Breaking Free with your Art

The Art Sherpa Tutorial

I Remember when I first started getting back into my art, how hard is was for me, so I wanted to talk to you about breaking free with your art.

At first when I re-entered my Artistic Journey I did a lot of free classes found online & I had a lot of fun doing them. I did Coloring classes, Word Art classes, Art Journaling classes, Watercolor classes, Acrylic classes, Drawing classes, Mixed Media classes. Pretty much any type of Art class I could find and it was great! I was learning and felt good about what I was accomplishing.  [Note - Click Photos to see tutorials used]

Then at some point I realized that the only art I was doing was just a mimic of what someone else did. Suddenly just following classes was no longer enough. I wanted to create my own art, from start to finish. But I had no idea what to create. I would literally sift through google & pinterest pages for hours, doing searches for the various types of art photos that were created using materials I had. Still nothing came to me. It felt like every idea I had of what I wanted to create was just coming from someone else.

   Tamara Laporte Tutorial

I was so dependent on following another artist tutorial that I didn't know where to start and on top of that I felt like I needed to do something completely original. Then I ran across a book called, "Steal like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. His theory is basically that nothing is completely original, everything is created upon what came before.  Light bulb moment, I realized I agree with him and that understanding freed me. I highly recommend you read this book, you can get a free PDF Download of it by clicking Here.

Now I am in no way saying it's ok to completely duplicate another artist's work, or to even make something that is obviously similar to someone else's work and call it your own. That is just ethically and morally wrong. What I am saying is I finally understood that it was ok if I used techniques that I learned from someone else.  It's ok if I felt inspired to paint a picture of a sunflower, a horse, a person...

Creativity comes from combining things that you have learned to then re-creating your version and interpretation.

       My Own Creation

Once I embraced this new understanding I was then able to go to that blank page or canvas and begin on my own journey into finding my own personal style, using information I learned from all the fabulous artist's before me. And guess what I am still learning and re-developing my own style everyday and I still love doing online tutorials. Learning from others is the best tool anyone could have, so use it. It helps us to grow and learn new techniques that we may want to incorporate into our own unique personal style.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Art Journaling – Many Types

Art journaling has become very popular over the years.  So what is Art journaling? Is there a predetermined way to create one? Does every page have to be filled or finished? Is the a certain type of journal you have to use? My answer to these questions is simple... No! You do not need to follow

any specific guidelines. If you want your journaling to follow set rules, that is fine. If you want it to be project specific, fantastic. If you only have notebook paper and pens to use, no problem. 

I personally do  my journals more project specific. Needless to say I have quite a collection of Journals. This photo actually shows only about a half of the journals I own.

The first few journals I created were for creating Zentangles and simple line art. From there I started doing Word Art Journals. I had no rules, they were simply for my eyes only. Since then I have actually gone back through them and created other art that was inspired by some of those first few journals. I also have journals I use to test new techniques and background ideas. Those are very relaxing to me since they have no pre-formatted idea behind them. I use them a lot when I have no specific idea for a new project but want to keep my artistic mode going. Then I have some I use just for mixed media. They are the more standard types of Art Journals and a lot of the pages are from Art Journal tutorials I have found online.

Then I have my "Girls Only" Art Journals. No it doesn't mean that guys can't see them. lol They are journals that I make pictures of the little girls I so love creating.  Some of those pages have made their way into becoming prints for my shop, others are just for me and a few are from online tutorials.

 They don't have to complicated, specific, or time consuming. You may only have 15 minutes a day to dabble in yours and that is perfectly ok. Maybe you just want to write about your day and do some little doodles around the edges, that works too. So no matter how you decide to use a journal, it's all good. Your journals are for you, it's up to you what do with them, how to use them and who you want to see them. Just let your creativity out and have fun! 

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

NeoColor II

One of my favorite products to use are the NeoColor II Artist Crayons by Caran d'Ache. They have a very high pigment and can be used on so many of my mixed media projects. They can be bought in sets of sets of 10, 15, 30, 40 or 84. You can also buy just one at a time, which is perfect when you find you use up your favorite colors.

I use them on almost all of my art projects. I find the ease of use and the wide variety of colors often works better for me than using one of my regular watercolor sets. Plus they are perfect to use when you want to carry them with you, just grab a few colors, put them in a little bag with an aqua brush and your ready to go.

There are various ways that I apply the color to my projects, so I thought I would share those with you. Most times I apply them with an aqua brush, which is basically a brush with a barrel that holds water, but I also use them with my regular water color brushes also.

The way I apply them when I want less pigment, or I am working on smaller areas where I don't need a lot of pigment, is to scribble the color onto another piece of paper and then use the wet brush to pull some color off the paper. I enjoy the control I get when doing it this way, unfortunately you do waste some of the color this way.

Another way I use mine is to color with them right onto the project I am working on and then use a wet brush to dissolve the crayon marks. I personally don't use this method often as I have found I have less control this way. Also it can sometimes leave traces of hard lines on the paper or doesn't smooth out as well as I would like.

 My favorite way to use them is to pull the color right off of the crayon itself using a wet brush. This is great for projects that are larger and you need more pigment to spread around or if you want it to be bolder in color. It does tend to make your crayons odd in shape but that doesn't bother me since I get the results I want.

A little tip when using them right off the crayon, you may need to scrape a bit of the top layer off to get to the full pigment. The outer layer seems to be a bit more waxy and often doesn't pull the color unless you do that. You don't need to scrape too much though just a very thin layer.

You can also just use them as you would a crayon or regular pastel without using water at all. This is nice when you want a bit of texture from a rougher type of paper or if you want a pastel look and they blend very easy this way also. You can blend them with your finger or with a blending stub. I personally do not use them in this way, but have seen some wonderful pieces by other artist's done in this manner.

You can find these in a wide variety of places, just type the name into Google and you will find them easily. I hope you found some helpful tips and will try this great product.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Love & Hate Learning

I am currently enrolled in Tamara Laporte’s newest class called. “Ever After” The class is geared towards helping you develop and recognize your own style. It’s a brilliant class and I am so thrilled to be a part of it and. Yes it is definitely helping me to begin recognizing my own style.

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You can learn more about this fabulous course here http://bit.ly/EA2016Tam

That said, I also have come to a love hate relationship with parts of the lesson. Lol Learning may be fundamental but it is not always 100% fun! Lol The first lesson was one of Tam’s, since I am familiar with doing her tutorial’s I didn’t struggle as much with this one but still as always had my moments.

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You remember those times when you look at your work and feel your stomach working its way up to your throat as you contemplate your next step. That step that brings fear and causes your heart to do that thumpity thump… Yah so I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea.

But again I pushed through and tadahhhh a new little mermaid was born, to swim happily through the majical fairyland under the sea!

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The next tutorial was Beauty & the Beast by a wonderful artist, Andrea Gomoll. Now with this one I got to the sketch phase and from there on was in a constant battle between the forces of Love & Hate. Her style is so very different from my own, but I was determined to keep mine as close to what she did as possible, so that I can learn. I was ok with the initial steps of using watercolor as I am familiar with that process, and I wasn't too concerned at this point. Then the next layer came and although I loved the softness of my girl and beast and I also loved the texturing step, which was totally new technique for me, I hated the darkness my background had taken on and my rose. (ughhh)

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Yet I wasn’t doing this course to love every step, I took the course to learn. So buck it up ranae’ and keep going. The next steps my blood pressure had to of been lifted and my mind was doing the “this is terrible, I can’t so this, I hate mine” mantra. I wanted to give up on this one so many times. But hey we can’t let the hate win, we have to push it back into a place of love, so I moved forward.  Here is my end result.

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This particular style is not me, but I was amazed at how much I learned from pushing through those rough patches. How much I would of missed out on learning had I not completed the lesson. I also learned how much I appreciate Andrea and others who can do this style so easily!!!

The next lesson has me already at Hate stage, and I have done nothing on it but sketched out my girl. Lol But it is a style I have never ever tried any of the steps on. So it will be pretty much completely new to me. I will post about it also when I am completed. Of course as I typed that my mind is saying “IF you complete it” lol, but I will, my hate relationship with learning NEW art techniques will not win!

 

Hugs & Love - Ranae -

Techniques’: When is it your own?

I have my own style in many things but lately with my girls I have taken to following Tamara Laporte’s wondrous tutorials. I always try to make some part of each tutorial unique in some way. Yet I find myself leery of saying it is 100% my own yet.

For example, I recently completed one of Tam’s tutorial called the “Merry Muse” The photo below is Tamara's work.

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(Click Here for more info on this tutorial)

To make it more my own I used a different color palette and I changed the items in her hands from a Celtic Harp to Moon and then made my dove different with no crown. See my take on this tutorial below.

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So yes it looks different than Tam’s yet similar still because the techniques used are pretty close to the same.

My next project I decided to still use the techniques I have learned from Tam but I didn’t follow her tutorials directly and even drew my very own girl without any visual aids from anyone else’s works. In other words, the girl is totally my creation.

However, once I completed her, in my mind she is still not really mine. She is not from any tutorial, she is not a copy, and yet she still doesn’t feel like all mine. Simply because the techniques I used were all learned from Tam.

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I would be very interested in what others may think. If you are learning techniques from other artist’s when does what you are working on become your own work? Does every technique used needs to be 100% your own idea? Does it become your own if you mix one learned artist’s technique with another’s? How do you get to that point where you feel your creations are all yours?

I personally have no answer, I am still on the journey to developing my own personal style, technique and cohesive works. However, I know one thing…

Learning various techniques from various artist’s is definitely a great way to keep me moving forward in this journey. So to all those wonderful artists’ that share their own techniques, trials and tricks with us I thank you with all my heart! Thank to each of you, I am confident that one day I will be able to do the same and will have my “own” unique style and techniques.

Hugs & Love from – Ranae’