Welcome to My Virtual Studio! This class is chock full of all kinds of content – and is aimed at several audiences:
This course is a little different than others here on this site.
You can scroll through the 25 or so lessons and pick out what you want to view; no lesson needs to be seen “before” any other lesson, and if another lesson has helpful related supplies, it’ll be mentioned.
If you’re just beginning on your creative journey, the vast amount of shelf space in your local art store or number of pages on an art store website can be mind boggling. Where do you start?
That depends on what YOU want to do.
If you want to learn to draw and paint, whether as an end in itself or as an aid to making scenes in crafty projects, my first advice is to learn to draw. I tell young people that all the time – if you have solid drawing skills and can begin to tackle perspective and shading, you’ll do far better with any medium. (Same advice for crafty folks too – the basics are the basics no matter what you create!)
Start with Drawing. There’s a Drawing 101 class here that you can accomplish with a cheap sketchbook and a pencil (though there are lots of other fun supplies you can try!).
Or Jumpstart with a medium. Mediums are more expensive than just a pencil, of course, but can be lots of fun! Colored pencil is most intuitive/easiest, watercolor is hardest, Copic is most expensive – read below for the pros and cons of each. For learning on this site, each medium has a “Jumpstart” class that introduces the medium, how to apply it, some techniques to get you started, and a few tricks to light up your creative thinking. Most all of them include basic color theory to set students up for success in understanding color. To create scenes, drawing skills will be helpful, but sometimes learning to do the basics of coloring is enough to get you excited and making things!
There are other mediums planned to be introduced on this site (airbrush and pastel are on my wishlist), as well as more intermediate and advanced classes in each medium that will keep artists growing, whether they’re starting with blank paper or using their skills to create papercraft projects.
Similar works can be created sometimes in a variety of mediums, but some styles and projects are better suited to one thing or another. This section discusses that to one extent or another and includes a few pros/cons for each. They’re generally arranged from entry level to more challenging, but for some, skipping right to the end is ok too!
Graphite Pencil: Simple or complex, pencil drawings have been a staple for artists for centuries. Different styles and techniques make each person’s drawings like a fingerprint: unique to that artist alone!
Colored Pencil: Since we all have operated pencils throughout our lives, colored pencils are one of the most intuitive mediums to begin with. Works can be highly detailed, very simple, or expressive – but the precise control that can be gained from a sharpened pencil are great for people drawn to creating with fine details. For papercrafters, colored pencils are great for small stamps with tiny details.
Watercolor Pencils: Similar to colored pencils, these rely on existing pencil-holding skills. The color melts away (to one extent or another) with water, so these are a great transition tool to become used to watercolor.
Water-based Markers: An inexpensive option for coloring, with the ease of applying in a familiar hand motion as it’s a pen – but the ability to move it with water and create interesting techniques. Some brands blend better than others; and certain papers will work much better than others.
Copic Markers: Many gorgeous projects shared all over the internet are colored with Copic markers. When strong color is desired, with smooth blends, Copics are up to the task. All sorts of stamps work well with them, but if tiny detail is needed, combine colored pencil on top for detail.
Watercolor paints: The artistic beauty of watercolors has been around for hundreds of years, and can achieve highly realistic or highly expressive styles, and anywhere in between. For crafters: focus on stamps with large open areas for best/easiest application.
For more on each of these mediums along with suggested supplies, tips, and shopping links, see the appropriate lesson.
A while ago I created this video for Ellen Hutson talking about four mediums, and this could be helpful for you too! I produce a coloring video for her channel once a month, so subscribing to her channel means more of me in your inbox!
Join our creative community! Our Student Facebook Group is for all classes here …and while there are no finished projects in this class, you’re welcome to join the group and get an idea of what kind of beautiful works can be created from learnings in classes on this website!