Hello! Thanks for visiting!
Today I went back to work after Spring Break and I am just getting home now. Tomorrow I will have an extra long day as I will be staying to teach acrylic painting classes after school.
To hold myself accountable for the continuous sketchbook studies I have committed to doing, I am posting them here. Here are some feet drawings I worked on last weekend. I still have a long way to go and will make sure to practice anatomical elements whenever I have a chance. Honestly, I hadn't drawn feet in years. I don't even know if I had ever actually tried to draw feet in any realistic way. I'm pretty happy I did.
I am currently working on a watercolor painting of an old Corvette and will be posting pictures I am taking throughout the process. Stay tuned for that! :)
I want to start this post off by saying that I really enjoy taking photos myself. Most mornings I take my Nikon D60 with me as I go off about my day. However, most of the time I end up taking photos of my students or of work-related things that I don't post about in here. I rarely have time to take pictures for my own art projects.
When I get home from work and want to get on to practicing drawing or painting, I mostly look for reference images on the following free stock photo sites. I am extremely thankful that these kinds of sites exist and wanted to share them. All of these offer a large amount of high quality, attractive images that can be searched for by category. Some of them may require you to register, but images can be downloaded for free.
It is important to keep in mind that if you are serious about pursuing an art career and this is more than a hobby for you, at some point it will be essential to start a bank of photos taken by YOU. I am SO anxious to finish this school year and be able to dedicate more time to my art career.
Pexels offers free pictures that can be used for personal or commercial projects. Images can be modified, copied and distributed without even asking for permission or linking to the source. Attribution is not required.
Pixabay offers free images that can be copied, modified and distributed, even for commercial uses, without asking for permission or crediting the photographer.
Freerange Stock also provides free images for commercial and non-commercial use. They give their collections away hoping that ¨they will be useful and enjoyed.¨
These photos can be downloaded and used for both personal and commercial uses as long as the user gives credit to the source. It is suggested to share the site with friends.
Kaboompics offers free photos for bloggers, website owners, small businesses, freelancers, etc. for non-commercial and commercial use. No attribution required. Whenever possible, photo credits and sharing the site with others would be nice.
Free Images is a resource for photography that is free to use on websites, printed materials, design work and anything else.
FancyCrave offers free images to designers, small businesses, students, bloggers, and online marketers that can be used for both personal and commercial projects. Every single image is free of copyright restrictions.
In their own words, they offer: ¨Free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos.¨
I hope this list was useful for you. Remember that, even though you will not get in trouble for not linking back to original sources or crediting photographers, it would be awesome to share these websites with friends. Also, some of these sites let users donate money to photographers, which is a pretty awesome thing to do.
Two examples of how I used the reference image to create a little artwork!
Lately I've been making sure to dedicate some time every day to do sketchbook studies of things I consider challenging to draw. I started by making a list of four things I wanted to focus my faster studies on, making sure to narrow down on subjects or things that I usually try to avoid so that I can force myself to improve in these areas. For me, my list included: faces in different angles, the human figure in more dynamic poses, hands and feet. After I made this list, I decided on the time of the day I would be dedicating to my sketches. Since I am currently on Spring Break, it made sense for me to start my days with my sketchbook studies and later on in the day continue improving my painting.
Next week my sketchbook/study situation will change because I will be going back to my full time teaching job. However, I have committed to continue with these studies as frequently as I am able to. I am thinking of maybe scheduling in at least three blocks of 30 mins to an hour every week starting Monday until the end of the school year (this will be aside from painting). This will be challenging because coming back from Spring Break I will have super long days as I will be preparing my students' end-of-year art exhibit. But I will do the best that I can.
Even though it is very important to choose a subject or topic to specialize in as an artist, I am convinced that we have to make time to step out of our comfort zones and improve in other areas. We may find that we keep producing things that come easy to us. I think this is fine in situations in which we, perhaps, work full time in jobs that don't allow us time to continue with our art practice. I understand that, at times, we may have very little time left at the end of the day and simply want something fun to do. This is SO much better than not doing anything at all. However, if you REALLY want to improve, it is very important to MAKE time and put the work in. And, even if an artist is already amazing at what he/she does (not that I personally am anywhere near that point), it is important to dedicate time to stepping out of our personal comfort zones so we don't get stagnant and keep things fresh.
In my opinion, once an artist decides on the specific subject(s) or technique(s) he/she will be focusing on, about 70%-80% percent of actual producing time should be dedicated to improving on that particular field and the other 30%-20% should be spent experimenting and studying other interesting and challenging things. This way, we can make sure we are always working towards improvement.
In previous posts, I have included pictures of my studies of heads in angles and dynamic figure poses that I have drawn lately. Here are some drawings of the third point in my list, which are hands.
Thanks for reading and have a great day! :)
Tomorrow I will be posting a list of my favorite free image sites and how I use reference images in my artwork.
Here is a little something I started last Sunday which I finished last night. I used the mixed-media technique I posted about before, combining watercolors and colored pencils to add final values and textures. I also used a bit of white paint pen at the end.
These are my last days of Spring Break and I have a lot of things I have to get done before getting back to work on Monday. I will be a bit more busy with doctor appointments, Canada application documents that have to be sent, apartment cleaning, starting with student art exhibit prep and other important things. I am going to do my best to keep my art journey going throughout the craziness. Have a great one!
Yesterday I attempted to paint a watercolor face and, after trying three times, I gave up and decided to go to sleep because I had an appointment in the morning I had to wake up early for.
Here are two of the three sketches I made on good watercolor paper which I then painted and ruined. At least I got in my face drawing practice for the day (silver lining!).
I'm usually a pretty stubborn person and think (maybe naively?) that I can accomplish whatever I set out to accomplish. However, when things simply don't turn out the way you want them to by the third try and two hours later all you have to show for yourself are three pieces of ripped, crumpled paper, it's easy to start second-guessing yourself and your abilities.
Yes, I got a little frustrated and mad at myself for wasting my good watercolor paper. Nonetheless, I took a breather and reminded myself that the time I put in was not wasted at all. In fact, I learned many things from my failures that I will be applying the next time I try this out again. I also reminded myself that, I cannot expect myself to create a masterpiece after having only dedicated a short amount of time to this particular technique applied to this particular subject. I reminded myself that every artist has his/her own strengths and weaknesses and that this is a good thing. This is what sets us apart from each other and gives us space to grow and explore. We are also human beings and every single day has its own set of variables which may be affecting us mentally and/or physically.
If you ever have what I call a ¨Bad Art Day¨, give yourself a break. This doesn't mean you are a bad artist or that you should stop altogether. Don't let yourself be consumed by your frustrations and take this as a sign to do other things that are important in life as well. You could clean/organize your workspace, play with your pet, get a workout in, prepare some healthy food, spend time with loved ones, watch a good movie, etc. All of these activities will affect your work in a positive way when you get back to it later.
As a creative, what brings me the most fulfillment is probably the act of producing something that started in my own brain and was made with my own hands. The sense of elation that I get from creating is something like a drug to me. I get obsessed with this feeling and wanting to improve in order to create even bigger and better things. I am also an introvert and have no problem spending my entire day indoors working, so I have to make an effort to stop and do something else. It is important to remind myself that I am not a machine and more areas of my life need attention. What's more, it is the experiences we have in life that bring us the strongest inspiration. Think of how much better your art would be if you dedicated time to your mind and body and actually made time to enjoy what life has to offer!
If you ever have a Bad Art Day, take a breather. This is normal. Don't be so hard on yourself and think of how far you have come. Nothing great comes easy and/or fast. If you are anything like me and you like constantly stepping up to challenges, congratulate yourself for even trying. Stepping our of your comfort zone is an act of bravery and will ultimately lead to growth. If you are putting in the work, trust that you are getting better and keep going after having taken a mental break. If you know in your heart that this is your passion, don't ever give up.
Hey all! Thanks so much for visiting today!
As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am doing some sketchbook studies every day in order to practice different head angles and/or more dynamic human poses. If you are interested in seeing these as I am producing them, please follow me on Instagram (icon in the sidebar to the right).
I am doing my best to dedicate time to both drawing and painting everyday because I want to improve in both areas. My husband probably thinks I am going crazy because I am using SO much of my Spring Break studying other artist's videos, drawing and painting. I could spend the entire day doing this (which isn't the best because other things require my attention as well). It's just very hard for me because, usually, so much of my time goes to my full-time job or getting mentally ready for the roller-coaster that is teaching, that I don't have as much time to do what I want to do in the evenings. Also I feel like I have to take advantage of this time now because, when I get back to my full time job on the 24th, I'll be so consumed with my students' end-of-year Art Exhibit that I am going to loose a lot of time in which I could be progressing with my own work.
Nonetheless, the school year will end in the beginning of June and I'll be back to it full steam. I also have to keep in mind that this is my last year in my full-time teaching position and I have to enjoy it as much as I possibly can. After this school year ends, I will have to excuses and will start on my own Etsy shop and YouTube channel projects!
It's so fascinating to me how each artist is drawn to a specific kind of subject. I think it says so much about them. In my opinion, what makes an artist's style is, not only what physical supplies they choose to use for their work and how they choose to use them, but also what subjects they are compelled to represent and the way they choose to represent those particular subjects. It's the combination of all of these elements that make the viewer of the piece feel a particular way or think of a particular idea. In turn, IF the viewer connects with a particular artist's style, it says so much about THEM, but that is another story...
I am still working towards finding my particular style. Even though my painting style is slowly starting to show and I have learned so much about what supplies I enjoy using most over the past few months, I am still unsure about what subjects I want to specialize in and what feelings or ideas I want to transmit with my work. I honestly feel like an artwork is mediocre if it doesn't effectively transmit SOMETHING to the viewer. It could be an amazing artwork, but if it fails to transmit an idea, it is just a ¨pretty¨ picture. To me, art isn't about just being ¨pretty¨, but about having meaning.
Anyway, I mainly wanted to talk about why I felt compelled to paint a car. Not only did I feel it would be a great challenge because I haven't really tried to paint anything mechanical, but I do feel drawn to cars (especially older models). I love this quote included in the book Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk: "Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.¨ It's so true.
Everything we are is a result of the things we have been through and the people that have affected us somehow in our lives. I will probably always be drawn to cars because I have an older brother and used to have a father that loved and fixed cars up. Throughout my childhood I played a lot of racing games on either computer or Nintendo. I had my own Hot Wheels to play with my brother because he was my only sibling. Ever since I can remember, my basement has been filled up with old car parts and maintenance supplies. To the day, it is a relief that whatever happens to my current car, I KNOW I can call my brother and he'll have a pretty good idea of what the problem is. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know why I decided to paint a car and not a vase of flowers.
I had fun with this one and it was a great way to continue practicing my use of masking fluid. Today, I am going to the art supply store to buy some oil painting supplies in order to make a painting next week! More about that later. If you are still reading this, thank you so much for visiting and have a wonderful day!
If you are following me on Instagram or Twitter, you may already know that yesterday was a day of experimenting with masking fluid. To be honest, I haven't really used it much, ever. Sometimes I am a little lazy and eager to get on with the painting process and I would rather just do my best to leave white areas white when painting. This said, I have to say that this was one of the hardest things that I have had to get used to when painting with watercolors. The experience I had painting before hand was with Oils and Acrylics, in which one can work from dark to light and there is no problem adding in white details until the end. Watercolors broke my brain a little bit, but hopefully I have been able to improve.
Anyway, I decided to confront my fears (and laziness) yesterday because I have a lot of ideas for projects which will require me to use said masking fluid. I used a paper clip to apply it
Hi. As promised, I am starting off my days with some sketchbook work in order to loosen up and get into the right mind set to start whatever painting I will be working on that day. These are a couple of sketchbook spreads.
It feels so good to finally get a chance to rest and work on my painting/drawing. Spring Break has officially started. I have a plan in order to improve my skills in the next 13 days:
Every day I will be working on pencil sketches in order to improve my drawing of anatomical elements of the human body. I really have to continue working on drawing the head in different angles, making poses more dynamic and feet/hands. I will be posting this type of sketchbook work on my Instagram as soon as I finish with them so click on the sidebar icon to follow me on there. :)
Aside from these, I will be working on a painting every day. Smaller paintings will be finished a lot faster than more complex ones. I plan to be working on two or more at the same time. If I have the time, I would love to do a small oil painting as well. Stay tuned!
I used a picture from Pixabay as reference for this painting. This site has been really useful for me in my quest towards improving my artwork! Highly recommended if you are looking for free reference images for drawings.
Nice to see you! Here is a mixed-media painting I just finished today and a picture I took of one of my sketchbook studies done this week. I posted a couple of days ago a picture of how the ice cream cone painting started on Instagram, in case you want to see more process pictures. The method I follow when I am doing most of my mixed-media artwork is:
1. Watercolor pencils for first layer
2. Watercolor paint for second/third layers (adding in values)
3. Prismacolor pencils for final values and added textures
This is it for now! Make sure to visit these next couple of weeks because I will be working A LOT on improving my work as I will be on Easter Break from work. So excited! :)
Today I wanted to continue practicing painting glass in watercolor. I started with the Old Fashioned and was having too much fun so I decided to look for other drinks to paint. I liked how The Mojito turned out the most, for some reason. Probably because of the brighter green. I've decided I really like green.
It's funny that lately I haven't been doing a lot of mixed-media work, which is what I was doing most in the beginning of this illustration journey I am going through.
Man, I really have to get up and exercise. I finally slept a decent amount of hours last night but I feel super sluggish after last week, still. I am trying to enjoy my last few months of teaching! Once I finish the school year I am going all out and practicing my painting every day. I feel like I have so much time to make up for....
I would love it if you left a comment about which illustration you think is best!
Also, comment which you would like to have after a hard week of work! :)
I've been crazy busy lately. It is a crazy time at school with numerous events going simultaneously. I've had no time to draw or paint after work, which saddens me. However, I am happy that I will be having Spring Break soon. Though I will probably already be working on titles and movie editing for the end-of-semester Art Exhibit during my break. I will make sure to post a lot of pictures of the process I go through from preparation to set-up for that later.
I had mentioned before that, aside from working full time as an Art Teacher for grades Fourth through Ninth, I also teach Acrylic and Oil Pastel classes after school. Even though these after school classes will continue for, at least, another month after coming back from Spring Break, we held our exhibit now because it ties in with other events that are going on. Also, it was super important for the other Art Teacher and myself to have this extra work now and not during the weeks of prep leading up to the larger end-of-semester exhibit. It's going to be my tenth larger Art Exhibit here at the school!
Here are a few pictures of last night's exhibit!
I needed to do a quick one today. Need to spend some time with my husband before next week starts. It's incredible how you can live with a person and be so busy all the time that you rarely get a chance to spend some quality time together.
So here it is, together with one picture taken at the beginning stages of the piece.
I wish you a great week! :)
Hello again peeps! I hope you are doing well today.
I grew up watching The Twilight Zone (which to the day is still one of my favorite t.v. shows), Alfred Hitchcock Presents and horror movies based on Stephen King books. I also saw way too much stuff like Tales from the Crypt and Creep Show at way too young an age. I remember when I was in Third Grade I made a little model related to this Creep Show episode for Show and Tell to share with my classmates. It was superb, to say the least.
Since I am currently working towards finding my art style, I have been thinking a lot about my taste in movies, t.v. shows, music, etc. and how all of these things affect me in terms of the subjects that appeal to me and how I go about representing them.
I am watching the current (and final) season of Bates Motel, which is a pretty entertaining t.v. show. Freddie Highmore's acting has me quite impressed. I was inspired to draw this house.
Why hello there! Thank you for coming by! This was a tough and busy week with Parent/Teacher Conferences, helping out homeroom teachers with the upcoming International Fair (this is a BIG school event), and also, prepping for our smaller Extracurricular Activity exhibit with is coming up next Wednesday.
Fortunately, I was able to make some time for practicing and these were the results. I posted this first one on Instagram in its beginning stages yesterday, I believe. I am going to be honest and say that I don't really like it too much. After analyzing why (in order to not repeat this mistake), I think it is the fact that I didn't plan and prepare a set color palette. Maybe it's just the fact that I don't like such a large variety of bright colors. I tend to gravitate more towards darker, more muted tones. I did my best to bring it together by using very specific colored pencils for the shadows in all of the different elements and this helped a bit. I'm still not very proud of it, but I am glad that I learned something from the time I invested.
Aside from this, I was able to put in some practice time in my sketchbook to do some realistic eye studies.
I am going to the art supply store tomorrow and I think I am buying a new sketchbook because my current one is almost full!
Here is something I just finished a bit ago with a couple of pictures I took throughout the process. :)
Why, hello there! Thanks for coming by! I have some figs for you today. I once went to this delicious Italian restaurant here in Monterrey that sold pizza with sliced figs on it. It was delicious. I should go back there some time...
I really should stop using my Canson Mixed-Media sketchbook for these types of paintings. It is definitely not the best for layering as much as I tend to do. I created my Instagram account, finally. Follow me there so you can see what I'm up to on a daily basis!
I really wanted to take advantage of this long weekend to get my Bamboo tablet out, which I hadn't used in a while. I honestly used it mostly for quick sketches and storyboards but never for thoroughly painting. It's something I'd like to get better at.
Today's illustration is a delicious brownie. I really have to try to make some of the healthy brownie recipes I have collected in Pinterest. The problem is my husband doesn't like brownies so I usually end up making almond or coconut flour cookies (which are also delicious). I just haven't had a brownie in so long. : 0
Anyway...Saturdays are just wonderful, aren't they? I finally get to wake up with no alarm going off at 5 a.m., I get to work on my art and to have breakfast slowly...what else can I ask for?
I have decided to start a digital illustration this weekend, which I haven't done in a while. It is going to be interesting to work on one after the experience I have had with traditional media lately. Still trying to decide if I should do food or a portrait. I'm kind of leaning towards a portrait for that, but we'll see. I will also be creating my Instagram account this weekend.
Thanks for coming by! Have a nice one!
Here's a piece of food I actually eat on a daily basis! I used a bunch of different media on this one including watercolors, Prismacolor pencils, acrylic paint and my Micron pens for the handwritten letters. I am really loving adding in handwriting to my work. I will keep practicing different fonts.
I am SO happy that this will be a long weekend for me! I have a few ideas of things I want to try to draw/paint next! This weekend I will do another urban sketch for sure. I will be creating an Instagram account very soon in order to share pictures of my process and daily inspirational adventures. Stay tuned for that!
I arrived home from work so incredibly drained and irritable today. Shout out to all the school teachers out there. My respects if you still get home and take care of your own kids. I used to be the type to think ¨Those who can't do, teach.¨, but after 6 years at the job I honestly believe you have to be part superhuman.
Here are some doughnuts that I started with water-soluble pencils. I hope to be able to come up with something better soon. Need to rest today.
Today was a day to practice drawing houses. I really felt like doing something different and went for my Micron pens. I found a photo which I was drawn to at www.unsplash.com by a photographer called Eduard Militaru (click on the image below to find more of his photos). I am so thankful for sites like Unsplash, which offer great free photos that I can practice drawing and painting with! Yay!
So here is something I just finished. Man, does it feel nice to be able to have a morning to make some art! I am including pictures that I took throughout the process of creating this piece. I will explain a bit below each picture about that particular phase.
Sketch on Fabriano watercolor paper. I usually use a light gray watersoluble pencil so that all pencil lines disappear as I start painting. When I first started painting I used regular pencils and my paintings became super dirty, especially when using soft pencils (anything softer than an HB pencil and your pretty much risking it if doing watercolors).
This is the second stage of the mixed-media process. Here I have already finished with the watercolors. It took me about 3 layers to get to the amount of values I wanted. I am happy to say that I am getting better and better at leaving areas completely white as I am doing watercolors (I initially had a lot of problems with this because my experience was mostly with acrylics and oils).
Later, I went in with my Prismacolor SoftCores and added in more texture and values to each area. I honestly haven't decided if I like the look of watercolors or watercolors + colored pencils more for my work. For now, I am happy experimenting! If you look at the final product at the top, you will see the final step in which I used both acrylic paint and a white paint pen to add final highlights throughout the burger illustration.
I really love to do handwritten fonts, so I went in and added letters instead of doing a watercolor background, which I had been doing before. For this part, I first drew my letters with a 2H pencil and filled in with a 3.0 calligraphy pen as well as a Sakura drawing pen. Later on, once I was sure that these were dry, I went in to add the table with a light gray watercolor wash.
Hey guys! Journalist Frank Lee asked me if I'd be interested in co-producing this very interesting infographic describing 10 of the things we designers dislike the most when working with clients. I've definitely experienced some (if not all) of these problems when working at agencies as well as freelancing. Wouldn't our jobs be so much more enjoyable if these things didn't happen? Check these out and leave a comment if you think of any other issues that aren't mentioned!
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See what I am up to on: