5 lessons from nature for beginner and advanced creatives

5 art lessons from nature for beginner and advanced artists

I don’t know about you but as I’m seriously entering autumn-mode I start to notice the beauties of nature more than during other seasons – even as a city girl. Nature is quite an obvious topic for a creative but during one of my afternoon walks I was thinking: a sunny park offers so much hidden wisdom. During the process of creating it is not always evident that we are actually ‘allowed’ make mistakes or that we don’t have to plan everything to the last bit. Beginners and advanced artists can all learn a something from nature! Here’s what walking in the parks taught me:

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Illustration variations: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast - illustration variations | watercolor, ink, collage

Here’s a question: what is the first image that pops into your head when it comes to Beauty and the Beast? Am I wrong if I say that 10 out 10 of you thought of Belle’s yellow evening frock?

It is interesting to see how some stories have such iconic imagery that they practically burned into our minds – with a heavy influence by Walt Disney – while others have countless illustrative interpretations. For example, Red Riding Hood is among illustrators’ favourite topics, perhaps because of the ever-green colour combination of red, white and black, or the mystic forest.

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September downloadable calendars

I’m a little late, as September is already here and there has been no downloadable calendar. Sometimes I feel I say this too often, but I’ve been buried under a mounting of tasks, plus I’ve been moving house. But I’m slowly starting to see the way up, and will resurface soon, continuing to blog. Would you like to read a post about what I did this summer?

Until then, let me introduce Emily, the little badger girl, who is posing on the September downloadable calendars. Of course my newsletter is late as well, but if you’re signed up, I’ll send Emily along in A4 printable format by the end of this week. If you haven’t yet signed up, now is a great chance.

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)

Back to school: 3 downloadable name label stickers

Back to school: 3 downloadable name label stickers

Not long ago I realised I hadn’t updated the blog’s content library in quite a while, so I thought I’d surprise you with some new downloadable goodie.

September is always a time for planning and re-planning for me – and of course, a time for school. A few years ago these days I would sit on the floor, wrapping my school books in blue protective paper and sticking name labels on them. I am not too nostalgic about those times though, even if name labels are of good use even today.

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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)