Art Techniques, Brushes In Action, Nature Delights, WarmUps

Wednesday WarmUp Motif Remix


I’ve enjoyed providing each week a “Wednesday Warm Up,”— a day of usually quick drawing, inking, brushing as warm up to our serious art. I share a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate.

This Week

Another look at what some of my CLmooc friends and I participate in each day– this time what we call #SeptemberDoodle. Today the prompt is something a bit different from my art group #ipadprocreateprompts “acorns and leaves” and so I tried something a bit different in my art— a motif of acorns, leaves, and flowers in blues and also in fall colors.

The idea came while browsing Flickr Creative Commons for Public Domain or “no copyright” images of acorns. Flickr is always my first choice to look for images from very old texts– to bring them alive once again in a remix of some sort.


I found two images that inspired me:

First, this motif

I  loved the idea of a circular pattern with swirls and flowers and leaves. I could add in an acorn, which I found here, also CC0 on Flickr

See how I adapted both to remix them into my own design. I really love both colors — the snow night and the autumn colors. By importing each image, I could place them and trace what I needed to remix the two images. My canvas is 13in square at 300 dpi.

Click on any image to enlarge.

Brushes and Inner Motif

In white, apply brushes on streamline, such as studio pen or syrup. With streamline on maximum, both the brushes flow easily and opaque for easy curves and fill. Use the same brush or technical pen on the eraser to create details by allowing the background to shine through. I worked in sections with a different layer for each section in case I goofed. Merge the layers all together when the motif is to your liking.

Outer Outline Motif and Background.

To create the shape of the background and add an outline in white, use black with studio pen on a new layer, trace around the outline of the original motive and fill it in. In a layer above the black shape, apply white in the same pen as the motif to draw an irregular outline that fits with the flow of the previously drawn motif. When it fits with the design all around, you could merge the white motif layers, but I left them separate.

Select the black background and on another layer, choose the background color to fill it. With clipping masks and a texture brush, create layers of texture in light and dark colors. I applied both color burn and linear burn to different layers of color. Suggestions are burnt tree [in Charcoal], artist’s crayon [in Sketching], or Hessian [in Organic]. Create your own texture brushes with Jennifer Nichols in her Skillshare class, Texture Brushes 101. I applied my own texture brush created in that class.

Texture on White Layer

The flat and shiny white motif layer did not quite fit, so I applied a texture paintbrush from Frey Art Watercolor Set, but I’ve applied Soft Pastel [in Sketching]. Remember to use a medium grey and try a blend mode. In this instance, I did not apply a blend mode, but because my outline and motif are separate, I used clipping masks on both to paint in the texture.


Think about using symmetry to create mandalas using this technique. I’ve been asked to share this as a digital sticker… these types of illustrations are great for planners. I’d also like to develop a repeating pattern with this motif. Remember to turn off the background layer and save as a png to maintain the transparency of the shape.

For now, many products are available in orange and blue.

Replay – 30 Second Version

Try It

Thank you to my CLmooc friends for the daily prompts and Flickr Commons for the inspiration.

And please do try the technique and share with #warmup4art so we can all enjoy your work too! I look forward to your sharing and tag me at @42Sheri.

#clmooc #ipadprocreateprompts #septemberdoodle #septdoodle #warmup4art

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