Four steps to make cute bead bracelets.

Making cute bead bracelets is an interesting process because you get to choose the types of beads you want, how the bracelets look like and the number of bracelets you want. Elastic bracelets are versatile, they have been in the market for long and they are not going out of fashion any time soon.

Making bracelets is a thrilling activity for those who like to accessorise with simple jewels.

Make sure you have all the right beads and charms before you begin making your own jewellery. They should be the quality and quantity you desire.

Other raw materials include: elastic cording, charms, scissors and glue.

Choosing an Elastic cord

Choose a cord that’s made of elastic and supposed to be used for jewellery making which will complement the type of beads you will use. Clear elastic cords may be ideal in most cases but will be noticeable when using dark coloured beads.

Most used chords for jewellery are .7mm and 1mm but this largely depends on the size of holes in the beads as well as the weight of the beads.

Cutting the cord to wrist size

Using your wrist as a guide, cut the cord so that you end up with a piece that’s somewhere around the length of the bracelet with at at least 3 inches extra on either side. You’ll want to stretch  your cord before you begin stringing. This will enable the bracelet to stay the proper size and not stretch some more to leave gaps.

After you finish stretching the cord, tie one end into a knot. Secure the knot with glue and let it dry completely.

Stringing the beads

Begin stringing the beads one by one. The bigger the beads, the less you’ll need to make a bracelet. About halfway through, you can add a charm. You can add more according to your preference. Finish adding the beads.

Securing the end

Secure the end by tying it into a double or triple knot. Add a little bit of glue and allow it to dry. Trim the extra-long elastic cords. Covering the knot not only makes the whole thing look cleaner, it also will help prevent the knot itself from wearing by the rubbing that maybe happen from being between beads.

It’s advisable not to stretch your bracelet whenever you put it on. This will reduce its durability. Roll it gently over your hand. Keep the bracelet away from salt water, soap and skin products as this reduces the quality of the elastic cord.

You can make some bead bracelets for your friends or family members or sell them and earn a little extra income. Bead bracelets are here to stay.

How to paint a beautiful picture

Some of the most gifted painters in history created vibrant pieces with the strokes of their brushes, pieces which have stood the test of time and remain priceless in this modern day and age.

Painting a beautiful picture can seem a bit difficult for beginners who have never stood in front of a canvas before, but it’s not. However, simple steps need to be followed to ensure painting is enjoyable and flows smoothly.

Type of paint to use

There are two major types of paints that are used on canvas, acrylic and oil paints. Acrylic paints dry fast and you can do many layers or apply crisp lines. Acrylic paints have no smell, they come off the brush after washing with water and they appear darker when they dry on the canvas.

Oil paints take longer to dry and allow a longer working time. They easily blend and allow a smooth transition. Oil paints smell because of the turpentine used to thin the colours. The colour of the oil paint remains the same when it dries.

Types of brushes to use

The types of brushes to use depend on the type of paint you’ve chosen. For acrylic paint use synthetic brushes. For Oil paint, use natural fibre brushes because the bristles are harder and make distinct marks on canvas.

Big brushes are used for a wide area and a loose painting style while small brushes are used for small areas and to put details into the painting.

Prepare your canvas.

Choose a pre-stretched canvas, meaning it has been stretched on a wooden frame.

Get a palette

This is the surface where you will be mixing your paint colours. You can use a flat plastic object as your palette.

Water

Fill two tins with water. Use one to rinse your brushes as you transition from colour to colour and the other to dilute the paint or moisten the brushes during the painting process.

Use a cloth rag to clean your hands.

Position and Lighting

Position your painting opposite you in order to look at it proportionately and clearly. If you want the canvas to slant a little bit you can use a stand-up easel. The source of light should be higher than the canvas. It should not come from behind as this may cast shadows on your painting.

What to paint.

Start with a simple picture that has few shades of colours or does not have intricate details. You can begin with a big simple colourful fish.

Make some sketches

Make some sketches before you start painting. The sketches will be used as reference and for layout. They will prevent mistakes which will be difficult to correct when you are halfway through.

Apply a background colour to the canvas.

A plain white canvas is not conducive when you want to paint a foggy day. A grey tone is better.

Paint the focal point first

Paint a rough shape of the focal point of your painting. Move to an object adjacent your focal point and paint a rough shape of that as well.

Shadows and highlights will be added at a later stage.

Add shadows

After you have painted the focal points, add the smaller shapes and details. Begin with light values and move on to dark values. Add shadows at this point. Add the highlights with your end-goal in mind.

If the painting has not turned out the way you expected, don’t despair. Keep practising. The mistakes may end up being what artists call “Happy accidents”, which can create a beautiful and unexpected masterpiece.

How to make drawings come to life


Drawing is a skill that most people can boast of. Drawing images that come to life however, require hours of work and are mastered by people who’ve put hours into their work and are driven by passion. Drawing images that look as real as the person next to you is possible, but requires a lot of attention paid to the intricate and minute details that join to form the image.

It’s important to remember that drawing aims at capturing the uniqueness and the expression of your subject. If you are drawing a subject with a big nose, don’t try to slim the nose or remove wrinkles, you want your drawing to look like a real person, not an ideal.

Choose a photograph to draw

If you want to draw something realistic, begin by choosing something real from your surroundings. You could choose a reference or a photograph. Choose an image that matches your skill-set. If you are a beginner, choosing to draw the aged can be fun but also challenging because of the extra intricate lines and texture of their faces. Male portraits usually have stronger shadows while female portraits can have hair which may or may not be difficult to draw depending on your capability.

Sketch

Start by creating a sketch of the picture you really want to draw. Light sketches will enable you to proportionally put the features where they ought to be and erasing them will be much easier and won’t interfere with the intricate details you must add later. Lightly begin with the major features first so you can create the foundation for the portrait. If you are drawing a beautiful face, begin with the eyes, inside the ear, some strokes of the nose and lips.

Don’t make assumptions when drawing a person. If there are two laugh lines, don’t add more. If there are no bags under the eyes, refrain from putting them. Assumptions could be false and mess up your picture. However, if you do not want to make an exact replica of the photograph, you can add more details later.

Shadowing

The most crucial part that transforms a simple image into a real-life portrait is shadowing. Determine the lightest and darkest parts of your image. If you want your image to be as real-life as possible, make the lightest parts as white as you can with your finest pencil and the darkest parts as black as possible using the boldest pencil.

Use a smudging tool or your finger to achieve realistic shadow effects. This will blend the medium you use whether it is charcoal or graphite and the shadows will be lighter and easier to erase if you make a mistake.

Fill in the finer details

The finer details come last after shadowing and outlining. Take time to fill in places in the eyes, lips and nose. The finer details are the ones that really bring out the realistic quality of the image. Blend the pencil strokes with cotton swabs or tissue paper rather than outlining to get the desired skin tones.

You can begin using watercolours and coloured pencils if you had been using a pencil up until this point.

Try your best but don’t fret when the picture does not come out the way you wanted the first time. There’s always another chance to make it perfect.

Practice daily and the end result will be a beautiful masterpiece. It’s worth it too. It’s exhilarating to look back and see the beautiful thing you created.

Pencil Drawing Techniques: Six Tips to Improve your Drawing Skills

Many people don’t seem to consider drawing as an important art skill. At the begin of your artistic journey, you must have embraced pencil drawing in one way or the other. As an artist, it’s important that you understand the process as well as the fundamentals of drawing. You need to appreciate the fact that drawing often involves taking quality time to observe something, analyze it, and ultimately reproduce it. Drawing involves becoming aware of color, proportion, contrast, and form.

If you’re looking to learn how to draw or improve your pencil drawing skills, the following tips are what you need.

Master Pencil Grip

Before you even think of your subject matter, start by mastering how to hold your pencil correctly. It’s possible you’ve been doing it the wrong way. Or there’s a better way to do it. Rather than using the tip of your pencil, use the side of the lead. Only use the point when you’re working or rather drawing the intricate details. Consider holding your pencil like you would charcoal so you can maximize its utility and also ensure it remains shaper for longer. Hold your pencil parallel to your lines so you can get those sharp, narrow marks when drawing details.

Consider Mixing up Different Shading Techniques

Don’t limit yourself to one shading technique when you can experiment and try out several. To ensure cohesiveness in your work, have all your lines going in the same direction. Shading your drawing this way allows details to pop out in a unique way. A great way to define shape and keep your work in perspective is to work in patches. Add texture and create backgrounds by applying different shading techniques.

Build up your Sketch

When it comes to pencil drawing, you want to plan your work and explore things using loose lines. Don’t be in a hurry to commit yourself with hard, dark lines. Take your time to build up sketches while checking how everything is progressing. Keep rechecking as you draw and only darken your lines and bring in more details at the end. Make sure everything is symmetrical before darkening the lines.

Prevent Pencil Smudges

Well, this isn’t something new for an artist. It should be on your fingertips. It’s just here so you won’t forget. You don’t want to end up with pencil smudges on your beautiful drawing after spending hours or even nights working on your project. So, how do you go about it? Always put a sheet of paper under your hand when drawing. That’s how you stay away from those smudges. It’s good to step away from your drawing or view it in a mirror to see if anything seems to be off.

Know when to Finish

Understand that you’ll always feel like there’s something you can change in your drawing even after you’ve signed your name. You’ll find yourself tinkering with your work and bringing in more ideas on how to improve the drawing. It can be quite difficult to know when to stop. Don’t overdo your drawing. Always make a conscious decision to sign your drawing off and start another one.