Natural paints – tea and coffee

Natural paints - tea and coffee

Those of you who have knocked over wine glasses or have dropped cherries on your white shirts will know from experience that nature has provided us with plenty of pigments. To put it more commonly, these things leave ugly marks on textile. And on paper…

I have long been toying with the idea of trying the different natural pigments that painters of the past used, or to learn what is the biology behind the Milk Maid, for example, but I haven’t had the opportunity to delve into this complicated subject yet. So for the moment, I stayed on safe grounds and decided to experiment with a cup of tea and coffee.

(more…)

Watercolour painting class – abstract galaxy

Abstract galaxy - a step by step watercolor tutorial

Up to this day I am not entirely sure whether this is an ‘abstract mountain resort’ or ‘spider’s web in front of a galaxy’, but we can agree on one fact: today we are doing a minimal style painting. You might have met this image before in my post about masking fluid, as this painting was my first attempt at using this fab (?) accessory – probably this is the reason why all the lines quiver. But with all this said, I really advise trying this material, and this is why I put together this little tutorial. So this is how you create the web in front of the galaxy (or whatever) painting:

(more…)

Repeat pattern challenge Vol. 2

Repeat pattern challenge in watercolours - join the free one-week art challenge with Imelda Green!

As we all know, setting aside only 15 minutes a day for creating is real nourishment for the soul. Not to mention that it will have a very good effect on your creativity if it becomes part of your daily routine. It’s pity that it doesn’t really work – not even for me, even though I use my brushes fairly often. Last year I made an attempt at painting every single day, and this year I did this one week long art challenge of repeat patterns again, coming up with super-exciting results.

How it works

Last year I only painted whatever came to my mind, the point was to get myself painting every single day. This year, however, I took the task more seriously and found a topic for every day to paint patterns. I like painting in small size, which is great help especially if I need to cover a piece paper in patterns each day, so as usual, I was working in A6 size. I couldn’t spare the same amount of time every single day, sometimes I had less energy to create, which is visible on the outcome, but after all I did manage to squeeze in some painting time day after day.

(more…)

Let’s make a zine – a therapeutic evening

Let's make zine out of collage - a tutorial

There is something liberating about creating something that has no purpose whatsoever. It was with this thought in mind that I made my own little zine a couple of weeks ago.

So what is a zine? To put it very simply, a zine is a unique or small circulation book/magazine. It is usually self published and therefore has no rules about the content, you can fill it according to your heart’s choice. I strongly suspect that ‘zine’ is a short form of ‘magazine’ but this is not proved as far as I know.

I don’t really think there are rules to creating a zine (the entire point is complete freedom), but there are certainly some noticeable trends. In comparison with those, my little zine is completely different, I guess I should call it a miniature scrapbook rather than a zine, but then, we know it since Shakespeare, that names are not necessarily essential (after all, a rose would smell just as sweet even if it weren’t called a rose, right? ;)).

So, to get to the point, I put together a little book of myself. I  worked with the technique of collage: I cut, glued, tore the raw material. The original idea came from a video by Jordan Clark, in which she shows how to make a little book by folding a simple A4 size paper. I wouldn’t be a notebook-nerd if I hadn’t known immediately that I need one like that.

(more…)

New medium #4 – Masking fluid

A series about experimenting with new techniques - masking fluid for watercolor.

My ‘new mediums‘ coloumn is returning in a little irregular way: I didn’t experiment with a completely new technique, but I was trying out a supply made for watercolour artists: masking fluid.

Those working with watercolour will know that with this technique it is kind of impossible to paint white surfaces. If you want white, you need to leave the area blank and the white of the paper will give the colour. But sometimes this is quite difficult: let’s suppose you want to paint a swirl of snowflakes in front of a dark sky. This means you’d have to paint around all the millions of tiny flakes… Great… Well, it really is great now, because masking fluid solves the issue.

What is this section?

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.

(more…)

New medium #3 – Pen and ink

A series about experimenting with new techniques - pen and ink

What is it that crosses the architect’s mind when it comes to ink? Hatching, university, descriptive geometry… To put it shortly, my experiences are rather horrible, not to mention that this technique is somewhat similar to graphite pencil drawing, which is another thing I’m not friends with. Last November, however, I had no option but to give it another go with black ink at the illustration workshop and BOOM! I’ve been using it ever since.

What is this section?

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.

(more…)

Watercolour painting class – minimalist Solar System

Watercolour tutorial - the solar system

If anyone decides to do watercolours it is inevitable to bump into galaxies at some point. No wonder: they are colourful, you can splash around and it is practically impossible to spoil them. In my case, I also have an unfortunate obsession with all things space and stars… so here we go, I painted a minimalist style Solar System.

This picture was actually created in 20 minutes (not counting drying time) and is a crossing between an incredibly cool tatoo and my love of watercolour splashes. I had been browsing through some amazing space-themed tatoos when I found this piece, which concentrates on the most characteristic features of the planets in the Solar System in a lovely, minimalist style. It’s been love at first sight, even if I wouldn’t have it on my skin (yet).

As it was so easy to make this painting I decided to share the details with you, perhaps you also get into planet-painting. So, here is a step by step guide on my watercolour Solar System:

(more…)

New medium #2 – Lino cutting

A series about experimenting with new techniques - lino cutting

I first met lino-cutting at an afternoon class in primary school. I immediately fell in love with it but stopped working with it right away, as this technique is fairly complicated and also a little dangerous (at least for children). I came across it again during the illustration workshop that I took part in last year.

What is this section?

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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:

(more…)