Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Today I'm going to demo watercolor vs. fountain pen ink painting! I'm in LOVE with my Daniel Smith watercolors, but recently I discovered just how JUICY fountain pen inks are to paint with. I adore all the fun, vibrant Noodlers Ink colors I've been collecting, and thought you'd enjoy seeing a side by side comparison of the same project shaded in watercolor and again in fountain pen ink.
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.
If you'd like to explore painting with fountain pen inks, I have an entire classroom called Inktastic inside the Mixed Media Society just waiting for you!
Click here to learn more about The Mixed Media Society and add your name to the waitlist to be notified when we open for enrollment next!
I was in a serious Art Deco phase during 2020 and cranked out THREE books about How to Draw Art Deco Style. One of the things I loved exploring was how to draw art deco interriors and furniture, like the adorable little chairs above.
My goal is to shade the chairs so they look as much like teal velvet as possible. I'm testing Noodlers Ink Turquoise (left) vs. Daniel Smith Pthalo Turquoise (right).
Click over to today's video to learn...
❤️ How inks work compared to watercolors
❤️ How you can "Lift" the color to make really amazing highlights
❤️ How to make 2D objects looks INSANELY realistic
If you'd like to see a flip through of How to Draw Art Deco Style Volume 1, start the video below...
If you love mixed media portraits, or have never learned how to create one from scratch before, but would LOVE TO, check out my Art Deco Mixed Media Portrait Workshop over at Awesome Art School. I'm sure you'll love it!!
Artist Collaboration - So many reasons why art is so much better with a friend!
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. ❤️
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.
I have been having an absolute BLAST mixing and matching certain mythical references and combining them in new and exciting ways to produce new, unique works of art. I think what's even more fun is that I'm not even playing this fun game by myself, no sireee. My Friend, Artist Jenny Manno and I, have enlisted the help and fun of our respective Facebook Groups to play along with us and the results are sooooooo so much fun!
Here are the references this week!
The first one is my the amazingly talented folks over at thepicsees.com. If you don't know them you ought to!! They are amazing!!
The second reference (both chosen by Jenny this week, is this sweet bird sketch she found on Pinterest.
Personally, I needed a bit more to kick start my creativity so I added two additional references...and here are my results!
I blame my Daniel Smith Watercolors for her success, along with my giant 15" x 22" watercolor pad of Strathmore Paper. Who ever said bigger is better was RIGHT!
If you'd like to see what other references I used and watch the entire process unfold I made a sweet video of the process, voiceover and timelapsed for your enjoyment (and so that it doesn't take up too much of your precious time).
I hope you enjoy!
Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"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.