Tuesday, February 19, 2019

creating with ink and water

One of my favorite ways to challenge myself creatively is to limit my supplies.

My favorite type of supply for creating simple designs is using a water soluble pen. Currently I am loving the Kaküno Fountain pen from Pilot’s Ensō Collection. The pen comes in a kit with one black and one pink pen with replaceable ink cartridges and two finely crafted nibs that are perfect for drawing illustration. Paired with a brush and water, these simple materials will go a long way in sketching and are perfect when you don't have the time or space to use paint.

A line on a page is just a line...

But when you add water you can dissolve that line and pull away pigment to use for shading.

I typically start with a line drawing. I use both light, airy lines while also incorporating bold lines throughout my sketch.

Then I use my brush to dissolve those lines. I pull pigment away and then use that pigment to shade, add contrast and bring my line drawing to life.

After a little practice it becomes an easy alternative for paint!

Using the Kaküno Fountain pen I start with a simple line drawing.

What I love about using the Kaküno Fountain pen is that it has the smoothest ink flow and you are able to get stroke variation by changing the pressure and the way you are holding the pen. I used the fine nib (.44mm) and it enabled me to achieve really delicate lines and details
Then I go back into the drawing with a brush and water.

I dissolve those lines with my brush in places where I want to add shading.

The more water you add, the lighter that pigment will become.

I like to work back and forth in layers, adding more lines to the top of my shading to darken up some areas.

Using a fountain pen for drawing is new for me but I’ve got to say that the Kaküno Fountain pen has quickly become a favorite supply for this process.  The result is a really dynamic drawing created with few supplies!

Right now, Pilot is offering 20% off Kaküno Fountain pens, as well as the entire Ensō Collection, when you use code 20ARTIST on Amazon.com.

Thank you to Pilot Pen for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Monday, February 18, 2019

5 tips for sketching

Sketching is a HUGE part of my life, it is the way that I practice, the way that I brainstorm ideas and even a way that I able to process and get my emotions out. I've spent years drawing, sketching and doodling and what I've found is that making time everyday for a sketching routine has made me more inspired, more creative and a better artist. 

There are 5 tips to inspire your own sketching routine! 

While I don't believe in spending lots of money on supplies, my materials are a really important part of my drawing process. The inspiration to sketch can hit at any time and I like to have all of my supplies on hand. There is nothing worse than wanting to draw but not having the right materials available. Before I purchase anything new, I always hunt for supplies that I already own and take time to explore them. 

I dig through my junk drawers, look around my studio and collect everything that can be used for drawing or doodling. I toss all these supplies into a big pouch and keep it next to my sketchbooks so I can grab everything I need to get busy drawing.

I like to take my supply gathering process a step further and explore everything that I have. I am always surprised at what I am able to find in my studio- supplies that I have forgotten about, supplies that are dried up or even ruined but still useable. Taking time to "reacquaint" myself with these supplies actually inspires me. I typically use a few blank pages and scribble, shade and make marks to remind myself what I can do with my materials.

  • Don't throw away dried out pens. You can use them in for adding light shading and subtle details to those drawings!
  • Dried out paint brushes the ones that don't get rinsed are a great tool for dipping in ink or acrylic paint. The stiff bristles are a wonderful way to add unique texture to an ink drawing.
  • White out pens and correction ink work great for drawing on black paper.
  • White colored pencils and crayons can be used to create a resist if you paint over the top of them.

The best thing you can do to begin a sketching, drawing or doodling routine is to commit time everyday to DOING IT! Sketching is just like any other practice and has always reminded me of exercise- it requires work, it can be painful in the beginning but after your get into a routine, the benefits FAR outweigh the the discomfort. Making time everyday, even if it's only 10 minutes, will set you on your way to getting better and more comfortable with the process.

Inspiration and seeking ideas that are authentic, is one of the most important ways that I keep my work fresh. Sometimes the hardest part of the drawing process is facing a blank page and coming up with new ideas. For me it is necessary to stay off the computer and be present in my life and my surroundings.  My secret is looking at my schedule, my routine and the things in my life as potential inspiration for for my drawing process. I rely on the everyday moments and things as subject matter and fuel for my drawing.

  • Begin looking at your life (even the boring stuff) as potential for inspiration. 
  • Forget about creating drawings that anyone will see. Instead, accept that drawing can be just like keeping a private diary or journal. 
  • Find things in your everyday life to record visually. Meals, your clothing, pets, the plants in your garden, houses in your neighborhood are all great subject matter for sketching.

Lets face it, starting any kind of new routine can feel stressful and be filled with the pressure to succeed right away. To top off that pressure, inspiration doesn't always strike when you have free time. I've found that giving myself 10-15 minutes a day just to draw ANYTHING (even scribbles and shapes) really helps take the pressure off. Once you stop thinking you need to draw something beautiful, perfect or complete, you are better able to relax into the process. 

  • Instead of coming up with big grand ideas, I like to look around me and draw the things that I see- supplies on my desk, my grocery list, my outfit, my art supplies, the things in my purse, etc. Once you see potential in the everyday things around you, there is so much to draw and use as inspiration.
  • When all else fails...scribble! I know this sounds weird but there are days when I just don't feel like like drawing but I make myself pull out my drawing supplies and fill a couple of pages. On days like this, I scribble and make expressive marks and lines. Even though it's simple, this process always makes me feel creative and inspired!  

For those of you who are looking to start a sketching routine or even interested in learning to draw, I've got some of a few of my favorite drawing and doodling online classes marked down today! 

Thursday, February 07, 2019

creating with jules: beaded bottle

I’ve always got my eye out when shopping, especially when thrift store shopping for pieces that I can upcycle. I’ve had these decorative bottles in my stash for a while, waiting for the right project to come along. I had the idea of gluing beads to them whilst browsing on Pinterest for mosaic bottles ideas, and I thought, why not beads?

You’ll need:

Bottle or vase
Spray paint (optional)
Glue gun & hot glue sticks
Fishing line

Beads of your choosing

First, I spray painted my bottle. I didn’t want white showing through after I glued the beads on, so I chose a mid tone blue which was pretty enough that if any of the base shows through it would look nice. :) Let dry. You can skip this step if your bottle is the color you already want it.

Start threading beads onto the fishing line. Tie a knot at one end and thread them on in your chosen colors. You could go for a mix of colors or do one colour at a time to end up with bands of color around the bottle like I did. I’ve mainly used mid sized glass seed beads, with some smaller ones used as well. (The gold ones.) The medium sized ones cover the bottle quicker for impatient people like me! Small beads take so long to thread!

Start gluing with your hot glue gun, adding a thin line of glue and wrapping the beaded fishing line around the bottle, pressing the beads in as you go. Keep working your way up and around the bottle. When you run out of fishing line, simply glue the end down and thread a new piece into the last bead and keep going. Make sure your new line catches in some of the hot glue to secure it. 

Keep threading and gluing until you reach the top. Secure in the end with some glue and then go find some pretty flowers to display in it and admire your handiwork!

Keep threading and gluing until you reach the top. Secure in the end with some glue and then go find some pretty flowers to display in it and admire your handiwork!

I have two more bottles to decorate now. I wonder if beads in circular shapes would work?

Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

unexpected snow day!

It is very rare that it gets cold enough to snow at the beach but once in a while, for one day, we get a few inches of snow and it is simply magic!


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