Working with the Drawlloween challenge has been A LOT of fun. I got to experiment with new ideas and themes, and my ghoul even got me on the creature feature for that day, as well as the WHAT IN THE WORLD IS SHE DOING???? section of a lot of people, and got everyone wondering where my art is going.
And you know… I don’t know! I have a dark side that I’m starting to explore with new materials, techniques and new ideas… But I can only draw with a pencil, a brush and one color for so long.
So, I got my colorful watercolors out of the box, and started out with my usual style for the last Halloween stretch before I put Darknita back to sleep in her coffin for the year.
And here they are! Silly and whimsical creatures of the night with beautiful eyes, sorrowful expressions and the tiniest hint of that little something that makes them so special.
I was reorganizing the studio looking for materials to start making new art dolls, and then I found a box full of kokeshi doll bodies I forgot about. So, what did I do? Fridas!
I made a pair of super cute kokeshi dolls as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the famous artistic couple. Frida is a source of inspiration for me, and since I recently visited their homes in Mexico city, a homage to them was in order.
The original set sold immediately, and I got requests for more sets of these adorable handmade kokeshi art dolls. So, here they are. I still have a few unpainted bodies to share with you.Let’s go from unfinished bodies to a beautiful set of hand painted kokeshi art dolls, customized with your favorite colors to match your personality and decoration. What do you say? Will you get a set for you?
But I did not stop there… and I really don’t think I can make them any smaller than this.
In the box I found the original kokeshi bodies I found a few sets of tiny kokeshi doll bodies! I was on a roll and I took my finest brushes to make a few sets of micro Frida and Diego sets.
They measure just a little less than one inch tall (2.5cm), and they are adorable! If you like tiny things (I do!) you are going to love them… just see how huge a regular pencil looks next to them. It looks like I have a giant pencil laying around the studio.
The sets are only $35.00 each and I only have 4 of them. If you are interested, better head to my shop and choose your favorite!
I also made a painting too! A commissioned Frida with a house in her hands.
I had this commission almost finished when I made the dolls, so it felt like cheating when I added it to the newsletter… but then she is so beautiful it’s hard to resist not sharing her, right?
You already know what happens when I get obsessed with a theme, right? I will not stop until I am utterly and completely satisfied with exploring every option and technique about it.
This past days my obsession has taken me to work with Little red riding hood, and I have been watercolor paintings, paper dolls, classes, and now, an art doll.
Working with her all night, I just had to add her to my ever growing collection of art dolls. Each one of them holds a little piece of my soul, and I just love making them. Now, Little red riding hood is looking for a home! Go and see more of her on my online shop!
I made here while I was in the forest last month, filming my latest online tutorial “Sketching in the woods” where I teach you how to paint a little red riding hood watercolor portrait just like this one.
And then, last, but not least… A little red riding hood paper doll! I have been working on this original paintings turned into poseable dolls.Now you can create your own with my downloadable pattern. It’s ready to be printed, colored and assembled so you can have you very own Danita Paper doll.
So, one day a few weeks ago, I took my pencil and proceeded to draw a face on one of my favorite watercolor papers. I had the intention to start a new painting. Honest.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. All those childhood memories came rushing back and I changed course. I was going to make a paper doll.
I laid out the initial drawings and sketches and decided they were going to be cut-out, dress-up dolls like the ones I used to play with when I was a child.
After the first inking, I was hooked. My family knew I was up to something, and when they saw me grinning after I walked out to the studio, they knew it was going to be one of those weeks.
One of those weeks when I disappear from reality and hide in my studio, and I do not talk to anyone. Or go out. Or eat. Or Sleep. I’m in one of my art attacks.
The dolls were all inked up and now it’s time to paint them. So I got my watercolors and started to paint each one of them. They are unique and each one has their personality, so they deserve to have unique and one of a kind outfits.
See what I mean? Alice in wonderland even has her own bottle of Drink Me, An Eat Me cookie and a white rabbit to hop along with her down the rabbit hole.
Then it’s time to cut each piece by hand, and then start assembling them. This is kind of delicate because I have to make sure that each piece fits as expected, and some adjustments are required. So you have to be careful with your scissors.
Here’s one of the dolls with all her pieces put together, ready to be assembled. It’s not fun to see dismembered dolls all over my studio tables, and then I have to make sure I did not miss a limb!
Some magic and lots of work and sleepless nights, they are ready for the world! Each doll is articulated and can be posed any way you want.
I even had a piece of wood painted with chalkboard paint so I could play with them! They are a lot of fun! You can draw whatever scenario you want on the chalkboard, and then have lots of lots of adventures with them.
Let’s paint a beautiful watercolor version of Little red Riding Hood. I decided to film the video on location to show you how fun it can be to just whip out your paint, your brush and some paper and enjoy nature. It was a relaxing afternoon, and you can hear the birds and insects chirping and buzzing around was I work. Like a mini holiday to the forest!
Now that I have been busy creating new mixed media collages and paintings after a long pause, I realized my soft pastels were dirty and in need of a good cleaning.
A good set of pastels (Sennelier and Rembrandt are my favorite) is an absolute necessity when you are working with mixed media, and in order to get the best of them, you must keep them clean so the color you lay down on the paper is pure….
This was definitively not the case! So, something had to be done and I set out to clean them. Want to see how I did it so you can clean your pastels too? Keep reading!
The greatest thing about the method I use is that it’s really simple and it does not use any fancy materials. In fact, you probably have what you need at home. All you need is cornstarch, and a bowl.
Just start by dumping the cornstarch on your bowl, and then drop your colors into the bowl.
See how they look before? Yuck! You are not going to get a solid color with all that dust around.
Sift the pastels and color sticks in your bowl for a minute or two and see if the colors were cleaned from your sticks.
Cornstarch is a mild abrasive, so as you rub your soft pastel color sticks in the bowl, the rubbing action will get the dust off them and they will look like new when you are done.
There! A super clean and nice pastel, ready to make beautiful things with your hands! Now go and clean yours, and create something beautiful with them!
And don’t forget to share with your friends and post in the comments your creations! I’d love to see what you do with your clean pastels!
On the way developed a very unique art style, with melancholic faces and eyes full of a sweet sorrow that speak volumes to your soul when you look at them. On this art retreat, I will be sharing my discoveries with you.
If you have ever wondered where my style came from, how I paint the whimsical and surreal images from my mixed media paintings, how I create my watercolor girls, or how I give life to my big eyed handmade dolls, this is the perfect opportunity to learn with me!
Anyone who has taken a class with me knows that I don’t hold back anything. I love to share and see you grow. Together we will work on art projects that will give you the confidence to make your own encaustic collages with delicious smelling beeswax, magical watercolor paintings, mixed media creations and a beautiful handmade doll for you to keep.
We will be bonding together for four days as I share my secret and techniques with you on an all inclusive experience in a beautiful and tranquil setting, together with nature and in view of beautiful mount Rainier.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to make friends, art and to nurture the artist within you, and I will be delighted to meet you there.