Getting Back in the Swing of Things

It has been a crazy few months around here with the work, family vacations, kids school starting, etc. I am trying to get back in the swing of things and finding my new balance.

The last few weeks I had been struggling to feel inspired on what to paint and create. In an effort to get inspired I decided to watch some other artists youtube channels. I found that a lot of the artists I was watching were combining pan pastels and Faber Castell Polychromo colored pencils. So I decided to order some from Dick Blick. When they arrived I started experimenting with different layers of  pan pastels, the colored pencils, and Pastel Pencils on Uart sanded paper. The results were exhilarating. It sounds strange to be exhilarated about drawing with pencils on sandpaper but for this artist struggling with artist block it was just what I needed. While doing my little sketches my brain started generating tons of future project ideas.

Eye
First sketch with Polychromos
42391191_10157783838867892_1637140618683613184_o
More Polychromos sketches on sanded paper
42453007_10157795031517892_8688270926258634752_o
sketches combining Polychromos, Pan Pastels, and Pastel pencils.

One of those projects was a series of owl drawings. I love owls. They are beautiful birds with such big eyes.  I have now finished the first two owls in the series.

Tree Barn owl Etsy

Etsy owl

Here is a timelapse video that I recorded while I worked on the second owl.

I cant wait to share with you more from this new series I am working on.

 

-Lauren

Advertisements

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.

8 Ways to blend soft pastels

I recently did a video where I shared some of my favorite soft pastel tools and supplies. In that video I shared how much I live rubber shapers. I thought I would share some of other tools and techniques used to blend soft pastels.

Below are close up photos of each blending method to help give you a better idea of the look the create

Finger Blending

35650984_10157509611732892_4401475801971687424_n

Paper Blender

35701505_10157509612057892_3251727694081032192_n

Pipe Insulation Foam

35653537_10157509611997892_988793332299726848_n

Pallet Knives

35768444_10157509611757892_8253951025694638080_n
Plastic Pallet Knife
35522857_10157509612097892_1027424896679936_n
Example of why metal pallet knives don’t work

Catalyst Wedge

35760891_10157509611892892_2004548042627219456_n

Rubber Shapers

35815142_10157509611857892_8135760908757499904_n

Sofft Tools

35629176_10157509611927892_7752361418900373504_n

No Tool (Blending with pastels on paper)

35643624_10157509612157892_3038908173323862016_n

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

My Top five essential soft pastel tools

Here is a list of 5 of my favorite and most used tools when I work with soft pastels. My favorites include Rubbing Alcohol, Dark Ink ( I use Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks),  Photo Corners in various sizes,  Work able fixative ( I use Krylon Fixatif), and Rubber shapers.

The video goes into more detail of why I like these tools and supplies when working with pastels.

If you have any questions please 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.