Going from messy & scribbly — to beautiful art

Going from messy & scribbly — to beautiful art

Today’s art is inspired by the coming Valentine’s Day holiday – but also by things I hear from my students and readers!

I often see comments bemoaning a person’s own art. “I wish I could blend.” “My coloring stinks!” “My art looks so bad compared to ___!”

And though I say it often, I don’t think I can ever emphasize it enough: get your nose off your paper! When you are staring at your paper from 6 inches away, of course you’ll see any faults. But you know what? No one else looks at your work that way. And if they do, they don’t have a vision in their heads like you do – they just see a beautiful piece of art, and that’s it.

So today I’ll show you some of my art close up so you can see how messy it appears at a few inches away, but how lovely when at a distance. Maybe that’ll convince you to give yourself grace!

Tutorial: Title

Text

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!

Alcohol Markers (transparent color)

With strong, transparent color, it’s quite easy to color these chocolates with ease – go outside the lines to your heart’s content around the chocolates! Keep layering the colors til they look as dark as you want. Make the plastic liner of the box black (grey 7 or 8) or go over that with a brown to create a REALLY dark brown. White gel pen highlights top  off the “high points” and uppper left corner to create a shiny look.

Colored pencil (semi-opaque)

Since colored pencil can cover black lines below it, the medium can look a bit messier than alcohol marker. Gamsol, a blending solution, can be applied and color smooshed around to blend color and press it down into the texture of the paper.

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Gouache (opaque)

Gouache is an opaque watercolor – if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a little like acrylic with different properties. (You could try this same thing with acrylics). Make the plastic tray black, add highlights in a very dark grey, then painted blobs for the chocolates. This was definitely the most fun to add the drizzled chocolate to! Gradually lightening the color until it’s white creates the look of softly molded chocolates.

So how about you?

What’s your internal language like about your art? Do you look at your blending and wish you could create art like so-and-so? It’s quite possible their art doesn’t look perfectly smooth…..sometimes it does but it’s certainly possible to make art that looks realistic without being “perfect”!

Intricate Sketches you can color

There’s a set of 5 (five for the price of four!) or you can purchase any of them, including the chocolate box, singly. Visit the printables page for more info!

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

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A small diversion: Valentines critters

A small diversion: Valentines critters

I’ve got a super quick post with a heads-up presale today! No major new tutorial video but there’s a short that might be of help:

CCC release: Anita Jeram’s latest

Amy and Adrienne sent me some of the new release to color up; there are more stamps in the release, I just didn’t have time! Later in this post are the stamp pics if you want to see what the sentiments are in the sets. And, of course, to see what it started out as before I did my implied-line coloring! Plus a bit about supplies—and a giveaway from them – and me!

Preorder sale, 4 days only

Colorado Craft Company is hosting a PREorder of the new Valentines right now. Here’s the deal:
Pre-sale for 4 days only. Shop from the release for those 4 days only until the stamps and dies are fully stocked in two-ish weeks. At the end of the four days the items will be removed from the website until they are in stock.
Pre-orders get free shipping (or international shipping of $12) — all 4 days. You’ll receive your order in 1-2 weeks.
If you wait until everything’s in stock in 2 weeks, you cover your own shipping. 

While you’re visiting my blog…

If you’re new to my blog – WELCOME! And if you’ve been away a while, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN!

I have two quick things I want to invite you to do:

1. Join Artventure and check out the “Let’s draw together” initiative! Whether you like to draw, hate to draw, or just fear it — I hope to make it a way to join the community as we learn together.

2. Add yourself to the newsletter list below – I send out a Saturday newsletter with all the info about tutorials from the week, some flashbacks, sale info, BTS peeks and more.

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Stamps

Tap on any image to go straight to their shop!

The supplies

A couple common questions I get when posting colored pencil work:

Favorite paper for pencil coloring? Stonehenge.

How do you get those long points? With an Afmat Long Point Pencil Sharpener

Preferred colored pencils? My go to of late are Prismacolor pencils.

What’s in the gamsol jar? Gamsol. tongue-out  Gamsol is a blending solution and I put it in a small jar with a lid, soaking a cotton ball, so it won’t spill. Because I am a klutz.

Why don’t the black stamp lines show in your art? I like to do “implied line” (sometimes called no-line in crafting) artwork. I stamp the images with a light ink, then color right up to that edge so the lines disappear. I have plenty of freedom to change things up – like with the trees in the short video, they can be any shape since the pencil covers the lines.

 

A drawing with several blending techniques 

The pencil sharpener

Tomorrow – my palette and yours!

My video coming out tomorrow is about curating your own watercolor palette. I’ll show you what’s in mine, with all it’s scary changes for 2024, and maybe convince you that YOU also need to curate your own! Bookmark the blog or wait for the newsletter in the morning. OR if you’re an IG addict, go to my page and join my free “Create every day” broadcast channel – basically a giant DM where I can drop links to my tutorials etc!

The giveaway!

As always CCC is giving away some goodies:

CCC will give away one free clear stamp set to one of my commenters!
If you use any of my affiliate links on this post to make a purchase, you will be entered to win the entire release!
Comment up until Midnight (ET) Jan 22nd.
CCC will announce the winners Jan 24th on their blog.

I am ALSO giving away the sheet of colored stamped images!! You can cut them up and make cards, stick it in a reference book, whatever you like. I’ll announce my winner in my post on Tuesday the 25th.

To qualify to win

Leave a comment and tell me who YOUR valentine is. (And it’s totally ok if it’s your grandchild or pet!!)

 

The bloghop:

Sandy Allnock <—that’s me, last but never least!
How to sketch latte foam art (3 mediums)

How to sketch latte foam art (3 mediums)

For my celebration of Cuddle Up Day, let’s sketch latte foam art! And yes I know I don’t drink coffee. But swirling some beautiful art in a cup of something warm seemed too perfect not to do….art in a coffee mug! And in three different mediums, so there’s something here for everyone to try out.

Tutorial: How to sketch latte foam art

Make a cup of your fave warm beverage before  you tap play!

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!

Alcohol marker

I used Copics here…. layering colors from the light peach and yellow underneath the coffee browns. The shadow cast on the top of the foam is on the side where the light hits.

Colors: E01 YR23 E35 E33 E29 0

Fresh Brew Class

This brand new class is available (and on sale!) – it’s a level 3 intermediate course, and will show you how to make three awesome cups of coffee using photo references. We’ll talk value, shape, layering, color – and at the end you’ll get lots of coffee cup photos to keep practicing on! SIGN UP FOR CLASS

Colored pencil

Once again layer layer layer! Start light and you can keep adding deeper color til you’re happy.

Colors: 1034 Goldenrod 945 Sienna Brown

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Watercolor

A little less complicated design here since watercolor can be challenging to get all those soft blends; after getting it mostly where you want it, paint over it with a middle tone to push some of the foam under the coffee’s surface.

Colors: Yellow Ochre, Transparent Red Oxide

Zoom call coming up!

Over on Artventure I’ll be hosting a zoom call with some bonus info for those in class (anyone can come, but the zoom will answer some questions left on the cutting room floor.) See the Events tab at Artventure.

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

ALCOHOL MARKER:

  1. Copic Markers 
  2. Colors: E01 YR23 E35 E33 E29 0
  3. Copic Hex Chart 
  4. Copic sketchbook 
  5. Fresh Brew Class

COLORED PENCILS:

  1. Prismacolor pencils 
  2. Colors: 1034 Goldenrod 945 Sienna Brown
  3. Prismacolor Hex Chart
  4. Electric Eraser, Mont Marte

WATERCOLOR:

  1. Lake Michigan Book Press Sketchaday is custom made with Arches:
    1. Arches Cold Press Pad
    2. Arches Cold Press sheets
  2. Daniel Smith Watercolors: Yellow Ochre. Transparent Red Oxide
  3. Winsor Newton Kolinsky Sable Series 7 Round #8 https://amzn.to/2WjFI8e
  4. Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Sable Round 4 
  5. Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky Brush – Inlaid Liner (Needle), Size 10 

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Favorite things for finishing a card image (and new classes!)

Favorite things for finishing a card image (and new classes!)

Have you begun your holiday cardmaking yet? I have a small handful done but I feel so far behind! Today I’ll give ou a couple tips that’ll take a simply-colored image and spice it up – and one tip will even make your coloring faster.

PLUS I’ve just released four brand new Level 2 classes—coloring images that’ll be unique ones for your holiday cards. Let’s get going!

Tutorial: Favorite things for finishing a card image (and new classes!)

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!

Four Tips, especially for new colorists

  1. Got some messy blending? Cover it up by adding a pattern on top! Either white snowflakes or polka dots, or even dark stripes or dots on an outfit would do the same. And if it’s a background, just add falling snow! No one will see the messy color beneath.
  2. EASY blending: Color an image with one flat alcohol marker color, then do colored pencil blending on top. It’s the best of both worlds: simple flat alcohol marker with no blending needed, then the pencil won’t be fighting white gaps caused by the paper texture. Win win!
  3. Add shading to white pen texture! Go over the shaded areas with the alcohol marker base tone of the object being shaded. That’ll dull down the pattern in shadow areas, making it look more supple like real fabric. Scribble the pen on scrap paper 
  4. Make the tiniest highlights on eyes by drawing the dot with a pen, then “shave” it down to a good size with a pencil!

New Classes & more

Click on the image below to get to the course you’re interested in – you can see all the images that’ll be in the lessons once you’re there! OR you can go to the brand spanking new HOLIDAY page, where these are all at the top, and all the other holiday/winter classes are all on one page! Tap on the image below:

Alcohol Marker

Colored Pencil

Gouache

Watercolor

A timely older tutorial…for winter

White pens are the bane of the existence of many…this might help!

WHEW!

Those who’ve followed along on Patreon and Artventure know this was a heroic effort to get all this together; and I’m excited that I also have next week’s videos scheduled. So after I take a couple days to just SLEEP, I’ll be spending time working on sample pieces and figuring out prices for the upcoming commission fiesta. Hooray!

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Alter your stamps! (Don’t put away summer stamps yet!)

Alter your stamps! (Don’t put away summer stamps yet!)

Happy lastdayofsummer/firstdayoffall! Anyone glad to see summer go? I love me a good bunch of layers and sweaters and cocoa, so we’re just getting into my favorite season. So when charged with using beachy end of summer stamps….I had to change them up a bit!

Colorado Craft Company had their release a few weeks back, and I wasn’t able to participate due to, well…..dogs. Not mine but the classes I was frantically trying to complete! But now you get to see what I would have made. Read the end of the post to see the sale and giveaway info!

 

 

Hello from vacationland! Well, not entirely vacation since I have work to do while visiting Mom but ya know. Part-vacation is better than none! I wish I’d had time to make full cards out of them by the time I left for my trip, but if you know me, these will be white card bases, trim these down a little and pop them on dimensional adhesive and call ’em done. After all these hours on the coloring, I give myself grace on card design!

Tutorial: Don’t put away summer stamps yet – alter them!

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!

Fun in the Sun

A truly beachy scene with mama and papa bunny watching the kids play under an umbrella…..I changed out the time of year for fall! I dressed up the chairs with more seasonable fabric, put a sweater on mama and a vest on papa. Instead of playing with sand toys, the kids are throwing leaves! Fun in the Sun is now…fun in the fall? ha!

Beach Life

This group of critters in Beach Life is now Snow Life – gifts instead of shovels and buckets, a Christmas banner to replace a net. And everyone played DRESSUP! Which one is your favorite outfit!?!?

Cats

Three sets came together for this one: Starfish Wish, Summer Story, and Beach Escape. I stamped the first, last, and center, then the two in between, and the only masking was to remove a crab from one cat’s paw. Then I let loose with the sweaterz! What do you think they’re doing? Putting on a show? Going to a party? Off to sit on santa’s lap?

FLASH SALE ON 2 OF MY CLASSES

This week only, both of the Enchantment classes are on sale through Sunday night. And if you get both together, you’ll get an automatic 5% off at checkout.

Copic Enchantment

This Level 4 class will teach students how to create 10 magical scenes, in a “slimline” (3.75 x 8.5) format perfect for cardmaking – but easily adaptable for animé artists too! Half are horizontal, half vertical scenes – and all can be adapted or just portions used for other size formats and art as well!

$52.99 $49.99

Winter Copic Enchantment

This Level 4 class will teach students how to create 10 wintry magical scenes, in a “slimline” (3.75 x 8.5) format perfect for cardmaking – but easily adaptable for animé artists too! Half are horizontal, half vertical – and all can be adapted or just portions used for other size formats and art as well!

$52.99 $49.99

Fresh Pumpkins Watercolor

This new watercolor class is for beginners! Join Artventure for free, then look in the menu bar on the left for the class. It’s only a few bucks for four pumpkins!

CCC sale and giveaway!

SALE: Get 10% off storewide with promo code SANDY10. Free shipping on orders over $50.00! Sale ends Sunday night at midnight mountain time. (3 Days Friday, Saturday & Sunday.)
GIVEAWAY: CCC will give out 6 stamp sets to 6 randomly chosen winners who will be chosen from the following three places – so you’ll need to do all three to TRIPLE your chances to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post.
  2. Follow @coloradocraftcompany and @sandyallnock on Instagram….and
  3. Like and comment on both of our instagram posts @coloradocraftcompany and @sandyallnock and tag a friend or two!
Contest entries have to be in by midnight mountain time on the 24th. Winners will be announced on the CCC blog on the 26th. Good luck, and let me know which set you get! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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

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Hawaii Fundraiser Color Wheels + new Hex Chart Class

Hawaii Fundraiser Color Wheels + new Hex Chart Class

Shall we join hands for a Hawaii Fundraiser? It’s been heartbreaking watching so many lives disrupted – and ended! This story absolutely broke me.

I can’t do anything to stop climate change. I can’t build back homes. I can’t bring back those who perished. But I can use my art and platform to do a little something along with the art community, and I hope you’ll participate in one of the two ways I talk about in today’s video. THANK YOU in advance for your help!

Video: Hawaii Fundraiser Color Wheels + new Hex Chart Class

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!

“Perpetual” fundraising

I plan to keep giving through the sale of this printable; the beneficiary will change, because, sadly we know there’ll be a new hurricane, landslide, flood, earthquake…..it seems there’s something new once a month, sometimes only a week or days apart.

Each week I’ll be making the donation to whichever situation is in the most dire need at that time. So if you want to help, color the image up again and share it with your online friends so we can keep generating income for those who need it!

If you want to keep giving through this method, you can just repurchase when there’s a cause that touches your heart; 100% of the money goes to the charity, I’m eating the Paypal fees myself, and knowing me, I’ll round up the donation. 🙂

Purchase yours today!

How to Use a Hex Chart class

For quite some time (to be honest, YEARS), new colorists have asked how to use the hex chart. Uhm, I just thought, hey you can see colors near each other so pick some out, right? I’d done a few YT videos using the chart, but I hadn’t done a deep enough dive to help folks. Until now!

This is an inexpensive class, so while the samples are pretty spectacular, please don’t get your hopes inflated! It’s primarily about color, and helping people to see the differences between colors by looking at photos, then a drawing of them. Sometimes that can help show what desaturation IS, and the power it has to change your art. So there are 10 lessons like that; little clips of coloring, some sample color chart tests, but I think it’ll be well worth it for those who want some help with their hex charts!

Thank you!

I appreciate your support of this fundraiser…..please share widely!

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

  1. Alcohol markers:
  2. Colored pencils:
  3. Papers:
    • Stonehenge Drawing Paper AMZBLICK 
    • Neenah Cardstock, Solar White 250pk 

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