Mental Stress

How I de-stress on my weekends – gardening

Mental stress is a funny thing – it’s not like when you’ve just got a lot to do, or a tricky work task that needs a lot of concentration. Mental and emotional stress (of which I’ve been under a lot lately) is strange.

In the work environment; your put with different personalities, you learn to navigate tricky situations and try to lead a peaceful and harmonious work life. Well, lately I’ve been putting up with some really crap behaviour that I would certainly NOT put up with in my personal life.

Another way I love to de-stress – Digital Chalk Drawing

Why do we do this? Why do we allow other people to blast through our boundaries and just suffer in silence?

I don’t know why, maybe it’s because as kids we are told to sit down, shit up and do what we are told. I say NO MORE. I am not going to be put through it any more. Now that’s not saying I’m going to be an asshole about it. I am however going to learn better ways to say “No” and “Back Off”. I am then going to be teaching my children to do the same.

I also plan to paint and draw more with my iPad and do a lot more gardening. I really need a holiday!

My biggest art fear

I’ve always shied away from drawing people. I doubt I’m the only one, but for some reason I’m scared of doing a rubbish job. Which is ridiculous, no one else needs to see it if it is rubbish. Let’s face it, if its not on social media – it didn’t really happen did it?

So, I’m starting. I’m just going to draw. I’ve watched some tutorials and I have a fair idea on how to start now. Skin tone is hard so I’m starting there. I still want to keep some artistic flair and not produce photorealism.

I’m using procreate and I love it so far. Highly recommended!

Finished – Hand

I’m happy with my start. I need to now find some good reference photos to practice with!

Digital Art Vs Traditional Art Vs Photography

Purple is my favourite colour. I’ve said so many times, it calms me, makes me smile. The first image is my digital illustration version of a tree I painted when I first started my art art journey in 2017 (if I remember correctly).

Marigolds – my reference photo and then digital illustration of the photo. I used the pastel pencils in Procreate to create this one. I am loving Procreate for many reasons.

It’s a whole lot less messy and I can do it anywhere. I don’t need internet or Wi-Fi. I often run my Apple Pencil flat though.

Follow me on insta to see how I progress with procreate. I am creating some thing special so keep your eyes pealed!

Faces, Figures and Feeling Blue

I’ve been working really hard the last few weeks on my digital art. I’ve done a few tutorials, played around with the features and had some fun with different styles. The ups and downs of recent times have been a bit difficult for me to navigate. My family and my art has helped my cope ok.

Abstract – Feeling Blue – Prints are available

I’m using stamp brushes in procreate. I’ve never been good with faces so using a stencil for now just to get a feel of shapes and shadows has helped a lot. Someday cheating but I say if it looks good, and it’s your idea then go for it. Especially if it’s just to practice!

Lockdown has been a god send for me. Although I do get lost in my art and forget to exercise, and eat.

I have so many more designs and painting I’ve created and I’m excited to share with you. Come back next week to see some more awesome artwork.

Digital art Vs Traditional Art

There are so many differences between digital art and traditional art. One is there is a whole lot less mess with digital art. Especially for me, because I trash the joint when I’m painting……. Just ask my other half.

Some people prefer the traditional and some prefer digital. I thought (before I started digital art) that it would be easier, oh how wrong I was! It’s just as difficult to get a fantastic image, the challenges are just different. You still need to learn how to use your brushes, how the ‘canvas’ feels.

Grass in the park

I can’t wait to learn more and more. As with traditional art I have so many ideas that I want to try. My reference photo library is going to come in handy. I’ve already used several of my photos to help with shape, style and colour palettes.

Weekly trips and adventures are going to become a regular occurrence in our family life. My aim is to get at least 2 images for my library every week. They give me inspiration and ideas for my art. Looking forward to the next few weeks of art!

Studying, working and creating

Well my life is pretty busy, between the kids school and sporting endeavours and a full time job that entails at least 1.5hrs travel time each day it’s a wonder how I manage to get anything else done.

Weekend fun at the park with the kiddos.

I’m studying a Cert 3 in IT and trying to teach myself how to use Procreate. I guess the only reason I’m getting any of this done is because I love it. I find the time. Playing with procreate is relaxing so I’m using that as my downtime. Here are a few things I’ve created so far.

I’m not sure if I like Procreate more than traditional art. There is just something about a paint brush on canvas, or a pencil on sketch paper. It is a whole lot less messy though!

Til next time, get creative!

How to Print your own Art Prints

Purchasing a downloadable Art Print from your favourite artist will be a cheaper more cost-effective way to bring colour and life into your space. It helps the artist, who let’s face it, is more than likely struggling to even cover costs let alone earn a wage. It also allows you to have some killer artwork to brighten your day and because it is so affordable you can inter-change them often.

There are a couple of things you need to be aware of when printing your own art prints.

Firstly, it is absolutely do-able on your printer at home. You may not get the Giclee quality – after all there is a reason you spend an arm and a leg. However, you will get some really good quality prints to frame and mount in your home or office or to give as a gift.

If you are printing in colour make sure you have enough colour ink in your printer. I can not stress this enough – your art print will look terrible if the colour is out of balance.

For black and white sketches, increasing the sharpness of your image slightly can be advantageous.

TIP: Make sure if you have the digital file, keep a copy of the un-touched image incase you go overboard with editing.

Printable Bookmarks

You may need to print it more than once to get it perfect.  All printers and monitors are different – one printer might print vivid bold colour, where another it may be a little pale and lack luster. If you are printing a digital print from an artist, you shouldn’t have to mess about too much but adjusting the brightness and the contrast slightly can make the world of difference.

Size matters – and it’s not always the biggest that’s best. When an artist sketches or paints an image, they paint it at a certain size. Most artists selling downloadable prints will have a set size – you will be able to decrease the size and still have a beautiful image – increasing the size too much will have a detrimental effect on the details of the image. This should be avoided. You will lose some detail in an art print (sometimes brush strokes will look smoother) already. Keep this in mind. No more than a 5% increase in size is advised.

Paper – one of the most important parts. I print on to good quality sketch or water colour paper. At least 250gsm. This gives it a professional feel and look once printed. I would steer clear of any paper that is too rough (tooth). Smooth paper with a little bit of grain is perfect.

TIP: Print on to regular paper in black and white to save ink if you are unsure about size. Once you have the size adjusted perfectly, print in colour on regular paper. Once you are happy with the composition of that, only THEN print on to your good paper. This paper can get pricey, save yourself some money.

On a very serious note, if buying a digital downloadable print from an artist, it is still subject to copywrite. You are still only able to print a few copies for your own personal use. They are in no means there for you to sell on or use as your own art. Cutting out the artist signature is illegal in many countries. Remember that the art print is cheaper for 2 reasons, to allow the artist to possible actually earn some money off their talents and to allow you the consumer affordable art. Both reasons are too put more art into the community, which I believe is an essential part of life.

Art brings joy to those who appreciate it. As well as sometimes causing controversy and making people talk about things that otherwise would not be spoken about.

See the downloadable prints available in my Etsy store.

First Experience with Procreate

I’ve been using Procreate for 3 days. I’m enjoying it so far. There are so many different brushes, and effects I think it’ll take me many months to use them all.

My first attempt at using Procreate.

I am having difficulty with layers. I forget to put some details in certain layers and then I’m not sure if you can go back into them. I’ll need to watch some tutorials.

Second attempt….

I used my own reference photos from my library. I cut the rose out and used some of the other features and backgrounds. I think I’ve decided I prefer free hand drawing the most. It’s only been 3 days, so I’m sure that’ll change when I get better at using it.

Third attempt, I’m really happy with this one.

The above was inspired by the evening sky while I was driving home. It’s winter here in Brisbane. It looked cold, but so colourful while the sun was setting. The iPencil I’ve been using is easy to use, it’s smooth and the battery lasts forever. I can’t wait to continue to use Procreate and the pencil.

Chris