My Brit + Co Class: Beautiful Lettering Layouts

My Brit + Co Class: Beautiful Lettering Layouts

Helllllo all! Today's blog post is really fun and exciting because I'm sharing my experience filming a lettering class with Brit + Co in San Francisco!

In January, I had the opportunity to fly to California to film this class with my *dream* people. Brit + Co is such a prolific company in the DIY and blogging world, not only providing free content for their readers, but contracting teachers in alllll kinds of fields to teach a class on something their readers want to learn. 

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My DIY Camera Set-Up for Filming and Flat Lays

My DIY Camera Set-Up for Filming and Flat Lays

Hey y'all! Today, I am sharing a much-requested video and blog post about my DIY, affordable (aka: kind of ugly) camera set-up. 

When I first purchased my Canon camera for filming tutorial videos and classes, I quickly discovered that just a tripod (albeit a really nice one) simply wasn't cutting the mustard for filming a bird's eye view of my desk for both videos and flat lays. 

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Easy Watercolor Cactus Illustration

Easy Watercolor Cactus Illustration

Hey y'all! I'm back on the blog (after almost two months...wow.) with a brand new watercolor illustration tutorial. You may have noticed that I've been posting video tutorials now instead of my previous photo format. This is for two reasons: it's a better learning experience for you, and a much easier teaching experience for me! And that's why I'm so excited for today's Cactus illustration----it's EASY PEASY BABY.

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Tombow Techniques: 2 MORE Unique Effects

Tombow Techniques: 2 MORE Unique Effects

Almost ONE year ago, I posted 3 unique effects I loved achieving using my collection of Tombow Dual Brush Pens. This simple blog post has since gone somewhat viral on Pinterest. I truly can't believe my eyes every time I log into Pinterest, seeing so many people pin this blog post to their "lettering tips" board.... especially since the original blog post was done so early into my lettering journey, thus the quality being very poor in comparison to where I am today.

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How to Make Traceable, Printable Worksheets Using ProCreate!

How to Make Traceable, Printable Worksheets Using ProCreate!

Recently, in my private Facebook group, The Unexpected Letterers (you can request to join here), there was some discussion about how to create traceable, printable worksheets without using Adobe Illustrator. I thought this was an excellent discussion, because so many of my creative friends don't have the time or money to invest in programs like Illustrator or Photoshop.....but they do have an iPad Pro.

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How To Add Dimensional Shadows to Your Lettering

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Recently, I have been trying not to neglect my Dual Brush Pens so much! I've got a beautiful collection of them in my office, and I'm not using them nearly enough.

SIDENOTE: This is how I store my most-used Tombows!

SIDENOTE: This is how I store my most-used Tombows!

In the spirit of paying lots of loving attention to my dual brush pens, I was playing around with how to add easy shadows to my lettering that goes beyond just adding a dark line. I wanted to add dimension, but I didn't want it to be difficult. 

And I came up with a little system that works for me, and, in my opinion, looks pretty good! 

All you need to create this look is...

Watch this short video tutorial on how I'm creating dimensional shadows to take my lettering up a notch or two!

What did you think about the video? Are you going to try this technique? Leave a comment below and tell me! I would love to hear from you!

4 Tricks for Better Brush Lettering with the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip

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Hey y'all! Lately, I've been thinking video is a way more effective method of teaching you all my tips and tricks! So, that's what I decided to go with this week. 

Today, I'm sharing my Top 4 Tricks for better brush lettering (on the first try) with my all-time favorite pen, the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip!

I encourage you to watch the video below, before scrolling down for a full list of supplies and some extra details on using these tricks effectively!

SUPPLIES:

1. Re-trace Directly On Top of Your Initial Pencil Sketch

This is one of my tried and true methods for getting my lettering to fit together like little puzzle pieces. Like I mention in the video, I've been lettering for two years....don't get discouraged if this trick doesn't work for you, or if you takes you a bit longer to develop the 'second sense' for letter/word placement. It is something that truly comes with time, experience, and lots of experimentation!

2. Save your more troublesome strokes for last!

I'm always shaky from too much coffee consumption! Therefore, I save my more difficult strokes (usually upstrokes or elaborate tails on my y's and g's), until last. But what really makes this a 'trick' is that I turn my paper completely sideways or upside down, where I can still pull my pen in a downward motion. However, even though I'm technically making a 'downstroke,' I apply minimum pressure with my pen so that my stroke looks like a totally normal upstroke. No one knows but me :)

3. Use a Fine Liner to clean up rough edges

If the second trick doesn't quite work for you, that's fine! This one will solve that. Use a fine liner pen like a Micron or a Tombow Mono Drawing Pen to clean up your rough edges. Take your time doing this, though! Any wrong moves, and everyone might figure out your secret!

4. Get yourself an artist grade eraser!

This one is a game changer! As you can see, I like to letter directly on top of my sketch, as opposed to using a lightbox...even though I still use one of those too. But, I'm able to get such a clean final product by using an artist grade eraser when I'm ready to get rid of those pencil marks. A regular eraser just doesn't do the trick quite like one that is meant for artists! Trust me on this one....I have an 'Eraser Round-Up' here you can refer to if you need some suggestions.

Ok, y'all! That's it for this week. Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these tricks, and whether or not they work for you. Do you have some tricks of your own? I want to hear about that, too! 

Printable Spring Wall Art and Adult Coloring Page

Today, I'm showing off a little wall art I created that actually doubles as an adult coloring page! What's better than some Spring-themed wall art that looks great as it is, or that you can splash some color on? I'm turning these floral doodles I did into a digital art print using my iPad, and adding some color using the Tombow USA 1500 Colored Pencils.

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How To: Watercolor 4 Fall Leaves!

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So, it's totally 90 degrees here in my neck of the woods, but it is officially fall, and I'm ITCHING to bust out the riding boots and scarves and cozy oversized sweaters...I'm also itching to get my first PSL of the season because, as a former employee of Starbucks, I can appreciate it, but it has to be enjoyed on the true definition of an Autumn day. 

90 degree weather ain't it. 

Never fear, though! I'm bringing fall foliage to ME no matter what. 
Today, I'm going to show you how to watercolor 4 different fall leaves.

The possibilities are endless for this project! Once you're a leaf pro (don't worry, by the end of this you totally will be), you can create SO MANY beautiful Fall prints to hang in your house or give as gifts....imagine it now: Watercolor Leaf Wreaths?! WATERCOLOR COFFEE CUPS WITH LEAVES SWIRLING AROUND? WHAT?! HOW CUTE.

BRB painting that right now.
Enough of me, let's get to the painting!

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Here's what I used:
Watercolors (Fall Colors..specifics listed below!)
1 Round Brush
Tombow Dual Brush Pens in Brown, Tan, or Red (whatever you've got in your collection)
If no Tombows, feel free to use black ink or saturated watercolors
1 Piece of Mixed Media or Watercolor Paper
Clean Water
Paper Towel
Ceramic Dish or Palette (Optional)

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I'll be using a medium size round brush (Size 6) for each leaf! My leaves are a medium-small size. If you want to make larger leaves, use a larger round brush...the instructions stay the same.

I'm pulling all my 'Fall colors' from two different watercolor palettes. On the left, I've got my favorite Winsor & Newton Watercolor Palette (Right now it's only $12 on Amazon), and on the right is my Decadent Pies Prima Set (On sale for $20).

Because I'm pulling from two palettes, I have a ceramic dish to hold my watercolors and serve as my palette for this tutorial. Totally not necessary, but I like making things as simple as pie for myself since I tend to get frustrated with watercolors really easily. 
I pulled a variety of oranges, pinks, reds, yellows, green, and a brown.

*If you're new to watercolor, and you're unsure of how to pull color from a palette onto a plate, here's how you do it: Using a wet brush, I dipped my brush in the pans and 'mushed it all around' until the brush was saturated in color. Then, I put the brush on the ceramic dish until the color was transferred. It's super easy!

Off to the side, have a clean bowl or mug of water and some paper towels for blotting your brush or absorbing extra color from the paper, if needed.

*For the entire tutorial, I'm keeping my brush pretty wet because that is how you achieve these really cool textures. So, keep that in mind!

Let's jump in!

1. Tulip Poplar

The Tulip Poplar leaf is the easiest of them all, because it requires only one color: brown. Dip into your brown, then make this wide U or half-circle shape.

Finish the outline by drawing these triangular shapes on top.

Fill in the outline, then, while the leaf shape is still wet, grab some more brown (this time, dry your brush a bit with paper towel, then grab the brown---it'll be more saturated this way), and dot the saturated brown paint into the wet leaf. The color will spread, creating those awesome watercolor textures. If you need to, get some clean water in your brush and dot that onto the leaf as well, creating more texture.

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This is the completed body of my leaf. We are going to add accents to it once it has dried! Until then, let's move to the next leaf.

2. Beech

For the beech leaf, I'm using 3 colors to bring it to life! First, I start with an ochre/yellow base. If you don't have a golden yellow, really any yellow will work.

Create a basic leaf shape.

While the base is still wet, dot some watery-brown and watery-green onto the leaf base and watch the colors spread! Only a hint of your yellow base should be visible. Add more yellow to some areas if you think it's necessary. This is all about playing with color....anything will look great because foliage is so unique!

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This is what my beech leaf looks like so far. Once again, we'll add accents once it dries. Let's move onto the next leaf until then!

3. Cinnamon Oak

I'm upping the intricacy with each leaf, so I've posted the photos in order (L-R), with the description below the entire set. Here we go!

Begin with a golden or ochre color. The leaf base here is fairly simple, but it is curved. Draw the outline, then fill it in with the same color. Next, grab some orange or red (whichever you have), and begin dotting the orange into the leaf base while it's still wet. The color will spread!
Next, still using the orange, begin drawing the 'bumps' on the edge. Once you've completed that step, make sure the orange is nice and blended---no harsh lines here, people! Add more golden or ochre if need be.

After that, dip into your green, and dot that into the leaf as well, adding bumps to the outside. You can continue adding brown and yellow and green until your leaf resembles beautiful Autumn foliage, bumpy and textured all the way around!

While that is drying, let's move to our final leaf, THEN we get to add accents and truly bring these leaves to life!

4. Sycamore

This is my personal favorite leaf! Once again, it's a bit intricate, but nothing you can't handle. You're a leaf painting pro at this point!

For this leaf, I'm starting with a red/pink base. Begin by making a basic leaf shape, with those funky wings off to the side. All three shapes should be overlapping, creating that familiar autumn leaf shape we all know and love! Fill in the shape with the red or pink color.

Next, grab some green and begin dotting it into the top and outside edges of each side of the leaf while the base is still wet. Add funky bumps and points to the outside (similar to the Beech leaf), feathering the color out to look really natural and organic. 

Here's a photo if you need a close, real-life look at the edges of the leaf.

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Next, dip into your orange and dot that color into the inside of the leaf, leaving a little space on the right hand side for some more ochre. Make sure everything is blending together by adding a tiny bit of water to your brush and gently mushing everything around if need be.

Finish by adding some gold/ochre to your leaf on the right hand side, and once again, make sure everything is blended! 

While that leaf is drying, let's move back to the top and finish off our leaves with accents!

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To add accents to each life, I'm using the bullet nib of my Tombow Dual Brush Pens. You can use black ink, acrylic paint, or really saturated watercolor. It's totally up to you, but this was easiest for me!

I'm starting with brown to accent my Tulip Poplar.

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Begin with a thin line through the middle, bringing it downward and outside the shape, creating the stem. I made my stem a little thicker at the bottom to resemble a real leaf. Your lines don't have to be perfect! Imperfection makes them look much more real in my opinion.

Finish by adding lines across the leaf, extending outward from the middle. Voila! You're done with this one.

To finish the beech leaf, I'm using a tan color. Begin the same way, drawing a line through the center, creating your stem, and then drawing the veins that extend outward from the middle. I kind of 'gently' let my lines get thinner and thinner until they disappeared. I like the effect this gave. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out!

For the Cinnamon Oak, I'm combining my brown and tan for the veins of the leaf. I began with brown, creating the middle vein, stem, and some of the veins extending outward. Then, I used the tan color to extend the veins to the outside edges, and add more in the center.

Finally, we're ready to complete our Sycamore leaf. I chose a red for this. I began with the stem, and then drew some lines extending outward, as seen above. And we're DONE!!

AREN'T YOU SO PROUD? YOU'RE AN OFFICIAL LEAF PRO!

Let me know if you're going to try this tutorial, and what you think of it when you do? Do you want to see more 'how to' posts like this? Whatever you're thinking or need to get off your chest---do it in the comments, y'all!

PROCESS VIDEO: Watercolor Galaxy Lettering Using Tombow Dual Brush Pens

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Y'all, I'm so excited to be bringing you a tutorial in a new form today----video!! It's so exciting, though I am a bit nervous for you to see it since I haven't done a YouTube Video in like 3 years.

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This week, I posted this photo on Instagram, and a lot of people were surprised to know that I used Tombow Dual Brush Pens (The NEW Galaxy Palette) to create this awesome watercolor piece.

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The new galaxy palette is stinkin' AMAZING. All the colors in this 10-piece set combine and blend together to make beautiful unicorn/galaxy hybrid color variations!

Check out my quick swatch picture below. I created this first thing just to have a 'key' when choosing what colors I wanted to pair together.

AND BTW: You can get all Dual Brush Pen 10 Packs 20% off if you use the code 'YAY20' on Tombow's Website. Don't miss out on this offer....it's only good September 22-26!

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Then, I decided...why not film myself re-creating the watercolor piece? In the video I not only use the markers in the galaxy palette to create watercolor lettering, but I use a few extra tools to bring the galaxy theme to life. 

Click play to watch the video, but refer back to this blog post for a full list of recommended materials, and written instructions.

Recommended Materials:
Copy Paper
A pencil
Tracing Pad (I use this one)
Watercolor or Mix Media Paper
Tombow Dual Brush Pen Galaxy Palette
A large round brush (I use size 12)
A small detail brush
A stiff brush for paint splattering
A cup of clean water
Paper towels on hand for blotting and drying brushes
White acrylic Paint
Gold Acrylic Paint
 

0:55 - Grab a piece of paper (any kind of your choosing) to sketch your design. Don't worry about this being perfect...you just need a good sketch to trace from.

0:55 - Grab a piece of paper (any kind of your choosing) to sketch your design. Don't worry about this being perfect...you just need a good sketch to trace from.

1:58: Place your sketch onto a tracing pad and line your watercolor or mix media paper on top of the sketch, where you want it to appear in the final result.

1:58: Place your sketch onto a tracing pad and line your watercolor or mix media paper on top of the sketch, where you want it to appear in the final result.

3:10: Begin scribbling your dual brush pen tips onto your blending surface---I'm using blending palette sheets from Tombow, but you could use alumnium foil, plastic baggies, or any other slick plastic surface. Dual Brush Pens are water-based, so they wipe off easily from a plastic surface with a damp paper towel. I'm using two sheets because I want to get multiple color variations going---I explain this in the video!  Set the gray dual brush pen from the kit to the side, because we're going to save that one for later!

3:10: Begin scribbling your dual brush pen tips onto your blending surface---I'm using blending palette sheets from Tombow, but you could use alumnium foil, plastic baggies, or any other slick plastic surface. Dual Brush Pens are water-based, so they wipe off easily from a plastic surface with a damp paper towel. I'm using two sheets because I want to get multiple color variations going---I explain this in the video!

Set the gray dual brush pen from the kit to the side, because we're going to save that one for later!

3:55: To apply my watercolors to the paper, I'm using this Size 12 Round Brush. Have some clean water standing by!

3:55: To apply my watercolors to the paper, I'm using this Size 12 Round Brush. Have some clean water standing by!

4:05: With a lot of water in your brush, start dabbing it onto the palette and mixing two colors together at a time. This is how we will create the super pretty unicorn/galaxy color variations in our piece.

4:05: With a lot of water in your brush, start dabbing it onto the palette and mixing two colors together at a time. This is how we will create the super pretty unicorn/galaxy color variations in our piece.

4:54: Have at it! Start using your brush (filled with color and water) to bring life to your piece! I highly suggest watching this portion of the video to see how I'm dropping more color into the wet paint to bring texture and excitement to my letters.

4:54: Have at it! Start using your brush (filled with color and water) to bring life to your piece! I highly suggest watching this portion of the video to see how I'm dropping more color into the wet paint to bring texture and excitement to my letters.

8:50: Once you're done apatplying the watercolors, wait for them to dry and watch the magic happen as the watercolors start to form really cool textures.

8:50: Once you're done apatplying the watercolors, wait for them to dry and watch the magic happen as the watercolors start to form really cool textures.

9:07: Grab your two acrylic paints (gold and white), as well as two brushes (a small detail brush and a stiff brush of any kind), as well as a surface to put your acrylic paint on. I just used a folded sheet of scrap paper.

9:07: Grab your two acrylic paints (gold and white), as well as two brushes (a small detail brush and a stiff brush of any kind), as well as a surface to put your acrylic paint on. I just used a folded sheet of scrap paper.

9:42: Grab your stiff brush and dip it in a little water and a little of the white acrylic paint. Use your finger to splatter the white paint onto your paper, creating a star pattern.

9:42: Grab your stiff brush and dip it in a little water and a little of the white acrylic paint. Use your finger to splatter the white paint onto your paper, creating a star pattern.

9:49: Use your detail brush to apply larger white stars in areas where you think a beautiful, shining star should go!

9:49: Use your detail brush to apply larger white stars in areas where you think a beautiful, shining star should go!

10:11: Repeat the same process with the gold paint to give it more shine and dimension!

10:11: Repeat the same process with the gold paint to give it more shine and dimension!

10:42: Finally, use your gray pen to add shadows to the letters, finishing it off!

10:42: Finally, use your gray pen to add shadows to the letters, finishing it off!

So, I realize I don't go over the basics of using a brush to letter or doing watercolor lettering, so if that's something you'd like to see, please leave me a comment here in this blog post or on the video, and I will make it happen for you :) 

See ya next week!

Monoline Lettering On Glass! (Easy Lettering Tutorial)

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GET READY, Y'ALL. This tutorial is SO stinkin' easy I can't even contain myself. 
It's so easy because.......it's monoline lettering. 

For anyone that's new here (first of all, hey girl hey), monoline lettering is the easiest of all the lettering forms. Because it's literally just a prettier version of your own handwriting. No thickened downstrokes, no trying to use a brush pen, no embellishments...nope. None. Just writing.

Best of all, there's really nothing to completing this project except for some mad tracing skills, which I know we've all got!!!

Lastly, the finished result is so chic, so impressive looking, and such a statement piece. I posted a photo of this on my Instagram last week, and so many people were texting or messaging me, asking if I could do something similar for a wedding or bridal shower. So, this tutorial will really get you some commissions if that's your thing!

Are you ready to get started?

The materials you'll need are very minimal! 
-1 Piece of glass (size of your choice!) I am using a 9x12 piece from an old picture frame. 
-1 Pencil
-1 Sheet of Paper
-1 Brush Pen or Dark Ink Pen of Your Choice (You could use a black Sharpie)
-Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen in White (You could use either Medium or Fine Tip)

Begin by sketching your quote or design on a sheet of paper. 

Because I'm lettering on a large piece of glass, I'm using the entire sheet of paper. If you're lettering on a 5x7 or other size piece of glass, you'll want to trim your paper down to a size that fits your glass.

Maybe the best part about this tutorial is truly how crazy your pencil sketch can get! Look at that disaster! I'm pretty sure only I could ever understand what is supposed to go where...but hey, it's my process and it works for me! No one is going to see your pencil sketch except you, so don't fuss too much over it.

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Guess what? This part of the process doesn't have to be perfect either! YAY!
I traced my pencil sketch with my trust black Dual Brush Pen because I had every intention of doing 'faux-calligraphy.' As you know, I'm about to change my mind :)

You could absolutely use a regular black Sharpie for this portion of the tutorial if you are planning to do monoline lettering.

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Once you're happy with your design, place your paper beneath the sheet of glass and position your design where you want it to appear on the glass surface.

Begin tracing! So easy! 

My only suggestion here is to go S-L-O-W and take your sweet, sweet time. Even though you have to pump these pens to get the juices flowing, I actually didn't need to 're-juice' for the entire piece. Isn't that awesome?

And it is COMPLETE!

wHAt?1?1?!?! Yes. I said complete. Done. Finished. 
This baby is ready for a wedding, a picture frame, a gift bag... a store window! The possibilities are truly endless with this crazy easy DIY that will fool EVERYONE into thinking you're some sort of lettering-pinterest-guru-goddess. Which, maybe you are, idk?!

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I'll be putting this bad boy on my new bookshelf in my office. I'm currently redecorating my entire office, and I can't wait to show you the photos of where this guy is going when I am able to put all my decor in place! So exciting!

Step by Step Abstract Art Tutorial (EASY)

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Woo! I'm bursting at the seams to bring you this step-by-step easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy abstract painting tutorial! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've recently become obsessed with the abstract art medium, and since I'm still a beginner, I wanted to share a beginner-level tutorial with you. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!

What I'm loving most about acrylic paint right now is how stinkin' affordable it is. Acrylic paints only cost about 50 cents at most craft stores. Since I'm not selling these or really even giving them as gifts, I don't need to invest in anything more high quality at the moment. 

Want to get started? Me too! First, let's see what you'll need...

Ok, here's what I used:
-A paint palette (can use a paper plate or a large piece of cardboard, but I linked a similar palette to mine below)
-3 Types of Paintbrushes: A small round brush, a large flat brush, and a small angled flat brush
-Canson XL Oil & Acrylic Paper (I L-O-V-E this paper. It is a bit more expensive, depending on where you find it, but it's awesome. It's like canvas paper!)
-Washi tape or other removable tape
-A variety of acrylic paints. You could use whatever colors you please that complement one another!!
-Not pictured: a cup of water and some paper towels for washing brushes between colors.
 

You begin with a blank slate, which can be exciting and filled with opportunity or scary and filled with ways to mess up...it just depends on how you look at it! I choose to look at it the first way :) 

The canvas paper is taped down with some washi tape (or any easy removal tape) for two main reasons:
1. I like my paper to stay secure so I can really go crazy with my paint brush!
2. I love the clean lines I get when I peel the tape up. #satisfaction

As you can see, I also have my palette to the left of my paper. My palette is horribly messy, but oh well! The main colors I'm using are in the bottom 5 wells of the palette. The white and gold paints will be applied directly to the paper later in the tutorial.

I keep my cup of clean water beside me the whole time, but I did move it out of the frame to keep the light bright and airy for this post. So, please remember, I am completely cleaning my brush between switching colors. 

When cleaning my brush, all I do is swish it around in the cup of water until it comes clean. Once clean, I squeeze the brush tip with a paper towel until most of the water is out. It's a really fast process, and it 'ain't no thang' if your brush is a little damp. It actually helps the paint go on much more smoothly! 

STEP 1: Start with green (or the color equivalent of your choice). You will simply want to dip your brush in the green enough to cover about one quarter of the flat brush head. It's better to get too little than to get too much, as you can always add more, but you can't take away! 

STEP 2: Brush the green (or color equivalent) on in a triangle shape on the bottom left corner. Try to cover the same amount of area I did, obviously, scaled correctly to fit your paper size. (Remember, I used 9x12 size paper)

Have fun with your paint strokes. As you can see in the close-up, I'm not precise at all! I like a little rough brush stroke texture. It will most get covered up anyway!

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STEP 3: We're moving to the pink (or your color equivalent) next! Pick up about the same amount on your brush.

STEP 4: Do pretty much the same thing with the pink (or color equivalent) in the top right hand corner. Try to match my shape as much as you can, but once again...HAVE FUN! Don't stress.

STEP 5: This is where it really gets fun! Pick up the light blue color (or equivalent) and start brushing it on just to the right of the green. I didn't do a great job at photographing where the blue should go, but you can definitely make out where I placed it. 

As you're brushing it on, you wanting to overlap with the green to create this soft minty color. 

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Ultimately, you want the green and blue to be blended like so. Alternate between picking up more green on your brush, then picking up some blue until you get the consistency and look right (or similar). 

Remember the rule: Don't stress! This is abstract. It is fun! Don't be afraid to 'mess up.' Imperfections are what this kind of art so rewarding.

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STEP 6: After the green and blue is blended, you'll want to pick up quite a bit of gray (or color equivalent) on your brush.

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The gray color is going to cover up pretty much all the white space you have between your blue and pink. Brush it on freely, not trying to blend with any other colors, just filling in space and having fun!

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This is about what your painting should look like (or similar!). Everyone's painting style is different, and I think it's probably impossible to recreate anything exactly (even I can't match every brushstroke). Now, we're going to add accents that can cover any areas we may not be crazy about. 

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STEP 7: With the white paint, put little drops of white all across the gray area, as seen above.

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With your brush, simply swipe up and down, spreading the white dots out, creating white brush stroke-y areas across the gray section. Very technical stuff here, guys!

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STEP 8: With a smaller round brush, grab a decent amount of the navy color (or equivalent).

Place the navy paint in the un-blended edges where two colors meet, roughly in the areas seen above.

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STEP 9: Now, with the gold color, make dots of paint on the paper as I did above. You'll need more paint for a smaller area, because the gold paint is quite sheer, and we want it to be a bit more opaque!

Side note: I'm using an angled flat brush for the gold paint. You don't have to use the exact same type of brush, but it really does help achieve the look I'm going for in this tutorial.

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Use the angled flat brush to spread the gold out into an even, opaque layer. Do your best to feather it out at the edges, if possible!

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Here's a closer look at how I'm spreading the gold paint out into a completely even later. All the streaks of thick paint will be gone by the time I'm done with this step. As you can see, I also decided to add a little extra splotch of gold in the upper left hand corner. Basically, add gold where you think it needs to go to be a balanced look!

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STEP 10: Pick up some white paint on the same brush

Use this brush to make these rectangular-like dots of paint in various lengths. You can add these dots wherever you think they're needed! 

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I added the dot pattern in the two corners, and in a portion of the gray section, which is only barely visible. I like that the pattern is subtle in some areas, and really sticks out in others!

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STEP 11: PEEL THAT TAPE, GURL! You don't have to wait until it's dry to peel the tape up....who has the patience for that anyway?!

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I am currently in the process of redecorating my office (so excited to blog about the process!), so all my walls are bare. I threw this painting in a frame and quickly hung it on my wall for a temporary photoshoot! My cat is having a great time posing in front of the camera!! 

I want to know! Are you going to try this step-by-step tutorial for yourself? Are you into this abstract style? Where do you want to hang your painting? Let me know it ALL in the comments.

Tie Dye Lettering Technique from 'Lettering With Purpose'

*This post contains affiliate links*
Tie Dye Lettering Technique from Lettering With Purpose | Kiley in Kentucky

Hey y'all!!! I have the MOST FUN lettering tutorial for you today. This tie-dye inspired lettering tutorial came straight out of my new favorite lettering book, Lettering With Purpose, written and illustrated by my girl, Brittany Luiz!

(That is cinnamon in my coffee, BTW!)

(That is cinnamon in my coffee, BTW!)

Ever since this book arrived at my doorstep, I've been so excited to curl up with a cup of coffee, my favorite brush pen, and mark all the tutorials and pages that inspire me most. Today's tutorial is the first one that caught my eye, and I just had to share it with you!

P.S. I got permission from Brittany to share this tutorial with y'all! Please let this blog post be an indicator of how truly amazing and info-packed this book is. All of this came from ONE PAGE.

OK, I'm sure you're like "get to it, woman!" so let's get started.

Here's what you'll need for this tutorial:

  • A pencil
  • 1 Sheet of Copy Paper
  • Black Dual Brush Pen or Other Black Brush Pen
  • 1 Sheet of Watercolor, Mixed Media Paper, or Other Heavy Cardstock
  • 1 Black Permanent Marker
  • 2 Dual Brush Pens in the 'Tie-Dye' Colors of your choice
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Begin by sketching your design out on a piece of regular copy paper with a pencil. Don't worry too much about making the sketch perfect! As you can see, I definitely didn't!

Next, trace your pencil sketch with whatever pen you want to use! I am using a large brush pen to create thick lines, and then tracing over the downstrokes again to make them even thicker. 

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This is my final tracing with extra thick downstrokes! One of the best parts about this tutorial is....NO ERASING PENCIL MARKS!

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Take your traced sketch to a light box! I'm using the Cricut Bright Pad (I did a more comprehensive review and tutorial about this awesome device here). If you don't have a light box, no problem!!! You could easily hold your traced sketch up to a bright window and trace that way :) I've done it multiple times.

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Ok, so here's the thing! You HAVE to use a permanent marker for this step!! I mistakenly used the fine point nib of my Dual Brush Pen for this step and it just messed everything up...you'll see why in a moment. But, don't be like me. Please read tutorials correctly and use a permanent marker! 

Anywho! You want to outline your tracing with a permanent ink on a heavy-duty cardstock or a paper designed to hold water (such as: watercolor or mixed media paper). 

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This is what my outline looked like! It is not perfect by any means but the final result looks great, nonetheless.

Next, you'll want to choose two colors for the 'tie dye' part. It is best to choose two colors that are similar and could be mixed together really well, but not too similar that you couldn't tell the difference between them when they are blended. Make sense?
Other great combos would be: yellow and green, pink and purple, yellow and orange, pink and orange, blue and yellow.

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This is such a fun step! Next, take each of your colors and 'scribble' them in random shapes and patterns across your letters. You don't have to be careful! I certainly wasn't....that stuff got everywhere. But I loved doing it!

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For this step, I think you'll definitely want to use a waterbrush, BUT a paintbrush and some water could also work. All you need to do here is blend the colors together using your waterbrush until the colors resemble a blended, tie dye type of texture.

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And Voila! You're done!! How easy was that? 

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I for real can't get over how great this looks. Even all the messy areas where I clearly got out of the lines look really great, and help emphasize the tie-dye look!

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You can check out Brittany's website here, where you can also read her awesome blog, buy her practice sheets, and follow her around on the internet!

Walnut Hollow Ball Jar Acrylic Painting Tutorial

*This post contains affiliate links*

I was SO excited to receive this mason jar-shaped wooden piece from Walnut Hollow in the mail!

It took me little to no time to decide what I'd be doing with this beautiful piece....my husband and I already have a bit of a Ball Jar theme happening in our kitchen. Our last name is 'Bennett,' so my imagination was soaring....a 'Bennett' Jar for the kitchen!

The materials I used for this craft are:
-Mason Jar Shape from Walnut Hollow
-A pencil
-An Eraser (I didn't need one in the end, but it's good to have one just in case)
-A cup of water and a paper towel (not pictured) for cleaning brushes
-A white paint pen (I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen in a Medium Tip and a Fine Tip)
-One large flat acrylic paint brush
-Acrylic Paint in various brands in the above shades of blue, gray and white! You don't have to match these exact colors. I picked them because they were the closest Ball Jar type colors I already had in my collection.

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I began by putting some paint down on my (very used) palette. I am obsessed with my palette, which is why I use it all the time and it is absolutely covered in paint! Sorry not sorry it's not that appealing (but it is a-peeling...see what I did there?) to look at!

I used a quarter-size amount for the lightest blue shade, because that is what I will use the most of. The rest of the paints are going to be used just to accent, so feel free to put even smaller amounts on your palette.

The first thing I did was start brushing on the lightest blue shade. I made sure to do a thin coat because I wanted the natural grain of the wood piece to show through. Perfection is not the goal for this DIY!

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Once I had a section of light blue painted on, I added just a little of the darker blue to add some dimension. The darker blue shade should be brushed on really loosely, creating some very rustic-looking streaks of darker blue.

This is what it looks like once you complete your coat of light blue with darker blue dimension.

I toyed with what to do for the edge, but I decided to paint it in the same manner!

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Now for the lid! You could absolutely paint the lid the same as the body of the jar if you don't have a gray in your collection. But if you do, I suggest mixing the darker and lighter grays right on your paintbrush. This will help with adding dimension to the lid!

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Begin brushing it on by swiping left to right. You want the 'grain' of this paint to be horizontal, where as the body of the jar is vertical. 

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This is what the lid looks like once completed!

Next, I added some white paint for shiny accent to the jar. When starting this step, be really conservative with the amount of paint pick up on your brush. You can always add more later if you don't have enough shine.

I added the white highlights to the outer edges of the jar, and a little to the lid.

This is what it looks like once the highlights have been added! 

Next, I used a regular No. 2 pencil to sketch out my design. I am lucky that my last name starts with a 'B,' so I could use the actual Ball Jar logo as inspiration! 

Don't worry too much with the sketching step. Go over it as many times as you need, just remember to sketch lightly!

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Once you're happy with your sketch, break out the paint pen! I did a very light coat of paint on my lettering first, because I wasn't sure how it was going to look. I began by using the medium point pen.

*You could totally use white paint and a tapered brush for this part, but I never have great luck that way. I am much more comfortable with a paint pen and the precision that provides. Ultimately, do what's best for you!

I went over my lettering a total of 3 times with the paint pen. I was surprised to see that I covered up all pencil marks, and had no need for the eraser! However, I suggest keeping one handy just in case. But remember, do NOT start erasing until your lettering has completely dried!

Once my white paint pen lettering had dried, I felt it needed a little something to make it pop! So, I mixed up a little of this blue-gray color to use as shading for the letters.

I had to dig out a really teeny detail brush to add the shading, but you could use any paint brush with a tapered tip!

I love this part because you don't have to precise! I brushed my shading color on really loosely and it looked great.

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Finally, this is the finished product! I can't decide if my shading is too dark, or if I'm just really critical. Either way, I am really stinkin' happy with how this turned out. This project is really out of the ordinary for me, and such a fun way to shake up my normal arts and crafts routine. 

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Where on earth will I put this? I'm sure it's going to end up in my kitchen, but for now, I'm keeping it on a bookshelf in my office because it's so stinkin' adorable!!!

What do you think? Tell me in the comments below if you'd like to see more projects like this!

My Favorite Art (Lettering + Illustration) Tools

My love of lettering has translated into a growing love of illustration and watercolor, where I can add in my lettering as a fun detail!
These are my latest and greatest favorites for lettering, watercolor, and illustrating! Have fun checking out this list, and let me know what your favorites are in the comments below!

Tombow Dual Brush Pens:
These seem to be the Holy Grail pen in brush calligraphy circles....and for good reason! They are a quality product at an affordable rate (affordable, BTW, is relative to other art supplies) and they come in a wonderful variety of colors. 

 

Winsor & Newton Travel set - Watercolor
This is an amazing product for any artist who uses watercolor paints, on the go or at home in your creative space! They are a bit pricier for the 'size' in comparison to other watercolor sets, but the quality is incredible, and the teeny-tiny dainty brush that comes with it is a super high quality brush that I can't seem to put down!

Tombow TwinTone Dual-Tip Markers
These are my new obsession! They look like CANDY, but they're also so much fun to play with. I just did a fun tutorial on a lettering technique using these markers. Check it out here!

These Ah-Mazing MONO Drawing Pens

As I dive deeper into my 'illustration' exploration journey, I'm finding that I love the look of watercolor + ink. These pens are comparable to Microns, but I like them even better! You can see a full review of them here.

Leave a comment and let me know which one of these tools you're using and loving, or which ones you can't wait to run out and purchase!

 

Want to know how I photographed my work for this blog post? My new online course just launched where I explain it ALL! Check out the course here.

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