Thursday, August 27

Woodless Color Pencils and Another Pen to Try

I had never used woodless color pencils before and saw them in the school supplies area - so I though I would (wood, haahahaha) give them a try.  I bought Koh-I-Noor's brand and am very happy with them.  They are soft core, very smooth and blend easily.  I use a Prismacolor Colorless Blender with them, but find that they blend so well, just layering them is sometimes all they need.

I also found a new Recollections pen to love - the opaque white gel pen, medium nib. It has a smooth consistency, much more like a paint pen but a little chalky like pastel, but liquid. I found mine at and it will be really awesome coming up for a book review I have been waiting to give more art time and study to: Beautiful Faces, by Jane Davenport.  She has so, so, so many art supplies and has her favorite white pens, I am sure, but this one is worthy of her art supply lists, in my opinion.  Want the book?  Check out my Art by the Page blog to watch a video review of one of the book's gorgeous step-by-step demonstrations with link to her Youtube channel - for her online classes!

Happy creating!!

Koh-I-Noor Progresso 24 Woodless Color Pencil Set
Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces: A Mixed-Media Portrait Workshop

Monday, August 10

Paper Sculpture and Preserving Leaves

In an upcoming video, Autumn Leaf Faery Dress, I use a supply that you might not have seen before - fabric leaves.  I usually use paper to sculpt the faery's for The Faerie Project, but these fabric leaves worked beautifully.  The dress is the best yet and it's very durable.  I got mine at Michael's and they have them on the website, too.  But Amazon has several kinds to choose from, so I put the link, here below.

I also use acorn caps and explain how to preserve leaves.  I just took some out for a painting project, and they are usable and soft two years after I gathered them on an autumn walk and preserved them.

Here is the recipe to preserve autumn leaves for projects - like the Autumn Leaf Faery - arts, and crafting.  Because using natural products can make a craft or sculpture even more beautiful, like autumn, but having it crumble two weeks later is no fun at all.  These leaves won't last forever, but they have lasted 2 years, for me, with no sign of drying.

How to Preserve Autumn Leaves
For an amount that is the size of a produce aisle plastic bag half full.
Arrange leaves, flat in a shallow dish with tight fitting lid.  They can be several layers, but it is best that they are placed, loosely, on top of the next layer and laid out flat.  Mix 3 to 4 ounces of glycerin - from the first aid aisle of the pharmacy.  Glycerin is used in many lotions to soften the skin.  with 6 oz. of slightly warmer than luke-warm water.  Pour on top of the leaves.  Now add just enough cool-to-room-temperature water as to cover the leaves.  Put the lid on and soak leaves in the refrigerator for two days.  After, take each leaf out and lay on a terry cloth towel.  Blot with paper towels.  Allow to dry in a cool space.  Store in a closed produce bag.

Fall Leaves (250 pc)

Saturday, August 1

New School Supply Pack Must Include Erasers - But in the Home Art Studio?

Yes, erasers are just as important, if not more so, than those awesome little caps at the end of school pencils.  Those were the best just when the pencil tip was wearing out and causing black smudges on tests and homework, the little cap gave you back some control over your life.  When you lost them, you noticed they were gone.  You smudged and tore regretting your parents, swearing you would never leave a kid without pencil cap erasers by the dozens.  Okay, maybe that's going too far, but a great eraser can give you more control - especially with these.  So, go ahead and be the best parent (to yourself) that you can imagine and get yourself a fantastic eraser.  You deserve it, and they should not always be overlooked.

These, for highlighting hair, fur, glass rims that sparkle - you name it, for a thin line of the white of the paper, Faber Castell Pencil Erasers - pencils that ARE erasers.  Cool.

Studio, home-studio, art room, craft room, even the kids' bedroom must have the kneaded, art gum eraser.  Why?  My kid always sculpts me a little something with them, but for erasing, removing masking fluid, and being pinchable into a thin line or what have you.  Great replacement for knuckle popping and other fidgeting, too.

Here's the eraser pack for the teacher's pet and the fastidious art room creator - Perfection Eraser Pencil with Brush - 3 pack - by Faber Castell

For the artist who has everything?!  An electric eraser? Really?!  You don't have to move your hand back and forth, wow!  Some artists, especially realistic renderers, protrait creators, and fantasy wizards swear by the electric eraser to add sparkle, highlight, shiny hair, and glossy fur.  This Sakura model is reasonably priced.  Or, the kid learns to sculpt the kneaded eraser (mine did).

Faber-Castel Eraser Pencils, 2-Pack
2-pack Artists Kneadable Eraser, Kneaded Eraser
Faber Castell Faber-Castell Perfection Eraser Pencil with Brush (3-PACK)
Sakura Cordless Electric Eraser - Cordless Eraser

Tuesday, July 28

Excite Your Flower Painting! From the 1600's?!

Actually, for a fresh new look at flower painting, try the latter 1600's.  I just finished research for a new vlog series called Art Notebook, and the paintings I poured over had me worried that the black cloaks and high-white collars of European socialites were kicking *ss at creativity.  Taking a look back sometimes helps us move forward, and this artist, for flower painters and botanical illustrators, is worth a look into the past.

Three new videos at KaraSkyeVlog invite you to wonder along with me.  Botanical artists, women explorers in art, and a contest for fabric designers are the topics of these videos, linked below:

Hand-make a no-sew, no-binding Travel Journal

Botanical Sketchbook

Art By The Page

I've also added an Art Book Review page to this blog, because art books are an investment as the right one can open up new ways of seeing your art and utilizing your creativity.  Others, when they aren't the right choice, collect dust and make us think we'd gone in another wrong direction.  So, a review and video test of an exercise could help you narrow your choices or finding that must-read for your art and your particular style.

Mr. Marshal's Flower Book

Awesome Travel Journals by Strathmore to pick up!


Thursday, July 23

Chew An Aspirin | Take Yoga |..

Try this series: Really RELAXING Colouring Books.  This 3rd in the series is gorgeous fun for anyone who loves floral design.  Its a good choice for crafters and fabric designers to let go, relax, and color.  Don't over-think, plan, or stress.

If you get inspiration from only 1 artist or art source, its plaguerism; but, inspiration from 100 artists/art sources is research! The kind of stealing that makes you a better artist.  Don't stop learning, looking, mimicing, and exploring for your style to evolve. Don't just find what you like to mimic but immerse yourself in the styles you like, learning 'see' as those artists see.  Or, something like that - its all in the book Steal Like An Artist, information and link on the bar to the right of this blog.

Crafters who use coloring books and artists who color in one, you need to acknowledge the fact that your style is basking in the light of an artist you admire. Flights of Fancy is a great example.

For photographs that are royalty-free, Urban Explorer for artists, crafters, and kids doing reports who'd like to use a royalty-free image of urban wildlife like great blue heron, egret, robins, racoon, and more.  And there are color pages for the kids at Kids-Explore-Nature.  Just more uses for those new Twistables.

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
Really RELAXING Colouring Book 3: Botanicals in Bloom: A Fun, Floral Colouring Adventure
(Really RELAXING Colouring Books) (Volume 3)

Really RELAXING Colouring Book 5: Flights Of Fancy: A Winged Journey Through Pattern and Colour (Really RELAXING Colouring Books) (Volume 5)

Time to Yourself

The world is a busy place and in it are busy people.  How is it possible to find time for something like creative journaling, art processing, or even time to yourself?  I personally know how selfish it can look and seem to others around you when you take time away from a chore list, the kids, or even a day job to indulge your creative instincts; however, this book No Excuses Art Journaling will help you lose the guilt trip and find the reason to indulge in art supplies - and use up the ones you've got.
No Excuses Art Journaling: 
Making Time for Creativity

Days of Summer Boredom are About to Start - Here's One Solution

Even though summer's the best time for a kid who likes to play instead of study, the heat and the time away from school friends, teachers, and learning can cause a child to express boredom.  Air dry clay can keep kids interested and busy sculpting and creating.  This clay is also great for crafting with paper mache or as paper clay.  It air dries - no over or kiln required - and it can be painted and varnished to a smooth surface.

If you do use air dry clay, use a small brush and cotton ball to apply a thin layer of Crisco or vegetable oil as the clay becomes leather hard.  Do not wait too long, but not before the brush can go over the clay without disrupting the surface.  This prevents cracking, which I have had with air dry clay before I learned this useful tip.

Crayola Air Dry Clay 2.5 Lb Bucket, White

Protect and Seal or Pour on the Gloss

Varnishing with linseed oil, as an oil painter is an integral part of the painting process.  Gel mediums in gloss, high gloss, and matte finishes are often as important in acrylic painting as the paint.  But I had never heard of varnishing a watercolor.  After watching a few tutorials, linked in the comments below my Mini-Haul, I found a reason to try.  So far, this Windsor Newton spray varnish has given me the notion that my watercolors aren't as vulnerable to damage, once finished; and, the gloss on a watercolor canvas looks as gorgeous as linseed oil or gel medium.  Just something you might want to try!
Liquitex Professional Gloss Fluid, Medium and Varnish, 8-oz
Loew Cornell 842 25-Piece Foam Brush Set, 1-Inch

Mini-Haul - Art Supplies Video