One of the things I love to paint using watercolors are flowers. I prefer to paint loose, airy, dreamy florals versus filling in every space with details. In this video, I demonstrate one way to paint Purslanes loosely.
As I've grown older, I've become very curious about the ingredients in my skincare products. When I moved to England from the US, my body had hard time getting acclimated to the climate change. My face broke out, my hair shed badly, and my skin felt really dry and tight. In my early twenties, I used whatever brand I could get my hands on and it worked fine, but after moving overseas I knew I had to change my products. I tried almost everything I could to reduce my breakouts and stop my hair from shedding, but it became worse as I tested more products. I went to chemists, researched a ton of stuff online, purchased those really expensive acne treatments and nothing improved. One summer, I took a trip back to the states and I tried Shea Moisture's African Organic Black Soap, then I switched my moisturizer to organic grape seed oil and now coconut oil. After about a month or 2, my face started getting back to normal with no blemishes. I did the same with my hair. I started to intentionally buy products with more natural ingredients and my hair is healthier than it's ever been. I'm still trying out products and adding to my list, but below I've listed my favorite 5 natural products for skin and hair.
I've been searching for a natural face masque for ages. I've only been using this masque for about one month, and I'm loving it so far. I love that it leaves my skin feeling moisturized and hydrated. It also helps that it smells like cherries. I went to a preview for Sukin and there were several makeup artists that swear by the face cream as a primer for their clients. It's all natural and it's a smooth base for foundation they say. I'll have to try out their creams next.
So this is not for the face or hair, but I love the lavender scent of this hand sanitizer and sometimes I use it as an air freshener. I always keep a bottle in my bag.
A friend gifted me with this hair cream a few months ago and I love! It's a light scent and it gives my curls a nice hold without it being too greasy and heavy. I'm all about repurposing products, so I use a little on my feet before going to bed.
I'm a sucker for this oil. I normally don't use it on my face, but it's the perfect body oil. I unfortunately got sick last year and had to stay in the hospital for several days. I had this oil in my purse. Thank God! I used it for my body, my hair, and my face that week. I also hate the smell of hospitals, so I put a little on paper towels and put them in my pillowcase to give my hospital bed a fresh smell.
Let me know what natural products you're using!
I am a fashion illustrator who loves color and fluidity. However, I don't like to keep applying layers to get a vibrant consistency on my paintings. Watercolor is a medium that's known for being very light and soft, but over the years, I've found paints that help to achieve that deep color with just a few brush strokes.
1. Dr. Ph. Martins India Ink This ink is very good for creating vibrant watercolor illustrations. I usually put water on the paper first and use the brush to drop this ink on the water. Then I allow it to flow where it wants. Its also great on semi wet paper for creating small details with a watercolor effect. They also come in mini sizes which I just pop in my carry on when I travel.
2. Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache Gouache has a very similar aesthetics to watercolor. I love that you can leave a bit of gouache in a paint palette and wake it up by adding a little water to it later. It doesn't dry out like ink, so you get more for your money. Sometimes, I mix gouache with acrylic paint and a drop of ink to get a deeper color and a thicker affect with the brush.
3. Derwent Watercolor Pencils: These pencils are nice to outline a painting even if it's just a detail. I like my paintings to be very fluid, so adding a little water to the pencil line gives it a nice touch and it's easy to blend with the paint strokes. They are light, so I like to use them when drawing details on fashion designs such as buttons or stitches versus using them on larger paintings.
4. Liquitex Professional Acrylic Artist Color I don't use acrylics a lot, but when I do I like to use Liquitex or Golden Acrylic Paint. If it's used with the right brush strokes, it's possible to make these paints look like watercolors. I like to use these for large paintings with big brushes, so that you can see the details from a distance.
5. Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor Box I saved the best for last. I use this Box set of paints almost every time I draw. I have a travel size for painting at exhibitions or fashion shows as well as the larger size. I purchased both sizes about 4 years ago, and it still gives me a beautiful finishing of vibrant colors. It's also very minimal to maintain. The colors are solid blocks, so there's no cleaning up or washing out.
I hope that you will try some of these products and brands to create beautiful fashion illustrations or watercolor paintings. What are some of your favorite paints for watercolor?
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers worldwide! This photo pretty much sums up my entire existence. I grew up in the south of the states and I was blessed to have 2 great grandmothers, 2 grandmothers, my mom, and many aunties around during my childhood. I remember Saturday mornings going to eat buttermilk biscuits, watch wrestling and play cards with my Great Grandma. Watching her cook anything was like watching a painter paint or a seamstress sew. I also remember listening to my other Great Grandma as she told me stories about growing up in the south as a black woman and why she always carries a gun (that's a story for another day). They sacrificed so much and had a lot of persistence to make sure my siblings and I lived our best life. Mother's Day is so special to me because I know I wouldn't be where I am without all the mommas in my life!
*My mom and my uncle are the two little children in the picture seated with my grandmother and grandmother.
As a little girl, I always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer or an artist. I have an aunt who is a pattern maker and every time she would visit my hometown, I would spend endless hours going through her drawings and trying to mimic her work. I entered into art contest and painted on clothes throughout my entire childhood for friends and family. It wasn't until I moved to New York in 2009 that I realized Fashion Illustration could actually be a career. I took a course in life drawing for fashion and I decided to pursue it full force. There was only one problem. I hadn't developed a style. I was drawing with charcoal one day, markers the next, and acrylic on the days that I felt like painting. I had a vision of what I wanted my art to look like, but I just couldn't get it on paper. I also had a hard time making my illustrations look loose. I used a lot of hard lines and overworked the drawings often. I felt stuck.
A tutor gave me the advice to draw everyday. Draw while you're watching TV, draw on the train, draw while you're waiting in a que. Draw EVERYWHERE and you'll begin to find a unique spin to what you're creating.
So that's what I did. I eventually moved to London to pursue design and I drew everything I saw. I have a ton of sketchbooks full of sketches from fashion shows, exhibitions, landscapes, and people I encountered everyday. Over time, I developed my own technique of watercolor painting and I've become known for my style of fluid body gestures. I've included examples of my work from 2011 to 2013 below. Sometimes I can't believe I drew that, but at the time that was my best.
When I'm teaching illustration classes or illustrating on Periscope, students always ask how to develop a style. My simple answer is to KEEP GOING.
2011. I used a lot of markers, stipple drawings and Photoshop in the illustrations above.
Creating is not just a job for me, it's my lifestyle. I illustrate even when there's not a specific project that I'm working on at the moment. However, I sometimes experience creative blocks where I just can't get the ideas out of my head. Over the years, I've developed a few ways to get out of a creative block especially when I'm feeling uninspired. Here are a few ways I keep the ball rolling and knock my creative juices back into gear.
1. GET AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER!
Listen! The computer/phone is the easiest way to get distracted and stuck. There are emails, social media, PINTEREST, videos, etc. Every time I feel stuck I realize that I've probably been browsing the internet too long. It's also such a repetitive movement of the fingers scrolling or typing, so it stiffens up our muscles. Just take about 30 minutes or an hour if you can to shut the computer off. Your eyes, brain, and your hands will thank you.
2. GO FOR A WALK
Just go for a walk to change up the scenery. Anytime I walk around my neighborhood or a park, I find inspiration with the most unexpected things. It also gives you a chance to get some fresh air and recharge yourself before you get back to your work. After I read the book "The Artists Way" by Julia Cameron, I go for a walk every time I feel uninspired.
"I find that if you walk, you start to integrate what has occurred to you from the other tools. You might walk out with a problem, but as you walk, you come into a solution. You just get a different perspective. You go out for a walk, maybe see a cat in a window box, and suddenly hear yourself saying “Oh, I could try X.” Walking is very powerful." -Julia Cameron
3. LISTEN TO MUSIC
I love to listen to music while I'm illustrating or designing. But it's not just any music. I imagine myself illustrating in front of an audience, and I think about the type of music that would accompany my art. I really set the scene in my head, including the venue, the people, everything. Then I turn on the music that would play as I'm painting in front of this audience. I love to paint to artists like Lianne La Havas, The Roots, Sade, Fela Kuti, and Emily King. I feel like it fits my dreamy yet vibrant watercolor aesthetics. Try it!
4. DRAW SOMETHING BIG
An art teacher once told me that drawing is like ice skating. You need to learn how to glide your pencil across the paper and basically loosen up. It's so true. I like to take a large sheet of paper and just draw big circles moving my arm and my wrist to loosen up. This really loosens up your muscles and gives your the opportunity to create something spontaneous and quick outside of your work.
I hope these steps will help you to stay inspired and get out of a creative block. Let me know any tricks that you've tried to keep your creative juices flowing.
I've included my top 5 sites that I visit weekly for creative inspiration and resources. They are all different, but they're great for any type of creator. Nowness has the best videos from creatives all over the world, WGSN is great for future trend developments, and Free People has the most amazing DIY tips and healthy recipes. Also the interviews on SHOWstudio are my version of Netflix and Patternity gives the most beautiful examples of pattern/textile inspiration from any and everything.
Over the years, I've purchased a lot of paint brushes both cheap and expensive. Of course painting puts wear and tear on brushes, but I've learned how to keep them clean and how to make them last longer. You have to put just as much time into cleaning paint brushes as your make up brushes. See the video below for play by play instructions!
I had the opportunity to join NARS Cosmetics a few years ago and paint their clients portraits using only makeup! In the video below, I will show you the steps to painting with makeup. It's so easy, and it's a great way to create a folder of face charts to reference when doing your makeup.
I love coffee table books. I can spend hours in a book store or in my house browsing through art, culture and fashion books for inspiration. I've listed and described in the video below 5 of my favorite books for inspiration. Let me know if you have any of these books and what are your favorite coffee table books to read.