Sunday, May 31, 2015

Video Tutorial: How to Draw Easy Stylized Flowers and Some Art Basics Everyone Needs To Know!

Here is the first video in the series based on the Psalm 97-99 drawing in my Crossway ESV Journaling Bible.   I will be posting additional videos on bow to draw stylized leaves, bumblebees, etc., in days to come.  

(To see all video tutorials in one place, select "Video Tutorials" from the menu above)

Often beginners feel they need the exact supplies and mediums that the artist is using.  I am not a stickler for pushing specific brands for several reasons:  
 1) Art supplies are expensive. Not everyone can or should buy beyond what they need.  Often there are less expensive alternatives that are within a person's budget and I just can't recommend a person buy a bunch of supplies they have never used because they may use them once and then find they never use them again.
 2) I strongly believe in respecting individual's personal preferences.  I have tried several brands and I use what works best for me but it may not work best for you.   Use what you have or what your favorite supplies are.  It is true that higher quality supplies can often be easier to use, but you do not have to have the specific pen I use to draw a beautiful flower. You can use a pencil, you can try Sharpies or a generic ball point pen. 

I will always do my best at being objective and fair and since I don't have any affiliates - which is where people make $ off of people buying the same supplies they use through links on their blogs and websites - I am not shutting the door to alternative products.  If I recommend something that I feel is the best, it is because I really feel it is after trying several different things.

Now on to the art of making art!

The first most important thing to making beautiful art is practice, practice, practice. 
 Keep your beginner work.  It's so fun to look back and see how much you have improved.  Get a sketchbook or a notebook and use it just for practice.  Draw what you like.  Draw big, draw little.  Just draw. Drawing is the foundation.  

The second most important thing is to learn how to see lights and darks.  
Shading (which represents darks and shadows) and lights are what magically turns a flat, boring image into something dynamic which is full of depth, dimension and movement.   As mentioned in the tutirial videos, pick some select spots in your flower for your darkest darks.  A common mistake is not making those spots as dark as they should be.  These darkest areas need to be darker than everywhere else.  This provides depth.  Without these darkest darks, the image may look flat or washed out.  Don't be afraid to try it, just don't go overboard. 

Since the tutorials are black and white drawing, the lights are the color of the paper.  Untouched paper is the brightest or the lightest lights and shading pen strokes make the lights darker.   Don't overdo the pen strokes or you will loose all of your highlights and light spots.  You can always go darker, but you can't go lighter with pen and even graphite, so go in gentle with your pen strokes and then darken them as needed.

The third most important thing is learning how to use your supplies.   Grab your pencil or pen and start making marks.  Soft marks, darker marks, tilt the pen/pencil to the side and see if the ink skips and/or gives a light/finer mark.  Make flicking strokes.  Hold your pen straight up and down for a bolder line (this is how these pens are designed to be used).  Try different papers to see how the ink or graphite reacts.  Find out if your ink is waterproof (won't move with water) or water activated (bleeds or smears with water, can be used almost like paint) by going over it with a wet paintbrush.  Note how your paper reacts to water.  Some totally hate water of any amount.  Some papers are OK and others, such as watercolor paper, is made to handle large amounts of water.  Also be aware that some waterproof pens are not waterproof on certain papers.  This is an issue with the paper, not the pen.  Always do a test paper before starting a project. 

Final thoughts: 
 We all have an inner critic and it is sometimes very harsh when it comes to our artwork.  Just know that this critic is a liar.  For some reason, we are very vulnerable when it comes to making art and the urge to compare is very strong.   Do not listen to that critic and do not compare.  If you are feeling like your drawing isn't going the way you want, walk away from it for a bit.  When you come back to it...and DO COME BACK, don't abandon will be able to see it with fresh eyes and you may be much happier with it than you were before.  I think we get so focused on the details that it is hard to see the whole picture.  That is way we need to step back sometimes.  

Also, and this is VERY important,  DO NOT point out your mistakes to anyone!   I used to do this and my husband finally told me to stop it because he never saw the mistake until I pointed it out and even then it didn't look like a mistake to him.  I have found this to be true..most people will NEVER notice mistakes.  Art is up to the viewer's interpretation and often their mind does not interpret them as mistakes.

Now go make some art!!

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