I'm proud to have contributed a 5-Day Start Drawing Challenge to the new Make it in Design FREE 'Gift of Creativity' online classroom.
The 'Gift of Creativity' is a special online resource filled with creative inspiration, challenges, tutorials, colouring sheets and projects to keep you and your family occupied during these difficult weeks - great for adults or kids, home-schooling projects, beginners or the more experienced - there's a ton of resources there already and there'll be more added each week, so if you're at all interested, bookmark it and check it out.
My contribution is the '5-Day Start Drawing Challenge' which you can find in the 'Drawing' section of the classroom.
All the details are here...
I wanted to share with you some of my new and recent Celtic knotwork learning for my own art practice…
This year, I’ve decided to spend more time concentrating on drawing Celtic knotwork and including it in my artwork – as well as learning Calligraphy.
These are both art forms that I explored in my childhood and loved!
My mum trained as an art teacher in the 1960s and did her dissertation on Celtic art in Ireland – specifically the Book of Kells. So I was lucky enough to be allowed to play with her dissertation, and she gave me the postcards she’d collected of the Book of Kells to play with and to inspire me.
My mum also taught me how to draw simple Celtic spirals – so that’s what I doodled as a child…
The absolute basics! My recommended top drawing materials supplies to get you started drawing with no unnecessary fuss or massive expenditure…
This post is all about choosing the right drawing tools for you!
It’s something that’s very personal, so there’s no right or wrong thing to choose.
There’s only the thing that’s right or wrong for you – and it’s absolutely okay for that to change, either gradually over time or all of a sudden.
It’s important that you’re happy and comfortable with how you do your art…
And that it feels like an extension of who you are and what you’re about so that you get the most enjoyment out of it.
I’m also not about fancy equipment or expensive equipment…
I’ve been broke… and art paper, pens, and pencils were an expensive luxury!
But guess what? For drawing your own way you don’t need them!
Let me repeat that…
You don’t need anything fancy to get the benefits of creative and expressive drawing.
All you need is something to draw with and something to draw on. Got that? Then you’re sorted.
Having said that, your experience of drawing is always going to be far more pleasurable if you actually enjoy using your tools. So this lesson is about helping you choose what to start drawing with and what to start drawing on...
Celtic-inspired swans artwork by Lotti Brown.
My Celtic swans artwork was inspired by this graceful symbol of inner beauty and true love.
Swans are a frequent theme in Celtic legend and folklore – we currently have around 200 whooper swans wintering in the wetlands of the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve, close to my home, and often see and hear the swans flying over. In years gone by, up to 300 Bewick’s swans would over-winter in the area – in Celtic times, the numbers of swans both here and in the Celtic strongholds of Wales and Ireland must have been even greater – a real feature in Celtic life and not surprising they feature in so many tales.
We all know the story of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – a story drawn from Russian and European folktales of a princess enchanted to be a swan...
And European folklore is filled with princesses and maidens who are turned into swans – often as punishment!
Beautiful Celtic-inspired barn owl art print...
My barn owl artwork is inspired by the beautiful and ethereal snowy-white barn owls that we often see in the fields near home.
In late winter, we sometimes see them around dawn and dusk – but sometimes, even in full daylight, quartering the fields and hunting for mice to feed their chicks, recently hatched.
Even in sunlight the barn owl seems to have an otherworldly and somewhat ghostly presence – a pallor that’s outside of our everyday world.
In folklore, the owl is often associated with the Otherworld and darkness – but also with being clear-sighted, all-knowing, and wise.
The owl is associated with the goddess of wisdom – Athena in the Greek tradition, Sulis in the Celtic tradition, and Minerva for the Romans. Sulis was the Celtic goddess of justice, echoing the perception of the owl’s knowing wisdom.
In the Celtic legend the ‘Quest for Olwen’, the owl is encountered as one of the five oldest beasts on Earth, symbolising the owl’s ancient knowledge and enduring wisdom.
Of course, there are very many ways of using technology to create art – and I only know a tiny bit really – enough to create the work I want to create…. So we can’t cover absolutely all digital techniques here!
But I do want to share with you how I use digital art technologies to create art – and why I’m certain that this art form should definitely be considered ‘real art’.
My own artworks all actually start well away from the computer, which isn't always the case for digital art, but is still quite common these days as artists look to take the best of traditional and digital techniques.
I sit down with pen and paper – I draw and add colour. I use a black fine-liner pen, and Promarker inks. I find drawing in this traditional way allows me to draw naturally and in my own particular drawing style.
Easy artist colour theory for you to understand how to use colour practically in your art.
Colour is one of those things that attracts us to creating art – it’s exciting and emotional and it gives our drawings life and personality.
It looks so easy… so why is it sometimes so damn hard?!
Let’s start by looking at some easy ways to add colour to our art –
In this blog post, we’ll learn techniques for using colour to add form, depth, light, shade, and shape to your drawing – as well as the excitement of colour!
This is important, because as well as being an expressive tool to give emotion, feeling, and excitement to your artwork, colour is also a tool that you can use to give your artwork shape, depth, and form.
In the earliest parts of our drawing, we spend time looking at our subject matter and not our page so that we can draw the outline correctly…
We’ve done lots of hard work with our basic line drawing and may even have added texture and shade (mark making) with pen, pencil, or charcoal. So now we have that already in place, it’s the time to really immerse ourselves in the colour on the page or canvas.
You can apply the following ideas to any medium that you choose to use to apply colour to your artwork.
And you can adapt the ideas to suit your own style – and I would encourage you to do so.
Colourful sparrows art by Lotti Brown...
My sweet sparrows art was inspired by the sparrows in my own garden - we have a little flock of about 12 house sparrows, male and female, who feed (virtually all day, every day) at the feeder in our plum tree.
I think they might live in there too, as the plum tree is thick with ivy and creepers and it's safe for them to hide out or roost.
They perch across all the branches of the tree, like fluttering decorations, keeping watch and taking turns...
They're so funny to see with their swift, twittering arguments around the feeder. We even had once hanging completely upside down at the feeder to stop being bombarded from his mates from the ferns beneath...
It was quite effective until the little birds got wise and while he was still hanging upside down, they swooped down from above to oust him from the feeder. I haven't seen him try it again since!
Choosing colour for an artwork or design can be a really fun part of the creative process, but sometimes the sheer amount of colour choice available is just a little bit overwhelming, so here's a few tips I've learned over the past few years to help...
Of course, if the artwork or design is of flowers, animals, or birds I find the the natural colour of the flower, animal or bird is a great place to start, but for more abstract designs, or ones where you don't necessarily want the colours to look true to life, you can start by picking colours out of a favourite photo...
Here are some I tried from some of my own holiday snaps...
Have you always wanted to learn how to use colour more confidently in your art?
Would you love to know how to create compositions that work?
Then I've got the perfect courses for you...
Today, I launch:
Author: Lotti Brown
Artist, designer, and online drawing teacher.
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