Teaching Thursday: Watercolours

Happy Thursday everyone! A couple of months ago I purchased a new set of Koi Sakura watercolour paints and have been occasionally dabbling in painting ever since. However, learning how to paint with watercolours isn’t as easy as just wetting a brush and swiping it across a pan of pigment. I am still very much a beginner so for today’s Teaching Thursday I have gathered some of the best watercolour tutorials on the internet. I hope this inspires you to give this very fun medium a try, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist!

The Alison Show with Yao

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Photo from thealisonshow.com

My favourite beginner tutorial for learning watercolours is by an artist named Yao, who was featured on a blog called The Alison Show. This is a five-part series that covers the basics, like which tools to use, as well as topics like blending and mark making. I love the beautiful photos and straightforward writing style of these articles. You can find a list of all five tutorials here.

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Playing Tourist in Galt, ON

Downtown Galt, Ontario is full of beautiful historic stone architecture and hidden pieces of design. I had the opportunity the other day to walk around with my camera and take some photos and now I’m sharing them with you. But first, here’s some background information about Galt, as found here:

“Galt was a thriving city when in 1973, along with the towns of Hespeler and Preston, it amalgamated with the city of Cambridge. The founder of Galt, William Dickson was one of three brothers brought from Dumfries in Scotland to Niagara by Robert Hamilton, their cousin.

Together with Absalom Shade, they had built a gristmill by 1819 and named the new community Dumfries Mill. Later on the village would become known as Shades Mills and eventually Galt, named in honour of John Galt, founder of Guelph and Goderich and instrumental in the formation of the Canada Company.

This company was set up as a means of implementing settlement into the area […] The company eventually was to buy more than two million acres of land including the Huron Tract, an area of land between the present Kitchener and Lake Huron, and containing Goderich and Stratford.”

What I love about downtown Galt is its dual nature–it is simultaneously gritty and gentlemanly. I would hesitate to walk the streets alone at night in some areas but during the day it is breathtaking. I’ve driven through Galt on a regular basis since I was little, but I found so many new and fascinating details when I parked my car and toured on foot.

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Teaching Thursday: Bookbinding

There’s something so exciting about a brand new, crisp notebook. Blank pages have infinite potential for recording thoughts and sketches or anything else you can invent! Now imagine being able to make any kind of notebook, in any style and thickness, with any kind of paper that strikes your fancy–that’s the motivation behind learning the art of bookbinding. Today I’m sharing some tutorials I’ve found that will set you on the path to binding your own notebooks, whether you are a complete bookbinding newbie or a seasoned veteran looking for a new style to try.

Summer Stories Sewn Journals from DanaMadeIt

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Photo from danamadeit.com

This is a simple and sweet tutorial that is perfect for complete beginners. The author created these books for her daughter using cardstock, paper, and a sewing machine. She provides templates designed for childrens’ summer journaling but the concept can be used for any kind of notebook your heart desires.

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Teaching Thursday: Calligraphy

This semester I will be replacing Thursday Thoughts with Teaching Thursdays! The plan is to provide online resources for a different skill every week. This first week is all about calligraphy. I started teaching myself brush calligraphy about a month and a half ago and it is a blast. I started with a Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip pen and have since collected a bunch of Tombow Double Ended Brush Markers and Koi Sakura Colouring Brush Pens. I even tried watercolour brush calligraphy, which was challenging but fun. I haven’t graduated to using pen and ink yet, but I have a feeling I will get there in the new future. I mean, who needs money? If you are interested in trying out calligraphy, whether brush or traditional, check out my recommendations below for some great resources.

Brush Calligraphy

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Photo from piecescalligraphy.com

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I’m Back! Beer Packaging: Part One

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break. If it was anything like mine, you ate way too much food, played lots of Dutch Blitz, and got to hang out with friends you haven’t seen in a while.

The Public Series (a.k.a. blog) project was assigned again this semester so you can expect at least a dozen new posts between now and the end of April. I was actually thinking about keeping this blog going anyway because I really enjoy sharing my thoughts, but now that’s a choice I don’t have to make.

We’re going to kick off this new year of blogging by introducing a three part series on the process of designing one of my projects–beer packaging–from start to finish. This project is a fun one because it’s completely wide open for any topic or style. Before I did anything else, I made a workback schedule. From there I could add the due dates for each step to my planner (more on that later!) and know if I am ahead or behind.

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To start my research, I went to the LCBO to take photos of the craft beer they have for sale as well as buy a bottle to relabel. I went with one called Forked River because of its streamlined shape and plain silver cap (and later I get to drink it, yay!). Then I made a PDF of all of my photos for reference. I also pulled inspiration from websites such as Oh Beautiful Beer and Stranger and Stranger Design Studio for a more global variety of influences.

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