It’s Simply Art!

As an artist, I am always curious to try new styles, mediums, techniques and discover new ways to express myself. I teach painting in my home studio and travel to conventions and seminars around the country. I like to share principles of painting and art, and to demonstrate different techniques and styles of decorative painting. While traveling, I interact with artists of all kinds and I find myself getting excited about new surfaces, mediums, and techniques.  Locally, we have a lot of new painters that have never been in a structured setting and wanted the basics of decorative painting, so I decided to teach a new beginner series.

As I was putting the class together, I started breaking it into techniques and theory that I wanted to include. Then, I got to thinking about my own renewal.  I began my year with an online Steampunk class, and while creating my own masterpiece each week, renewed my interest in adding different mediums to my art.   It made me remember how I felt as a beginner: experimenting, and trusting the process and my own imagination.

Even though I have a studio filled with products and tools, I was drawn to the basic kits from our SIMPLY ART® line of products.

I had not used cake watercolors for a long time and forgot how much fun it was to mix and swirl the colors in various levels of water for a soft and airy look. You can use them to block in a section, create a landscape or floral watercolor and even share them with your kids! Don’t get locked into using only the brush that comes in the kit. Try using our La Corneille® brushes with the SIMPLY ART® watercolor cakes to get your creative juices flowing.

Reignited and excited about backgrounds and watercolors, I took out my watercolor pencils and started color blocking in areas and wetting (or not!) the colors to bleed them out.  This gives you immediate shading and highlighting. It gave me some great ideas on how to incorporate them into my projects for those that might be looking for an easier way to shade and highlight sections of their designs.

Tubes of oil paints always seem to get messy when I work with them, so I love oil pastels (wax oil crayons).  They are easy to use, easy to clean, and are portable. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, they are perfect for fine detail and can easily be manipulated with or without solvents. You can easily achieve a nice blended look by applying color lightly with loose strokes or layers. Apply heavier if you want your colors to be bolder.

All of this playing made me feel like a kid again, rediscovering how much fun it is to stray without having a particular idea or project in mind. Use an art board, heavy paper, canvas, SIMPLY ART® drawing pad, or your journal to experiment without worrying about the end product.

Make it part of your journey to try (or retry) some of these old favorites.

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