Creativity is for Everyone!


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6 Tips for Watercolor Success

Watercolor Seascape by Eileen McKenna

  1. Work light to dark.
  2. Work wet to dry.
  3. Work bigger brush to thinner brush.
  4. Build up the layers of paint, remembering tips 1-3. Allow time for paint to dry between layers.
  5. Unless you want colors to bleed into one another, do not paint next to wet paint.
  6. Find opportunities in your subject for the bleeding and blending of colors – that is the magical quality of watercolor! 

Want a comprehensive start in watercolor? Try my “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” where I walk you through the fundamentals of watercolor with exercises and projects. Learn by doing. Discover a love of watercolor today –> Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor

Not ready for the guide? Click here for a free Watercolor Basics free download!

Six tips for Watercolor Success


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How to Motivate to Finish Creative Projects

Watercolor Sunset Painting by Eileen McKenna

For three months this sunset painting sat unfinished. I couldn’t motivate to pick it up and work on it, until now. What changed?

For one thing, with the holidays behind us and a new fresh year ahead, I recommitted to creativity. My goal is to sit and paint every morning for at least 15 minutes. So far this year, I’ve done just that plus a few days at the end of 2020.

When I sit down to paint I usually have no plan. Sometimes I start by organizing my art supplies. That’s when I uncovered this painting (but immediately set it aside). I often start by playing in my sketchbook. There is no pressure with a sketchbook. I feel free to explore. As I paint, ideas come to me.

It’s so interesting how you can go from no idea…to painting bananas…to “It’s time to finish that sunset.” It just proves how important it is to regularly sit down to paint, to show up every day.

There are days that nothing exciting happens on the page, but that’s part of the creative process too. No matter what the results, time spent being creativity clears my mind.

I encourage you to paint, draw (or whatever) for 15 minutes each day. You never know what it will lead to!

*****

Ready to get started in watercolor? The “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” is for you!

  • Learn the fundamentals.
  • Practice with exercises & projects.
  • Discover a love of watercolor!

Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor


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Northern Lights Homeschool Art and Science Lesson

The Northern Lights are a magical phenomenon! They make a great subject for an art and science combo lesson.

The Northern Lights also know as Aurora Borealis is the result of “charged particles from the Sun reacting with particles in the air. Although the magnetic field protects Earth from most of these particles, some slip through in the weaker areas near the North and South poles, creating amazing light shows such as the one seen in the video above.”
Source of explanation: https://www.sciencekids.co.nz/videos/earth/northernlights.html

The video below gives an easy to understand explanation of how and why these lights form.

After showing the above videos, allow kids to create their own Northern Lights. Use the step by step printable painting tutorial – available on Etsy – to guide the kids to create a beautiful painting! With this tutorial, kids will have the opportunity to play with watercolor and build their artistic confidence.

This fun painting project produces beautiful results! Practice five watercolor techniques including:

  • Masking areas with tape
  • Wet on wet painting
  • Splattering
  • Dry on dry painting
  • Painting layers

The Northern Lights Polar Bear painting tutorial is available for download on Etsy here.


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Watercolor Zoom Lessons coming in 2021!

I have exciting plans for 2021 and I want you to be a part of them! Last New Year’s we had the privilege of visiting Paris. It was amazing. After the trip I revisited my photos and memories by painting them. Instead of doing it alone, I developed the “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program so participants could virtually “visit” Paris and improve upon their watercolor skills. This year – I’m so excited – I’m expanding on the “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program by also offering online zoom lessons.* We can meet and paint together! It is going to be so fun. Zoom lessons will start mid January. Please note – the zoom lessons will be an additional fee.  

You can start the “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program at any time. If you are interested in the upcoming small group zoom lessons please email me and let me know. There is no commitment at this point – I just want to make sure you receive all the details!

*The zoom lessons will be an additional cost to the current “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program. The zoom lessons are not included in the cost of the “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program.

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Ready to get started in watercolor? The “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” is for you!

  • Learn the fundamentals.
  • Practice with exercises & projects.
  • Discover a love of watercolor!

Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor

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Hoping for a creative new year but don’t know where to start? Try my book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life – Develop a regular practice of creating, explore mediums and subjects in search of your thing, and experience the joy that creativity brings. Creativity is for EVERYONE! Talent is just a starting point!

Creative Exploration book -


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Woodland Creatures Birch Forest Watercolor Painting Project

This watercolor painting project is a new spin on a my original birch forest painting tutorial. The woodland creatures – an owl, a fox and a bunny – make this new beginner project fun for all ages!

It’s easier than it looks! The final painting may look complex but the instructions – with photos – walk you through the entire project step by step. It’s a great project for home schooling, for a group, or even painting on your own.

Watercolor techniques used:

  • Masking areas with tape
  • Wet on wet painting
  • Splattering
  • Dry on dry painting
  • Painting layers

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper. I use 9” x 12” Arches 140 lb. cold pressed paper. 
  • Painter’s tape
  • Watercolor paint. Colors: orange, yellow, cobalt blue, black
  • Paint brushes – 3 round (1 thick, 1 medium, 1 thin) and 1 flat.
  • Container of water
  • Paper Towel
  • Palette for mixing paint with water. You can use a plastic lid or the top of a plastic egg carton.

The printable pdf instructions are available in my Etsy shop here.

Let me know if you try it – I’d love to see!

*****

Ready to get started in watercolor? The “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” is for you!

  • Learn the fundamentals.
  • Practice with exercises & projects.
  • Discover a love of watercolor!

Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor

Fun Beginner Winter Art Project Learn Watercolor Kid Art


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Take Time to Appreciate your Work

Tar time to appreciate your work

If you’ve been creating for a while – whatever the medium – I encourage you to take time to look through your work. I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your progress and proud of the work you’ve created.

When I first started painting I realized that while you are working on something you are hypercritical of a piece. It makes sense – you are working at it to achieve the best work you can. After some time passes, when you are “removed” from a piece, you can appreciate it with a less critical eye. 

There is so much to learn from simply reviewing our work – what subjects and themes we are interested in, new phases in our style or technique, what areas we may want to work on, pieces we’d like to finish, and ideas for new projects.

I’ve been reviewing my watercolor paintings and recent sketchbook work from the last 7 months. It’s like a time capsule. So much good stuff from such a weird time in the world! I enjoyed the Monet inspired practice work I did. So fun! It was inspired by “The Masters” week from my “Let’s Paint Paris in Watercolor” program. 

As I collected and reviewed my paintings, I decided to restock my shop with a selection of original paintings. Keep an eye out for the restock announcement because with originals – once a painting is sold it’s gone!


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Watercolor Basics free download!

Watercolor Basics free pdf download
I have been painting in watercolor for over twelve years. When I first started out I didn’t know anything about paper or paint or even brushes. For months I used the wrong paper and it showed! Over the years I’ve tried different paints, papers and brushes. I created the “Watercolor Basics” pdf to give you the information I was missing when I started. I want you to start your watercolor journey with the right tools and tips, so that you’ll have success and develop a love of watercolor like I did! 

To receive the free pdf, just sign up for my weekly newsletter – a collection of all the things inspiring me, in hopes of inspiring you! 

Sign up for the Watercolor Basics free download here!

*****

Ready to get started in watercolor? The “Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide” is for you!

  • Learn the fundamentals.
  • Practice with exercises & projects.
  • Discover a love of watercolor!

Learn more here!

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor


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How to Paint a Fall Leaf in Watercolor

This week, find a leaf that inspires you and paint it. I’ve uploaded a video of my process for painting a leaf:

  • With pencil I outline the basic shape.
  • I use just three colors – cadmium yellow, cadmium red, and ultramarine blue and mix colors as I go. From those three colors I create all the fall colors I need – purples, maroons, browns.
  • I work wet encouraging the colors to bleed into one another.

It’s fun and relaxing. Check out the video below and watch my painting process. Then find your leaf and start painting. I’d love to see – tag me on Instagram @eileenmckenna.

Please like the video and subscribe!

Want a comprehensive guide to getting started in watercolor? Check out “Beginner Watercolor Exploration.” Learn the fundamentals. Practice with exercises and projects. Discover a love of watercolor!

Start your watercolor journey today! Learn more here.

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor


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Painting Leaves in Watercolor

Fall Leaves in Watercolor by Eileen McKenna

Recently I painted a pile of leaves in watercolor. It was an easy relaxing process:

  • Collect a few leaves
  • Trace the leaves
  • Mix fall colors from yellow, red and blue
  • Work wet and encourage the colors to bleed and blend.

Believe it or not, I’m often more interested in how it feels to sit and paint than what the final results are. Sure, there is satisfaction in how a painting comes out and sometimes frustration when I can’t achieve my vision. But the process of sitting and painting is…the best.

I shared a video on how I created the watercolor pile of leaves painting. Grab your paints and give it a try!

Please like the video and subscribe!

Want a comprehensive guide to getting started in watercolor? Check out “Beginner Watercolor Exploration.” Learn the fundamentals. Practice with exercises and projects. Discover a love of watercolor!

Start your watercolor journey today! Learn more here.

Beginner Watercolor Exploration Guide pdf download | how to guide beginner watercolor


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14 Creative Fall Project Ideas

The air feels cooler, I’ve made my first batch of pumpkin bread, and I’m collecting and brainstorming ideas for fun fall projects!

14 Creative Fall Project Ideas:

Nature –  I love projects that involve found elements and paint. Check these out: painting acorns, drawing on leaves (I love the ones with the white pen), decorating a white pumpkin. Now, I’m in competition with the squirrels to collect acorns!

Potpourri – I want to make this homemade fall scented potpourri recipe.

Paper – I’ve just launched a new paper quilt printable kit for fall! It’s a fun and easy project for all ages.

Fiber – This fall leaves fiber art by Franswazz is so cool.

Embroidery – These fall embroidery kits look fun.

Recycle – This paper bag tree is so interesting. I’d like to use it in a fall terrarium.

Wood burning – I love this wood burned acorn by Italian Artist Liliia of SorrisoDesign. “The design is hand drawn, then carefully and lovingly burned into the solid wood bead with pyrography technique.”

Polymer Clay – Finally! I had a chance to play with my stash of polymer clay, blending colors, creating fall leaves and other fun projects while watching clay videos on YouTube. This is the starter kit I purchased:

Dough Ornaments – I’d like to make a fall version of these cornstarch ornaments.

Watercolor – Paint a realistic looking fall leaf or paint a pumpkin farm. Creating the changing leaves is the best part! Or maybe it’s painting the pumpkin patch?

We all need time to explore – to try a new medium, play around with it, just for the fun of it.

**Try one of my new fall projects by visiting my Etsy shop here.**

Fall Painting Idea Watercolor Fall Farm with Pumpkins Tutorial

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14 Creative Fall Project Ideas