Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hello again!

Today I’m playing around with the Faber-Castell graphite aquarelle pencils. They’re like watercolor pencils, but in greyscale and better for creating different values than colors. They’re really fun to use! 

I used them to draw a few faces just 'cause faces are my favorite thing to draw. I first wanted to make a quick sketch to test them out on thinner paper but I got really carried away and it turned into a full drawing… here’s the steps I like to take with pencil sketching.

First, I do a loose sketch in a light pencil, like HB. (Remember the H is harder and lighter, then B’s are softer and darker, and the higher the number in front of the H/B is, the softer/harder or darker/lighter the pencil is.)

After that I went in with 4B to define everything. This set has HB, 2B, 4B, 6B, and 8B if you want to use every one for really even shading. 



I used an 8B then to make really deep shadows. I think that these pencils make really nice sketch pencils on their own without the water, they get really nice and dark and feel a bit more like colored pencils.

Then I went in with water. I used a normal brush like the kind that comes with the pack, but I think a water brush would be great to use too. If you’re really into watercolor, you’d be great at this step, the pencils act a lot like watercolor does. 

The darker pencils create a darker black once you wet them, which is why it’s good to use the different pencils rather than to use one pencil with different pressure. I tried to push the water along with the lines I made to control the shading, it's hard to make it look neat! Putting one big wash over it keeps the darker lines and creates an even gray layer, which I used more around the outsides and on the hair. I think these pencils would also look great and be easier to use with a more loose style. 

Since the paper got a little bubbly, I tried another drawing on watercolor paper and repeated the same steps for shading as before. 

The watercolor paper definitely worked better with the water. You can also go back and add in more details with dry pencil again on top.

I experimented with colors after that… I tried alcohol markers on one, and just put a layer of even color on top since the pencils already create the value. I think it would work better if I had less aquarelle pencil underneath because it came out a little muddy. Or maybe even a marker base and the pencils on top?

I also added colored pencils to the other one. I bet that using watercolor pencils on top or even also as a base layer would be a cool look.

I liked playing with these pencils and there’s so many ways you could use them! I’d love to see even more combinations with other mediums and styles. Overall they’re pretty great pencils and lots of fun to use.

Hello my Lovely Lovelies! This weeks piece is a watercolor piece. To start I used Sri Yantra from the Sacred Geometry series with shades of blue and red from my Koi Watercolor Pocket Field kit on Hot press watercolor paper. I then haphazardly  put gesso over thinly, then another layer of water color through the Halftone Dots series. I kept the patterns loosely recognizable by using a lot of water and using my heat gun to chase the puddles of color across the page.

I  used my Faber-castell Aquarelle pencil to sketch out the face I saw in the jumbles of color activating it with water. I used the acrylic paint to bring out highlights to the nose, forehead and eyes, then the regular graphite pencil to add the details of the face, and the acrylic paint pen to add more highlights. I also went back in with more water color to add more shadows and details.

In the end I decided to add a 2nd face off to the bottom right of the page. This little page was an hour in my day and because I used the stencils to get my art mojo going it was totally relaxing and I just let myself create.s

I tend to stress out at times trying to create things everyone will like. The funny part is I usually make my most popular art when I create for me.

If you would like to watch my process check out the Youtube video!

Keep creating my lovelies!
Shana Banana


We thought February 29th, being a Leap Year, was a pretty cool date to release our  newest stencil series, Sacred Geometry 2! You seem to love our first Sacred Geometry series, we're pretty sure you'll love these also. We are also hosting a blog hop with this release, and I've got an awesome set of artists lined up. The dates and links to their blogs are at the end of this post, so be sure to check them out. Every artist will be giving away a FREE set of Sacred Geo 2 stencils to a lucky person who leaves a comment on the artist's blog post. That means there will be SEVEN lucky winners in all, and you have seven chances to win, but please, to avoid confusion, one comment per blog stop.

I've had these stencils for awhile now, but being predictable, the first thing I did was grab my gelli plate and start monoprinting! You know I love gellin'! And I LOVE the way these stencils print!

The above print was made using a dirty gel plate, aren't those crusty bits yummy?

To see how the stencils looked by themselves as a straight design, I grabbed a few canvases I'd started backgrounds on and did some tests. Metatron's Cube got some tinted Texture Paste squished through it, to add some dimension, then rubbed with a little Inka Gold in Copper. Really hard to photograph because of the metallic/iridescence, the angle makes it look like a different color altogether! A little magical...

I used Seed of Life on another canvas I had laying around, I believe I just stenciled it with some black Media Acrylic paint and a makeup wedge, over an existing red splotch. Can I pick a favorite child? Seed of Life is it!

My most recent project was an art journaling page. I am a member of Journal52 and every week we get a couple prompts to inspire us. That particular week the prompt was "monochrome." That was difficult for me because I love color. I started by drawing a girls face, in a style taught by Effy Wild. I used Aquarelle Water Soluble Graphite Pencils to draw and shade the girl. When I liked her well enough, I decided to use the stencils for a background. (A little backwards... but that's me, ha!) I simply used a light coating of Black Pan Pastels, to make it look like shades of gray, and layered the stencils. So easy and looks great.

When I was done with my monochromatic page, all that gray made me sad. So I found this great quote and added some colorful rub-on flowers to the bottom. I'm a rebel.

That's all I'm going to show you for now, but stay tuned to THIS blog the next few weeks when the Design Team shows you what they did with these stencils!

Follow the blog hop, I will remind you and provide a link each day on Facebook and Twitter. Leave a comment on THEIR blog for a chance to win! Leave a comment on THIS blog post too! Tell me which stencil is your favorite design, and leave your contact info so I can contact you in case you win. Good luck and enjoy!

February 29th - Lisa Cousineau/Artistcellar  <-- YOU ARE HERE
March 1st - Stephanie Gagos 
March 2nd - Lisa Chin
 March 3rd - Linda Edkins Wyatt
March 4th - Sarah Trumpp  
March 5th - Effy Wild
March 6th - Guadalupe Brizuela Cabal  
See you soon!