I love the mystical atmosphere, the lighting and the way the girl is staring in the flame, reminds me of my own fascination with fire. Making the piece was a lot of fun and definitely a great start in the series. Let’s see what the next 30 days brings!

…Now that I think about it this might also have a little something to do with my enjoyment of this painting!

Also check out my process painting for this piece:

 

 

Follow my progress:

Sketches: on Instagram

Finished pieces: on Tumblr | Deviantart ? maybe…

Process videos: on YouTube (I won’t be recording all of them, though!)

Watercolor Speedpaint Illustration

I did not manage to get a lot of painting done while in Barcelona, so now I am catching up at home using photo references. I wanted to start by drawing a cathedral or Arc de Triomf, or the Museum of Art, or some other fancy building, but even though these are impressive what I find stuck in my mind are the narrow streets of the old town, the tiny balconies almost hidden in hanging curtains of greenery, the water fountains, the palms, the other plants I’ve never seen, the blue water of the Mediterranean, the rocks of Montserrat  …  So these were the things I mostly wanted to draw.

That’s why I started with a quick watercolor painting of a small balcony and a window covered in lush foliage. I started by throwing some paint on the paper, then I gave it time to dry and drew all the details in pen on top of it. After that I added more color and defined the plants a little more. It was a fun quick and loose illustration for my watercolor journal and I recorded the process for a timelapse video, which you can see here:

 

My travel drawing kit

Since I’m soon leaving for a vacation to Barcelona, so I thought I’d quickly share my travel drawing kit with you. It is quite small, but absolutely enough for sketching on the go!

Sketch-48

1. A tiny watercolor set that I made myself, using a tin box of mints and pans of my current favorite colors to paint with. They are all mixed up, collected from here and there and I have no clue which brands they are, but certainly nothing too fancy, the quality is not too bad though. The colors I’ve selected are: turquoise blue, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, red light, carmine, raw siena, burnt siena, lemon yellow and orange yellow.

2. A small makeup bag with a pattern of colorful water drops on it, quite fitting for a watercolor drawing kit, I thought!

3. Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor album

4. Thin long fine spray bottle filled with water

5. Large water brush

6. Small water brush

7. Pigma Micron 05 ink pen | I might add one thinner to the mix just in case!

8. Schneider Maxx permanent marker | Not sure I actually need it.

9. White jell pen

10. Eraser pen like thingie

11. Faber Castell 2B pencil

12. Derwent watercolor pencil Cobalt blue 31

13. Derwent watercolor pencil May Green 48

14. Derwent watercolor pencil Sepia 53

15. Random orange watercolor pencil | I like drawing an initial sketch in watercolor pencil, so no pencil marks are visible in the final piece. I usually use colors close to the colors of the object, so they blend nicely, but to be honest my green and orange pencils are a bit random and not so useful. I carry them around anyway, most of the time they actually serve to hold my hair up in a bun 🙂

16. Sharpener

17. Bunch of clips

18. Tissue paper pack

Aaaand onwards to adventure!

 

What is in your drawing travel kit?

10 things you hear when perusing a creative career

Most of us start out as creative individuals- we draw, we sing, we dance, we “bake” mud cakes, we play games and make things up and it is all perfectly fine. In fact we are encouraged to do so. No one ever tells us that there’s something wrong with play and creativity, which gives us the idea that it is actually a viable occupation. The more you grow up though, the more things change. Suddenly there are rules, restrictions, and silent classrooms in school, where you don’t get to make things up anymore. And when you do nobody takes that seriously anymore. You need to follow structures, remember facts and do what is expected of you. The more grown up you are the more creativity and otherness seem to become a handicap, something ridiculous, that sane people keep away from. So when you show an interest in creativity as a career you are met with raised eyebrows and discouraging remarks disguised as genuine concern. Splashing watercolors around and sewing clothes for the dolls was cool when you were 5, now it just means you’re a loser and will spend your life in a cardboard box!

Recently someone commented (once) again on my choice to go after a creative career vs. the stable safe job I had at a hotel before. It was quite annoying for a random stranger to judge my life decisions and it reminded me of all the different remarks I’ve heard over the years and I’m sure I’ll keep hearing. So I’ve decided to make fun of them instead of letting myself be irritated. The result was this little collection:

 

“Are you sure it’s not just a phase?”

Uhmm let me think… I’ve been drawing, DIY-ing and decorating since I remember, but yeah it probably is just a phase. A lifelong phase.

 

“Are you sure it’s not more of a hobby?”

Yes. I’m sure, because it used to be a hobby. But now it’s a job. Are you sure accounting is not just a hobby?

 

“There’s no money in that”

There is no money in anything. Whatever you do you might fail or succeed. Nothing is guaranteed.

 

“There are too many artists/ designers/ illustrators already”

There are also quite a lot of doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. What’s your point?

 

“Did you choose it because it’s easy?”

Yes. I chose it because it is easy. The self doubt, the never resting voice of the inner critique, the uncertainty, the constant reminding from others that what I do is silly, the rejection, the lack of appreciation… It is all really easy!

 

“Does anyone actually need this?”

I hear cavemen painted images on the walls of their homes, created music, made decorations to wear, they told stories… At the same time they lived happily for thousands of years with no banking, laws or governments.

 

“So you just sit down and doodle all day”

Of course not. I sit down all day browsing the internet. Isn’t that what everyone is doing these days?

 

“Aren’t you too old for this?”

I am old enough to have tried this and that and to know what I am good at and what makes me feel good.

 

“That’s not a real job”

Where can I find that list of “real jobs”, so I can pick one?

 

“It’s so cool you are following your dreams, but…”

There is no “but”. Either give me your support or don’t.

 

Have you chosen creative professional path as well? Please share what it is and how people react to it? Are they being supportive or judgmental?