Let’s Get Sketchy

Every 6 months or so I go through a drawing phase. It usually coincides with finding some kind of new awesome supply at an art shop. This one was set off by downloading a drawing app called Sketches on the iPad and finding a stylus at Daiso that was thin like a pen so using the iPad didn’t feel like using crayons anymore.

I made it through like 5 days worth of a “draw every day” challenge I set for myself but I’m just not good at making myself do stuff like that every day.

The only reason I made it that far was that I found some coloured lead for my mechanical pencil. It is really hard to find coloured lead in Aus but there’s one newsagent that has the Pilot Colour Eno range and it’s the best! They are extremely inconsistent in softness (I assume because of the way different pigments work) but they probably average out to a 2B softness which is my favourite.

Really this is all just an excuse to draw my favourite subject…

I was kept even more interested by an iphone all called Sktchy. It’s a very cool idea, basically you upload photos of yourself and then artists use them for inspiration. I used portraits I found there as inspiration for the next two pictures.

MiniGambit was a bad influence on my drawings, all he ever wants to see is 90’s era Rogue >_>

Look at this nonsense that he draws! Think pretty highly of yourself eh buddy?

I really enjoy this program!

And lastly, the finished sketch from the beginning ^_^


Portrait – Let’s Paint! Watercolour Walk Through

Hello again! Let’s get into another watercolour tutorial, this one is more of a follow through than a tutorial. This is the end result, some kind of galaxy goddess something…

Hopefully you’re a little more excited about this than the sad bunnies on my note paper.
First up, sketch your basic outline.
Keep the details around the face fine.
While the hair out the back is long and flowing.
The most important part of paintings like this is the colouring. Think about colours that work well together. My favourite combination is bright blue/green/pink/purple.
I decided to go with the blue and green for the girl and then pink and purple for the sky. I like to start with the face details because if I don’t get that right then there’s no point doing the rest of the painting. Each line and area is a combination of the two colours.
The technique is simple, lay down a thick-ish line of water.
Drop on the two colours and move them with the paint brush until you’re happy.
While the face outlines dry I moved on to the fabric. I find it easier to do the outlines first then move on to the shadows etc once it’s dry using the lines as a guide.
Moving on, the hair is next. Large sections of hair first making sure to keep it so it looks flowing.
Use your colours to indicate the texture and folds of the fabric. Keep an eye on where you’re placing each colour eg. use the darker blue for areas in shadow.
Overlapping the hair layers once they are dry creates even more layers.
The face and skin is shaded very minimally.
Now let it all dry.
Once it’s totally dry, erase any of the pencil which is still showing through.
Now to paint the background,we don’t want to get any of the pink/purple on the greens so cover the edges with masking fluid.
Cover the entire background with water.
And then drip the colour on.
More water and more colour.
You can see the water pooling and the paper beginning to buckle. So long as the water isn’t a danger to the other colours don’t worry about it. Water makes cool patterns as it dries.
Once it dries it will look something like this:
Now remove all of the resist from the edges.
All done!
I left a gap around the edges for aesthetic reasons but you can paint resist directly on top of the green/blue if you want to keep it nice and close.
So let’s have a look at all of the details!
With techniques like this, the paint and the water are really doing most of the work so all you need are basic drawing skills.
Textured paper really brings out water colour.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this walk/paint through 😀 Let me know what you paint, I can’t wait to see!

How To Make Watercolour Scarves – Tutorial

I think I mentioned to you guys already that I’ve been working on some techniques to make my scarf painting a little more watercolour styled. I think I’ve got it much closer to a point that I’m happy with now and I’m having much more fun with it!

These are two scarves I made as gifts recently.

For all of my fabric painting I use Opulence silk dyes because they dilute really well and are fairly easy to control.

The basic technique is really easy. Just wet the fabric and then squeeze most of the water out. I’m using a basic cheap muslin.
Hang it up somewhere that it doesn’t matter if it gets messy. I used my shower door.
The water all over it will get patchy as it dries. You can add more or less water depending on the design you’re going for.
Slowly drip paint into areas where there is water. You will notice that the paint only travels along the water veins. You can add more water or keep it dry so the paint is quite vibrant.
Add a second colour overlapping the first. I use colours which are similar in tone.
Allow the first layers to dry and then repeat wetting areas and adding paint.
The effects you get depend entirely on your control of the paint and how much/little water it has to move around in. I like to add spots of water after the dye to move it around even more.
As it dries the paint is sucked to the edges of the designs so they look more vibrant.
Keep layering over and over until you’re happy with the designs.
With the blue and purple version I used much larger areas of water.
Once the design is how you like, just heat seal them with an iron and give them a final wash out.
The colours are so vibrant and pretty.
The crushable muslin makes a really nice fabric for a Summer scarf.
So there you go, another technique to add to your arsenal!

Now I need to stock up on some more actual silk and give this a try with that as well!

Shading – Let’s Paint! Watercolour Walk Through

Time for another beginners watercolour tutorial! Today we’re going to tackle something really important: shading!

So before we work on techniques, let’s learn about the basic timeline of a painting. Every artist has a different way of doing things but this is mine.
1. Sketch out a picture.
2. Ink the picture using a fine black pen.
3. Do a basic wash with light colours. A wash is what it’s called when you do one very thin coat with a base colour to work on.
4.  Add shadows using a darker tone.
5. Once it’s dry, add highlights using a white gel pen.
So really what I’m saying is that basic shading consists of a base colour, shadow and highlight. Blend those colours together and you’re set. Just make sure that you keep in mind where the light source in your drawing is and shade according to that.
There are different ways to achieve shading as well. Below you can see a rose which has been shaded using different techniques.
Block shading is a technique where there is no blending of the shading at all, the colours are just painted on and left. This gives a cartoonish effect.
Blended shading is what the name suggests, where the shading is blended together.
It’s much easier to blend colours together smoothly when they are wet on wet paper. Have a look at at the picture below, there is a splotch of blue and of red and then water between them.
Using a clean brush with a little water on it brush the two colours together and swirl them to mix.
It is much easier to blend seamlessly on wet paper than it is with dry.
A combination of block and blended shading works really well on areas such as hair.
To achieve that, use a blended shading technique while it’s wet and then add block shading when it’s dry.
You can really play with things like colour once you get comfortable with shading.
For example here is a regular line drawing…
And here is a shaded version…
Practice is the most important part of this. It takes a while but when you’ve done enough drawings you can get a feel for things. It sounds really cliche but it’s very true! The more you practice drawing things the more it becomes muscle memory. Look at the world around you and look at where the light hits things, shading and colouring is a skill which is completely separate from drawing to learn so don’t be discouraged and practice both of them separately and together!
I hope you found this helpful and I can’t wait to see what you guys paint!

How To Paint A Basic Landscape – Watercolour Walk Through

Time for another watercolour tutorial! Today we’re going to paint a very basic landscape. This is mostly about the order of doing things so don’t worry about your technique, it’s all about practice!

Our painting is going to be a very basic landscape of some trees on a river at sunset.
So let’s get started! We will roughly sketch things before we begin painting. To begin with, decide where your horizon line is and draw a line there. I did mine 1/3rd from the bottom of the page.
Now roughly outline the trees. You don’t need to do things in too much detail, just a rough guide.
Now we will begin painting the trees with a wash. A wash is when you paint an entire area with a thin wet coat of colour.
So give the entire area of the trees a wash with light green.
Drying time is important. If you do the next coat before it’s totally dry they will bleed together.
Paint the reflections of the trees in the lake with a light green wash too. They should be the same shape as the trees but upside down.
Once those sections are dry it’s time to work on the sunset. Cover the entire sky area with water and then paint a line of yellow at the horizon.
Mix in a line of pink and make sure you have enough water for them to smoosh together.
Continue the gradient up to purple and blue.
Continue the blue up to the top of the paper.
Repeat the same wash of sky down into the river backwards for the reflection. Water makes things appear distorted so make the gradient of colours much shorter.
You should have something like this…
Now let’s build on the trees. Use a more vibrant mix of the light green and begin with tiny strokes to make triangular pine tree shapes. You don’t need to colour each entire tree in, just little brush strokes will do.
Build the trees up slowly, there is no “undo” in water colours!
Continue building and consider as you paint where the light would be coming from. The only light in this scene comes from the sunset so the side of the trees which is nearer to the edges of the paper will be darker.
Don’t forget to paint in some more detail to the reflections as well. You don’t want a large amount of tiny strokes like on the actual trees, just some spotchy areas to represent shade in the water ripples.
And remember that on the other side, the light is coming from a different direction.
Once that’s dry we will add in some highlights with a bright yellow. This matches the colour of the sunset. You can also continue the sunset gradient in the tree highlights for a very good look.
So to paint the highlights, add some small strokes of yellow on the tops and sides of the trees closest to the sunset.
Make sure to do the other side as well and add splotches to the reflections to match.
Now begin to add the shadows. Start with a darker shade of green.
I really like to use burnt sienna as a shadow colour because it gives a more realistic and deeper tone than black does. I almost never use actual black for shading.
Now the trees are done, it’s time to layer some cloud coverage on the skyline. I like to layer some with each of the gradient colours.
And that’s about it for the painting part.
So over here you have smooshy reflections…
Very thin and fairly undefined layers of cloud coverage…
And smooth water…
If you want you can add in more details using a white gel pen.
And there you go! It’s a simple landscape that you can build on to make something awesome!
These are the basic steps that I use for most of my paintings, you can take the techniques and use them for just about anything.
Yay for completing a full painting! Hope you guys found something useful in this and let me know how you go painting your own landscapes!


More Adventures In Silk Painting Yay!

I thought you guys might like to see some of the silk paintings I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been working through the first lot of small scarves I made but now I think I’m ready to move on to something a bit bigger.

Pretty much all of these were gifts for my friends.
All of these flowers are really easy to do and the effect is really pretty.
I’ve really enjoyed making colourful scarves and then adding patterns and paintings over the top using black gutta. It feels closer so sketching so I have more control over it.
I’ve also been experimenting with more techniques to make the scarves look more like water colour paintings.
I’ve been practicing using muslin and wetting and layering the fabric several times.
I’m not 100% happy with the results yet but it’s getting there!

Hope you enjoyed, let me know if you want me to do tutorials for any of these techniques!

And as something completely different, I wanted to let you guys know that apparently I’m remarkable… no wait that’s not it, I’m one of The Remarkables Group now! How exciting! Basically this means that I will be able to do more fun things with you guys. Things won’t be changing particularly, it will still be the same fun tutorials and stuff you guys like but hopefully it just means I’ll have more free time to do a lot more of it 🙂

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