Stone Art

After spending the last week or so melting in the heat and splashing in the sea, I’m finally getting back to creating another post. The humidity here lately has been really bad (between 75-95%), creating that sticky lingering dead heat that makes doing anything take 10x the effort (also makes you sweat buckets which is kind of gross). So, to escape the horrid stuffiness of indoors that is not unlike being stuck in a tropical rainforest, I’ve been going to the beach a lot lately. While at the beach I decided to take a few rocks home with me and give them a lick of paint, so for old times’ sake I’m going to turn this little activity into a step by step for rock painting. So, without further delay, I give to you:

 A Step by Step Guide to Rock Painting:

thumbnail_20190712_111422.jpgStep 1: Find some rocks/stones- Beach rocks tend to work well for painting because they absorb the paint well and it won’t rub off easily. Make sure you to give your rocks a good wash before painting them, because the salt water/dirt might cause the paint to go grainy (also hygiene and all that).

Step 2: Give your rocks a lick of white paint- This is a bit of an optional step and only really needs to be done on the side you’re going to paint. If you have pale rocks you could probably skip this step. I got my rocks from a beach that is known for its dark coloured rocks. So, I painted my rocks white because the colours would have been very dull and faint, if I haven’t. (Let the paint dry before moving on to step 4 or I’ll most likely create a horrible mess).thumbnail_20190712_115859.jpg

Step 3: Stare at your rocks and try to work out what you’re going to paint on them- A little tip here is to try to look at the rock’s shape or outline and think about what it looks like. If that fails think of the weirdest thing you can think of and paint it on the rock. If you’re still having trouble maybe try decorating your rocks.

Step 4: Paint your rocks- Rocks actually make a nice surface to paint on, so enjoy! For this I used acrylic paint because it has very vivid colour and is the easiest type of paint to work with (in my opinion).

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Don’t forget to make a mess as you paint!

Step 5: Step back and admire your work- Don’t forget to give yourself a good pat on the back and compliment a job well don’t.

Step 6: Create a little gallery for your rocks- A gallery just wouldn’t be complete without some labels.thumbnail_20190712_214201thumbnail_20190712_213941.jpg

thumbnail_20190713_100037thumbnail_20190713_100117Hope you enjoyed this post! I know part of the fun of painting rocks is to hide your painted stones somewhere in a public space for people to find, but I don’t think I’ll do that (might just decorate the windowsill with them). Anyway, I hope this post has inspired you to paint a few rocks yourself and…

As always, Thanks for reading!

A Fish Named Finny (Part 2-Let’s Make Finny Look Fabulous)

20180721_201231At last, the second half of the requested simpler step by step post. I’ve had to give some serious thought, to how I was going to add colour to Finny. Between wanting to keep things simples and not overload peoples’ brains with information and fatigue (I fell asleep 3 times at my desk last week, it was embarrassing), it wasn’t easy. But I think I’ve found a solution that’s a good balance between keeping things simple and ending up with a beautiful fish. That solution being, colouring pencils.

Considering how easy it is to get your hands on a good set of colouring pencils and that they’re something most people will be familiar with and have used before, I figured they were the best way to do this post. Also compared to paint, they’re far less messy (just getting that out there, as an added bonus).

So, with that all explained let’s begin:

Step 1: Choose your colours and test your pencils

Sounds weird but it’ll save you a lot of bother later. The aim is to know what the colours look like on paper, before using them to your drawing. Personally, I like to cross the colours (as seen above) to see how they blend with each other.

Step 2: The hard part-The Scales
So not to overwhelm people, I’ve decided to demonstrate a more decorative, simple way of adding colour to the scales. Instead of a more realistic looking way, because that would most likely put a lot people off giving this little project a go themselves.

For the scales, we use a blend of 2-3 colours, which gives the scales a nice wee decorative look at the end.

thumbnail_20180724_160331First lay down one colour quite generously at the top of one scale.

thumbnail_20180724_160530Then lightly use another colour on the rest of the scale.

thumbnail_20180724_160826Go over the whole scale again with the first colour and second colour if necessary….

and hopefully you’ll end up with scales that looks something like this.

thumbnail_20180724_190318Tip: Going over scales with a white pencil can lighten areas and helps blend colours better.

Step 3: The Fins

thumbnail_20180804_150718(0)For this you pretty much use the same method as the scales, except you start at the base of the fin, you try to keep the colours light and use darker colours for the linework on the fin.
Tip: Using the white pencil is great for keeping the colour light. Also using more than one colour, for the linework will give a better effect.

Step 4: The Head

thumbnail_20180804_152955This is probably the easiest part. The aim is to give the bottom of the head a slight shadow by colouring it a little darker, than the rest of the head. This will make it look less 2D.

fin3Then concentrate on the little details on the head.

Step 5- Finishing Touches

complete 2Touch up the linework and sign your work.

If you’ve made it this far in this step by step, hopefully you now have a beautiful fish (if not, don’t worry. It’s probably down to me awful description skills and not your art skills).

Thanks for reading and hopefully this step by step post has inspired you to create a Finny of your very own.

A Fish Named Finny (Part 1)

Raise your hand if you think fish are kind of beautiful in their own shiny scaly way. If your hand is raised, you have awesome taste and have just found yourself a fellow fish enthusiast (Okay, you can put your hand down now). There’s just something about fish swimming around, glistening and shimmering as the sunlight hits their scales, that is rather beautiful. They’re like sparkly moving leaf creatures, that live in water and in a way, are hypnotic when watched (not to mention they taste really good, too). But enough about my weird fish fascination and back to this post.

A while ago, I got a request asking me to do a more basic to step by step art post, showing each stage of my sketch. I’m happy to oblige, so let’s do this and create the best darn step by step of a fish WordPress has ever seen (Okay, that might be a little too enthusiastic). To keep this post to a reasonable size, I’ll split it into two parts (the first one drawing the fish and the second adding colour).  So, let’s begin!

Step 1: Lightly draw your basic shapes

20180720_221347In this case, a weird banana shape, with triangle shapes for the fins and a long skinny one for the tail. A weird squidgy circle shape for the head and a curving line starting from the head, down the back and towards the tail.
Tip: Hold the pencil further from the lead and keep your hand and wrist relaxed. You’ll achieve better curved lines that way.

Step 2: Make the lines you want to keep darker and draw in some details.

20180721_181646Give your fishy some lips, a nice moustache, some gills and use wavy lines when drawing the fins.  

Step 3: Go mad with the details

20180721_183923You pretty much have free rein on this. You can add as much or as little detail as you want. However, a few tips I would give you are, draw in the fish’s eyelids and pupil and add a few lines on the fins and tail to get that webbed look.

Step 4: Make your fish look Chargrilled

20180721_190448Yeah, draw some criss-cross lines on the fish’s body. Make its skin look nice and crispy.
Tip: Curve the lines with the bend in the body.

Step 5: Do the line work, while feeling immensely stressed and try not to cry if to mess up. 

20180721_201231Use a darker pencil to go over the outline of the fish and some of the details on the head.
On one side of each diamond shape, created on the body in the last step, draw a little curved shape to get a scaled appearance.

Step 6: Name your fish
Everything needs a name, so why not. I named mine Finny.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this more detailed art post. Thanks for reading and of course, feel free to use this post to draw a fish yourself.

In part two I will do a step by step on adding colour to your fish. I think I might make Finny yella (yellow) or orange.

The Peony Rose Rabbit (Paint with Me)

thumbnail_20180404_173344I am a woman in a mission this week. That mission being: “inspire some of the beautiful people on WordPress to mess about with paint.” (that’s an awfully long title, so we’ll shorten it to “Mission Paint with Me”.)

So, what does this mission entail you ask? Well, it’s simple. I create a montage, where I climb a really tall mountain with a bunch of art supplies, tied to my back. When I get to the top, I jump and punch the air and everyone is so inspired by this act of art enthusiasm, that they immediately run off and start painting on the first paintable surface they find.

Okay, I’ll stop my messing and tell you what I’m really going to do. I’m going to make a tutorial using my rabbit drawing, to show everyone a nice and simple way to use acrylic paint.

But before we get started, I should warn you that acrylic paint can stain tables or other surfaces, so it’s best to put an old table mat or paper down before you start (I learnt the hard way and now my table mat has blue stripes). Right, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started:

thumbnail_20180328_174725Step 1: Draw yourself a rabbit and a flower.
It doesn’t have to be perfect or a masterpiece. But if you’re having trouble, find something round to draw around and try making a little cartoon round-head rabbit, instead.

Also, don’t worry about erasing guidelines, if you’re sketching. The paint will cover them and you won’t be able to see them.

thumbnail_20180328_184125Step 2: Line your drawing and give everything a pale under coat of paint.
At this point, I would recommend going over the outlines of your drawing with paint, because it’s very easy to lose the outline under layers of paint, which can be so frustrating.

As for the under coat. It’ll help you plan the colours of painting, help build colour and make it easier to control the paint in the next layer.

After this step its best to let the paint completely dry.

thumbnail_20180329_181248Step 3: Paint the background.
It might seem strange starting with the background, but this allows you to paint closer to edges of your drawing and makes painting the background a lot easier.

If like me, you get distracted and get green paint on the rabbit, don’t panic. It can easily be corrected by waiting for it to dry, then painting over the area with a little bit of white paint.

Tip: If you’re using more than one colour on the background, keep in mind how the colours mix together. For example, I used 2 shades of green, lemon yellow and Pink. So, I had to keep in mind that if the pink mixed with the greens it would turn a brown colour.

thumbnail_20180329_181340Step 4: Paint the Flower.
If you want to try to capture light and shadow, you can lighten the pink with white and darken it with red. On the leaves and stem try using the yellow with the greens, to capture light.

If you find that too difficult, don’t worry. Instead, try painting the leaves and flower petals in a way that shows their shape (meaning, paint them so you can see the leaves and the flower from the background).

Let everything dry completely before moving on to the next step.

thumbnail_20180404_172917Step 5: Paint the rabbit.
Again, you can try capturing light and shadow. But if you find it too difficult, try looking at a picture of a rabbit and painting the lighter and darker parts of it’s fur.

At this point, don’t worry about making the paint look like fur, that happens in the next step. This step is more about building colour and capturing light and dark.

Tip: If you accidentally got green on the rabbit back in step 3, pay a little extra attention to those areas. To make sure they blend in with the rest of the rabbit.

Let the paint dry.

thumbnail_20180404_173424Step 6: Attempt to paint the rabbit’s fur.
This is probably the hardest step of this painting. I find this step difficult too, so don’t feel bad if you can’t do it. It can be kind of tricky to get right.

YouTube and books recommend using little brush strokes, to paint clumps of hair rather than individual hairs and use references pictures of rabbits.

That mightn’t be much help to you. So, the additional tips I would give you are, look at fur first hand (I took a trip to the pet shop to look at rabbits’ fur. They were so cute), try capturing the direction the fur grows in and try capturing the light changes in the fur. Hopefully that will be of more help to you.

 

So, that was my painting tutorial of The Peony Rose Rabbit. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it and if you were following along, hopefully now you’ve got your very own lovely painting of a rabbit and flower.

If you have thing questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below. I’d be happy to answer them as best I can and as always, Thanks for reading.