The Art Lab, Episode 24: Watercolor Mountains

Oh my, I think it’s past time for an Art Lab post, don’t you? Today I want to show you a beautiful piece of art and some art I made inspired by it. Here’s the prompt:

Art Prompt:

Blue Ridge Mountains Watercolor Print / Nature от RainStain:


Ohhhh isn’t it gorgeous? I love it! And in case you don’t have mountains near you to look off of (you poor things XD ), I’ll give you a picture that I took of the real thing. (If you’re curious, it’s from this post.)

Photo Prompt:

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I love this. ♥


 Now are you ready to break out the watercolors? Here’s how I made my mountainscape…

Step 1:

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(The proper way would probably be to start with the background, but I started with the mountains because I didn’t know quite how far back they would go. 🙂 )

Use a really deep blue for the foreground mountains. Paint an irregular, medium-wet line of dark watercolor and draw it downwards, lightening it with more water as you go. (Okay that sounded really complicated, but basically just play around with it until you get dark at the top and light at the bottom. XD )

Step 2:

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Use a different, lighter blue for the mountain ridge behind it, and do the same thing. Keep going until the mountains fade away to barely visible. I also decided to add a few more ridges in the foreground, like so:

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Step 3:

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Next you can work on the hills. Use a few different greens, and gradient your color from dark at the top to light at the bottom like you did with the mountains. Looking great!

Step 4:

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Now for the sky. Again, start with a dark blue at the top and fade it downwards (are you starting to see a theme here? XD ). I dabbed off some of the paint with a paper towel to make puffy clouds.

And you’re done! So pretty! 🙂

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I also made an ATC kind of like my painting but without the hills.

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So, do you like this idea? Which was your favorite, the main painting or the ATC? Do you have mountains where you live?

To see more art inspiration like this, check out the official Art Lab blog right here. If you made a piece of art inspired by this post, we’d love to see it! Click here to see how to enter your artwork into our Art Lab gallery.

Thanks for reading, my friends!


Drawings and Such

Hey, guys! We’re going on vacation tomorrow! We’ll bring the computer along but I’m not going to write posts, though I might schedule some before I go. 🙂

Anyways, I really like drawing, so I thought I’d show you some of my recent art.

First some ATCs…

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“Crazy Quilt”  I made this by gluing on magazine strips, then “sewing” it with white gel pen.
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“Sleeping Fox” Isn’t he so cute? I like how the marker texturing turned out – I don’t know if you can see it on his body, but I added extra dashes over the first layer of marker. 
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“Little Robin Redbreast Sings a Tune” I got this idea from a cute watercolor bird I saw on Pinterest.
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“Bird Puddles” Ha ha, that sounds kind of gruesome. 😛 XD I basically painted watercolor splotches and drew little birdies on top.

This weird tree drawing idea I also found on Pinterest. I modified their tutorial a little bit. 🙂

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And last but not least, my favorite of all of these! A drawing of eyes. (Also from Pinterest. XD ) I’ve drawn from this tutorial before and they turned out really good!

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Which drawing was your favorite?


P. S. We almost couldn’t use our camper for the trip. An axle broke this morning, and Dad couldn’t seem to find a replacement. At breakfast Dad prayed for wisdom about our trip, and before he even finished the phone started ringing. The guy calling had an axle for sale! It was really amazing – kind of a mini-miracle! Thank you, God!!

Art Lab, Episode 8: Scribble Art-Starters

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Hello, hello! 😀 Today I have a fun idea-generator drawing technique to show you. If you don’t know what to draw, this might help!

Technique: Scribble Art-Starters

Begin by closing your eyes and drawing a random squiggly pattern on your paper or ATC. Open your eyes and connect both ends of the line if they’re not already connected. You should have a very strange looking blob on your paper. Here’s my scribble:

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Next you have to use your imagination to turn your random squiggle into a picture. (Hint: the simpler the squiggle, the easier the drawing. But you may want to do a complicated squiggle for a challenge, right?) Turn it upside down or look at it from a different angle if you’re stuck. Does it look like a bird? A flower? A person?  What do you think my scribble looks like?

I thought mine looked like a fish, so I turned my squiggle into an underwater scene:

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Do you see how it works? Here are a few more scribble doodles for inspiration:

Heh heh, it’s kind of addicting. 😀

So there you go – a really easy and fun way to bust “artist’s block” if that is even a thing. XD

Have you ever done this? Do you think you’ll try it?


P. S. I first posted about squiggle drawings in this post. (Wow, that was almost 2 years ago!)

Art Lab, Episode #6: White on Black

Welcome back, my friends! I’ve been having lots of fun with white gel pens and black paper. Do you want to see? Okey-dokey. 😀 But first, here’s the official prompt:

Technique: White gel pen on black paper

Here are four ATCs I made using this technique. (Sorry about the smudges. 😦 That’s one thing you have to be careful of when using gel pens.)

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“Glow-in-the-Dark Fish” (It doesn’t really glow in the dark. 😛 )
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“String Art”
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“Moonlit Night”
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Isn’t that technique neat? It works especially well with sharp, straight lines. Which is your favorite ATC? Mine is probably the “Moonlit Night” one.



Art Lab, Episode #4: Rainbow Puzzles

*Announcer’s voice* Hello, and welcome to the fourth episode of Art Lab! XD

If you recall (and even if you don’t), Hayley and I are doing a collaborative series called The Art Lab wherein we hope to inspire you to make fun and beautiful art. 😉 Click on Hayley’s name up there to visit her blog and see her beautiful entries and other lovely posts!

Recently I’ve been having fun arranging simple rainbow patterns in interesting ways. This is pretty much no-fail art. As long as you can wield a marker and a pair of scissors without dying yourself blue or hacking off a finger, you’re in good shape. XD

Word Prompt: Rainbow

Rainbow is kind of boring, and unoriginal, right? Wrong! Here is how to spruce up a plain rainbow drawing (or any drawing, really):

Start by covering your paper in rainbow stripes, splotches, swirls, or pretty much any pattern you can think of. Here is a pattern I drew: (Note: Your pattern can be super simple – plain rainbow stripes work wonderfully.)

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The colors were brighter in real life. 😦 Bad camera! (Or maybe just bad photographer. XD)


Now, cut it up! (Although if you really like your art so far, you should save it and make another piece to cut up.) You may cut it up into nice even strips, but it’s much more fun to go wild. Cut it up into big pieces and small pieces, jagged and smooth, circles and stripes. Now place your “puzzle pieces” on a paper, but leave spaces between each of them. This is what makes it neat. The white space distorts your picture while still letting the pretty design show through. Like so…

For this one I cut a circle from the above design, then hacked it to pieces and re-glued it onto an ATC with spaces between each of the jigsaw pieces. The circle spread into a sort of Easter-eggish shape.

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This one started as a simple rainbow-striped square. You can see how all of the pieces fit back together.

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The background of the next one came from a marker-testing swatch. 😀 It makes things more interesting if you cut out shapes, like I did with the circle here. Just make sure that the inner circle is small enough to be glued on with space to spare.

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Oh, and I almost forgot: rainbow stripes make bright and fun envelope art too, especially if you have several different shades of each color:

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So there you are! A simple way to make beautiful art. Now break out those rainbow markers, colored pencils, or watercolors, and get drawing!


Art Lab, Episode #2: Dewdrops

I’m back with another episode of ArtLab!

If you recall, Hayley and I just recently started a collab series called Art Lab, where we post art inspiration and our art. (Read our first post here.) It’s my turn to post today, so I present… Episode 2: Dewdrops!


I have both a word prompt and a photo prompt for today’s inspiration. Bonus point! XD


The word prompt is *drum roll please* dewdrops! I love dewdrops!

The photo prompt is a picture I took recently of grass bedecked with dew drops. Ahh…. 😀 (See more dew pictures in this post.)

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This card I made looks sort of like the photo prompt, only I didn’t see the words “Happy Birthday” floating in the grass photo. XD

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Here are a few tips for making the card:

  • Hang a dewdrop from any curved part of a letter, and if you really want to sprinkled them on, add some to a horizontal line as well (like on the cross of the “H”).
  • Once you’ve colored the grass with different green colored pencils, you may need to trace over some of the grass blades again with a pencil to sharpen their outlines.
  • To make the grass in the front look closer to you, make the dewdrops sharper and darker, and make the ones hanging from the back grass more faded.


I also drew this snail-on-a-leaf ATC which uses the word prompt.


A few tips for drawing this:

  • I drew this using different “levels” of pencils. I used a 5B pencil for some of the darker parts, like the shading of the dewdrops and the leaf stem. The higher up you go in B pencils, the softer and darker they will draw, and the higher up you go in H pencils, the harder and lighter they will draw. (For instance, a 6B pencil has a really soft lead that draws a fuzzy, dark line. A 9H pencil has a really hard lead that draws a sharp, faint line. Normal pencils are usually somewhere in the middle of the two.)
  • Play around with the design inside of the snail’s shell.
  • You don’t have to do this in pencil! Try using markers, watercolors, or colored pencils.

Thanks for joining me! I hope you were inspired to go make some art!



Introducing… The Art Lab!

Guess what, guys? Hayley and I are starting an art collab series! It’s called The Art Lab, and we’ll post some new art inspiration every week along with some art we made (usually ATCs or envelopes). The inspiration will be from either art (like today), a photo, or a word. Usually we’ll take turns posting, but today we’re doing an introductory post together. We hope our posts will inspire you to artistic adventures of your own!

*Update: We have created an official Art Lab blog where we archive all of the Art Lab posts.*

This is the lovely inspiration Hayley picked for us:

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I made this ATC called “Hedgie’s Birthday” using the above inspiration. (If you don’t know what ATCs are, go here.) Isn’t the lil’ guy so cute? 😀 I love hedgehogs. ♥ I was inspired by the pretty banner and fun confetti to make a party-themed card. I made this ATC using watercolor crayons, water, and a black pen.

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Click here to see Hayley’s beautiful envelope she made! (Her post is much more interesting, I have to say. XD )

Are you excited to see more ArtLab posts? I’m excited to make them!


WordCrafters #1, Chapter 1

HOORAY! WordCrafters is finally here! Read on to see the first chapter of WordCrafters #1, and some notes at the bottom of this post. (I also included a picture I took for an illustration for my chapter. Feel free to do that for your part too!)

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Alalia huffed and puffed up the mountain slope, trying to keep the backpack straps on her thin shoulders. Well, no strangers so far. She supposed that hiking wasn’t too bad of a pastime, although it could never compare with reading.

Alalia Marie Celinette was shy – painfully shy, so instead of playing outside or having sleepovers with her friends, she could almost always be found in her cozy reading nook, devouring a delicious book.


Until last night…

“Alalia! Time for supper!” the voice of Alalia’s mom wafted through the kitchen doorway where she was cooking up some vegetable stew for supper. Alalia closed Alice in Wonderland with a sigh. She wished she could go through the looking glass and explore the world beyond.

At dinner that night, Alalia’s dad put down his fork and began a little speech for Alalia.

“Alalia, we know how much you love reading, and reading itself is a good thing, but you have been doing entirely too much reading and not enough other activities lately.” Alalia sighed. They had had this conversation before. “We were thinking of some activities you could do to get outside and play with your friends more often, and here are some things we came up with.” Alalia’s mom brought a rumpled list out of her pocket and began reading: “You could go hiking, horseback riding, sign up for a club or sports…”

Alalia plunked her head on the table. “But I don’t want to do any of those things. I just want to read!”

Her parents gave each other an exasperated glance. “Honey, we just talked about this! How about you just choose one of those activities and try it out for a little while. You won’t have to do them every day – maybe once or twice a week, depending on the activity. Then, if you still really don’t like it, we’ll think about it again.”

So Alalia had thought it over for a while, and then decided to try hiking, because hiking was probably the best of those choices for avoiding strangers. Now here she was, dragging herself up Mount Minley – and she hadn’t met any strangers so far!

Soon, Alalia came to a sharp turn in the path, and was faced with a decision. Right, left, or take the shortcut? Hmm… I think the shortcut. The shortcut passed close to the edge of the mountain, which gave Alalia the jitters, but she stopped and took in the view anyway.


She had decided to bring her camera along, in case walking got boring. Just then a beautiful brown spotted butterfly flew past Alalia. Alalia whipped out her camera and followed the butterfly’s path with her lens. Finally, she saw it come to rest on a pretty green vine below the path where she was standing. Then Alalia saw something else – there were dozens of little sky blue butterflies also flitting around the vine. Alalia just had to get a picture of them!


She stumbled down from the path and approached the vine. It was dark green with red berries, kind of like holly, and it trailed down over several large boulders. As she watched the butterflies, the breeze blew the vines away from the boulder, and revealed a dark hole – it looked like an unexplored cave!

Although Alalia had never been the adventurous sort, she loved caves, and as she was prepared with a flashlight, food, and water, she decided to at least peek into the cave. Who knew but that she would discover a beautiful cavern – that would be worth writing her own story about!

She cautiously stepped inside and beamed her light around the cave. It was pretty tiny – Alalia had to stoop to fit inside – but it looked like it opened up ahead. Alalia tromped on further into the cave until she reached a dead end. But Alalia could see a little ray of light peeking in from behind the wall. She touched the wall, which felt surprisingly like vines, and to her astonishment, it gave way! Alalia pushed the vines out of the way, and stepped out into a brilliant green light.

She blinked and looked around. This place was not Mount Minley. This place wasn’t even her city. This place was an entirely different world!


Gaaaah! I want to write more, but I must leave a cliffhanger for the next person to finish! It’s probably a good idea for each person to end their chapter with a cliffhanger so that the other person has a good place to start. According to the list, it is Misty’s turn to write the next part! Here is the whole randomized list. (Well, I randomized it with all of the writers in the list and then realized that I would have to rearrange it a little bit so that I would start and Josie would end like we had planned.)

  1. Allison
  2. Misty
  3. CutePolarBear
  4. Nicole
  5. Addy
  6. Clara
  7. Suzy
  8. Loren
  9. Hayley
  10. Rebekah
  11. Megan
  12. Chaespeedreader
  13. AG Dolls and Fun
  14. Mallory
  15. Anonymous A.
  16. Josie

So there you have it! You can also see the list on my WordCrafters page, where I will also update the story as new parts are added to it. I can’t wait to read the finished story – thanks for entering, everyone!


My ATC Collection

If you don’t know what ATCs are, you can read about them here. My family and friends and I enjoy making ATCs, and I just recently got a really nice pack of ATC holders and a binder to display them in. They look beautiful altogether, like a scrapbook, and they are much easier to see and trade. So get ready to see a LOT of ATCs! (I’ve traded with at least 25 different people so far, including several adults! I’ll bet to some people that doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me it is!)

If you like a certain one, you can tell me in the comments and I’ll tell you who it was made by and what the title is, because sometimes the title is the funniest part! Most of the ATCs in the first three pictures were made by me.

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These three ATCs below are “mix-it” ATCs my friends and I made, where you can trade different ATCs to make funny, mixed-up creatures.

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Here are my “special” ATCs. I try to keep at least one ATC from everyone I’ve traded with. So the ATCs below are either my favorite one or two cards from each person I’ve traded with,  or the only card I have from them. Oh, I just have to tell you something: the first two ATCs are by my dad (the first one is a sort of riddle – try to figure out what it says!) and the really good leaf painting in the third picture is my mom’s. Aren’t they good?!

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So that’s my collection! I hope it inspires you for your own ATCs!


P. S. Do you like my new profile picture on the side bar?

P. P. S. Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up so far for WordCrafters! I can’t wait to see how the story turns out!