Posted on August 23, 2016

5 Reasons why My Self-Taught Journey as an Artist Almost Failed

5 reasons

It’s been two years since I decided that I needed to take hold and rediscover my creativity. It’s been a little over  since I decided that I wanted to specifically pursue traditional art, and since the beginning of the this year that I finally figured out my subject and my medium.  You would think with all this time to practice that my art would look well, maybe not amazing but a little less like a brand new artist. I am however my own worst enemy, and I’ve made the past two years way more difficult than they ever needed to be. Here are the top five reasons my self-taught journey as an artist almost failed.

#5 I wasn’t organized

Now many moms out there are the complete opposite of this next statement, but my organization as a mom started off with pure survival skills.  I just needed to get through the day and keep my son alive, and occasionally cook a meal here and there before D got home. Then I decided I wanted to be creative again, and for some reason I could not get out of survival mode. I did things when I could get  them done,including learning about art. Needless to say, when you do things on a constant whim you can never manage to create any sort of routine. I only recently found myself getting out of this mode, but that is because I finally started asking for help.  Read more..

Posted on August 5, 2016

I’m back!! Why I haven’t blogged for an entire YEAR!!!

I know what some of you might be thinking. What on earth has this woman been up to? Well I can tell you that when I started this whole artistic soul-searching adventure blog, I had know idea what I was doing, I knew where I wanted to be and how I wanted to  do it, but not a clue to where I was going to start. I just wanted to reconnect, I wanted to free my mind and be creative once again.

First I thought sewing again would do it, but I had just lost that connection after college and I didn’t really want to look back. Then there was rubber stamping and card making, now not only is it an expensive hobby, but it’s also the kind of hobby that literally has no bounds. There’s so much in the paper craft world going on its nuts, you can use pre-made stamps,or create your own. There’s all the die cuts, or hey a die cutting machines, and next you’ve gotta have markers, the glue, the stamp ink, finally there’s a million different types of paper. Creative obsessive mind overload, to say the least. Read more..

Posted on August 5, 2015

My Creative Reflection for July

My Creative Reflection

I cannot even lie to all of you, July has been a giant creative miss! I went from sketching daily constantly being inspired to create to, well barely doing anything to be honest. I don’t know what happened, well I have an idea I basically overwhelmed myself. I got so excited that I had found my creative spark again that I just felt like I was going to burst. My mind was going a hundred miles a minute. What I wanted to sketch, and then how I would paint, oh and could I turn it into a card, oh wait I need to work on card making, and then there’s a class on Creative Bug! Like I said my mind was ready to explode, so I had to stop and take a step back. I revisited my lesson plan and decided that I was taking on too much all at once. Let me break down the month for you.

Read more..

Posted on August 1, 2015

Project Map How to Stay Organized, while being creative

Printables/ Tools

Project Map Title

It’s only been two months of me getting back into the swing of being a creative person but I’m so pumped for all the amazing things I’m learning and inspiration I keep finding, I figured I should start to consider what the theme will be for  my first series. Most of you know by now that I am a planner, I’ve got to work out everything in my head and on paper before I do it. Call it OCD, call it perfectionism, call it crazy it’s just how my brain works. Now I’m not exactly where I thought I would be by now to start my first sketch series but I don’t want to lose all the ideas I have running through my head either. So I decided to get myself organized now and share it with all of you. Read more..

Posted on July 30, 2015

A Pencil is just a Pencil, Right?

Supplies/ Tools
A Pencil is Just a PencilDisclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links,  if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive compensation from your purchase. All opinions are my own and I only suggest products and brands that I have personal experience with and wholeheartedly support and believe in.

After almost two months of scouring the internet of books, tutorials, and YouTube videos I’ve come to one conclusion. There is absolutely not enough information on pencils and how to use them. Truth is I didn’t find not one definitive answer on what and how to use pencils in art work. Every artists uses pencils based on their own experiences and needs, which makes since no two artist are the same. So I’ve compiled the best guide I could come up with through the overload of information that I found. Read more..

Posted on July 20, 2015

Creative Reflections, My Odyssey thus far

My Creative Reflection

Hello everyone, and welcome to my Creative Reflections for the month of June. The month came and went, my 30 days of drawing was over before I knew it. By the end of the month I had found my spark for creating again. I have a million ideas constantly flooding my mind to draw, paint, craft, sew, my imagination is alive again. Still though this is only the beginning, and it’s said that it takes 21 consecutive days to make something a habit. While I have all these ideas running through my mind I have yet to make the effort to put anything from my mind to paper. I still have three books to work through in July and classes to take via online as well, plus finding more books to continue building my foundation in drawing. Let’s go through the month and see what worked well, and what I still need to work on.

Read more..

Posted on July 18, 2015

Final week overview Lessons 22-30

Book Reviews/ Drawing and sketching

Final week

This month has just flown by, I couldn’t even believe that this is the final week of my first of many sketching lessons. Now I can sit down and sketch with so much ease, so much patience. I barely even read the directions anymore, I just look through the example pictures and go from there. It’s amazing what putting something into constant practice can do for a person, I mean I’m not going to be selling out a gallery show anytime soon, but I feel like if I wanted to do that I am heading the right direction. The last seven lessons really brought everything together for me. Read more..

Posted on July 17, 2015

Week 3 Lessons 15-21

Book Reviews/ Drawing and sketching

Week 3Week 3 lessons are where things start to really get challenging for me at least. Contour lines, are definitely not my favorite thing and for the life of me I could not figure out how to give my drawings more movement. Luckily I’ve made some amazing connection on Instagram during my journey, Krista who owns the Canadian Etsy shop Brooklyn & Stella gave me the awesome tip of sketching fruits and vegetables and then drawing lines inside of them, contour around the shape. So as I’m still sketching and learning more about this technique.


Lesson 15

Lesson 15The entire purpose of this exercise is to introduce contour lines and creating the illusion of movement within a sketch. The book suggest and I highly do as well that you draw a 3D square like the one in Lesson 4 and then extend your directional lines to help you achieve this illusion. I guess my mistake in this lesson would be that I didn’t completely follow the directional lines. I angled my lines a little more straight than I should have, by doing this my tunnel doesn’t look as 3D as it should.


Lesson 16

Again with the contour lines, alas they are still somewhat of a challenge, along with my shading. Still in due time I will figure it Lesson 16out I’m sure. I still didn’t angle my lines correctly but I almost have it. I think if I angle my paper while I’m drawing just right I’ll be able to figure it out. As I mentioned before when I’m pointing a line in a certain direction I angle and point my sketchbook in that direction.


Lesson 17


Flags and shading I am glad that throughout this book you pretty much work on shading in every exercise. I’ve looked at the work of many other amazing artist and the right amount shading is definitely the key to a piece that goes from being just a drawing to being a piece of art. I’m not going to lie though, I seriously have an issue with curving my foreshortened circles. this exercise will work great for practicing it

.Lesson 18


Lesson 18

So I’m going to confess something pretty big! I’m a HUGE geek, if you follow me on Pinterest you already have had a little Lesson 18exposure to this fact. So when I saw that this exercise was a scroll I got way too excited. My mind started imagining me making these beautiful scrolls with elvish letters and faerie speak. Covered in floral or leaf motifs down the sides, giving free tutorials, selling them at renaissance and Faerie festivals!! The possibilities with this one sketch are endless!!


Lesson 19

While this lesson seems simple enough but getting a consistent tone of shading is actually difficult. So I shaded this project as light as possible, going over it a few times to make it darker.Lesson 19


Lesson 20

Now I’m not going to lie, my shaping definitely needs a little love on this one, this was difficult because it involved all the things that I need to work on still. Again if you look at my foreshortened circle it’s still too flat, along with the bottom of the cup as wellLesson20. My handle is also not proportionate to the size of the cup as well, this is something I’m not sure how to fix and hope to learn from another book or online class later on.

Lesson 21 

Lesson 21I was actually pretty proud of this sketch, my details and shading could be better, I did this sketch really quick on morning when Chunk randomly took an early morning nap. As I’ve been still doing a lot of research on drawing and sketching techniques, I found out that the many different grades of graphite pencils have completely different purposes. So I’m starting to understand why my shading and other aspects of the drawings don’t look quite right to me. I’ve decided to go back through the book later but with the varying grades of pencils.


One more week left, and then the beginning of my journey will come to an end. I can honestly say I’ve learned so much and I feel as if I’m on my way to doing so much more. This one book has opened the door to so many more creative things.

Posted on July 14, 2015

Week 2 Lessons 8-14

Book Reviews/ Drawing and sketching

Week 2

So week 2 was definitely challenging in many ways for me, here it was the second week of my journey and I had already fallen behind by lesson 10. My biggest mistake was that I made all these checklist, lesson plans, and a course outline but I wasn’t sticking to them. I was still trying to get through on survival mom mode. In other words get things done when they get done. A habit that I am desperately trying to break, not only for my sanity but also my families. I have to admit I was pretty upset about it, but an odyssey is about the hits as it is the misses. I can only learn by making mistakes after all.


Lesson 8

Lesson 8Finally a break from all those lines and concentrating! This was a fun little lesson, and also gives some perspective on having my own since of style when sketching. when looking at straight lines, and what seem to be perfectly round circles it can become rather intimidating. This lesson sent me on a mission though to explore other artists, old and new. While I might be using my ruler to train my hands to draw straight lines, I have to try to maintain my own uniqueness when doing lessons such as this, so I don’t become a copy of what I’ve learned.

Lesson 9

This lesson was a little confusing for me, I kept starting my swirl from the wrong direction and although I wanted to keep this my drawing it ended up just looking weird. I’m very interested in floral sketches and paintings so now I have a foundation that I can build on and practice with later onLesson 9


Lesson 10Lesson 10

Well back to the straight lines and foreshortened circles. Which for some reason I do have a problem understanding to be honest. Mainly because a foreshortened circle is an oval but at the same time it’s not, and I struggle not making them look round and squished in the middle at the same time. Something I will have to work on, for now I just lightly draw a foreshortened circle until I get it to a point that I feel makes since to me.

Lesson 11

This lesson gave me a deep perspective on maybe working on a multi-level objects. I’m going to be playing with this more usingLesson 11 trees, flowers, towers. This lesson could easily be transformed into a more landscape type sketch. Looking at this sketch I feel that my shading definitely needs some work. Once I have a better handle on how I hold my pencil, I’m sure that will change.

Lesson 12Lesson 12

A house, finally something more to all those lines other than boxes. The tricky part about this exercise is getting your lines to line up and angle just right. The top line of the house, you have to slightly tilt upwards to give it the 3D illusion . Again my shading needs some work, and giving the windows depth is not that easy. I did figure out to get some depth out of the windows I ended up turning my sketch book to face the direction and needed to draw my line. it might sound a little kooky, but if you’re having trouble here you might want to try it yourself.

Lesson 13

Again with the angles, this one took me a while I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized the center where the two squares meet was at a ninety degree angle,at the bottom meeting point. Once I figured this out it made things a little easier. One definitely has to pay attention closely to how straight your lines are, so unless you’re a seasoned sketch artist, or you’re just that amazing I would highly suggest using a straight edge throughout this exercise. 
Lesson 14

Lesson 14

YLesson 13ay more flowers!! Although I will admit that that this one had me somewhat stumped for a moment. While you start with a foreshortened circle, I found that making it a little more round versus flat works and gives my lily a little more of a realistic feel.




Well that’s that for week 2, I feel and become more and more confident in my artistic ability everyday. The main key I can take away from this is that it’s one thing to learn and develop a new skill when you don’t have anyone else to be responsible for other than yourself. When you’re a parent and you have errands, meals, laundry, along with everything thing else, its best to give yourself a break. If make sure that you take a little time for yourself each and everyday, and stay focused on your goal you’ll eventually get there.


Some of you might be thinking, “Wow this is coming to us a little late,”. I do apologize with my tardiness I’m still trying to get the hang of blogging while I’m learning. So please come back comment, let’s learn new creative things together.

Posted on June 18, 2015

Week 1 Drawing and Sketching, Lessons 1-7

Book Reviews/ Drawing and sketching

Week 1I cannot begin to tell all of you, how good it feels to have made it through an entire consistent week of learning the foundations of drawing. My routine is working out fairly well as long as I sit down and sketch the moment chunk goes down for his nap than I’m good. Teaching myself is something a tad bit difficult for me for sure though, I’m what you would consider to be a visual kinesthetic learner. Meaning I learn by watching and then having somebody else guide me through whatever it is while I do it myself. Basically in college I would have to watch my teacher sew something, I would try to do it myself for a good hour, get frustrated and then go up to my teacher and ask them to walk me through and show me what they did. This process can be very tiring for both myself and anyone who is teaching me (Ms. Sherrill, if you ever you read this I will forever think of you as saint amongst saints). Getting a book looking at it and being able to just understand the information on the first run, is something that I aspire to be able to do one day. Which is why I picked “You Can Draw in 30 days” as my first book. Kistler has a really good way of describing everything in detail, to the point that someone like me can basically get the gist of what he means or I can at least hack it and figure out my way of making it make since. The beginning of the book brings up some very important guidelines for people wanting to start, build, and grow their foundation in drawing.



First there are the Nine Fundamental laws of Drawing found on pg. 2-3 in detail and throughout the lessons in the book.

  1. Foreshortening:
    1. This is something I actually struggle with throughout the first lessons, but I feel it will only get easier with practice
  2. Placement
  3. Size
  4. Overlapping
  5. Shading
  6. Shadow
  7. Contour lines
  8. horizon lines
  9. Density


So with these nine laws Kistler, deeply believes anyone can learn how to draw. Not everyone would be the next Picasso, but you’ll at least have a good grasp of the concept.


Lesson 1:Day 1, Lesson 1

Lesson one seemed pretty self explanatory, but like most things when it looks easy it could be really hard. See I couldn’t figure out why my sphere seemed to just disappear and become undefined. I went back and looked at the step by step examples multiple times. Then it hit me. He went around the sphere after he was done and made it more defined, plus I was pressing too hard on my pencil. You wouldn’t think the weight in which you draw had such an effect but it really does especially when you’re shading and using shadows in your drawings. If you’re like me and just can’t seem to get that defined look, then start over but this time sketch your circle lightly, do all of your shading just slightly darker keeping in mind not to press down on your pencil too hard, after you’ve finished shading go back around with your pencil and darken the outside of the sphere. This is what helped me make this lesson a little easier to grasp.


Lesson 2:

Day 2, Lesson 2Lesson two introduces the concept of overlapping, using size and placement, along with what Kistler calls Nook and Cranny. My biggest obstacle with this lesson was making one circle smaller and on top of the other. Now remember I’m teaching myself so I’m going to do what works for me. Which was making a full sphere instead of a half sphere. I lightly sketched another sphere on top of, slightly higher, and smaller than my first sphere. This is something again I feel with practice will come easier, but I didn’t want to sit there frustrated to all-no-end, trying to perfect this one lesson. Perfection is not what art is about, and I do not want to fuel that type of thinking. So again I had to remind myself about pressing too hard on my pencil, this makes a huge difference when you’re creating the nook and cranny effect.


Lesson 3:

Lesson three is where he starts to introduce new tools for you to use. Day 3, Lesson 3 The artist’s pencil-blending stomp #3, the Pentel clic eraser, and 0.7 mm Pentel mechanical pencil with HB lead. Now for me I already have two sets of drawing and sketching pencils, so I couldn’t really justify the purchase of one more pencil. If you’ve already made the effort bought drawing and sketching pencils or you can’t justify the cost of a mechanical pencil, I would just use a regular HB lead pencil. You have to keep in mind though that your sketch like mine won’t come out as sharp and defined as it would with a mechanical pencil. Now if you look at my sketch it came out a little curved, later in the bonus lesson he suggest making a triangle and working along that line. So I did this with the first part of the lesson and as you can see, now my picture looks straight.


Lesson 4:

The first introduction of foreshortened objects is with the cube. Now I know you’re looking at my pictures, and thinking “wow that’s a really straight line,”. Day 4, lesson 4True story, I couldn’t draw a straight line if my life depended on it. This is why instead of getting all flustered trying to make my line straight and even I decided to use a ruler. I’m learning and I have to “train” my brain and body to do certain things, drawing a straight line just happens to be one of them. Remember do what works for you, no matter what you’re trying to teach yourself, there is no end-all, be-all way to learn how to do something especially in the art world.


Lesson 5:

Day 5, Lesson 5Now this is where you actually get a sort of diagram to work with, when implementing a foreshortened object. I’m still having trouble grasping this and I can’t figure out why. I mean my box looks open and has a 3-D feel to it, but this took me a minute to sketch out. I used my ruler a lot with this, guiding the lines and measuring my angles. Now I said this isn’t about perfection, and I meant it, but with sketches like this how far off you are depends on whether or you’re sketch makes since in the end. Plus remember I’m training myself to be able to sketch straight lines and angles as well.


Lesson 6:

Stacking tables, now as you can see this one came out a little top heavy. I had a hard time working with the bottom, Day 6, Lesson 6because for whatever reason I couldn’t figure it out. Don’t ask me, what it was about this lesson that stumped me, the book is pretty straight forward with this one, but I don’t know. I have to go through this lesson again and see where I went wrong. I think I’m taking the entire foreshortened concept a little too seriously though. I’m so focused on having things point in the right direction that I’m not enjoying or taking in much at this point. I’m going to start drawing the basic foreshortened square first to get me in the right mind set.


Lesson 7:

Okay can I just tell you that this took me like an hour to do, and all because I got distracted and skipped a step! A little step but it completely changed the entire sketch once I figured it out. Which brings me to a realization that I need to slow down and not try to rush through the lessons. Yes, Kistler says that they should take you only 20 minutes a day, but sometimes taking an extra 10 minutes or even stopping walking away for a minute and then coming back can do you a world of good as well. The next part that stumped me was the slides at the bottom, I could figure out what I had done wrong but I decided to close my sketchbook and not dwell on it. I was re-reading the lesson when I realized, highlighted in bright green, Remember: Beware of tendency to droop the bottom line. No drooping! Well that answered that question, and many others with some of my shadowing and shading as well. Going through and reading something for a second time is always a good idea, even if it’s not super important the one thing you skipped over could be helpful later on down the line.

Day 7, Lesson 7


Well there it is that’s my first week of having a plan, and teaching myself something new. How do you guys take on and learn new task. What are some of your tips and tricks?

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