Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Greetings Everyone!

I am in studio clean up mode, and have been making some amazing art supply discoveries! One of which is a set of Art Graf water-soluble graphite that I purchased a couple of years ago. I recently taught Getting Started with Art Journaling at my favorite art supply store, Wet Paint, and they had some Art Graf out for us to play with. I am now totally obsessed.

Since I love doing crayon rubbings with stencils, I knew that something could be done with Art Graf and stencils.

Here’s what I came up with.

Supplies Used:

I placed the set of Art Graf, my sketchbook, stencil, a brush, and a jar of water out on my table.

Here’s what the set of Art Graf looks like:

I placed the Sri Yantra stencil under my paper.

I placed the paper back down, then rubbed a chunk of Art Graf over the area of the stencil.

Now comes the exciting part. Art Graf is water-soluble. So, next, I played with painting in various parts of the stencil rubbing.

I simply dipped my brush into water and started painting.

Here’s another look at my set up.

The ochre Art Graf (as well as the yellow, which I don’t have yet) is so rich and saturated in color!

I continued to play around with adding Art Graf as paint, or just water on the rubbing I created.

Near the end of my work time, I decided to add a little turquoise liquid watercolor over the Art Graf in the corners of the design.

Here’s what I ended up with when it was time to stop for dinner.

There’s a great video on Wet Paint’s website of the Carbon Black Art Graf in action. You can watch it here. The video is by Viarco. If you have extra time, I just discovered a 28-minute video on YouTube about Viarco and the making of Art Graf. It appears to be a Portuguese company, so the video has English subtitles. It is fascinating to watch. Go here, if you want to see more. (Oh, that yellow!)

May you make your own amazing art supply discoveries, and enjoy using them!

Sending Blessings and Creative Vibes,

Briana of



Hello all!

Right now, I'm going through a difficult time, so for today's project I wanted to create something motivational that I could hang up in my room. 

Like a motivational poster - but not the cheesy kind.

Anyway, I grabbed the biggest piece of watercolor paper I could find - (about 2 feet wide x 3 feet tall) and set out to make a poster. 

To start, I reached for the Artistcellar Sacred Geometry stencil set in the 12 x 12 size. I also grabbed some ink sprays from DecoArt Media and Adirondack Color Wash sprays. Here, I just started playing with color.

It's fun to layer the stencils and watch the different colors run together and drip.

Once I had that pretty saturated I let it dry, and then added some black paint. In hindsight, I wish I would have used a brighter color -- but hey, the contrast is cool!

To finish off, I added some lettering with a paint brush. I will be the first to admit this isn't my best lettering ever. I was shaky and it just didn't work out like it usually does - but, I'm keeping it. Because it's MY writing. It took a long time to embrace my own handwriting, but now that I have I wouldn't change it. I encourage you to embrace yours, also!


To finish, I added some splatters with white paint on a really wet paintbrush.

Ta-da! I'm going to go hang this up and remember to take things "one day at a time."

Today I wanted to challenge myself in two different ways -- I wanted to paint a boy (something I don't often do) and I also wanted to use totally new colors for the portrait. Eee!

I started with an 8" x 10" canvas and a graphite pencil. I used a sketch of my own from about a year ago as my reference. For the background, I also used a 12" x 12" Artistcellar Sacred Geometry Sri Yantra stencil.

 Once I finished with the sketching, I brushed on a layer of clear gesso.

For the portrait colors I used Dina Wakely Acrylic, "Blushing" and "Umber" mixed with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics in "Titanium White". I brushed on layers to capture shading until I reached a point I was happy with. 

For extra background elements I used 12" x 12" Artistcellar Water Series in "Sea Foam" and "Ripples" with DecoArt Media Mister in Primary Cyan and then I added in more color with Dina Wakely's "Ocean", "Fuchsia", and "Blackberry Violet".

To finish off his shirt, I used Dina Wakely's "Evergreen" with some white acrylic for the stripes. 

This week, I discovered that it is really fun to go back to old sketches and drawings and bring them into the now. I changed a few things here and there, but mostly kept true to the style of past me.

I hope I have inspired you to go back and rediscover some of your old work! How will you incorporate it into the now?

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


Good Day Artistcellar Folks,

I have an art journal spread to share with you that I’ve also turned into a FREE PRINTABLE POSTER! Who doesn’t like free art, right?

So, here’s the step-by-step process, and at the end you’ll find the 8” x 10” printable poster. Enjoy!

SUPPLIES USED: Dina Wakley acrylic paints; Sacred Geo 2: Seeds of Life stencil; Sacred Geometry: Sri Yantra stencil; Virtues Words Pocket Stencils: Grace, Hope; Strathmore Visual Journal Mixed Media 9” x 12”

Step 1:Gather your paints, art journal, and stencils. Also grab a cosmetic wedge, a paint palette, and a paint scraper.

Step 2:

Apply two paint colors and scrape them across your journal page.

Step 3:

With a new color of paint, use the cosmetic wedge to dab paint through the Seeds of Life stencil in two places on your page.

Step 4:

Use a fourth color of paint and apply it with your finger around the edges of the stencil shapes. Consider drawing into the wet paint with the end of a paintbrush or toothpick.

Step 5:

Use the Sri Yantra stencil with white paint and a cosmetic wedge.

Step 6:

Add two of your favorite Virtues Words stencils.

Simple. Meaningful. Powerful.

And now for your printable poster!!

Today's guest blogger is artist Martice Smith II. Martice is an illustrator, designer and instructor who likes to mix traditional with digital media, vibrant colors, textures, and urban culture. You can see more of her work on her blog



Stencil Metallic Tote Bag by Martice Smith II

Gather your materials:

12" x 12" Stencils used:

Sturdy fabric (canvas works great; see photo 1 for sizes needed): 1 to 1 1/2 yards depending on what size you want

Acrylic, neon, and metallic paints

Large paintbrushes

Bucket of water

Sewing Machine

Metallic thread (same color as metallic paint)

Low-tack tape, optional

Fabric Glue

Heavy Duty clips


Hello! Martice here, sharing a fun tutorial on how to design and make your very own designer tote bag with a couple of Artistcellar’s most popular 12” x 12” stencils.

Now, I have to ask you: are you an artist who hauls art supplies and artwork around in those hideously designed plastic grocery bags? (Yes, I’m guilty, too!) Well today, you and I are gonna put a STOP to those shenanigans and flaunt our creations with style. Your beautifully designed tote bag will, not only be a great conversation starter, it will also inspire you to speak about your art with confidence ...what’s better than that?!

Let’s get started!

STEP 1: Paint the fabric

I'm painting fabric that I picked up at a local thrift store. I've been holding onto it for almost a year and I finally came up with an idea of what to make out of it.

Since I'm always in need of storage, (especially during travel workshops and outdoor painting adventures) I knew that I had to create something to accommodate those needs. It sure beats carrying around a grocery bag! Notice that my fabric is, overall, a dark color with patterns. (Most of the original pattern will be painted over.) I started with an off-white as my base color because I want the next layers of colors to look as bright as possible.

Try dry brushing your next layer of color.

Apply your next color(s) with a dry brush. Notice that some of the color in previous layer shows through. This adds visual texture and dimension!

Allow each layer to thoroughly dry before adding the next color.

STEP 2: Stencil it!

Lay down the Sri Yantra (Sacred Geometry series) stencil and use a stencil brush to apply gold metallic paint (Champagne Gold). Repeat this in several areas.

Cover parts of the stencil with tape to create your own design.


Lay down Reims (Cathedral Series) stencil and choose different parts from this stencil to add to your fabric.




STEP 3: Design bag patterns, Cut out fabric

Find a simple bag design that you like or design one of your preference. Study the overall shape and note where the seams are. (I'll be making mine from a simple design based on a bag I purchased.)

Some elements, like seam binding and a pen loop, will be added.

Cut one piece of fabric on the fold (18" long and 9.5" wide).

(Optional: if you want the inside of your bag decorated, go ahead and decorate the wrong sides of the fabric pieces now. It will be difficult to do so after sewing it.)

Cut two pieces of fabric for the sides (7" x 5").

Cut two pieces of fabric for the handles (9" x 1/2").

Cut two pieces of fabric for the seam binding (18" x 1.5").

You still with me? Great! Let’s get stitchin’...

STEP 4: Sew bag together

Fold top edge down 1/4". Stitch.

Fold edge down 7/8". Stitch along the first stitched line.


1. Fold top edge down 1/4". Stitch.

Fold edge down 7/8". Stitch along the first stitched line.

Fold in half, right sides together. Crease.

Mark a dot at 2 1/4" up, from the bottom.

Starting at the dot, make a diagonal crease from the dot to the bottom left and bottom right corners. (This should now look like a triangle.)

2. Pin sides to bag, wrong sides together. Baste stitch to hold in place.

Be careful going around the curves at the bottom. They are a bit tricky to manipulate!

3. Stitch sides and bag together, 1/4" from the raw edge.

STEP 5: Seam Binding

I like creating my own seam binding because it matches my bag perfectly and it's a way to use up fabric scraps.

Fold in 1/4" on each side of the fabric strip.

Stitch 1/4" from the fold.


Attach the seam binding to the bag with industrial fabric glue. (Remember to take care of those curves at the bottom of the bag!)

Crease the seam binding, in half, over the edges (see photo).


STEP 6: Attach Handles

Mark 2" in from the edge of the bag on both sides. Center the handle on this mark, on the inside of the bag.

Glue handle in place. (Use a heavy duty clip to hold handle in place while glue sets.)

(Optional: create a pen holder loop by sewing a scrap piece of fabric (the same way you did the seam binding) to the edge of the bag. Seam binding will also cover the edge. See photo, above.)

Topstitch handle (on right side of fabric).

Erase pencil markings.

STEP 7: Embellish tote bag!

Decorate your bag any way you want. Add more stenciling, doodles, paint, add creative lettering... whatever you wish!

I wanted a bright, neon color to offset the pastel tones so I decided to use irRESISTible Neon Pico Embellisher in Electric Purple. (This has a glossy finish with subtle, raised texture.)

Check out the inside and side views! (Don’t let the small size deceive you - there’s plenty of room in here!)

Triangle shapes were added in random areas on the bag.

(Optional: You can spray a clear varnish on your bag to protect it from dirt. A clear varnish is great because it repels moisture and allows you to clean up with a damp cloth.)

Thank you for visiting us today! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial.

Happy creating!