Nina Simone – Copic marker portrait with texture technique

Nina Simone – Copic marker portrait with texture technique

I might be squeaking in at the end with an official portrait for Black History Month – but it’s still February so let’s get to it!

Nina Simone is one of my favorite jazz singers – she has a unique voice, and a unique boldness in her music. She’s no longer with us but her YT channel still uploads old footage of her in clubs and other venues, so I used some of that as well as the few color photos to add my own color to this AP/Time photo:

Video

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

ICYMI

In case you missed these – I did a lot of different types of hair on social media this week!

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

Snow on the farm: Colored Pencil drawing

Snow on the farm: Colored Pencil drawing

I save photos from Paint My Photo all the time – folders and folders and folders on their site! I categorize them all kinds of ways….and this one has been on my want-to-do list for a while. I’d thought about watercolor but those big trees were too intimidating – so I tried it in colored pencil instead!

I love how this one came out – all epic and frosty! I’ve got some tips in here for making trees with depth, and of course using erasers to create some highlights.

Video

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

A new helpful habit I’ve gotten into in the last few months as I’m creating pieces that take a little longer – using this little cup to hold a working group of pencils, pens, and tools! With this new schedule of video creation, I bounce around in what I’m working on – sometimes a few days in a row on something, slip in some small midweek reels or projects as I do, and I keep it all together so I don’t have to scramble to remember which tools, which colors, etc, that I had out before I popped over to another project. I tried to order me another one of these little cups from Pantone with this year’s color – very peri! – but I was too late! It was already out of stock. Anyone know of a shop that sells cool cortado cups? This one needs a buddy!

These are the colors I used for this project…I do have my pencils swatched out like this, even though the lead color on pencils really does show pretty accurate color, but these chips colored on Stonehenge show what they look like colored up – though I don’t tend to pull out swatches, I just grab pencils.

My Afmat pencil sharpener is still working well – but I’m always on the lookout for “better” so let me know if you see something with potential! The electric eraser battle has turned out really evenly thus far – one of the two I bought is 1/3 the price of the other and seems to work exactly the same. At some point I may find out the difference between them in performing a specific task of some kind but for now – I think the Mont Marte is just fine.

The original is for sale HERE, and prints can be purchased HERE.

ICYMI

In case you missed what I posted on social…here are links! Not many folks were interested in Monday’s video – if you’re someone who had a busy week and put it off, be sure to go check it out! (It’s lonely.)

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

Draw whimsical birdhouses (or color mine!)

Draw whimsical birdhouses (or color mine!)

I’ve been busy putting together a bit of whimsy for your Friday—birdhouses! And I am going to actually resist using ANY “tweet” puns. Honestly. LOL

In the Whimsical Sketching Class I’ve shared how to do some basic drawing with a pen and paper – nothing fancy, just get busy drawing some simple things! These birdhouses fall right within that wheelhouse, so if this looks fun and do-able to you – that might be the next class you’ll be interested in! Sign up HERE.

Birdhouses are SO forgiving to draw. Just the fronts, don’t stress over perspective. And get tons of shape and material ideas from Google searches on things like homemade birdhouses – people are VERY creative!

Video

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

Since I used a paper board that can handle light watercolor washes, and an ink that is waterproof, I watercolored the original! After photographing it in black and white of course! Interested in owning the original? Be the first to go get it here.

Cards made from The Collection

I created the Whimsical Birdhouse Printable Collection and printed some out for me to color in Copics; while I had some pretty little birds already colored tand trimmed out, it was easy to pop a few on. Note that I cut off the bottoms of them to make them “look” tucked in, or like they’re perched with a tail hanging below a post.

Don’t want to draw your own? Get mine!

For just $5 you can download the full page image as well as 4 A2 cards and 4 slimline. Print them and have all the coloring fun you want while you practice making your own birdhouses! Get it here.

Prints are available at Society6.

ICYMI

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

Drawing Two Yellow Roses in Prismacolor Pencil

Drawing Two Yellow Roses in Prismacolor Pencil

A long-awaited TA DA moment – this drawing was started way back in 2019 and it’s only now getting done! ha….sometimes I just can’t seem to stay on track. But it’s done, and it feels good!

I like to change up my video “intro” every two years or so – and when I did that back in 2019, there was a little clip of this rose drawing. Which subsequently landed in an empty pad of Stonehenge paper, to get moved around the studio repeatedly over the last bunch of years! I kept thinking I needed to get back to it, but I knew just how much work it would take to get it done.

That proved true – five solid days of work on it! (And you thought I was ‘resting’ on sabbatical??)

Video

Watch the video to see it transformed below or click HERE to watch on YouTube. (The extended version is available to patrons at the $5+ level per month.)

When creating a larger piece like this I keep glassine handy – it keeps me from smudging or getting the oils from my hand on the pigment. The color before I got started was really pale, you can see that in the rose on the left….

I’ve started keeping my little Pantone cup to hold the colors for longer-term projects – it keeps the selection together and I don’t have to wonder which got put back in the case.

Colors used:

The finished piece made me so happy! I’ve put it into my Fine Art shop HERE

…and also uploaded to Society6 HERE.

ICYMI (In case you missed it!)

I promised the collection of Social Media links in case you missed them coz I know there’s too much to follow, so here you go….they’re listed in the order of photos in the gallery below.

  1. Monday’s blog post: 3 Mediums to create realistic bokeh
  2. Watercolor roses card video with bokeh background (stamp from Picket Fence)
  3. Forest pencil sketch turned into a card (see original sketch here)
  4. Sam and Amos watercolor video (dogs)
  5. Hugging rabbits card video with CCC Lots of Love
  6. Copic flower garden video in a sketchbook
  7. Tiny Tutorial about bokeh
  8. Pencil extender to make stubby pencils last longer (get one in an accessory set or solo)
  9. How to draw a rosebud tiny tutorial

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

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Happy Black Friday – the day us little businesses hope to become “in the black”! Thank you on behalf of all of us for supporting the work we do – there are more entrepreneurs trying to make it today than ever before! I have a little speed coloring for you today – along with some sales!

Video

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

Sales on my classes!

  • All classes are on sale from now through Cyber Tuesday – just slightly less of a sale each day, so Black Friday is the best deal. Check them all out here.

Two new classes!

Studio Sale Part Deux!

THANK YOU to all those who invested in my work in the past week, wow! I am blown away. I’m so grateful!

A bunch of the rest of the pieces are going into the “Grab Bag” categories – a few paintings will return to the store when I rebuild it next month, but for now – go see if there’s a price point that tickles your fancy and you’ll get an art surprise in the mail!

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

Why am I still blogging in 2021? Vlog + pastel turtle drawing

Why am I still blogging in 2021? Vlog + pastel turtle drawing

I’ve got friends who’ve stopped posting to their blogs in recent years, going exclusively to social media to share their work. I’ve opted to stick with it – but why? I answer that in today’s video, along with showing a pastel drawing for your entertainment while I yammer!

PS it’s my friend Ellen’s business birthday – so she’s having a sale! The shop’s HERE . And if you’d like me to get credit for the sale from this affiliate link, please accept cookies – or the purchase doesn’t help you keep my work going…..cookies are killin’ the sales. 🙁

Video

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

To blog or not to blog?

I know some have given up on blogging – and I asked a few why that is:

  • community not participating – few comments unless there’s a giveaway
  • people just don’t subscribe anymore – they prefer quick posts on instagram
  • the time it takes to type these posts, prepping photos to go with projects, etc
  • cost of a professional blog and emai list

Still bloggin’ after all these years….why?

  • my readers! love you all! especially y’all who DO comment, because you’re rare treasures.
  • to be found on search engines because of all these word things
  • organizing my content and repurposing old projects and share them
  • maintain email lists where I can reach out to my peeps if social sites go down
  • keep control of my content

You need to make your own decision depending on why you are blogging – why did you start? Is it still serving that purpose? Are there drawbacks to not having a blog?

The drawing

I’m as slow as a lot of you at getting around to classes I signed up for! A while back I joined Colin Bradley’s School of Art – and now that I’m about to dive in to watch lessons, I thought I’d create a sketch with my gut-instinct style to compare to after I learn what I’m doing. Because right now I don’t know what I don’t know!

This was a relatively fast sketch, and small – so there wasn’t time for a ton of detail….and that background was way more of a mess than I thought it was going to be, and I’m looking forward to learning hoow to create transitions that blur vs sharp edges.

Is there something you want to learn? I recommend trying it on your own first, just to see what you can learn by instinct, then take a class from someone who knows what they’re doing. You’ll have a better idea what things you want to pay attention to, as well as may learn what you liked on your own before studying under a pro!

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