Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Pro Arte: Watercolour beginners brush guide

Pro Arte
 Here’s one for the watercolour painters out there. Take a look at our guide to create a basic set of brushes for beginners.

1: Flat brush. A great brush for blocking in small areas of colours and creating different marks.
2: Round Brush. Use smaller versions of this brush for detail and larger versions to block in colour.
3: Rigger. Great for detail, I use small versions of this brush that only have a few hairs to paint super-fine details.
4: Long Flat or Wash Brush. Use this brush to create washes and cover large areas. This brush can hold a lot of water and is ideal for  blocking in large areas of vivid colour.

Our Tip: Visit your local art shop and see what brushes and starter sets they have to offer!

There are many different types of brushes you can use to create various effects. To find out more information please visit:

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Create your own Easter Egg Hunt!

Easter Egg Hunt!
Create your very own Easter Egg Hunt with these simple steps!
1. Print a selection of coordinating A4 Easter Papers onto card. 
2.Using one of the Papers create a square card blank. Cut a corner section out of a second paper and attach to the card blank using thin strips of double sided tape to create a pocket.
3. Cut out a Chick Topper and attach in the pocket with foam pads. 
4. Matt two Easter Sentiments onto the Easter papers and attach to the card with double sided tape.
5. Cut out and fold all of the Easter Tags with optional decoupage elements. Write your Easter Egg Hunt clues in each tag then arrange inside the pocket.
Why not hide the chocolates in our Curious Critters Easter Boxes

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Creating Digital Art

Creating Digital Art
1.    Using my Wacom drawing tablet Adobe Photoshop software I begin work on a new commission. I start in Photoshop by creating a new layer for the sketch and set the Layer Mode to Multiply. You can reduce the layer Transparency to make it easier to see the layers underneath as the painting progresses.  
2.    Next I create a new layer for the background and begin blocking in the colour. After the background is roughly rendered I add several new layers for the blues, whites and greys of the whale.
3.    As the whale begins to take shape I begin to merge the layers. The amount of layers I use always depends on the artwork. I then add further detail to the background and foreground elements to bring the whole piece together. 
4.    To finish I add a few final details and then flatten the image. I save the document as a PDF in CMYK ready for print. Make sure you keep a layered copy just in case you need to make amendments!

Our Tip: Don’t work with too many layers, keep your process simple and improve your workflow.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Any Eggscuse for Chocolate...

Easter ChickEaster Rabbit  & Easter Egg Gift Box ideas
These adorable gift boxes are a great Easter projects not just to give to the children, 
but also to create with them!

Any Eggscuse for Chocolate...
1. Print the Easter Egg Box onto card. Cut out the template and score along the dotted lines using a score board and bone folder.
2. If you wish, keep the contents inside as a hidden surprise. Optionally, cut out a shape on the front panel of the box and place a strip of acetate inside using double sided tape. I have created an egg shape on one box to showcase the mini eggs inside.
 3. Assemble the box using double sided tape.
4. Fill the gift box with your chosen goodies leaving enough space to close the flap. Either seal shut using double sided tape, or create a fasten using ribbon or a craft magnet.
 5. Cut out some of the additional tags from the sheet. Pierce a hole in each tag and thread a strip of coordinating ribbon through. Tie the ribbon around the box to attach, or pierce a hole through the box threading the ribbon through and tie in a bow.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Art Masking Fluid

Windsor & Newton Art Masking Fluid
Here’s one for the watercolour artists out there. Have you ever had trouble trying to leave areas of your canvas unpainted as you frantically apply your wash?
Use masking fluid to gently cover the areas you want to leave unpainted and wait for the fluid to set. Next, apply your wash or area of colour and wait till the paint is dry. Then gently remove the masking fluid to reveal the area you originally masked. You will now be able to paint the previously masked area or simply leave it as a highlight.

Our Tip: use a pipette to apply small areas of masking fluid to your canvas and use kitchen paper to remove it.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

White Rabbits...

Hippity Hoppity Easters on its Way
1. Fold an a4 sheet in half to create an A5 card blank
2. Print off two coordinating Easter Papers and back half of each onto the card blank . Attach a ribbon strip or fine border peel off to cover where the papers align.
3. Print the Curious Critters Easter Cut Up Sheet. Cut out the elements and create an Easter egg basket attaching the eggs inside using double sided tape. I also added some pretty wire flowers and a bow to add dimension. Arrange the toppers onto your card with foam pads. 
4. Print and matt an Easter sentiment onto some more of the coordinating Easter papers. Attach to your card with foam pads.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Children’s Book Character Proposal

Children’s Book Character Proposal
 Here’s a look at some dinosaur characters proposed for an upcoming children’s book.
To see more of our children’s illustration please visit:
 If you would like to discuss a project please contact us.