Art school: YES or NO?

When I walked out of University with a fresh degree in my hand I promised myself that I would never ever attend art education again. Despite all analysis I will probably never find out whose fault it was that I ended up with this unfortunate conclusion, but it is more or less a fact that they tried very hard to beat creativity out of me. It’s lucky that creativity does not work that way.

It is not that easy to stop someone being creative. You can break down enthusiasm, but as soon as the disturbing factors disappear, creativity will come out of its hiding place. In my case, once university was over, I went back to my paintbrushes.

What’s so difficult about this?

Teaching art is definitely the odd one out in the line of institutional education because students don’t just learn something (khm.. swallow the text book..), but give their heart and soul to completing a task. So one single number rating the student according to the traditional grade system can swell into a self-destructive monologue in the student’s head, going something like this: ‘this work is complete rubbish, you are utterly untalented. But people are born talented, so you might as well stop creating all together, you’ll never make anything out of this. Haven’t you seen all those other people creating better work than you?’

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Repeat pattern challenge Vol. 3 – join us this year!

Watercolor palm leaves - join the one week art challenge

Can anyone tell when a tradition starts? It feels a little early, and yet, it seems to have become something of a tradition that I hold a one-week repeat pattern challenge on the blog, so here we go, here comes the third. If you feel creative, or if you do not; if you’ve ever tried painting, or not; if you have time or not – join us! It will be worth it!

What is a repeat pattern challenge?

The hardest step about creativity is the first: to sit in front of a blank paper and wrecking your brain as to what comes next. Therefore, two years ago I decided to paint every single day for a week. Not much, and not complex things, just to get into the flow of creating, so I don’t get blank paper syndrome every time before I start painting.

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August downloadable calendars

I’m not sure about you, but for me July has been sucked in by some black hole; it has basically disappeared. Anyway, August is nearly here, so I celebrate the new month with another forest – or rather aquatic – animal. In August, Susan the otter will swim in and out of your screens.

Don’t forget that the newsletter will arrive in a few days, including an A4 downloadable format of this calendar with Susan on it. If you haven’t subscribed yet, it’s still not late.

Until then, you can find the August calendar for the screens of your various gadgets down below.

Forest animals - hand-painted watercolour wallpaper calendar

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. If you need a different size, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080 (latter for smart phone)

A little guide to watercolour paper

A little guide to watercolor paper

Image source

To my great joy, creativity is spreading within the family. After diagnosing the illness of painting on simple print paper however, I realised that it’s high time to give some in-depth info on materials. I mean more in-depth than the blog post sharing 9 essential art supplies. This series started with a fairly detailed guide to paintbrushes, and today I’m sharing all I know about paper. The motto for today is: forget simple print paper!!!

Why is paper important?

For a moment, imagine that you live a few hundred years ago, and work in the studio of a great master, mixing paints. What kind of grimace would appear on your face if the great master tried to use your carefully prepared paint on thin print paper? Exactly! For oils, canvas will act as the best surface. For every medium there is a right surface, which it was designed for. It matters which kind of paper you use for coal, colour pencils, or in our case, watercolour.

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Behind the scenes #9 – I’ve become a freelancer

I became a freelance watercolor artist - Behind the scenes #9

Even though you may not have watched my (Hungarian) vlog about a day in the life of an illustrator, (in which I meet clients and try on wedding rings in the middle of a Thursday) you might wonder how all this work fits into my days while also maintaining a dayjob. After all, it has never been a secret that besides my blog, illustration and graphic design I work full time. Well, this is the thing that changed a few months ago.

Why? – or some background info in a nutshell

I studied Architecture at university and after graduating I started working as a 3D engineer at a multinational company. However, it had been clear since before graduating that I would never really become an architect, and even if I start working in this field, it would only be a temporary job. The way grand companies work is actually in complete opposition with my lifestyle, but to start one’s own business one needs a bit of backup, and this job gave me the opportunity to save up the money (for which I am grateful!)

How?

You might have big dreams and plans, but still it is very comfortable to swim around in a safe, luke-warm swamp, however it might stink. Slowly, I found myself working for this company for 1, and then 2 years, constantly putting off handing in my notice.

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July downloadable calendars

It is nearly July, so here’s a new forest animal to decorate your screen for another month: in July it is Elisa, the hedgehog girl. I have just met Elisa the other night, she ran across the road – luckily she reached the other side without harm and ran into a neighbouring garden. Take care of hedgehogs while you drive!

If you’ve already signed up to the newsletter, I’ll send along Elisa in A4 printable format on Friday with some other interesting goodies. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you are still not late. Please feel welcome to the community!

Until then, you can find the July calendar for the screens of your various gadgets down below.

Forest animals - hand-painted watercolour wallpaper calendar

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. If you need a different size, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080 (latter for smart phone)

A little guide to paintbrushes

A little guide to paintbrushes - watercolor techniques

A miracle has occured: the creative thought has started spreading within my family, and my sister started painting. Last weekend I was watching her with slightly bulging eyes as she played around on thin print paper with some brushes that were in appalling state. At this point I decided that instead of my old article on art supplies, I’d need to write a more thorough piece on what you should buy if you choose to pass your time painting. So much more thorough that I am going to split them and talk about papers in a separate blog post, while today I’ll tell you all I know about brushes. So let’s jump right into paintbrushes A-Z.

Are brushes important?

You can pay enormous amounts on paintbrushes and yet achieve horrible results, but the opposite is also true: a cheaper brush can be suitable as long as you choose consciously. A good brush is hand-made, even the relatively cheaper ones, so you should consider it as an investment. At the same time, I’d like to crush the legend that only a super expensive brush can be good quality: I have been working with synthetic for a few months now and reach just as good results as before.

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June downloadable calendars

Summer, water, swimming. What else could be on the June calendar, than a (semi)aquatic animal? Peter is a rather well-fed beaver, who doesn’t give a damn about the approaching bikini season. I hope you don’t either. :D But, joking aside, here is the free downloadable calendar for June!

If you’ve subscribed to the newsletter Peter will arrive in your inbox in A4 printable format on Friday. So it’s not yet late to subscribe. :)

Till then, you can find the June calendar for the screens of your various gadgets down below.

Forest animals - hand-painted watercolour wallpaper calendar

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. If you need a different size, please let me know in the comments below. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080 (latter for smart phone)

New medium #6 – book binding

How book binding works - a series about experimenting with new art techniques

Imagine that you hate painting in a book. You prefer doodling on individual pieces of paper because you are afraid you spoil it and then the look of the entire sketchbook is destroyed. If you happen to draw in a sketchbook for some strange reason, you use a wire-bound one, so you can just tear the page out if you mess up the drawing. But despite all this, you still go to workshop and bind yourself a real, hard cover sketchbook.

Question: Are you insane?

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