Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ARTFUL TACTIC - by Shana Conroy Roberts "Dealing With a Nemesis"

Betty here -- today we have a special GUEST ARTIST, Shana Roberts Conroy bringing you a delightful Artful Tactic using magazine images in your journals and making them your own.  Shana is quite the gifted and talented artist and loves sharing her "how-to's" with us via video and photo tutorials at Artful Mail Groupies and now Artful Journeys.  So let's see what she has to say and show us today!

Oh! Hello My Lovelies!! Shana Conroy here.  I am so excited to share with you and how I cope with my arch nemesis!  You can use this technique on ANY magazine image, applying the same principles.

I LOVE to paint and draw and one of the favorite things that my little nieces and nephew like to do is have Auntie Shana draw pictures. I have drawn everything from a simple stick figure family, for a niece who likes the ones on cars, to a Tyrannosaurus Rex eating a little sister (with parent permission) for a nephew. I love the ideas and imagination that they bring and the challenges that arise when it's something I have never drawn before.

The only items I dread being requested is a rose,
I cannot draw roses! They are my nemesis!

With their beautifully shaped petals, with uneven edges, slightly curled pointed tips, the deeply shadowed chasm where the base of the petals meet, and the petals are random in the way they come from the center bud but there is order to them as well. As you can see, I have thought a lot about roses and their structure, but I think in all my years of trying I have succeeded in 1 (yes 1) that I wasn't uneasy about sharing.

I am going to share with you the way I am able to incorporate roses into my art. I cheat. Yup! The way I get a away with it is that I make it mine in the end.

So here goes a lesson on cheating!!! Yup I'm Naughty! Tee Hee!

I start by gluing my picture (magazine image) onto my surface and pulling my paint. You want at least 3 colors, a light, a mid range and dark, they don't even need to be the same color, I have done this with yellow, red and purple before! Here I ended up with 4 because I want more contrast in my blues.

The trick to this is to keep your paint wet in between colors, and don't clean your brush! I usually only do one area at a time but to really show you the steps I did the complete rose for each step.

I start with my darkest color in all of the deepest shaded areas and progress through to the lightest following the transition of color in from the original image.

Darkest Color for the deepest Shadows

Add first mid-tone

Add second mid-tone and lightest color

Now remember after adding all this paint, they should still be damp and your brush still loaded with paint! If your climate is dry like mine (I live in Arizona) do 1 petal or area at a time.

With your paint still being damp, take your damp and dirty brush and blend your colors together, if you feel your brush or picture is getting dry just dip the tip of your brush in your water, don't dunk it, a little goes a long way.

Blended Rose

If you feel you have lost some contrast, don't be afraid to pick up more color to add but just a touch of additional color on the tip of your brush, if you do pick up too much, don't clean your brush just wipe the excess on your pallet, just look at my pallet, I am always picking up too much!

If you are better at learning through example take a look at the video I made to go along with this blog entry when I painted the 1st rose in my journal! 

This is what the completed journal spread ended up looking like, the face is also a Paintover cheat!

If you would like to see the video of the rest of the journal entry check out this video!

I hope this helped you in your Artful Journey!
Big hugs and Mushy Stuff! 

- Shana (a.k.a wisccheeto)
My Blog


  1. Great tutorial! What a wonderful idea. The journal spread is fabulous. Love your work Shana!

  2. Fantastic spread, Shana. We are so proud to have you as a guest artist sharing your wonderful talents with everyone. And we appreciate you doing this guest post very much!


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