Monday, January 22, 2018

5 Winter Accessories Essentials

Winter staples wouldn't be complete  without accessories and winter is a season where they are endless to keep you warm,  comfy, and spice up what you already have. 

 Hats can be a hard choice but they can keep you warm if you're outside a lot. 

Mittens or gloves
  Thankfully, these  are a little easier to choose than a hat! They are so important for holding in the warmth and protecting your skin when you're dashing around in the cold. 

  Scarfs are super fun and can add texture and depth but they are great at keeping the warmth in whichever type you choose. 

  Boots seem like they could cover more than one piece because there's so many types and if you want to, you could argue that each kind is essential.  Ofcourse we need snow lots to protect our other boots when it's icky outside.  Then there's booties, knee- highs, wellies, sort of life a scarf they add so much while serving a purpose. 

Nuetral carry all 
  You really need one all year round. Color is great but a nuetral goes with everything and life is easier with a go-to bag to grab. 

What are you winter accessory essentials? 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Winter Fashion Essentials

With temperatures dropping its imperative  to pick the clothes that won't let you down. We have a closet full of them but sometimes it feels like there's nothing to wear. With a few essentials  you can layer, mix and match your way to  staples that will work winter after winter. 

We all have different tastes when one person might see a wool trench coat as a winter must, another one might love a puffer jacket. It's totally up to you but the great thing is can tailor it all to your choice. 

  Whether it's wool, puffer, or fur we need coats in winter and they can make a statement of their own.  The most important thing is that they are weather proof to where you are living. 

 Jeans have become a life staple! Grab a simple silhouette.  Wear them  with over the knee boots, booties, blousy top, or thermal. The possibilities are endless! 

   The name of the game is staying warm and sweaters always deliver. Whether it's a crew neck, v-neck, turtleneck, cowl neck, through it over your favorite tee and feel cozy all day long. 
Leggings or Tights
 Keep you legs warm under a tunic it a skirt. 

Something Bright 
  Maybe this isn't traditional but winter is so dull and most outfits tend towards dark colors. Brighten up your  like with a pop of color. 

What is winter like where you are? Do you have an absolute winter essential? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

JDMM Glitz-Sea Markers

The release of the second bath of JDMM was just as exciting as the first. As she unveiled the new supplies I went over in my mind what I wanted but also what I would use the most. One thing stood out that I knew I wanted more than other- the Sparkle Markers.  Yes! They are Markers with glitter in the ink. I.cant.even.

There are two sets of Glitz-Sea Markers one warm and one cool. Cool Oceans is a blue palette and Warm Seas is more red and yellow based. 

I scooped them up the first chance I got and put them right to work. My first try was disappointing because they felt dry and scratchy.  A little research revealed that they needed to be awoken from their time in shipping.   

I left them tipside down over night and then shook, shook, shook as much as I could. This got them flowing better and I was back on business.  

The colors of the markers are very vibrant and from the faint smell, Id
‘D say they are solvent based.  The glitter in each of them is silver and lays down pretty easily.  

Truthfully, the glitter doesn’t always pop as much as I want it too but they are really pretty Markers that leave a little bit of sparkle wherever you put them!  The most important thing is first storing them upside down, shaking them well, and after use giving it a minute to dry because they smear easily.

The glitz sea markers can definitely spruce up your art and be a lot of fun to play with!

Have you tried the glitz sea markers or any of the JDMM line? I’d love to know your thoughts on it!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pantone 2018 pt 2

Monday, we started mixing Pantone 2018 spring colors.. Today we finish them up! 

  Emprador is a very rich, chocolate brown.  
   To make emprador  mix up done raw umber and add a splash of black. 

Almost mauve
   Almost mauve is another challenging color, it is a very light purple yet it's different from lavender. Doesn't it seem like mauve tints toward having a brown in it? 

  First take your red and blue to make purple.  Then add some white to lighten your purple.  If you add brave add less than a splash, a spritz, of light brown and see where it goes! 

Spring crocus
  From its name I didn't know the shade, spring crocus, is a vibrant fuschia. Fuschia is a reddish- purple color.   There's a lot of purple bases this year!  
   Mixing spring crocus sounds complex but it can be done.  On your palette separate  three puddles  of your warm red.  Leave the first puddle as is..  Add white to you second puddle making pink.  Then, mixing you red puddle with your pink puddle. For your third puddle you want to make purple, add a warm blue to your red.   Once your mixed purple add it to the red/pink mix until you have the fuschia shade you're looking for. 

Lime punch
   Lime punch is a citrusy, tropical green. 

   First mix equal parts blue and yellow. Once they are mixed to green add one more part yellow to bring out the lime shade. 

Pantone also released a for color classic report because as much as many people love color, there are many that see a few classic colors as a mainstay. 

Sailor blue 
   Sailor blue is the perfect name for the navy shade, it is anchor to you palette.

   Take your blue and add a small amount of purple to darken it. I really love adding purple shading to my blue when I paint, it really makes it stand out but still blends well. 

Harbor mist 
   Harbor mist  is a light gray like the mist of a crispy morning.  

   Harbor mist can be made by taking your gray and adding white to it.   If you don't have gray paint you can mix it up by mixing black and white. The more white you add the lighter gray it'll be. 

Warm sand 
  Warm sand is a neutral brown that goes with everything.
  Mix naples yellow and raw umber to make warm sand. 

Coconut milk
   Coconut milk is supposed to look like coconut milk! A sort of off- white color which isn't the easiest to make. I think the simplest way to to take your white and add the teensiest, tiniest bit of raw umber to tint it. 

What are  your favorites for this year? 
* all pictures courtesy of Pantone *

Monday, January 8, 2018

Panton 2018 pt 1

As always, Pantone comes up with colors forecast to be the most popular each spring and fall. Though it's technically still have winter, Pantone's spring report kicks off 2018 with its color of the year. This it is Ultra Violet.

This Spring has twelve shades and four classic colors. It is described as "a sanctuary of color meant for dramatic color mixing".  Color mixing is a foundation of painting the so the question begs to be asked- how do we mix Pantone's 2018 colors?   

   Meadowlark is bold and outgoing, it is the brightest primary  yellow on your palette. 

Cherry tomato
   Cherry tomato is a warm, orange-y. To make cherry tomato start with your warm red and add a small drop of your warm yellow. 

If you want it more orange add another drop of yellow but do it very carefully so the yellow doesn't nuetralize the red. 

Little boy blue
  Though it's not only for little boys anymore, little boy blue is a pale, powder blue.  Start with your warm blue and add equals amounts of white to both lighten it and make it pastel-blue looking. 

Chili oil 
   My first thought at seeing the name chili oil was that it'd be bright red but it's a brownish red.  
 To make chili oil mix burnt sienna with a drop or two of warm red. 

Pink lavendar 
  The idea of mixing pink lavendar is intimidating. It's a a very delicate balance with pale pink & purples colors added to the fact that pink and purple are not primary. 

 So let's give it a try.  The first thing you can do is make purple by mixing blue and red.  Then, add enough white to turn your purple into lavendar.  Next you can either add a very watered down drop of red or mix red and white to make a light pink.. Gradually mix a tiny amount of the light pink into your pastel purple till you find a pink lavender shade you like.

Blooming dahlia
   Blooming dahlia is another challenging color.  It's a bit coral-y which is a pinkish orange type color.  

As we made pink before either water down red or mix red and white for a more pastel tone. Looking at the picture of blooming dahlia I think mixing white & red would work best.  Then gingerly add a drop of orange. 

  Arcadia is a retro- green leaning towards the blue family. 
   To make Arcadia mix blue and yellow to form green. Since it is a bluer green you want to add a tad more blue once you've made green.

Ultra violet
  Ultra violet, the color of the year,  is a rich, medium purple.
  It's an easier to color to make mix equal parts warm red and warm blue! 

Have any colors jumped out to you so far? 

* All pictures courtesy of Pantone *

Thursday, January 4, 2018

7 Things I Learned in 2017

Last year, I learned how important it was to try new takes on techniques and skills I already knew. This year, I feel like I have seen that play out and it makes me really happy. My heart feels full when I realize I've grasped something new and that I have the skill to approach it in more than one way.  

1.  Color theory  
      Color Theory sounds simple but it's such a science and I dipped my feet into it this year.  You never know when you'll need to pick an anogulous color scheme or just know the rules so you can break them! 

      I gained a deeper appreciation for practicing the basics of watercolor. Now that I have done watercolor for a while I look at it in a different way, not just to complete something pretty but how can I accomplish it the most effectively? The most thoroughly? The most properly?  Basic exercises are no longer a bore but a fun challenge to  keep me going. 

3.   Pencil lines
      Brooke Hagel provides consistent inspiration for me. Earlier this year she had a particularly transparent Instagram post about a client complaining there were some stray pencil lines in her illustrations.  I was surprised, I've seen her pencil lines and thought it was awesome! It proved she applied herself and didn't have some magical power to create perfect lines every time. 

  Brooke's response was that of course there was a pencil line or two each and everyone of her illustration is 100% handmade from pencil sketch to marker rendering.  

As I got to thinking about it I felt better that my initial sketches are not perfect and there are stray lines. It shows my work, how I apply myself, and makes it all more authentic. 

     Skintone & shading has to be one of the most challenging things out there. I'm always open to new approaches and what results it may produce.  I found the frugal crafter channel and have watched this video in creating different skin tones a couple of times.   

It's a long video but it is jam packed with good information and technique I hadn't tried. One that I'm now practicing. 

   Towards the end of last year I found Zoe Hong. She is s fashion design professor and her YouTube channel is a course in and of itself!  

 One of the most valuable things I have learned is how to create wrap arounds on my illustrations. I hadn't thought about it but people are 3-d objects and in order to create the depth we'd see in real life we have to make it look like clothes are wrapped around the illustration like they would be in real life! 

      I've long struggled with sketching eyes. I always thought that since they are so small on an illustration that they would only need a line and a circle.  A funny thought process when an eye can make or break a face sketch, why would it be as simple as one line?! 

I've become so thankful for Snapchat and Insta-story. Watching them of my favorite artists helped me to see the effort they put into an eye, that line I had thought was the whole she-bang is just the beginning.  They take time to build an eye varying line weights and adding highlights! That's how you make an eye stand out!

7. Villains  Can Be Fun 
    Taking Jane Davenport's "Over the Rainbow" class, the week of the Wicked Witch game up and I was like "why would I want to draw that?"  I'm not about villains. But I did because I bought the class.   

As I started swiping green over her faces and drawing in longer lashes, I started to really like it. When I finished, I saw that she was surprising pretty and that I had had fun.   I started looking at more villains and being drawn to the drama on their look, the sharpness of their features, the fire in their eyes. Villain characters are rather extravagant  and that's fun to create as well as adding a new challenge to my skills! 

What have you learned in 2017?