Yellowstone Watercolor Tutorial

Here is a fun watercolor tutorial I made.

68309364_10158725705802892_1270487764659339264_o

The reference photo I used for it is from Yellowstone National Park. Living in Montana has made it really easy to go visit Yellowstone regularly. The fun thing about going so regularly is that we get to see the park in all its various seasons. Last year we saw super-blooms with fields of flowers and later the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn . This year we got to see amazing thunderstorms roll in and early morning fog . The morning fog looked so beautiful on this day with the sunlight shining through it. I am hoping to create some finished pieces for my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

67942574_10158725700287892_2605284839145865216_o

You will notice some differences between the sketchbook painting and the reference photo. I simplified the landscape in my painting for several reasons. The first was because of the size of the painting. I was working in a sketchbook so I didn’t have a lot of room to paint tons of details. Also Strathmoore 400 paper is good for things like sketchbooks and simple paintings but it cant handle as many layers of glazing and scrubbing like Arches can so I simplified the painting so I wouldn’t have to fight my paper as much. The other reason i simplified the landscape is to make the video easier for you to follow and not have it be ten thousand hours long. The longer it takes me to paint a picture the more i have to speed up and trim out piece of the process. In total this painting took me about 4 hours for me to complete.

Here is the list of the tools I used:

* M. Graham Watercolors (Azo green, Hookers Green, sap green, Cad Orange, Cad yellow, Ultramarine blue, cerulean Blue, and Ultramarine Violet).
*Strathmoore 400 Watercolor Sketchbook
*Creative Mark Mimik Paint brushes (Grey Handle)
*Princeton Neptune 1/4 Dagger Brush
*Fineline Masking Fluid
*Masking Tape
*Paper Clamps
*Clean Rags
*Mechanical Pencil

 

If you have any questions about this painting please feel free to ask below.

Elements of Art Worksheets

Space mock up

As a kid I always wanted to take art lessons but living in a rural community before the wide use of the Internet, art classes weren’t readily available.

Once I started taking art classes in hight school we had to spend time learning about the elements and principles of art. Spending so much time learning these basics of art really gave me a foundation to build upon when I started painting again after a 7 year break. Knowing the elements and principles of art really helped me know how to analyze my work and recognize areas I needed to improve on.

In an effort to combine my love of teaching art and my desire to make lessons more available I have been working on creating worksheet packets and corresponding videos (available for free on my YouTube channel) that help teach the elements and principles of art. In each video I will go through the worksheet with you providing additional information along the way. After the worksheet is completed we will do an art project that applies those concepts that have been taught.

For my first release I will be teaching the elements of art. These are the basic elements that make up the foundation of art. The seven elements of art include the concepts of form, line, color, space, texture, value, and shape.

There are 12 pages in my worksheet packet that provide lessons and learning activities to help teach and apply each element to your art. They are a digital download so you can receive them within a few minutes of payment and can print them as many times as you would like for personal and family use. This is great for homeschooling families.

The worksheets are also available with teaching licensing. People who purchase a teachers license can use the worksheets in their classroom as much as they want for a one time fee.

If you are interested in purchasing the worksheets they are available here.

M Graham Watercolor Review and Ocean Wave Tutorial

34157310_10157450314647892_5125561065639247872_o

M Graham watercolors are the first tube watercolors I purchased. They were also the second brand of professional paints I purchased. I have been using them for two years and I have really enjoyed working with them. They are my go to watercolors when I want to do more traditional watercolor paintings.

I love how easily these paints are to reactivate after they dry,  they flow nicely when doing wet into wet paintings, and are very concentrated. These paints have colors that granulate, layer/glaze, and Lift. Most of the colors from my Hydrus Watercolors are staining which is great for how I use them however; it is nice to be able to fix mistakes easier. It is also nice to be able to get texture in your painting from the granulating pigments.

Depending on how you work and what your painting the vibrancy of the M Graham colors could be a pro or a con. M Graham paints are very pigmented and colorful but they tend to be more realistic in color where as some other brands can get a synthetic or artificial look to them. This is nice when painting faces and landscapes because I don’t have to work as hard to mix and neutralize to get them to look realistic.

I have a large collection of M graham Watercolors almost 40 colors and of my colors My favorites include their quinacridone colors ( I highly recommend this set), Gamboge, Prussan blue, Phthalo Blue, Cobalt teal, and Azo green.

For the demonstration and tutorial I decided to paint a seascape. I found my reference photo here 

wave-3342209_1920

You don’t have to use M Graham paints to follow along or even use as many colors.  For fun I used all the blue M Graham colors I own but that is not necessary.   I worked in light layers of  paint to make it easier to glaze. The clear wax crayon helped preserve some of the highlights.

Tools and Supplies I used:

*Cerulean blue

*Cobalt Blue

*Cobalt Teal

*Ultramarine Blue

*Prussian Blue

*Phthalo Blue

*Phthalo Green

*Phthalo Green Yellow shade

*Dioxazine Purple

*Burnt Sienna

*Burnt Umber

*White Dr Ph Maritins Bombay India Ink

*Heat tool

*Clear Wax

*¾ Inch Flat Mimic Squirrel Brush

* #12 Round W.C. Squirrel Brush

*#8 Round W.C. Squirrel Brush

*1/4” Princeton Neptune Dagger Brush

*Arches Coldpress watercolor paper

 

Wave

Here is a closer look at the finished painting.

If you have any questions about M Graham paints please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

How to paint a landscape using Mungyo soft Pastels

nature-1348328_640

Today I am sharing with you a soft pastel demonstration where I give tips and tricks on  how to use Mungyo and Stabilo CarbOthello soft pastels to paint a field in the autumn. The reference photo is one on got of Pixabay.

 

 

The Mungyo set is a entry level set that I reviewed a few months ago and I finally got a chance to do another painting with them.  I still think they are a fantastic entry level set if you are wanting to experiment with pastels before investing in more expensive sets. It’s also a great set for children to use given that they are affordable and non-toxic. Like always use whatever pastels you have on hand. You don’t have to use this specific brand to follow along.

There are a lot of pastel pencils on the market I happened to use the *Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils which is the brand I have on hand. You don’t have to use pastel pencils to do this painting I just found them useful for doing the smaller details since I was working in a 6×11″ size. If you are only going to be using traditional soft pastels I recommend pressing really lightly for the sketching and underpainting portion.

I also used Uart 400 Grit sanded paper in a 6×11 size but if you are just learning and wanting to figure out how to paint using soft pastels on sanded paper you can use regular sand paper between 260-800 grit.

Other supplies include rubbing alcohol, *Dr Ph Martins Bombay ink, Old paint brushes, and a rubber blender.

field-pastel-painting.jpg

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

All links marked with a * are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you use these links that help support my channel. I only link products that I regularly use and recommend.

Colorful Bison

This past month I was asked to do a colorful painting of an American Bison. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to demonstrate how I used Brusho and Hydrus watercolors to create my colorful animal paintings.

 

 

Paints and Supplies
*Dr PH Martins Hydrus watercolor

*Arches water color

*Black Velvet Brush

*Brusho

* Masking Fluid

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

All links marked with a * are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you use these links that help support my channel. I only link products that I regularly use and recommend.

Sketchbook Sunday

Here is a little sketchbook painting I did last sunday. One of my new years resolutions this year was to sketch more often in a sketchbook. I talk a little more about it here. Sundays are typically the best days for me to do that because they are my laid back days that I take off from my work side of art (i.e. Commissions) and most other responsibilities. I typically wake up early before the rest of the family or do it during quiet time.

If your wondering why I posted a “sketchbook Sunday” video on a thursday it’s because I had originally planed to record and share one of my sunday sketchbook paintings and share it as a bonus video. However, my computer died on Saturday night so I couldn’t edit the video I recorded for my Thursday video and had to change my plans. I ended up recording  and editing this video on my phone and pushing it back to my normal Thursday slot.

For this painting I used a fine point Sharpie for the outlining and Gouache for the underpainting. My gouache palette is a mix of both M Graham and Windsor and Newton paints. For the Colored pencil details I used my Prismacolor pencils. I was fun to be able to use them because I don’t use colored pencils very often or do mixed media very often.

This ended up being a fun little exercise that was a nice break for the commissions I have been working on. Its fun to see how I have really started looking forward to these sketchbook sessions when up until a few months ago I had hated working in a sketchbook.

What about you? Do you use a sketchbook? When do you typically work in it? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

Rocky Beach Pastel Painting

Rocky Beach seascape

A few weeks ago I painted this colorful rocky seascape. It was so fun painting it a different way than the seascapes I had painted previously. I felt like the practice I got from painting those pieces really helped me to get more loose and colorful with this painting.

This piece is now available on my etsy shop if your interested in purchasing it. To celebrate spring this piece and all other landscape, seascape, and botanical paintings are 20% off through March 31, 2018.

If you are interested in knowing the materials and tools I used for this painting here are the links to them so you can learn more about them. These are affiliate links but don’t feel pressured to use them. When you do it just helps me out and allows me to spend more time making videos for you.

MATERIALS & TOOLS

*Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

*Mount Vision Pastels https://goo.gl/BCVnZ8

*Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

*NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

*Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

*Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

*Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

*Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

*Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

*Stiff Brush brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

*White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

*T Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

If you have any questions about my process or the tools I use feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer it.

-Lauren

Mungyo Soft Pastel 64 set Review and Pastel Demonstration

I have been on the hunt for an affordable and good quality soft pastel set that is also non-toxic. When getting art supplies for kids is really important to make sure that they are using non-toxic supplies. Children aren’t always the best with washing their hands and cleaning up their work space. This is especially important with pastels because you are touching the pigment directly instead of using a paint brush. Pastels can create a lot of dust that can get unintended surfaces like drinking cups.

Overall, I think the Mungyo soft pastels are a great option for children and beginners who are experimenting with soft pastels and want to learn how to use them without the pressure of using expensive materials. They offered a good range of colors and had a mix of bright colors and along with neutrals. I was especially impressed with their neutral greens in the set. They will be useful for anyone trying to paint a landscape.

IMG_3684

They were a good medium softness which made it easy to get a lot of layers down without having to be overly cautious about filling in the tooth of the paper too quickly. My only struggle with this set is that there weren’t a lot of really dark colors. To work around this you could do an underpainting with really dark inks/watercolors, use a dark toned paper, or buy other open stock pastels in brands that carry better darks like Terry Ludwig.

IMG_3752

Here is a closer look at the still life drawing I did with the pastels. They layered really nicely on the sanded paper. Here is the list of tools and supplies that I used or talked about in the video.

*MATERIALS & TOOLS USED OR MENTIONED*

(Affiliate Links)

Mungyo Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/ScmgKu

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Stiff brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Beach Flowers: Beginner Soft Pastel Tutorial

Beach Flowers
Beach Flowers – Soft Pastels

I enjoyed painting the last beach scene so much that I decided to do one more. This time I got my reference photo from the website called Paint My Photo. It’s a great website to get reference photos for artists. This website allows you to use the photos as references in your commercial work. Unfortunately, The rules on that website restrict me from showing you the actually photo here on my website. So here is a link to where you can get the reference picture. You just need to create a login in for it. The picture is from Pauline West.

I started my painting process buy first picking out the supplies and pastels I need. The pastels I am using are a mix of Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils, Prisma color nupastels and Jack Richeson Soft Pastels. The harder pastels will be used for the under painting and details. I also made sure to pick a variety of values (lights and darks) in each color family. This will allow me to create contrast and depth in my picture without relying on straight black and white pastels as much. Nothing wrong with white and black pastels but if you only use those for your highlights and shadows your picture can look flat and uninteresting.

Color Palette

I also picked our warm tones and cool tones of each color family. Having warm and cool selection in each color family can aid in color mixing and layering. Every color will either have a warm undertone, be neutral, or have a cool undertone.   For example, a warm toned blue would be a Phthalo blue because It has some green undertones. In contrast a cool blue would be a ultramarine because it tends to be closer to purple on the color wheel. I’m working on a tutorial to explain and demonstrate this more clearly. For now I’ve posted a picture below to help demonstrate what I mean on the actual colors I’m using.

27331999_10157070487942892_943125753395152771_n

The rest of this supplies I’ll be using are 600 Grit Uart sanded pastel paper cut down to a 6×11” size, Krylon workable fixative, Generic rubbing alcohol, an old stiff bristled paint brush for blending out the under painting, a size 1 round white taklon brush for applying the ink (any old acrylic brush with a fine point will work), purple and black waterproof ink I’m using Dr Ph Maritns Bombay India ink, plastic pallet knives, and rubber shapers. You can use a traditional blending stump if you don’t have rubber shapers.

71JNDAMy7SL._SL1500_

26993259_10157054586522892_4700846170059305809_n

This painting took me about three hours to complete from start to finish. The video is significantly sped up so feel free to slow the video down and/or pause it as you work through the various steps. I also find it beneficial to watch the video all the way through before starting your project. That way you are more comfortable with the process and know what to do next.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

Heat Tool https://goo.gl/vNCg1p

(Affiliate Links)

If you would like to purchase the original painting you can do so here.

If you would like to request specific tutorial or have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

Path By The Seaside: Beginner Pastel Tutorial

I have some big pastel commissions coming up so to help switch my mind from watercolor to soft pastels I have been doing some smaller pastel paintings. I figured it would turn this little painting into a tutorial for those who interested in learning how to paint and draw with pastels.

With it being in middle of winter here in Montana I wanted to paint something warm and sunny. I found my reference photo on pixabay.

aberdeen-1573614_1920

Before I start any pastel painting I look at my reference photo and I pick out the pastels I am going to use to paint it. This just helps me stay in the zone when painting because Im not constantly stopping to sort through hundreds of pastels deciding which ones I want.

When picking out pastels I make sure to grab some harder pastels like the pastel pencils and Nupastels from Prismacolor along with the softer ones. The harder pastels are great for the base layers of the painting because they don’t fill in the tooth of the paper as easily. With this painting being  fairly simple and smaller in size I knew I wasn’t going to be doing as many layers as normal so I didn’t grab any of my super soft pastels like my Sennelier or Schmincke . The softest pastels I used for this were Jack Richeson pastels which I find to be about medium softness.

Another thing I do when gathering my pastels is to  grab several values of each color. Pastels aren’t like watercolor where you can just add water to it to make it lighter or more paint to make it darker. You need to make sure you have a variety of values in each color. These are the colors I picked for my pastel painting and when I was painting I ended up needed more darker tones. I will show you in the video how I worked around that but if you decide to do this painting I would pick some darker cool blues, greens, and violets.

26993536_10157054586507892_1498258062512037700_n

After selecting my pastels I gathered the rest of my supplies.

71JNDAMy7SL._SL1500_

For this piece I used 6×11 inch UArt sanded paper in 600 grit. I really love Uart paper because it can take a lot of layers really well. It is also easy to tone the paper yourself using watercolor or with pastels and rubbing alcohol (which is my preferred method).

26993259_10157054586522892_4700846170059305809_n

Some other tools I used with my painting include some old paint brushes and rubbing alcohol for the underpainting. The Ink is for blocking in the darks of the painting. I like to use rubber shapers and plastic pallet knives for blending the pastels. For this piece I only used the rubber shaper with the rounded tip which i found really helpful in shaping the clouds. Not pictured is a T Ruler that I used to draw my horizon line with.

Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:

Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

T-Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

(Affiliate Links)

I hope you learn some new skills from watching this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren