Art, Art activities, card making, Craft, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting, student artwork

Cool Hands & Warm Hearts

Have fun with warm and cool colors, creating simple & meaningful pieces of art that also make perfect Valentine’s Day cards!

What you need:

  • Watercolor Paints
  • Watercolor Paper x2 at least 8″x10″
  • Paint Brush
  • Masking Tape
  • Gluestick
  • Crayons
  • Course Sea Salt
  • Plastic Grocery Bag

What are warm and cool colors? Warm colors are reds, oranges and yellows, while cool colors are, blues, greens, & violets. Warm colors often make us think of warmth – fire, sunshine, heat. Cool colors tend to be more calming and make us think of water, sky, or ice. For this project we have three different elements: Your background paper, your hand, and your heart! We created a pattern by layering warm and cool colors for each element; Background in warm colors, hand in cool colors, heart in warm colors, or the reverse; background cool colors, hand warm colors, heart cool colors. Next to one another, warm and cool colors are very contrasting and make one another stand out! Decide if you would rather have a warm heart and cool hand or cool heart and warm hand!

Prepare your papers: You will need one piece of paper for your background and one piece to share for your hand and heart. Tape one piece of watercolor paper down to a work surface for your background with your masking tape. Cut the other piece of watercolor paper in two, trace an outline of your hand one piece, and draw a heart shape on the other (make sure your heart will fit in your hand outline). Tape your hand and heart pieces of watercolor paper to your work surface as well. Taping helps to keep your paintings flat while you work on them! Keep in mind the tape will resist the watercolor – try to apply the tape evenly around your background paper!

Listed below are three different watercolor techniques to make your warm and cool color hearts and hands! You can use any of the three of the techniques for any portion of your project – background, hand, & heart, or combine techniques or create your own! For each technique we will be using “wet on wet” – where we brush your paper with water, then add our paint. This helps our colors flow and mix around, giving us some really fun effects! Have your watercolors prepared and ready!

Crayons & Watercolor – Use warm or cool color crayons to draw designs or patterns on one of your elements (background, hand or heart). Brush water on your element, going over the crayon designs, then use watercolor paint to fill in your element – the crayons are waxy and will resist the watercolor!

Salt & Watercolor – Wet your element by brushing it with water, then dab splotches of watercolor on top! Watch as the paint flows and mixes on the paper! While the paint is still wet, sprinkle a little bit of salt on your element – notice how the paint pools around the pieces of salt! Let your element dry completely and then gently brush off the salt pieces to reveal the finished technique!

Plastic & Watercolor – This technique is made by using a plastic grocery bag – you may need to cut the bag open so it’s bigger and can cover your whole paper surface! Wet your paper with water and then add color to paper – in the example below we dabbed color on the paper but you can use almost any method for this technique! Once you have your whole piece of paper covered with color, and while it’s still wet, place your piece of plastic over the wet paint, pressing gently, and being sure to “scrunch” or “crinkle” the plastic on your paper. Let this dry completely (this can take some time!) and then remove the plastic to reveal a very cool technique!

Once you have all your elements painted, let them dry completely – it’s best not to use a hair dryer to speed up the process for the salt or plastic techniques as it may not allow the techniques to work well. When they’re dry and ready, remove the tape and cut out your hand and heart! Glue all of your elements together! Turn these into cards or pictures for Valentine’s day!

Change it up and make multiple hands – add something instead of hearts!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Drawing

Watercolor Resist Painting!

A fun little technique to create some colorful pieces of art! These also make great pieces to add to collage techniques or are fun for art journaling too!

What you need:

  • Watercolor paper (I use Canson XL cold press 140lb)
  • Masking tape
  • watercolor paints
  • Oil pastels or Crayons
  • Large flat brush

Step one: Tape down your watercolor paper – the tape also creates a nice border to your artwork you can decorate later! I cut my paper to be a bookmark!

Step two: Create a design or picture on your paper with your crayons or oil pastels – press firmly!

Step three: You don’t need to fill in all of your paper – leave some areas white, this will be filled in with your paint color!

Step four: Prepare your watercolor paints and gently brush overtop of your crayon or oil pastel design!

Step five: The oil pastels or crayons will resist the watercolor paint and only stick to the white areas of your paper! I used warm color crayons and cool color paint for more contrast!

Step six: Let your paint dry and remove your tape!

This piece was created with oil pastels instead of crayons!

Art, Art activities, DIY, Drawing, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting

Watercolor Crab!

Follow along to paint your own watercolor crab! My crab was created with just two colors – yellow and blue, however, you can make your crab any colors using these techniques! You can download the crab outline below and transfer it to your watercolor paper or draw your own crab outline (or outline of your choosing).

What you need:

  • Watercolor paper (I used Canson XL cold press 140lb)
  • Watercolor paints – I used Rembrandt brand in Azo Yellow Medium & Van Gogh brand in Phthalo blue
  • Sea Salt
  • Brushes
  • Pencil

Step one: Transfer the crab outline to your watercolor paper or draw your own outline! Download the crab outline above and follow this quick tip to transfer the crab outline here.

Step two: The crab is created with a wet on wet technique – I did sections of my crab at a time, starting with the shell, I brushed on a layer of water.

Step three: Before the water dries that you applied in the last step, add blue watercolor to your shell – the paint will spread wherever the water was placed.

Step four: While your blue paint is still wet, add dabs of green or yellow paints to your crab shell and let them spread! I used a little yellow painted mixed with my blue.

Step five: While your paint is still wet, sprinkle some sea salt on it! The paint pools under the pieces of salt, when the paint dries, we’ll gently remove the salt pieces and have a unique effect left on our papers created by the salt!

Step six: Repeat steps for all the crabs legs!

Step seven: If desired, flick paint, to add some interest to your background! I used watered down blue.

Step eight: Let your paint dry – I don’t recommend speeding up with a hair dryer when the salt is involved as it can blow the salt pieces around and disrupt the textured effect!

Step nine: Once the paint is completely dry, gently rub off the salt pieces. Enjoy your crabby painting! 🙂

Art, Drawing, illustrations

Westside Series

These are a series of small watercolor and pen paintings inspired by the area where I live here in Maryland. It’s a place that’s a bit outta the way and many think of it as the end of the earth – but I love it here. It’s full of history, plenty of nature & wildlife, it’s quiet, and you know your neighbors. Between where the Nanticoke & Wicomico rivers meet the Chesapeake Bay, we have several little towns including; Quantico, Tyaskin, Bivalve, Nanticoke, Waterview & Whitehaven – together known as the Westside. The Westside doesn’t have much in the way of stores or shops, however, we have a few post offices, a thrift store, the Westside Fire Department, Antique shop, Churches, community center, a Bed & Breakfast, marinas & parks, Campgrounds, Wades Repair, and a couple restaurants!

Bivalve Thrift Shop
Building at Roaring Point Campground entrance
Former Tyaskin School House (over 100 years old)
Tyaskin Post Office est. 1966

A lot of the houses and buildings here date back to the 1800’s and many of them are no longer in habitable conditions, though, we do still have quite a few from that time period that have been kept up. I like to think about what it may have look liked here a hundred years ago when it was a bustling port town, filled with people and shops – all the buildings new. Then, there were oyster houses, canning factories, general stores, a saw mill, skip jacks, schools, steamboats, and later a shirt factory, town hall, hotel, & seafood packing plant. And even before that, when it was home to the Native Americans – the Nanticoke Tribe, what it must have looked like.

The Culver House est. 1885
Wetipquin Chapel est. 1827
Spring Morning, Tyaskin
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, est. 1798 (rebuilt 1845) –

The Westside is also filled with nature and wildlife. During a walk in the Spring you’re guaranteed to see Ospreys that have just arrived back from winter migration. Eagles and many song birds also call the Westside home – some of my favorite sightings are Bluebirds, flocks of Cedar Waxwings, Flickers, and Buzzards gathering to sunbathe. Fox, Deer, groundhogs, hawks, muskrats, frogs, rabbits, turtles, and snakes are often seen. Of course it’s also home to much marine life! And we can not forget about the insects – yes, there are days when some of these bugs make you regret going outside, but, butterflies, bees, praying mantis, & ladybugs, fill the gardens. The summer evenings glow with lighting bugs, cicadas and peepers, clear skies filled with stars. Not to mention the best sunsets all year round!

Osprey on the Nanticoke
Fishing at Wetipquin creek
Summer afternoon, Tyaskin
Winter Sunset, Tyaskin
Sail Boat Regatta, Bivalve

We may not have a lot in the terms most think of – and yeah, we’re a bit outta the way, but I can say we have a certain nostalgic community feel that not a lot of places can claim. It’s a place where time slows down, people wave and stop to talk, it’s a place that causes you to take in what’s around you – something I find inspiring!

Tyaskin Pink House and former Post Office building
Tyaskin Methodist Church est. 1895
Royal Oak Country Church, Quantico
Sunny Afternoon, Tyaskin
May Flowers, Tyaskin
Tyaskin Beach Cottage

I hope you enjoy these little watercolors from the place, and surrounding area, I call home. Prints and originals are available in the shop section – I plan to keep painting more!