Easy Abstract Circle Art

For me painting is the perfect relaxation. Sitting quietly by myself with my paints creating washes or drawing lines gives me a great chance to practice mindfulness. I find automatic mark making very therapeutic. I often hear people share that they wish to make art but they do not feel that they have the skill. Perhaps you can relate to that?  Perhaps you would like to try to paint but that little niggling voice of self doubt stops you before you have even picked up a brush.  I strongly believe that you do not need to create something technical or complicated to access the benefits of artistic mark making. Anybody can make art if they just let themselves try.

I am always keen to find ways to encourage creativity in people and especially in those that do not believe that they are  artists. This abstract circle painting is really simple and easy to create even for those who insist that they are not creative. It would look lovely framed on wall or given as a gift to a loved one. Try it and you may surprise yourself.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:

  • A sheet of watercolour paper

  • A set of watercolour paints

  • A brush

  • A pencil

  • 2 or more circular objects of different diameters

Step One: Place one of your circular objects (a bowel or glass would work great) down on the paper and draw round it lightly with a pencil. Repeat this several times over the page

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Step Two: Continue as with step one but this time with your second circular object. Make sure that the circles that you are drawing overlap in places linking your design together.

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Your page should now look similar to mine below.

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Step Three: Now try to see your sketch as a big circular colouring in page. Wet your brush and select a colour. Begin painting each segment on your page with your watercolours.  Be as neat or as messy as you like. For a bold, controlled look paint directly onto the dry page. For a lighter, looser wash effect try painting your circles with water first before adding the paint. Experiment and have fun - after all you can always start again if you are not happy.

Paint each separate shape on your page a different colour to the one next to it. I find it is quite nice to leave a small white border between each colour to make each shape stand out. To create a vibrant colourful painting select as many different colours as possible or if you wish you could limit your palette to three or four colours. How would this painting look using different shades of the same colour? The choice is yours.


Step Four: Once finished you can take an eraser and carefully rub out the pencil line guides to neaten up your painting to finish.

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How did you get on? Tweet me your finished abstract circle paintings to @jmpartmama. I would love to see them.

Try this tutorial later. Pin it.

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Spring Tulip Painting Tutorial

The weather this last few days has really picked up here, we have clear skies and sunshine. The flowers in my garden have started to bloom. Blossom on the trees, proud and tall daffodils, little purple crocuses. Spring is such a beautiful time of year where nature begins to reawaken after the cold dead winter. Spring feels like starting a fresh. It always feels like such a relief for me when we turn that seasonal corner.

Recently I have been buying a lot of tulips to decorate my home with. My local shop sells them relatively cheaply and I love their pretty flowers and bold stems. Such an easy seasonal way to brighten up our shelves.

This spring tulip painting tutorial is a lovely crafty way to bring a bit of tulip inspired spring into your home.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:

  • A square white canvas

  • A selection of paint brushes

  • A selection of acrylic paints  (red, white, blue, green, brown and black)

  • Water

  • A palette

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Step One - Using a photo as a guide if you need to, sketch onto your canvas your composition. If you will struggle with this part try printing your photograph and drawing round the shapes of the flowers with a marker to highlight the shapes for you. An an example of this technique can be found in my sunflower painting tutorial.

I have chosen to simplify each tulip here, reducing them to just 3 petals each and a few leaves.

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Step Two - Neatly paint the petals pink with a small brush.

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Step Three - Next mix a light leaf colour green and neatly paint the stems and leaves of your tulips. I think it looks best if you vary the shade of green slightly on the stems and then the leaves to offer a bit of contrast here. Experiment and find what you personally like.

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Step Four - Mix a pale blue for the sky and paint the top majority of the remaining white canvas. Wet your brush frequently here. Leave a section at the bottom unpainted for the foliage.

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Step Five - To fill the bottom of the canvas take a selection of green, brown and white paint. Dip your brush into your paint and dab it point down repeatedly on your painting. Mix the white with your green and brown to create different shades.

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Step Six - Take a clean dry brush and dip it lightly in white paint. Drag the brush roughly all over your blue background leaving a rough textured effect. I know, right now you probably feel like you are ruining your painting. Don't worry, this layer will just add a bit of depth to the sky later on.

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Step Seven - Now to add some contrast to your tulip flower heads. Mix a pink that is darker then the shade of your petals by adding a bit more red to it. Paint this colour on your petals sparingly where the petals meet each other, to the base of the flower head and in the center. Take a lighter pink and white and add highlights where the sun would be catching the tips of the petals

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Step Eight -  To finish the sky mix a light blue paint, mix this with plenty of water on your brush to dilute the paint and paint onto the existing blue area in a wash. Repeat this until you have good coverage.

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Step Nine - Finally with a light pink  paint add a few distant flowers into the background with a small brush. If you wish you could also add  few black and bold shadows to make your tulips pop out from the background, although this isn't necessary if you would prefer a more subtle look.

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Your painting is now ready to hang on your wall or to sit brightening up your shelves. A touch of spring to make you smile all day long.

Like this tutorial? Take a moment and share it on Pinterest .

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How did you get on? I would love to see your finished tulip paintings. Tweet them to me @jmpartmama 

Sunflower Painting Tutorial

Autumn has arrived now and soon we will leave all the beautiful and bright summer blooms behind. Gold rusty leaves take their place.  I love the shades of autumn and its pretty crisp discarded leaves but I will miss the bold colours of the summer until next year.

One of my favorite summer flowers is the sunflower. There is something about its giant seed head, simple shape and vibrant yellow hue that is just so happy. To me the sunflower flower is the smiley face of summer.

Now that Autumn is here and the winter is slowly approaching why not keep hold of a little bit of that summer happiness, (handmade of course), in your home or work space? This mini sunflower painting tutorial is simple and ideal for beginners. Give it a try.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:

  • A selection of acrylic paints - brown, white, yellow, blue, red and black. You could also use ready mixed green or orange if you wish.

  • Paint brushes

  • Water

  • Small canvas

  • A pencil

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Step One -  Using your pencil carefully sketch half a sunflower flower onto one side of your canvas. If you are not confident about your drawing skills reduce the flower to simple shapes to help you achieve this. A sunflower flower at its simplest consists of a circular head in the centre surrounded by slightly pointed oblong petals. I have marked out the basic shapes on a print out of my reference image to use as a guide.

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Once you have sketched out your design you are ready to begin painting.

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Step Two -Squeeze out some yellow paint. Using a small brush paint the petals of your sunflower yellow. Don't forget to paint the edges of the canvas. This isn't essential but I think it makes the whole canvas neater and better presented.

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Step Three -  Paint the background with a light green colour using a medium sized brush. You can use a shop bought green paint here or you could mix your own using yellow, blue and white.

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Step Four -  Paint the flower head a deep brown with your small brush.  You now have the base colours finished and ready to work back into.

At this point it is best to leave your painting to dry for a while before continuing.  

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Step Five - Outline each petal with your brown paint and a fine paintbrush. Apply the paint thicker in some areas and leave others only lightly outlined. Dry your brush and then apply small amounts of brown paint to the base of the inner petals to give each petal some depth. Keep your brush dry and drag the paint along to create a rough texture as you do this.

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Step Six - To add the texture to the seed head, mix together an orange paint using red and yellow. Do not completely blend the paint together to make an even colour - instead leave some of the yellow and the red unmixed. Dip a small dry brush into the paint making sure your brush is heavily loaded. Now press the brush straight down firmly onto your canvas and lift away again. You should see the paint lifting up leaving a thick texture as your brush leaves the canvas. Repeat this technique over the whole flower head.

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Step Seven - Now for the background. Using a darker shade of green gradually dry brush over your base coat. I used quite a small brush here to leave plenty of marks on the canvas. You can then go over sections with a wet brush to blend areas together. Use your wet brush quite sporadically leaving plenty of dry brushed texture behind

Step Eight - To finish add some white highlights along your petals. Dab some white into your seed head and dry brush a little here and there into the background. Taking a small amount of black paint and a very thin brush marginally outline a select few petals for contrast.

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Your mini sunflower painting is now finished and ready to hang.

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How did you get on? Tweet me your finished sunflower paintings @jmpartmama.

This tutorial is the first in a series of easy floral painting projects I wish to share with you over the up and coming months. Subscribe to my blog and receive creative tutorials and inspiration straight to your inbox.

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Wet On Wet Ink Flower Tutorial

 love experimenting with wet inks or watercolours on wet backgrounds. There is something quite therapeutic about letting go and giving the control of a piece of artwork over to spontaneity and chance. I love the delicate lines created when ink is left to softly bleed and disperse across a page and the softened shapes this process creates.

Here is an easy tutorial walking you through how to draw a simple flower using wet ink on a wet background. You can see for yourself how fun, free and rewarding this drawing technique is.

MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED:

  • A bottle of ink (I have used green but you could use any colour you wish)

  • White paper

  • sponge brush or small sponge

  • A paint brush with a rounded end

  • White acrylic paint

  • A black fine liner pen

  • Small piece of card or folded paper

  • A pot of water

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Step one: Wet the sponge and paint the water across your paper to make a wet surface to work on top of.

Step two: Dip your brush into your ink to begin painting the petals. Think a wavy oval with a pointed end. If you need guidance work with a photograph of a flower you like in front of you to remind you of the petal shape you are aiming for. You should notice the ink bleeding as you apply it to the wet surface.

Step three: Complete the flower by adding more petals in a semi-circle arrangement. Each petal should meet together at a point at the bottom of the flower head where the stem will be. Once you have drawn in your petals you can add several staman coming out of the centre of the flower like a Lilly to make the flower seem delicate or ornate.

As you apply the wet ink on the wet paper the ink will run, disperse and separate. This is the effect that you want. Some lines will stay thin while others will spread thick. Experiment with different brush strokes and using a dry verses a very wet brush for different effects.

Step four: Once your flower head is complete draw in a stem coming from the base where the petals meet. At this point you can also add leaves coming from the stem as you wish.

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Step five: Once you have finished outlining your flower with the wet brush turn your brush around and dip the round handle end into your ink. You can now work your way back through your flower here and there adding darker and bolder lines. You will notice that because the hard end of your brush does not absorb much water the lines you draw like this do not run or spread as much allowing you to define certain areas of your drawing.

Step six: By now your paper should have dried off somewhat. Pick up your sponge again and dab a bit more water on the paper around the flower to re-wet the page.

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Step seven: Next is, in my opinion, a super fun bit. Take your piece of thick card or alternatively fold a piece of paper into a thick wedge. Dip your paint brush into the ink and then flick your brush off of the edge of your card in the direction of your artwork. This should be quite messy and will spread little ink dots all over the page. The ink will bleed in places when it hits wet parts of the drawing creating a varied speckle effect. This process should be spontaneous so try not to think about it too much as you leave the marks on the page. Just go with the flow.

Here is how your drawing should look so far. Please do not expect your work to look exactly like this one. The reason why ink drawing wet on wet is so fun is that it is loose and sporadic. Each drawing you create using this process will look very different even if you attempt to make it exactly the same.

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Step eight: Squirt a small amount of white acrylic paint onto your palette or onto a scrap piece of paper. Using the handle end of your brush, dip your brush into the paint and drag the white across different areas of your drawing picking out highlights and defining shape. Apply the paint thickly here creating interesting texture and adding more depth to your work.

Step nine: Finally, using a thin black fine liner pen pick out areas of shadow. No need to go overboard here, I quite liked this drawing before I added the black detail and feel this step is fairly optional.

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Your wet on wet ink drawing is now finished and ready for you to frame, hang or do with as you wish. I hope you enjoyed following this ink flower tutorial. I would love to see your finished drawings.

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Are you interesting in more floral craft project tutorials? If so please check out this lovely list of 12 fabulous floral craft ideas for you to try. 

Short of time right now? Why not pin this tutorial for a later date?

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10 Beautifully Simple Watercolour Tutorials

Recently I have been experimenting with a little set of watercolour paints, the results of which, so far, can be found here and here. I love the delicate nature of this medium and the lovely wash like effects you can create. There is so much scope in watercolour and so much room for creativity and experimentation.

Here is a selection of simple yet beautifully effective watercolour tutorials I have enjoyed over the past few weeks. All of these tutorials are easy to follow and act as a perfect introduction to painting with watercolours.

Firstly an inspiring and basic leaf tutorial from Lucy Akins on ehow. This tutorial is very simple, the technique is very effective and is perfect for beginners.

A beautiful flower tutorial from a piece of rainbow. This is a personal favourite of mine. The design taught here can be easily achieved by a beginner, is eye catching and professional looking once finished.

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This simple stencil tutorial from Grow Creative is great fun and could easily be adapted as a children's art activity.

A highly effective splatter watercolour tree tutorial from Lyndsey Bugbee at the postman knocks. The technique to creating these trees is super easy, plenty of fun and ideal for anyone, even someone who is adamant that they just can not create art.

Another cute tutorial from Grow Creative, this time teaching you how to paint a lovely watercolour pineapple. This tutorial is one from a series of watercolour fruit tutorials all simple and easily explained. A great set to work your way through.

Here is a highly creative watercolour bloom tutorial by Alsia Burke. Contemporary in style this tutorial walks you through creating a bright and vibrant bloom of flowers that will really stand out.

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A super simple calligraphy tutorial from Melissa Esplin that teaches you how to add the perfect touch to letters and greeting cards.

Here is a delicate flower tutorial by Anna Maria Locke published on a postman knocks. This tutorial teaches you how to paint single, or if you wish bunches of ornate flowers and floral patterns. Ideal for wedding invitations.

Beautifully simple and creative landscape and cityscape paintings by the artist women. Perfect for documenting your holiday or your travels in an art journal.

And finally a lovely positive and negative flower shape tutorial by Susie Short. This easy to follow tutorial guides you through painting a delicate countryside flower bed. This one is a little more complicated but still relatively simple and beautifully effective. A must for anybody wishing to sharpen their traditional watercolour painting skills.

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Enjoyed these tutorials? Why not pin them for later

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12 Fabulous Flower Crafts

One of the things I love about summer is the array of colour and intricate shapes that lines our gardens, parks and hedgerows. I love flowers. I love their delicate nature, their vibrancy and their connection with reproduction and life. They lift my mood and fill me with inspiration on a daily basis. I am always looking for ways to bring those feelings into my home.

I am looking forward to bringing you some of my own tutorials in the near future. Unfortunately being heavily pregnant has meant that many of my ideas are currently on hold while I instead achieve a combination of feeling exhausted and slowly nest for my baby. In the mean time I have put together another list for you of tutorials and projects from other bloggers that have left me feeling inspired over the last couple of weeks, this time with a floral craft theme.

Firstly here is a tutorial that teaches you how to create a set of delicate watercolour paper flowers for your home by Kelli Murray. These flowers are charmingly elegant  and would look stunning on a dresser in the hallway (in the house with the big hallway I am yet to own.)

Here is a fun fabric flower pin sewing project by Blue Cricket Design. This tutorial teaches you how to make your own bold floral accompaniment to any outfit.

This is a lovely, creative, metallic pressed flower phone case from Studs and Pearls, a unique way to decorate your phone or music player.

An easy to follow, step by step Iris painting tutorial by Flower Patch Farmhouse. This tutorial teaches you how to paint an Iris using a highly effective one-stoke brush technique.

Here are some beautiful yet simple flower transfer bookmarks from Woods of bell trees.

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A very pretty pressed flower mobile from Twig and Toadstool. I just love this. It seems fairly simple to make if you follow the step by step tutorial and would make the perfect handmade gift.

Here is one to make with the children. A lovely flower petal stained glass window from The Artful Parent. Beautiful if you have a sun facing glass window door in your house but still an adaptable project that can be used for any window. Involve your child by encouraging them to help you lay out the petals on the contact paper.

Getting Married? Here is a beautiful felt flower bouquet tutorial from Something Turquoise. These felt flowers would make a lovely crafty alternative to a traditional flower bouquet.

Felt Flower Wedding Bouquet by Something Turquoise. Photography by Studio Eleven Weddings[/caption]

Here is a tutorial that teaches you how to make a beautifully delicate tissue paper cherry blossom from Sarahndipities. Reminiscent of spring these lovely cherry blossoms would brighten up any dresser.

For anybody interested in crafting jewelry here is a tutorial that walks you through, step by step, how to make flower pressed polymer clay beads from Art Jewelry Elements.

Here is a decoupage vintage french flower seed tray from a Girl in the Garage. I adore this and I am definitely going to collect some images to create something similar for my new kitchen. I have some vintage gardening books upstairs. Maybe something from those?

Finally here is a super fun bubble paint flowers activity from A Piece of Rainbow. These flowers are really easy, really enjoyable and really effective.

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Bubble Paint Flowers by A Piece of Rainbow[/caption]


Do you have a tutorial you would like to share with the readers of my blog? I accept guest posts on variety of art and handmade subjects. For more information please 
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