A Bit of My Day, Art Techniques, Artist Gems, Brushes In Action, Thank You, WarmUps

WrapUp Wednesday Frustrations


I’ve enjoyed providing each week a strategy, process, or reflection each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. This Wednesday Wrap Up is a wrap up of my project tips for the past week or something I’ve learned that may also help others with the same #warmup4art hashtag.

Art Prompts

As my readers know, I illustrate daily art prompts with my  CLmooc friends. In January and February I chose prompts from Lisa Bardot’s #makingarteveryday. Lisa provides tutorials on many different styles of art, which she shares in her long blog post 30 Art Styles to Try in Procreate. This month the theme is “Animals,” and this week is “Pets.” Today’s wrap up includes a reflection on my “dog” illustration using the painterly [gouache] style with textures.

The important learning this week is about frustration: I just could not get the style right, and it’s important to me because the “dog” is our very own Resmut.  Yes, our dog, no longer with us, was a purebred Resmut.  I know— you’ve never hear of that breed. Here’s a few pictures:

You probably thinks she’s a lab or husky— or look at her ears— sometimes they look like a lab, sometimes like a German Shepherd, and sometimes like a greyhound. They were the weirdest, but cutest ears!  As far as we know, our little Pooka could be all of those.

You see: a Resmut is a “reservation mutt.”  She followed me around the schoolyard where I taught for thirty-one years, a public school on the Colville Reservation, and since she was abandoned and living on the playground, I brought her home for Father’s Day. She’s been our only dog and we miss her dearly. 

Art Frustration

First of all, I couldn’t believe we didn’t have more photos of this kind creature of our lives— most of those above I found today on one of my “old” blogs!  I’m thinking all our pictures are somewhere in an old computer! But I did find a photo for reference, except her eyes were squinting in the sun as she followed one of our granddaughters:

I set up my possible brushes by moving them around in my app—  Lisa Bardot’s Gouache Paintbox, her various Texture brushes [Maker, Liner, Shader], her Fur and Fluff [free] ,  Hypozonic’s Stipple set [free], and Jennifer Nichols’ Less Digital set.   

It took me three different styles to get to one I could accept as a representation of little dog.

  • First, I used gouache as a base and then began adding in her fur with the Fur and Fluff. White fur is not easy to recreate. I gave up.
  • Second, I tried to simply set up for gouache, but I could not get her funny ears.
  • Third, I tried stippling, but that just did not look like shading on fur
  • Finally, I just sketched in a scruffy outline

1 Fur and Fluff Attempt

2 Gouache and funny ear

3 Stipple

4 Scruffy

Finally, I just sketched in a scruffy outline and painted with Lisa Bardot’s Gouache Paintbox. Then I played around with her various Texture brushes [Maker, Liner, Shader], and Procreate’s Artist Crayon [rock] to get a look that at least stylized her white fur. Here’s some of the texture brushes applied:

Lesson Learned:

Lesson: Don’t give up! Sometimes let yourself just play and drop the plan.


Try It

So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. 

First of all,  If you don’t want to purchase brushes, look through Procreate’s native set for those that work in a similar way. Dry Ink for the solid color, willow charcoal, hessian, clay, or artists crayon for texture, noise, bonobo chalk, and aurora also add shading and texture. The “Materials” category includes many textures and flowing hair.  Spraypoint has “flicks: for texture too. Dry Brush or Old Brush for streaks. The old Procreate had “stipple.” So experiment and let us know what you discover.

Second, keep your mind open to trying something other than what you’ve planned— let the canvas and the topic guide your brush and choices. I’m pleased with the results for illustrating Pooka, and I know it looks like her because the one grandson who adored her most immediately hit “like” on IG. 

Also, sticking with one category as in Lisa’s prompts and tutorials is helping me be more consistent and open to experiment as each prompt in one category suggests different strategies and processes.

Lisa’s website is very helpful with her resources. and I appreciate all she’s done to help other artists. Check out  Lisa Bardot for inspiration on her Instagram, YouTube channelprompts, and website. Just click the Artist Gems category on my blog for other teachers and artists that might inspire you. I’ve met plenty in my online digital journey, and Lisa is but one.  I thank all of them for sharing their knowledge and inspiration so that others can grow as artists.

I look forward to your sharing, and please continue to be a part of the  #warmup4art series to learn and enjoy our work together! See my sharing at IG @42Sheri and Twitter @42Sheri.

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