Which art medium is best for what?

Which art medium is best for what?

My post today over at Ellen Hutson is a rather epic one – it was created for people who don’t color at all, but have an inkling they might like to try – the supplies for each are different, and choosing which one and knowing what to get can be overwhelming!

I thought I would create a “partner” post for it here, for more advanced folks who may already have a few of those art supplies, and are wondering which kinds of projects are best suited for which medium.

This video is also the first of a series that I’m creating for a class coming up – some of the videos will be public ones on YouTube, others will be inside the class all about art supplies. I’ve always wanted one place to put alllll the info about my favorite supplies, maintenance and care of them, tricks to fix broken things, lots of tiny tips that get lost on a giant YouTube channel like mine. I get so many questions about which direction is best to store X brand of whatever, or what’s my favorite thing for X, and this class will be epic. And free.

Which art medium is best for what?

Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes you just feel like using a medium. But sometimes…it might help to think through what medium is best for a particular subject matter, or a certain kind of stamp. This video includes snippets of lots of videos that I thought showcase the best uses for the mediums, and sometimes point out the challenges!

Watch the video below or click HERE to view on YouTube.

Tutorials included in the above video, in order:

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

What are Copic markers best for?

While an artist can always use *whatever* medium when does it make the most sense to reach for Copics?

Smooth blending is the workspace of Copic markers (I’ve tried other brands and haven’t found others that compare favorably). Once techniques are mastered, it’s easy to create art with smooth transitions between colors that are different, depth created by blending a dark into a medium and a light.

Images with thicker outlines are easier for newer colorists to use with Copics, since the nib on a Copic isn’t pencil-thin; stamps with thin outlines can sometimes beckon the ink to bleed outside the line.

Color range is a boon for Copics, if you’re an artist with a wide collection – for someone like me who has them all, I know exactly what I can do with the colors I have. There are very subtle differences between some that are helpful in creating realism and minute color shifts.

Studio/craft room work is most typical for Copics; they can be packed up in cases/boxes/baskets for travel, but the size of the collection can cause problems for those wanting to haul supplies! I never use Copics when I go outdoors to sketch for this reason, though I may do a black and white sketch and come back to the studio to add color.

Foundations (color theory) and technique are taught in Copic Jumpstart – a class that has been loved by both crafters and artists of all levels of experience.

What is watercolor best for?

Choose the medium that suits your mood at the moment! Don’t think with your head. Close your eyes and picture yourself in your artistic happy place. What will make your heart happy at that moment?

When feeling loose and washy, get out the paints! I get in different moods, and that often points me to my watercolors. Paint outside the lines, let the color flow, and let yourself lose a little control. Start with some scraps, even just a corner of paper to play with, and get yourself inspired.

Playing with color is an area that watercolor excels. The mixing of color is limitless, literally – the amount of pigment vs water used affects the color mix produced. You can mix in a palette or on paper. Glaze one color over another. If you know none of your Copics will have the color you need – your watercolors can create it.

Stamps with heavier lines work a bit better for those who are worried about going outside the lines – brush control takes practice. Stamps with thinner lines can be used for loose techniques breaking out of lines.

Flat washes (large areas where color floods are needed) are easiest with watercolor, though the art of the flat wash does require practice. Use gravity to your benefit!

Water management is the hardest learning curve in watercolor, in my opinion – the Watercolor Jumpstart Class provides teaching on that topic and many others that’ll help you wrangle your paints!

What are colored pencils best for?

If your project – or your mood – requires control, colored pencil is by far the way to go.

Tiny detail requires tiny nibs/points on pencils, pens and brushes – and pencils can be sharpened to a very very fine point. That makes them perfect for very detailed work, or for adding that detail onto a piece created with a different medium. Yes, you can combine them!

Color stays put for the most part, with colored pencil; it’s a dry medium, and won’t bleed when it touches another color next to it. It will, however, smoodge if you lay your hand across it, so be aware of that and place a protective piece of paper below your hand to protect your work.

The best controlled color mixing happens with colored pencils; adding light layers of color one over another can create not only new colors, but depth and resonance of color not achievable by any other medium!

Creating textures are fabulous with pencil, given the number of techniques that exist for blending. See the Colored Pencil Jumpstart class to learn a number of them.

What are watercolor pencils best for?

Some mediums lend themselves to being a hybrid of control and loose application of color – and watercolor pencil is one that checks a lot of boxes.

Control with options – watercolor pencils are applied in the same controlled fashion as colored pencils, but with the opportunity to add some looseness as well when adding water.

Thin stamped lines lend themselves to coloring carefully up to the line with the pencil, then carefully using a brush and water to break up the pigment. But watercolor pencils can handle any stamp lines well.

Enhancing watercolor can be achieved with watercolor pencils, as well – if reaching a point in a painting that particular detail needs to be added with more control, reach for a watercolor pencil. Signs on a building, patterns on fabric on a figure—address the small details that are hard to achieve with a brush.

Sketching is great with watercolor pencils; create a sketched scene in watercolor pencil that is planned to be done in watercolor, and the outlines will melt away. If some lines need to remain, sketch those in a regular pencil so they don’t disappear.

Coming soon: a Watercolor Pencil Jumpstart class. Sign up for the newsletter (in the menu bar over at Art-Classes.com) and you’ll be first to know!

  • Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencil Tin Set of 120, Faber-Castell —- Ellen Hutson —- Blick
  • Supracolor Aquarelle Pencils, Set of 120 —- Blick
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils – Blick
  • Brushes for crafting:
    Silver Black Velvet 8 Round – Ellen HutsonBlick
    Silver Black Velvet 12 Round – Ellen HutsonBlick
  • Brushes for fine art, larger works:
    Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Sable Round 14 – Blick
    Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round 10 brush – Blick
  • Arches Cold Press Paper pad – Ellen Hutson —- Blick

Also, the video for beginners: Go to Ellen’s blog post with LOTS of info HERE. Click HERE to see it on YouTube.

Pink Amaryllis – in Watercolor Pencils (and a sale!)

Pink Amaryllis – in Watercolor Pencils (and a sale!)

During last month’s Ellen Hutson release, I said I wasn’t gonna color the amaryllis…….and that fell by the wayside. LOL. Yep. I had to. It’s so pretty! And since Ellen is now carrying my fave Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils, they came out to play too….See the sale info later in this post!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

The pink amaryllis is so pretty – I’m going to keep an eye out when the season comes for a pink one, I’ve never found one in my local shops!

The colors used are really simple – and yes I’ve swatched! As much as swatching kinda kills me. LOL. But…I wanted a good way to show the colors in photos because folks are always askin’…..

Another video?

Later today I’ll post this alternate coloring – it’s stamped in Distress Oxide (Fossilized Amber) so that the yellow melts into the orange and greens.

THIS SPEED VIDEO IS NOW ON IGTV 🙂

A look at the pencil sets

FYI there will be no watercolor pencil hex charts for the same reason as no watercolor one – you can’t print on watercolor paper, and printer ink isn’t really waterproof. I’ll have a video soon on how I made mine and what my code system is that I use. In the meantime…I made swatches.

The full set of pencils has tons of color – it’s got 120 so there are lots of nice yellows, blues, reds, browns….

The set of 60 colors is also nice – the range is good! Once I pulled these to see what was there, I realized I can probably try to pull mostly from these when doing videos, so as not to frustrate those getting the smaller set.

Ellen is also carrying the Polychromos 120 and 60 sets! Wheee! So you can pick them up at the same time as the rest of your stuff. Pretty cool deal, eh? Colors are actually the SAME as the watercolor pencil sets.

Sale!

LABOR DAY SALE 20% off storewide 8/30/19-9/2/19 with code: labor19 Here are peeks at two of my videos coming up next week….just in case, ya know….Hope The Hedgehog will be a sports/cheerleader card, and You’re Weird has weirdos floating through an asteroid belt. Yep. I’m weird too!

Drawing Magical Castles

Once again a stamp set inspired a fine art piece! I’ve been wanting to get out the watercolor pencils for a while now, and it was time – and after I sat and looked at Heffy Doodle’s Happily Ever Crafter (GREAT name!), I kinda had to make my own castle art! (See the rest of this post – there’s a card video too!)

I also wanted to make a castle this week because it’s the last day of VBS – and the kids are all being crowned today! Yep, really nice looking crowns, and it’s prince and princess dressup day. If I figure out how to look like a princess, then watch my instagram feed to see if I look royal at all. LOL!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

It was so much fun to just make up the castle shapes and relax with my watercolor pencils…I’ve been doing a lot of working from photos and plein air lately, so something this whimsical was a great change of pace! Drawing students, try this out – it’s a great exercise!

I stamped a scene with the Heffy Doodle set….and decided to stamp one on Neenah for Copic marker coloring, and one on watercolor paper. The Copic version: an ART CASTLE!! Yep. Had to go there. “ART” flags on top of the castle, and magical art supplies in the princess’ hand!! Heehee!!

I added a little tiny apron too, so she doesn’t get her princess gown covered in paint!

The watercolor pencil version is in the Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils too. And I’m trying something I told you about here recently: I’m learning how to do IGTV! If you want to watch this one being colored, hop over to my Instagram.

More inspiration….

Reason #2 for this drawing was mentioned – it’s VBS week! And our theme is all about castles, princesses and princes: Heirs of the King! On Sunday I posted a video HERE with another project inspired by VBS in my Bible.

Supplies for Bible journaling project:

Sketchy Card Series – Colorado Craft Company

Sketchy Card Series – Colorado Craft Company

BONUS! I know some of you want more more more….so when I was asked if I’d consider sliding in an extra video to show you these really fun stamps from Colorado Craft Company, well….yeah I had to do it! Amy, the owner, sent me a little pack with the TeeRific and Shopping Therapy stamps (and the Bible set as a bonus, whee!) – so I decided to put one on my channel and one over on Ellen’s.

Let’s get rolling on the shopping set! Since these stamps just “end” at the top, you kind of need to figure out how you’ll handle that. Just let it end out there in space? Draw a line? Snug the stamp up at the top of the card? (Which would be really cool!) Or – like I did – create a sketched space within which the stamps can live.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

A sketchy card like this can be invented out of your head like I did – or use a card sketch at a place like Mojo Monday to figure out a design idea.

I’m using Zig clean color pens, so I used a waterproof pen to do the drawing portion – so make sure whatever pen you choose will work well with the medium you’ll be coloring with. And honestly – this “look” would be awesome in black and white too!

I used a different layout for the Dad card….I’m going to give this one to a friend to send to her golfing pop.

The video shows how to make a pile-up of trees in the distance.

And if you’d like to see the Father’s Day version – check it out below or over on YouTube!

Bird Feeder Shaker Card (new release from Ellen Hutson)

Bird Feeder Shaker Card (new release from Ellen Hutson)

It’s new release time over at Ellen Hutson!! This little birdie set got me especially excited – I wanted to feed them, because filling the feeder made me feel like perhaps spring IS on the way!?!? A late snow this year is causing me to neeeed some spring cheer!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

I colored the birds in Zig clean color pens….(for the previous post about birds – click HERE.)

And the shaker is a homemade kind – just cut a rectangle, trimming carefully around the bird beaks with a fingertip knife. Alternately you could add the birds on and diecut them.

The sweet little flowers and butterflies in this sequin set are perfect for a feeder! And the feeder is simple to draw. A flat top and bottom, and a round lid and string. Easy peasy!

Christmas Tag (with a feminine twist!): Sweet Little Penguin Tag

Christmas Tag (with a feminine twist!): Sweet Little Penguin Tag

 

Sweet Little Penguin Tag

Ellen Hutson always creates a beautiful series of Christmas Tags with a feminine twist! This year I’m paired up with the amazing Carissa Wiley and I’m going to guess I’ll be outglittered by her sparkly self…she is SO talented! (Go see her tag here!)

Our inspiration picture is this one: gotta LOVE all the black and white with a pop of green, all with kraft underlying it. And detailed ribbons and stitching!

I made a quick lil video for my tag – and giftwrap! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Aren’t these the sweetest lil penguins ever!?!? Watch my Instagram for more of them in coming weeks – I won’t be making lots of videos or doing blog posts through December, but I’ll be sharing the rest of my Christmas cards with crazy backgrounds on IG and Fb!

The giftwrap is so super easy….just watercolor on kraft!

And for those who are in the Clearly Copic Glass class.…this is a crazy version of the candy jar lesson!

Bible Journaling this week

All through Advent I’ll be sharing techniques for backgrounds – this time I actually used acrylic paint!

Supplies

Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project. Compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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