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See how salt can be applied to watercolor for interesting effects. This video originally appeared live August, 23, 2019.
In this fun and improvisational course, artist Jennifer Mercede shows you how to make expressive, exciting animal portraits in her signature style. Self proclaimed fan of “scribbling, doodling, being silly and expressive” Jennifer walks you through how to pick the ideal pet portrait and using blind contour drawing to free you from the restrictions of perfection. You’ll learn how to intuitively pick colors and use lettering and playful mark-making to add textural depth to your portrait.
If you’ve ever considered printmaking but were daunted by the wide array of materials available, this thorough primer is essential viewing. In this Daily Challenge, artist and printmaker Katharine Watson introduces the basic tools and techniques needed to create prints at home. Beginning with the basics of safety and mark-making, you’ll learn the full process of designing, transferring, carving, and printing an image. Once you’ve mastered the basics, learn how to make repeat prints on a single page and how to print on fabric. Katharine encourages play and experimentation while giving you her time-tested methods, and demonstrates how easy it can be to develop a fine art practice even with a simple home setup.
Urban sketching differs from studio drawing by strengthening your connection to the world around you. Artist and urban sketcher David Tenorio shares his love for drawing people and places in public spaces. In this class he’ll demonstrate how to work with Micron pens to create shape, light and ground, and how to apply these principles to any sketch. He’ll cover the basics of the body including proportion, rhythm and identifiers. Then you’ll learn how to draw foliage and architecture, incorporating perspective, linearity and distance. Finally, he’ll take you to Alamo Square park in San Francisco to sketch what he sees there.
Professional designer and self-taught illustrator George McCalman writes and illustrates a monthly column for the San Francisco Chronicle. Called “Observed,” the column features sketches and illustrations of the people and personalities he meets on his adventures around the city. Drawing from this experience, George leads you through a month of drawing people by layering colored pencil, pens and paint. Use your own source material and capture the essence of your model’s personality by focusing on gesture, texture, and personality while playfully over-emphasizing features. Be inspired by George’s relentless curiosity and joyful presence as he encourages you to illustrate friends, family, and strangers alike, and reveals his sources for unlikely models and where to find them.
Painting abstractly and working with a partner both require taking a leap of faith. In the years that Pam Garrison and Jennifer Mercede have been collaborating, they’ve learned when to take that leap and when a subtler approach is necessary. Explore making multi-media abstract art with gentle prompts from Pam and Jen, who switch off regularly in this daily painting challenge. Whether you have a partner to paint with or are working by yourself, they encourage losing preciousness, experimenting, playing and growing. You’ll begin by working on up to four canvases. After you’ve spent weeks adding and removing layers, playing with different mark-making techniques and honing in on a color palette, you’ll spend the final days refining your style and will finish with two completed paintings.
When drawing the figure, hands and feet can be particularly expressive, which is why it’s so important to get them right. Artist and educator David Tenorio walks you through the proportions and movements of both hands and feet through identifying gesture, proportion, and the moving parts. After making simple tweaks to your current drawing practice and learning easy-to-make mistakes to avoid, you’ll be able to identify how to bring life to your figure drawing.
Use tube or stick watercolor and small tins to make a custom travel palette. This video originally appeared live April 25, 2019.
Feeling creatively blocked can be so frustrating. You know you want to create something, but what? Or you have an idea of what you want to do but your hands are just not cooperating with your head. When you’re in a block, it feels like you’ll never find your way out, but you can, and you will. Danielle Krysa, a.k.a. The Jealous Curator, walks you through a multitude of processes and techniques that will help you become creatively unstuck. Each day includes jump-starts to get you headed in the masterpiece direction, and helps build skills towards overcoming any creative obstacle.
In Latin, Silva Rerum means “a forest of things.” Using this idea as a starting point, we’ll create a commonplace or everyday book to collect thoughts, ideas, and ephemera from your day-to-day life. Get Messy founder Caylee will show you how to transform a vintage book into your own art journal full of papers you love. Learn Caylee’s favorite methods of layering in vintage and found items while recording your daily life. Remember to use the hashtag #creativebuggetsmessy on social media to share your work with the Get Messy and Creativebug communities.
Daily painter Erika Lee Sears shares her love of oil paints and the tips and tricks she’s picked up after five years – and counting – of painting every single day. Learn brush handling, how to mix the perfect “black,” and how to work with oil paints in a no-fuss, carefree way. Painting these simple sketches for an entire month enables good working habits and develops a familiarity and comfort with often-daunting oil paint. You’ll work from included reference photos and will learn how to enhance their colors to create vibrant little paintings in your sketchbook.
The head and face are often the most daunting part of sketching a figure, but the process can be simplified by following basic rules of proportion. Artist and educator David Tenorio gently demonstrates how the head can be broken down into segments, resulting in properly proportioned facial features and details that make for a realistic portrait. You’ll learn the “ball and jaw” method, how to sketch with charcoal, and how to place features into the face. Finally, you’ll learn how to trust your eyes, recording what you see rather than how you believe faces to be – a skill essential for drawing the human figure.
Use thick cotton rope and colorful yarn to make a vintage-inspired wall piece for brightening up any room. This video originally appeared live February 21, 2019.
Part collage, part book art, part mixed media exploration, the Altered Books Daily Challenge uses simple skills like cutting, gluing, inking and painting to transform old texts into new and extraordinary works of art. Creativebug staff instructors, Courtney Cerruti and Faith Hale, are book lovers and paper fanatics. In this 28-part series, they share their favorite techniques for altering found books to create unique pieces of art. Once you learn how to choose a book for altering, where to source your ideal ephemera, and how to prepare pages, you’ll follow a daily prompt or technique to spark your imagination. After the month is over, you’ll never look at an old book the same way again.
Since Jennifer Mercede and Pam Garrison are in the studio filming a 30 day Collaborative Art class, we thought we’d put their skills to the test by setting a timer. When the two minutes are up, they must switch canvases, and arty mayhem ensues. This video originally appeared live January 21, 2019.
See what art class subscribers watched most in 2018!
Every year Creativebug donates a percentage of profits to arts education programs. One of them is Creativity Explored, an organization dedicated to giving artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, and celebrating the power of art to change lives.
Every year Creativebug donates a percentage of profits to arts education programs. One of them is Ruth's Table, a center for creative learning rooted in the life of artist Ruth Asawa. Located in San Francisco, California, Ruth's Table creates a place for people of every age and experience to enrich their lives with art.
Join artist and illustrator Carolyn Gavin for a month of exploring color. Using both gouache and watercolor, Carolyn will demonstrate how she works from reference and imagination to create her paintings. She begins the daily challenge with her signature florals, then works through the month using fruits, veggies, and household objects as subjects. You’ll experiment with shape and color and learn how to let inspiration guide you along your painting journey. Finish your paintings by adding detail with pen and ink to create a month of beautifully rich paintings.
Learn how to make a meditative art journal that serves as a container for your hopes, fears, frustrations and more with the founders of Get Messy. You’ll learn how to free write to get what's in your head onto the page, obliterate it with paint and meditative marks, use watercolor to channel your mood, then add quotes and lettering to complete your page. This small handbound book provides the perfect place to journal and explore your feelings through words and art. Remember to use the hashtag #creativebuggetsmessy on social media to share your work with the Get Messy and Creativebug communities.
Take a look at all the fun and festive classes we have in store for you in the coming month.This video originally appeared live December 4, 2018.
To make a fabulous temporary wreath for any season, Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love turns to an office supply staple: Post-it Notes. Amber shows you how to save time by cutting leaf shapes in batches, then apply them to nearly any wall or flat, non-porous surface. Choose from Post-it’s diverse color palette to customize for the season, and scale the wreath up or down to fit virtually any space.
Erika Lee Sears joins Courtney to paint Thanksgiving place holders using oil paints. This video originally appeared live November 15, 2018.
Artist, author, and avid art journaler Mou Saha shares her love of art journaling through the technique of cut paper. Learn what inspires Mou’s collaged art journal pages, including how she uses color to create emotions, and how she simplifies images to create graphic layouts. Mou shares innovative ways of working with new and familiar materials in order to express yourself vibrantly, and explains how the mundane can become a memory worth saving.
Courtney demos the newest palettes from Prima Watercolor Paints. Please be advised that this video originally appeared live November 6, 2018 and that the giveaway is now closed.
There are many ways to make slime but pro-crafter Faith Hale shows you her very favorite method for making a sparkly, swirly version. Using liquid starch, clear glue, nontoxic pigment and fine glitter, we'll make three separate shades before swirling them all together. The slime comes together quickly and clean-up is a breeze.
Use acrylic inks to paint rocks for holidays or fun! This video originally appeared on Facebook Live on May 4, 2017.
Use Littles to create woodland moments in your home. This video originally appeared on Facebook Live on March 7, 2017.
Get crafty with the little ones this Valentine’s Day with this fun and simple project. Courtney Cerruti shows you how to make love bugs using pipe cleaners, pompoms and googly eyes. These bugs take no time to make, and are great to hand out as little gifts or to stick onto Valentine cards.
This easy ornament project is perfect for anyone who loves doodling and drawing. Using traditional Fair Isle sweater patterns as inspiration, Courtney Cerruti shows you how to use gel pens to draw colorful designs on pre-cut wooden ornaments. This is a perfect project to do with friends or kids this holiday season, your inspiration fueled by a mug of hot cocoa.
Frida Kahlo inspires us through her art, but her iconic flower headbands are pretty inspirational, too. Courtney demonstrates how to create a flower headband featuring custom-made felt flowers that pop. This piece is great for Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Cinco de Mayo or any celebration that requires some bold, bright headwear.
Get into character in a jiffy with this fun, no-sew fox mask. Courtney shows how to use a template to cut and assemble the felt mask, and explains how it can be sized for partygoers of all ages. Grab a fedora and a slick suit and your sly fox costume is complete.
The adorable no-sew felt mouse mask is great for assembling a last minute mouse costume. Courtney shows how to use a template to cut and assemble this simple mask, and discusses how create it in a variety of colors and sizes for costume wearers of all ages.
Creating a great costume is simple with this quick raccoon mask tutorial. Courtney demonstrates how to use a template to cut and assemble the felt mask – no sewing skills needed. In no time you will be transformed into a furry little bandit.
Transform into the king or queen of the jungle with this fast and ferocious tiger mask. Courtney demonstrates how to use a template to cut and assemble a simple, no-sew mask, which can be created in a variety of sizes and colors for jungle cats of all ages.
Outfit yourself with colorful plumage this Halloween. Courtney demonstrates how to create a feather-covered cape and matching mask. This no-sew bird costume is simple and easy to make, and it can be customized for feathered friends of all ages.
Learn how to transform painted cotton fabric into bold, abstract wall décor. Using expressive brush strokes in a color palette of your choice, Courtney Cerruti shows you how to paint abstractly on fabric, then “frame” your painted fabric in embroidery hoops. The finished pieces are lightweight and super easy to hang – perfect for sprucing up a bedroom or making any space your own.
Learn how to turn a basic cork panel into a colorful, decorative bulletin board in a snap. Courtney Cerruti shows you how to paint a color-blocked design on cork and add a colorful rope hanger. She then shows you how to spruce up your pushpins by attaching colorful pompoms and paper flowers with hot glue. Hang your finished corkboard in your kitchen or bedroom – it’s perfect for displaying your favorite photos and inspirational imagery.
Macramé artist Emily Katz demonstrates how to weave a modern version of the classic dream catcher. Learn how to create an overall web design, and then personalize your project by incorporating found objects and treasured keepsakes. Once you’re done, hang your dream catcher over your bed to ward off bad dreams, or display it in your home as a piece of art.
Turn your kid’s drawings and designs into a snazzy umbrella with this project, which is sort of like creating custom stickers from nylon. Nicole and her son show how to use a few simple materials to fancy up an umbrella and brighten any dreary day. This works for kids of all ages.
Learn how to create cute Easter Bunny ears using wire and colorful fabric. Easy and fun to make, this craft is great for a children’s party activity. Make a whole set of bunny ears in different colors and sizes to wear at a family gathering, or use them as a photo booth prop.
Learn three different ways to make pompoms with knitwear designer Maggie Pace. You will learn how to make pompoms using a store-bought pompom maker, or make your own pompom maker out of cardboard. Also included are instructions on making tiny pompoms using a fork.
Learn everything there is to know about glitter in this quick (and sparkly) class. Courtney Cerruti demonstrates the proper way to apply glitter to glue, and best practices for getting the excess back in the jar. All types of glitter are covered here, from kids craft glitters, to specialty crushed glass, and spray paint.
The calavera, or sugar skull, is a staple of Day of the Dead celebrations. In this class, Courtney shows how to create a sugar skull look with face paint. You will even learn how to paint a spooky spider web accent to complete the transformation. This simple tutorial will have you ready for Day of the Dead and Halloween celebrations in no time.
Transform into a witchy wonder with this easy face painting tutorial. Courtney gives tips and tricks for creating a classic, green witch face that is perfect for Halloween. You will even learn how to paint a spooky spider web accent to go with your green face.
In this quick class, Courtney demonstrates the proper way to use a bone folder. Traditionally a bookbinder's tool, a bone folder can be used to score paper, make perfectly crisp folds, and neatly tear papers. Once you see all that a bone folder can do, you'll wonder how you ever crafted without one.
Paper punches are available in all shapes and sizes, and in this class, mixed media artist Courtney teaches you tips and tricks for using some of the most common varieties. From standard hole punches to decorative shapes to awls, paper punches are perfect for making confetti, gift tags, or pretty garlands.
Explore the wide world of paper with mixed media artist, Courtney Cerruti. Even though paper surrounds us constantly, Courtney approaches this ubiquitous material with an artist's eye. She explains which papers are best for different types of crafting -- from cards and collages to book crafts and paper flowers. You’ll learn about the weight of different kinds of paper and their inherent qualities so you will bring knowledge as well as creativity to all your upcoming paper projects.
In this class, Annabel Wrigley demonstrates how to make lively and vibrant paper butterfly rings using a Cricut Explore machine. This project is great fun for both kids and adults. Annabel shows you how to decorate your butterfly shapes using watercolors, gel pens, and a felt tip marker and then attach them to rings, though they can also be used to embellish hair berets, magnets, and more.
Mixed media artist Courtney explains the basics of glue, including: Elmer's Glue, PVA (Poly Vinyl Acetate), Glue sticks, Mod Podge & gel medium, Tacky Glue, specialty glues, wood glue, heavy duty glues, hot glue guns, and glue dots. This class is perfect for anyone interested in collage, mixed media, image transfers, and using glue in general. Courtney explains how each type of glue works, as well as its ideal crafting use. You don't need every type of glue that exists, so watch this video to see which ones you'll want to include in your craft kit.
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