Watercolors: Using Tubes & Picking Paper

A while ago, I wrote a post on the entire collection of Prima brand Watercolor Confections, which is an awesome set of inexpensive pan watercolors. But while those cute little sets may be convenient and economical, sometimes you just want to play with the nice stuff—specifically, tube watercolors. My very first set of tube watercolors were the Winsor and Newton professional series, a small collection that I have been adding to and replacing for years. Before using professional watercolors, I had always preferred water soluble supplies, such as Neo Color 2 pastels and watercolor pencils. These types of supplies guaranteed a vibrancy that I did not trust from the less expensive pan watercolor sets. However, using tube watercolors is an entirely different experience!

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (7).jpg

Watercolor Swatches on Bristol Paper with Mixing Palette

While a set of 12 Prima brand half-pans of watercolor can cost somewhere around $18, a single tube of Winsor & Newton professional watercolor is usually about $12. However: 1) a tube equals out to about 2 and a 1/3 half pans, 2) has a much smoother consistency, and 3) is much easier to use in order to mix your own colors. I also trust Winsor & Newton professional colors to be truly lightfast and hold their color for much longer than inexpensive pan colors. If you wanted to mix your own colors and fill up 12 half pans, you’d probably spend about $60, but the beauty of tube watercolors is that you don’t have to fill those pans with only 12 colors; mixing from tubes means consistent colors with no limitation of how many colors you can create! Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend buying more than $35 worth of tube watercolors for your first haul, anyway! Three brushes and three tubes of paint in the primary colors will easily get you started! Just remember to use watercolor brushes for watercolors only!

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (1)

Winsor & Newton Cotman Paintbrushes

I  believe the number one reason why people are afraid of using watercolors is because of the appearance of watercolor paper. When I was younger, I used to hate watercolors simply because every piece of watercolor paper that I owned was so heavily textured. Textured watercolor paper, i.e. cold press paper, is often the only paper presented to us when we are first introduced to watercolor. If someone had told me that other options existed, I would’ve picked up watercoloring far more quickly! If you’re like how I was, please try hot press watercolor paper; hot press paper is smooth, untextured paper made specifically to hold wet mediums without warping! The image below shows cold press paper (top) next to hot press paper (bottom), and the lack of texture is obvious!

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (5)

Legion Brand Stonehenge Cold and Hot Press Watercolor Papers

Because I am so keen on art journaling, I find using bound watercolor sketchbooks for my watercoloring to be more enticing. It is difficult to find bound watercolor sketchbooks with anything but cold pressed paper, but I’ve gotten used to the texture after years of play. My watercolor sketchbook of choice is the “large” Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. Of course, you can’t confine everything to 5″ by 8″, so I do keep hot press paper around for larger projects. I’ve recently been using a heavy 140 lbs paper by Fabriano, which is a hot press paper and keeps my paints looking vibrant. (Yes, hot press paper causes your paint to dry more vibrantly!) The third paper that I will use with watercoloring is a very inexpensive Bristol paper. This Bristol paper is thin, but is great for rough drafts. This Bristol paper is made to be printed on, making it great for uses like the swatching grid in the first image of this post.

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (6)

Watercolor Moleskine Sketchbook, Fabriano Hot Press Paper Pad, Loose Bristol Paper

Because you can squeeze tube watercolors into pans, they can be just as portable as pre-panned sets! The only difference between tube watercolors and pre-panned watercolors is more ingredients (usually glycerin or Arabic gum) added to keep tube colors moist. And it’s not usually enough to notice. After panning many paints, I’ve noticed some staying wetter for longer, but it’s nothing that unnerves me. (I’ve found empty half pans to be inexpensive online, but I recommend checking your local store first, as it’s an item that has a strangely varied price.) As long as we’re talking portability, lets hit upon waterbrushes quickly! I own watercolor brushes, including those made by Ranger, Kuretake, and the new Jane Davenport set. Don’t let anyone fool you—they’re all pretty much the same! I’ve never had an issue with leaking, and keep water in all of my brushes almost constantly. If you’d like to get one, try for a medium round tip waterbrush before investing in other shapes and sizes.

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (2)

Waterbrushes, L to R: J. Davenport 2 set, Ranger Medium Flat, Kuretake Small & Medium Round

Now, it IS Freebie Wednesday, so I do have some goodies for you! For today’s post about watercolors, I’m providing you with two different printables! The first item is your own swatching page, exactly like the one pictured in the first photo in this post. If you want to print this out and use it as is, it’s best to be printed onto thicker paper, like cardstock or watercolor paper. The next freebie for this week is a page of watercolor abstracts. These abstracts were originally painted with Winsor & Newton tube watercolors onto hot press paper; their saturation has been barely altered digitally, so you can see how gorgeous these colors are. They have been rearranged into rows for easy use in mixed media and collage! They are HD images available as full page PDFs. Just click the links below to print and/or download the PDFs! The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!

WATERCOLOR FREEBIE PROMO.jpg

Click links to download…
Watercolor Swatch Grid: PDF Here
Watercolor Abstracts: PDF Here

Below, you’ll find some more images of watercolor painting in which I’ve used tube watercolors. These images all portray a mix of multiple colors that have also been layered in order to produce a variety of hues! All three of these paintings were produced in my watercolor Moleskine sketchbook.

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (3)

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (4)

Tubed Watercolors Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk

Feel free to leave me any questions about this post in the comments below! Happy painting!

Live Recap: Helix Vision & Messy Pages

I don’t know about you, but I’m an online art class lover. In the past, I have purchased classes from Connie Solera, Tamara LaporteRoxanne Coble, and Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. They’re all amazing, by the way. But this week, I have been having a BLAST participating in the newest art journaling class over at Get Messy! The website just released a course called Messy Pages (in the Classes tab located at the top of the GM site) by the incredibly talented Tanyalee Kahler. Tanyalee has been an inspiration to me since I joined Get Messy last year, where she was a Creative Team member.  (Her blog is also place of painty goodness.) So I thought that, for this week’s Instagram Live Stream, I would open my hour long stream by working on top of a background that was created using a technique inspired by Messy Pages! The image below is how my spread looked immediately before my live stream.

helix vision art journal spread copyright emk wright 2017 www.madebyemk (1).jpg

“Helix Vision” Art Journal Spread Background, Created with Messy Pages Class

This is only similar to how I usually begin my altered book spreads in that the background is a combination of acrylic paints. I usually use acrylics in my altered book for their opacity, as there are many elements on a spread that I may want to cover—such as text and page numbers. Because this background was so thick with paint, I gave it about two hours to dry before going live. During the stream, I began working over top my pages in the usual way, applying more paint, marking with pens, and drawing with markers. I was able to accomplish a surprising amount of work in the hour-long stream! Had I not had plans on how I wanted my spread to end up, I could have happily called these pages finished after the stream! The image below shows how the spread appeared at the end of this week’s stream.

“Helix Vision” Work in Progress

As you can see, the bottom right corner of the spread seems empty (by my usual standards), and the imagery left from the original spread (a series of eyes) don’t exactly command the attention for which I’d hope. However, I did love how the yellow and white KRINK brand solid paint sticks marked on top of the matte black gesso; they gave the effect of chalk on a blackboard! The scribbles and X’s and O’s were my favorite part of the page, and I didn’t want to lose that look, but I was willing to sacrifice some of it in order to bring attention to my focal point.  In the image below, you can see that this spread boasts no empty spaces and now guides the eye to the center of the page.

“Helix Vision” Completed Art Journal Spread

I hadn’t planned on incorporating any more techniques from Messy Pages, but I pulled some inspiration from the class and applied it to the once empty corner. Here, I covered some collage material that ended up muddied, making it unrecognizable as imagery for the finished spread. Because of this, I knew that I wanted something else to pop in that space, and I brought in some imagery that I had originally created in another spread, In this area, I also decided to reintroduce gold, which I had used on a whim during the live stream. I’m not a huge fan of metallic, due to it’s inability to photograph, but the contrast of metallic on matte black is something that I’ve been playing around with since the creation of my “Fabulous Faces” spread, created during Get Messy’s last season, Art 101. Its one of my new favorite techniques, something that I discovered when playing with the paints that came in my set of neutral matte paints by Dick Blick.

“Helix Vision” Closeup of Bottom Right Corner

It’s only the first week of the Season of Contrast over at Get Messy, but I already feel like this season is going to be perfect for me! I cannot wait to share with you the spread that I’ll be posting here on Thursday; it’s so very different from my usual color palette—and I’m loving it! Of course, the hurricane of pink and yellow that’s found on this page is equally satisfyingly, especially layered over this background. I am having so much fun trying new things! Art journaling isn’t just about expressing myself with a paintbrush, it’s also about expanding my artistic arsenal, which is the number one reason why I find new art courses so exciting!

“Helix Vision” Closeup of Center

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream on my Instagram, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making awesome content through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Dick Blick website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Finished Spread: Overgrown

Today’s art journal spread came about in under 24 hours, which is quite a feat for me to accomplish in a space of 11″ x 19″! There are quite a few elements to this page that I’ve never created before, and are now happily added to my artistic arsenal! The color palette is one, but the use of a radiating ombré is really where I’ve taken notice. There are two places on this spread where this new technique has taken life, but the bottom right hand corner really commands my attention! In this same location, you may notice a faint pattern over top the oval shapes that decorate this ombré. Here, I have used a gloss black acrylic over matte black gesso—and I love the effect!

overgrown art journal page mixed media copyright emk wright 2017.jpg

“Overgrown” Art Journal Spread

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“Overgrown” Closeup of Bottom Right

Another place where I employed a new-to-me technique is the addition of a border. To keep with my style, this border is not only messy, but also full of details! Using a dip nib pen, I drew tiny bubbles along the edge of my spread with a Golden brand fluid acrylic. Afterwords, I sporadically filled in some of those bubbles with the ink that was used to paint my florals; I also returned to this border with some of the background color, a pastel green, to make a few of these bubbles contrast against the pink! I’ve never been happy with the borders that I’ve attempted to employ on my pages, but I might be giving this messy boarder a new part-time job!

dip pen details of overgrown art journal page mixed media copyright emk wright 2017.jpg

“Overgrown” Closeup of Bottom Left Corner

I don’t know how it’s happened, but somehow I’m allowing florals to slip onto my journal pages. It’s a bit strange for me, but I’m not at all averse to this spread! The flowers shown here are made from loose strokes of a color mixed from white fluid acrylic paint and bright red India ink—and it was fun to play with this combination of mediums. That being said, if you’d also like to try out this mixture of wet mediums, be sure to give yourself plenty of drying time and use a technique to keep your pages from sticking together, because these florals are super glossy!

close up floral of overgrown art journal page mixed media copyright emk wright 2017.jpg

“Overgrown” Closeup of Left Page

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing something different from me today!

P.S. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this blog! What?!

Crystals & Freebies

Do you ever find yourself returning to a certain image, not because it means anything special to you, not because it’s easy to draw, not because you’ve somehow amassed a collection of it from thin air, but for reasons that you cant explain? Do you doodle it on post-it notes and in the margins of your notebooks, letting your mind idle and your pen move freely in shapes it’s made a hundred times before? Of course you do! I know I do, and while I have about three or four of those types of images, I’m here to share just one with you today: crystal clusters.

crystal clusters in art journaling www.madebyemk.com copyright emk wright 2017 (1).jpeg

Crystal Cluster Doodles in an Art Journal Spread

Crystals clusters can be tricky, because a a crystalline structure requires straight lines and doesn’t respond kindly to shaky hands. For art journaling and other mixed media works, attempting to create perfect lines over layers of thick paint and overlapping mediums can be a nearly impossible feat. One way that I avoid this issue is to create a simple digital line drawing that I can then print out onto thick paper or card stock. Bristol paper can take a thin layer of watercolor especially nicely, and is available in reams sold with printer paper. Vellum Bristol (in 67 lb) is my  go-to for the printed imagery that I use in my mixed media projects! In the image below, you can see two instances in which I’ve used a crystal cluster as the focal imagery of art journal spreads.

crystal clusters in art journaling www.madebyemk.com copyright emk wright 2017 (2).jpeg

Crystal Clusters as Focal Imagery in Art Journal Spreads

In the journal shown above, the red and orange crystals were originally created digitally, whereas the green and yellow clusters were had drawn. The difference in line definition is obvious. For the digital line work, I found it was fairly quick to create, cut out, and adhere in my journal spread. While I often reach for a straight edge when adding large crystals to the pages of my journal, I appreciate the crispness of straight lines that can only be rendered digitally. On occasion, I have also colored these crystals digitally. The image below consists of the same line drawing shown in the orange and red spread above. This version has be altered to include art journal spreads as the coloring of the crystals—which I’m thinking might eventually turn into stickers! This shows you how very different the same line drawing can appear approached as either digital art (below), or as a physical image incorporated into mixed media (above).

crystal clusters in art journaling www.madebyemk.com copyright emk wright 2017 (3).jpeg

Digital Drawing of Crystal Cluster

Would you like to try your hand at using digital line art in your mixed media? I find it relaxing to use imagery that has either been digitally created or is from a photograph; altering these types of images makes them uniquely mine, but are also far less frustrating to botch an image like this than one drawn from scratch! I hope that some of you try your hand at crystal drawing, but because it’s Freebie Wednesday, I”m also sharing some digital line work with you for you to use in your own mixed media artwork! The picture below portrays line work from the PDF that I’m giving you this week, containing digital illustrations of crystals and crystal clusters, which drawn specifically for you!

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Preview of Crystal Clusters Freebies

These are HD images are available as a full page PDF file. I advocate using this line works as collage material for your own arty goodness!! Just click the link below to print and/or download the PDF! You can print them out and alter them and collage them into your art! Just get creative and have fun. The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!

Click link to download…
Crystals & Crystal Clusters: PDF HERE

This is the third Freebie Wednesday here at Made By EmK. Checkout previous posts for more freebies, like last week’s post about  Bottled Ink !

 

Live Recap: Celebration

The live stream from yesterday (3/26/2017) produced a barely complete spread—but today I was able to totally finish the large spread in my altered book…it took a bit longer than expected. (Forgive the late post, dear artsy friends, but the paint was louder than the computer, and the blog was neglected.) However, I am so glad to say that this spread came out far better than expected, and it was one for which I can be proud! This spread of bright pinks and chocolate browns is chock full of layers and happy thoughts. It’s titled: Celebration. Below is the way that this spread appeared at the end of my Instagram live stream.

CELEBRATION ART JOURNAL SPREAD WWW.MADEBYEMK.COM COPYRIGHT EMK WRIGHT.jpg

“Celebration” Art Journal Page, Work in Progress

It began with one page painted pink, and one page painted brown. After the acrylics were dry, I went to town with more matte acrylics, irredescent paint, and collage material! There were two things that I had in mind when I began the is spread, one being a hanging banner with triangular flags, the other being Neapolitan ice cream; these were items that I saw yesterday which cause me to think, that would be good for journal fodder! I don’t frequently have this thought, so both items stayed on my mind until paint was put to paper. It’s spread like this one which perfectly embody’s Picasso’s quote “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”

CELEBRATION ART JOURNAL SPREAD WWW.MADEBYEMK.COM COPYRIGHT EMK WRIGHT (14).jpeg

“Celebration” Completed Art Journal Page

For my hanging flag, I chose a large page from my designated book of collage material, Extreme Adventure (2014), painted it with the Golden brand acrylic paint in Interference Violet that I’ve come to love, and chopped them into neat triangles. The collage material already contained hues of pinks, so I knew a thin layer of the transparent violet interference paint would be a good combination. Layering gold, white, and fluorescent pink paint on and around the flags gave them some definition, and keeping the imagery on a neutral background of light gray allowed for the shapes to stay obvious.

 

CELEBRATION ART JOURNAL SPREAD WWW.MADEBYEMK.COM COPYRIGHT EMK WRIGHT (8)

“Celebration” Completed, Golden Interference Violet Acrylic Paint

I choose some other collage material, but ended up tossing it aside this morning the more that I worked on this art journal spread. It was a good jumping off point, which helped move my hand painted imagery along, but seemed to not work with my spread the longer that I worked on it. It’s a good lesson, however, to appreciated the things that inspire you without the need to take them so literally. This is often also how I approach journal prompts as well, taking them with a grain of salt, appreciating the inspiration that they provide, and then letting them escape me once their job is done. Even though I did not choose to use my collage material, I was not without imagery! As seen below, the item which inspired my color scheme also ended up inspiring my main imagery: ice cream! Very fitting for a journal spread, as it’s my biggest weakness.

CELEBRATION ART JOURNAL SPREAD WWW.MADEBYEMK.COM COPYRIGHT EMK WRIGHT.jpeg

“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Left Page

Because I was working in an altered book format, I was able to use some of the imagery already printed on the page—as seen in the photo below. It portrayed the silhouettes of three individuals waiting at a pier, but was altered in order to show only the shapes of the individuals and a poster seen in the background. I love silhouettes, because viewers can understand a representation of human existence, while still providing an element of personal interpretation. I enjoy blending specifics, like shapes, with ambiguity and anonymity. Another great example of this is the illegible cursive writing found on the majority of my spreads; this can also be seen below.

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“Celebration” Completed, Closeup of Right Page 

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream on my Instagram, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: Violet Desert

This week, my Instagram live stream session was number 5, and to be honest, I cannot believe that I have been live streaming once a week for over a month! Time flies when you’re making art! This hour-long stream consisted on working in my pocket sized Molskine, and was just as productive as last week’s session! I was able to start an art journal spread, add imagery to the pages, and get a pretty awesome dialogue going with this stream’s participants. I continued to work on the spread beyond Instagram’s limit of one hour, but the image below shows the progress from an uninteresting orange background to an art journal spread with some real personality! The image below is a picture of how my spread looked immediately after the live stream.

Violet Desert Art Journal Spread Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (1).jpeg

“Violet Desert” Art Journal Spread, Work in Progress

 

As you can see, I was able to alter just some of my collage material during the stream. The cliff, seen on the right page, was slightly altered; however, the matte gel medium used to attach the tree on the left page was still in the process of drying by the time the live stream was over. I discussed my process of using this medium in the live stream, and wanted to share this helpful hint with you as well: if your collage material overlaps beyond the page, wait until the excess paper is completely dry before snipping it away. Giving your collage material extra time to dry is the best way to guarantee clean edges when cutting your paper. Gel medium drys quickly on the exterior but can cause paper to be moist beneath the surface even if it looks and feels dry! The sharpest of scissors will not be able to cleanly cut damp paper, so it’s best to wait until you can be sure the paper is dry all the way through.

 

Violet Desert Art Journal Spread Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (2).jpg

“Violet Desert” Art Journal Page, Completed

The creation of this spread was completely unplanned, but the color scheme that I chose for this spread ended up including violet—which was quite lucky for me due to the newest art supplies that I purchased earlier this week! One of my newest items is a Golden brand fluid acrylic paint, the color Interference Violet. The interference paints are not like any that I have ever used before! The paint is a very transparent white with incredibly fine speckles of colored metallic pigment. Depending on the light, the paint can appear as an opaque metallic or a gloss varnish filled with tiny pieces of colored shimmer. It’s a little flashy and adds a really unique effect to the page. Note: A little goes a long way!

Violet Desert Art Journal Spread Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk (1)

“Violet Desert” Completed, Closeup of Left

The collage material for this page was chosen during the live stream session, which came from the book Extreme Adventures (2014), a 240 page full color photography book that displays images of unique locations and exotic animals. I found my copy new for about $7 in a discount store, and purchased it specifically for the purpose of using the imagery as collage material. (At the time of writing this, I found it to be available on Amazon.com for about $6 used with free shipping.) I so recommend using inexpensive coffee table books for their imagery. The pages of these books are thick and the imagery is often perfect for collage!

Violet Desert Art Journal Spread Copyright EmK Wright 2017 www.madebyemk.jpeg

“Violet Desert” Completed, Closeup of Right

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Finished Spread: Radioactive

This spread was created an in an altered book, Odysseys and Photographs (2007), and was specifically produced onto these pages due to the unsettling imagery that was already printed on the spread. Somehow these images, unaltered and bizarre, seemed to speak to me in a time of frustration. The photos on these pages originally displayed a restrained lab mouse being injected with a steel syringe, and a man controlling a robotic arm in order to place makeup onto a subject’s face—strange, right?  I took the liberty of adding my own peculiar imagery, paired with a color palette inspired by the word visible on that syringe: radioactive. Though it may appear a bit eerie, I actually really like how the spread turned out!

Radioactive Art Journal Spread www.MadeByEmK.com copyright emk wright 2017 (1).jpg

“Radioactive” Art Journal Spread

As I’ve mentioned before, I often find that my art journal spreads are more chaotic and detailed whenever I create while angered or distressed. These types of emotions affect me strongly, but I am also able to pour out frustrations onto a journal spread more easily. It’s therapeutic for me, almost as if I’m removing the negativity—piece by piece—with every stroke and line. This spread has been halfway finished since the end of last year, but I somehow found the inspiration to complete it. I began this spread when I was overwhelmed by some feelings of anger, and the subject matter definitely does not hide this!

 

Radioactive Art Journal Spread www.MadeByEmK.com copyright emk wright 2017 (3)

Radioactive” Closeup, Left

Although this spread may not depict the most cheerful of illustrations, I was honestly pleased with line work that I created when drawing these skulls. These illustrations are studies of northern american rodent skulls, sketched with a soft lead (Faber Castell 8B lead, jumbo) and inked with a black brush pen (Kuretake No. 7). The original drawings were found in a vintage nature book, a gift to me, and my attempt at replicating them was almost perfect! I’m slowly advancing my drawing skills, and am always delighted whenever I discover that I’m making progress.

Radioactive Art Journal Spread www.MadeByEmK.com copyright emk wright 2017 (4)

“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Top

This spread was started in order to deal with intense negative feelings, but I was able to achieve a sense of accomplishment for the illustrations! The positive feeling of success in my abilities as an artist outweighed my anger. Although I don’t like to leave art journal spreads unfinished, my change in disposition was probably why I was able to close the book on this spread for so long. Creating in my art journal is always such a positive experience for me, and it’s one of the reasons that I love to share this niche hobby with others! I promise you, I haven’t been keeping an art journal for 13 years without benefiting from doing so!

Radioactive Art Journal Spread www.MadeByEmK.com copyright emk wright 2017 (2)

“Radioactive” Closeup, Right Bottom

This journal spread might be finished, but there are about 10 more in this altered book that are only just started! I’ll be working on some of them this weekend, but I’ll definitely be starting a new art journal spread during my Instagram live stream on Sunday at 8 pm EST. If you’ve got the time, don’t forget to join me! Until then, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) All other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

 

Floral Tutorial & Freebies

It’s the very first FREEBIE WEDNESDAY, and I could not be more delighted to share what I have in store for you today! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the hand drawn floral pattern that I shared last week. It was inspired by this Get Messy season, Art 101! Last week, my very first post and tutorial as a Creative Team member went live on the private site. (You can totally check out the site and see if you’d be interested in becoming a member by clicking HERE.) I was extremely excited to see what it would inspire throughout the Get Messy community!! The feedback and art that came out of it was 100% awesomeness! Because of all the pen play happening, I was inspired to create some florals as a simple and quick way to get my pen to paper. The result was unexpectedly beautiful! One flower became two, two became three, and suddenly I had filled an entire page with a gorgeous pattern!

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Partially Drawn Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

If you look through my art, you’re bound to see a lot of abstract shapes, silhouettes, eyes, and animals, but I tend to steer clear of florals. While I find flowers lovely (there’s a fresh bouquet on my desk right now), they just don’t seem to be a good fit with the imagery that I usually produce. However, these roses are special to me. My grandmother was absolutely obsessed with roses, and taught me how to draw them at a very young age. This rose shape is very close to the way that my grandmother taught me, starting in the center and building petals outward with overlapping sections. The image below is a quick tutorial on how I draw these roses, even though—if we’re being honest—they look quite a bit more like begonias or carnations.

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4 Step Rose Drawing Tutorial

As you can see in the image below, I remark my lines two or three times so that there is more detail and character to each petal. This makes the edges of each petal appear folded and more natural. You’re more than welcome to try out this design and add it to your archive of floral drawing knowledge! Its just as easy as the simple daisy illustration that so many of us are guilty of doodling! It only took me about thirty minutes to fill an entire 8.5″ by 11″ page. The pen used, as seen below, was one that I received in my Art Snacks subscription box in July ’16. The fine tip, a 0.3 mm, and smooth gel ink  a pleasure to work with! It is the Pentel brand Arts® Hybrid Technica used on 67 lb vellum Bristol paper.

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Finished Floral Pattern from 3/9/2017

With the wonderful power of technology, I was able to color in the flowers with soft pink and purple hues and invert the line to whites. (This created a pattern that I liked so well it is now the wallpaper for my phone.) I also recolored the flowers with a more traditional red, and  then adjusted the hue to green, which made the flowers appear to be succulents.

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Preview of Rose Pattern Freebies

All three of these recolored patterns and the drawing in black and white are available to you for download for your personal use! They are HD images available as full page PDFs. I advocate using them as collage material for your own arty goodness!! Just click the links below to print and/or download the PDFs! You can print them out, collage them in your art, or use them as a new desktop wallpaper! Just get creative and have fun. The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!

Click links to download…
Roses Coloring Page (Black & White): PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Pink & Purple: PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Green Succulents:  PDF Here
Roses Collage Paper – Red: PDF Here
Entire Collection: PDF Here

 


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: March Art Snacks & “Embracing New Waters”

I’ve been doing a live stream on Instagram (@emmykait) once a week for a month now, and the experience of sharing my art journaling process has been amazing! Being live on the internet is a totally new experience for me. Although I found it nerve wracking to do my first live session, the art journaling community on Instagram is so friendly and supportive. I don’t believe that I could have picked a better site to do live streaming through! I have met some genuinely talented and kind individuals though Instagram since going public with my profile in April of 2016, and with risk has come reward!

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Setup for Instagram Live Streaming

Yesterday’s Instagram live stream (3/12/2017) consisted of unboxing my March Art Snacks subscription box, and of creating an art journal spread from beginning to almost completion. For this live stream, I was working in my smallest art journal: a pocket size Moleskine brand sketchbook with 111 lb cream colored paper. This month’s Art Snacks box held the following items, as shown in the image below:

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Art Snacks Subscription Box Contents for March 2017

I was very pleased with the contents of this month’s Art Snacks, which was valued by the subscription company at a total of $32.05. After opening and testing these supplies on camera, I used the watercolors and paint brush to coat the top half of my spread; I also drew randomly with the pencil on the pages. After using these these supplies, I decided to try to finish creating the art journal spread using only supplies that I had received in this and other Art Snacks boxes! With the exception of my collage material, my favorite matte medium (Golden brand), and some grey acrylic paint (also Golden brand), I succeed in this personal challenge. The following image is of what the art journal spread looked like by the end of my live stream!

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“Embracing New Waters” Work In Progress

Even though Instagram only allows it’s users to stream live for an hour, it’s possible to go live again immediately. When my live stream automatically ended, I was tearing my collage material, about to affix it to the spread.  I came back online for a few minutes, though, as I was in the process of adding the collage elements and wanted the live broadcast to end with my journal spread being close to finished. Although I absolutely loved the results of my journal spread as created during the live stream, I didn’t deem it finished. I prefer to alter any collage material that I use, and also wanted to add some black lines to the page. The image below is of the spread after I altered the collage material and added more details to the pages. I would now consider it finished! It is titled “Embracing New Waters.” Aside from the Golden brand paint, all art supplies pictured have come from Art Snacks!

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“Embracing New Water” Completed, Surrounded by Art Supplies Used

As you can see in the images above and below, I added a lot of detail to the swimmer pictured in my collage material. I added outlines around the body in white and black. I then mixed the Terra Rosa watercolor with some of the gray acrylic paint to create wild wavy hair, using the red and black markers to detail. The boldest addition to this spread is the thick black lines radiating from the image of the girl, highlighted with white watercolor paint, which was not diluted, but rather straight from the tube. The inspiration for these expressive lines comes from a tutorial by the talented Julia Thomas via the Get Messy blog!

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Center

This spread came together in about an hour and a half; I could not have completed it so quickly were it in a larger journal. I also like to use this Moleskine for live sessions as it can comfortably fit within the view of the camera without loosing much detail onscreen. I have used my larger altered book journals during past live streams, and will probably continue to do so on occasion, but find this Moleskine becoming my go-to for art journaling during these hour long stream sessions! Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive parents that watch a lot of my live streams, so I get frequent feedback on what works and what doesn’t. (What I mean to say is that my parents think I’m cool—but they’re also pretty cool, so I’ll take the complement.)

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Left Side

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

If you’d like to read more about Art Snacks, check out my blog posts for the unboxing of the following months from 2016: May, June, August, and October. All you have to do is click the month mentioned, and you’ll be there!


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Announcing: NEW Schedule & Freebies!

I’ve been gone from the blog, but only because I’ve been working SO hard to share more and better content with YOU! Yes, you. No, seriously, you. Okay, okay, I’ll stop being creepy and give you the specifics…

I’ve been recently doing live streaming on my Instagram (@emmykait) every Sunday, and the feedback has been so inspiring that I’ve re-realized my passion for sharing and encouraging others to create! Because of that, I’ve jumped back behind my desk, and developed a NEW schedule for this blog.

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Schedule for MadeByEmK.com

Here is the breakdown:

  • Sundays at 8pm EST, I’ll be live streaming the start of a new art journal spread; on rare occasions, I may also work on other (perhaps more impressive, even) art. Live streams will last for at least one hour.
  • Mondays, I’ll be HERE on the blog with a new post, recapping all of the lovely things that came out of the Sunday live stream. Monday’s post will include photos of the artwork and a quick discussion on the tools, techniques, and/or questions that I answered during the live stream.
  • Wednesday is the day that you definitely don’t want to miss!! I’ll be sharing an in depth discussion on my favorite tools, techniques, or supplies. I’ll also be giving you free printables for you to have and use! Which means: WEDNESDAY IS FREEBIE DAY! 
  • Thursdays will be art show and tell day here on the blog. I’ll be sharing with you one of my newly completed art journal spreads or other artwork! If you’re a fellow Get Messy member, then you’ll probably want to swing in on Thursday, because many of my pages are inspired by the prompts and tutorials created by my fellow Creative Team Members!

I’ll be working diligently in my studio on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Although I won’t be posting here on the blog, feel free to check Instagram and my Instagram story, because I am constantly updating my social media followers on my artistic happenings. I also LOVE to interact on Instagram, so feel free to say hello or drop me a line!

If you have questions about commissions, want me to come guest blog for you, or anything of the like, please use the “Contact” tab at the top of this website, or click HERE.

This post contains an affiliate link to the Get Messy website. If you click the link above and sign up for the Get Messy community for a year, then I will receive a small portion of the sale to help support my artistic journey, including the upkeep of this blog. However, it is available on a month-to-month basis, and even per season: if you choose to go that way, I receive no payment, but totally support your interest because I love Get Messy, and want you to enjoy its benefits the way as it best fits you!!