Ever need to mix the perfect green for a cat’s eye? (Or anything that’s an olive green?) With a little basic color theory, you can mix ANY color you want!
A little side story: while working on these two pieces I was on the phone with my Mom. She was SO EXCITED that I launched my Commissions page finally! And excited that a bunch of applications came in right away too! And that there are a bunch of pieces that sold in the big SALE currently going on. I mean, seriously. This is a milestone. Mom doesn’t do computer stuff and watch my videos or anything. She was giving me advice on pastels. Celebrating a MILESTONE here. 🙂
If this photo doesn’t convince you that eyes are what makes a drawing work…nothing will!
Tutorial: How to mix the perfect cat’s eye green hue
Quick question: what do you think about the thumbnail? I’m not worried as much about what it looks like here embedded in the blog, but in the grid you see on YouTube. Would it catch your attention more than my usual?
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!
Mixing colors for wet media
Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil….anything that is mixed on a palette before being applied—mix them on the palette. A warm yellow will turn a cool green into an olive color, desaturating it.
Mixing colors for other media
If your media doesn’t get premixed on a palette – think alcohol markers, colored pencils, pastels – then mix ON the paper. Either apply and blend like shown with pastels, or layer them atop each other in glazes.
Note: you can use this for watercolor too – if the color isn’t olive enough that you mixed in the palette, paint a thin wash of yellow on top of the green to glaze it.
What colors do you struggle with mixing?
I’d love to help out – what color do you need to mix, and in what mediums?
I hope today’s video will be an encouragement to you….I hope today’s video will be an encouragement to you….I know a lot of us struggle with just trying crazy new things without fear. But the best way to learn and grow is to step out – and maybe watching do wacky things will stoke your courage!
I don’t have much to teach in these four drawings, since I don’t know pastel very well – but I was so curious about all the different papers. So over the last 6 months I’ve been collecting pads of different ones….and it was now time to test!
Severak of this week’s pieces are for sale; I’m framing the big chick face for me!
PS I’ve got a birthday coming up this weekend. So I’m giving myself one of these drawings – the big yellow chick is at the framer’s!
First up is the least expensive of these four, UArt Premium Sanded Pastel Paper Pads . I really did like it, but be aware the minimum price on any of these is pretty high – $3.10 for this one on the day I checked, for a 9×12″ piece. It comes in either black (charcoal actually) or a neutral, and you can get it in sampler packs like this one so you can try out a variety of grits.
Next up is the Clairefontaine Pastelmat Card Pads which I liked a lot – very nice surface and a pleasing touch to it. Pads can be bought in a mix of colors which is nice. I still have no idea why it’s called “card” but whatever, eh?
The Sennelier La Carte Pastel Card Pads were a disappointment, but – I do have to accept plenty of the blame myself. I’m a noob! So maybe I’m missing something. I’ll be trying it again, but for now will set it aside as I try to develop whatever my style is in pastel.
I think the most pleasing of these was the Ampersand Pastelbord – but being over $10 for one, that is a lot of why! It’s a hard surface too, so needn’t be handled as gently or taped down to work with it. This is the one I’m getting framed for myself!
In case you missed the chickies all week, here’s the list!
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Welcome to 2020!! Anyone taking bets on how long til I learn to write “2020” on my checks? LOL!
As the new year begins, looking back over the old can have some really valuable lessons to carry forward. While there could be a temptation to kick ourselves for mistakes, regret things done or left undone, or revel in victimhood over events beyond our control….none of those will help us have a better, healthier, or more creative year in 2020! So I’m choosing to look at lessons learned and make some plans to put my feet in motion!
While listening to my ramblings, enjoy a pastel drawing I created recently – it’s available on Society6…if my admonitions in this video inspire YOU to learn from the past and move forward, a little print of this hanging in the studio might remind you to look to the future and not the past. (I am putting this in an auction at church so I’m ordering a print of it myself!)
In the past year I’ve finally gotten to the place where I am not intimidated by blank paper. I used to stare at it and would have to force myself to make the first mark. . . but now a blank sheet makes me anxious to get going! The 40-video project last month made that REALLY clear to me; I was raring to go early each morning, and created 2-3 pieces in a day sometimes! It brought home to me the thought that I have a different perspective when creating a tutorial: I need to consider the supplies and the view of them, the concepts to be taught, the availability of materials, the marketing of it all – and that takes a different mental energy than creating “just because.”
PLAN: Integrate more playtime into my creative life. That means cutting out some “must-do” things here and there and prioritizing my own learning and experimenting.
A new project coming up for 2020 will be part of that – stay tuned for news of it next week!
Yes, even a professional artist goes through the same thought process as a hobbyist! My sinking YT views have been hanging over my shoulder for years now, and the little voice of doubt has been taunting me. “You’ve lost your edge. No one wants to see what you’re doing any more.” GAH! That mental cycle is death to creativity, but I didn’t know how to get OUT of it. Despite lovely feedback from viewers, and encouraging comments on social media and beyond, the doubts were killing me slowly with their lies.
Creating IGTV videos in the last few months has begun to dispel those inner voices – I’ve been garnering thousands MORE views there than on YouTube – despite having less than 1/3 the followers! While on YouTube I could barely scrape together 3% of subscribers to watch – I can get 30% of my Instagram peeps to peek! Hundreds of comments rather than a dozen or two contain gems from people saying they don’t even MIND that it’s not a tutorial, because they learned so much from seeing the process in a compressed time period. YEAH!
PLAN: Create more IGTV videos in 2020, two per week as time allows. Make whatever is inspiring me rather than worrying about all the things that go with tutorials. And stop beating myself up!
All advice, whether from professionals or just friends or relatives, has to be weighed against your own goals. Which means that the wisdom to know which to take and which to leave takes some work ahead of time to understand what’s really important to you.
My desire is to help people release their God-given creativity which was planted inside them at birth. I want them to make, in whatever form that takes! Anything I can do to teach and inspire helps me fulfill that goal.
That means that anyone advising me to quack like all the other ducks in the pond are likely giving me generic advice that may not help me reach my goals. Sure it may be good business advice, but it’s advice for someone else who does what I do. It’s not advice to get me to my own desired ends.
My own choices that I make about where I want to go are ones that may limit my success; I’ll never be as ‘big’ as some of my competitors, never have the same standing in the community, or the same opportunities as someone working toward the same goals as everyone else. I choose to sacrifice things that are all about pumping me up; I left the 9-5 world to get out of the game of comparison to peers. Their goals would take me away from what I consider success in my own life: focusing on how I can help others to be creative. I fully trust that if I do what I’m called to do – enough success will follow, and the bills will get paid. So far so good!
PLAN: Out of the advice mentioned in the video, the bits that resonate with who I am called to be: posting a little less on YouTube, more IGTV, and make space in my life for the other good things that will keep me happy, growing, and creative.
How about you?
What did YOU learn in 2019? What positives can you take from even some tough things, that will make you happier, healthier, and more creative? It may take a few days to think about it and make a plan – just because it’s January 1, don’t force decisions on yourself today. Take it seriously, because this could set up 2020 to be your best year yet!