Growing up I had many in my family who were clay/tile artists, but sadly that talent I do not count as one of my own. It’s something I would love to learn and get better at, but in the meantime, I had fun playing with Air-Dry Clay and making some fun paint palettes of my own.
I ordered some Air-Dry clay. There were a couple different brands, you can even get the kind that you bake in the oven.
The downside of the Air-Dry Clay was how quickly it started to dry making it hard to mold. So I kept a small glass of water next to me and would keep my fingers damp as I molded the clay. Despite it drying while I was working with it…the overall dry time was a couple of days. So if you don’t have that kind of time, I would consider getting an oven bake clay. And one thing I didn’t do was put pressure on the palettes while they were drying and I found that they curled a bit. So next time I would definitely weigh down the palettes to prevent that.
I’m so excited about these new cover designs so I’m giving away a copy to one of you!! I made the announcement in my Newsletter that went out today. If you aren’t a subscriber and want in on the giveaway…you can subscribe to my Newsletter here.
I’m so excited to announce the launch of my new art class Expressive Florals. It’s live on Skillshare!!
In this class, we’ll be using thinned acrylic paint to create an expressive, almost watercolor-styled, floral. With Expressive Florals we aren’t trying to create a photo-realistic flower, instead, it’s about creating florals that are sketchy and fluid…and full of your own personal expression.
You will begin by gathering inspiration and creating a color palette to use as a reference. Then I’ll show you how to use those references to sketch out the flowers and then how to use that sketch as a guide to paint your expressive florals.
For this class, you’ll need acrylic paint, of any kind. I’ll show you how to thin your acrylic with water and also with a flow medium and how each reacts on the paper.
The key to this style is the use of brush strokes. In this class, I do recommend using long bristle brushes, like liner brushes. These brushes offer the best strokes for this style of expressive florals.
For those who aren’t current Skillshare members…this link will get you a free month of all access to Skillshare.
Vintage books are one of my love languages. I love the way they look lined on the shelf. The way they smell and how they feel in my hands. I especially love the old books that are tattered and falling apart. They make you slow down and gently open their pages. There is something amazing about the life each of these books have lived and all the owners and readers that have flipped through these pages before me.
It took me many years to have the courage the cut into an old book and to use the pages in my art practice. It still takes me a moment to make the first cut. In fact, I even stop to appreciate the book, the pages and to say a thank you for the use of its pages.
I especially love old illustrated books and old dictionaries. Dictionary pages are just plain beautiful!! I’m in the middle of filming my next class “Expressive Florals” so I created a bunch of samples for the class using Dictionary pages. I loved how they turned out so I made them into greeting cards. They are for sale in my shop if you are interested in picking up a set for yourself.
Gesso Your Paper
Adding a layer of gesso over your paper will prime your surface in preparation for your paint layers. You can use either clear or white gesso. Just know that white gesso will be more opaque and block out more of the background. If you want to see more of your vintage paper, then clear is the way to go.
Sketch Your Floral
You can skip this step if you prefer to freestyle your floral with your paint. I like to sketch a very light line to get the position correct. I then add a darker graphite pencil over it because I like the way the graphite mixes with the paint.
I begin with my mid-tone color and then build-up to the lightenest color. I save my darkest to be used between layers where I want to add depth and dimension.
Add Soft Charcoal
I like to add soft pastel to areas of the illustration to continue to add texture and depth to the piece. Then with a white pastel I fill in the background around the floral. I blend this out then with black pastel I’ll add dots and marks around the flower. I also like to add other marks with pastels where it feels right.
This painting was an experiment in layers. I started with different colors and very textured brush strokes. Then layer upon layer was added until I achieved the color I wanted. I used mostly acrylic paint, but I did use oil paint to tone the second to last layer. The final layer was about smoothing things out which I did with a soft brush.
I created this on canvas paper and may offer the original for sale at some point, but until then Art Prints are available in my Etsy Shop.