Sunday, July 26, 2015

NEW BIBLE ART VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to Draw Flowering Vines and Dandelions

Hi Everyone!!


I've had this video filmed for awhile but wasn't able to get it edited and uploaded until late last night, due to my nephew's wedding and other things in life that take up my time, but I FINALLY got it finished!  Yay!

The first half of this video is drawing in my sketchbook so you can see all the details that can go into these types of flowers.  The second half is drawing in my Crossway ESV Single Column Journaling bible.  Most of the drawing in my bible isn't as detailed as the drawing in my journal because it is on a much smaller scale.  The beauty of this is that you can make it as detailed as much or little as you like and it will still look GREAT!

I have had a lot of requests for a tutorial of how to draw the squirrel, which I will do, but I have some suggestion that I hope you will consider in preparation for that drawing.

  1. PRAY!  Art is a gift from God.  He is the ultimate creative and the old testament talks about the Holy Spirit giving people artistic talents in order to build God's temple. Ask God to teach you how to see like an artist sees.  My husband is an artist with a degree in graphic arts.  I took one art class in my life at the age of 12 and was so intimidated I was absolutely paralyzed.  That was my one an only attempt at anything artistic until a few years ago.  I learned early on in my relationship with my husband that he saw things differently than I did.  We would have long conversations, sitting outside in the midnight sunshine of the Alaskan summer nights and talk about how he sees.  When I saw clouds, I saw white and grey puffy clouds.  He saw all sorts of colors: peaches, purples, blues - he never once said the color grey.  He shadows in the for of shapes.  He opened my eyes initially and God has stepped in and continue to teach me as I progress on this journey as an artist.  I always pray before doing any art, asking God for the skill and guidance.  If you desire it, He will give it.  
  2. GET a 0.05 pigment ink pen.  Your favorite brand is fine, no need to use the same pen as I do.  It is the size of the nib that is important.
  3. PRACTICE!!  Get to know your pen and how it works.  Check out my "PEN STROKES TUTORIAL" to learn the types of strokes I use in my drawings.  They are not difficult to master, but you do need to be familiar with your pen and how to get it to draw the way you want it it.  Trust me, this will save a LOT of frustration and fear of making mistakes when it comes to drawing with pen and ink.  
  4. MORE PRACTICE!  Practice drawing the flowers, leaves, bees and other things in this video series.  Practice doing your own thing.  Practice on smooth notebook or printer paper - which is similar in thickness and texture to bible paper.  Practice on drawing paper, which has a little bit of texture and learn how your pen works on that compared to smooth paper.   
  5. PAY attention to how long to set your pen on the paper - the longer it sits in one place, the darker that spot will be.  This typically happens at the beginning of a pen stroke.  When using copy or notebook paper, this spot usually shadows through the page more than the rest of the pen stroke.   
  6. USE a light hand when drawing.  Don't push down on the pen, let the weight of the pen do the work.  
  7. PICK an image that you want to draw.  Something with short fur, like the squirrel or a rabbit.  
  8. Study the image. Really look at it. Look at it for a few minutes for days. Look for the darkest darks, the lightest lights.  Notice where the shadows fall.  It may be helpful to convert your image into a black and white so you can see only the lights and darks and not be distracted by color. 
  9. Study the shapes that make it up and where the shapes are located in relation to each other: the top of the eye is on the same imaginary line as where the base of the ear starts.  The nose and the paws both extend out to the same point.  The tail is taller than the entire body.  
  10. Imagine drawing it.  If you watch an artist in action, you will often see they make "practice" strokes in the air before drawing or painting on their paper/canvas.  This is valuable on helping your hand and eye communicate with each other.  I often will do this over the image I am going to draw.  I "air trace" the shape of the image.  It may sound weird, but it really helps because sometimes our eyes see shapes differently than how they really are and when we go to draw it, the drawing comes out skewed and we don't know why.  There are a lot of reasons this happens that I won't go into; this isn't a perfect remedy for that but it DOES help. 
  11. BE relaxed.  This type of drawing can be very relaxing and enjoyable.  Watching something from from nothing is really cool, in my opinion.  Take it slow and don't rush.  You don't have to finish a drawing in one sitting.  In fact, it can be detrimental to try and do this.  We tend to look at the details and can't see the whole picture and this causes us to focus of perceived mistakes.  If you are feeling frustrated or stuck, walk away for a bit..just make sure you do COME BACK!  Do not give up.  When you come back, you will see it as a whole and with fresh eyes.  If you were stuck, you will probably now know what to do.  Totally true.  I can't tell you the number of times I felt something wasn't working in a painting or drawing and I had no idea what to do next.  I left it for day and when I came back, I was able to continue on.  
  12. KNOW that if you have done it once, you can do it again!  I used to be afraid to draw or paint again after I did something I was really happy with because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it again.  Know that you CAN do it again.  It may be different but it will still be great!
  13. Lastly, be KIND to yourself.  Unless you are working - and it IS a lot of work - to become a photo realistic artist, there just isn't any reason to be photo realistic.  With the exception of human faces, no one will ever know if your squirrel doesn't look exactly like your reference image.  No one will ever know if you have a wonky flower because flowers ARE often wonky in nature.  Don't stress.  
  14. OK, here is the last thing.  SMILE! Sounds hokey, but it helps you relax.  Enjoy the process!  
I recently read a quote and it is totally true:


Soon I will start on an animal tutorial. Maybe a mouse.  Stay tuned!

GIVEAWAY SOON!  I will be having a giveaway soon.  I have two She Reads Truth bible studies with cute bible verse cards and artwork.  One is a study of the book of Hebrews  and the other is a bible study for the book of John.    The winner will need to have the free She Reads Truth app and will need to purchase the study guides through the app ($1.99).  

Keep watching here or on my other social media sites! 

Instagram @MichelleHotchkissArt 

YouTube: Sevenible or search for Michelle Hotchkiss
Pinterest:  MichelleHotchkiss or @jovian7

Friday, July 24, 2015


FOR SALE!  "The Moose King"

Original silkscreen and ink on 7 x 4 1/2 100% cotton, heavy 250 gsm cream Stonehenge paper.

$25 plus 3 day USPS Priority mail with insurance and tracking OR
free local pickup in downtown PALMER or Springer Loop area.  PayPal accepted.

Message me to purchase! Or text me at 907-715-7127

*colors may be slightly different due to variations in monitor and device screen settings. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

FB: One Year Ago, Today and Other Things

I really like Facebook's "One year Ago, Today".  Sometimes, that "one year ago" seems like yesterday, other times it seems like 10 years ago. :)

Just about one year ago today, I started pen and ink drawings. Mostly because I just wanted to sit outside in the warm sun and enjoy our short Alaska summers as much as possible, without dealing with a bunch of watercolor paints and other supplies.  

My nephew got married Saturday here on the farm and it was so much fun and perfect weather.  The fingerprint tree I made then turned out really great and is now a very special piece of art on their wall.  I didn't do the lettering because I'm not good at it. That is something I should work on!  The original idea was to cut them from vinyl but that didn't work out for some reason. But they found a brave soul who did it for them.  Lettering is a totally different ballgame than what I do and I have great admiration for those who can do it.  

Fortunately, the wedding was casual enough that my husband fit in with all the other Alaskan guys who wore their "formal" jeans, lol.

I will show the finished moose drawing in a later post, if I remember.  

Right now. I think I will grab my sketchbook and pen and head outside!  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Golden Feathers!

I got myself a basic screen printing kit and cut out a couple feather stencles.  

My first test was with metallic gold ink and I am very happy with how it turned out!

I can see that this could become very addicting so I am going to have to restrain myself..I could do a MILLION cool things with this!

But for now I will keep it simple. Maybe.  :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Deep Calls to Deep and the Fingerprint Tree

Just as the deepest places of my heart call out to the Lord, so does the Lord call to the deepest places of my heart.

It's been a tough week for me, I've been very sick with MS and issues related to it and when feeling like that, where I just can't escape the awful feelings, the deepest places of my heart cry out to God for relief and comfort.  

Thankfully, He is there.  

In these times, He is also calling to those deep places of my heart, reminding me that He Is.

He Is.  

He is everything, He is everywhere and He is all-knowing.  He knows how I feel.  He Is the source of everything I need.  

He Is.    That comforts me.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting a sweet lady who follows my blog and a friend of my husband's family.  Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!  I am still not used to being known as an artist in the real world. :) I wish I had more opportunity to talk with both of you!  Maybe you all can contact me next time you are in my neck of the woods.  You know who you are!

This photo shows how the shading really brings it to life :)

I also finished the guest fingerprint tree for my nephew's upcoming wedding.  I added their initials yo the heart and two butterflies but I didn't get a photo of it totally finished.  I will have to wait for the wedding to get one.  They are very happy with how it turned out.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wedding Fingerprint Tree Drawing/Painting

I am loving this!  

My nephew is getting married soon and they asked me to make the guest fingerprint tree.  

The guests will stamp fingerprint on the canvas with ink from a stamp pad and sign their name.  Such a great idea, I love it!

I will be painting in some light shading tomorrow.  This is just a practice tree, I want to make sure everything turns out right before I jump in to do the actual on for the wedding.  So far, it's going great!  

This one is on an 18x20 canvas. I may sell it when finish it or maybe keep it as a friendship tree and have my friends add their fingerprints to it when they visit.  

If anyone is interested in buying it, please contact me, thanks! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Zip Your Lip.

Ephesians 4:25-32.  The first thing we are told to do after "putting on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" is to "put away falsehood and speak the truth".  (ESV)

Put away ALL lying.  

This includes those seemingly "harmless" little white lies, exaggerations, stretching the truth..the "acceptable" lies.  

The truth is...there are no acceptable lies.  God cannot lie. it is impossible for Him to lie.  We cannot be like Him when we lie or exaggerate nor can He join with us in our lies.  

What if I don't liked friend's dress and she asks me how it looks? How do we not hurt someone's feelings and also not tell a little white lie?  

That is something I will be praying a lot about, there has to be a way to do it or God wouldn't have told us to do it.  

If a friend asked me that question above, I would only comment on something that I did like about it,  maybe the fabric or the color.  

What about a bigger lie?  Am I willing not to lie even if it gets me in trouble?  God says I must.  Telling the truth takes courage. I must learn to be courageous and also trust God to be with me in times of trouble. 

Putting away lying takes wisdom.  Wisdom to know when not to share the truth, that isn't that persons business. Not everyone needs to know everything. 

Things to ponder and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.