A bit of muscle

Today's tutorial got me to practice adding muscle definition to a mannequin arm. I'm using this as a method to relieve some stress after an order of cards for my shop arrived damaged! Grr! So far so good…

Art fair dreaming

So today I have mainly been thinking about art fairs: pinning on Pinterest, sketching ideas, writing stock list and doing a mockup stall!

Although this is just the first step and it is obviously very basic, it has been invaluable in helping me realise what I need for an effective display, and what kinds of stock I will need! This basic setup is only 2/3 the size of the average art fair I've been looking at, so lots of room to evolve!

Watch this space!

Watercolour tips and advice

So as requested by @hannah.v.food on Instagram here is a watercolour that I completed for my daily morning practice. I was asked to give some tips, so I thought I'd give my process for a picture with some tips along the way.

So first things first I use a watercolour block that is gummed on 4 sides, as recommended by @greenmanart (go check her out).

For the amount of water I use it means I don't need to stretch the paper and it keeps it flat while drying. I always mask around the edges. It gives the picture a natural frame.

Then I lightly sketch my image, either from a photo or real life. I tend to use photos as they don't move or change the light, but this time I used Dave as he was pretty still.

After that I wet out he background, then wash a colour in there- really lightly- just to get me started.

You can add deeper coloured detail later if you wish, but it's nice to keep some white space.

Then LET IT DRY! I can't stress this enough! You don't want all of your colours merging! (Unless you do, then carry on!). Then add your detail, starting light and adding darks after, in between drying or semi drying depending on the effect you're going for.

TIP: I used black, but I don't buy black paint, I make it using ultramarine blue and burnt umber. You can control the blue and brown tones as you wish. And nothing is really truly black.

Eventually add shading, really REALLY watered down. Don't forget to shade underneath the subject too. Try and think about your source of light and it's direction.

TIP! –> if you make a mistake, like shade too dark or put some detail where is shouldn't be, you can lift it off with a clean wet brush and some clean paper!

Then remove the masking tape SLOWLY , sign and leave to dry!

TIP!! –> try to pull your tape off flat, not pulling it up but across. I find a 45degree angle works most times for me.

I hope this wasn't too boring. Please let me know if you enjoyed that, found it useful, or suggest any changes in the comments. It's really nice to hear from you, as well as a 'like'.


Some shells from my warmup session today. I'm going to put these as part of #drawgust to show that I'm not waiting for the perfect picture to show to the world: sometimes the not-quite-right sketches are more important on the road to success!