Ep 45 Creative Chat with Illustrator and Urban Sketcher Lynne Chapman

 Ep 45 Creative Chat with Illustrator and Urban Sketcher Lynne Chapman

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Today’s guest is Illustrator and Urban Sketcher Lynne Chapman. Lynne has had a fascinating career and lots of tips to share if you’re an aspiring illustrator. But what made us reach out to Lynne was her amazing urban sketching. As you may know Sandra and I are both working on improving our sketching on location and whenever I’d google “urban sketching tips” Lynne’s name would pop up. So if you’re interested in illustration or urban sketching I think you’ll really enjoy this interview.

Originally Lynne wanted to be a painter, but it worked out that illustration was a better fit. She has had lots of interesting twists and turns to her career. After many years of working as an illustrator, she is now lucky enough to make her living from sketch (how cool is that!)

urban sketching materials

Lynne’s urban sketching kit

Lynne talks about

  • How she trained in Printed Textile Design, but then made the change into illustration
  • How she moved from illustrating greeting cards, to editorial work, and eventually to children’s illustration.
  • Tips for drawing things from your imagination. Lynne also has an online course for creating Children’s Characters
  • The value of keeping sketchbooks (she has over 200)
  • How she started urban sketching and how that developed over the years
  • The materials she recommends for urban sketching – Lynne also has a fantastic book about sketching people
  • How she now makes her living Urban Sketching

Lynne Chapman – Urban Sketching Mine section

Urban sketch fire engine

Urban sketch fire engine

Lynne talking about illustrating traditionally rather than digitally

I’m always getting emails from people who want to want to do children’s book illustration. And they asked me what software I use. And they were worried because they don’t know how to use the software. And you know, they think they need to learn it. And I’m always able to reassure them that actually learning illustration is a hard enough challenge on its own, you really don’t need to layer over the top of that, learning this kind of new media if you’re not all, if you’re not already okay with it. So it’s not necessary to do it digitally. And quite a lot of illustrators actually are still not even techie that we’re a funny bunch, actually.

Lynne Illustrating Jungle Grumble

Lynne Illustrating Jungle Grumble

Lynne talking about when she joined the Urban Sketchers Group

…I saw people using watercolour, and I’d never been able to paint. And I’d never learned how to use watercolour. And every time you get a book on how to use watercolour, it’s all about stretching paper and laying layers down. And it’s all very complicated and, you know, slow. And I’m incredibly impatient. And I couldn’t be doing with any of that. So I never painted with colour, and then I saw this stuff. And there are all these people just they’re not doing any of that they’re just chucking paint over paper and drawing all over it. And I thought, oh my god, you can do that. It’s allowed So I started to experiment with colours.

And from the moment I joined Urban Sketchers, I started to draw and colour, either using watercolours, or the other thing I discovered was something that I still use all the time is Derwent Inktense pens, pencils. Because on a train, you can’t really be using watercolours. It’s a bit of a kind of a faff. And, yeah, you don’t want to be tipping paint over anybody or paint water. So I use these pencils, which were, they bought coloured pencils, but they’re not like watercolour pencils you’ve ever used before. They’re sort of like watercolour pencils on acid, you know.

Lyne Chapman RHB urban sketching beach-painting

Lynne sketching on Robin Hood’s Bay Beach

 

Lynne's Textiles - crazy plastic

Lynne’s Textiles – crazy plastic

Find out more about Lynne Chapman

Lynne Chapman - Very Warm Welcome

Lynne Chapman – Very Warm Welcome

 


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Art Supplies Mystery Box – Create an Art Subscription Style Box for a Friend

Have you ever seen Youtubers open mystery boxes of art supplies? You know the ones; the monthly boxes containing mystery art supplies, which they then forget to cancel!

So, we thought, why not create our own mystery art supplies boxes and then send them to each other? How fun!

Why not try it yourself? Pair up with a friend, set a budget and send each other a mystery box of art supplies of your own choosing.

We set a budget of just £5, so we could only purchase really cheap art materials. In this video, Sandra is opening the art box that Tara created for her. She pretends to look pleased when secretly I think she thinks it’s the worst art subscription box ever… And now she has to try them out!

the worst art subscription box

The great thing about an art supplies box that someone else creates for you is that it forces you to try out new art materials and experiment with art materials you may not have tried before.

mystery art supplies painting with cheap gouache

Tools Used

This homemade art subscription-style box contained:

+ Cheap gouache paint From The Works 
+ Watercolour Paper and Kraft paper from Hobbycraft
+ Wax crayons from Wilkinsons
+ Patterned Paper from The Works
+ Rubbish Music book that Tara owned
+ 1 x Werther (sugar-free)

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

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Pomodoro Technique – How to Maintain Focus on Your Drawing

In this video, we make a suggestion for maintaining focus on your drawing using the Pomodoro technique. This technique is a series of blocks of focussed time and breaks. It’s also a good idea as it stops you sitting or standing on one position for too long, which could make your back hurt.

Tools Used

+ White Nights Watercolours – https://fave.co/2PLESAN
+ Meeden Watercolour Tin – https://fave.co/2zVpBT2
= Digital Kitchen Timer – https://fave.co/32u7LCX

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

We release a new Art Kick Sunday video every week. You can find them here

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Ep 44 Urban Sketching – How to plan a successful sketching trip

Ep 44 Urban Sketching Trip

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Today we are talking about the importance of going out specifically to sketch from life, and how to plan a successful trip.

Obviously, not everyone can dedicate a whole day to sketching on a regular basis. It might be that you can only spare your lunch hours at work, but we can talk about ‘snatching time to sketch’ in a future episode. Today we are focussing on arranging a dedicated sketching day trip.

We forgot to mention on the podcast that there is a website http://www.urbansketchers.org/ and Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/urbansketchers/ dedicated to urban sketching around the world. If you live near a city, you might be lucky enough to find a group near you.

Some of the things we discuss:

  • Whether you want to sketch alone or with other people, including organising local sketching meetups.
  • Where to sketch
  • What to take with you, from art materials to something to sit on
  • What sort of bag you might want to use
  • What to wear
  • Planning what you want to achieve
  • Apps to help you plan your sketching trip – Rome to Rio, GPS my City, Find my Friends App iOS and Android 
  • Getting deals on travel – Groupon, Tesco Club Card deals on Hotels.com

And we also talk about getting those warm-up sketches out of the way. In fact, every time you do a sketch you don’t like, just call it a warm-up! Oh and Sandra thinks it’s important to mention, not to forget your tampons. She doesn’t even have a weird use for them like some of the suggestions she had in our Art Tips Podcast!

If you enjoy the podcast you can support us by buying us a coffee. We want to make a coffee froth moustache.

This week’s creative question

Q. If you could go urban sketching anywhere, where would it be and why?

If you could go urban sketching anywhere, where would it be and why?

The best answers will be read out on the next joint podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

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If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.

 


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Brush Pen Drawing Tutorial Using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

I this video we show how versatile a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen is. By altering pressure you can create thick ad thin lines. Sandra demonstrates how she draws with a Pentel Pocket brush pen. She used to hate it but now loves using it.

Tools Used

+ Pentel Pocket Brush Pen – https://fave.co/2PCM95N

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

We release a new Art Kick Sunday video every week. You can find them here

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Toned Paper Drawing Tutorial

In this video, we show you how effective it can be drawing on toned paper. We demonstrate a quick sketch on tan toned paper and a longer drawing using Inktense Pencils on cream tinted watercolour paper.

Tools Used

+ Bockingford Tinted Watercolour paper – https://fave.co/2PAVF9s
+ Daler Cachet Tan – https://fave.co/2HBOnvO
+ Sharpie White Markers – https://fave.co/32mVyQo
+ Inktense Pencils – https://fave.co/2HDrYy4
+ Molotow All 4 One White Marker – https://fave.co/2PAiUAI

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

We release a new Art Kick Sunday video every week. You can find them here

Don’t forget to Subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell to be alerted on all our new videos.

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If you would like to support us and help us cover the cost of website and podcast hosting, you can buy us a coffee. Thank you

Now you Can Buy us a Coffee!

 

About Kick in the Creatives…

Our goal has always been to encourage people to be more creative, whatever age or level; that’s why we started Kick in the Creatives.

Aside from our blog, we have a website, which is where you can find all of the popular online creative challenges, including four challenges of our own a month for you to choose from. Each challenge is designed to help improve your skills and to help you form a creative habit. Alongside the site is our wonderful Facebook group, where you can connect with over 1000 other creatives. It is the most friendly and supportive group and a lovely place to share your work.

We also host a fortnightly podcast, where we talk about all things arty. We share tips, talk about our own experiences, interview lots of amazing artists and writers and above all, it’s very light-hearted and fun! And finally, we have a YouTube channel, where we share our ‘Art Kick Sunday’s.’ Each Sunday, we release a new video with all sorts of demonstrations and experiments for you to try… but they do have a fun and entertaining ‘twist’ to them!

Now there is a way that you can Help Support Us…

Of course, all of this takes a huge amount of time and hard work! But we LOVE doing what we do and we hope you love it just as much! If you do, there is now a simple way of helping to support KITC. You can support us at Ko-Fi!

By ‘buying us a coffee’, you are helping us to cover just a little of our website and podcast hosting costs and it really is a HUGE help to us. In return, we can’t currently offer anything else aside from what we already do, other than a warm fuzzy feeling, knowing that you have helped us to keep it all going. There is absolutely no obligation, but, if you do choose to buy us a coffee, we want to say a HUGE thank you! Your support means the world!

 

Ep 43 Creative Chat With Artist and illustrator Barbara Johansen Newman

ep43 podcast Artist and illustrator Barbara Johansen Newman

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Today’s creative guest is artist and illustrator Barbara Johansen Newman from www.johansennewman.com

Johansen Newman - Year of the Rooster

Johansen Newman – Year of the Rooster

Barbara has had a fascinating career from puppetry to illustration to licensing. And now she has gone back to her first love which is painting. What is interesting about Barbara’s art is that although her figurative paintings are interesting in themselves, she builds a world around them using found objects and by painting on unusual surfaces.

Johansen Newman - Pilot

Johansen Newman – Pilot

Barbara talks about

  • How she started drawing in her crib (yes she was born to be an artist)
  • How she initially went to a private art college, which turned out to be a bad match for her
  • How she got involved in creating puppets and became a puppeteer
  • How she transitioned from creating puppets to illustration and writing children’s books
  • Why she has come back to her first love which is painting and where she gets her inspiration
  • Her advice on doodling and keeping sketchbooks
  • What inspired her to use found materials in her art
  • Her tips for discovering your art style
Johansen Newman - She Who Wears the Color

Johansen Newman – She Who Wears the Color

Find out more about Barbara

Recent work and works in progress get shared on Instagram at  https://www.instagram.com/johansennewman/

Barbara’s website: www.johansennewman.com

Barbara’s Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/JohansenNewmanART

Johansen Newman - Family Portrait

Johansen Newman – Family Portrait

Barbara also kindly answered our initial podcast questions in text form which you can read by clicking below.

To see Barbara's answers in writing click here

When did your love for drawing begin?

This will seem somewhat unbelievable, but I actually started drawing in my crib. My mother used to give me crayons and let me go to town on the wall. It was an older house so she didn’t mind at all. Some years later I happened to visit that house and, sure enough, my scribbles were still on the wall.

Did you take the traditional route and go to art college?

I started out going to a private college, having applied to and gotten into their art program. It was near NYC and I wanted access to the museums. It turned out to be a bad match. I just wanted to draw and paint and everything back then (talking early 70s here) was conceptual art, especially in that school. So I came home and took almost all art classes at a local community college for a year. That was wonderful. I drew, I painted, I did printmaking, and I made sculpture. And many of my teachers were actually professional artists, fairly well known in their fields. Some would drive up from New York (where their studios were) to teach. What I thought I would get in the private college I really got in the NY State community college, for next to nothing in tuition. After that year I made plans to transfer to another school. I got into Parsons in NYC and into the State University at Buffalo. I ended up in Buffalo.

You started your career in a puppet theatre. Can you tell us a bit about that and what made you change direction and go into illustration?

While was going to the community college I was teaching part-time at a school. There I met a fellow teacher who was a puppeteer. I ended up driving into New York with her several times a week to study at the Bil Baird Theater in the Village. When I transferred up to Buffalo I began performing with my husband in that area. We were often hired to perform at craft fairs and so I began to make puppets and dolls to sell at those fairs. Eventually, all I did was create the soft sculptures. When we moved to Boston, I just wanted to draw and paint again. Illustration was something I had intended to study at Parsons. So I spent some time creating work for a portfolio and then I pounded the pavement looking for work—literally. There was no internet back then. You had to take your “book” around to get work. I pursued both the children’s book market and the editorial market. Ultimately, my first illustration work was editorial.

How did you go about creating your characters?

When I was in that community college for a year, there was a wonderful professor who was the head of the art department. One day he gave me advice that I have followed to this day. “Barbara,” he said, “Draw from your head.” And I do. I almost always start out with blank paper and a pencil and just draw figures and faces that come out of the blue. Even when I am working on portraits of specific people, I first do pencil sketches from my imagination.

You also wrote three of your own children’s books. What made you decide to do that and how did you find the process?

I have always enjoyed writing to some extent (blogged for years), but I began focusing on children’s books because I wanted to create my own venues for illustrating. It was as simple as that. I will say this: of all my artistic endeavors, the kids’ book market was/is the most challenging and often the most artistically stifling. I‘m glad I did it (worked in the field for about 20 years) but I am very happy to have that world behind me.

You later moved on to design, licensing and finally painting, which you describe as your first love. What made you venture away from illustration and what is it about painting in particular that you love so much?

In the end, I find that I am my own best art editor. I love the freedom of creating what I want to create without worrying about specs and art direction. That is actually how the doll work was for me, as well. I made what my heart told me to make, then sold it. Licensing was a little bit of that; I did the patterns I wanted to do and then found the market to sell them to. Now that I am painting I am happier than ever. I love putting paint on a surface and I am never without an idea for a new piece. Ironically, though, I do check out the “Calls for Art” on various sites. Sometimes I will even paint something that might fit the bill for the show theme. And, of course, those applications have deadlines. So in some ways, I have put restrictions on myself again. Old habits die hard.

You work is mainly figurative. What draws you to painting people?

The figure has always fascinated me. Even as a doll maker, I loved creating the persona of a character and then presenting it. I’m enamored with the details that distinguish one person from another. I am also a storyteller at heart. Figures hint at a narrative yet to be told.

Do you use reference images as a starting point to your work or are they completely from imagination?

I always work from my imagination to start. If I need reference, I find it afterwards.

I read that you love to draw and paint listening to books, movies, or TV in the background. How do you feel that helps you?

I like to work from my heart and gut instead of from my head. Do you find that you do the best doodles while talking on the phone? I do. It’s the same concept. I try to create from a place that is instinctual, rather than something I think too much about. I do my best work that way. I’ll listen to

anything sometimes, but I now love Podcasts like yours and others. And I love great books. It just takes me away and the painting or drawing seems to emerge from some subconscious place inside of me. I’ll even listen to junky TV. For a while I listened to every ghost hunting television program known to man.

You use found materials and different surfaces in your work, please can you talk us through your process?

Right now I am starting first with my painting idea then deciding on the frame and embellishments afterwards. I prefer to paint on a hard surface, so almost always use either wood or a wood panel. If I work on a canvas tarp, I pin it against a hard surface. My husband helps me build the frame I design. For some of the earlier pieces, I created the frames first then the painting afterwards. But often, something would need to be added to the frame to complement the painting. Sometimes the frame and the painting are worked on at the same time, and one informs the other.

What inspired you to use found materials, can you remember the first piece you created that way?

An artist friend whose work we have collected and who created an installation on our kitchen first inspired me. He showed me ways to take the antique dough boards I was using and make them unique. He made me think outside the box when it came to found objects and materials. The first piece created this way was the larger painting with the sled runners on the side, which he created with me. After that, I did not want to return to unaltered canvas or surfaces.

Your style is very distinct, has your style changed and developed over time?

My painting work has become more like my early editorial illustration work in that it’s edgier and tighter. My paintings from around 2012, when I was still illustrating books, had more whimsy to them. That whimsy is leaving me. There is still an element of not taking myself too seriously (I love art that sometimes brings a smile to your face), but I would say my work is more determined now and less lighthearted.

What tips would you have for an artist that is trying to discover their style?

Get hold of several sketchbooks and plenty of pencils and draw, draw, draw. It’s like handwriting—your mark-making will be unique to you. The only way to discover a personal style and help to solidify it is to keep doing it. Even if you work abstractly, draw. Draw abstractly. But keep making marks. Your style will eventually be recognizable.

Do you have any tips for promoting and selling your work?

I could write volumes for this answer if you asked me about building an illustration career. Feel free to ask me that at some point.

Now I am painting and I feel like I am swimming in strange waters. But I am beginning to have increasing success in the 2-3 years I have only focused on painting, and I would say that it is because I paint many hours every single day and I look for opportunities to get my work seen. For me, those opportunities come by submitting to juried shows at galleries and venues around the country. I have not seriously sought out gallery representation yet, but I have begun to sell my work privately, through word of mouth. I also think that Instagram is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a great way to share your work with the public and even get some feedback. I have not yet translated Instagram exposure into sales, but it has given me some opportunities for showing my work. And some galleries and venues for showing my work have contacted me.

How important do you think regular sketching is for an artist? Are you a sketcher yourself?

It’s everything. It’s how you take the seeds of even the smallest idea and help them develop. It’s how you realize your own style. It’s immediate and satisfying. And it helps you to gain confidence when generating new work concepts. I love sketching as much as I love painting. I recently set up a new studio space strictly for working on paper.

What are your plans for the future?

I want nothing more than to continue to make art and get it seen by a growing number of people. Increased sales might be nice, but it is not what drives me. In fact, sometimes I hate parting with my work. I sold a favorite piece recently and it was very difficult to let it go, but the collectors were the best kind of collectors, so I know it has a great home.

Where can people find out more about you and your books?

(My most recent work and works in progress get shared on Instagram) On my web site:

On my Instagram account:

https://www.instagram.com/johansennewman

On my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JohansenNewmanART


We’ve now got a Youtube Channel where we put up a new Art Video every Sunday.
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Easy Sketchbook Making Tutorial – With Mixed Papers

In this easy sketchbook making tutorial video, we show you how to make a sketchpad with mixed papers. It’s a simple, stapled sketchbook, but we show you an easy way to make one WITHOUT a long-armed stapler.

A mixed paper sketchbook is great for sketching trips to give you more options for which surface to draw on.

All you need to make a sketchpad with mixed papers are –

  • Scalpel or craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • a variety of papers
  • Stapler
  • Eraser
  • Scrap paper

Tools Used

+ Lightweight Watercolour Paper from Hobbycraft – https://fave.co/2NryOKL
+ Kraft Paper from Hobbycraft – https://fave.co/30qjP7B
+ Canson Cartridge Paper – https://fave.co/2Nk03Hk

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

We release a new Art Kick Sunday video every week. You can find them here

Don’t forget to Subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell to be alerted on all our new videos.

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Lip drawing tutorial for beginners – Realistic and Simplified

In this lip drawing tutorial for beginners, we demonstrate how to draw lips with a charcoal pencil. We include some tips for following the contours of the lips and how to shade lips to get a sense of roundness.

Tools Used

+ Cretacolor Nero Pencil – https://fave.co/2NmxSay
+ Blending Stump/torchon – something like this https://fave.co/2ZlGt3J
+ Pentel Brush pen – https://fave.co/2ZaRtlr

+ Some links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, we’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks so much for your support!

We release a new Art Kick Sunday video every week. You can find them here

Don’t forget to Subscribe to our channel and click the notifications bell to be alerted on all our new videos.

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Love what we do? Support us by buying us a coffee.

Sign up for our Newsletter

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

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Sign up for our Newsletter

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

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