Choosing an art medium and being a Facebook addict artist

I think there should be FAA (Facebook Anonymous Addicts) for artists!  There are just too many art groups online, and for an aspiring beginning artist who is trying to decide what medium is best for my personality, I am finding that I want to join all of the art groups. There are acrylic groups, painting groups, pastel groups, sketching groups, color pencil artist groups, beginning groups, marketing groups, tattoo groups, ink and pencil groups, gouache group, graphite groups,  etc.  There are so many Facebook groups with great examples of art that it is hard to specialize in one art medium when all the art mediums are appealing.   Unfortunately, art supplies are expensive so I must make a concerted effort to decide what medium I should concentrate on.

Here is what I know about myself as an artist: 1) I am impatient; 2) I need quiet time to complete my projects; 3) I seek stress relief; 3) mess, clutter and stuff all over the place gives me anxiety 4) love spontaneity; 5) enjoy pieces with lots of color; 6) need to work in chunks of time; 6) want my art supplies to be simple; and 7) I like to change from realistic and loose/impressionist artwork.   To date, I have tried acrylics, color pencil art, sketching with pencils and inks and watercolors.  I’ve painted and drawn on canvas, rocks, hot and cold watercolor paper, drafting paper and sketchbooks. Here is are my conclusions on what art I like to do!

  • Sketching and watercolor in sketchbooks and journals- feeds my spontaneity, it’s easy and portable—so I can get into Urban Sketching and 15 – 30 minute short thematic sketching
  • Color Pencil Art – Allows me to work in chunks of time, supplies are simple, and it’s portable.
  • Inks, markers and watercolors/watercolor pencils: combines spontaneity, lots of color and doesn’t make all the mess that acrylics, pastels and charcoal does.
  • Acrylics – Although I don’t like the mess, I will use acrylics occasionally. I do like all the bright colors and the impressionistic or expressionism painting. Acrylic probably my least favorite to use, but I can play on huge canvasses.
  • Watercolors – I’ve not used watercolors in it’s pure form other than in sketching, but have used watercolor pencils.  I love the translucency of the art form…just need to do some practice pieces.

So where I am going with this?  I thought I would share a few pieces (some you’ve seen, sorry) so you can suggest what I might be good at.  Remember, I am still a beginner, but hopefully you might give me suggestions on where my focus should be…or is it okay to be a artist of all trades.  Is that what creativity is all about?

Acrylics 

 

 

 

Color Pencil and Watercolor Pencil

 

 

Sketching with Watercolors, Markers and Pen

 

 

 

#artoninstagram #facebookartist #sketchartist #artmedium #colorpencilart #picspaintsprose #acrylicartist #beginningartist #watercolorartist #drawing #urbansketching #sketch #sketching #allaroundartist #colorpencilartist #wildlifeart

 

Gouache and watercolor – what’s my sign?

Well I did another piece for my 14 day art challenge. Explored gouache by using it with pan watercolor in the painting of a lion. The group theme was “what’s my birthday sign.” As you can guess, I’m a Leo.

Gouache Lion

I bought a basic set of Arteza Gouache Paints. Since I’ve been exploring the use of watercolors, gouache seemed like a natural medium to use with watercolors. Gouache paint is similar to watercolors, however the pigments are modified to be opaque.  It is similar to watercolor in that it can be re-wetted, it dries to a matte finish, and the paint can become infused with its paper support.   Gouache dries to a different value than it appears when wet (lighter tones generally dry darker and darker tones tend to dry lighter), which they say can make color matching difficult, especially after the paint dries. When painting the lion, I had to spend time adding paint and water in small increments to match the colors when I ran out.  However, I loved the quick coverage and total hiding power gouache had. The paint was able to cover my ink sketch.  I felt the medium was  comparable to painting with acrylics when it came to overlaying colors by having the same consistency and coverage.  Moreover, like watercolor, is was easy to switch to different colors by doing a quick wash of my brush.  If you want more of a watercolor wash, gouache can be thinned down by water so that has the same translucency as watercolor medium.

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Gouache has been around for centuries and the art Masters used gouache with pastels,   doing preliminary paintings and even under their oil paintings. Before using gouache, I   never heard of gouache. In fact, when I looked for gouache in the Facebook art groups, I can count on one hand how many gouache groups there are on Facebook. I suspect gouache has been categorised with watercolor since it is water based, or tempura paints.  I found a great tutorial by Minnie Small who does a great job in explaining gouache as well as the painting techniques of using the medium . You can find her video here.

If you decide to try gouache. I would love to see your paintings.

#artistsoninstagram #gouacheart #watercolors #gouacheartist #lionart #animalart #artist #lionpainting #gouachepaint

 

So how do I start urban sketching?

Urban Sketching–what is it?

Drawing our life stories seems to be a universal part of human nature, going all the way back to prehistoric man in caves.  When talking about urban sketching, an emphasis is usually anything that focuses in capturing art in a creative way capturing people, places and things around us — in our sketchbooks or an art journal.

You can urban sketch in when traveling abroad, in your car, your backyard, while hiking on a nature trail, in the hustle and bustle of a city, or while sipping a cup of coffee at an outside cafe. What’s more, you can use the art materials you choose:  any size sketchbook, ink-pens, watercolors, colored pencil–any art materials that you consider portable.

Urban sketching, is sketching parts of your life, so your art is mixed in with you daily activities.  When you look through the pages of your sketchbook, you see your explorations, memories, creative moments and artful adventures all in one place. A diary of your artistic journey.

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Where can I Urban Sketch?

Urban sketching can be done on your own.  Visit museums, sculpture gardens, public art spaces, parks or maybe do a tour of homes within your community.  You can also sketch areas frequented by small or large crowds.  Think of a busy coffee shop or crowded beach.  “People watching” will be second to none and you can zero in on something particular or find an interesting vantage point.

Urban sketching is a great way to connect with others, you can likely find urban sketcher groups in your hometown and in most major cities — with more forming every day. There are free sketching outings, organized weekend workshops, and sketching conventions and symposiums that bring you and the sketching community together.

You can also find a community of urban sketchers online. Social media groups come together on various platforms, with sketchers from every corner of the world sharing their work and covering every possible subject.

Should I become an Urban Sketcher? 

Some people use photos to capture moments.  Why not capture your memorial moments sketching?  What could make you feel even more present in a moment than capturing it in a sketch? Everyone snaps photo’s of their moments but many times they get forgotten on a memory card or on the internet cloud. With urban sketching from your life, you get to tell a story in the moment, record your own unique artistic impression, as well as leave a fresh and a direct impression that can never be replicated.  These are memories that are journalized in books you can touch, art that you can share with your friends and family, and a history of your life that will last forever.

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How to Urban Sketch?

Mix materials together, and don’t worry about whether your drawing is “right.” It’s more important to capture a moment. What do you want a viewer to see? Start there and work out.  Once you have your supplies packed up and ready to go, here are a few key urban sketching tips to keep in mind:

Keep it simple: A pencil or pen, a journal or sketchbook, and a small set of watercolors are the go-to choice of many sketchers. Brushes and a water container, or a water brush, will see you through any sketching opportunity. Below are some of my recommendations

  • Watercolor Paint or Washable Ink (and some water!) – I started with this little travel watercolor set because it’s inexpensive, but the colors are nice and includes a small brush.
  • Watercolor brush pens – Most travel paint sets often come with a brush, and you could use that to start, but when you’re ready for a low-cost upgrade you could try watercolor brush pens such as these
  • A Sketching Utensil – Just a pencil will work for a sketch or if you like you may  use ink.  You can try Pigma archival ink pens.  There is a larger set, but the three set (0.25mm, 0.35mm and 0.45mm) micron ink pens are reasonable and are great artist ink pens.
  • Water-Friendly Paper – Any watercolor paper or mixed media paper in a sketch paper should be fine.  However, if you are going to strictly do sketches using pencil or ink, it shouldn’t matter.

 

Other Advise? 

  • Be prepared: Keep your bag of supplies handy.  Maybe near your door so you can grab it easily when you leave, or in your vehicle. If you don’t have your kit with you, you can’t sketch when the opportunity arises.
  • Be flexible:  So you forgot your supplies?  Draw on a paper napkin with a borrowed ballpoint, or use that pencil in your purse or bag.
  • Be alert: Keep an eye on what’s going on around you. If you walk by a particular spot that looks interesting, make a point to go back with your supplies.
  • Be spontaneous: If you only have 10 or 15 minutes?  Pick something interesting and just sit, relax and draw what you see.  You’ll not be disappointed!
  • Sketch what you see:  Let your “right side of your brain” work and grab the moment!

Well I hope that your motivated to go out and capture memories!  Feel free to share your sketches!  Would love to see them!

#urbansketching #drawing #picspaintsprose #drawinginink #sketching #urbansketching101 #sketchingadvice #citysketching #inksketch

Fourteen day challenge

The Facebook group, The Art Apprentice, a beginning artist group is having a 14 day art challenge to celebrate their 1000th member.   Since I am a moderator of the group, I need to make sure I participate!  I am doing catch-up on my art pieces and sketches, but here are a few drawings I’ve completed.  Some of the sketches I’ve done are very quick, but I am exercising my “right side of my brain”  by completing daily art pieces.  Feel free to follow along with your own sketches, or leisurely pick a few challenges to do  At the moment we are on day 7.

Day 1: The Number 1000
Day 2: Colorful Balloons
Day 3: Eye/eyes
Day 4: Something Sweet
Day 5: Your Zodiac Sign
Day 6: Your favorite Flower
Day 7: Your favorite Cartoon Character
Day 8: Something in your Room
Day 9: Something you don’t like
Day 10: An art supply you would like to buy
Day 11: Something Bright and Cheerful
Day 12: Your Countries Flag
Day 13: Your Favorite Book
Day 14: Something that makes you smile

My quick drawings:

Day 1:   The Number 1000.  I used Sakura Pigma Micron Pens and Derwent Inktense pencils.  Micron Ink pens and Derwent Inktense pencils are waterproof.  The Micron pens are archival for any of your fine art. Because the Pigma ink is waterproof, you can put watercolor pencils/paint over the ink without smearing the initial drawing.  I used it on my little worm I created from the number 1000.

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Day 2: Colorful balloons. I used Delish watercolor pencils and the Sakura Pigma Micron Pens to complete my watercolor color balloons.  I preferred the piece before I put the spots on the balloons, but I am told the dots look like graffiti.  I’ll let you decide…

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Day 3:  An eye.  Completed my eye using Derwent Watercolor pencils and Arteza Fineliners Fine Point Pens.  Love these pencils and pens. All I needed to do was use watercolor brush pens on the ink to spread the colors.

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Day 4: Something Sweet:  This was a really quick sketch of gummy bears.  I used Arteza watercolor pencils to complete the gummy bears.

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Thanks for letting me share.  Hopefully I’ve given you inspiration to do your own challenges!

 

#art #artistoninstagram #drawing #artchallenge #theartapprentice #sakuramicronpensart #artezawatercolorpencils #draweyes #colorpencils #watercolorpencilart #

Arteza 72 Expert Color Pencils and Drafting Film

Arteza

I was on vacation recently and decided to try the new Arteza Expert 72 Color Pencils. Arteza is a fairly new art supply company, that is rolling out impressive budget art materials. I bought the pencils at a bargain sale price of $20.00 and couldn’t resist adding them to my supply of colored pencils. The Company considers Arteza Expert 72 Colored Pencils artist grade, and the pencils have a lightfast rating printed on each individual pencil. I was pleased with the pigment saturation and the variety of colors. There are a nice variety of green pigmented pencils, but the pencils are lacking in selection of reds. Since these are wax based pencils, I was pleased how smoothly these color pencils went down on the paper; moreover, the pencils layered well.

For my work in progress piece, I decided to use drafting film. Artist Karen Hull creates fabulous color pencil art using drafting film. You can buy drafting film from Dick Blick or Amazon. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using drafting film:
Advantages: cleanly erases; can use both sides of the matte film; complete art pieces with fewer layers.
Disadvantages: less toothier so select your final colors before laying them down; smudges easily

I’ve included a work in progress art piece using Grafix Matte 0.005 Dura-Lar Film, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, 25 Sheets and Arteza Color 72 Expert Color Pencils. I’ll obtain richer colors when I turn the drafting film around and add color to the reverse side. However, I was pleased with Arteza pigmentation and the layering ability.

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