Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
If you are just getting to know me... it won't take you long to discover I'm obsessed with all things Scotland, and fairies!! I love drawing their adorable, pointy ears and teaching students how to draw fairy ears.
This is one of my art journal spreads from my Scotland art retreat last year. She's watercolor and ink!
Since I can't go back to Scotland for a while, I'm amusing myself at home in my studio whenever I can with cute fairy projects. The other day I posted one as a new lesson for The Fun Fab Drawing Club!
Club members are welcome to join at ANY stage of drawing experience to work on building new skills to really take their work to the next level. And of course, because this is my club - it's never stuffy or boring! I LOVE teaching students how to draw faces in a whimsical style to keep things light and enjoyable, without any pressure!!
Fun Fab Drawing Club members who consider themselves beginners learn the basics of line weight and do a bit of zentangling to get them used to having fun making marks on paper.
This month, I've added a cute new fairy drawing lesson for my Pixies - or anyone else who'd like to keep things easy, simple, colorful and FUN!! IF you're ALREADY a Fun Fab Drawing Club member, I've dropped this lesson into the Fantasy Classroom.
If you're not a member of The Fun Fab Drawing Club, and want to learn more about it and get your name on the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens in the spring, just hop over to Awesome Art School!
One of my favorite things to see on Facebook after a new lesson has posted, are all the amazing artists who share their interpretations!! Each one is special. I'm SO PROUD OF ALL MY STUDENTS!!!
I need to brag on two of the first who shared their beautiful work...
How CUTE is that?! She's precious, Paula!! I LOVE how she used watercolor instead of copics to mix things up!
Debbie shared this one...
SO cute, Debbie!!! She is adorable!! Awesome highlights, girl!! Don't you wonder what she's looking at???
Thank you both for sharing and for letting me RE-SHARE your gorgeous artwork :)
If YOU are interested in learning more about The Fun Fab Drawing Club - please pop your name on the waitlist over at Awesome Art School so I can send ya a quick note when enrollment opens. We'd love to have you there!!
If you need a little drawing inspiration right now - please feel free to jump on over to my Drawing Channel on YouTube. I've got tons of fun projects for you to try - including my new Whimsical Women of the World Drawing Series!! We are having a blast with that, and would LOVE to have you join us!
All of these lessons are free on YouTube and are being posted once/week on Mondays. We'll have 12 Whimsical Women's faces when we're done.
See ya there!!
How I've created over 300 YouTube videos on mixed media art and drawing, and NEVER once made a video about paint brushes is BEYOND me!! The artist brush you use actually DOES affect your work- so much so, that it can make or break your piece.
Sometimes people think it's them, when in fact their skills are GREAT- they're just using the wrong brush, and THAT is why they're struggling with a piece of art. Your paintbrushes are equally as important as the paper or substrate you're working on. They make a difference, and should be thought of as an investment. BUT, as you know when you're working with me- you don't have to spend a ton on supplies. I'll demo both my favorite artist grade brushes that are more expensive, as well as my favorites that are less so.
In the world of mixed media art, there are art supplies that dissolve or melt when water is added, and those that do not. Art supplies that don't dissolve when water is added, are called non water-soluble art supplies. A great examples of a non water-soluble art supply is acrylic paint! This is the first type of brushes I'll be demo-ing for you in today's video.
Even though I've got a GIANT stash of acrylic brushes, there are really only a couple of favorites I always reach for. I love my Princeton Artist Brushes for acrylic painting, in either the "bright" or "filbert" cut.
The bright cut (shown below) has a really flat top (that's typically what I call it - a "flat" brush), and it's great for getting into a squared corner, or making straight lines. I rarely use a round brush because I can't get edges or straight lines with one of those the way that I can with a bright.
I also love the filbert cut as well, see below. I like my acrylic brushes to be super stiff with coarse, short hair. The stiffer, the better! I feel like when you're blending wet on wet, or wet on dry - you need your brush to be able to move around and "be the boss" of your paint! If the brush is too soft - you can't get anything accomplished! LOL!!
Depending on how big you like to work - you may also want to pick up a larger size of the cut you like working with. I used to paint a lot of murals, so I have some huge brushes left over from those days!
Watercolor brushes are a totally different animal, and the second paint brush type I'm covering today. In addition to traditional watercolors, I use these artist brushes for working with any of my water-soluble art supplies. If an art supply is water-soluble, that means the marks you make with that product dissolve or melt once water is added. I LOVE water-soluble art supplies!
Some of my favorites include watercolor markers, watercolor pencils, fountain pen inks, AND my all time fave - the black stabilo all pencil!! Every time I'm doing a mixed media project with water-soluble art supplies, I reach for one of my watercolor brushes. These brushes act like a sponge and are very absorbent. If the brush is absorbent, it's easier to control.
I LOVE Silver Black Velvet brushes for working with my watercolors, and water-soluble art supplies. They're super absorbent, and I've slowly added to my collection of them over the years. The round brush is the most common cut and what I typically reach for. I also have some other fun shapes like the dagger and the flat (bright) to do crisp edge lines, if that is a look I'm going for.
I've also really enjoyed working with some brushes by Creative Mark that Jerry's Artarama sent me. They're fantastic and a much less expensive option when it comes to watercolor brushes. These also have a slightly different cut from my black velvet brushes, as you can see below (left is a brush by Creative Mark). Even though these are both considered "round brushes," their tiny variations can produce unique effects for me, so I love using BOTH of them!!
Lastly, I have decided to talk about a third category of brushes because of one art supply in particular that I use ALL the time as a mixed media artist, gesso!
Gesso is super fun to work with, but it will do a serious number on your paint brushes. If you decide to invest in any nice acrylic or watercolor brushes, make sure they're set aside so you don't accidentally grab one when you want to work with gesso. In fact, just set one acrylic paint brush aside that you use dedicate specifically FOR GESSO in our projects together!
My preference for a gesso brush is a bright/flat, very stiff, coarse brush with short bristles. I like to grind just a bit of my gesso onto the first layer of a lot of my mixed media portraits, and I need my brush to be super dry for this wet on dry application.
Make sure you go watch the video so you can see exactly what I'm talking about in today's post!
I hope you found this helpful!! If you feel like you're having a tough time blending or shading while you're painting in acrylics or watercolor - consider changing up your brushes. You might be surprised to learn THAT is the problem, NOT YOU!!
Thanks for watching!! See you next week!!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.