Love Blooms {#SketchbookSummer}

IMG_7039It has been a crazy week.  More projects than days. Launching anything is not for the faint of heart.  Even with all the challenges it is a joy to build something from scratch.  I feel somehow closest to God’s heart when I am creating, capturing colors, words and flinging them on page and screen.

I’m reminded this week that creating is nothing if not a labor of love.  And that is what we are.  You.  Me.  We are the creative work of God’s love.  We are born from the overflow of His heart, not from obligation.  That makes me stand amazed every time.

There’s this amazing series Mom and I have watched called The Men Who Built America. {I know… I’m waiting for the necessary sequel too…  The Women Who Kept America Together}.   But withstanding the gender focus, this was one of the most beautifully done series of its kind that I have seen.  In my cinematographically uber-picky opinion, at least.

I think it is easy to hear the term “old money” and look at the historically rich aristocracy and forget.  Old money was once new money.  It was the product of hard work, sacrifice and a huge amount of being brave enough to believe so strongly in something unseen that faith became sight.  Many of the wealthiest men in our history started with huge gaping deficits. They failed time and time again.  They just kept failing smarter.

Obviously some of the tactics they used were not just and I’m not advocating those.  Many are illegal today.  However their raw tenacity and gumption and refusal to accept defeat is pretty darn inspiring.

Creating takes a love that refuses to give up.  Maybe that’s why it makes me feel so close to Jesus.  He is Love that refuses to give up.

SO, do you have your sketchbooks ready?  A simple sketchbook and some basic watercolors don’t have to break your budget.suppliesI love Canson’s Mixed Media sketchbook.  It can take wet and dry media quite well.  I cover mine and make it a beautiful place to create in.  My favorite brushes are Simply Simmons.  I have very expensive sable brushes for watercolor but somehow I always return to these!  Talens Angora is a great student grade set of opaque watercolors to play with and my favorite pencil is found right here.

IMG_0761aWe are going to make a simple hand-lettered word that reminds us of summer {or fall or whenever you like!}  The beautiful thing is, if you can write letters, you can draw. That simple.  So no excuses saying you’re just not creative or you can’t draw.

handlettrcollageGetting started is simple.  Brew some tea.  {That bit is optional. I love green tea with mint in it in the afternoon.}  Pick a simple word like LOVE.  Using a ruler, draw two parallel lines on your paper to serve as top and bottom guidelines to keep your letters roughly the same height.  Measure the width of the paper and draw a light dot or tick to mark the center.  Write simple thin line letters to serve as a frame starting with the center-most 2 letters and working your way out from there.

IMG_0749Draw on top of your lightly written lines different shapes and kinds of flowers and leaves.  Need some inspiration for the flowery bits? Take scroll thru Pinterest here.

Now using a very fine brush and some watercolor, start filling them in with color.  When using watercolors, the color will go wherever the water is.  So when trying to keep colors within the lines only wet the part of the paper where you want that specific color to go.  Then let it dry before working in a different color nearby, unless you want the colors to bleed together and mix.  Build up layers of color (letting each layer dry before adding the next} until you get the effect you want.

Let everything dry completely.  Then erase any pencil lines showing you don’t want to keep.

IMG_0837Snap a photo of your masterpiece and if you are so inclined share it with us over on my Facebook page here as a reply to this post!

I happened to complete this version on watercolor paper for a print project I was working on.   Prints are available on my new store, RiverTreebyMichele.com and on my Etsy storefront as well.

Happy creating friends!  Remember you are a creation of God’s amazing love.

{This post has a few amazon affiliate links so if enough of you click through and decide to purchase something, you get a great deal and I may get a teensy bit of financial amazingness. Thank you in advance!}