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

Wednesday WrapUp Frog and Pattern Brushes


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’ve been sharing a strategy to try each Wednesday using the iPad app ProCreate. Lately, I’ve change it up a bit for a few Wednesday Wrap Up— 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. Today I share some purchased brushes– Lisa Bardot ‘s Imperfect Patterns set and how I applied them with the help of her tutorial.

Art Prompts

As my readers know, I illustrate daily art prompts with my  CLmooc friends. This month I’m choosing prompts from Lisa Bardot’s #makingarteveryday. Today’s prompt is “tadpole or frog,” and I chose frog so that I could apply the strategies and the brushes for Lisa Bardot ‘s Imperfect Patterns set. The strategies for using the brushes for drawing, patterning, and shading are included in her tutorial  How to Draw Bugs [Imperfect Pattern brushes]. I watched the whole thing, then set about to illustrate my frog.

Art Process

I drew the sketch, originally intending the frog to be sideways with other frogs, but changed my mind.

From there I decided on colors– lighter in front and darker towards back or below in the green values for the frog, lily pad, and plants. I filled in each color in different layers, just as Lisa suggested. So the frog had a light, darker, darkest green, all on separate layers. The lily pad was even darker, on another layer. The plants were in two parts, lighter and darker layers.

I also created a two part background — the sky and the water, each on a different layer.

To create each color layer, just use the Inker brush to draw a closed outline and then fill with color.

Next, I choose the pattern brushes that fit the element– waves for the water. Add these on clipping masks for each layer. I applied the warp tool with the patterns to create the rounded tummy, the lily pad, and the dark part of the plant pattern– so they’d curve with the element. I also erased some of the sky’s stars so it would look a bit more like a starry sky. And, on the water, I added another pattern to create a shadowy area on the water. It also has a bit of highlight with white on overlay mode.

Things to try:

  • Turn the canvas to get the pattern to go a different way.
  • Resize brushes for the size you need
  • Try different blend modes
  • Use more than one pattern brush to create your own pattern

For the texture, I followed the tricky way Lisa shows at about 34:00 in the video. Try it! It involves copying all you want with texture, pasting, then applying a dark color to that whole pasted layer. Then erase with the “sketch scrather brush” all the parts you do NOT want shaded. Works beautifully.

Finally, I duplicated the sky and water layers, merged the duplicated layers, filled them with black, placing them behind everything else [bottom layer], and applied a Gaussian Blur to create a shadow behind everything.

I’m going to be playing a lot with these brushes… I know– it’s costs a bit, but they are worth it for the thousands of projects and ideas you’ll use them for. Lisa’s set comes with a brush sheet describing the brushes and a forty page brush guide with a tutorial for using them in. Very helpful.


Try It

So, that wraps up this Wednesday Wrap Up. As we develop our skills every day we choose to make art every day, and stretch ourselves with strategies that match the style and effect of our goals. Perhaps you have a strategy or process for working with the lighter colors that you could share. Comments are welcome!

Thanks to Lisa Bardot for her resources. Check out  Lisa Bardot for inspiration on her Instagram, YouTube channelprompts, and website. Also, 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.

And check out other Artist Teachers— all of whom have influenced my learning:

Jennifer Nichols

Brenda Bakker

Tracey Capone

Lisa Bardot

Teela Cunningham

Calvin the Drifter

Liz Kohler Brown

Cecile Yadro

Charly Clements


By learning from other artists, we build our confidence and learn to adapt and adjust without fear of being perfect— just make art every day!

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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