20 December 2016

Why I'm Doing a Month-Long Colouring Challenge

During October I did a month long art challenge called Inktober which really helped me to improve my inking skills so this December I decided to do something similar. I decided to do a month long colouring challenge where I aim to colour in a whole colouring book before Christmas Day. It's proved to be very difficult but I think that I'm really benefiting from the challenge so I thought I'd share the idea with you in this post.
The reason I thought of this idea was because I saw the colouring book called 'Colour Yourself Advent Christmas Countdown' that was drawn by Heartfelt Illustrations (see the Facebook profile on this link). The book inspired me because it seemed that there was a page for every day of the month so I decided to colour one page every day. Unfortunately December is a very busy month so I haven't done one page per day but have tried my best to get close to that target. I used my Prismacolour pencils and gel pens o colour all of the pages and it's been really useful for me. This page was for the 1st of Decemeber and was a snowman. I learnt a lot from this first page because looking back I can see that I went a little overboard on the snowflake details so on future pages I didn't draw anything onto the backgrounds.

 One of the main things that I have improved on during this challenge is blending without blending tools. Normally, I would sue a colourless blender pencil or a blending stump to help me to create a smooth gradient. However, during this challenge I decided not to use any blending tools. This has meant that each page takes about double the time than usual, but now I have really improved my blending skills. I've found lots of ways to blend properly now such as: using a white pencil, using varied pressure on my pencils, building up tone gradually, etc. I struggled on the first few days to go without blending tools but after a while it got easier.
 By the time I coloured page five, I had got very behind on the daily schedule. I had to start catching up with colouring fast. I'm still actually behind by nine pages. I think that doing colouring almost every day has helped me with my working speed. I struggle with time management so I try my best to do organisation and time limits, etc but doing month-long challenges has proved to be the most effective method to help me with time management. I've never produced more art or colouring than during Inktober and the colouring challenge this month,

Another reason that I've done this challenge is not only to improve my colouring, but for fun too. I love Christmas so a Christmas themed colouring book is perfect for me. Colouring in festive art every day is great because it gets me excited for Christmas. There's only 5 days until Christmas now! Can you believe it? Christmas is my favourite time of year so I try my best to make it last. I love chocolate advent calendars but this colouring one is really unique. It's been great counting down the days until Christmas with this because it's something a little different and keeps me busy all the time. I've only shown you photos of some of the pages but half of them have activities on them which inspire me.

 I'm looking forward to next December too because I can display my advent calendar once it's finished. This year I haven't displayed it because I would have had to take it up and down to switch between colouring and displaying it. I think it's great that with this book you can use it as a colouring book and a calendar because I can look back next year and see how my colour application has changed. Maybe I'll even colour another one next year to compare them-who knows? It's nice to look back on old art or colouring or anything because it shows that with practise I can improve my skills and techniques. It keeps me motivated to carry on even if I aren't happy with my current skill. If you're an artist,colourer(I'm not sure what it's called),etc  then I recommend that you look back at old art or colouring to keep you going.

 Overall this challenge has been difficult but worth it. Every time I do a month-long challenge, it's very tiring for me but when reflecting back on it I feel proud of what I've achieved. I know that some people just think colouring is a hobby, but for me colouring helps me to improve colour application for my own art. That's why I feel like doing this challenge is a real achievement because I'll be able to see a difference in my own art next year. Hopefully next time I do a month-long challenge I'll have time to do it every day as planned. Maybe it would be wise not to choose December for my month-long challenge next time! It's a busy time of year so doing this has been a little stressful. I've loved building up the colouring book though and seeing what I can do when I really push myself. I hope that I've inspired you to do a month-long challenge whether you use an official one like Inktober or come up with your own like I have this month!

That's all for this week's post. Sorry that I missed last week but as you can see from this post I've been very busy recently. I've noticed that although I set a schedule of posting every week, I keep missing a post. Therefore, I think that in the new year I might make a few changes to the schedule and my blog so that it's less stressful for me. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed seeing my colouring pages and hearing about this challenge.

Over to you...
Have you ever done a month-long challenge? Tell me about it in the comments. Do you enjoy colouring, any tips? Also, what are you doing for Christmas? I'd love to know.

05 December 2016

Christmas Card Craft Idea

Hello everyone! I'm finally back with another post and it's my first Christmas one!I've had lots of revision to do recently so I took a few weeks away from blogging but I missed it so I'm back this week. Today I've got a lovely Christmas card idea for you to craft for your friends and family so get cosy and see how I made a wreath card!

 Firstly I chose a Christmas patterned paper, a plain card, a bow, a doily and a few Christmas washi tapes. You can find all these supplies (or similar ones) at The Works or The Range. These are two of my favourite shops for craft supplies since they sell a wide range of products for good prices. In ended up not using the button you can see in the photo or all of the washi tape but you might decide you want to. As yopuc an see I have quite the collection of Chrsitmas-y washi tapes-I've been collecting lots in the last few months!
 Now that you've got the basic supplies you can now choose all of the embellishments. You'll use these to decorate the wreath so you'll want small, festive embellishments. The ones you can see in the picture are: silver star stickers, enamel dots, crystal stickers, a range of Christmas stickers and Christmas phrase stickers. You probably won't sue them all on one wreath but I just got out plenty of embellishments so I could choose what looked best. I actually went with the crystal stickers, stars and mini candy cane stickers for the wreath. I also used a Christmas phrase sticker elsewhere on the card. I liked how the red crystal stickers looked like berries, the yellow crystal stickers looked like flowers and the green crystal stickers looked like sprigs or leaves. The enamel dots would have given the same effect but I wanted to give a sparkly effect to the card! By the way, some of these products were from a subscription box last month called Birmbles Box.
Here's the final result! started by cutting a strip of patterned paper and glueing it n the left side of the card as an accent. Originally, I was going to make a background with it but I think it would have been too overpowering. I cut the middle of the green doily out so that it looked like a wreath. Once you've glued down the patterned paper and green doily you can personalise it however you want! This is where the embellishments come in! I spread out the crystal stickers, stars and candy canes evenly around the wreath. After decorating the wreath, I created the ribbon. In chose a washi tape and cut a small section of it to go above the wreath, To give the impression of a real wrath, I then put a bow on top of the washi tape. I used double sided sticky tape for this. To finish off, I used washi tape and a phrase stcker in the centre.

There you go, that's how I made the wreath Christmas card and I love how it turned out! It's such a unique card; I thought of it when I was looking at my Christmas craft supplies, I knew I wanted to use a doily but I didn't want to just stick it down so I did this instead! So now you're ready to make your own Christmas cards, let me know if you make any.

PS: I've changed the background for Christmas now. Do you like it? I created it with the PicMonkey overlays, sorry that I didn't draw any of the elements this time round. Hopefully my next background will have some of my drawings.

Over to you...
Have you made this card idea or any other Christmas cards this year? Tell me about it in the comments. Also, do you have any Christmas blog post ideas? I'm looking forward to writing plenty of Christmas posts!