Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Today I'm RIDICULOUSLY excited to share a super fun project that I created in my mixed media art journal using a square of tailor shape by Art Graf.
I picked this up randomly at Jerry's Artarama a while ago and finally decided to play with it today. I had NO IDEA what to expect from this product, and am SO EXCITED about the results!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
So this thing is actually a chunk of solid carbon and it's completely watersoluble. You can grab one on Amazon for about $12 if you wanna play along with me at home.
It's got a few names - some call it tailor's shape, others call it tailor's "chalk." It's actually NOT CHALK, but carbon that has been formed into a rectangular disc in the shape of tailor's chalk!
For today's demo, I decided to transfer a previous drawing (if you're not sure how to transfer a drawing, watch this video) into my Strathmore watercolor sketchbook to get this project started.
HOT TIP: Remember if you're working with ANY type of water-soluble art supplies, you need to be working on watercolor paper.
This is the watercolor sketchbook I'm working in today. It's an 11x14 because I LOVE to work big, and hard cover, which makes it perfect for traveling.
This is typically what I work in for pretty much anything art journal related. It's filled with 140# cold press (textured) watercolor paper. It's of course amazing at accepting watercolor and all watersoluble art supplies from watercolor pencils to the ArtGraf tailor shape I'm using today.
I think the paper in this sketchbook is also amazing for drawing because of the gorgeous texture. It's also hearty enough to accept full on "hamburger style" mixed media projects like the one below!
Not familiar with my Hamburger System? It's my signature mixed media process! Grab my FREE Hamburger System cheatsheet to help you understand your mixed media art supplies and start layering them like a pro.
After you grab your cheatsheet, watch this playlist to see how I create each layer of the Hamburger System from collage to acrylic painting, finishing and sealing to create my mixed media masterpieces!
Back to TODAY's project :) So as I mentioned, I've never drawn with anything like the watersoluble tailors shape by ArtGraf before! It honestly worked pretty well tracing over the lines of my transferred drawing.
When it was time to activate my drawn lines, I was a little shocked at how water soluble this stuff was!! At the same time, I immediately felt like I was in familiar territory.
The effects were IDENTICAL to my beloved black stabilo all pencil! So much so, that I'm seriously wondering if this stuff is what's actually inside the black stabilo!
If you're not familiar with the black stabilo all pencil, it's one of my FAVE art supplies - watch this video to learn all about it!
While I played for today's project, I discovered there were two ways to activate the lines drawn by the ArtGraf tailor shape disc. The first way was simply to add a wet watercolor brush to the dry, drawn lines and drag the melty pigment around like watercolor.
As you can see in the video, I'm using my favorite watercolor brushes by Polina Bright. If you want to learn more about WHY I love them so much, watch this video. If you'd like to get one of Polina's brushes too, use this link to get a 10% discount on your purchase.
The second way to activate Art Graf tailors shape is by sweeping a wet watercolor brush directly across the disc to lift some of the carbon, and then painting with it just like you would with watercolor! Cool, right?!
As you'll see in the video, I added lots of new lines and layers into the hair using this "watercolor wash technique." If you're not sure how to paint hair in a mixed media or watercolor portrait, today's video is a GREAT demo of my favorite hair painting techniques.
If you play along at home with this disc for the first time and want to activate it to shade a face, I suggest you start by activating the lines in the hair first so you can get the feel of how the product works before you move onto the face. Remember it will KEEP ACTIVATING on you too - every time you add a wet brush to previously activated lines. I LOVE that, but I know it freaks some of my students out :)
HOT TIP: If anything ever gets TOO BLACK for you when you activate your dry lines, dab it with a dry paper towel to lighten things up and lift away some of that darkness.
Stay with me till the end of today's video to see how I tied this new journal page to the facing page to make a fun art journal spread using these AWESOME, chunky acrylic paint pens by Liquitex. They are seriously SO fun to play with!!
If you're interested in learning how to draw a 3/4 view portrait from scratch like the one in today's video, watch this playlist, or check out my book How to Draw MORE Fun Fab Faces on Amazon.
This "cartoony" or whimsical drawing style is super fun, way less intimidating than realism, but also an excellent runway INTO realism if that's something you're interested in achieving later!
Need the real-time version of today's lesson? I've dropped it for you in the Mixed Media Society. Not a member yet, but curious? Learn more and add your name to the waitlist to get notified next time I'm open for enrollment!
Thanks for watching!!
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I feel absolutely horrible...
One of my students, Stephne Nash, sent me a gorgeous glass dip pen last summer and I haven't even had time to play with it until now. First of all, THANK YOU STEPHANIE for the extremely thoughtful gift! Today's video is for YOU and ALL the fountain pen ink lovers out there!
If you're new to my world, I'm OBSESSED with fountain pen ink, have a zillion colors, and use them exactly like watercolors!
That's right, I create fountain pen ink paintings!! If you didn't know this was a thing, and love watercolor, this whole concept might just blow your mind!! If that's you, check out this Fountain Pen Ink Painting playlist to see how I do this, get tips on how I store my inks in vintage perfume bottles, plus even do a fountain pen ink painting tutorial right along with me!
Super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
How to Use a Glass Dip Pen
Truth be told, I've NEVER worked with a glass dip pen before today. I KNOW!! This is another reason I felt it was important to do a video on the subject.
Whenever I'm learning something new, I LOVE to share it in case it inspires you to get creative or try something new too!
The glass dip pen I'm working with today is by Luxiv. Right out of the gate, I'm in love because not only is the pen itself gorgeous, there's a magical unicorn on the box!! It's like a sign :)
I've planned to play with my new dip pen on a sheet of Fabriano hot press watercolor paper (smooth, without texture) because I already know my non-glass dip pens work best on smooth paper like bristol.
As soon as I dip my pen into the ink and get going, I see the whole process is SUPER SIMPLE (yay for us!!). All you have to do is dip the tip of the pen into your ink, give it a tap on the side of your ink bottle to tap off the drips, and then just go to town.
As you can see in the pic above, this particular glass dip pen has all these swirlies that extend up and around from the tip. These are what hold the ink, and you're supposed to kinda turn the pen as you use it to empty out all the ink from each dip.
You've gotta see the demo today, because I was seriously shocked at HOW WELL this dip pen both held the ink from one dip, and HOW LONG it lasted!! I wrote and doodled all over a single sheet of paper from just one dip into my fountain pen ink!
Drawing with Fountain Pen Ink
After I discovered how much fun it was to write and doodle with my glass dip pen, I decided to pull out a fresh sheet of hot press watercolor paper to just play!!
I've got a new apothecary lesson I'm working on for the Celtic Collective (my fantasy art membership with Lucy Brydon over at Awesome Art School). Since I have glass bottles on my mind, I decided to doodle a few onto my page using my glass dip pen and some permanent, black ink.
After I covered the page in fun bottles, I pulled out my Polina Bright watercolor brush (the ONLY watercolor brushes I use now - learn more about why in this video; grab one for yourself and get 10% off here), and a few of my favorite fountain pen ink shades to paint liquid into each bottle illustration: Meadow by Diamine (green), Noodler's Ink Blue, Noodler's Ink Atlantic Salmon (pink), Noodler's Ink Saguaro Wine (dark pink), Noodler's Ink Purple Martin.
I seriously had SO much fun just playing today. I hope you will give this a try at home. I think you'll just love it!
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Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
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