The Art Lab, Episode 51: Mixed Media Owl

Hello, dears!

This week it’s my turn for Art Lab, and I have something a little different than my usual watercolor art for you today. 🙂 Quite different, in fact: in this post I shall give you guys a tutorial on how to make a cute owl with graphite and colored pencil shavings! 😀

But first, the inspiration behind the art: Continue reading

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Drawings and Such + Why It’s Okay to Make Bad Art

YAY, I am so excited to share some of my recent art with you guys! I’ve been drawing a lot lately, and I think I’ve really been improving, so that’s good. 😉

Also, before we start I wanted to mention this super good video (which I’ll show you in a moment) by Hullo Alice that talks about why it’s okay if not every piece of art turns out perfect. I thought it was such a good message!

Sometimes when people try to make art and it doesn’t end up looking like the idea in their head or they search the web and find soooo many better artists out there, they just give up, and think, “I’ll never be good at art, so what’s the use of trying?” The use of trying is that you WILL get good at art if you give yourself a chance. You might not ever get as good as the professional art you love looking at on Pinterest, but you’ll certainly be a terrible artist if you never try.

Listen, before you make some good art, you’re going to make (a lot of) bad art. That’s just how it works with anything – art, music, math, anything you try to learn. And that’s okay. Making bad art is part of the process of getting to be a good artist. If the piece you’re working on is terrible, just let it go, turn the page, and start again. You’ll get better if you keep trying over and over again, I can promise you that.

Okay, now that that little rant was over and you (hopefully) watched the video, I can show you my art. 🙂 I decided to include some of my “bad art” (although not my worst XD) in this post too.

Let’s get started!

I shall start with some of my favorite art I’ve created – a zentangle elephant. 🙂 It took me FOREVER to draw this, as you can probably guess. XD I had just purchased a new fine-tip pen at Hobby Lobby, and it was great for detailed work like this!

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I also made a mandala in a similar style. I think it turned out so pretty! It’s probably the best mandala I’ve done, because usually they get pretty skewed. XDmandala art

Another mandala.. YIKES sorry for the terrible picture. O.o

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Next up we have a little design I made for Livy’s magazine here (which you should totally check out!)

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I’m also submitting this for the next issue of her magazine. 🙂 I had a lot of fun with this one!

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I’m not really sure what I think of the next piece… I guess it’s neat, but it didn’t really turn out like I was hoping. :/ Oh well! Waterfalls are really hard to draw, aren’t they?

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OOH! I love this drawing I did of the lovely Aria from purrfectlyinspired.com. It’s the best portrait I’ve done, I think!

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Okay, here’s something I drew from you guys’ suggestions: a fairy. In the spirit of the post, I shall show you the two horrible renditions it took before I got it to turn out right. XD (I used them for testing pens and stuff, in case you were wondering. 😉 )

Actually the first sketch isn’t that bad… just, well, a sketch.

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AHH SO CREEPY. Her face got smudged and made it look even more awful. XD

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But finally that bad art enabled me to draw a good piece. Muuuuch better, yes? I hope you like the fairy, Sylvia!

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So for this one I was trying to draw something interesting without using any reference photos. Well I sure paid for that with how her legs turned out. XD YUCK. I could NOT get the foreshortening and angle and all that stuff right, so I just called it good enough and finished the picture. 😛 I like the rest of it, though!

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Some little water drop doodles from this amazing tutorial. You might think these are good until you see what I was looking off of. XD

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Here’s a (pretty rough) concept sketch I did for a possible WordCrafters cover. What do you think? Do you like the idea of all the characters lined up like that? Also I need a better tagline. XD Tell me your ideas! I’ll also do a more in-depth post when I’m ready to start editing WordCrafters.

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Heh heh, do you like my play on words? Unfortunately the ink ran all over the place, but it’s okay because it wasn’t my best picture or anything. (It looks like the horse is shooting ink out of her nostrils. XD)

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Ooh, this one is funny! I made this birthday card for my sister Megan who loves donkeys.

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Ha ha! Yeah, I had fun with that. Although it took quite a while to draw the donkeys inside the card. O.o

Next we have a page of doodles. I picked a couple of random colors from my watercolor brush pen set and drew this. WHY DO THINGS LIKE THIS ALWAYS TAKE SO LONG?!

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Here’s some bad-ish art. It got kind of all blurred together. :/

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BWAHAHA this did NOT turn out right. Poor, failed pineapple. XD

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Lookee it’s a cute wittle hedgehog from Clara’s suggestions! 🙂

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Random watercolor doodle…

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Blech, some more bad art. I very much dislike the color scheme – or lack of one.

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I’m really happy with this one, though! I thought it turned out pretty cute. 🙂 My watercolor brush pens are so fun for drawings like this.

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A doodle/test page.

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I haven’t finished this one and don’t know if I will or not, but this was drawn from a photograph of dew drops on a flower.

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I really like how this turned out! My best horse picture so far, definitely. It’s a picture of my friend K. A.‘s horse, Gadget.

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few more pages from my Bible journal… (would you like to see another whole post about it?)

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Here are the ATCs I made for Hayley’s ATC trade (now closed).

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And lastly, we have another rendition of the moonrise galaxy painting I did here.

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And that’s about it! As for the bad art, some of you are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Allison, seriously? You call that bad art?” Well I’ve done worse art – believe me. I just didn’t show it. XD Anyway, I know the feeling. I see “bad art” from other artists and I’m like “WHOA I wish I could draw that well!” And so you see, it depends on your perspective. Your bad art might be more beautiful than you think. ♄

I hope you enjoyed this post! Which pieces were you favorite? Do you have any suggestions for what I should draw next?

***Allison***

P. S. My county fair post is coming up next! 🙂

The Art Lab, Episode 30: Simple Face Drawing Tutorial

Halloo, guys! I’m excited to present a simple tutorial for drawing faces! 😀 I’ve heard a lot of you say “I CANNOT draw people” or “faces are SO hard,” and you know what? I kinda agree. People can be really hard to draw. But you can do it! Today I’m going to show you an easy way to draw a face with just a pencil and paper, and then I’ll show you some different combinations you can use to get all sorts of interesting characters. 🙂

So. To begin, here’s how to draw an average, boring face without looking off a photo of a person. XD (I – and probably you too – can draw a better face when looking off of a picture, but sometimes you just want to make up something, right?)

Ahem.

Technique: Drawing Faces

Step One:

Sketch out an upside-down egg shape for the face and two short curved lines below for a neck. A grid like this is nice if you need help with the placement of the features (like I do). Just draw a vertical line down the middle of the face and a horizontal one between a half and a third down the face. You can see that my sketch is far from perfect, but that’s okay. We’ll touch it up as we go.

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Step Two:

Using the grid, draw two oval or almond-shaped eyes. (You can add more grid lines if you like, but you don’t need to.) Eyes are usually smaller than you think, at least in my case. I drew these a bit too big. Getting them symmetrical is hard, but you know what? In reality, no one’s eyes are perfectly symmetrical – look in the mirror!

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Step Three:

One common mistake made when drawing eyes is to draw the iris as a whole circle. Unless you are surprised or unusually pop-eyed, you won’t be able to see the whole iris. So make your circle go off the eyeball, like this:

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Step Four:

Draw a tiny circle towards one side for the highlight, and a bigger, filled-in circle (or dot) for the pupil. Also draw a curved line above and below each eye for the eyelids.

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Step Five:

Draw the eyelashes. This can be pretty tricky, and I think I drew too many eyelashes here. From far away, you can only see a few individual spikes of eyelashes, not a whole fringe. (Again, look in the mirror if you need help.)

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Step Six:

Heh heh, this would usually be where you color in the irises, but I kind of forgot about it until step ten. XD You can skip to there now if you’d like or just do it later.

Anyway, now we need the nose. Draw two curved lines (kind of like you did with the neck) for the bridge of the nose, and two parentheses-like curved lines below it. How far apart you make them determines how big the nose is, as well as how far down on the face you put them.

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Step Seven:

Curve your parentheses around a bit more to look like “C’s” facing each other. Then connect the bottoms with a wide curve or “U.”

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Step Eight:

For the top of the lips, make a flattened “M” shape, which I think looks kind of like a flying bird. 🙂

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Step Nine:

Connect the two ends of the “M” with a long curve. You can make it almost flat or very arched depending on how full you want the lips to be. Draw a line in the middle that echoes the curves of the top lip line.

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Step Ten:

Now I remembered to color in the eyes. XD A simple way to do this is to color a dark line around the outside of the iris and fill it in with lighter pencil. Make sure to darken especially the top of the iris to make it look more realistic.

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Step Eleven:

Now for the hair, which I am pretty terrible at. XD Oh well, you can tell it’s hair at least.

Using the face shape sketch you did at the very beginning, curve the hair around the head like so. (I decided to make the head a little shorter than I had originally sketched.) For this hairstyle, I kind of drew two elongated teardrop or comma shapes that meet at the middle line of the face grid.

Also now is the time to define the face shape at the jaw and chin. You kind of just have to play around with this part and experiment. A more round, curved jawline will look like a younger face, and a sharper, more angular jawline will look older or more masculine.

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Step Twelve:

Start shading the hair. WAIT, DON’T PANIC BECAUSE I SAID SHADING. This is very simple. Draw darker, closer together lines beside the neck and at the top of the head, and lighter, farther apart lines for the rest of the hair. Don’t draw many lines at all at the top sides of the head, which will make the hair look more shiny and highlighted. Leave a little gap where the two sides of the hair meet for a part. Or just look at the picture and figure it out for yourself. XD

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Step Thirteen:

Finish shading the hair. Also *facepalm* I almost forgot the eyebrows. XD Oh well, you can add those sooner or later, it doesn’t really matter. But you should add them or the face will look kind of weird and blank. Eyebrows are simple: just draw a bunch or really short, slightly curved lines. Or you can draw just a single curved line for an even simpler, less realistic version.

Lastly, erase any grid lines and smudges, add shading around the face and under the neck if you want to (you don’t have to), and you’re done! Ta-da!

To tell the truth, this isn’t my best portrait. The face is too round, the eyes are too big… but that’s alright. This is what you have to do – if it doesn’t turn out good the first time, do it a second… and a third, and a fourth. 🙂

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Now since you know how to put everything together, here are some ways to change up the facial features. It’s so fun to try different combinations!

Here’s another Art Lab post I did on how to draw eyes: Episode 23.

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Have fun mixing and matching! Also before you go, I wanted to show you a colored pencil face drawing I did off of different pictures. You can tell I do a lot better when I look off of something. XD

Which little cutie is your favorite?

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Well, I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Would you like me to do another face tutorial, like maybe how to do colored pencil portraits or profile portraits or an easier or harder version? What do you want to learn how to draw? Maybe I can do the next Art Lab from one of your suggestions!

Thanks for reading, dears, and have fun drawing!

***Allison***

More Art :)

Halloo, my friends! I’ve been drawing a lot lately, so I decided to show you what I’ve been working on…

Like a random watercolor flower. XD

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I’m kinda proud of this quote because it took me like ten tries to get the lettering right. XD Well actually it isn’t really a quote because I made it up, but you know… 😛

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Hee hee! Isn’t this one funny? I made it for an Art Class assignment – art inspired by your favorite smell.

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A not too interesting but pretty landscape…

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Ugh, the sun was a bit harsh so there are way too many shadows on this picture, but oh well. This is a mixed media piece with tissues for the curtains and rug ( XD ), piano book pages for the sun rays, scrapbook paper for the bedcovers, and duct tape for the window. The rest is just drawing or watercolor.

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Another art assignment. 🙂 (Actually a lot of these are art assignments.) We were supposed to do Pop Art, so I did a gummy bear because we were eating them in class anyway. XD

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Random birds on a wire. 🙂

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Ooh, this is one of my favorites! I really like how the pattern turned out 3-D-ish.

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For some reason I felt like drawing mountains…

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And more mountains…

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I don’t really know why I drew this… XD

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This was a “Forced Perspective” piece for art class.

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Excuse my fingers. 😛

Weird cubism bird…

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I decided to include this even though I already posted about here for Art Lab. 😉 I think this is one of my favorite pieces of art I’ve ever done!

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Yikes, this is a terrible picture! Oh well, you get the point. I did a mixed media quote/hymn thingy. 🙂 I used tissue paper, book pages, buttons, paint, and even paper clips and corn kernels to make the flowers and leaves! XD

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I felt like drawing a girl. Not much other explanation. XD

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This is another of my very favorites! I really like the Zentangle/doodle type of art.

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It’s kind of hard to take a picture of the whole thing, so here’s just the head so you can see it a bit better. 🙂

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One reason why I like this so much is because it took FOREVER to make. XD Especially the mane – I made a herringbone pattern with a super fine-tip pen. It was fun, but quite time consuming. XD

Which do you see first, a face or two trees and a moon?

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I got inspiration from Pinterest for this one (and for some of these other art pieces too). I like how it turned out!

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That was fun. 🙂 As you can see, I rather like art! Do you? Which of those pictures was your favorite? What is your favorite art medium to use?

***Allison***

The Art Lab, Episode 23: How to Draw a Realistic Eye

I am so excited to show you guys this episode of Art Lab! As you may know, I absolutely love drawing and photographing eyes, so I thought this would be a fun post to do. 🙂

Art Inspiration:

The inspiration for today is this amazing tutorial (also shown below). The end result seriously looks like a photo, doesn’t it?

The reflection is what I have trouble with...:

AHHHH, I love it! Mine looks more like a drawing and less like a photo, but I’m still quite pleased with how it turned out. 😀

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It was sooo much fun to draw! Today I’m going to show you a few tips and tricks I’ve learned from this and other tutorials and help you avoid some common mistakes. Now I am NOT saying I don’t make mistakes, because I do, and plenty of ’em! When you make a mistake you can’t fix, sometimes you just have to figure out what went wrong and start over. I know you’ve heard this about 2 billion times in your life, but seriously: if you want to get good at something, art included, just keep practicing! Sometimes you have to fail once or several times before you succeed.

Mistake #1: Eyelashes

Eyelashes can be incredibly hard to draw, am I right? They give me a lot of trouble sometimes. But here are some things to keep in mind that might help.

  • Most people’s eyelashes are not perfectly straight and thick like American Girl Doll eyelashes. It’s a sad fact of life, my friends. (Actually, maybe not so sad – that would be kind of creepy. XD ) Look in the mirror: eyelashes cross over each other and are often bunched together in little clusters.eye 11 (1280x853)
  • Lashes aren’t as thick and dark at the top as at the bottom. Press your pencil down hard when you start at the base of the eyelash and not as much as you curve the line upwards.
  • Peoples’ bottom set of eyelashes can actually be pretty long (or not, depending on the person). Draw them lighter and more sparsely than the top set. And again, they aren’t perfectly straight and thick. I think eyelashes in the bottom set cross over each other especially much. (Look at the “Art Inspiration” at the beginning of this post for an example.)

Mistake #2: The White of the Eye

Often people leave the white of the eye just that – blank white. But the truth is, your eyelid and eyelashes cast shadows on it, so it’s not perfectly white. Shade and smudge around the inner edges of your eye to make it really pop.

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Now that you know what to avoid, I wanted to do a little tutorial for you guys. I already showed you the super amazing, super realistic tutorial for the art inspiration, but it was a bit hard to follow, wasn’t it? This tutorial should be easier to follow, even if it’s not as amazing. 😉

Step 1: Draw the shape of the eye. It’s a rounded almond shape, wider or thinner depending on the person. Don’t forget to add a rounded triangle thingy for the tear duct.

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Step 2: Draw the iris, pupil, and highlight. (I just did a simple circle highlight for this tutorial.) Don’t draw the iris as a complete circle because you can’t see the whole iris in real life unless you’re opening your eye really wide. Sketch out the pupil until you find a satisfactory size – a too-small pupil can end up looking kind of weird.

Now add a curved line for the eyelid on top and another curved line at the bottom.

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Step 3: Every person’s iris is different, but for this tutorial I went with sort of a starburst pattern. It’s okay if it isn’t perfect because it’s not always perfect in real life! Add a bunch of irregular dark lines coming out from the pupil.

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Step 4: Color in the pupil the darkest you can and try to pull out the dark pigment into those lines surrounding it.

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Step 5: Ooh, this is an exciting step! Finish the iris by adding more dark, inward pointing lines around the outside of the iris. Shade the top of the iris darker – remember those shadows! I smudged the pencil a bit in the middle of the iris where the starburst was to blend everything together.

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Step 6: Woohoo, looking good! See what a difference those shadows make? Shade the top of the eye, the corners of the eye, and the tear duct. Smudge the pencil with your fingers to smooth out the shading.

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Step 7: Add the eyelashes, and ta-daa! For extra credit and realism, you can shade the skin around the eye too, which I didn’t show here. (Note: Oops, the eyelashes didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. I think I should have made them darker, longer, but not as close together. Remember what I was saying about making mistakes? Heh heh. XD Oh well, better luck next time!)

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And there you have it! I hope this post was helpful to all you wonderful artists out there. 🙂 Do you have any tips for drawing eyes to share with me and the other readers?

Happy drawing! 😀

***Allison***

P. S. If you want to see another fun tutorial for drawing eyes, be sure to check out Anika’s post here! Her tutorial is super easy to follow (unlike mine maybe, heh heh) and shows you how to draw pretty, colorful eyes with pen and watercolors. I especially love all the expressions she did with the eyes at the end. XD 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Recent Art

Hello, dear readers! How are you today? It snowed just a tiny bit here yesterday, but there’s not much left except freezing cold weather. 😩 Don’t worry, though, I DID get some snow pictures… but that’s for another post. XD

Today I wanted to show you some of the art I’ve been doing lately!

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“Hello, I’m an odd but cute otter randomly holding a heart. Nice to meet you.”

 

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Toucan holding a paintbrush… oookay? XD
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I really like this one! I didn’t mean to make her sad, but she kind of turned out that way. XD And yusss, I finally drew an goodish braid!
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You are priceless.
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Water drop sketches.
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One night before bed I wanted to draw something, so I though, “Hey, what about a seahorse?” So I drew a seahorse. Ta-daa. XD
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Eh, it’s okay, but I like the other girl better. XD

 

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*Sigh* Spring and bluebirds are both so lovely.
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A random Sharpie drawing of a sea turtle.
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I drew part of my boot for art class in co-op. 😀
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This was also for art class, but I might touch it up. We were supposed to put something we enjoy or love or whatever in the reflection, so I drew a camera, but it doesn’t quite look right… any tips?
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Another “Reflection” drawing for art class.
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And yet another “Reflection” sketch. 🙂

 

So that’s about it! Which drawing was your favorite? What do YOU like to draw most?

*Happy sigh* I love art. ♄

***Allison***

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?

***Allison***

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!!

Random Pictures and Other Fun Stuff

Hello, and welcome to this rather random post. (Thus the title.) But hey, occasional random posts are good for the soul, am I right? (Uh no, Allison, you’re wrong. Eh, who cares. XD )

Cows…

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Flowers…

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Baby bird…

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Feathers I drew and printed out and colored and cut out and punched holes in and hung on vases for decorating tables at our church… (*Gasp, pant, wheeze* Phew! Perhaps that wasn’t quite grammatically correct. XD )

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And last but not lease, a drawing I did of our kitten, Casey! I rather like it. 🙂

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And that’s about it! I hope you enjoyed this random little post! 😀

***Allison***