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!!
This is part two of my 3/4 face drawing series on my Drawing Channel over on YouTube! If you missed the first episode, go ahead and start here so you can draw this girlie along with me!
Today we're doing some EASY pencil shading techniques to add drama to our three quarter portrait face drawing! I used the same photo reference as I did to sketch my drawing. Even though this is a whimsical face, I feel it makes a HUGE difference in my work if I use a reference photo to tell me where I should add in shadows, and how dark they should be.
One of the fun things about drawing in a whimsical style, is I can mix and match reference photos for my work and use them in different ways. For example, I really LOVE the dramatic shadows and highlights in this image (below). If I'm shading a face in pencil, I feel like it's super helpful to use a black and white shading reference like this one...
In my How to Draw and Find Your Style book, I talk in depth about how to take advantage of the value scale when you are shading. because it adds so much more depth and dimension to your drawings and sketches. The more tones you incorporate into your drawing from the value scale like bright white highlights, and dark black shadows, the more sophisticated your work will be.
In today's shading tutorial I'm using one of my Blackwing pencils (TOTALLY unnecessary, but I SO LOVE THEM!!!). This one is equivalent to about a 4B, but you can absolutely use a simple #2 school pencil, so don't stress about your supplies! I start applying graphite by looking at my reference photo for the darkest areas first. When I'm shading, I often use the side of my pencil to begin. My initial layer of shading is very light and almost scribbly.
After I have a light layer of shading down, I use my blending stump to "moosh" the graphite around. In this particular reference photo, the model is very light skinned, so I actually use the cleaner side of my blending stump to work my shading in and around the face. If I lay down too much, I simply pick a bit of that graphite back up with my eraser and moosh some more! For the darkest areas, I use the super dirty side of my blending stump.
When you're starting out with drawing and shading, I think it's SOOOOO much easier to practice in a whimsical drawing style. It just takes the pressure off and keeps things light and fun! And if you're having fun...you'll practice more, and if you practice... your skills will only grow and improve!!
When my first layer of shading is done, I go back for a second layer of shading to really punch up my details that could have been lost while "mooshing" my graphite around with my blending stump. This is where the drama starts to come in!! Sometimes it can also help you to look at a reference photo with squinted eyes. It may sound funny, but doing this can often help you see darks and lights a bit more.
The objective of shading for me is to use the WHOLE value scale. So you'll see me use a black colored pencil for the darkest darks - found in the crease of her lips and in her pupils. Additionally, for my brightest white highlights, I will typically carve out some of the graphite I already put down with an eraser.
I hope you have fun with this face shading practice!! Please stay tuned for next week's video. I'll be shading another 3/4 portrait using copic markers.
Have a great week!!!!
I've been drawing since FOREVER.
But when I first started, it was SERIOUSLY hard to figure out where to put shadows and highlights on a face drawing to make it look 3 dimensional- like a more sophisticated drawing. I found this to be ESPECIALLY HARD whenever I would draw faces from different angles.
Today's FULL LENGTH, real time drawing lesson on YouTube is going to help you skip of the hard parts of wondering where to drop in the shading or highlights on a profile face, so you can create some profile drawings you are SUPER PROUD of!!!
My first shading trick is to REALLY LOOK at the art you admire from other artists!
Focus on the areas of that artwork that show light and dark in the face.
Here's an example of a piece I LOVE and used as a REFERENCE to inform me where lights and darks could go in my own drawing. This is called reference drawing! It's a thing, and can definitely help you grow as an artist.
Isn't this beautiful?? So dramatic!!
This piece was done by a Dutch digital artist I adore, Loish (Lois Van Baarle). I absolutely LOVE her work!
If you look closely at the the piece below, you'll see that I tried to replicate the light source and technique Loish used around the eyes of her girl when I created my own...
One of my favorite ways to demonstrate to students how light source affects the faces we draw, is using a foam head from the craft store and simply shining a flashlight on it. When you move the flashlight around, you can see exactly where the shadows and highlights are. This is exactly what you need to look for and imagine in your own drawings to add realistic shading to your face drawings - whatever angle you're drawing from!
Sound confusing? CLICK HERE to watch my demo.
Now- don't worry, I'm not telling you to go get a foam head in order to draw realistic shadows!
If you're drawing a profile in pencil and want to add some shading, the EASIEST thing you can do is pull up a black and white profile photo on your phone. If you look closely, the photo will show you exactly where the lights and darks need to go for your drawing.
That's it!!! It REALLY is THAT simple!!!
Take a look at this image. REALLY look closely to see where the shadows are falling. If you need to- squint your eyes a bit!
For this particular profile photo, the shadows are showing up primarily under the chin and neck- extending up to her earlobe. See what I mean?
That wasn't too hard was it? You're totally gonna be looking at photos differently from now on, aren't you?!
AWESOME!!! It's going to make you a better artist!!!
OK!! On to today's project... we are shading the profile face we drew in last week's episode.
If you missed that episode, CLICK HERE to draw the simple profile with me in real time.
Shading a profile (or a face from any angle) is really much easier than you think! All you need to do is lay down a little graphite from your pencil and SMOOOOOSH it around with your blending stump (that's what I'm holding in the pic above!). If you don't have a blending stump- just use your finger, a cutip, or even a tissue to move graphite around on your paper....
Be as DRAMATIC as you want to with your shading!!! YOU are the CREATOR!!!
A little realistic shading on a whimsical face REALLY punches it up, and takes your art to the next level!!
Personally, I LOVE me some DRAMA in my artwork, so of course you're gonna see super DARK shadows and bright white highlights in my work. That's part of what makes my work, mine- it's my style.
YOU do YOU!!!
Remember - a reference photo is just that- a reference. Don't feel like you have to match things exactly.
AND you don't even have to use a reference photo EVER. This is just an example of one way to help you get started.
Have SO much FUN with today's YouTube lesson!!! CLICK HERE or press the play button below to watch.
See ya next week!!!
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!!
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!
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.