Black Friday Class Sale | Virtual Craft Fair | Card Exchange!

Black Friday Class Sale | Virtual Craft Fair | Card Exchange!

It’s that time of year! My classes are on sale, I’ve got some art pieces (some nice small ones!) available for purchase…..and a card exchange I’d love for you to participate in! Read details below the video.

Black Friday Class Sale | Virtual Craft Fair | Card Exchange!

Let the festivities begin!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Sale on classes!

All my adult art classes are on sale today only for 25% off, code is over on the sale page….
all mediums and adult levels! My patrons and email list got to start shopping last night, so if you want to be an insider and get the early scoop, subscribe to THIS email list or become a patron!
There’ll be a code change on that same sale page Saturday and Sunday, PLUS…..
A few classes will be on their own deeper discount too! Every few hours or so I’ll be adding short term deeper discounts on individual courses….you’ll have to check in on that page periodically to see what the codes are, so you can watch my Stories on social media or just refresh the sale page. And since I’m not sure if you can add multiple codes on one order, you may need to make a separate order for those special sales, okey dokey?
Looking for something to help you get ready for the animals classes that’ll be coming? I’d recommend Drawing 101 and/or 30 Days to More Confident Sketching. The animal classes, which will eventually be in other mediums too, are going to be a deeper dive, so you’ll need to have some foundations to help you understand the lessons. 

Virtual Craft Fair

I’ve been madly making things for a month or two now….and I’ve added them to the shop on my fine art website! There are all types of things there – larger pieces great for gift, small ornaments to decorate your tree…..go see what’s there! 
Note that I’ll ship out anything ordered by Sunday night on Monday; after that there’ll be a shipping pause since I can’t ask my housesitter to go to the post office for me, LOL! But I’ll be back to get items to you in plenty of time for Christmas, no worries.

Handmade Holiday Card Exchange

Over at Artventure we’re exchanging cards! It’s more like a secret santa exchange; your recipient won’t know who you are, but we’ll have a zoom party and share what we received and find out who sent it. It’s all free, so come join us! 
Signups END Saturday night 11/26 so I can match folks up and send out emails on Sunday, so get on it quick!
Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

Hey it’s HERMEY! If you’re a fan of the Rankin/Bass productions of holiday tv shows like I am, Hermey will be familiar to you. If not – go watch Rudolph!

There are three reasons I chose this subject today:

  1. Jules Bass just passed away in October….so I thought a tribute to thank him for years of holiday cheer would be appropriate.
  2. A stop-motion image has simpler shapes and shadows for those who struggle with “seeing” shadows and highlights. These are well lit even if from a couple angles.
  3. I resonate with Hermey’s desire to be a dentist! Sometimes other people want us to do things that benefit them, like Hermey’s boss the grumpy elf.  I get that a lot – folks who want to tell me what medium or project they think I should do more of.

Tutorial: Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

This video is speedy – but I hope that helps you see the changes happen faster. Sometimes if I work on the same area for 10 minutes it’s hard to notice changes in real time.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Benefits of simpler images

A simpler figure like Hermey has a deliberately round head – it has some variations, for instance the eyes are inset a little, the nose protrudes…but it’s not like looking at a human figure with softly gradated cheek bones, or an animal with fur on a curved plane.

Beware that you’re not always replicating someone ELSE’s shading. Even mine. You’re getting one step removed from the original…it’s like a photocopy of a photocopy, and it loses something in the translation.

So if you’re looking for a reference so you can color a bird stamp – find a photo of a bird to work from, not someone’s coloring of a bird.

Layer, layer, layer

Don’t be afraid to add a lot of layers to slowly change the color. If working on tiny images that requires more rest time in between layers at times, because if the paper gets completely saturated you’ll find it bleeding. But the smaller you make each color shift – like in the hair where I added purples after the yellows, then more yellows – the easier it’ll be to get to where you’re headed without overdoing it too fast.

Need this drawing?

It’ll be for sale over on my fine art site on Friday – along with a bunch of ornaments and other fun things created just for Black Friday. Hope you find something you like!

No sabbatical this year, but….

The last few years I’ve taken a YT sabbatical in December. It was from the exhaustion of the runup to the holidays, keeping up with new releases, and throwing videos out as fast as I could! 

Now that I’m off the affiliate train (I still post affiliate links, it’s just no longer a focus since I lost so many thousands of dollars in payments due)…….I don’t feel nearly the exhaustion!

However – December is a low month in general for viewing YouTube videos, that’s always been the case. Instead of working hard on tutorials, I may create more pieces like today’s, as well as some DIY decorations, or other fun things. I may put out more Shorts instead. I’m not really sure but I’ll give myself permission to spend December playing. And that will hopefully help in not having to totally start the engines up all over again in January!

Supplies

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  • Brushes

 

“You can’t do this”: Remembering the time I believed ART LIES

“You can’t do this”: Remembering the time I believed ART LIES

We’ve all had times when our minds got out of control, telling us that our art is no good, or we’ll never be as good as so-and-so, or we’re incapable of getting past an obstacle.

You might think that a professional artist like me isn’t susceptible to that. I often receive comments to the effect of:

  1. “I wish I had just the talent you keep in your pinky finger!”
  2. “Is there a medium you can’t do well???”
  3. “I could never do that!”

But we ALL have those lies stalking us! Being a professional doesn’t automatically remove that.

Vlog: Remembering the time I believed ART LIES

While chatting, I’ve filmed a couple pyrography projects…this isn’t a tutorial, but just me giving you something fun to watch while I tell stories! AND it’s evidence that just because I’ve told myself before that I couldn’t do something – I can do it. And if I can, you can!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

The Lie

I believed for many years – decades, even – that I was a coloreed pencil artist, period. That was my medium. That was what I did, and what I’ll ever do.

It stopped me from trying new things. Even asking questions about new things. It stopped me from growing. In fact, I was doing so little personal art in that time period, and it likely stopped me from even getting back to working in colored pencil!

Your lie might be different. 

But rest assured: it’s a lie.

Why lies work

Some people’s egos don’t let negative thoughts get them down – but I would guess there are MORE of us without that superhero ability!

Most of us are taught by our families to be humble. Don’t think too highliy of yourself, don’t put yourself above others. Without getting preachy here – even the Bible speaks to us on the subject, but it has a caveat included:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3 NIV
The sober judgment is the part may of us  miss. It’s sometimes translated as “sound judgment” “be reasonable” or “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves.” It means having a true picture of yourself, not more but also not less.
Your brain hears the words you speak. It believes you – after all, why would you lie to yourself? So it therefore works hard to act in accordance with those thoughts. If you think you can’t – you can’t, because your brain will make sure of it.

Conquering the lies

I have a few suggestions to get past the lies, but remember that the first step in overcoming them is to understand and internalize that they are LIES. If you refuse to recognize that a lot of what’s running around in your head isn’t true, not much of this advice will work.

Change your language

The words you speak to yourself matter. They can be life or death to you as an artist!

Instead of “I’m terrible at this,” try “I’m at the beginning of this journey and am excited for progress!”

Instead of “I’ll never learn this,” say “This is a tough challenge, but I’ve done other hard things, and this is no different.”

Instead of “I’ll never be as good as ___,” tell yourself “I really admire ___ and am growing as I study their work.”

And when speaking to other artists, watch for words that you may use as compliments to them that bounce back as criticism of yourself! Telling someone “You don’t do anything badly” your mind may well be hearing the rest of the sentence: “….like I do!” It’s great to admire others, but be aware when your comments may have implications upon yourself.

Watch your words. 🥰 Speak kindly about yourself this week!

Adjust your expectations

I’ve used this example before, but it bears repeating: no one goes to the gym once or twice and quits because they didn’t drop 40lbs immediately.
There’s an expectation with a LOT of things that you’ll need to work hard, practice, and learn new skills. You need to develop musckes you didn’t have before. The gym equipment may have some buttons to adjust weight and speed and you need to figure out how to operate it. And heck, there might be some diet changes to make outside the gym too!
Other areas of life are like this. You wouldn’t give up on a dream to play piano if your first 2 lessons didn’t have you conquering Chopin. Your first accounting class didn’t cover the content you’d be learning at the end of the semester.
So stop expecting art to be like that! Lots of art shared online can make it seem simple – but you don’t see all the previous attempts. You don’t see a lot of the erasing that happens. The crumpling of a drawing to start over. It’s not because people are trying to hide the truth from you; it’s because they’re making it succinct so you watch an optimal process. It might make your heart feel better to watch an artist ruin something – but by the time they’ve recovered from the error and gotten back on track, you have lost the flow of what they were trying to show.

Prove the lie wrong

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. —Vincent Van Gogh
Just do it. You won’t do it perfectly the first time, most likely. But you’ll have taken the first step in dislodging the lie. Just moving forward shakes things loose – so take a class, watch a tutorial, and give it a go.

Coming up

Most of what is in this post is family gifts (really hoping they still don’t read my blog, LOL!) – however I’ve got lots of little wood things I’ll be burning in coming days…I’m kinda obsessed! I’ll be adding those and some other small items to my fine art store in the near future – at least one batch will be posted for Black Friday and I might add more as we move through December too. So if you want a little piece of me to hang on your tree, be sure to pop over on BF!

What are your most common lies?

Let me know in comments. Think about the things that discourage you – the ones you ‘rehearse’ in your mind often. How true are they, really? Are they borne out by actual attempts at that thing you wanted to try? How much effort was put into learning that skill, and might you possibly have more you could try before casting off that idea as impossible?
Another cue: ask yourself what you’d say to a good friend who spoke those things about themselves. If you’d slap them around for selling themselves short, well…..just sayin’…… 🙂

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

How to Stamp a Faux Pyrography Christmas Tag

How to Stamp a Faux Pyrography Christmas Tag

When I create designs for my yearly 24 tags of Christmas series, I often make more than gets used – and I pick out the ideas with the most teachability in them, or a good bit of advice for design or color or something. This year the one that got cut was pyrography (wood burning!) – mostly due to the cost of the tools! But – after finishing the class, I also realized there was a way to create the look but with just stamping. So that’s what you’ll see today!

Tutorial: How to Stamp a Faux Pyrography Christmas Tag

If you have an uncle with a kit in his garage, it’s well worth borrowing it and having a go at burning a piece of wood. Just stamp an image and draw over it with the tool. But if not….you can just stamp!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Pyrography (the art of wood burning)

While it requires specialized tools, this is a fun process that smells so yummy! I created a tag using a Sunny Studios stamp called Seasons Greetings – and added my own wood burned distressing to make a more rustic wood texture.

Stamped Faux Pyrography

Stamping in Vintage Photo Distress Ink, and adding water to make it bleed just a little, will help it look like it’s been burned in – stamp on top with Versafine Onyx Black too, which serves 2 purposes:

  1. Darkens the lettering and lets the brown stick out past it.
  2. If the tag gets damp, the black will stay put.

Distress using a blending tool of any kind, and the ink pad itself. Tap the edges with the black pad to add more contrast!

Go contact your uncle!

Have you got a family FB group or text thread where you can ask if anyone has a wood burning kit? You might find an uncle with one in the wood shop somewhere. Borrow it and make a few ornaments and tags this Christmas! And let that uncle or grandpa tell you stories and share what he’s made too.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

I’ve been hard at work on this year’s series — thank you to those who’ve been asking where it is! — and decided to put it in a different place this year – and make it even MORE fun!

Vlog: 24 Tags of Christmas 2022: Creative Holiday Tags Class!!

The news is all in the video!!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Register for the tag giveaway!

You can take the Creative Holiday Tags class at full price if you want, but I might have to take your temperature. Ha!

If you’re already on the right email list, you got an email earlier this morning with the coupon code. Whether you take the class or not, you’re entered into the drawing to win a tag – good luck!!

If you didn’t get that email today telling you that you are on the list, then click HERE to go sign up for the list under “subscribe.” I only send out periodically from that list, so don’t worry – I won’t spam you!

By the way…

I wanted to see if I could make Monday’s technique work on cards, knowing that a lot of my followers won’t even look at my fine art if they can’t see how they can use it. (Spoiler alert: watch more fine art instead of crafting videos and you’ll start to do things no one in crafting has ever thought of doing before!) So I then tried it with two stamps: Snowman Kisses from Sunny Studio and Graham & Tristan from Purple Onion.

Are you a tag maker?

Do you make your gift tags? Or buy them? I flip back and forth, but most of the time I make mine. This year I think I might be ahead on things; my family is having an early-December Christmas celebration, and we’ll have a shopping day when we all get to the east coast. That way nobody has to ship or pay for baggage – it’ll be a crazy frantic time but I might just make tags so I feel like I put a little more into gifts! ha…..