Saturday, 30 May 2015

Grid patterned artwork with Aero Color Inks

There are times when I really like working in details, but i also like working with the freedom that I don't know where the artwork will go and it will just evolve as it goes along. Sometimes I can also get a bit overwhelmed not know where to start or the idea for the whole thing, so i find that working in a bit of a grid system where I am just working on a box at a time can help AND sometimes despite it being a bit all over the place it can come together as a cute little artwork or just ideas for a another work. So if your a bit like me you might like to give this little grid work a try.

Step 1 First thing you want to do is that you want to chose 1 colour. I chose the Schmincke Aero Colour - Cyan. I could chosen to do this with watercolours but I love with these inks how you can use them like watercolours as watered down or vibrant as you like and I feel that they move better than watercolours.

Step 2: I have used a watercolour board, you could use any thick watercolour paper.

Next you want to draw up your grid. Each rectangle in my grid is about 40mm X 20mm simply because that is what fitted easily into the size board I had.(try not to overthink this bit).

Step 3: Masking off areas with the Masking fluid. One of the things I also love about this set is the masking pen. So i jumped straight in my chosing one section and masking some lines on it.

These lines will be white when the ink goes over the top, but it needs to dry completely before you put any ink there so thats why I start with this bit first to let it dry whilst i work on the other sections.

Step 4: Now its just a matter of going from grid to grid and adding in some patterns. Like i said earlier i find this less daunting as you can move around from section to section rather than trying to work on the whole artwork at the one time.

I also just love love love the pen that comes with this set. For someone like me that likes fine detail being able to do my fine lines with the same coloured ink in filled into the pen is just such a delight, it saves me messing about with the super fine brushes I can just fill the pen and away I go.  I can get a much better line (and dot ) with the pen that i would with the brush.

I am careful not to use the pen too much though as I want variation on the final piece as that will make it more interesting.

From here it really is a matter of just filling everything up. It actually is quite time consuming. I had to come back to this a few times as I was getting too caught up in the details.

Just remembering to use some really watered down brush strokes as well as intense, which the ink handles brilliantly.

Here is what I came to before i removed the masking fluid, and below is what i came to after.

I plan to continue to enhance this in places with coloured pencils and maybe introduce another colour.

I like to take my time with these so whilst its not finished yet its a process that will continue to evolve over time.

Hope you enjoyed this one, to get you started.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Guest Designer Helen Syngaris- Hope Full and Free!

It’s Helen here again for the Crafty Crusaders!

For this month’s project we are keeping it simple using a box canvas from Pebeo.
No need to frame. Just attach some hanging cord or wire and you are good to display your own original on the wall!


 Materials needed are:
 *20cm x 40cm 3D 100% cotton box canvas from pebeo
 *Schmincke brand heavy body matt gel 50522
 *Pebeo acrylic colours in: 
Turquoise Blue 30, Burnt Umber 29, Buff Titanium 65, Raw Sienna 36, Yellow Ochre 27, Vivid Pink 45, Napthol Carmine 18, Hookers Green 44, Paynes Grey 40, Primary Yellow 48, and Oriental Violet 21
 * Old atlas pages
 * Scrapbook pages from your stash
 * Star stencil
 * Stencil of choice for canvas sides
 * Pencil
 * Palette knife
 * Brushes
 * Mod Podge
 * White gel pen
 * Black gel pen

 Gather your supplies and choose a colour to paint around the side edges of the canvas. I’ve chosen Turquoise Blue. Paint around outside edges and leave to dry. Use a heat gun if you’re impatient like me!


 I chose a flowery stencil for the sides of my canvas. Using a palette knife and the Schmincke heavy body matt gel, I applied the gel through the stencil randomly around the four outside edges over the turquoise. This gel is fabulous when you want to add a bit of texture. It goes on white but dries transparent. The thicker the application, the longer it takes to dry. I'll be adding colour over this later.


 Now to the front of the canvas. Lightly sketch in your figure. I then used some old atlas pages and stuck them down randomly around my figure for the background. Tear them up into different sizes and shapes. This is the fun part where you don't have to be precise. Once dry, I gessoed lightly over the background to make it recede. I want my figure to be the focal point not the background.

                              IMG_4923 IMG_4924

 I then went on to sticking down the papers for the dress. Once this was done I began painting the hair, face and crown. I love this part of my project. I get to see the personality of the figure come out!

                              IMG_4928 IMG_4931

 I tend to paint in thin layers for this part adjusting things as I go along and highlighting different elements when I'm happy with the result. I then added some more paper embellishments to the background to fill in any areas of the composition I felt need something.


 I then wanted to add some bling to the crown. I mixed primary yellow with the schmincke heavy body matt gel and applied it randomly through a star stencil at the top of the crown. I couldn't help myself and decided to add some more stars down the side of the figure. Love the texture and dimension this technique gives my work.


To finish off the piece, I outlined the figure, decorated her hair with white dots and used my fingers to put an edge on the canvas with the turquoise and oriental violet. The side edges of canvas also gota thin coating of Oriental violet over the dried matt gel.

                                             FullSizeRender FullSizeRender


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires you to have a go at one yourself.
Would love to see your creations!!

 Until next month,


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Signed Sealed Delivered - Mail Art the Easy Way

We live in a very digital world of emails and instagrams, people communication via a phone usually, but I am an old school girl, I adore writing, sending and receiving letters! the ye ole snail mail kind. So today I thought I would share a very quick way to get unique looking envelopes that take literally 10 mins to complete!
1. Envelopes  (use thicker ones I tore holes in my basic envelopes that I use for school notes)
2. Schmincke Aerocolor Inks in your favourite colours
3. Some cheap washii tape, the cheaper ones are substandard and you want to be able to remove the tape without damaging your envelope!
4. Brushes - I used the Princeton Artist Brush in various sizes (smaller size for mark making)
5. Mepxy Desgin Marker in Black when I wanted more control than a brush would give.

1. Get your envelopes ready and your washii tape and make 'address lines' lines where you would usually write the address.

Step 2 - Start applying washes of colour using your Schmincke Aerocolor Ink as you can see ink is repelled by the washii tape, don't worry that doesn't matter in the end! The tape is doing it's job perfectly. - I switched envelopes as these one tore! so tip is to use a little higher quality envelopes that office standard. 

step 3 - Mix Colours and have fun! there is no right or wrong way to create your palettes on these envelopes experiment with combinations, mixes and mark making!

Step 4 - Creating details with a small brush is a great way to get some visual interest into your envelopes! I used the Grey acrylic ink and a small brush and went to town adding marks.

When I wanted more control with marks, I switched to the Mepxy Design Marker in black. 

Step 5- When you are happy with your envelopes now comes time to peel off your washi tape address lines.

 This will reveal stark white lines for which you can easily write you penpals address on without it being too hard for the post office to read, whilst still being bright and full of colour!
 I then went in with my old school label maker and just punched out my name to give you an idea that you don't have to even writing your names! you can make funky labels instead!

 I hope this inspires you to create some wonderful bright envelopes to mail off to friends, family and penpals! I'm going to be back in a few days using similar techniques but using project life cards! Stay tuned for that one!

Enjoy have a wonderful mail filled day! 
Courtney Diaz.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Create a Rose Gold Mug For Someone Special

Material Required For This Project
  • A plain white ceramic mug
  • Scotch Blue Painters Tape
  • Self-adhesive stencil by Portacraft (optional)
  • Pebeo Porcelaine Outliner in Gold
  • Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Glossy Gold paint
  • Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Glossy Scarlet paint
  • Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Glossy Olivine Green paint
  • Small round brush, I like Princeton brushes
  • Cleaning alcohol and paper towel to clean mug

 Step 1: Wash your mug in hot soapy water, dry it, clean off with cleaning alcohol to remove any residue, then wipe with a paper towel to dry.

Stick the scotch Blue Painters TapeAround the top edge of the mug.

I cut the stencil out from the sheet of self adhesive stencils I found at a craft shop. They are really handy for curved surfaces because they will adhere flat to them. If you can't find this stencil you could just draw in lines with the outliner.

Step 1
 Step 2: With your gold outliner fill in the empty spaces of the stencil. This gives a great 3D effect to your design.
Step 2
 Step 3: Next you can begin to fill in the petal with your gold paint.

Step 3
 Step 4: Add the Scarlet paint. Don't be afraid to be a little messy and mix the colours together. this will give both a nice painterly effect, and some beautiful rose gold tones.

Step 4
Step 5: Use your red and gold paints and the small round brush to create some small rose buds of different sizes randomly around your mug.

Step 5
 Step 6: Use your Olivine Green to create the leaves. The nature of the paint means that with the small round brush you can create brush marks that look like the veins in the leaves. When you try it for yourself you will see what I mean.

Step 6
 Step 7: Use the outliner to draw a clean line up against the edge of the tape.

Step 7 
 Step 8: Remove the tape and draw in a decorative squiggles.

Step 8
Don't forget to bake your mug in the oven according to the packet instructions. This will make your design dishwasher safe and you will have it for ever.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Altered Book Art Journal with Pebeo Studio Watercolours & Mepxy Markers

 Do you have some old books lying around that you are thinking of throwing out?? We not re-purpose them into a treasured art journal. Altering book covers and the printed pages is heaps of fun too.

 A handy medium to use when working with old book paper is a Transparent or Clear Gesso. This helps to give the paper (especially old papers) more strength. Clear Gesso gives the page more tooth and leaves a chalky feel to the paper.

Step 1:
Add a coat of Clear Gesso over the pages.
Step 2: Add white Pebeo Studio Watercolour with a pallet knife and then spritz with water.
Step 3: Once dry add another coat of clear gesso to set the watercolour paint. To get a smooth and free from brush strokes I use paper towel or a wipe to smooth the clear gesso.
Step 4: outline your drawing onto the page.
Step 5: Add Burnt Sienna and sap green watercolour paints and spritz with water to blend and run for the hair. (Next time I will do the hair last and the face first)
Step 6: Start colouring in the face with the mepxy markers. I also used Prismacolour pencils and more of the watercolour paints to get the skin how I want it.
Step 7: Keep blending and drawing until you are happy with all the colours and drawing. I also used a white pen to add the highlights to the eyes
Step 8: Finish off with journaling on the opposite page.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The beauty of Schmincke AeroColors for Card Making!

Hi There, Siann here again to show you the fun I have had with the Schmincke AeroColor Inks with my card making.  The beauty and vibrancy of these inks make them such fun to play with.
Below is my tutorial I put together on how well Schmincke helped me reclaim some unused Christmas cards.

Check out How to Create Homemade Recycled Gift Cards by Siann Watts on Snapguide.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Psychedelic Eye - Mepxy Markers

  Psychedelic Eye - Mepxy Marker Drawing

By Natalie Wyatt 
Final Drawing

I've been doing a lot of Marker drawings lately and since I have a bit of an obsession with eyes, I thought I would combine the two and do a tutorial on how to layer colour and draw an eye!
When working with the Mepxy Markers, I tend to find success in using the lightest colours and then building up the darker layers on top of that.

You can use any colours that you want, I tend to do something different every time, but today I went for Peacock colours! I will be mentioning which colours I used as the tutorial goes on.
You don't need to use as many as what I did, I was doing workshops this past weekend with using less than 10 colours, but if you have a few at your disposal... then feel free to go crazy!
I also used a sparkly bottle of nail-polish!

  • Pencil (Use light pencils, HB or H pencils because dark graphite pencils will make your marker drawings look dirty when you use the markers over the top.)
  • Mepxy Brush Markers
  • Canson A4 Bleed-proof Paper
  • Sparkly Nail-polish.

 Firstly I started with the outline of the eye. It's a football shape that's turned on an angle.

Add the top eyelid, as well as the tear duct.

Now, to add your iris! I tend to draw the iris and extend it into the eyelid so I can make sure that I've drawn a perfect circle.

Next you add your eyebrow, eyeliner line and waterline.

The tail of the eyeliner and eyebrow may meet.  
I also added in guide-lines where I will be adding my shadows.

 Excuse the bad scans, I eventually changed to taking photo of the steps.
Here I used CG02 (Cool Grey 2) and filled in most of the eyeball but left a small gap on both sides of the iris, this is the light reflection

 Next I added CG03 to add a shadow around the edge of the eyeball.
I then used my W31 (Bridal Skin) and coloured around the edge of the eyeball, eyebrow and eyelid.

Next I used N05 (Sand Storm) and added shadows below and above the eye.

I decided that the eyeball shadow could be darker so I outlined the eyeball again with CG04 (Cool Grey 4)

Next I used M34 (Dark Pink) to colour in the tear-duct and waterline.

Now, pick three colours, a light, medium and dark colour for your iris colour. They don't have to be the same colours, they can be whatever you want, just as long as they gradually become stronger tones.

I used my L25 (Natural green) and filled in the iris. I used circular motions to shade so I achieved an even colour.

 Next I used L63 (Forrest Green) and coloured around the edge of the iris, with a thicker line at the top and thinner at the bottom.

Next I used my darkest colour C99 (Pine Needle) to again outline the edge.

You can barely tell from these images, but I used Y06 (Bright Yellow) in a small patch below the pupil to add some brightness.

 Next, I went back to my L25 and added some lines on the pupil, following the shape of the circle.

 I later decided I could go darker around the iris and used G29 (Pine Green) around the very outer edge of the iris.

 Next I used W07 (Light Mahogany) and added details to the tear duct and waterline.

Now for the cool stuff! I drew in a light reflection in the pupil and then filled the colour in with CG09 (Cool Grey 9). This really makes the eye start to come together!

 Then I had to decide what colour to use for eyeshadow and once again picked the three colours. B37, C05, B06.

It's like applying make-up! I then used C05 (Cyan) on the eyelid.

I then continued with the same colour, going over the skin tone in a shape like this. ^

 I applied B06 (Peacock Blue) to the eyelid at the edges. I used a quick flick to get the sharp lines.

I then repeated with the same colour over the skin tone blue areas. 
This started to build the shadows up nicely.

I then used B37 (Indigo) to add more shadows and outlined the eyelid line.

Now for the exciting eyeliner! This really brings it together. I used CG09 (Cool Grey 9)

I decided that I would add some green back in to make the eye pop! I used L07 (Natural Green) around the outer edges of the eyeshadow.

For the darkest shadows, I added some purple to create a strong colour. Here I used V09 (Violet).

I then used V17 (Bluish Lavender) on the waterline to add some purple shadows, but I made sure I left some pink in the middle.

For the eyelashes, I used CG08. 

It's important to note that eyelashes are constantly changing direction. This means that on the left side, they flick out to the left, at the middle they are almost straight, and by the time they get to the right, they are leaning in the same direction.

I drew an example below. The red one shoes the lashes traveling in the same direction. But in the green one, they change direction and also overlap which adds to the realism.

I repeated the same on the top lashes. To get the clean flick you may have to turn your page so you can get a smooth fast flick off the page.

I decided to go all out and give my eye blue eyebrows. Because hey? I would if it suited me!
I used B37 (Indigo) and after doing a layer, I went back over it to get those shadows.

I then used my purple nail-polish glitter to add some sparkles!
This is a very effective way to add some excitement and you don't have to deal with the hassle of finding sparkles everywhere for the next 37 years!

Here are some eyes and a pair of lips that I've drawn recently using the Mepxy Markers.
The markers dry really quickly and have such incredibly vibrant colours, everyone has a different approach to using them, but I find working with layering is most effective for me. :)

Hope you learnt something today!

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Please send us your work or anything that you create! Thanks for watching!
Natalie Wyatt