Meet the fox king: A watercolor painting time lapse

I thought it would be lots of fun to make a series of small watercolor paintings on unusual medium, just to experiment and try out new things. So I took my watercolor ground and prepared metal frames to make beautiful animal portraits.

I even created some time lapse videos so I could share with you how the paintings are made and how beautiful images seem to appear out of nowhere when I start painting.

Original fox p

I am thinking about creating mini classes and tutorials by expanding on the time lapses, explaining you how to create a painting like it using my techniques and style. It will be detailed like my full fledged classes, but focusing on one painting or technique at the time.

Will you be interested in mini classes and tutorials from Danita?

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Let me know in the poll if you’d like to see more mini-classes from me, and leave comments if you have a suggestion or idea!

If enough people is interested, you will see them coming in the near future 🙂 Thanks for answering!

 

Rainbow Bunny Rabbit Handmade Crayons: A fun DIY afternoon recycle project for kids.

My kids love to color with crayons. And when I mean love, I mean LOVE. We have a bucket full of any imaginable color and type, and they use them when they feel like drawing and coloring their own creations.

Danita Tutorial Handmade Custom Crayons Color Kids Melted

The problem with crayons is that as they get used up, they get stubby, and sometimes dirty, and the tips are not so usable any more and they get neglected because they do not color as they used to.

You can buy a new box, but then you end up accumulating more crayons and there’s the environmental cost of not recycling and reusing what we have.

 

Color crayons background tutorial recycle crayola Danita

So we decided to recycle our crayons and learn a few lessons about color mixing, doing things by yourself and being good to our planet. All in one afternoon!

First, let’s see what you need. It’s not a lot and probably you will find everything you need right at home.

List of materials.

Okay, you have everything you need? Let’s get started!

Step 1.

Pour the hot water into your plastic container. The water should be hot enough to peel off the paper from the crayons, but not too hot. Hot enough to take a warm bath should do the trick.

Danita Art Crayola Wax crayon custom handmade crayons tutorial by Danita

The paper will start coming off the crayons and they will be cleaner now. The idea is to get all the grime off of them so they are clean and ready for the next step.

Danita peel off paper crayon crayola tutorial DIY kids project handmade

Let the crayons dry up, and you can throw away the paper wrappings on the recycle bin.

Step 2.

Danita tutorial DIY crayons crayola recycle kids project

Start breaking up the crayons into small chunks so they fit in your silicone mold. Let your kids experiment with the colors that will mix on each try and get as many combinations as you can.

You can try different colors that will mix, or maybe different hues of the same color and encourage your kids to guess what will the final colors be.

Danita rainbow crayon crayola recycle DIY project kids children

Fill the trays and try to leave as little space as possible between the colors, but don’t overfill the tray. The idea here is that when the colors melt they will mix and they should not overfill the tray.

Step 3.

Take your silicone mold full of crayon chunks and put it in your oven. It’s time to see the magic start as you create your rainbow crayons!

The melting process took about about 30 minutes with the oven at 250F. , but keep an eye on the oven, the colors will start to melt and as soon as you see that they are melted and filling the molds, it’s time to get them out. They have a tendency to burn if you use a very high temperature so don’t leave your oven unattended.

Step 4.

Danita rainbow recycled crayola crayon DIY project tutorial kids fun summer afternoon

Let the mold cool down undisturbed so the different colors mix and harden as they get cooler. It should take an hour or so for the crayons to be ready to be taken out of the mold.

Carefully try to get one out. If it’s soft, leave it alone for a bit. Once they come out clean easily, it’s time to have fun!

DIY project Danita Rainbow recycled crayola crayons children fun activity tutorial after school

The crayon chunks mix and create very interesting patterns depending on the color combinations you chose. If you use lots of small chunks, you get a rainbow effect.

Bunny Rabbit handmade crayons DIY recycle crayola project tutorial by Danita for kids after school

If you use larger chunks, the crayons will have larger areas of color, and if you used the same hue, it will be a very nice solid color.

Step 5.

Kids fun proyect DIY tutorial recycled rainbow crayola crayons Danita Art

Time to enjoy your creations! My kids had a great time testing each one of the chunk crayons that turned up from this DIY recycled rainbow crayons!

Danit

They are perfect for kids. Their little hands have no trouble grabbing the colors, using and testing how they start changing colors as you use them. And adults love them too…. I had a blast making and using them too!!!!

Danita colorful DIY rainbow reused recycled crayons project tutorial kids

And they can be stacked and used for building too!

I had lots of fun while me and my kids worked on this DIY project, it’s perfect as a summer activity, or an after school project. give it a try at your home!

Ever After is ready to welcome you!

A watercolor painting by Danita, inspired by the incredible adventures of Alice in Wonderland

I am so happy to be part of EVER AFTER 2017, a collective effort put together by the fantastic Tamara Laporte with me and an A list of amazing artists.

Danita used her vintage copy of Alice in wonderland to create a beautiful watercolor painting for her online class

Together we will guide you through lessons on creativity, using fairy tales and fantastic stories to teach you our secrets and techniques on video tutorials.

Text from the encounter between Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire cat inspired this beautiful watercolor on paper painting by Danita Art

I will talk about  my creative process. Where my ideas come from, how I develop them from a simple idea, an event or an emotion and how I turn them into beautiful mixed media art.

A vintage copy from Alice in Wonderland inspires Danita to create beautiful mixed media paintings, art dolls and jewelry based on her paintings.

Using my favorite story, Alice in Wonderland, you and I will work on creating your own personal style and I we will tapthe endless well of ideas that awaits to be unleashed in your mind.

Once we are done talking about creativity, personal style, idea development and more tips on your art, it’s time to practice what you learn!

I will teach how I work with my mixed media materials as we create an original painting from a blank page. Once we develop our character, together we will draw, paint, stain and shade using my techniques and secrets.

It will be like sitting with me for an hour on my studio, working and laughing while we do what we like to do best. Make art!

Are you ready to join me on this beautiful journey?

GOOD! SIGN UP TODAY HERE!!!

Ah! And before I forget, you can use an early bird discount!

Use coupon code MAGIC2017 when you sign up, and you will get 20% OFF your registration fee.

See you in class!!!!

And the winner is….

Wow… Thanks a lot for the wonderful response to this giveaway! I loved reading your comments and it’s really encouraging me to do my best to fill your expectations to the class.

Without further ado, the winner of a FREE seat to “Ever After 2017” is post #81 according to Google Number Generator, counted from TOP to BOTTOM on THIS post.

The post came from Sandra Kingsley. Congratulations!!!!

Please send me an email to danita@danitaart.com with your contact information so I can set you up for the class.

Again, thanks a lot to you for participating! I hope to see you in class very soon. Remember, early registration starts on May 17 with this link.

And don’t forget to keep on following me on this blog! There will be more reviews, tips and giveaways coming in the near future 🙂

Don’t admire, enjoy your art supplies.

This weekend the mail arrived with a big box of Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels. I have a small box that I use in my mixed media paintings and I really wanted to give the 30 color set a try, so I patiently waited all week for them to arrive.

Danita Art Uses Review Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels

 I admired them when I got them out the packing box and opened the metal tin that holds them, and I really did not want to do anything with them because they are so perfect and new in their box.

But this being a family of artists and creative fellows, it’s a known fact that when the mail truck drops something in our doorstep, it’s going to be something interesting  to explore and my kids immediately come to investigate the contents of the boxes.

Danita review art supply Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water Soluble Pastels

I turned around for a second and my son took over the box, ordering the colors so it looks like the rainbow and announced that I got very neat crayons in a very nice box.

Danita Review Kids Use Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels

And right after getting them ordered neatly, he went to his room, picked up his paper pad and asked my daughter if she could draw him so he could color the drawing, and after getting his portrait, he set off to work.

I really was not paying attention until I turned around and saw him working with them. My initial reaction was shock. He was using the very same expensive artist’s set of colors I was so afraid to use because they were new, perfect and just out of the box and he was using them to color the art of a six year old.

But just like that that, It dawned on me how careless he was using them, just enjoying the process and not caring at all what pedigree they have or what they are supposed to be used for. He just got a new box of colors, so he did what seemed natural. Use them and enjoy them! By the time he was done, two of them were broken, all of them were blunted and with the paper peeled and clearly showing signs of use.

He colored himself with blue hair, the T-Shirt and shorts he was wearing and eating (One of his favorite activities!) His drawing is free, careless and just for the thrill of watching the colors run on the paper.

He was so proud of what he accomplished that he gave it to me, so we took his work and placed in the art gallery that also doubles as a fridge.

And you know what? I realized I was very much OK with him using the watercolor crayons. He taught me a very important lesson about my art supplies and what I’m supposed to do with them.

They look perfect in their boxes, neatly arranged in piles and drawers, a heaven of order and perfection. But my studio is not a window display. It’s a place to create. Having my material sitting there, pretty and perfect because I’m unwilling to use them because I will mess up their perfection is not what I should do with them.

I must get messy, create, tear, break and stain my things to show them I want to create with them. I will no longer be afraid of a new box of art supplies because they are pristine.

I will see it as an opportunity to begin a close relationship with them, feel them glide over paper and canvas and enjoy them fulfilling their purpose. Because that’s what are supplies are for, to create, to let us unleash our creativity and let our beautiful world of ideas into the open, where we can enjoy what artists love doing the most.

Making art.

Ever After 2017 – A blog hop and give away for my latest online class!

I am super exited!! I will be teaching an online class on the collaborative online workshop “Ever After” this year!

“Ever After” is a mixed media art & style development course with a fairytale theme hosted by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. I will be joining Tam and 11 mixed media art teacherson this class. Together we will share beautiful fairy-tale inspired lessons with you and we will also share our hints and tips on how each one of us developed our own style and how you too can find your own unique voice as an artist! 🙂 Yay!

My chosen fairy tale for the class will be Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite themes to explore and develop in my artistic adventures, and i will show you how the tale has inspired me to find my style and creativity while I show you the mixed media techniques I use as you watch me create a painting with Alice and her wonderland companions.

Ever After Danita Online class 2017 Alice Wonderland Learn How To Tutorial Techniques Painting Online

Registration opens on May 17th, 2017 and classes begin on July 1st, 2017.

 

 

 

So if you want to start your summer drawing and painting fairy-tales, exploring your own personal story and style and hang out with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls,be sure to join once registration opens! 🙂

And… I have another surprise! I can give away 1 space on Ever After to 1 lucky winner on a class giveaway!

So, what do you say? Do you want a  a chance to join this amazing class with me and 12 more mixed media artists?

To enter the giveaway, you need to

  1. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.
  2. Sign up to receive my newsletter.
  3. Leave a comment on this very blog post, letting me know why you’d love to join Ever After this year.

The winner will be announced on May 15th.


And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also! 🙂

2nd May 2017 Tamara Laporte willowing.org/blog
3rd May 2017 Andrea Gomoll andrea-gomoll.de/blog
4th May 2017 Danita Art blog.danitaart.com
5th May 2017 Effy Wild effywild.com
6th May 2017 Kara Bullock karabullockart.com/2017/03/happily-ever-after
7th May 2017 Karine Bosse kabostudio.com/blog
8th May 2017 Katrina Koltes katrinakoltes.com/2017
9th May 2017 Marielle Stolp mariellestolp.wordpress.com/blog
 10th May 2017  Micki Wilde  thesecrethermit.blogspot.co.uk
 11th May 2017  Roberta Laliberte  prairiefairydesigns.com/blog
 12th May 2017  Sarah Trumpp wonderstrumpet.com
 13th May 2017  Stephen Lursen  http://stephenlursen.com/blogs/stephen-lursen-art
 14th May 2017  Tiare Smith  tiaresmith.com
15th May 2017  Toni Burt  toniburt.com.au/blog
16th May 2017  Ivy Newport  graceandivy.wordpress.com


Good luck, and see you in class on July 1st!

 

What art materials should I review next?

I wanted to be more active in sharing my art experiences with my friends and fans, and a few weeks ago I wrote a review for the wonderful Derwent Inktense color pencils I use on my paintings and dolls.

 The review was very well received and a lot of you sent emails requesting me to review more of the products and materials I use on my studio, so I am reaching out to you to see what you’d like me to review next. Leave a comment here on my blog, or send me an email with your thoughts on what you’d like to see next. 

If the reviews get enough interest, I may start a regular feature where I review my favorite art supplies, along with new products that pick my interest.

I’m waiting to see what you’d like me to try out!

Fluffy bunny art doll; A self portrait

Danita Art Making Dolls Why How To Make Dolls Tutorial

I like to read old doll making books because they have techniques for doing everything by hand (I’m old school like that) and I came across this quote.

It really hit a string for me, because it encompasses everything I believe about making my own dolls. Mass produced items have a perfect quality about them, but to me, they are soulless and nothing more than a pretty thing to look at.

That is probably the main reason why I very rarely repeat an artwork, not even if it’s a commissioned piece because someone missed the original work and they would love to adopt a piece just like her.

Danita Art Doll Process Dollmaking Techniques Vintage Dress pattern handmade

That refusal may sound as stubborn or pretentious at first sight, but there is a real practical reason why I can’t do it. Not even if I wanted to do so.

You see, I put a piece of my soul on every single doll I make. A tiny drop of my awareness and my mindfulness goes on each of them, and with that, all my emotions, feelings and thoughts will shape them. That’s why I can’t do it. It’s impossible to reproduce the moment that inspired them, they are a little moment of my life , frozen in time.

That is why I love my process, where I get to choose every single detail of the dolls I make, from the fabric of the dress to the buttons that hold the doll’s arms.

I set out to make this one a very pretty girl, but I really wasn’t aware of what I was making until the very end. All I knew is that she was going to be very special.

Danita Lace Vintage Doll Paperclay Handmade How To Process Dollmaking

Each element is carefully chosen with the doll’s personality in mind, and I can swear to you that they talk to me about what they want to wear, how they want to look and everything they want to be.

I knew that I wanted her to be vintage looking, and when I found the bunny rabbit fabric hiding on my closet, I knew it was perfect.

Danita handmade Wool Felted Hair Doll Handmade OOAK

We tried different hair colors, different clothe styles and different haircuts until we were sure that’s what we want. It’s an exhausting and repetitive process sometimes, because the doll is not sure what she wants to be, and I am known for starting all over again if I am not satisfied with an idea.

Danita Doll Art Handmade Hair Wig Dollmaking Techniques Tips Doll Making Eyes

Other times, everything just flows, the doll and I are sure of what we want and it’s only a matter of finding the right materials and textures for each personality. This little girl was just that, perfect.

Felted Wool Danita Bunny Rabbit Ears Black White Fluffy Cosplay Miniature Handmade

But… Something was amiss, and suddenly I knew what it was. She wanted to be like me, and I realized I was making a self portrait, so I used wool to felt fluffy bunny ears and she was ready.

Danita Art Handmade Art Doll Paperclay Ceramic Toy cosplay Anthropomorphic Toy

See what I mean? She’s perfect! And so lovely, that she got adopted right away.

An art doll mini tutorial by Danita

I am having a great time and work creating an art doll collection. I have been working non stop on the dolls and I thought it would be fun to stop for a moment to tell you the story of the doll creation using images from the doll making process and turning the tale into a mini tutorial.

Danita Art Doll Materials Tools List Messy Desk

Look at my desk… Someone told me that a messy desk is the sign of a creative mind, so I guess that makes me one of the most creative people in this planet. No contest on that.

But hidden within the mess, there are secrets to be found, like all the materials and tools used when you create an art doll. Can you spy them all in this picture? There’s one you can’t see but it’s the most important one of all… Love for what you do.

Danita Art Doll Making Dollmaking Dollmaker Tutorial Steps How to

The first thing you want to do is pick the fabric for your doll bodies. Something resistant and sturdy that is also breathable is my weapon of choice, but you can choose anything you wish as long as it’s workable into small flexible pieces.

I create the patterns from my dolls from a standard but usually let the doll dictate what she wants to be, so the dolls are never the same, always different from one another. I really insist on that to give each doll a personality.

Danita Art Doll Handmade Techniques Tutorial Stuffed Bodies Muslin Polyfill

Once your bodies are cut and sewn, it’s time to stuff them! The perfect time to do this is while binge watch on my favorite TV shows and movies. I always buy a huge bag of Poly-Fil, grab my trusty stuffing tools and set to work!

Danita Art Doll Heads Tutorial Paperclay Paper Clay How To make

Once the bodies are filled and my binge for TV and movies satisfied, the dolls move to my working table to start making the doll heads using paper clay, my sculpting tools, and as a new addition to my dolls, glass eyes!

Danita Art Doll Sculpting Sculpture Paper Clay Tutorial How to Secrets

Making a doll face with paper clay starts with a very rough surface that you have to sand and work until you have a smooth surface as a foundation, and let’s be very careful not to scratch the glass eyes with your sanding block.

Your hands and the sculpting tools will be of great help here. I polish, remove and add clay all over the place until I am happy with how things are looking. It’s a very labor intensive process so it’s important that you take your time working this step.

Danita Art Doll Head Face Paper Clay Paperclay Sculpture Handmade Dollmaking How to

They always look very strange while you work the doll making steps. Next, after I am happy with the way the face is looking, I start to trace out features with a stabilo pencil because the next step is to paint the face.

Danita Art Doll Painted Head Paperclay Paper Clay Tutorial WIP

I use a lot of materials at hand here, specially with pan pastels and stick pastels, ink pencils and acrylic paints with the same techniques I use on my mixed media paintings. Getting the right amount of blush and color on the eyes is crucial to make the doll very realistic and with a lovely expression.

Danita Art Doll Handmade Eyelashes Painted Detail Face Techniques Tutorial

Once I am finished with the face, it’s time to add more features to it to make it even more real. I love how I have learned how to bring my mixed media and watercolor paintings into the real world with my Art dolls.

Danita Art Doll Dress Hand Made Sewing Tutorial Clothes for dolls

And did you know that sometimes I spend more time choosing the perfect fabric for the doll that making it?

A piece of my soul goes into each doll I make, to me they are alive in a way and I can hear them whispering what they want. Sometimes they know right away, sometimes they will take their time choosing who they want to be, but it’s a very important step and I must get it right.

Wouldn’t you be the same if you were given the freedom to choose who you want to be? It’s a very important decision and one must take all the time it’s needed.

Danita Art Doll Clothes Trouser Handmade Tutorial Tecniques

All the clothes on my dolls are handmade, most of the time from scratch. You can see here that I took a piece of fabric and turned it into trousers for this little girl.

I insist on everything being handmade. It adds to the uniqueness of each doll and to her final personality.

Danita Art Dress Handmade Fabric Clothes Unique OOAK Tutorial How To Make

The dress is made with a fabric I found on a thrifty store somewhere during my travels. I will collect fabric, lace and props I find during my too frequent visits to antique and second hand stores and when the time comes, I will be ready for the perfect doll to wear it.

The lace on her also came from a very old box of lacy thing I was given by a friend. They are very precious to me because some of them come from another time, and there will never be one like it again. Using old, used things with a new purpose makes everything magical.

Danita Art Doll Choker Gold Cameo Handmade Corset Tutorial

Once I’m done with the dress, I will add accessories to the doll. She is wearing a very nice choker with a cameo I made myself here in the studio with golden colored flakes and jewelry resin, like the ones I use on my original jewelry, only very small.

The dolls are pure mischief when they are finished. I really love to play with them in the studio while they impatiently wait for their final photos. We have lots of adventures and sometimes they even help to make other dolls.

Danita Art Handmade Doll Paper Clay Paperclay Sculpture Fine Art Toy Finished For Sale

Now the final step is to place them for adoption on my online gallery and shop, where they will sit on my virtual showcase, waiting for the perfect match that will take them to their forever home.

Penelope was very lucky! She did not last five minutes on the virtual shop front when her new adoptive parents picked her up. She is now very grateful to the people who gave her a forever home to start a new story in their hands. I’m really looking forward to hear from the stories and adventures they will have together.

I really hope you liked this little insight into my work. I wish I could live closer to my friends and fans so we could get together and learn what I teach on my online classes.

Danita Art Workshop Live Classes Dollmaking Doll Making Mixed Media Painting Tutorial How To

And luckily, the opportunity to spend some time learning with me in person is coming very soon. I have been invited by NW Country Art Retreats to teach a 4 day workshop in their beautiful place near Mount Rainer in Washington State.

I hope you can join me. Together, we will create a beautiful art doll just like the one we saw how to make on this tutorial, plus much more. And I will be just delighted to be in your company, working, laughing and sharing a beautiful time together.

A doll with a sweet tooth

Danita Art Handmade Doll Toy Girl Original Dollmaker Maker Making

My latest doll is a little girl with astonishing green eyes, who happens to love cotton candy.

I was thinking about my childhood delights and how much I loved to eat that delicious pink and fluffy cotton candy when I visited the fair or the zoo.

It felt like eating clouds, so soft and unsubstantial, but it still left that sugary taste in your mouth. I loved to think I was a bird and I flew to the sunset clouds. Now that I am a grown person, I don’t indulge on cotton candy that much, but I still remember how it made me feel and I wanted to evoke that feeling with this doll.

Danita Original OOAK One of a kind Art Doll Maker Making Dollmaking Handcrafted Paper Clay Cotton Candy

I didn’t think it was a good idea to use real cotton candy for her treat, so I dyed wool, needle felted it and placed it on a stick so she sn have an everlasting sweet. Yay!

For her eyes and face, I used a mix of techniques that involve a lot of materials, starting with paper clay that I sculpted and then painted with acrylics and shaded with my derwent inktense color pencils, the same ones I reviewed last week.

Danita Art Original OOAK Doll Ceramic Porcelain Hands Dress Handcrafted Pink Yellow

Her dress is special too. I picked up a very light cream fabric with pink and yellow flowery accents, because, after all it’s Spring! I think it goes very well with her dark wool hair and her sweet face.

Did you know that sometimes I spend more time choosing the fabric for her dress than any other step? To me it’s very important, I need to be super extra sure that it’s the right one for the doll and she always helps me choose. I show her several fabrics and she decides which one will it be, and so far, all of them have always been delighted with their choice!

Danita Doll Art Handmade Ceramic Porcelain Boots Shoes Laces Ribbon Silk Pink

And finally, the shoes. Another important decision! This time she chose to wear high boots with pink lacy bows on them. I had the perfect silk ribbon for them, and they are just lovely!

Just like the hands on my dolls, they are custom made. I pour ceramic and resin into vintage, early 20th century doll molds for each of them, so each one has a very unique and one of a kind outfit and body.

I really believe that going that extra step of making each one of them old school, by hand instead of mass producing them or ordering premade items makes each doll special, just like the person that will adopt her in the end.
Danita Art Doll figure Sculpture Handmade Handcrafted Dollmaking Dollmaker Cotton Candy Girl
Do you like Belle and her cotton candy? We hope so! Drop me a comment here my blog, or via email after you see all the pictures of her in her official photo shoot page. There’s lots of them to enjoy!

Beautiful art from the heart: The official blog.

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