Elements of Art Worksheets

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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.

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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

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Paper Blender

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Pipe Insulation Foam

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Pallet Knives

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Plastic Pallet Knife
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Example of why metal pallet knives don’t work

Catalyst Wedge

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Rubber Shapers

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Sofft Tools

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No Tool (Blending with pastels on paper)

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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

 

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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

 

Sketchbook Tour

One of my new years resolutions has been to get better at regularly drawing in a sketchbook. I often get so busy with commissions and projects that I don’t always have time to work on personal projects or try new techniques. I am hoping that by drawing and painting in a sketchbook regularly will not only improve my skill but also give me a few minutes each day to paint and create something just for the pleasure of creating. As much as I love doing commission (it’s the best job I could have) I need to spend some time creating pieces of work that are personally motivated so I don’t get burned out.

 

I have owned many sketchbooks over the years and have never actually finished one. I didn’t like having “ugly drawings” stuck in my sketchbook so I would either rip out pages I didn’t like or just hold off from drawing in my sketchbook until I got better as an artist. I think part of me was ashamed of my skill level for not being “good enough.’ It is kind of silly to think about now as a (slightly) more mature artist because the entire purpose of a sketchbook is for it to be a safe place to practice, experiment, and grow as as an artist.

Setting this goal for the year has helped me to FINALLY finish my first sketchbook. It’s far from perfect since I bought it a few months after I got back in to art in 2016. Some sketches have been torn out because I didn’t like them or used them for other projects. But  I finally completed the pages that are remaining.

It may seem silly to celebrate such a small and silly thing but when trying to develop a new habit it is always important to celebrate the milestones along the way. It is also a sign of my personal growth as I am now more accepting of my shortcomings as an artist. I always want to improve my skill level but I am no longer ashamed of my journey as an artist.

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A landscape sketch done in 2016
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A landscape sketch done in 2018

Another benefit of using a sketch book (and not tearing out the pages) is that I have also been able to see how much I have grown over the years as an artist. Being able to see tangible proof of my progress is so helpful on days when I feel discouraged.

What about you? Do you like using sketchbooks?

-Lauren

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.

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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.

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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

Starting a Youtube channel

One of the goals I set for this year is to start a youtube channel.  This is one of my goals for the year that is really going to push me out of my comfort zone.

Last year I started videoing short time-lapse videos of my work for Instagram but I didn’t do anything that required much editing. So over the past few weeks I have been watching youtube tutorials about how to record and edit videos. Those helped give me a starting point. However, the best way for me to really learn the knowledge taught in those videos is by actually applying it to my life.  So after learning enough to stumble my way through the process I recorded my first full length time-lapse painting. I obviously have a lot to learn about producing high quality videos and will be making modifications to my recoding area in the upcoming weeks. You know what though, I did it and I am excited about that! I set a goal and I am actively working toward it and that is deeply satisfying. In the words of one of my favorite disney songs, “It’s a step in the right direction.”

So why youtube? Well as an artist youtube offers a great opportunity to expand my online reach. The more social media platforms that my work is shown on makes it so people can more easily find me and my work. Youtube is a visual based platform which really allows people to see my work and the process I use while creating.

Also one of my long term goals is to start teaching both in person and online based art classes. I wont be able to do that unless I get comfortable painting in front of people, the camera, and talking about what I am doing. Making videos is a great way to practice this skill. For now I am just trying to get used to recording and editing videos. In the upcoming months I will be adding voice overs and eventually do a more tutorial based format.

If you would like to follow me on youtube you can find me under the name: Lauren Watkins Art and hit red subscribe button.

I am nervous about starting this channel but I am more excited about the opportunities it will make available to me in the upcoming months and years.

What about you? Do you have any goals this year that make you both nervous and excited? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren