Friday, July 25th, 2014

A Tip o’ the Nib to Ed Emberley

blue ship1 A Tip o the Nib to Ed Emberley

 

If you’ve never read Ed’s books – it’s time to do so  now!

I was never exposed to Ed Emberley’s books or his work until around 6 months ago. It was then that his work first came to my notice.  And as often happens, once I noticed him the first time I kept on seeing his work and references to him – all of a sudden he was everywhere.

If you don’t yet know who Ed is – he is an artist and he teaches drawing. He teaches it in such a way that you don’t use an eraser (which I think is great!) and he builds images little piece by little piece. You make one or two simple lines in each step and, then step by step even a very complex image gets built up.

Many of his books are color based – the Big Purple Book of Drawing, the Big Green Book of Drawing, the Big Orange Book of Drawing and so on. I bought Purple and Orange and his Faces book. I like Purple and Orange best – the orange one is jammed full of Halloween fun and the Purple book has this wonderful pirate ship in it. This ship is the most complex of all of the how to drawings – so it’s where I started!

Above is my second ship – the first was a bit squashed up but still great for a first try. Then I did it a second time (above) and it worked out great.

After this I wanted to change the view of the ship. You see the drawing in the book is behind the sails so you look past the masts into the back of the sails. I wanted to draw a ship from the other direction. I confess to needing a rough pencil outline for this but seriously it was done in about an hour and I was really pleased with the result.

 

ship1 A Tip o the Nib to Ed Emberley

 

If you want to learn how to draw a range of things then I totally recommend Ed’s books.  I have filled pages full of cars, trucks, cats, halloween witches, haunted houses and more! It’s fun and achievable. Thanks Ed!

 

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

How to Draw a Kawaii Cloud

cloud small How to Draw a Kawaii Cloud

Learn how to draw a kawaii cute cloud – step by step

Today’s drawing is one in a series I am doing on Kawaii style objects. This is a cloud – a cute cloud and you can draw it in so many ways. This one has an outline you can draw with a light marker – I use a warm grey (or cool grey) prismacolor marker which gives great results. It is thin one end and thick the other so you can use it for small or large drawings.

Oh! and if you were curious – Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

How to Draw My Cat Molly in 6 Steps

molly 6steps How to Draw My Cat Molly in 6 Steps

How to draw my cat Molly

Today’s drawing is very close to my heart – it is of my cat Molly. She is a rescue cat and probably an Egyptian Persian and she is fluffy and white. She also has a lot of attitude.

So, here, step by step, is how to draw Molly. Of course, if you color your cat a different color it will be your fluffy cat and make it smooth if your cat isn’t fluffy!

As always, my how tos are step by step and don’t require an eraser so you can dive right in with a pen or marker if you like. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Drawing row houses in an industrial setting

power lines Drawing row houses in an industrial setting

 

My love affair with drawing row houses

I love to draw row houses – I think it harks back to my love of Australian terrace houses and those that you find in the UK too.

Here I’ve combined row houses with electricity pylons. We used to drive by really big pylons when we were kids and en route to our holiday destination and I really love their size and majesty. I shot a lot of them too in the UK on a canal boat trip – they started to appear as we got closer into London.

So here is yet another image in my row house series. Houses and pylon – rendered in ink using Sakura Pigma markers.
 

 Helen Bradley

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Hedgehog Studies – how to draw


hedgehog studies Hedgehog Studies   how to draw

Once you can draw a hedgehog, now see how to draw different poses

In my last post I showed you how to draw a hedgehog in 6 simple steps. Once you are done with that and you can confidently knock of a quick hedgehog sketch, then it’s time to try some different poses. Hedgehogs roll up into a ball when frightened so you can draw them rolled up or from front on. If you look up hedgehogs on Google you’ll find that when they are small they also lie on their backs showing off a cute tummy and little feet – that’s another awesome pose.

Here are some of my recent Hedgehog studies. Have fun with your hedgehog drawings.

Friday, July 4th, 2014

How to Draw a Hedgehog in 6 Easy Steps


hedgehog 6steps How to Draw a Hedgehog in 6 Easy Steps

Learn how to draw a cute hedgehog

Today’s how to draw step by step project is a cute hedgehog. This is one of my all time favourite projects and this little guy has even appeared in a magazine! Yep – I made him as a needle punch project and he looks so damned cute.

This how to is really simple and the results are so much fun. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Fun with Line Design drawing


colors Fun with Line Design drawing

Tip o’ the nib to Mr E and his line design project

A while ago I saw some line design drawings on Pinterest. I didn’t make a note of where I found them and, to my chagrin, that haunted me! I spent a lot of time trawling doodle boards trying to find the design. In time, thankfully I found it and more research took me to the wonderful Mr E! His website – artwithmre.com is a treasure trove of art ideas for teachers. But it is his line design which is all over Pinterest having been picked up by a lot of pinners.

So, above is my second line design – it took a second go to really do it the way I wanted it to look. First one I colored with Prismacolor markers but this one is colored with Prismacolor pencils. These pencils are wonderfully waxy so they blend like a dream and the results are wonderful.

The entire exercise is very zen. There is a rhythm to it and it is very relaxing and fun to do. If you are interested – click the link above to go direct to the detailed instructions for making your own Mr E style Line design drawing.

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

How to paint cards with dimension and color


paint with dimension how to egg opener and 10 How to paint cards with dimension and color

See how to paint with dimension with acrylic paints and dimensional paste

I love to paint cards and one Christmas I made painted cards for all my family. I’ve also made painted Valentines cards. If you haven’t painted since high school then there are some tricks that can help you get awesome results that you may not have learned.

I paint cards like these using acrylic paints – the kind you find in craft stores that cost $1 a bottle. I never use water – either to thin the paint or clean the brush. The brush is cleaned, if at all, using a dry paper towel.

If you want some dimension to the painting you can start with a layer of something. It might be paper glued to the surface or corrugated cardboard or some dimensional paste such as Liquitex Light Modeling paste.

Adding modeling paste as a surface treatment gives a foundation and some dimension to your piece. For a Valentine heart, I would make a heart shape, for Easter an egg or for a birthday a cake shape.

Then when everything is dry I’ll start painting. If I want a white/pink piece I’ll use a range of colors including blues, greens, pink, red, crimson, and white. I’ll add small bits of color to a palette – I use a Ranger craft sheet as it is easy to clean and you can add paints to it and mix them there.

paint with dimension how to egg 4 green How to paint cards with dimension and color

Then I dry brush color onto the piece, building up layers of color as I go. Each card might have 20 or more layers of color on it. Not all layers of paint fully cover the piece – they might just be a touch of color here or there. Don’t be afraid to use some dark colors even if you are doing a light piece – they just add dimension to it.

paint with dimension how to egg 6 green How to paint cards with dimension and color

You may want to set aside the piece to dry from time to time and then keep building up color. Because you are using a dry brush and no water the piece will dry pretty quickly. If you like, you can add some glaze medium to the colors so they spread more widely and so they don’t paint on so thickly. This also slows down drying so make allowances for that.

When I am done with the paint I like to completely dry the piece and then glaze it with a sepia tone glaze. This can be sepia/brown paint and glaze brushed over the piece and then wiped off. It will pool in the creases and around the edges of the raised elements making an attractive result.

I always paint on a piece larger than the finished card so it can be trimmed to shape. You can either adhere the painting to the front of a card or make a frame for it and place it behind the mini frame.

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Valentine Houses – hand drawn and inked design


valentine houses Valentine Houses   hand drawn and inked design

How to draw Valentine houses as a framed image

This is another in my houses collection. This time I drew the houses inside a hand drawn oval frame. The houses lean together so I decided to give it a Valentine theme with one of the houses blowing heart shaped smoke from its chimney. The design was hand drawn and then inked with a permanent marker. I’ve been adding stairs to my houses a bit lately to give real folks access to them – of course the stairs don’t actually line up at a door – you can’t have everything!

The color is courtesy of a Tombow marker for the outside of the frame and the bunting. The inside colors are Prismacolor two tip markers – I use a Deco Pink, Cool Gray and some sort of blue – not sure what. The Prismacolor markers are kind of cool as you can build up color with them so you don’t get a necessarily flat color but you can make it more dimensional as I have here.

 

 

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

The Circle of Life (and Crafts)


full circle The Circle of Life (and Crafts)

 

Celebrating a fellow crafter’s legacy

A friend of mine recently lost her mum. I had never met her mum but, after she died, her daughter offered me some of her craft supplies. I said a resounding “Yes” and, in time, was given a couple of big boxes of bits and bobs and four containers of thread that you can see above.

Now I am a sort of organized person. I know where most things are but I’m a bit of a “stuff it all in and close the drawer” kind of person. And my friend’s mum was not. She was seriously organized. The bins of DMC thread I was given were all boxed neatly, each thread was wound onto a paper bobbin, numbered and stored in bins in number order. The bins themselves were numbered too. Wow!

Well, I felt just a wee bit guilty about my DMC stash when I saw hers. So, I got out my paper bobbins and started winding, numbering and sorting. Seems as though my friend’s mum and I shared some color preferences and I now have multiple bobbins of some thread colors but there were others that I had and she didn’t and vice versa.

I’ve now added all my colors to her boxes and I still have a little bit of room to grow. I am staying organized too – when I finish with a color it gets put back into the right box in the right order.

It’s lovely to be able to pull out a color of thread and use it – I now have so many colors to choose from and some have her writing and some have mine. Her thread has found a new home and will be used and treasured as the legacy of one crafter to another.

I think that’s something worthy of being celebrated, don’t you?

 

 

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