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January 2019

February 2019

Vincent van Gogh Project

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Learn Vincent van Gogh Painting Techniques

    Welcome to the studio, a place to relax, to be inspired and to develop your own creative potential. Here, we will explore ideas and create art with mediums and techniques that will have you achieving rewarding results with your own art.

    Oil pastels offer the diversity of producing strong, intense color as well as delicate pastel tones. They can add a wonderful texture, yet are also blendable.

    In this lesson plan, we borrow a few of Vincent van Gogh’s painting techniques, and create a lively work of art in oil pastel.

Materials:

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“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”
~Vincent van Gogh
1853-1890

    In this lesson plan, I have chosen to pay tribute to Vincent van Gogh and his liberated painting style, because it lends itself so well to executing the apple tree project presented here. Van Gogh’s style reflects a letting go of minutia, and focuses instead on shape, color and movement in a composition. His style is loose yet deliberate, lively and strong.

The inspiration; an apple orchard in Maine

    I took these photos one beautiful October morning I spent apple picking in Maine.

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apple-orchard

    The branches and perspective made me think of van Gogh’s Almond Blossom painting, thus, inspiring me to create my own painting done in his style.

   

almond blossom painting

Almond Blossom 1890
Vincent van Gogh
Oil on canvas

 

 

The Under-painting

    An under-painting is the initial step used by the old masters to help create a plan or “road map” for the creation of a finished painting in oil or pastel. It is the first layer of paint applied to the canvas, and serves as a foundation for the painting, determining future color placement, values and tones.

faber-castell connector paints

    An under-painting can be executed with most any kind of thinned down paint, or even colored pencil, however this “Connector Paint” is a real favorite of mine. It’s ability to be somewhat transparent or opaque, along with the variety of great colors, make it a real go-to paint for almost any type of project in my studio.

    Under-paintings are light in color and done in a loose style. Sometimes they are done with the intention of peeking through the final art in areas, adding subtle dimension and texture. An under-painting done in a single tone can have a dramatic affect by adding a warmth or coolness to the overall finished painting.

    Finally, an under-painting works well because it can ease a painter into the beginning of a painting, eliminating the intimidating blank white canvas space.

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Preparing to use Oil Pastels

    Looking carefully at my reference photo, I choose as many pastel colors
as possible, keeping in mind that more colors and layers will add more interest, depth and complexity to the painting.

faber-castell oil pastels

Shown here are the pastels to be used in two ways:

1) I break the pastels into pieces to be able to use the sides of them, gaining more control with handling the small areas of the artwork.

2) I also crush shavings of the pastels and mix them with paint thinner to use as a form of paint.

 

Beginning with a Sketch

    Referring somewhat but not completely to my photos, I spend some time loosely sketching and composing branches and apples on tissue paper. After combining a few sketches, I arrive at this composition, a perspective looking upward toward the sky. I then trace the drawing onto my final piece of pastel paper using a light table. You could also use a bright window for tracing.

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TIP
Paper—Instead of white paper, choose a toned, textured pastel paper for your art. When choosing the paper, consider its tone or value rather then actual color. A good middle toned grey or warm beige is a good start. The more “tooth” or texture to the paper, the better it will accept many layers of pastels, thus giving beautiful results.

 

The Under-painting

    Using the Connector paints, I begin with the background. I create an opaque light blue and green by mixing the white gouache included in the set to the two colors. I then paint the blue/green haze of the apple tree much like Van Gogh would have, by making short diagonal brush strokes alternating the colors. The paint is watery and bleeds together in areas.

KTIP
Experiment with different colors, strokes and pressure on a scrap sheet of the pastel paper throughout the painting process.

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    Next, I loosely paint the leaves and tree branches in their lightest values. This foundation allows me to build on it with layers of more paint, and later, oil pastel.

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    When the foundation is dry, I continue to add earthy browns and greens to the branches. I begin to form a rounded look to the branches with brushstrokes that wrap around them, much like Van Gogh painted his almond branches.

    I add a darker green and a few spots of blue to some of the leaves. The beauty of painting in a Van Gogh style is that you can be very loose and impressionistic, using visible brush strokes and leaving seemingly unfinished areas.

    For the apples, I paint a lime green area for the bottom of the unripened apple, and while it is still wet, I paint the rest of the apple in a light red. The two wet colors soften into each other.

 

Adding Oil Pastel

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    I begin adding layers of oil pastel to the under-painting. I cover the background first, using the small pieces of blue, green, lavender and grey pastel. I then blend these colors together by going over it with white. I leave some areas of the under-painting and plain paper peeking through. All areas of the artwork are brought into play as the image develops, as I contour the branches with a variety of browns, greens and a little blue, and I apply dabs of green to the leaves. Single marks of color are left to model the form, rather then blending.

    I use the thinned pastel to paint the apples, being careful to leave the green of the under-painting showing through the bottom of them. I leave the apples at the top edge of the paper light and flat, so as to lose them into the background.

 

Refine

    In this step, I add one of Van Gogh’s most characteristic elements in his paintings, the bold outline. He would often add this strong line in the final stages of a piece as a graphic device to enhance the structure of the image. Using a dark brown pastel, I very loosely outline a lot of the branches and some of the leaves with a broken line. In some areas, I leave my earlier pencil lines. I also use the dark brown to add more detail and contouring marks to the branches.

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Erasing—the best way for removing unwanted oil pastel is to gently scrape away what you can with the X-Acto knife, and continue to work over it. The thick, opaque nature of the oil pastels combined with Van Gogh’s forgiving painting style, significantly reduces stress, and allows you to continue with success.

Unify the Elements

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Here, I consider the painting as a whole, and judge how the color and tones work together. I add final details with the paint, including highlights here and there on the branches and leaves. I continue to work the background, adding more of the blue and white marks over the top distant apples. I leave some branches and leaves sketchy and unfinished.
Finally, be very careful not to overwork the painting. It’s beauty and drama lie in it’s interplay between bold detail and loosely painted areas.


Lesson Plan by Janis Doukakis

 


How To Create Ornamental Boxes!

Hi everyone! Faber-Castell USA and I are back with another tutorial! This time, I'm going to walk you through creating simple ornamental boxes for journal!

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I’m here to tell you that while some of bullet journaling looks complex, it can actually be pretty simple if you break it down into steps! Starting with a simple rectangle, you can create an interesting space in your bujo for lists, notes, or even quotes!

Tip: Use a pencil first! (Word on the street... Faber-Castell has some pretty sweet supplies if you’re interested... just sayin’) 

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Try out each step shown here on these 4 simple boxes! As you can tell, I wasn’t sure what to call them, so forgive the names... I just can't help myself!

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Once you’ve completed the three steps, it’s time to push it (...push it real good!) Add flourishes, shadows, florals, and metallic elements to help elevate your boxes, and then use them in your journal! How many other ornamental boxes can you create from a simple rectangle? Experiment and make it your own!

FaberCastellPittArtistPens

If you'd love to use ornamental boxes in your journal, but aren't ready to take the plunge, check out this free printable here! Download

Thanks, everyone! Keep creating!


Watercolor Pencil Block Letter Blends

Materials:


First, you want to lightly sketch out your block letters.

LOVE5

Then, start filling in the block letters with the watercolor pencils. I used a mix of 4 colors (2 reds and 2 pinks) starting with the darkest color on the bottom of the letters. 

*Repeat this step until you have filled in all the letters.

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Once you have colored in the full letter, just add water! Don't worry about filling in all the white spaces with the pencil because when you add water it will even out.

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LOVE3
LOVE3

If you want, you can use a black Pitt Artist pen to add in details, like the outline I added in the next picture. 

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The Lettering Fern

Erin is a teacher by day and a creator by night. She loves to try and inspire creativity in her students everyday! Because she’s busy during the day, the night is when her creativity gets to explode into the world through lettering and messing around with watercolors. Her biggest advice would be to not compare your art to other people’s art! Be uniquely you!

The Lettering Fern


Create Beautiful Moments - Pitt Artist Handlettering Pink Brush Pens

Playing around with this gorgeous set of @fabercastellusa Pitt Artist Pens. Such a lovely mix of pinks including brush tips and fine points! Did you know you can create beautiful roses using these brush markers? Start by drawing the center of a rose, and creating c curves around it while increasing pressure at the center point. Keep layering in circles and you’ll end up with a beautiful flower 🌸🌹

 

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faber-castell-pink-pitt-artist-lettering-pens

 

 

 

 

Happy Lettering!

 

Signature

Leah-kelly


Leah Kelly is a modern calligrapher and hand lettering artist. She is a military wife who took up the hobby to create decor and invitations for her own wedding. When she’s not addressing invitation envelopes or writing place cards, she loves to use calligraphy and painting as a creative form of meditation. Leah is currently working to get her professional certificate in graphic design.


Word Art with the NEW Iridescents II Gelatos Colors & PITT Pens

FC_Feb19Blog1_Iridescents2Gelatos&PITTPens_WordArt_Image1_MouSaha

Hi everyone, Mou here with a word art tutorial using the newest set of Gelatos colors - Iridescents II and PITT artist pens! Mermaids are everywhere these days - from birthday cakes to crochet patterns to Halloween costumes. I wanted to hop on this trend train and create a mermaid word art using a quote by Anthony T. Hinks.

To do this project, you'll need the following -

Faber-Castell Gelatos® Colors Iridescents II

India ink Pitt Artist Pen Hand Lettering 6ct wallet blues

Goldfaber 6 Ct. Graphite Pencil Tin

Collapsible Water cup

Other - watercolor paper (trimmed to 4.5 x 6 inches)

Now, let me walk you through the steps.

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Rub the Gelatos colors on the paper as shown.

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Blend the colors with water using the paint brush included in the Gelatos set.

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Draw a mermaid tail lightly with pencil. Color around it with more Gelatos.

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Sketch some details to the tail as shown.

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Write the words with the PITT pens, varying colors, size and style of handwritten fonts. Mix things up. Be loose and don't worry too much about making it perfectly perfect.

Make some marks around the page also with the PITT pens to finish.

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and try playing with Gelatos and PITT pens together in your word art!

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Handmade Valentines!

What's better than a handmade valentine, to show your favorite people that they're loved? Here's a quick and simple way to gift from the heart.

Let's start with some smooth, black card stock cut into small rectangles. 

 

FaberCastell_valentine1

 

Now take your white Pitt artist brush pen, and write out "valentine".


FaberCastell_valentine2

 

Take another Pitt pen in "pink madder lake" and color over the white. This lets your color stand out on the black paper!


FaberCastell_valentine3

 

Now using the white Pitt 1.5 pen, add any more words or decorations you'd like on your card, then use the brush pen again to add a shadow to the larger letters.


FaberCastell_valentine4

 

Continue steps 1-4 for as many cards as you'd like! Keep them all the same, or switch them up like I did! And most importantly, have some fun with it!


FaberCastell_valentine5

Have a LOVELY Day!

Chelsea

 

ChelseaLawChelsea has a not-so-slight obsession with all things lettering. Watching lettering videos is what got her started, and you can usually find her posting videos using every supply she can get her hands on! From brush pens to watercolor, and everything in between!


Watercolor Hearts Card

I guess you could call this a "bleeding hearts" card :)

Materials Used:

It is so fun to be able to make homemade cards to give to the special people in your life! To start this one off place your tape across the bottom of the card somewhere (wherever you want your words to go). Then pick your colors and start painting hearts everywhere!

*The quicker you go the better the color bleeds will be because the paint will still be wet.

Connector Paints
Connector Paints

Let the hearts dry, remove the tape, and use the PITT pens to add details. I outlined a few of the hearts and then added my lettered words across the bottom in the white space.

Add Details Close up shot of Details



 

The Lettering Fern

 

Erin is a teacher by day and a creator by night. She loves to try and inspire creativity in her students everyday! Because she’s busy during the day, the night is when her creativity gets to explode into the world through lettering and messing around with watercolors. Her biggest advice would be to not compare your art to other people’s art! Be uniquely you!

The Lettering Fern


Tiny Steps - Lettering with White Pitt Artist Pens

Me again, lettering on kraft paper with my favorite brush pen. Have you all had a chance to try these amazing white Pitt Artist Pens yet!?

lettering-with-faber-castell-white-pitt-artist-pens

My dream has truly come true with this brush marker. 🥰 Kraft paper is a love of mine, but I’m not always in the mood to pull out all the supplies that come along with white ink. These Pitt Artist Pens are the ultimate tool for quick, low mess lettering. Check it out in brush tip, chisel tip, and 1.5 bullet tip! 

Enjoy!

Leah
Signature
Leah-kellyLeah Kelly is a modern calligrapher and hand lettering artist. She is a military wife who took up the hobby to create decor and invitations for her own wedding. When she’s not addressing invitation envelopes or writing place cards, she loves to use calligraphy and painting as a creative form of meditation. Leah is currently working to get her professional certificate in graphic design.


Watercolor Bookmarks!

This is a super fun and easy project that you can do, especially when you're stuck inside on on of these cold days! I bet you could even convince your kids to do it with you.

Lets start with our Faber-Castell Mixed Media Tin and some watercolor paper.

 

Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark1

 

Using the watercolor pencils, sketch out some flowers. They don't have to be neat and pretty, you could even just do colorful blobs if you wanted to. We'll be outlining them later!


Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark2

 

Take a paintbrush, and mix that color all around!


Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark3

 

Now, take your Pitt pen and add in the details! Here, I used the black watercolor pencil to add the center of the flowers, and then took the Pitt pen to outline the flowers and add some small details in the middle. 


Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark4

 

Using the white 1.5 Pitt pen, add in some closer details. I added some dots to the inside of the flower, and some highlighted areas to the flower petals.


Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark5

 

Cut your paper into 2" strips, then take a hole punch and some ribbon, and finish it up! If you have a laminator, run them through there beforehand to help preserve them!


Fabercastell_watercolorbookmark6

 

Have some fun with it! See how many different patterns you can come up with, then grab a book and enjoy!

Chelsea

ChelseaLawChelsea has a not-so-slight obsession with all things lettering. Watching lettering videos is what got her started, and you can usually find her posting videos using every art supply she can get her hands on! From brush pens to watercolor and everything in between!


Small Gift Tags

Creating small gift tags can be fun and easy-to-do!

Materials Used:

Goldfaber Aqua

For the background, I used most of the blue pencils in the collection. When I put the color on the paper I would overlap the colors a little bit to make a smoother transition.

Background Before Water

Once you are done with the watercolor pencils you add water! I like to use a bigger brush that will hold more water.

Background During Water

After all the colors have been activated by water and the blend looks the way you want, let it dry (you can speed this up a bit by using a paper towel to dab up and extra water, you can also use a heat source like a hair dryer to finish drying the background).

Background After Water

Use a circle paper punch (or whatever size/shape paper punch you would like) to cut out the tags!

Punched Tags

Write whatever messages you would like on the tags!

Small Gift Tags

 

 

Erin+AdamEngagements-14 copy

Erin is a teacher by day and a creator by night. She loves to try and inspire creativity in her students everyday! Because she’s busy during the day, the night is when her creativity gets to explode into the world through lettering and messing around with watercolors. Her biggest advice would be to not compare your art to other people’s art! Be uniquely you!

The Lettering Fern