Does your art room or corner sometimes lay untouched because it's just a pile of a big fat messy disaster???
I know the feeling!! I work in so many mediums, teach so many different lessons, and am working on so many different projects and books that it is WAY too easy for my studio to become a hot, insurmountable MESS.
Luckily, the COVID-19 lockdown has me completely organizing my art supplies and I am taking you into my art studio today to show you exactly how I keep all of my materials sorted and stored.
Inks, Watercolors, Acrylics, Oils, Stamps, Stencils, Markers, Pencils and on and on and on we go!
It's all in here in today's video, together with my best advice and tips on some great ways to sort YOUR stash!
All you have to do is click play!
Last week my good friend, Kristin Van Valkenburgh and I swapped backgrounds and challenged each other to create foregrounds on top!! Here is the background that I made for her...
It is sooooooooo easy!! Just grab your favorite spray paints and some stencils and you're good to go!!!
And she made a gorgeous background for me as well!! Well this week we each had the challenge to create some magical on top!!! This was for sure a challenge! I did a test on the background she sent me and I THOUGHT it was permanent. So I proceeded to slap on some ink but then discovered quite quickly that the background was, very much, totally water-soluble!! If you're new to mixed media you may not know that water-soluble means that when you add any liquid (in this case, inks), that underneath layer is sure gonna move!!! And move it did!!!
I've learned long ago that mixed media art is more or less a matter of problem solving and so that's what this project became! Watch here to see how I was able to overcome the watercolors mixing in with my inks on top! If you could learn from my trials and errors, than it's a double win!
Plus you get to see the little added bonus character that showed up along side my magical watercolor mermaid!!
After you're done watching this video you should DEFINITELY go and check out Kristin's video!!! You would not believe the ADORABLE little creature that showed up on her canvas!! Omgeeee!!! Here's a tiny sneak peek!!! Isn't it the cutest?! The craziest part is that I challenged Kristin to incorporate something sparkly into her project. She ended up having these little hexagonal mirror stick on thingies that were the EXACT same size as the chicken wire fence stencil I used to create my background. Say whaaaa?!! are the chances of her having those...on hand??
I still can't believe it!!
At the end of the day, the most special aspect of this collaboration was that we both inspired in each other, a new sense of curiosity (what do I do with this???), creativity (I have these mirrory thingies!!), and friendship (that was sooo fun, let's play again!!).
So while we are still in a period of uncertainty and COVID-19 strangeness, we were able to create a connection from the comfort and complete safety of our homes, even though they are 3,000 miles apart! If you are in a fun Facebook Group (and if not, come join mine!! www.facebook.com/groups/awesomeartschool) and can "meet up" with some others, virtually, maybe you can suggest a collaboration just like this one!!
It's a great way to spark YOUR creativity and make a friend! What a beautiful way to spend a day. ❤️
Every week's post is about my weekly YouTube tutorial but this week I wanted to share with you some of the fun stuff we have going on inside my Fun Fab Drawing Club!!!
In February of 2020 I began teaching figures (Fun, Fab Figures, of COURSE!) in my Drawing Club over at Awesome Art School. I knew I didn't want to teach figures using the 9 heads method right off the bat. What's the 9 heads method? Well it's the "proper", fashion illustration way to construct the human figure. My first introduction to this drawing system began in the fall of 2017 when I was trying to teach myself. In public. On YouTube. You can watch the painful (and hilarious) process unfold here!
SO much has changed since then, my goodness!!
The most glaringly obvious difference being the way I've learned to draw figures. I call it Karen's Quadrant Method and I made it up, on the spot, during my very first figures lesson ever.
Thankfully. It WORKS. It works CRAZY WELL!!!
They'll be a video on this very soon but in the meantime I thought I'd show you some of my student's work!!
And this one!!
Here's more fabulousness. Look at this success!!! She totally nailed it!! THAT's The power of the Quadrant Method my friends!!
The other fun fun lesson we are doing is coming up with ALTERNATE characters based on the ones we drew the week before. I'm encouraging my students (and challenging myself) to change up our characters from week to week. This gives us back to back practice drawing the same image, but also forces us to bust out some much needed creativity (and FUN!!) on top of all the hard work we are doing.
This is how it works:
In week 1, we study a contemporary artist and try to draw one of their drawings as best as we can.
Then, in the following week, we create inspiration boards and, using the body in the exact same way (which helps build muscle memory), we come up with fantastically new characters, this time all our own!!
Here's my inspiration board from one week (Art Deco Flapper was original reference).
And here is what my Week 2 came out like!
See how the references all blend together to make a brand new, totally original piece of art?! SO FUN!
Here's another example!
Here's my Week 1....
My inspiration Board:
And her transformation!
I am so addicted to these lessons and can't wait to explore MORE figures and MORE FUN!
To see more student's amazing work, CLICK HERE to be taken to the Fan Artwork Page!
To add your name to the WaitList for when the Fun Fab Drawing Club re-opens, CLICK HERE!
Would LOVE to see you there!
My super creative student and friend, Karina Aguirre, sent me this super cool background that she made from acrylic pouring. That's when you intentionally ooze a liquid acrylic mixture down over a flat surface and let it do it's magic!! It creates all these cool designs and textures over the surface, designs that would never be possible with a paintbrush or any other tool! She sent me two designs. Isn't this so cool??
I haven't had time to play or do anything spontaneous and fun for FOREVER so I was SO EXCITED that last week I finally found time to do just that. I found this adorable cat sketch on Pinterest and the rest is history!! I ended up making this super cute mixed media cat in just a few minutes!! The best part is that it only called for a hand-full of supplies: just Gesso, a Stabilo All pencil, some Mod Podge, Pitt Pens and then DONE! Click the play button to watch the whole kaboodle!
I hope you're staying indoors and continuing to stay safe these days!
I left the house for the first time in 2 weeks yesterday, to sign some documents at the bank.
It was only the second time leaving wearing a face mask and it still feels so icky and surreal. My mask did make me feel silly and a little special tho!!!
I mean, if you're going to wear a mask, you may as well make it a fashion statement, right?! I feel like turtles are very 2020...just saying.
Huge thanks to my student, Tracy Williams for making me look so fashionable!
We have been inside for 6 weeks straight now and even our house is getting sick of us I think!!!
2 nights ago my boys toilet malfunctioned and flooded 3 rooms upstairs so badly it was RAINING in 3 PLACES in my ART STUDIO down below!!!!
Water was pouring out of 3 different lights in my studio closet AND out of the ceiling and onto the floor and onto my TABLE, omg it was sooooooooooo not good. Luckily, being a family of 5, we own A LOT of towels (beach, pool, bath) and used EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. to sop up the mess. Plus pots and pans for the rain in the downstairs!!
MIRACULOUSLY, nothing precious got wet or was destroyed, just a pile of books that I rescued quickly enough and laid outside to dry right away. I can't believe it!!
Then last night, at 3:40 a.m. our fire alarm sounded!!!! My poor youngest, Max, sleeps in a loft bed with his ear about 10 inches from the smoke alarm, it's a wonder he can hear at all today!!! Not to mention the heart attacks by all! There was no source of smoke or fire, just a false alarm but still. What the heck?!
So yeah, I feel like our house is sick of the 5 of us and ready for us to leave and resume our normal lives already!!! Sadly, as you know, it's going to have to get over it as this Coronavirus situation seems to be going nowhere.
Wish me luck nothing crazy happens tonight!
One huge upshot of all this indoor time is that art is able to take a front seat. Okay it always has a front seat with me but truly my projects can be more involved. My lessons can take their time. My students get the benefit of all of it!
If you're a Fun Fab Drawing Club member you may not be aware that we are doing these fabulous Art Deco Fashion Ladies at the moment!! Even for those JUST learning how to draw, the results have been astounding!!
Check out this piece by Leslie Anderson!
If you missed the enrollment period over Easter weekend you can still add your name to the waitlist HERE.
You'll be then notified when enrollment opens again and you can join.
Now onto the FREE stuff!!
As part of my own art therapy this week I made this enormous 2ft x 2ft canvas of a sassy girl in sunglasses...using my patented Hamburger mixed media layering system, of course!!!
This then became the FREE tutorial on YouTube and to watch all you have to do is click the video play button below!
Hopefully you'll enjoy that lesson, lots of tips and tricks for you in there!!! Also a full recap of the Hamburger mixed media layering process and all sorts of art supply goodness.
Today is Friday which means NEW FREE YouTube lesson!!
This project was particularly satisfying for sooooo many reasons! Well, I'll just list them off so you know what they are! First all, I got to paint with my fountain pen inks. They are soooooo vibrant and juicy and satisfying (due to their vibrancy and juiciness) that I cannot even compare them to any other medium I love them so much! This is the one I use for skin color. It's DIVINE!
I can now draw hands after publishing a book on them! I can finally dive into any project that involves them and has truly opened up a whole new world of faces and characters now that I'm no longer afraid to tackle any drawing!
I spill 3 oz. of permanent ink all over my studio floor. There's nothing quite like an explosion of ink to liven things up in the old art room!
Glasses. Having the guts and courage to draw OVER and ON TOP OF a completely painted girl, is, well, TERRIFYING! But then the level of proud you feel when you actually pull it off is the BEST FEELING EVER!! So while it's scary, it's worth it!!! So my advice to you is to simply GO FOR IT.
The references I used today are so super cute!! The original reference photo was taken from Vogue Japan and I just fell in love with it when I saw it!!!
Another reason today's project was so fun was because of my little feline side-kick!! Oh Tippie!!!
So after the spill and the cat play and the juicy brushes filled with ink I was just delighted at the final outcome. Click on the video here to watch how YOU can learn how to paint glasses on YOUR mixed media girls!!
Drawing eyelashes is, hands down, the hardest facial feature to master. How do I know this? Because I've had more requests to cover this topic in the last 5 years than any other one thing. This short video covers how to draw realistic eyelashes step by step on paper with pencil, but this same eyelash drawing tutorial can be used and expanded on when you're drawing your mixed media girls as well. Grab a pencil and draw with me!
I hope you're staying safe indoors and have found some activities to keep your mind, heart and soul occupied and happy.
I personally find the best way to keep my heart and mind happy is to keep my body busy!! I've gone on A LOT of walks. But I'm also keeping busy with painting and drawing!!!
You may remember from last week's email that we painted our son Max's room?
Well yesterday I painted his favorite video game character in there too. Lifesize.
'Cause, really, why not if it keeps me busy and him DELIGHTED!
Seemed like a double win so we went for it!
Sadly it only took me 2 hours so I still had to keep busy for the rest of the day but it definitely helped me take my mind off of things for an afternoon.
Since being creative is working so well for ME these days, I thought maybe it would work well for you too!
So today I'm bringing you a fun demonstration tutorial about how to use colored pencils to help you shade your mixed media drawn faces.
The funny thing is that I REALLY DO HATE COLORED PENCILS. You can see so (and learn why) in the video!! lol!
But then you can also see how I use them to really pack a shading PUNCH to my best art journal faces.
Here's a peek!
Ready to learn and see? Grab some pencils and meet me at your art table. Then press play and let's gooooo!
I think we all know how much art can help us to heal. It busy's our hands, quiets our minds, and soothes our hearts. This Coronavirus has the world turned topsy-turvy and now that we are home bound, it is just too easy to feel the stress of the situation.
One thing that has helped me tremendously has been to do what my students do. Turn on my laptop, pull up an online art lesson, and start painting.
My good good friend Lucy Brydon released this free lesson last week and following her soothing Scottish accent and her meditative, peaceful watercolor techniques was just the eliquor my soul was searching for.
Here's a peek into her lesson and into my world.
Are you still afraid or unsure of where to put shading on your drawn or painted faces?
You are SO NOT ALONE!! I hear this all the time from my Awesome Art School students.
And I finally figured out a really fun but also CONCRETE way to not only explain how face shading works, but also how to SHOW you.
Sooooo many people are SCARED of shading, this video was made to HELP YOU!
I know money is tight for so so many these days so along with the video, I'm also giving out a FREE 4 page pdf bundle of Face Drawing Cheatsheets that go along with the video.
Because you are on my newsletter list, I am giving you the link here that will allow you to download all four incredibly helpful resources:
I do need to add though, you're sort of wasting your time printing these out without watching the video today, they really go hand in hand.
So really, to get the full understanding of the sheets, go and watch the video below and THEN go download the pages when you're ready to give it a go!