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New tutorials drop every Thursday.

Create an Easy Watercolor Envelope Design

Hello, all! Kristina Werner here with a simple, fun envelope mail art idea! I’ve been doing mail art for many years and let me tell you—It can become addictive! This easy tutorial is a great way to dip your toes into mail art and send a colorful envelope to a loved one.

Supplies

 

Step 1

Use an envelope punch board or envelope template to create a watercolor paper envelope. Do NOT assemble the envelope. It is easier to paint and work on the envelope when it in flat.

 

Step 2

Use 1” masking tape to block off the outer edges of the envelope (just past the folds)....

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Why Developing a Passion Project is Crucial to Your Progress

inspiration Jan 16, 2020

Hello Friends! I’m Ilana Griffo (@ilanagriffo), an Artist and Author from Upstate New York, and I’m so excited to be over here at The Pigeon Letters today! While I make art for a living, I LOVE talking shop with my peers! Today I’m going to be talking all about Passion Projects, why they’re important, and how they can open so many doors creatively, and professionally. 

When you’re creative for a living, it can be easy to fall down the comparison trap, or feel so overwhelmed with ideas that you don’t know where to start. When you’ve got that burning passion to create, you have to listen to that voice and follow through. Even when you’re learning a new skill, the best way to follow that creative passion is to immerse yourself in that, which can be in the form of a Passion Project! 

Passion Projects are self-initiated projects. Projects that no one is paying you to do, but you feel so passionate and fulfilled by it, you just...

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Add a Metallic Effect to Your Lettering

lettering Jan 09, 2020

 

Hi Friends!! It’s me, Chrystal, from @chrystalizabeth! I’m so excited to be here sharing this very fun, easy & beautiful technique with you on the TPL Blog.

We're going to be interlacing a gorgeous metallic modern calligraphy script throughout bold block letters. Let's jump in!

 

Materials

  • Watercolor Paper or Mixed Media Paper - I’m using Canson XL Mixed Media Paper
  • Pencil & Eraser
  • Ruler - I prefer using a T-Square Ruler to get straight lines
  • A black marker of your choice that is alcohol based or an archival black pen/marker - I’m using a Sharpie
  • Metallic Watercolor of your choice
  • A round watercolor brush of your choice - preferably around a size 2
  • A jar of clean water
  • A napkin or paper towel

 

Step One: Guidelines

On your paper, start by making dots lightly with your pencil at the following measurements. (These will end up being the guidelines for the boxes that our first word “LOVE” will go inside):

Start by adding...

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Paint 4 Easy Cacti Using Watercolor

watercolor Jan 02, 2020

Hi!  I’m Jamie.  An illustrator who likes to paint with watercolor and ink.  And if you’re here, you and I already share one thing in common --- a love for plants.  I hope this will be a creative time where we can have fun painting these 4 easy watercolor cacti. 

Some recommended materials

Now, let’s paint!

The Bunny Cactus

Step 1

Start with a pencil drawing to outline shapes.  Now paint the main body by using an oval shape that’s slightly wider at the top with your lightest green.  Drop in a darker green at the bottom. Leave some white space.

Step 2

Next while it’s still wet, add “ears” using the same shape but a little smaller on the left and right side. Drop in a different green where...

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How to Create Large Scale Projects from Digital Art

lettering Dec 26, 2019

Transform your designs from Procreate to larger than life signs without ever picking up a ruler! 

Like me, you may have been here before: You create this great sketch or design on your iPad and when it comes to making it in real life, you find yourself without the undo button measuring guidelines, erasing, redrawing, and desperately trying to recreate your digital artwork on a larger scale. I’m here to show you how you can take your digital designs and transfer them to any type of surface: chalkboard, wood or even a wall without any measuring! 

Tools & Materials

 

Step 1: Design and Save

Create your design in procreate and save it as a PDF. It is important that before you begin, you create a custom canvas that is the same dimensions of the sign you are working with. For my final project, my...

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Have you tried painting with coffee? Paint a coffee cup using REAL coffee in this easy, 6-step tutorial.

watercolor Dec 12, 2019

Supplies

Step 1

For this project we only need a little bit of coffee, about 3 or 4 tablespoons. You can use either instant coffee, filtered, brewed - it doesn’t really matter as long as it’s strong. Different types of coffee will yield different shades of colors. If you don’t have coffee you can also use black tea (the outcome will be more red though).

For the coffee mug, take a pencil and draw a circle with the help of a compass or a bowl. Draw 2 more circles within this one. Add the handle of the cup and a few scattered coffee beans.

 

Step 2

Trace your pencil outline with a waterproof fineliner. Please make sure it’s waterproof, otherwise the coffee will dissolve the outlines! If you don’t have a waterproof fineliner, skip to step 4 and add the outlines after the coffee has dried.

Tip:...

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How to Create Your Own Brushes in Illustrator

illustrator Dec 05, 2019

I used to spend ages making elements to perfectly fill the spaces in complex botanical patterns. Then I learned to create custom art brushes and it saved so much time! Plus it felt like I was nurturing and growing my plant designs with brushes rather than generating shapes. Since then I’ve taught many designers to use the technique and they love it too. I’ve also branched out to animal brushes, such as fishes and octopus arms.

 

For this tutorial I’m going to create a simple flowering cactus, but the principles can be applied to a wide variety of subjects and layouts. I’ll run through the steps so you’ll be able to make your own custom brushes from scratch and use them to organically create designs super-fast. The technique is powerful yet simple, so just a basic working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is all you’ll need to get started. 

 

Step 1: Idea and sketches

 To begin, decide on the subject and make a list...

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Learn Floral Composition in Your Paintings

watercolor Nov 28, 2019

Hi! I am Esther Peck, @estherpeck on Instagram, and the author of Lush & Blooms and A Guide to Floral Watercolour. I also hold online classes on Skillshare and Teachable.

I am so excited to share how to compose your watercolour florals with you.

I found that while many of my students have no problem with painting the florals and foliage after the lessons, they struggle with floral composition or how to even get started. I want to share 7 main elements on how to paint a successful floral wreath or painting:

  1. Focus
  2. Balance
  3. Unity
  4. Contrast
  5. Rule of Space
  6. Rule of Thirds
  7. Rule of Odds

1) Focus

First, our painting needs to have a focal point as our eyes will lead us to the most important thing or focal point in the painting. Without that, the viewers will be lost and quickly lose interest in the painting.

When you look at this bouquet, what catches your eyes? The details of the large peachy English Rose will first draw your attention towards the bouquet, and then the other filler...

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How to Build a Surface Pattern in Photoshop

patterns Nov 21, 2019

Before I was an illustrator, I was a graphic designer and so I've been playing in Photoshop for many many years.  I get asked frequently how I create patterns in photoshop.  Over the years I’ve taken bits and pieces of different techniques to come up with a method of creating a half-drop pattern using smart objects in Photoshop.  

Up until recently, Photoshop didn’t have a pattern tool** and so you needed to create a pattern manually.  I find this method, using smart objects, makes the process quick and easy, so you can concentrate more on creating beautiful art.

This method might sound a bit daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature to you and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a seamless repeat that looks fabulous!

Step 1 - Set up your document

  1. Create a new document in Photoshop - 12x12inch 300dpi
  2. On a new layer create a square 6x6 inches. Use the rectangular marquee tool

  1. Fill it with grey at approx....
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Paint a Darling Floral Bouquet Inside an Ink Jar

watercolor Nov 14, 2019

You know those days when you wake up and just for once would love to see a little jar of flowers blooming on your desk? A little jar nestled right next to your pet fish and the headshot of your fur baby that your mum developed for you? (we all have one, no shame here)

 Well, I’m about to make your little jar of blooms dream come true. 

I’m Simela, otherwise known as @pizzlepaints and im serial-daydreamer and lover of all things creative. I’m bursting out of my Pizzle seams to teach you this project and I cannot wait to see what you create. 

In 4 simple steps, you will have a little jar of pure joy ready to frame or make into a card orrrr to blow up and make into wallpaper - the possibilities are endless. Here goes!

 

Material List:

All you will need is… 

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