Game-Changer Fountain Pen Tip: 1 nib, 2 line weights (ft Ellington Pens)

Game-Changer Fountain Pen Tip: 1 nib, 2 line weights (ft Ellington Pens)

I wish I could have made the title even longer to include And There’s A Cute Downloadable To Try For Your Christmas Cards and a Real Time Video Available Too! But I think the Googles would have my head. Ha! So even if you’re  not a pen and ink person, there’s fun for you too.

Today I’ve got a great tip for you that I think I’ve talked about a little bit before – but I don’t know that I focused on it much. So let’s do that today! Note there are a couple projects here:

  1. A large fox piece with watercolor + ink, kinda crazy background. Available for purchase here.
  2. Smaller pen and ink only fox with mouse. Also a digistamp printable here.
  3. Drawing #2 is a realtime video at Artventure. Find it in the Pen and Ink Students group.

First in the video is a deeper dive on the Ellington pens I showed last week. The only negative (minor) that I saw was that after using the pen for a couple days or carting it around to a sketch event, the nib section came ever so slightly loose and needed to be screwed back in a little. I mean a little. That’s no reason in my book to dislike a pen, it only happened after big usage.

Tutorial: Game-Changer Fountain Pen Tip

Testing your pens to see if they create two line weights is what I expect fountain pen peeps to go do after watching this. And that’s ok. Leave me a comment and tell me if you did! ha!

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!

A rather crazy idea

I wanted to try something new. A realistic image for part of a wash-and-ink piece, but leaving the background not realistic….with a mix of linear, graphical elements and loose and flowy ones. You’ll have to let me know if you think I succeeded!

I’ve posted the original over on my fine art site…or you can get prints (with or without frames), or cards over at Society6!

Sweet fox

This pretty little fox was drawn in pen and ink and colored afterwards–the opposite of my preference! But I wanted it to be available for folks to cover if desired, so I was lucky that the pencil wasn’t opaque enough to cover it – so be careful if using pencils with it. Some will give the detail a really cloudy look. However – this one pictured was colored on the Hanehmule paper, which is smooth and nice for pen and ink, but quite terrible for colored pencil! It’ll be easier to work with on a paper with more tooth. 🙂

Draw your own…

If you want to draw your own fox, head over to Artventure where the realtime video is inside the Pen and Ink Students group. It’s just got music in it – but the outline is there so you can try your hand at drawing fur.

Or color one up!

If you just want to color up this cute fox and mouse, head to Art-Classes to purchase the printable!

Which one might you do?

Are you fancying a coloring session with the printable, or maybe being brave enough to draw a fox yourself? Or perhaps you’ve got some holiday shopping in mind – you can get the Winter Fox as prints or cards….or buy the original if you’re the lucky first one to shop!

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

Watercoloring the Redwoods: The Happy Couple

Watercoloring the Redwoods: The Happy Couple

My niece is married! I’ve been to the wedding and back, and what a lovely trip. Not just watching her and her fiance tie the knot, but seeing family, and getting my first vacation in many many years under my belt. The project today is one that I completed weeks before her wedding – this is a painting from one of the happy couple’s engagement photos. Size is a half sheet of watercolor paper – not my normal size, so there were lots of challenges!

Tutorial: Watercoloring the redwoods

The clips here are in realtime, but there’s not much of the figures; the painting was large enough that my normal camera setup wasn’t working well, so most was just my phone. 

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 process

My first concern was in whether I could render the figures so they’d look like who they were; Ive achieved the “looks human” level a bunch of times before, but not always looking like that specific person. This painting might have changed my mind about my skills – but I still did a quick painting of the faces only on the back of a scrap sheet of watercolor paper, just to see if it was worth starting on the large paper or not. I use way too many layers to be able to tell you what color was used for the skintones, sorry!

Painting the redwoods background

The background is one I feel more competent to explain, even if the figures weren’t! First step here was using masking fluid for outlining the figures as well as painting some of the leaves and a bunch of little dots to make it all magical. Let that dry completely. Go for a walk and make it a long one since the panic is setting in about whether the forest will ruin the work I already did!

Plan out where you’ll start and end a background like this. Leave as few ‘leading edges’ as possible – because that’ll be less to dry! I turned the painting upside down so at least those first strokes wouldn’t be a problem and I’d only have to deal with a leading edge on the left as I moved across the painting. 

Once the right column was done, I made sure the left edge of that section was VERY wet and kept checking while painting the lighter middle section. Don’t dry! To finish the last column I turned the painting right-side-up again and painted from the top (so I could keep edges wet) and then ended on the bottom right fern area.

Back to flipping the painting around furiously: while still wet, I lifted color for bokeh dots using a baby wipe. A bunch worked well, but as it dried, some had funky edges, so a baby wipe over the dry paper softened those.

Then I had to address all that white that was reserved by the masking fluid; in sections like the fern, I painted the entire section with lighter green and dropped other colors in. That left some highlights in those areas underneath that color but softened and blurred the whole section.

The other white sections were not painted as above – I used very very thin paint over the white leaves, and that will disappear into the background while toning the white. Then after drying, the dark green was mixed thick enough to give solid coverage to the graphic shapes. 

To create smaller but more subtle details, I painted another set of leaves with thinner, more transparent green paint.

Last but not least, the redwood branches! In the photo they’d had sun sprinkling highlights on them but I didn’t want it looking like snow. So again, I toned down the white masked areas, then painted the dark redwood leaves, bringing the color up over the highlights so they were broken up.

Have you ever tried portraits?

I may start trying more again; my figure drawing group has started up again at a time that I can’t attend, but I might look for a different group. Maybe 2023 will be the year I make more serious attempts at figurative work, who knows!

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

Perspective Practice: Drawing SPOOKY buildings! (plus new wash & ink class)

Perspective Practice: Drawing SPOOKY buildings! (plus new wash & ink class)

I promised to return with more perspective today….and I have it in spades! I started down one road and ended up in a different place; you can thank three friends who saw what I was working on and their eyes bugged out. “Is that going to be a CLASS?” So ….yes, there’s a new class too! Let’s get down to it, shall we?

 

Tutorial: Perspective – Spooky Buildings

Today’s video is a little long – and has a first half, the spooky barn that’s wash-and-ink style, then a second half with a massive (18 hour!) drawing! Don’t worry I didn’t make it 18 hours, but…yeah. You’ll hear how both projects play into the new class, and there’s a link to it later in this blog post too.

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!

Drawing a spooky barn

This is a “simpler” complex building  – I wanted to show how the perspective works on a building that isn’t just a “block.”

In the new class we go through this spooky barn project a little slower and more indepth, though I think you could certainly give this project a try from the public video 🙂

Drawing a spooky complex “mansion”

I’m not 100% positive this didn’t escape being a home for ghosties and stray into being a village…but it was where it started, so I went with it! 

The new class has footage of how I made the pencil drawing first, since there was no room for it on YT – and then more on the inking. Including over an hour of the realtime inking!

Spooky Mansions Wash & Ink class

This Spooky Mansion class is a little different than some others; I almost included just the one project in the image below, but then decided to include the extended teaching about the barn, then for the last lesson the crazy huge drawing and some more thoughts on approaching perspective. I really hope to make it something that doesn’t melt people’s brains – it’s empowering once you get your feet under you! 

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 draw pumpkins in perspective

How to draw pumpkins in perspective

I was at Trader Joe’s recently – and happened to go on the day they put out the new pumpkins! The checkout clerk hadn’t even seen them they were so fresh on the shelf. So I picked up a few pretties – and I’ve got a plan for them but….before I do I wanted to use them for a lesson in perspective – yes, with a weirdly shaped object like a pumpkin! Don’t let your eyes glaze over, you’re about to learn some good stuff.

Tutorial: How to draw pumpkins in perspective

Whether you want to draw pumpkins – or just be able to tell if a rubber stamp you’re thinking about adding to your collection – is drawn in perspective …..this video will hopefully be a big help! And if you only want to color them, read on….I have something for you too!

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!

Exercise 1: putting pumpkins in boxes

Believe it or not, drawing a box where an odd shaped object is going to be can really help with perspective! This works for a chair, a bush, anything that fits into a chunk of real estate in your drawing. If you’re looking for more indepth instruction, the Drawing Jumpstart 101 class is a great one to get lots on perspective! (and its on sale right now)

A great exercise is the one done here: draw a horizon line and give it two vanishing points. Then draw the vertical front edge of a box, and join its ends to the vanishing points. Decide where the left and right side are, and if needed attach them to the VPs.

Then draw pumpkins inside! You can make them look different directions, but you can also just place the faces in front and make it easier on yourself.

Add the meat and ribs

That may sound like a barbecue – but really it’s the names of the parts of a pumpkin! The meat – the thick rind – shows at different amounts depending on the angle you’re looking at the pumpkin. Just google carved pumpkins and you can draw from those, or look at your own carved masterpiece.

The ribs are the sections; some are more defined than others depending on the kind of pumpkin it is. They’re wider apart at the front and closer together at the sides – no matter what direction the face is pointing. The closest part to you is the widest sections and as they wrap around the sides you’re seeing a partial profile of them, so they look skinnier.

Pumpkin Patch Printable Pack

For those not interested in actually drawing pumpkins – you can purchase the Pumpkin Patch Printable Pack and just color them up! It includes a bunch more than my usual digi sets:

  1. Five pumpkin images, two versions of each (with and withut faces) – 10 individual png files
  2. PDF with:
    1. Samples with backgrounds – one from the Mini Copic Autumn Scenes class and one from the Mini Colored Pencil Autumn Scenes class, both on sale.
    2. A page printout of the Tiny Tutorial seen on IG and FB this week.
    3. Two pages with all the images assembled – print on a paper that suits your medium, or use the individual png files. Your choice!

Tap on the image below to go check out the Pumpkin Patch and get busy coloring:

How many fall cards do you make each year?

I send more general fall themes rather than Halloween; I have 2 friends who are totally into it so I send them spooky ones but everyone else gets happy pumpkins and lots of fall leaves. How about you?

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

  • Bee Sketchbook
  • Grafwood Water Soluble Pencil
  • Sharpie

How to make a pumpkin animation

How to make a pumpkin animation

I’ve seen this animation around for a while – mostly with little doodles in pen and ink of stick people with this silly horn and cymbals music. I don’t like replicating “trends” as-is when I know I can change-up what’s been done, so here it is, with help for you to try it!

Watch the animation below — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube 

Special announcements:

My normal Monday tutorial will be up tomorrow – had a little bug this weekend and took some time to heal.

ALSO: I’m going to try moving to 6am Pacific uploads instead of 3am. Just to see what that does for views – the general advice for best upload times is much later in the day and I may try that at some point but for the moment I’ll just try for when at least all of America is awake instead of just the east coast. 🙂

Tips

If using this tuba audio, it needs three illustrations:

  1. One for the first few bars (the original is a dancing girl)
  2. One for the horn section
  3. One for the cymbals
  4. Then let them all play together for the rest of the audio

The way I approached it was drawing the SECOND page in my sketchbook FIRST. Whatever motion is desired on the downbeat, that’s the second image. ie the clashing of the cymbal, etc.

Then hopefully your paper is a little bit see-through, or you can put it up against a window to trace the main elements from the second drawing onto what will be the FIRST page. Then they’ll line up when being flipped. In my case the pumpkins needed to stay in the same spot, and I wanted their facial features in the same place.

For the first pumpkin, the top of the pumpkin is bouncing on his head; in the second frame since the top is UP, the eyes are open. in the first frame the eyes are closed because the top is slamming down.

For the second pumpkin, the trumpet moves left to right and the rest of the pumpkin remains as is.

For the third pumpkin, the cymbals are apart on one and together on the downbeat.

To film this, I did it in three parts; I’ve seen a lot of shaky cameras with the person filming while flipping the paper and that’s just too hard – I simply put my phone on a stand and filmed the first bit, then backed the phone up to include the second image, then further to incorporate the third

Replicate my pumpkins

If you want to replicate my pumpkins the two sketches are below. They’re pretty simple! Do leave room on the left side of the sketchbook for your hand to hold the page to lift it up and down.

Or make it your own!

Come up with your own simple theme. Maybe it’s snowmen. Cats. Anything you can draw! Make them dance left and right, roll their eyes back and forth, or do that dance move they used to do in old tapdancing films: arms holding the hat on the head then holding it high above the head!

Get your kids in on the fun, and whoever makes the best one gets filmed for an instagram reel! You can use the audio that’s already there, or have the kids “sing” a tuba or trumpet song to use for your own audio. (Great idea for teens who beatbox, too!)

What other ideas would be cute with a simple 2 frame animation like this? Leave them in the comments so others can try this 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

When art goes wrong: KEEP GOING

When art goes wrong: KEEP GOING

I’ve needed a new channel trailer (a short welcome video for brand new visitors to my channel)….my old one was just old and it needed a refresher. The art I wanted bits of, well…..that changed drastically in the plan! Scroll on down to read a little more about that process and the craziness I dealt with.

New channel trailer!

You can go leave a comment on the YT channel – and read the stories of others there too. Give each other encouragmenet! 

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!

That leaf art

I wanted to film snippets of me working….and I had this great idea. Spill ink on a sketch, then create depth just in the areas the spill happened. First the spill was…not great! ha. I guess I need to practice pretty spills! But as is my wont, I did just proceed – I’d already done the deed, so I could at least practice the technique before redoing. This is what the piece looked like before I got out my pen:

And then….a black ink BLOOP from my pen! I had the cap on the back of it and was trying to remove it to re-cap the nib end, and it wasn’t letting go; I mindlessly twisted it, thinking maybe it screwed on the back (I knew that wasn’t the case) so I was actually moving the piston – and pushing the ink out! I wasn’t planning on doing anything but line work in black ink, but that of course changed with the advent of The Bloop. 

That led to adding a lot more black than had been planned! It was touch and go with the amount; I wanted to keep some of the light created by the spill, but to make it look like I meant to use that much black. Did I succeed?

All those videos

In case you missed any of this in about the last year….here are links! Some are instagram short videos, others are full YT videos.

Free class is fully posted now!

If you missed out on the free class announcement in the previous video on Monday….there’s a free class on Artventure for you! A new lesson was added each day, and today’s the final one – hope you enjoy making fall leaves!

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