3 simple steps to drawing ears by katcanpaint.com

Tutorial Tuesday: Ears! Exciting, I know.

Need a quick and easy take on drawing ears?  I’ve simplified my method into 3 easy steps.

Whoo hoo! It’s Tutorial Tuesday & I’ve got some info on drawing ears.

I was taught in figure drawing class never to over accentuate the ears or nostrils.  I took this message to heart, and now I suggest the ears with two shapes. A modified C or [ shape plus a lowercase e.

If you study the work of cartoonists, you’ll see this is a common way to draw ears.  I learned how to do the full on anatomically correct ear in school, but unless I am painting a portrait, I simplify.

Why make it hard on yourself, or draw attention to features that aren’t important to your painting?  I love painting the eyes and the hair so I really detail those parts… and the viewer is drawn to the parts you spend the most time and detail on.

Easy Peasy!

Here’s your quickie ear infographic:

3 simple steps to drawing ears by katcanpaint.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for ears placement

 

The placement on the head is the most important detail to get correct, because too large ears or ears that are placed too high / low on the head make them super noticeable instead of blend into the background details of your pretty girl.

I recommend drawing your ears in between the middle of the eyes and the bottom of the nose. Experiment and see what looks nicest to you.

I don’t worry too much about ears, honestly, this is one of those times that I am lazy, or ‘break the rules.’  I know that most of the time I am going to cover those ears up with a beautiful hair do, so why spend a lot of time agonizing over drawing the perfect ear?

 

I’ll be back later this week with some quick tips for drawing the neck and shoulders and then we are onto the hair.  Whoooo hair!

Its my favorite thing to draw, besides eyes + you can get super detailed, or really fun and freeform and it still looks great.

 

<3 Kat

 

In this blog workshop / free painting series you can expect to learn how to draw and paint all the basics of a pretty female face so please share these tutorials with anyone you think would love free drawing and painting lessons.  Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, whatevs – just link back to me pleaseandthankyou!

Look at all this content I’m covering:

Plus:

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.

 

 

eyes worksheet icon

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Draw Eyes – Now with more worksheets!

 

 

 

eyes worksheet iconI realized that I’m giving people a lot of information with my tutorials, even if I’ve condensed them down into easy to follow chunks.

Solution?  I made a couple of worksheets to go along with the lessons.

Now you can jump right into the lessons, even if you don’t have a sketchbook, just print and follow along! The guidelines are already in place, just follow along with the lesson and draw your eyes on the template.

Easy peasy, they are already sized to 8.5″ x 11″ just save and print these worksheets as many times as you want to use for practice.

The templates I have for you today are the Eyes template worksheets.  Remember the eyes drawing lessons? I’ve included the nose and lips on the template so you can see what a completed face will look like with the size and placement of eyes you choose to draw.

 

 

A large part of learning your style is how you draw the eyes.  For these lessons I do show you how I do it, but I encourage you to mix it up and find your style.  If you are drawn to more primitive style eyes or more anime sized eyes, there are spaces on the template to experiment.

If you have a sketchbook that you are drawing in that’s great too! You can use your sketchbook and the worksheets if you want to practice drawing on a template- with practice you will get a better feel for how the eyes should look, and how to draw them quickly and accurately.

When you find a size/style/placement of eyes that really inspires you, draw your final version on the 2nd worksheet.

 

 

If you have a style of eyes you like on the small templates print out more than one of this worksheet and see how you like your favorite eyes when you draw them large.  I’m using a 9 x 12″ paper to demo the finished girl so we will be working larger than if you were sketching in a sketchbook.

Most of all, have fun with the lessons!

Do you like the worksheets? Or is there a way I can make them better?  I would love to hear from you, feel free to let me know what your ideas are in the comments. 

 

<3 Kat

Kat's 3 rules for buying art supplies on katcanpaint.com

How do I know which art supplies to buy? Kat’s 3 rules of buying art supplies + when to break them.

Kat’s {3 Rules} of Buying Art Supplies + when to break them

 

Kat's 3 rules for buying art supplies on katcanpaint.comBuying art supplies was the most overwhelming challenge for me when I started learning how to paint.  I know the frustration of not knowing where to start + wasting money experimenting with expensive supplies just to figure out the difference in quality + trying to teach yourself about art tools without getting lost in the lingo.

You have to learn a whole second language of Art Jargon to figure out exactly what brushes, canvas, and paint you need.

Thankfully I’m fluent in Art Supplies-ese :  I had textbooks and teachers to help guide my art supplies buying decisions + I read everything I could about art supplies on my own + I worked in an art supplies store in college.


Actually, I worked three jobs my Freshman year of art school.  I was determined not to be a starving artist.  There was a coffee and doughnut shop in the early morning – free coffee and donuts for breakfast! I worked a short but busy lunch rush shift at a sub shop in the afternoon – free half sub for lunch! Then I pulled a full shift at an Arts and Craft store in the evening – 25% discount on art supplies!  It was crazy but I was fed, had friends, and I saved a lot of money on my canvas, paint, sketchbooks, and brushes.  

Guess who worked the Fine Art section of the art store?  The Fine Art aisles are some of the most confusing in the store.  There is an entire section of brushes 16’ long.  The same goes for paints and mediums… and the display of paper and canvas? 32’ long and the shelves stretch all the way to the ceiling.  As the resident art student I spent a lot of time helping people pick out the right supplies for their budget.

I helped customers save time and money when buying art supplies with 3 simple rules:

 

{Rule 1} Get the best supplies for the money you have.


Believe me, I’ve bought it all.  I spent too much money on all sorts of cheap supplies hoping to save some money, isn’t that ironic?
After my discount, those 50¢ craft paints were only 38¢.  I did my miser math and figured I could buy about 30 bottles of cheap paint for the price of one bottle of the Golden acrylics that I really wanted.
Deal!

News Flash: those craft paints are not a deal. Cheap paints are cheap in every sense of the word: they cost less but they are terrible quality. Hobby brands save money by skimping on pigment and binders.  The higher quality and more pigment in your paint the better staying power, better coverage, and brighter your paint colors. This means less coats, better mixing, and you can thin the expensive paints down yourself + they are light fast and last longer.
Magentas in hobby acrylics will surprise you, they fade in about a year.

The paintings that I made with my new paints were a hard lesson in being cheap. The colors changed from wet to dry, the whites were chalky.  Details disappeared, colors blended into mud, other colors were streaky, there were weird clumps of plasticized paint where the acrylics dried too fast.  I couldn’t save my work but I tried.  I spent more time and effort (and tears) trying to compensate for the crap quality paints I purchased for my work.

But I was still on a budget.  Instead of buying the $12 each paints, I bought a starter pack for $35 and slowly added one bottle to my collection when I had the money.


The Big Lesson here is that my art is worth the quality supplies I wanted in the first place.  It doesn’t feel good to settle for less and it certainly didn’t save me any money buying the cheapest paints that were available.  I deserve more. Your art deserves better, too.

When to break this rule:
Are you working in your sketchbook, learning your own personal color palette, experimenting with a new technique, or did you fall in love with a sea foam blue and tangerine you saw? Go for the cheapies.  You can figure out how to mix the colors yourself with the good paints if its not just a fad fascination with chartreuse.

Think of this like make up, if that helps: You’ve got your MAC or your Wet n Wild eyeshadows – both have pretty colors, but color coverage and staying power? You know the difference in quality vs. price + the exact same applies to paint.
Testing that glittery hot-off-the-runway palette, but not sure if the blue is going to look fabulous on you or bring up Mimi from Drew Carrey vibes? Try on the cheapies first, then invest if you’re rocking the cobalt.

{Rule 2} Always clean your brushes.

Always.

This may not directly be a rule about how to buy supplies or which supplies to buy, I know.  But this is a rule about how not to continuously buy expensive art supplies, and its important.
Brushes are expensive and you want your brushes to keep the soft springy even texture they have when you first open the pack. You can shampoo and condition your brushes, pat them dry with a paper towel and let them dry.   That’s right, as painter you also become a brush hair stylist.
Don’t let your brushes stay in your water.  The metal part of your brush, the ferrule, has the glue that holds your bristles in – if you get too much water or paint in this part your brush will start to warp, separate, and fall apart.  Then, when you are trying to do detail work, your favorite liner brush will look like Mick Jagger.

When to break this rule:
Don’t. Follow this rule! If you need scruffy brushes or want to work with texture wait until one of your brushes inevitably need to be retired.  Even if you buy the $10 value pack brushes – which I do – they will last a lot longer if you take care of them.  You can not bring a brush back from the dead – expensive or cheap.  So get in the habit of treating your brushes like they are dry-clean only now, then when you are ready to treat yourself to the Chanel brushes, you already how to care for them.

{Rule 3} Paint on the right stuff, baby.

It doesn’t matter what substrate you like to paint on: canvas, paper, or wood,  just make sure you get the good stuff.

Paper:
Paper is the cheapest of the three surfaces and you can get a great pad of heavyweight paper for less than $10.  You will see a weight on the front of the paper pad ranging from 50 – 120 lbs; You are looking for something over 90 lb.  Heavier paper is labelled watercolor paper and comes in cold-pressed or hot-pressed.  Feel the paper & decide on the texture that you like the best.  You want heavier weight paper so that it can stand up to a lot of paint without tearing or buckling.  The blend of paper is important, too, as the percentage of cotton in the paper greatly changes the way your paper feels.

Start with a studio quality before investing in the expensive stuff:  http://www.dickblick.com/products/fabriano-studio-watercolor-pads/

Wood:
I like painting on wood because  it holds up GREAT to all sorts of mixed media abuse.  You can sand and burn and paint tons of layers.  If you are tempted to buy the $2 plaques at Walmart RESIST! They are made out of horrible quality wood that will warp when you start painting.  Not a fun surprise!  You can run down to Lowes and have them cut larger pieces of pine to the size you want for free.

I like to use these wood canvas panels: http://www.dickblick.com/products/american-easel-wood-painting-panels/

Canvas:

When you are buying canvas ask yourself: Do I want to frame this or do I want to paint the sides and hang it on the wall as is?  There are a couple of types of canvas sizes, profiles, and qualities and the mix can get very confusing.  Stretched canvas comes in three profiles: traditional, gallery, and museum.  Traditional depth  is generally ⅞” and is easily framed.  Gallery depth is 1 ½” deep and Museum depth is 2” or more, both of these are hung directly on the wall because of the thickness of their sides, and you can paint on the sides.

 Figure out the depth / profile you want then buy the highest quality canvas you can afford in  that type.  Quality canvas is determined by the type of fabric stretched over the frame, how it is stretched, and the quality of the frame.  I could type 10 more pages discussing kiln drying, linen, cotton, weights, stapling, warp, and weft but that would be extremely boring.

 The best advice I have for you is to steer clear of anything labeled academic or studio, these are the lowest quality canvas / supplies and you will not be happy with the longevity of your canvas.

It only costs a couple of dollars more to get the better canvas and the difference is whether or not your painting can be displayed without twisting or bowing, especially in humid climates.

 Most importantly you don’t want to buy a cheap canvas and paint something you love on it, then find that the cheap, thin, stretcher bars warp. Inspect your canvas, especially if you are getting the less expensive stuff, make sure the canvas is stapled down tightly and the corners aren’t fraying, and that no parts of the wooden stretcher bars are warped or splintering.  Do not buy the ones with staples on the sides. Staples on the back only please!


This is what I use: http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-premier-gallery-1-12-profile-cotton-canvas/

When to break the rules:
You can paint on your sketchbook paper, which is generally about 50lb, but you have to prime it with gesso first.  I recommend 2-3 coats.
The same goes for wood: gesso gesso gesso.   If you want the wood grain to show through then you need to make sure you prime and condition your wood for painting.

You can buy cheaper quality canvas but make sure you paint 3 coats of gesso on your canvas before you start painting. Canvas comes pre-primed with gesso, but you want to prep your canvas yourself. For a beautifully smooth surface: Paint a coat of gesso vertically. Let it dry. Sand.  Paint a coat of gesso horizontally, let it dry, sand. You paint a coat of gesso diagonally, let it dry, and sand this final coat.  It is a bit time consuming, so take some time and prep all your canvas at once, you will notice a huge difference. Or, you know, just buy the more expensive canvas, the difference is a couple of dollars or a couple of hours.

Paint on the best canvas with the best paint + brushes you can afford.  Your life will be way easier and you won’t feel like you are spending all your time fighting supplies or spending a fortune replacing brushes.

Note: I linked to DickBlick.com to purchase supplies but you can find comparable supplies at your local art store.  If you have a local independent art supplies store please take your business there.  Supporting local businesses is very important to me plus the staff at your independently owned art supplies store will be way more helpful and knowledgable than in a big box store.

Drawing Class: Before and After : when I follow the rules and when I don’t.

Pssssst….I have a secret to tell you: I don’t diagram out every single face I draw.  

Scandalous, I know! Wasn’t our last tutorial all about mapping / diagramming / drawing crazy amounts of lines all over the place to draw a perfectly proportioned head?

Yup.  BUT but but: When I am sketching in my sketchbook I don’t impose any rules or constraints.  My sketchbook is a place for free form ideas to flow, a mess of scribble doodlings where I draw whatever pops into my head. I envy all the artists who have beautiful art journals and sketchbooks that look like fully formed Art Books.

Its easy to get caught up in rules, but this is art and you shouldn’t be afraid about doing it wrong.

You’re developing skills you can continue to develop, refine, and use for the rest of your life and there really isn’t a wrong way to do that.  

But this is how I do it:

  1. The initial sketching is a brain dump, a warm up exercise, and a safe place for me to get my ideas onto paper.
  2. If I like an idea then I refine it.  Clean up the scribble bits edit and refine the idea.
  3. Then I redraw the original sketch following the figure guidelines.

Refine the sketch

I made a side by side Before and After comparison to illustrate the process. The original sketch is on the left and it is very loose and kind of wonky.  I took all the elements from the left side and redrew it on a clean sheet of paper. I wanted her face to have perfect features so I mapped her facial features following the rules. From there I refined the piece even more with shading: defining the details I wanted to bring out (her eyes) and mapping the highlights and shadow for painting.

This piece needs another round of refining before I paint, I don’t like her helmet of hair and I have to perfect her tattoos.

Color study

I don’t always use all these steps: if I love the energy of the original sketch I don’t want to refine it to death.  For this painting I loved the flow of her hair so I transferred it to the final piece.  Then I diagrammed the facial features on the finished piece without redrawing it multiple times.

Practice, practice, practice,  and you will learn the process that works for you.

In this free drawing series I’m sharing all the basics of a how to draw and paint a pretty female face so please share these tutorials with anyone you think would love free drawing and painting lessons.

Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, whatevs – just link back to me pleaseandthankyou!

Did you miss a step?

Plus:

  • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors (Included in the How to Paint Eyes lesson)
  • How to Choose a Canvas
  • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
  • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
  • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
  • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, just like today’s post.  I’m a classically trained artist and I’ve been drawing and painting for 15 years now so there will always be extra bits of info I remember while I am creating my tutorials.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.

Have fun drawing!

<3 Kat

Hey Shenee! Hot Brand Action Scholarship entry with infographic!

Shenee at HeyShenee.com is holding a scholarship contest that I couldn’t ignore.

I have SO MANY THINGS on my plate right now: tutorials to complete, videos to edit, paintings to paint, branding to work on.  Completing an entry for a scholarship contest that is DUE TODAY is crazypants right now.

Lets make magic!

I’m crazypants and NOW is the right time to do this.

Why do I need Hot Brand Action RIGHT now?

I’m Kat and I can paint. {I’m a domain name genius, I know} I’m reframing KatCanPaint.com from being all about my paintings to engage readers more with art courses and workshops.  I’ve got BIG PLANS for content that I’m excited to share. {EXCITED!!!!!!!!1!!1!! but that doesn’t look profesh, does it?}

I’m flailing with the branding and engagement portion of my big vision. Let’s be really real right now, I’ve got a whole $1.49 in my bank account so I can’t afford to invest in myself & business; I’m squeaking by and keeping forward momentum through free info and trades. {Sounds familiar, yes?}

I’m clear on my purpose but I need real guidance on packaging my gifts into unforgettable and engaging  content: I know what I want to do  but I’m not there yet with the killer copy, branding, or style.

This scholarship gave me the perfect opportunity to get it together in the style department and make a fancy schmancy infographic. {I absorbed all the totally awesome infographic tutorials over at HeyShenee.com last night to create this one.}

Hey Shenee! I made this fancy Infographic

What do I want to be KNOWN for?

  • Amazing Art
  • Friendly, accessible personality
  • Fresh, Fun, Easy-to-Follow, and High Quality art courses / workshops.

If you’re not creating the art you want because you, “can’t even draw a straight line,” then I’m going to rock your socks with easy, step-by-step drawing and painting tutorials. Also: Get a ruler and get over it. I’m Kat, I can paint, and you can too!

Don’t have a muse that calls you? Beautify your home and life with amazing art from me.

Change the World? Yes please:

I share free art education via free tutorials on my site because I want people to get their hands on this info and use it to better their lives by creating more beauty via art. Art and beauty can heal by building self esteem through positive self expression and I’m here to share quality content and spread this message.

Thank you for this opportunity Shenee and good luck with all the entries you’ve got to judge!

I’m going to be an infographic machine after all this.

<3 Kat

Tutorial Tuesday! How to Draw a Pretty Face, Week Three : Drawing a perfectly proportionate head.

 

Its Tuesday and I have another free drawing tutorial for you! Today I am showing you how to put all those eyes, nose, and lips you’re practicing onto a proportioned head perfect for beginners to learn to draw.

I know I promised the How to Paint version of noses and lips last week but I am going to hold off on offering the how to paint versions until after the How to Draw versions are done. It isn’t going to help anyone to jump into painting before they have perfected the drawing parts. It will be worth the wait, I promise!

One more quick note before we dive into the lesson: This is a proportion for a stylized face and head. The proportions for a realistic female head are a little different. I started with the rules of drawing a human head and I just adjusted them slightly to fit my stylistic needs. (As long as you know what the rules are you can make them work for you.)

Who wants some step-by-step face and head diagrams? Get your sketch books and pencils ready, we’ve got 8 easy steps to drawing the cheeks and chin in proportion on your girl’s head. Exciting!

It looks like a lot of information, I know. But I promise you its only confusing the first time you diagram it all out. You’re golden if you just remember: eyes are in the middle of the head and start the bottom half of the head’s division into thirds. Keep your eyes at least one eye width apart, and the outside corner of your mouth should end at about the pupils of your person.

Make it your own! Change the size of your eyes or the width apart and take note of how it changes the entire feel of your drawing. Alter the size of your lips, make ’em tiny, and see how it changes her expression.

Practice practice practice so you can get a real feel for how and where the curves in the face go. Have fun and make mistakes! Draw her too thin or too chubby. Give her model cheekbones and a pointier chin. It is only by drawing it over and over can you develop the muscle memory and the eye for how you want your girl’s face to look.

At this point our girl is really starting to come together; we only have to worry about ears, hair, and the neck and shoulders. Smooth sailing!

<3 Kat
In this blog workshop / free painting series you can expect to learn how to draw and paint all the basics of a pretty female face so please share these tutorials with anyone you think would love free drawing and painting lessons.  Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, whatevs – just link back to me pleaseandthankyou!

Look at all this content I’m covering:

Plus:

  • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors (Included in the How to Paint Eyes lesson)
  • How to Choose a Canvas
  • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
  • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
  • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
  • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
  • Where do I go from here?
  • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.

Pretty In Paint

Painted pottery this weekend: Aunties, Bubs, Uncle Brandon, and mommy. We had a blast & some much needed down time.  Painting + breakables + frozen yogurt = one happy little boy.

3 year olds just don’t sit still for that long, but I love how the orange couch matches his orange shirt.

Pottery painting round up: 1 monster, 1 elephant, 1 dessert plate, 1 cupcake, 1 flip flop, 1 star, 1 triangle, 1 lion. Wait. 2 monsters.