Tips for Drawing Tree Trunk Bark Textures

Tips for Drawing Tree Trunk Bark Textures

Sometimes I learn (the hard way!) that teaching *everything* at once might not be the smartest idea. I’ve shown how to make tree trunks a bunch of times…but most of the time there’s a fox, clouds, grass, leaves….all kinds of elements to squeeze into a tutorial. But….this new format for me is giving me space to REALLY be helpful for you to learn!

Today’s for sure one of those cases – instead of worrying about all the other details, I’ve focused just on tree bark. You can of course apply that to lots of other projects, and on the blog I’ve linked a few older tutorials you can try it out with if you don’t want to just make blocks of bark like I did.

Video

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

This is the plethora of colors used – don’t worry as much about which color to try as thinking about if you need a dark, medium, or light – and whether you want the wood to be more red, or more yellow, or more neutral. That will get you a lot farther along in figuring out your color choices than just following exactly what was done with these crazy test samples.

The wood in the top right made me think about so many videos I’ve done before – I’ve seen lots of folks see my marker skip all over and end up creating dashed lines for the bark. That’s where I realized I needed to do something focusing clearly on the bark so my marker technique didn’t get in the way.

The grey bark is really zoomed in – or if you’re drawing tree bark with really big chunks of raised bark. Every tree is different, so remember that Google is your friend! Scale the texture to fit the size of the tree you’re creating.

Birch bark peels off differently than other trees – it’s in bands horizontally around the trunk, causing the dark spots to be horizontal rather than vertical.

Putting a tree into context is really where the rubber meets the road. It’s rare (or never at all?) that a tree is seen against a white background – adding any color, whether light or dark, makes a huge difference. I hope the journey of this tree helped show just how many layers and changes it might take to get to this stage!

A few tree/wood tutorials

I promised a couple extra tutorials – in case you wanted a little more info!

Simpler in pen and ink with a watercolor wash:

A tree in perspective – with snow

A light colored fence…

Flooring…

Supplies

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3 Mediums to Create a Realistic Bokeh Effect

3 Mediums to Create a Realistic Bokeh Effect

Happy 2022! It feels like today starts that new adventure I talked about last week….and I hope you’re as excited as I am! This is taking far longer than my old style of posting, at least for the moment – because I’m coordinating social media posts all week, and tying everything up so it works together. I’m developing a system though, and am very hopeful it’ll become smooth sailing over time!

In this first episode of my new format – the “Deep Dive” video takes a look at 3 different ways to achieve a bokeh effect, which is what photographers get when the background is 1) out of focus (foreground is IN focus) and there are 2) either twinkly lights (think night city scene) or light filtering onto dust particles in the background. It becomes soft and out of focus – and makes an excellent background for all kinds of art projects!

Video

In the video, three different ways – starting from easiest, and going up to hardest. Watch below or click HERE to see it on YouTube – where you can also click on “chapters” to advance to the medium you’d like to see.

Colored Pencil

This is the easy one – pick some analagous colors, and I recommend having a black or dark color included too, just to create some drama/contrast. It looks great with some light and some dark areas. Grab your tea strainer and cotton balls and get busy!

Colored Pencil Supplies

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Watercolor

This one’s a little tougher – the rabbit not included in that descriptor! You can use whatever image in the foreground you want. But for the bokeh background, let colors bleed together, then when it’s mostly dry – damp but not puddly – you’ll lift off the bokeh lights with a baby wipe. And by the way this original painting is for sale HERE – and prints are HERE.

Watercolor Supplies

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Copic Marker

This one might be a bit tougher! Lots of color layering – the yellows felt unrealistic so I tempered them with blue-violets, then that got so purple I added the yellows back….but it came out so gorgeous I don’t really care how much time it took. Ha!

Colors used…

Copic Marker Supplies

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What will you try?

What’s your medium? Can you picture these backgrounds behind a particular image in the foreground?

Complex Implied Line Coloring (No line)

Complex Implied Line Coloring (No line)

Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends who are celebrating tomorrow! Maybe today you’re watching YouTube on your tablet while doing some prep in the kitchen – hopefully this one will be fun for you to enjoy! It IS a crazy hot mess until it’s not though, so don’t get your hopes up TOO high.

Video

Watch the video below or click here to see it on YouTube.

The marker colors used are probably not as many as you’d expect for a card like this….and by the way I bought this little rack on a sale, thinking it would be better than me holding a fistfull of markers. But uh it doesn’t fit copics. DUH! Hopefully I’ll find a use for this so it wont end up a waste, lol. Me and sales….we don’t always think clearly!

The finished card is simply layered onto red cardstock and a dark green card base. Easy peasy! Except trying to photograph slimline cards, THAT is hard.

Want some actual do-able implied/noline coloring?

Check out my collection of implied line tutorials – dozens of them! And you’ll see that the kinds of images that work well are not necessarily complex ones like I picked out to use today.

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Realtime Copic Coloring – Winter Enchanted Fairy

Realtime Copic Coloring – Winter Enchanted Fairy

Realtime coloring is something I don’t do often for….well you’ll see in today’s video. I had trouble coming up with enough to talk about all that time. Especially because I couldn’t watch the video while yapping. ha! Hopefully watching the coloring of “Hada” digital stamp from Sweet Escape Digis will be worth it!

Video

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

Colors

On the left, skin and clothing colors. On the right: just the hair!

I do love how this came out! The background is from one of the lessons in Winter Copic Enchantment, so it wasn’t included in the video.

The look on her face makes me wonder what she’s thinking….got ideas?

Winner!

CONGRATULATIONS to Angela Caldwell who random.org selected to win a free seat in the Gratitude Junk Journal class! Email me and I’ll get you hooked up with Tiare for the class registration 🙂

Class Discounts

  • Gratitude Junk Journal Class registration starts today (I’m teaching one lesson):
    • Early Bird Special: Good thru October 31, 2021 – Get 20% off with code JOY2021 at checkout. SIGN UP
    • Early, EARLY Bird Special. Sign up before October 17, 2021 and receive the Gratitude Junk Journal 2017 class FREE!!
    • Class begins Nov 1!
  • Art-Classes classes Sale: All winter/holiday classes have been added to the sale page!
  • NEW COPIC CLASS Winter Copic Enchantment!

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

How to change seasons of an image

How to change seasons of an image

Sometimes you’ve got a stamp that you love – but the outfit just won’t work for Christmas. What to do, what to do? Transform it! You’ll have to be creative, and some stamps lend themselves to it a little easier…but it’s often possible! I’ll give you a couple tips as I transform Jasmine from LOTV into a wintry getup!

Video

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

The background here is NOT included in the video because it’s part of the Copic Enchantment class.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

How to create a Monochromatic Dramatic Scene

How to create a Monochromatic Dramatic Scene

One way to practice creating strong contrast without having to think about color at the same time is to do a monochrome card. Pick a color with a wiiiiiiide variance from very very light to very very dark!

Video

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

I chose to use the warm greys – going from a light light to a dark dark!

Any scene could be accomplished with this technique – any of the ones in my classes! Pick a lesson you struggled with, and try it in one hue to see if that helps you see the contrast better.

Supplies

Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art