The Art Lab, Episode 64: Simple Nativity Scene

Hello, dears!

Can you believe it’s less than THREE WEEKS until Christmas?? I’ve been playing Christmas music and making fires in the fireplace and loving the Christmas decorations we put up (which I’ll hopefully post about soon!). Anyway, in honor of the season, today I’m going to show you guys a tutorial on how to make easy but beautiful Christmas-themed art.

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The Art Lab, Episode 62: Inktober 2018

Hello, dears!

Welcome back to another Art Lab post! Today I’m going to be showing you my drawings for Inktober 2018. Inktober is a challenge to draw one pen or ink drawing each day for the month of October. You’re supposed to follow the “official prompts” which I’ll show you in a bit, and then share your art with others.

I’ve never done this challenge before, although I’d heard of it, but one of my lovely readers asked if I was doing it, so I decided to try it! I’m glad I did. 😀 Even though I didn’t strictly follow the rules (it was close to the middle of October before I had time to start), I did use all the prompts and drew something every day when possible. 🙂 Continue reading

The Art Lab, Episode 44: Gel Pen String Art

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Hello, dears!

I absolutely LOVE the art we’re going to do today, but first of all… THANK YOU THANK YOU, GUYS, for all of the splendid birthday wishes. Whether it was a gift, a card, an email, or a comment, whatever it was – IT MADE MY DAY! MANY TIMES! You guys are SO SO SWEET and I am beyond blessed to call you my friends. ❤ (And yes, I am going to do a post about my gifts. 😉 But you’ll just have to wait for that, hee hee.) That thank you was way too short and small, but I’m guessing you want to see the rest of the post so I’ll stop now. BUT thank you one last time for making my birthday a wonderful day. 🙂 ❤ ❤

AHEM. Time for the art! I think this might be my favorite piece of art I’ve done for Art Lab, or at least one of my favorites! Here’s the stunning art inspiration for today:

I really like this pattern and how it’s growing and evolving while I’m drawing it. #doodle #doodling #drawing #teckning #pattern #mönster…

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HOW NEAT IS THAT? :O After pondering for a while, I came up with the idea of making the design into a constellation-type doodle with a watercolor background. I think the finished result looks gorgeous! Ready to start? Alright!

1. Selecting a canvas depends on your supply of both patience and time. You’ll need both for this project. 😉 If you have a limited supply of the aforementioned, I would suggest making this an ATC. If you’re bored and want to spend a while just making art, use a sketchbook page.

If you like clean white borders as much as I do, put strips of washi tape around the edge of your paper.

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2. Paint a graded wash of watercolor, starting with dark blue at the top and fading into purple and then pink at the bottom.

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3. Using a white gel pen, make a diagonal band of densely clustered dots across the top of the page.

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4. Fill the rest of the page with dots, spreading them further and further apart from each other as you move away from the first band of stars.

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5. Now for the fun (but tedious) part! Connect the dots. You don’t have to connect every dot to every other, but that’s what I did. For maximum impact, you’re going for a bunch of triangles – if an area has more than three sides, you missed a dot. Don’t cross over any lines or it will get too muddled.

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6. Once you near the right bottom corner, take a break and sketch in the outline of a tree on a hill. (I should have done this before I started the stars, but I didn’t. I recommend learning from my mistake. 😉 ) Make an elongated cloud shape on a trunk, and “cut out” a few holes in the leaves and branches for extra realism.

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7. Mark the sketch with a bunch of dots to connect later. Don’t do them too close together, but the fewer dots you use, the more geometric your tree will be.

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8. Connect the rest of the dots.

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9. Now take a black brush pen or Sharpie and color in between the lines. 😉

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10. Ta-daa! Now for the great reveal…

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SOOOO PRETTY!

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I really love how this turned out, and I hope you guys do too! Do you think you’ll make this? If you do, I’d love to see it! Click here to see how to send it in and add it to our Art Lab gallery.

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

P. S. Not all the pictures are showing up on my computer, but I THINK that’s just the slow internet. Can you guys see everything alright?

Various Artsy Things

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Hello, dears!

Since I haven’t made a recent art post in a long time, I have quite a bit to show you today, including the remaining pages of an old sketchbook and the beginnings of a new one, decorated envelopes, and hand lettered quotes. Enjoy browsing through the drawings! 🙂

First we have the few remaining pages of my old sketchbook. I made these doodly mushrooms with the Micron pens I got for Christmas (see my mini review here), which are so fun to draw with!

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This was a concept for Art Lab which I decided not to use after all. I watercolored the background, folded it down and smoothed it to make a mirror image, and then added the details.

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This is NOT my usual style, but maybe I don’t have a style – I love all kinds. 🙂

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I draw mandalas a lot because they’re just so pretty and I love circles. 😀 This was ALSO a plan/sketch/concept for the next piece of art..

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Hee hee, I’ve never done this before. The wall was rather rough and ugly behind the toilet paper holder, and since we didn’t have the wall paint color with which to cover the fresh plaster, Mom asked me to paint a design onto it. It took a while, but I’m pretty pleased with the result, even if it is a little weird. XD (Also it’s painted on a corner, which is why the picture looks cut in half.)

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Goodness, most of these pieces are actually plans for something else! XD I might actually like this sketch better than the finished piece, unfortunately.

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And now we’re ready for my new sketchbook which I also got for Christmas! I got to draw the logo for Dad’s business card/website, which was pretty neat. These were just practices (AGAIN); I ended up mostly tracing an edited picture to get the desired effect. Oh well, I kind of like the practices

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YAY, REAL ART. I was inspired by the first mushroom picture as well as the illustrations in a beautiful set of books (which I also got for Christmas). I think it turned out pretty cute, although I’m not normally a fan of earthy color schemes.

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On the left we have the picture I drew for this Art Lab episode, and on the right we have a few lonely-looking watercolor bubbles.

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Guys, I am not good at drawing hair. I can draw eyes and most of the rest of the face okay, but the hair is always pretty boring and lackluster. Therefore I attempted to improve my skills with this great video, and I think I did… but they still need improvement. XD That’s okay, I’ll get there eventually. If I keep working on it, that is.

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And here is the finished piece of the pencil-sketched girl I showed you a while ago. The idea was to make a girl who looks like a fawn without actually using any non-human features like deer-ears or antlers. It didn’t really work. XD The face got kind of skewed and I rushed the background which didn’t turn out well, but everything else is… tolerable. If you cover up her mouth she looks better. 😛

(By the way, that’s a great drawing tip: if you’re drawing something (particularly a face), covering up parts of the picture helps you see which feature is throwing everything off. I think it’s the mouth and chin here.)

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Megan requested this camera for a blog project (picture by Megan). I rather like it because it’s PURPLE and it’s A CAMERA. 😀

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I drew this from a gorgeous aerial view of Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for The Hundred Acre Woods. The photo was prettier. XD

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We have now come to the end of the sketchbooks so far, and will turn to various other artworks. First, envelopes. I absolutely LOVE decorating envelopes for my pen pals, and I think I prefer the recent envelope art I made to the stuff in the sketchbook.

Ooh, this is one of my favorites! Adding touches with the white gel pen really helped bring the scene together.

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I was trying to decide how to decorate this envelope when I saw the pretty pattern on my Chemistry notebook and decided to use it as inspiration. What do you know, something nice can come of even Chemistry. XD

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I made this envelope after reading The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, which has some great art tips and tutorials in it! (For instance: did you know that the three primary colors are not red, blue, and yellow, but magenta, cyan, and yellow?! I was astonished! But he showed and explained how it makes perfect sense.) I think it’s neat how a few pen lines can transform some abstract watercolor blobs into a landscape.

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I outlined the daffodils with some lovely oil pastels my dear friend sent me, and then used the watercolor resist technique to fill them in. The colors are so bright and cheery, aren’t they? That’s why I love daffodils. 🙂

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Ooh yes, another one of my favorites! ❤ I like the bright, summery colors and almost vintage-poster-like quality the sun rays give it.

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My mom liked the envelope so much that she wanted me to make a real picture to frame, so I did!

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Okay, this is kind of strange, but Megan wanted me to draw on a church bulletin for one of her friends (don’t ask XD). I believe Megan took these three pictures. I like how the music notes show through the watercolor in this one. 🙂

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This, um, didn’t work TOO well because I didn’t have enough time to finish the faces (particularly Megan’s on the right :[] )… but it was a good challenge to try, anyway.

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I like this one better. 😉 Our friend loves snakes, so I drew this one, also loosely from the Nature Journaling book.

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I made the following art for the most recent edition of Christ’s Light Magazine. 🙂

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Here are a few more quotes I copied, for my pen pals. (The next few pictures are black and white because I took them in a rush and the lighting was HORRIBLE. XD)

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And last but not least…

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And that’s all for now! Which piece of art was your favorite? Which do you prefer making: sketchbook art, envelope art, or hand lettering?

Thanks for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

P. S. Also in case you’re wondering, I’m planning the post about the old letter next! I would have done it this time, but it’s taking a loooong time to translate. XD Stay tuned!

Hand Lettering + Font Inspiration

Hello, dears!

Unfortunately I couldn’t make my Art Lab post on Friday, but I have time (and data XD) to do it today! In this post I’ll show you a few tips and tricks on lettering, plus show you plenty of font inspiration to copy or use to think up your own fonts. (Because I usually run out of ideas after, like, three fonts. XD) So. Ready? GO!

Technique: Hand Lettering

Hand lettering is super fun, and also very useful for when you want to spiff up an envelope or gift tag or any number of things.

Fonts

Let’s start with one of my the most common and prettiest fonts in handlettering: fake calligraphy. Lovely name, isn’t it? 😛 That’s because it allows you to get a calligraphy-like effect without using any special calligraphy tools. It’s also super simple to write. See?

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Step One: Write out your desired words in the neatest cursive you can.

Step Two: Find the downstrokes. Downstrokes are the places in a letter where you move your pen down the paper, like the little pink arrows show in the picture.

Step Three: Widen and color in the downstrokes to get the look of a calligraphy pen. Ta-daa! Pretty, isn’t it?

This is a great base font, especially when paired with a simple sans or serif.

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So basically sans doesn’t have the little “tags” on the ends of the letters and serif does. I like writing all caps sans and all lowercase serif. 🙂

And now, here are a bunch more simple fonts I wrote out to look through and use as inspiration or copy yourself. Which is your favorite?

Accents

Now that you got some fonts under your… um, pen XD, it’s fun to add little accents and flourishes to fill in the space beside the lettering. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and you can find a bunch more on Pinterest and the “Doodly Accents” section of PicMonkey. 🙂

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Inspiration

Still need some more ideas to get your creativity flowing? Here are a few of my recent (and not-so-recent) lettering pieces.

You can hand letter with any medium you wish! Here I used my watercolor brush pens which are super fun for lettering.

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Quote from Jane Austen’s Emma

For this one I used a blue notebook marker + a blue ballpoint pen. I love adding vines to letters, but it does take a bit of time and patience. 😉 Another fun thing to do for fonts with thick, solid bars of color like below is to add zigzags or circles or other patterns inside the bars for more interest.

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Quote from Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth

This is the first page in my second bullet journal. I like how the mix of colored pencil and ballpoint pen looks together. 🙂

Not quite the right season for this, but hey, it’s lettering! XD I think it looks really neat to overlap some letters, like I did with the ‘y’ and the ‘o’. Also a little extra line of a different color beside the downstrokes adds a shadow effect and makes it look more special.

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And lastly, a lovely Bible verse that I copied completely in blue ballpoint pen. (By the way, these Pilot G2 pens are practically THE BEST PENS EVERRR. They write super smoothly and you can get them in a range of point sizes.)

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That’s all I have for today, so hopefully you’re inspired by now. 😀 If you did make some hand lettering inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Check out how to help us fill our art gallery here.

***Allison**

Sketchbook Tour + More

Heyyyy, guys! Goodness it’s been far too long since I’ve done a recent art post. I have been sprinkling in a few pictures for CPC and Art Lab and such, I guess, but today I want to do a round-up of (most of) the pictures I’ve drawn in my sketchbook since the last art post, along with miscellaneous other art. I hope you enjoy browsing through the pictures! 😀

My current sketchbook is almost filled with drawings and crinkly painted pages, so I put a new sketchbook on my Christmas list. 😉 Filled up sketchbooks are so satisfying!

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Alright, I’m going to go in chronological order because it’s the easiest. XD Just note that I did make a few more drawings than this, but I didn’t want to you every single one or the post would get even more ridiculously long than it is. 😛 Anyway, this first drawing is just a fun, stylized, pen-and-colored-pencil doodle. I rather like the quote.

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One night I was bored so I decided to try the three marker challenge (drawing a picture with only three colors) with Sharpies. I like some parts of it, but… well, it’s certainly not my best work, heh heh. Oh dear.

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Um, this is a super strange drawing of a mini world on someone’s finger??

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Now this drawing I actually like. I drew it from a picture in one of Loren‘s posts which is sadly eluding me. HELP. If anyone knows which one it was, could you tell me please? Thank you muchly. UPDATE: Katie found the post for me! Thank you SO much, Katie. 🙂 Here it is.

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I told you I liked the quote… XD I was trying out sketching with a colored pencil instead of a normal pencil and I like how it turned out!

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WARNING. VERY CREEPY DRAWING AHEAD. Okay so apparently I have a REALLY hard time drawing deer (at least without a reference). SORRY GUYS. I did draw some better deer, but that will come later on.

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*Sigh* Two bad drawings in a row? DON’T WORRY GUYS, IT GETS BETTER THAN THIS, I PROMISE. Anyway, this was a drawing that I tried to do for a CPC story (which you can read here), but it, um, didn’t turn out. But hey, it goes to show that although bad art is inevitable, that doesn’t mean you should give up. ART IS TOO AMAZING TO GIVE UP.

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Ahem. Oh yes, I drew this little flurry for an online magazine I contribute to! Some are good and some are bad, but hey, you can tell they’re snowflakes. Does anyone else have a hard time making snowflakes symmetrical?

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I like how this looks so far (it’s a vast improvement on some of my other hair drawings), but I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. Oh well. 🙂

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I really like this little guy, hee hee! Megan and I ordered a shirt for my brother that said “I FROGET” since that’s the punchline to one of his favorite terrible jokes which I cannot remember at the moment. XD There are plenty of online sites where you can design your own t-shirts, so I made the art and Megan did the rest of the designing.

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Now we’re getting into some Christmas drawings. (By the way, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S DECEMBER?! I CAN FINALLY DO CHRISTMAS STUFF.) These next two I also made for the aforementioned magazine. I used my watercolor brush pens for this one…

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And acrylic paints + a white gel pen for this one. I love how the painting turned out!

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Here we have a lovely bad quality picture of a NeedtoBreathe quote, also for the magazine…

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This is just a random Thanksgiving doodle with my watercolor brush pens again…

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A strange-looking hawk I drew using one of my brother’s other shirts as a reference. 😛

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And now we’re caught up with my sketchbook! Next we have the “Beyond the Sketchbook” part, a.k.a miscellaneous drawings.

I drew this wrapping paper for our cousins’ birthday because they put these pets on their list (though they obviously knew they wouldn’t get them 😉 ).

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Ooh, I really like the next one! I saw a photograph like this on Pinterest (right here) and thought it would be a fun challenge to draw. It was! It turned out a bit streaky, but I’m pretty proud of the lips, which are usually hard for me. XD

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I’m pleased with this one too! I drew this for the custom art in my recent giveaway, from photos Gracie gave me. Isn’t Gracie’s cat so pretty? ♥ I love her blue eyes.
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This card was for my grandma who was recently in the hospital. I’m happy to say that she’s home now, though, and recovering well! ♥
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Megan wanted me to draw this card for one of our friends. We always like to debate about… well, a lot of things, so we gave her a handy reminder of the right way to say and use things. 😛 (Note: the border is scrapbook paper – I didn’t draw that part, heh heh.)
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OH, YAY! Next is my favorite of all of these pictures! Probably one of my favorites I’ve ever done, just because it took SO LONG to draw. XD My friend Aria commissioned me to draw a vintage-looking NYC poster from some photos she took while she was there, plus various other details she wanted, like song lyrics from one of her favorite songs for the border.
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I believe this is the biggest art project I have ever done, both in size and effort. :O
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Aha, here we have the better deer picture. XD I painted this for my Etsy shop, The Color Box Studio, where you can buy the original.
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And lastly we have two coloring pages, also in my Etsy shop. I want to start making more of these because they’re fun to use and inexpensive to buy, not to mention you can print them out as many times as you want!
I made this as a custom page, but after she orders it I plan to make it available to everyone (for a lower price). 🙂 You can see the listing here.

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And this is the newest addition, and Christmas countdown coloring page! You’re supposed to color an ornament each day. I rather like how it turned out. 🙂
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Phew, you did it! Thank you so much for reading this super long post – I hope you enjoyed! Which piece of art was your favorite? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS?

***Allison***

P. S. LOOK, IT’S SNOWING! ON MY BLOG! I love that effect. 🙂 If you’re reading this through email or your Reader, you’ll have to actually visit my blog to see it. 😉

The Art Lab, Episode 31: Erase Artist’s Block

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WOOHOO Art Lab is back! I’m so excited to show you guys the post for today: 20 simple art prompts to help you erase artist’s block. 😀

Alright. So I’m going to give you the art prompts, explain each one a bit, and show you some of the art I’ve made using the prompts. Quite a few of these work especially well for ATCs, but you can use your sketchbook, a canvas, whatever! Ready?

Go.

  1. Draw a colorful black and white animal. Because art is great for showing things you never see. Paint a colorful panda, zebra, penguin… skunk. Have fun. I made this ATC ages ago…DSCN8577
  2. Draw your favorite music. Put on your playlist and draw what you hear. What color is the song? Blue, yellow, black, pink? Is it a soft, wavy line or an angry spiky one? Draw three or five of your favorite songs stacked on top of each other and frame it.
  3. Paint a pretty background and write a word/quote on top. Super simple, super pretty. I like to use watercolor and black or white gel pen. Look up pretty fonts on Pinterest if you like. art 4
  4. Use a white gel pen to doodle on black paper. This is SO satisfying and fun! I did another (rather short) Art Lab post about it here.
  5. Draw a huge picture of a tiny thing, and vice versa. A crumb, a bug, a part of your fingerprint… fill the whole page and draw in lots of detail. On the other hand, how small can you draw an elephant that still looks like an elephant? I know cats aren’t exactly huge, but I did draw them tiny. art 5
  6. Pick three markers without looking and only use those for a drawing. If you watch art videos on YouTube, you may know this as the Three Marker Challenge. 🙂 Somehow only having limited colors seems to kickstarts your creativity.
  7. Draw a close-up of a tiny detail of something. The stitching on your jeans, your dog’s nose, the center of a flower… I’ll bet a collage of several close-ups would look really neat! Like those mystery pictures in the backs of magazines. It’s also fun to draw several close-up views of one object: your cat’s eye, paw, nose, ear, whiskers, and put them together.
  8. Paint something by not painting. Negative space is fun to play with. I think watercolor is especially neat for this technique. It works well to paint the whole page with water except the silhouette of what you’re drawing, then swirl on some paint. What do you know, another cat.art 3
  9. Draw your dream house and decorate it. Or your dream bedroom, or craft studio, or kitchen. Who knows, this drawing might come in handy when you get a chance to build it!
  10. Close your eyes and scribble. Turn it into a drawing. This is a super fun and simple prompt, which I also made a post about here.
  11. Draw a silhouette with a galaxy behind it. Actually draw the galaxy first, but you know. And guess what? I ALSO made posts about how to draw galaxies! What do you know. There’s one here and one here. Once you’ve made the galaxy, draw a silhouette of a wolf, a person, a tree – the possibilities are endless (maybe)! Or you could draw a galaxy silhouette.art 8
  12. Draw on something unusual. A leaf, a crumpled brown paper bag, yesterday’s newspaper, an old book page, etc.
  13. Use words instead of lines to draw. Draw yourself a story. Instead of drawing lines, write tiny words. Instead of coloring something in, color it in with different colors of words.
  14. Draw a picture of what nothing would look like if it was something. I… don’t even know if this is possible. If you do it, I WANT TO SEE IT!
  15. Draw what smiling and crying feels like. Don’t actually draw someone smiling or crying. Use colors and lines (and objects besides people or facial features) to convey the feeling.
  16. Fill up a page with different versions of the same thing. Draw a hedgehog twenty different ways. Draw ten different cats. Fifteen different trees. It’s fun. CPC 3 (1038x1280)
  17. Draw with a non-art supply. Try using coffee, makeup, dirt, nail polish, smashed berries, food coloring, or whatever else you can find.
  18. Cover a page in lines, circles, or patterns, and watercolor on top. Another super simple but super pretty prompt! Just keep in mind that if you draw with a pen, you’ll need to let the ink dry before watercoloring over it. art 2
  19. Paint yourself without using lines – only colors that describe you. Go for sort of an impressionistic style here I guess. Use blotches of color instead of smooth lines, just for interesting.
  20. Fill a page with watercolor swatches and doodle on top. SO FUN! I got this idea from Pinterest here. And this is mine:

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That was fun! I hope these ideas inspired you, dears. Which one was your favorite? Would you like to see more art prompt posts like this?

If you drew something inspired by these prompts, I’d love to see it! Click here to see how to send in a picture of your art and help us fill our gallery over at the Art Lab blog.

Also, here’s an image especially made for pinning if you want to save this to Pinterest for future reference. 😉

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Thanks for reading, and have fun! 😀

***Allison***

A Peek Into My Bible Journal

Hello, my friends! 😀

One of my goals or resolutions for this year was to start and keep a Bible journal. So far, so good! I usually read a chapter of the Bible one night and journal my favorite verse from that chapter the next night. Would you like to take a peek inside? Let me say in advance that some of the chapters were harder to journal than others, so some of the verses are a little more abstract. XD But I’m still glad I’m doing a verse from every chapter because it challenges me to look harder at each verse – and it will be really neat to look back on when I’m finished.

I use an erasable black gel pen for journaling. (You can see them on Amazon here.) I got it for a Christmas present and I love it! It’s very useful for things like this. 🙂 And yes, it really does erase! It erases just as good or better than a pencil does, but you do have to apply more pressure than erasing with a pencil.

Anyway, let’s get started. 🙂

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The title page.

 

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What a wonderful way to start the God’s Word, don’t you think? I think it’s one of the most important verses in the Bible.

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This verse might seem kind of weird at first, but it’s really important. Here God promises us that one day Jesus will return to crush the serpent’s (Satan’s) head, and thus crush evil forever.
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Heh heh, this is NOT my favorite page from the journaling perspective. The flower is quite odd and the page is rather cluttered. XD But it’s a really good verse. Man is the only creature made in the image of God, and that’s why it’s wrong to kill a human and not wrong to kill an animal. A very important verse indeed.

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I really like how this page turned out. 🙂 I like how simple and clean-looking it is. And WOW, doesn’t it make you fidgety just to think of staying inside while it rains and rains and rains some more for 40 long days and 40 long nights… Phew!

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A rainbow is beautiful not just because of its colors, but because it is a promise from God. ♥

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Not such a good idea, people… XD
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God’s promise to Abram.
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Another promise to Abram. I wonder how many people have lived and died from Creation until now. I wonder how many more are yet to come…

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I really like this one too. 🙂 God is our shield, a strong and mighty fortress.

 

And that’s it so far! Which verse/page was your favorite? Do YOU have a Bible Journal? If you do, what are your thoughts on it?
***Allison***
P. S. Goodness, I have so many post ideas! Which of these sounds most exciting to you? A room update (we’ve added some pretty new decorations in our bedroom), another writing tips post, or a random/photography post? I have a bunch more ideas too… XD