Shiny Paint

For Christmas I got quite a few new paints to play with.  Including these absolutely beautiful iridescent ones.

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When you initially swatch them the shimmer is visible, but not really photographable.

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Until you tilt the page a little.  Look at that shine!

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I did a few experiments:

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Including mixing them with normal paints to see how that worked.

I had a failed attempt at doing some Aurora Borealis inspired art.

And, after watching Nina do some absolutely beautiful things with metallic paints on her Twitch stream, I tested them on black.  They didn’t work out too well.

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Finally I did some actual art.  Starting with this shiny shiny mermaid.

And then I couldn’t have a rainbow of shiny paint in front of me without doing a unicorn, could I?

Iridescent watercolours are awesome, and I’m looking forward to doing more with them.  But this brand at least are quite opaque, so I’m not sure how much they’re actually watercolour.  Still, shiny and pretty.

Plus, they make the paint water very awesome.  Sparkly swirly hypnoticness.

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Sticker Mosaics

One of the things I got for Christmas was a sticker mosaic book.

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There are a couple of different themed ones you can get I think, but naturally I ended up with the one with a unicorn on the front.

It’s not just unicorns though – it has 15 mythical creatures inside, in pictures with full colour backgrounds.

At the back of the book are several pages of coded stickers.

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It’s a really simple premise.  The images are split into lots of little sections with a letter and a number on.

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And the stickers are shaped to fit in these spaces, labelled so that you know what goes where.

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I managed the first piece okay.

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It was a little awkward, flipping from the page with the image back to the sticker page over and over again.  The picture pages are perforated – presumably so you can stick them up on the wall or something once completed – but the sticker pages are not.

Eventually I just tore the sticker page out, which made it a whole lot easier.  I also cut the large page into smaller sections, making them easier to handle.

That didn’t solve my complete inability to place stickers within the right lines though.  As a kid, I could never get the collectible stickers in the sticker book within the square properly.  Even now I tend to ask someone to place stickers on Lego pieces for me.

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But I perservered, because it was kinda fun.  I flickered between filling in the unicorn in sections while hunting for the right sticker, and working methodically through the sticker sheet while hunting for the right space.

I gradually got a little better at placing the pieces.  It helps that the stickers aren’t too sticky, and the paper is a little shiny.  So you can peel a misplaced sticker off and re-place it once or twice.

Finally I finished my unicorn.

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And then immediately started the phoenix, because it’s kind of an addictive hobby.

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Changing Skirts

Last year I was inspired by this image I found on Pinterest.

I wanted to do my own version, in a drawing.  I did the skirt in pastels, but ultimately wasn’t very happy with it.

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I didn’t have a great selection of pastel markers at the time, and it wasn’t exectuted very well.  I decided that instead of redoing the entire piece, I’d just make a new skirt and stick it over the top.

Unfortunately I had made this difficult on myself by having her tiny hands overlapping the skirt.  So I (very poorly) cut them out to slip a new skirt underneath.

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But then I couldn’t decide whether to redo the rainbow skirt, or to do a galaxy one.  So I did both!

“Why not both?” is an awesome way to approach indecision.  And now she has three outfits instead of one 🙂

Bonus Halloween Zentangle

In October, for my 13 Days of Halloween series, I did a piece of art using the 2019 Inktober Tangles challenge.

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As I mentioned in that post, there were a few patterns that I felt didn’t get a proper chance in the tiny space they were used for.  I wanted to take them away and do a proper piece with them.  And so I did.

The first one was DreamDex – which was used in the rightmost ghost..  Here are the steps I found with a Google search.

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I did this one in classic black ink, on a square page, and I really like how it looks.

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The next pattern, Ratoon, is what I used for the left most witch.  Google lead me to these steps:


I wasn’t sure how to repeat this one, so I just did a simple piece.

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Here’s Well Well Who, from the middle gravestone.

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I did an instance of this one, in sparkly glittery pink…

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…then decided to expand it to a full piece.  With a colour block background because I thought more pattern would have been too much.

Nik, used for the witch in the air, presented me with a bit more trouble.  It looks simple enough.

Zentangle pattern: Nik.

But doing it freehand looked too messy.

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Using a ruler looked… weird.

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I did get something semi-decent in the end though.

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I do like learning new tangles.  I have a whole folder on my computer of tangles to try out.  Which I will maybe possibly get to one day maybe.




Drawing 100 Robots

As previously mentioned, I set myself a challenge in 2019 to draw 100 robots.  My best friend Cayden, also known as Mr Adjudicator, made the decision that multiple robots in one art piece count as one robot, and that the piece had to be properly finished, not just a random sketch.

Some of these you will have seen before, like the Robot Devil linked to above, and the Galaxy Silhouette robots, but hopefully most of them are new to you.

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If you’re eagle-eyed you’ll notice that Robot Devil was actually drawn in June, between the 50s, although it is numbered 15/100.  This is because for some reason I completely missed number 15 and had to go back.

I completed robot 100 on November 14th, but I kept drawing robots because robots are awesome.  In total I made 109 robot pieces in 2019.


Robot Devil

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few months you might have seen the name Tom appear once or twice.  He’s my boyfriend, and I have slowly been dragging him into the world of craft and art.  We collaborated in October on an origami scene, and he’s been helping me enhance some of my traditional art digitally as well.

Today I’m going to show you what he helped me do to this drawing of Robot Devil from Futurama.

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Sometimes Tom scans the work, but for this one he worked from this photo.  He cut out the devil, added a background, and adjusted both layers to work together.  And now I have this awesome image.

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Robot devil was part of my self-imposed challenge for 2019 to draw 100 robots.  I’m gonna be posting the wrap up for that in a day or two.  Robot devil is also part of another big project I’ll be releasing soon – keep your eyes peeled for that 🙂

A New Approach to Learning

When I decide I want to try something new, I have a process.  Sort of.  I will research.  A lot.  I will watch seven million YouTube videos, and collect seven million images from Pinterest to copy, and find seven million webpages to read.  And I will list all of these things on a special page in my notebook for that project.

After that I will sometimes do one or two of those things, and then I will graduate to doing my own thing.  But then I find myself needing to complete the list.  My brain tells me that there’s a project that is unfinished, that I need to watch the rest of the videos and work through the rest of the tutorials.  And it ends up on my list of things to finish that takes months and months and months for me to get around to.

In my notebook at the moment I have incomplete pages for:

– learning to use Copic markers (which I have now been doing for more than a year)

– for using my Dremel tool (which I have had for about 9 months)

– for colouring/drawing digitally (which I am getting better at without having visited any of the links)

– for calligraphy/lettering (which I don’t really do all that often anyway)

– for using my 3D printing pen (which I tend to do spontaneously anyway)

– for using my mini die cutting machine (ditto)

– watercolours (which I do a lot)

– for Brusho paint crystals (which I have bought but not done anything with)

– for acrylic pouring (which I bought all the bits for, but haven’t touched yet)

– for paracord (which I haven’t done in months)

– and for resin (which I have been fumbling through without referring to the list).


These lists sit in my notebook, glaring accusingly at me when I flip through the book.  I fully intend to work through them.  But I just never got around to it.

This year I took the watercolour list and culled it.  A lot.  I crossed off a whole bunch of things that had appealed to me initially but that don’t pique my interest anymore.  And I’ve worked through a big bunch of what was left.

Going forward though, I hope to take an entirely different approach to learning.  The November Scrawlr box contained gouache paints, which were something I had wanted to use at some point anyway.  Not wanting to fill another notebook page (or three) with things to do, I decided to watch one or two YouTube videos only.  I settled on finding 2 or 3 beginners courses or articles, and collecting 2 or 3 reference images to mimic.

So far, I have stuck to that.  I still scroll through YouTube and Pinterest for inspiration, but I don’t add them to any list.

Whether or not this new approach will last is a complete unknown.  I start things with good intentions but… well, I’m sure you know me pretty well by now.

Galaxy Robots

In my notebook I have a list of art ideas.  Well, I have many lists of different things, but most of those aren’t important right now.  On this art ideas list, under the subheading “robots” was: galaxy silhouette watercolour”.

I couldn’t remember if I wanted the shape to be galaxy, or the background.  So I did both.

After I carefully and meticulously taped down two sheets of paper I realised I wanted the same shape for both, and should probably have lightboxed BEFORE I taped down the paper to a cutting mat.

Then I used masking fluid to block off the shape on one side, and the outline on the other.  I did a nice thick line for the outline, because I am a messy painter.  Then I realised that the fluid would change the texture of the paper and there would be an odd looking line, so I just blocked off the whole page.

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Then I painted, painted some more, got the page way too wet, got out the paper towel, absorbed a lot of the water, and painted some more.

Once everything had dried, I started to peel the masking fluid off.  Which is when I remembered that I have two different watercolour pads.  One does really well with masking fluid.  One does not.

Guess which one I used.

Yeah.  Crap.

Thankfully, I am an impatient person.  I am incapable of working on one watercolour piece at a time, because I hate waiting for things to dry.  So while I was working on that disaster, I had also been doing this.

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I scanned it and edited the colours a little.  I lie.  My boyfriend did it for me.

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As awesome as it looks, I wasn’t really happy with the stars.  So Tom took the photo of the stage before the stars, and edited that for me instead.  Then I added the stars digitally.  And it looks much much better.

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After that I took the original basic robot silhouette template I had used, worked some digital magic and here ya go!

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Galaxy silhouette watercolour robots. Very funky.

December Scrawlr Box

In my post about November’s Scrawlr Box the other day I said this:

Some boxes contain supplies that I know how to use and I’m super excited about, and they get completed within hours of me opening the box.  Some contain supplies I’m not so sure about, and tend to get set aside for a while.

November’s box was the second type.  December’s box was the first.

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I’m not sure if the two stickers was deliberate, but bonus anyway.  And the ruler is solid copper and it is freaking awesome!

Step one: swatching.

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Step two: follow the theme of “Squared Away” and do a grid of random doodled patterns.

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Step three: marvel at the shine!

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Step four: draw random monster.  Because monsters.

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The featured artist by the way is Mirela Duta.  Very funky.

November Scrawlr Box

A week before Christmas I received the shipping notification for the December Scrawlr Box. At which point I figured I should really finish off the November box.

Some boxes contain supplies that I know how to use and I’m super excited about, and they get completed within hours of me opening the box.  Some contain supplies I’m not so sure about, and tend to get set aside for a while.

The November box contained the second type.

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A day or so before my box arrived, Scrawlr sent out this very cryptic email.

When I got the box I discovered what it was about.  The little black thing above the pencil in my picture of the supplies.  It comes apart into two pieces, and goes back together to make a paintbrush.

I’ve never used gouache before, but it’s something that’s been on my list of art materials to try one day.  I had no idea where to start, so I was a little intimidated.  But I finally started.  By ignoring the supplies and sketching out a piece to paint first.

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Eventually though, I had to swatch.

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I tried mixing some colours, but wasn’t happy with the ones I produced.  I mean, they were nice colours, but they were totally wrong for the character I’d drawn.  She’s my original character Effy and she has very bright hair.

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So I decided to do something simpler instead.  I started with one of my dome monsters.

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And I did the latest shape challenge from Studio Tea Break – creating a monster, obviously.

Gouache is supposed to be more opaque, so you can do layers.  So I did the grey colour for the body first, then added the spots and the eyes.  I’m not sure if the spots came out okay, but the eye definitely needed a few coats.

I also did a blended circles exercise, and some dome monsters.

Of course, I couldn’t leave Effy unfinished, so I got out my watercolours for her.

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And because I like to use every bit of mixed paint left on the palette, I did more dome monsters.  And a cat in a window.  Because why not?

Oh, and before I forget, the featured Scrawlr Box artist for November was Riso Chan who did this awesome piece.

December’s Scrawlr blog will be posted in a couple of days, just in time to receive January’s box.