New medium #1 – Aniline paint

A series about experimenting with new techniques - aniline paint

One of the conclusions I drew from the illustration workshop was that I’ve become a bit lazy: I am not experimenting enough with new techniques, I am happy in my bubble of watercolours. Of course, there is nothing wrong with dwelling deep in one medium and learning all the secrets but if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you miss a lot of fun. So I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog: I’m going to try techniques that are new to me and tell you guys about my experiences.

Aniline paint and I go back a long way. It tricked me years ago, pretending to be aquarelle-paint. When I realised at last that I’d been painting with aniline for years I became so angry that I stuffed the set at the buttom of my drawers and only got it out a few weeks ago.

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Watercolour painting class – Relax!

Relax watercolor tutorial

A watercolour splash is just like green tea: it hasn’t got negative qualities. It takes very short time to make it, they are all unique and it requiers absolutely no talent to have a beautiful result. I have used this technique in my downloadable calendars but as it was so satisfying I thought I’d share my experiences with you, so you can start “splashing” right away :)

The text “realx” is specifically meant for me – these days I tend to forget that I need me-time – so just replace it with whatever you like.

So, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to create a watercolour splash card:

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Design guide for the non-creative

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Sometimes I feel that the visual world – whether it be a blog, a photo, a graphic or an illustration – has split in two. One half creates clearer and more beautiful work by the minute (even with occasional highs and lows), the other half takes worse and worse steps making me scream “WHY???” Of course this sounds utterly snobbish, considering I am neither a photographer nor a graphic designer by profession – though I am an architect, so I know little bit about the matter. However, I think if you follow some golden rules, it is possible to create visual content which is both appealing to the eye and doesn’t make professionals tear at their hair.

The steps below help me in painting as well as blogging, but you might find them helpful even if your goal is simply to create a prettier Instagram feed.

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January calendars

I had thought I would not continue with my downloadable calendar series but to my surprise – and great pleasure – many of you asked about when I’d come up with the new one. :) So I took a deep breath and created the first piece of 2017. It seems that the style this year will be kind of minimalist, but I hope you’ll like it all the same. My designs are still based on hand-painted watercolours, which I transform into a calendar by digital editing.

hand-painted calendar for download 2017 january

As an “innovation” I have decided to make the calendar available in different dimensions so you can enjoy it on different sized screens as well as a smartphone.

Sizes: 1024×768 | 1280×720 | 1440×900 | 1920×1080

Behind the scenes #3 – A visit to the art school

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To put it simple, I am not a great fan of art classes in institutional circumstances. I have had some really bad experiences at university and during those years I was simply incapable of creating any form of art, it all started once I was left well alone and I could paint at home whatever I liked and with whatever technique I chose.

This is one reason why it is such a great step for me that I took part in an illustration workshop last November at a local art school in Budapest. Around here  there are not many opportunities to learn illustration specifically, so when I came across the ad I just knew I had to put aside my worries and join. So, from the middle of November, a group of us got together every Wednesday for 4 weeks to learn a bit more about illustration.

What’s happening in the witch’s brew?

Probably the best thing that happened to me during these 4 weeks was that I could put aside my prjudice: art classes do not exist for the sole reason to ruin your confidence. Our instructor, Réka Holló-Szabó has been working tirelessly to figure out which technique suited us best and gave us encouragement in that precise field.

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16 creative lessons from 2016

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I have tried writing a “2016 summary” post for several days now, until I realised it is just not going to work. However, going through my personal notes I have found several post-its with some advice for myself. I liked some of them so much that I’ve decided to share it with you guys. 2016 has been an illuminating year for me in both painting and blogging, but I think that these lessons might be useful for people working in other creative fields. So here are 16 lessons that 2016 taught me.

  • “I don’t feel like it” is a matter of choice. Thomas Frank pointed it out in this video that chanting “I don’t feel like it” will not actually stop you doing the work, it just gives you an excuse not to do it. Only amateurs keep waiting for inspiration, professionals work for a deadline.
  • It’s only paper. What’s the worst that can happen? I am also one of those who easily get stuck by the sight of a blank paper, then after drawing the first line, things start to work like charm. But in truth this fear is all rubbish. If you screw it up, you only ruin a piece of paper, nothing else.

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  • An art school is not there to ruin your confidence. Yes, bad teachers actually exist, but it doesn’t mean it’s pointless to take advice from a professional.
  • Stealing ideas is not a crime.  We know it since Austin Kleon that all ideas are actually copied. However, if you do it for the sake of learning and don’t present it as your own piece it is not only acceptable but can help you learn a great deal.

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