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.

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!!

Huge News! Art Journaling News!

I’ve finally taken a break from jumping up and down in excitement to write this post, so let me start out by saying I’m ecstatic to be telling you all my good news!! Are you ready? For 2017, I will be pushing myself to be as creative as possible for my new position as a Creative Team member! I’ve been chosen to be a part of the Get Messy Creative Team for next year, and will be creating videos, tutorial posts, and sharing images of my art work for a group of 1500+ beautiful people who share my biggest passion: art journaling!

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Art journaling is the one thing that has been with me for the majority of my life, before I knew that such a thing even had a name. I could not be happier to share my love of arting between the pages of a bound sketchbook, altering coffee table books, and getting my hands colorfully messy!  I feel like my artistic style has come such a long way in the past couple of years, and finally defining my method of creating—with certain techniques, supplies, and tons of emotion—has not only helped me find my artistic voice, but is now letting me share it with others. (It sounds goofy, I know, but I’m in happy-shock, so please bare with me.)

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A Sampling From My Art Journal Collection

When I was younger, before “art journaling” was defined to me, I called my art journals “my souls,” because that’s what it feels like: pouring my soul onto the pages of these once empty pages. While I may not be an emotional exhibitionist, I’ve always considered myself an open book, and oddly enough, it seems like sharing my “souls” is allowing me to prove it. So, let’s start with my most recently finished spread, one inspired by another Get Messy Creative Team member: Vanessa Oliver-Llyod, aka Dans Mon Crane!

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“Altered Dimension” Art Journal Spread

Vanessa hosted an hour long live event on the private Get Messy Facebook page last week, and while I wasn’t able to participate in the fun during the event, I happily re-watched the video at my desk, following along with her process. I can’t say that this spread turned out looking even remotely close to Vanessa’s beautiful journal pages, (which you should totally check out HERE) but I’m still very happy with my end product! It was so odd to not begin my spread with blocking in shapes of acrylic paint, but starting as Vanessa did instead. I stuck true to all of the suggestions made during the live event, but I just couldn’t stop myself from making all of the wild doodles and drippys that I so love to add to my journal spreads! Her ideas plus my ideas turned up making a pretty unique spread.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Left

My spread ended up featuring a poker card, the queen of diamonds, which was altered to be far creepier than originally intended; her skin was painted green, her hood turned into a homage to The Bride of Frankenstein, and a third eye added to her chakra point. I’m not complaining by any means, as I fan-girl over weird and creepy pretty frequently, but the contrast of theme from that which was created during the live event is pretty extreme. The photo below is a close up of this altered card, presented next to a queen of hearts from the same deck for a better understanding of how much altering occurred.

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“Altered Dimension” Comparison to Unaltered Playing Card

I had so much fun with this exercise, switching up my process, and doing new things in my art journal that I would have never done without Vanessa’s input! I wasn’t alone either, as this exercise got a lot of the Get Messy community members in the mood to create. Seeing everyone’s pages was pretty awesome, as each member applied the suggestions to art journal spreads while guided by intuition and staying true to their style! As you can see in the close up’s below, I also didn’t stray too far from my usual aesthetic.

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Left

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Top Right

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“Altered Dimension” Close Up, Bottom Right

I’m so excited to not only work with Vanessa, but continue learning from her—and my new team members—over the course of this next year! If you haven’t joined this group, feel free to visit the Get Messy website and check out the FREE class, so that you can see if it’s right for you. I’d LOVE to see you there!! (Note: Even if you decide not to join, I’ll still be sharing a lot of stuff here, and I’m not going anywhere!)

My Experience in Get Messy: A Review

The photos included in this post are all close ups of art journal spreads that I have created during my time involved in the Get Messy art journaling group. Most of them are not seen elsewhere, and I consider to be unfinished or in progress.

It has been five months (how?!?) since I’ve joined the online art journaling group that is Get Messy. Now that I’ve spent some time there, I can finally tell you: I am so glad that I found this lovely little community! At first, I wasn’t exactly sure what the $10/month membership fee was getting me, or that it was worth it, but I’m sure now—about both the fee and the worth! If you’ve been visiting my blog since May, when I first posted about Get Messy, then you’ve probably also seen my two art journal spreads, “Ink Blot Buffalo” and “Catcher of Dreams,” which were inspired by Get Messy prompts and tutorials.

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Center)

Since I’ve been art journaling for so many years, have my own studio space, and even budget for art supplies, I consider myself very dedicated to making art on a regular basis. All of that being said, I’m someone who suffers from extreme lethargy, and even the tasks that I enjoy doing can often seem like a chore. The Get Messy group emphasizes accountability to creating, and encourages those who love to create to do just that! Get Messy allows me access to a source of specialized information, which motivates me to get off of the sofa and into the studio, and that can be a blessing!

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Close Up from a Work-In-Progress (EmK Wright)

So besides the motivation, what else does Get Messy provide? The member’s only site provides one short list of prompts, one tutorial, and one “inspirational” post per week, with six week per one “season.” Because a “season” lasts for 6 weeks, and there are 6 seasons per year, you’re looking at about $100 for 108 posts—excluding a few additional posts, such as interviews. Get Messy also provides a place for like-minded people to share their work, which is probably my favorite part of the group. I follow so many more blogs and Instagram users now, many of which I discovered through Get Messy; while the Get Messy blog may be a great source of inspiration, my fellow members are just as much (if not more) inspiring, and I’m so thankful to have found them!

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“Drowning Out” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Right)

Now, for those of you with doubts, let me say this: I know that anyone could google “journal prompts,” look up art tutorials on YouTube, and find artist interviews on a few dozen websites, but Get Messy does more than just do that work for us. The Get Messy group also 1) provides access to unique prompts and tutorials, 2) organizes the material, 3) provides the information in a spaced out manner, as to not overwhelm the members, and 4) uses a ‘creative team‘ (aka a group of year-round teachers) who are dedicated to this niche. As someone who hungers for information and inspiration about such a specific art form, Get Messy posts never leave me disappointed by the kind of prompts/tutorials that are presented.

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“Shots & Stars” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Left)

So, in my opinion, who is Get Messy good for? Anyone who wants to learn more about art journaling, anyone who is just starting out on their art journaling adventure, and anyone who is an art journaling veteran. It’s also perfect for those of us who need an extra push to get in front of our art and away from the couch. Get Messy is prefect for those who like prompts, because even though prompts seem to hinder me, I know a lot of artists question not how to create but what to create.

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“Divination: Destination” Art Journal Spread (Close Up, Top Right)

Get Messy is not the place for anyone who has tried and hates to make art. (You’ll never know if you never try!) This sounds CRAZY to me, but my husband doesn’t understand the appeal, so I know these types of people must exist. Neither of my parents are painters or sketchers, and my mother has said on multiple occasions, “I hate to color,” so if you also hate arting, this might not be the best investment for you…even if it is only $10 a month. (I mean if you hate to art, we can still be friends, but don’t get mad at me if I try to trick you into a craft store at some point.) In summation: art good, Get Messy good, you good, me good! That’s late night babble for: Yes, I totally love being a part of Get Messy and endorse it 100%!

If you discovered this blog and my work because of Get Messy PLEASE feel free to leave me a comment, a link to you blog, and a link to your Instagram. (Heck, even if not, feel free to link up in the comments!) I’d love to connect with you!

DISCLAIMER: In no way have I, EmK Wright, been paid to review or discuss the Get Messy art journal group. At the creation of this post, I am paying a membership fee and have not been approached by anyone, including those associated with the Get Messy group, to review or discuss the Get Messy art journal group. I discovered Get Messy, pay for Get Messy, and am involved in Get Messy by choice, and without reimbursement or encouragment. (And happily so!)

Art Journal Speed Process: “Making Shadows”

I have a certain love for hanging lanterns. Honestly, all party supplies stir something inside me that just gets me in a good mood, whether it be streamers, balloons…presents. I have a bad habit of leaving decorations up far beyond a reasonable time frame, and in fact, have a string of green paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling in my studio; as of now, there are no plans to remove them. It’s should be no surprise that hanging lanterns would eventually find themselves layered into the artwork of my journal.

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“Making Shadows” Art Journal Spread

Unlike most of my journal pages, which are created impromptu, this spread had a moment of conception when the muse struck me outside of my studio. I had this strange urge to use a wet paint technique to create red, multi-hued hanging lanterns. I wasn’t quite sure what this journal spread would be about (other than my affinity for celebratory ephemera) but I got to my desk ASAP, and started gluing down collage material to get my creative juices flowing. It wasn’t long before I had thick circles of red paint adorning my pages! For this spread, I also brought out my inks, KRINK paint tools, pens, and markers and let the magic happen.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Left)

Some of these collage images came from my purchase of a coffee table book about National Geographic photographers, which will be my next altered book. Before I begin altering a book, I always remove some pages from it to alleviate stress from the binding, as my altered pages thicken the book quite a bit. The pages removed from my NatGeo book had some pretty interesting images, so I kept them for collage material. If you have interest in this book, you can find it on Amazon.com HERE. At his time, a new version of this book is available for $3.24 (plus shipping), which is an awesome price for the amount of beautiful images this large hardcover holds.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Right)

To see the creation of the journal spread “Making Shadows,” you can watch the video below or click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions about supplies used, applied techniques, or just want to drop me a line, feel free to connect with me in the comments below!

“Ugly” Journal Pages & How To Deal With Them

I am struggling with an art journal spread right now. Unfortunately, it’s the first one in my newest journal, which is not the best way to start! I purchased the Dylusions brand Creative Journal a while ago from a craft store, and while it’s a well known art journal book now, I had never heard of the item upon purchase. When I saw the journal, I was in complete awe of it’s thick pages, hard cover, handy inner pouch, and it’s unique horizontal elastic closure band; I had to own it! Well…now we’re fighting, and I hate to abandon it. Because of this current situation, I wanted to discuss how I “fix” my “ugly” journal spreads, and what that even means to me.

In my opinion, an “ugly” art journal spread is not necessarily ugly to look at, but causes it’s creator to become stumped and ultimately abandon the journal spread. Do you find yourself thinking, “I don’t know what to do next!” because you don’t want to ruin what you’ve already created? The moment that happens, my page becomes an unfinished and lackluster piece. I sometimes believe that abandoning a piece that’s almost finished helps to tell my story, but other times, there’s not enough imagery to even call it “good enough.” When that happens, and I feel like I can go no further, I know it’s time to cover up and create something fresh. I’ve had to start telling myself, “If I don’t want to ruin my journal spread, then it’s time to ruin my journal spread.”

I would like to share with you some techniques that I use to purposefully alter a stumping  journal spread instead of abandoning it:
1. Take a XL paint brush, cover most of the spread in a dark colored (blue, purple, red, etc.) india ink, so that only hints of old shapes peak through.
2. Adhere collage material sporadically on the pages, covering the parts that originally controlled the spread.
3. Paint chunks of the page with a completely different color of opaque acrylic paint. (The change in color is always a huge inspiration!)
4. Drip inks and paints from the top of the page to the bottom, so as to hide some of the old imagery.
5. Use a large tipped marker (usually my black Big Brush Pitt Pen by Faber-Castell) and make huge doodles, creating new imagery or a new background to work on.
6. Find (or make) new imagery in a sketchbook that can be cut out and adhered to the spread as a new jumping off point.

I know that a lot of people will gesso an art journal page that they perceive as hopeless, but I don’t (always) mind if some of my original page peeks through; it makes for good background fodder. Also, unless you prefer to start with a stark white page, gessoing a page already thick with previous paint and collage material can be wasteful. If I plan to use acrylic paint or collage material in moving forward with a spread, then I know that the opacity of those items will be enough to hide my old pages, and there is no need to waste expensive thick gesso. If not using gesso to cover a spread, an artist does not need to step away for drying time, and the continuation of working on a piece will keep the artistic energy flowing. That being said, if you feel like you’re ready to just rip out your pages and throw them away, sometimes gessoing your piece and taking a breather is required!

New Endeavors: Arting on Records & ‘Get Messy’

The big artsy thing I began this weekend was a new way to display my art: painting directly on vinyl records. Below is a photo of my current work in progress. I’d be lying if I said it was a new idea, but I plan to create art that is similar to my art journaling style, so I know that will be original! Acrylic paint is holding exceptionally well to the record, and I’ve been pleased with the way my Uni-Posca paint pens are handling on the vinyl as well. I’m still in process of painting my first record, but I’m having tons of fun with it, so I’m sure more will follow. I was lucky enough to have a friend with a collection large enough to contain duplicate records, which I was given specifically with the intention of crafting with; things took only a small turn, and my attempt at crafting with the records have turned to arting on them!

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Painted Vinyl, WIP, Unnamed

This weekend, I also placed it upon myself to discover what the hubbub on Instagram is about involving this whole ‘Get Messy‘ organization. Many of my art journaling peers are #hashtaging about this group. After a little googling, I discovered that this is a very private community for art journalers. It involves prompts, a lot of art sharing, some videos, and a private blog. It’s only $10/month (or $100/year), so I decided to give in and kill the cat. (In the curiosity way, not the animal abuse way. I’ll have you know I donate to animal shelters.) I chose the the monthly route to make sure it was going to be worth my time, but I honestly don’t know yet; it’s going to take more than a weekend to be sure that ‘Get Messy’ is for me.

Every Monday ‘Get Messy’ posts prompts, Wednesdays feature techniques, and each Friday there is new “inspiration,” though I’m not quite sure what that means yet. This happens for 6 weeks with a 2 week break, and of course I joined during a break, so I’ll have to browse through all of the archives for my information. (I won’t actually get to see the site in action for about a week and a half.) It doesn’t have 1000’s of videos, or anything like you’d find in an online class—but I didn’t expect that after seeing the price tag. That being said, if you’re curious, I think it’s worth checking out for $10.

Note: You must have or create a PayPal account, which you can do on-site, to purchase even a month of ‘Get Messy.’

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos

Because I know there are a few of you who prefer short & sweet, there is a concise list of need-to-know information regarding recording overhead videos located at the bottom of this post.

Starting the project of creating art videos was not easy for me! I understood it in theory (record, edit, post) but the actual how-to of filming threw me through a loop! Having seen multiple art videos (YouTube and classes, alike) I knew what I wanted to do, just not how to achieve the look. I tried to search the web to find out what my favorite artists online used to record their videos, but it was a fruitless quest. Not one result was available to me about which cameras worked best or where to position the recording device—and there were absolutely no tips or tricks on the process of achieving such a feat. So I now present you with the post I wish I could have found.

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My Video Editing Software, Pinnacle Studio 18, In Use

I knew step one would be to purchase simple video editing software, and I found a cheap one in town. It’s not the best thing by any means, but it works…for now. As for everything else, I just used items on hand. I had a nice camera—not camcorder—and a huge tripod to start out with, which I was using beneath a pretty terrible overhead light. After blogging for about a month and a half now, I have realized that having a less than ideal camera has begun to deter my creative spirit. Every video I made required multiple cuts due to quickly dying camera batteries, and having to adjust zoom per each cut was awful! It was simply not giving me the clean results that my inner perfectionist desired. Fortunately, I had the means to fix all of this!

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My Original Recording Device, Nikon Coolpix L820, And It Is NOT a Camcorder!

Yesterday, I ran about town to purchase a camcorder and tripod, which would not consume a third of my desk. I am also now the happy owner of a desk light with natural light light bulbs. (The natural light light bulbs are a must have!) The camcorder can be used while plugged in, meaning no constant battery switching; the tripod is small enough that I no longer have to worry about inconsistent zoom range per cut. I’m thrilled to have a setup that makes my videos the (semi-)professional creations I’ve been so desperately craving! I now have a compact tripod that was aprox. $15, and a Cannon camcorder that cost me $250.

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My New Recording Materials: Sunpak 42″ Tripod & Canon HFR700 Camcorder

If you are trying to record an overhead video, the Canon Vixia HF R700 camcorder is perfect. It can stay plugged in forever, records up to 12 hours without stopping, and has a screen that will turn to face you, which means you can see the image you’re recording. It also has a function which allows the user to make the image mirrored, which isn’t a necessity, but stops you from trying to adjust your camera in the wrong direction when you image is off centered. If that doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry, but please know it’s got a neat feature that does a convenient thing for this specific use. I 100% endorse this camera if you are tying to do much overhead desk recording!

So here is a concise list of what I wish I’d known prior to attempting this project…

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos:
1. A camera with a battery life of an hour or more is a must have; a camera that can stay plugged in forever is a life saver!
2. If the camera has a screen to face you, it’s worth an extra $50. If it’s anymore than that, use a mirror opposite the camera to check your camera screen frequently(Especially if the camera’s battery isn’t very good!)
3. You do not need a tripod that is taller than 40″. Ever.
4. Shadows will ruin all videos, and even the cheapest adjustable desk lamp is worth your money for this purpose.
5. Having natural light or white light light bulbs will make your videos 100x better looking.
6. The three most important features in a video editing software are 1) ability to adjust video speed, 2) ability to add and alter additional audio tracks, and 3) ability to rotate your video.

Now that I have a setup that I don’t hate, you’ll be seeing quite a bit more of me!! Until then, happy arting!

WIP: Creating a Chaotic Background

I’m one of those people who thinks they’re going to “ruin” an unfinished piece; it sounds crazy because how can you ruin something that may as well not even exsist, but I know I’m not alone in this fear. One of the things that I’ve discovered to help me overcome this fear is to create wild and chaotic backgrounds that include little or no details. This way, I can cover up any part of the page and not feel like I am giving up some great part of my spread to make room for something that might turn out mediocre. If the page has multiple points of interest, removing just one of them is not so hard for me.

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WIP Chaotic Background, 4/13/2016

Creating chaos is also one of my prefered methods because it doesn’t force me into a corner. Chaos begins (and can end up) as abstract forms. If I imediately create coherent imagry, I can become preoccupied with making sure that the rest of the page matches. Chaos gives me the ability to tell myself that things don’t need to make sense or look orderly. For example, if I painted an elephant on a plain page in my art journal, I’d begin to ask my self, “Should I draw a circus tent next?” or, “How do I fill in the space around it’s legs without obscuring them?” Thoughts like that disrupt my creative process so harshly that they often force me to step away from the art.

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Chaotc Background 4/13/2016 Details

The following video shows you one of the ways that I create chaos for my spreads. I use 5 different colors of acrylic paint, two paint brushes, and a credit card to fill an entire spread with abstract shapes, paterns, and lines. This page is in no way finished, but will provide me with a wonderful base to add imagry, details, and if I so choose, words. Enjoy!

How To: From “Clippings” To “Art”

I have a love-hate relationship with collage material. If I don’t alter it, I feel like I’m lying by calling my art original. Collage material gives me imagery that I probably would not have been able to produce myself, but it seems like stealing if I don’t modify the pieces in some way. In this post, I will be sharing some of the ways that I alter collage material and incorporate it in my art.

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Adhesives, collage material, and a WIP page in my art-art journal.

1. Washing multiple pieces of collage material with the same color to create a subtle but interesting background. This effect is best done with gray scale imagery or pieces of collage material that are of similar color to the wash. Watercolor’s transparency is great for this technique and absorbs into magazine clippings instead of just sitting on the paper’s surface. (Acrylic paint works well to camouflage the papers edge where it is adhered to the background.)

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Steps for washing collage material with watercolors and layering with acrylic paint.

2. Using pens, markers, and/or paint on top of images by tracing and coloring the original picture. This is an amazing technique for non-drawers who would like to incorporate imagery into their art. It works for both main focal points and smaller background imagery.

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T-B & L-R, Art journal page close-ups of: Goodbye Friend; Angered Flight (1); Angered Flight (2); Artistic Eruption; Bite.

3. Creating the look of texture by using a photo that contains no focal point, or photos of complex line work. For example, if you found a photo of a boat on the water, you would use only the water part of the photo The waves have a textured appearance out of context, and may not even be recognizable as “water.” This is especially effective in backgrounds. The collage material used below was from a photo of graffiti, but is now too fragmented to be determined as such.

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Close-up of art journal page “Not All That Bites is Bad,” showing collage material beneath text.

4. Covering it up completely by allowing the imagery to inspire rather than controlThis may not sound like helpful advice, but completely cover your collage material! I do so in almost every spread that contains magazine clippings. If you use numerous collage material pieces per spread, your eyes will roll over multiple images, perhaps finding inspiration. For example, you might include a picture of pink zig-zags, think of lightning, and then end up covering that bright imagery with a dark and stormy landscape. Sometimes it just happens; you become absorbed by the process of art making, become paint-happy, and cover the imagery without even realizing it until the page is finished! (It’s 100% okay to get paint-happy, by the way, so no worries.)

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Lines where collage material is meeting the paper, but the imagery is hidden beneath paint.

There are so many ways to alter collage material, but this is how I do it. If you’re still struggling, check out Teesha Moore‘s gallery. She is famous for art that combines usual art supplies with different pieces of collage material. This style, called Zetti, is used to construct unique faces, animals, backgrounds, and more. I’ve never tried my hand at Zetti, but I appreciate it’s beauty!

Let me know if this post gets you excited to rip up some old magazines and whip out your gel pens by commenting below! I’ll see you Wednesday with my latest WIP and (hopefully) a video!