Some Random Cute Artwork!

I’ve been doing a little bit of painting lately so I thought I would show you guys in another art dump ^_^

 

I’ve been trying to sketch more too, Lottie ^_^
Spring! This was going to be the first page of a calendar I was going to make but I never ended up finishing it.
I went through all of my old artwork and got rid of a bunch of stuff. It was kind of nice to get rid of like 15 years worth of sketches, very cathartic and nice to clear out!
I thought you guys might like to see some of my really old art!
This was the cover page sketch of a comic book I wrote called “Frills”. I used to illustrate a lot of comics, I really miss it!
Bonus: This was actually the original header for my blog! Way back when I had short black hair! Some days I think about cutting my hair short again but I think I would really miss it!

 

How To Use Watercolour Resist- Let’s Paint! Watercolour Walk Through

Before I knew what resist was I had wondered for years how watercolour artists managed to paint in blank areas. I tend to paint haphazardly so being able to think forward enough to leave huge blank areas like this was far beyond my scope.

Screw forward thinking, resist/masking fuild is awesome!
Basically resist/masking fluid is a slightly gummy paste which you paint on, then you can paint colours over the top and carefully remove it to see the white paper underneath.
You can use it in a number of ways. Here are 4 of them!
Top left: Mask out entire heart
Top right: Mask out the area around heart to make a sharp edge
Bottom left: Mask out little spots on the heart
Bottom right: Mask out an entire heart on a painted area
Once the fluid is dry, paint over the top.
Gently peel the resist off the paper and it leaves it clean underneath. You can see on the bottom right, the top of the heart is messed up because I was too vigorous when removing it and I tore up a little bit of the paper which was still a bit wet. >_<
Let’s do a bigger project with it. I have sketched out a deer and we will mask that out and paint over it. So sketch out main drawing.
Shake up your fluid. I tends to form a skin over the top so you want to make sure it’s a good thin consistency before you paint.
It’s a good idea to have a dedicated brush for working with masking fluid because it tends to be a pain in the arse to clean up and you don’t want to ruin good watercolour brushes.
Begin by masking off the larger areas like the neck. You can see what happens if you use unmixed masking fluid below, it’s lumpy and harder to work with so make sure you mix it well!
I suggest that you thinly outline the area that you want to paint in and then fill in the middles.
If you make a mistake don’t just wipe it off. Wait for it to dry and then gently peel it off and repaint that area.
Any areas you want coloured leave blank.
It can be really difficult to see what you’re doing when painting white on white so I suggest angling your paper while sitting near a window. Leave it to dry very thoroughly before you start painting.
The painting technique we’re going to use for the rest is basically adding a lot of water and then dripping colour on to it.
So soak  the paper with a coat of water. I suggest when doing paintings this wet you should remove the paper from your sketch book and put it on a board so you don’t ruin pages underneath. For this kind of painting you really need to use a heavy grade of paper.
Once your paper is nice and wet, begin by dripping your first colour. I like to start around where the masking is so I can actually see what I’m doing for the rest of it.
Add in a second colour and keep dripping water as you go to keep things wet and easy to move.
Keep layering water and paint.
You can see just how much water is used in these kind of paintings.
Make sure to concentrate on important details like the eyes and pay close attention to the colours there.
Now leave the entire thing to dry very thoroughly. Even if it seems dry I would suggest leaving it over night or else you risk tearing when you remove the resist.
Once it is dry gently peel the edge of the fluid and slowly peel it up. If you can’t find the edge, you can VERY gently use a pin to hook it and then pull up with your fingers.
It should have kind of the consistency of latex eyelash glue. Be super careful around the edges.
Taadaa!
To do this kind of painting you do need to be able to think ahead and almost do things backwards, you need a clear vision of how the picture is going to look in your mind before you begin.
You can see that the lines around the resist are very sharp and clean.
So there you go, now go and paint something fun!
Hopefully you have a decent grasp of how masking fluid works now! Let me know if you have any questions 😀 I’m really enjoying writing this series now, I hope you are all enjoying reading them.

Silk Painting Technique Sampler!

Seeing as I’ve been doing some beginners watercolour posts lately I thought perhaps it would be fun to do something similar with silk painting techniques. So I made a silk sampler to try out a lot of different techniques.
I’m using Opulence silk dye for this post, it’s easy to use and fixes with an iron rather than steam. I’m using clear and black gutta as well. The clear washes out with water and the black is fixed.

I’m using a small Pongee pre-hemmed silk.
It’s very thin and a bit floaty. It was one of the cheaper weights and I think I prefer the expensive heavier weight looks but I haven’t been brave enough to paint on one yet because it’s more expensive and I’m scared of ruining it >_>
The silk is stretched on my frame so it’s tight and easier to work with.
To begin with I thought I would experiment and see if I could colour the clear gutta so it would leave behind a light stain when it was washed out.
For this I used a thin brush while applying.
It did look cute but didn’t take on much of the silk dye colour.
I then applied a design around the outside using the clear gutta applicator bottle to see the difference between brush and bottle tip.
Harder to see when it’s white on white but the application is thicker but more regulated.
The black gutta has a much thinner applicator.
And it was much thicker and therefore harder to control with a small paint brush.
I divided the rest of the silk up into sections that we could try different techniques in and left it to dry.
For the silk paint I used a larger brush.
This particular dye can be diluted and effected with water while the gutta acts as a barrier.
The first technique I tried was wetting the fabric first and then applying the dye. It gave a very light colour and it was harder to spread the dye as the fabric was already full of water.
I managed to go over the lines on the first damn one too >_>
You can see how much brighter and more even it is on dry fabric.
I then did a gradient effect on wet and dry fabric. The dry fabric was brighter but the wet fabric seemed like a smoother gradient.
Time to experiment with salt now! This is dry fabric with dye and then salt sprinkled on top. The salt sucks up the water and the dye moving it around to make interesting effects.
Once it’s totally dry it looks like this:
Salt on pre-wet fabric didn’t create as sharp an effect but it made more of a fluid pattern.
Close up of the salt on dry fabric:
Close up of salt on wet fabric:
In the top left square on wet fabric I painted a green base and then put little yellow spots. The bottom right was the same thing but on dry fabric. They look much of a muchness.
I then gave painting stripes a try. First on wet fabric where it was kind of successful.
Then on dry fabric where the dye just spread and blended into itself.
I blended red and purple together on wet fabric and the gradient was very smooth but the colours were dull.
Blending while wet looked much more vibrant but the blended area was lighter.
And that was the full sampler, so time to seal it and then wash it out and see how things turned out.
I sealed with an iron as usual.
Then washed the gutta out.
You can see all of the clear gutta has been removed and left clean white silk below it.
The gutta I tried to colour didn’t leave any colour behind so it’s back to the drawing board on that one.
Now here are some close ups of some of the different areas and techniques.
So, a fun way to give everything a try! I would definitely suggest doing one of these to test out techniques if you’re starting out with silk painting. It was good to see how the paint reacted to different surfaces and treatments. Now I can apply all of this experimenting to real painting later! Fun 😀
Hope you guys found this useful and let me know if you’re silk painting too, I’d love to be inspired by what you guys are up to!

Basic Watercolour Techniques – Let’s Paint! Watercolour Walk Through

Good morning! Today we continue on from the last instalment of Watercolour Walkthrough with a tutorial on all of the basic techniques you’ll need to learn before you get started on your grand painting adventures ^_^
One thing to keep in mind before you start is that it’s a great idea to spend a day just painting splotches and practising techniques before you try to paint anything useful. It seems like a waste of materials and time but it’s important to have a feel for things before you get into anything complicated!
First off let’s talk about the combinations of paint and water. There are many ways to paint and the difference between all of them is the amount of water and where it is put. You can paint with a wet brush or a dry brush. You can paint with paper pre-wet or on dry paper and the results are all different.
Below is a photo of each option where I have dipped the brush in my paint and continued wiggling the brush down the page until I ran out of paint.

The bottom two of the options involve sprinkling salt on the wet paper/paint and allowing it to dry. It sucks up water and moves the paint around making really interesting shapes:
Each of the colours you have will react different to the water so make sure you give each one a try and experiment.
So from this point on, assume that I’m doing everything with dry paper and a wet brush unless I say otherwise. It’s the most common way to paint ^_^
So let’s look at mixing colours together now. If you’re starting out, you probably don’t have many colours in your kit yet. It’s actually good to start out with only a few colours because it teaches you to mix your own! Even some established artists prefer to have a limited palette and mix their own colours.
So here is a basic colour mixing chart. The primary colours are in the middle: blue, red and yellow. The secondary colours are between them: purple, green and orange.
Use this as a basic chart eg. blue+red=purple.
Of course, mixing colours changes depending on how you do it. For example, below I painted a circle of blue in the middle, on the left I painted a circle of red after the blue had dried and on the right I did it when it was wet. When the first colour is still wet they mix easily. When the first colour is dry you can see both the mix and the distinct outline of the two colours.
As a guide it’s a really great idea to put together a colour mixing grid. Sketch out a grid which is as wide and as high as however many colours you have + 1. For example, I had 16 colours so my grid was 17×17 squares.
Number them like a multiplication grid.
Now give each number a colour up and across.
Then paint into each of them mixing the colour from the top and side colour co-ordinates. A lot of them will be pretty terrible but it’s a great guide to see what colours you have available to you!
Ok now let’s have a look at using a LOT of water. This is pretty much my all time favourite technique!
This technique involves dripping a large amount of water onto the paper and then adding various colours. It creates amazing effects but you need a really sturdy paper to be able to cope with this much water.
Use as much water as your paper can hold and draw designs with plain water.

Load your brush with colour and gently dip it into the water on the paper, this will leave behind colour swirls.
Like this…
You can watch the pigment interact with the water from the side.
Now add another colour so the pigments mix.
Now allow it to dry completely. As it dries, the pigment will be pulled to the edges of the shape and make awesome patterns.
You can play with this even more if you are adventurous! Try painting a spot of colour then when it’s half dry, put a few drops of water in the middle and watch the pigment move around.
Below you can see how that turns out as well as how layering water with more paint in it works.
These kinds of tiny details just look awesome!
Layering is really important in watercolour because the pigments are transparent.
So there are some of the basic techniques you will need to start painting! I hope you guys found that helpful, let me know if you have any questions that I can help with and we’ll move on to some more techniques and full paintings soon! Next we’ll be learning about shading, so excited for that one!

Let’s Paint! Watercolour Walk Through – Choosing Your Materials

Argh the long awaited watercolour tutorial series! I’ve been putting this off for so long even though I took the photos so long ago. I think that it’s because it’s such an involved topic. There are so many tips and tricks and information that I want to put in this series that I feel like I’m going to forget and miss important things. It’s a topic which is so personal to the artist as well that there is no set way to do things, it’s all about experimenting and finding what’s right for you.
But enough of that let’s get into it!
Today we’re going to start from the beginning: materials.

The two most important parts of watercolour painting are the paint and the paper. Even with the best set of paints in the entire world if your paper sucks it’s going to be difficult to get anything done.
I strongly suggest buying watercolour paper. It’s really not that expensive and you will see much better results with it than regular paper or drawing cartridge paper. I have always had decent paints but it wasn’t until I moved to really good paper a few years ago that I was able to get any of the beautiful effects that I had in my head.
This is what I’m using at the moment, it’s not my first choice in paper but it’s reasonably priced (I think I paid $20 for 100 sheets on sale) and it’s decent.
Look for paper which is at LEAST 200gsm weight. I personally prefer 300gsm but 200 is not bad. The weight of the paper is so important when you’re working with wet paints because thinner paper will curl and buckle with water much more. Thicker paper will hold more colour and stand up better to layered paints. Thicker=infinitely better.
Make sure your paper is acid free as well. This means the paper won’t degrade as fast over time so your artwork is safer. Seriously though, watercolour paper changed my whole outlook on painting so if you can afford it, get it.
Watercolour paper comes in hot pressed and cold pressed varieties. This is how the paper is made and it will effect how the paint takes to it. You can also get smooth grain or rougher textured paper which I prefer.
Paint is another thing you don’t want to cheap out on if you can afford it. While cheaper paints are obviously cost effective and not the worst to actually use, you will never get the same results as you will with a decent quality paint.
I used cheap paints for a very long time until my favourite palette was ruined and I happened to have an art voucher during a sale. I scored a Windsor and Newton 12 pan paint kit for $20 and it has made an insane difference to my artwork. These kits can be quite pricy if you don’t get them on sale but even if you just start with 3-4 colours it’s worth buying a good brand.
Keep in mind that each brand has several “grades” of paint too and the difference is usually in things like “will fade after 100 years rather than 200 years”… so if you are just starting out and price conscious then pick the cheaper range from a good brand.
I use Windsor and Newton and the range is Cotman. The pans are a little expensive but the tubes are around $6 each and have a lot of paint in them. They go on sale quite often so keep an eye out for bargains!
Watercolour paint comes in two forms: liquid in tubes and set in pans.
I prefer working from pans out of personal preference so even when I buy the tube colours, I make my own pans and set them to dry over a few days. When I was branching out to buy tube colours for the first time I had a conversation with an art store attendant who made me feel very stupid when I asked about the difference between pan and tube colours. Turns out contrary to her snotty advice, there’s no real difference, it’s just personal preference.
With pan colours you can generally tell whether they are good quality or not because when you paint with cheaper ones they feel and look almost grainy. Good quality pans look almost shiny and feel really smooth to use.
When you are starting out I suggest buying a palette with maybe 12 colours. These are usually the basics you will need until you work out the kind of painting you want to do. Later on you can customise your palette how you like. For example, mine didn’t come with pink or purple so I added them later.
Really so long as you have the primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and a black and white you can mix a lot of other colours you want. That said, watercolours are not like acrylic paints, there are some colours you just can’t mix and diluting colours with white to make pastel colours is much more difficult because white generally just makes the paint more opaque because of it’s chemical consistency.
This is another thing to keep in mind. Watercolour paints are coloured with pigments which have different properties. So some colours are more opaque and some colours are transparent by nature. For example, the orange in my palette is SUPER opaque and bright, you can never dilute it down too much without distorting the colour. The blue in my palette is the total opposite, getting a bright opaque blue isn’t going to happen with that shade because by nature it is thin and transparent.
As you play around more with your paint you will start to get a real feel of the colours and what you can do within their physical limitations.
Now brushes! These are the brushes that I use the most.
From top to bottom…
Big brush: Good for backgrounds and big sweeping strokes
Thin long brush: Good for outlines
2 x Short thin brushes: Good for details and small areas
Standard brush: Good all rounder, this one folds up with a lid for traveling
Aqua brush: Best brush everrrr
Brushes come made from different materials and have different qualities which are suited for different jobs. My preference is usually for acrylic bristles and a medium brush with a very fine point for details.
My ultimate brush is the Pentel Aquash brush because it actually holds the water inside the brush. You control the water by squeezing and it’s a very natural way to work. I find constantly washing and dipping my brush for more water irritating so this is perfect for me.
The tip is flexible but retains it’s point really well. It took me like 20 minutes to unlearn everything from years of brush dipping and fall in love with this brush.
Pens and pencils next!
My preference is for fine tip water proof markers. Always go with waterproof for obvious reasons. I prefer to use a mechanical pencil with orange lead. The orange is easy to hide in watercolours so you can’t see all of the sketch lines.
You can see what they look like with a quick wash of colour over them below. Rather than do white highlights with paint I prefer to use a gel pen because it is totally opaque and gives good precision.
The last thing you might find yourself wanting to play with is art masking fluid. Basically what this does is mask off areas you can then paint over. When you remove the fluid afterwards you will have a clean area underneath.
It can be an absolute bitch to paint with though! Never use the same brush you would use for regular painting because masking fluid is really hard to clean out. I have a dedicated fluid brush which I replace every few months when it gets gross.
I had stayed away from masking fluid for a long time because I thought it was very expensive. For this 100ml bottle it only cost around $12 and I have barely used any of it at all in the last year, totally worth it!
I applied fluid below and painted over it.
When it’s removed it looks like this:
So that’s the first edition of Watercolour Walkthrough! Hopefully that will set you on the right course to get your first set of equipment! Let me know what you guys thought of this, if you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’ll cover them in the next edition!
Next time I’ll be going over a lot of basic techniques you will need to know 😀

How To Draw Bergamot Bunny

A little bit more of a fun and silly tutorial today!
Let’s draw Bergamot bunny!

Start with a big round oval. Bergamot has a huge head so make it pretty huge.
Next add two big sausages for ears to the right side of the head.
Now add a round body with some little sausages for feet. The body should be a little shorter than the head. The top of it was basically like a circle with a flat bottom
Of course Bergamot has a V tattoo 😀 Her hands appear in this step as well, they are just U shapes.
Now the details. The ears have little hearts and the bow is just in front of the ears.
And the eyes, Bergamot has big circular eyes with 2 eyelashes. Make sure to put some white highlights inside too so it’s extra cute.
And the rest of the face. Her triangular nose is just a little lower than  her eyes and the blush spots are the same level as the mouth. The blush spots go right off the cheeks too.
Lastly the fluffy little tail!
Now you just need to colour it all in! WINNER!
And that’s it, Bergamot is easy to draw and sketch 😀 Give it a try and send me your drawings!!
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