September calendars

Well, my Dears, we have apparently survived this summer too. I suppose we will still get few more glimpses of summer heat here in Hungary, but the most difficult parts are now over. September is a wonderful month anyway, the sun still shines warmly, the days are still fairly long, and only a few leaves start turning yellow – just like on this downloadable calender. Download it, love it, and enjoy this fabulous month, that September is!

hand-painted calendar for download 2017 September

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

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

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:

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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.

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Leave a mark – 10 tips against blank paper syndrome

White paper syndrome - 10 ways to leave a mark on the paper.

I’m sitting above a blank piece of paper and I am simply unable to start… If only I drew the first line, it would be easier… But at the moment it seems unbelievable that this blank paper will soon be filled with something, something that I create…

The above case is well-known to (some) artists and is called blank paper syndrome. It is a paralyzing fear that stops you from starting your work. Of course it’s a good idea to meditate about what might cause this fear but luckily there is a quicker way of dealing with it: you just have to leave a mark on the paper/canvas.

One of the advantages of ‘mark-making’ is that the goal is not to produce a Work of Art (even though it usually ends up one), so your perfectionism will not tell you that you are not good enough (always assuming you are a perfectionist.. if you are not, that’s your great luck).

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August calendars

I am so blessed with a nordic blood that by August I can hardly stand the heat of Hungary, so I painted the August downloadable calendar an ocean blue-purple. Somehow even my watercolour decided to imitate the rollers of the sea too. So who wants to jump in this pool?

By the way I wouldn’t be a real cultural snob if I didn’t think of Homer’s expression ‘wine dark sea’ here, although I’ve no idea how the sea can appear dark red, apart from sunsets of course. But it’s definitely dark alright, just like my watercolour splashes.

hand-painted calendar for download 2017 August

I have made this calendar in several sizes so you can use it from different sized screens as well as a smart phone. I hope you enjoy this free download :)

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

Recipe time – grilled salmon skewers

To avoid putting on further pounds, the next recipe I’m sharing with you is as far from cakes as it can be: today we are grilling salmon! To tell the truth I chose to paint this recipe because I absolutely can’t stand fish (or any other creature coming from water) so this way I could avoid the temptation that food illustration poses. Of course, I have no problem with the same recipe with salmon exchanged for chicken, for example. So, here is a grilled favourite for salmon-lovers.

Grilled salmon skewers with garlic and dijon recipe - watercolor print from the design box Goods from our garden

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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.

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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.

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