Speed Drawing: Jarl


I haven’t done these in a while, but now that the second Outsider book (called Defiance) will be coming out on July the 14th I’ll probably be doing a lot more of these. There have been a lot of requests for me to draw Ragi, Halvard and Dag, so I’m planning to set aside a few days to draw them in the next few weeks before the second book comes out.

Outsider Drawings

If you haven’t seen it already last week I did a post and a video all about my favourite blending techniques. I mentioned that I loved to use my paintbrush trick for pan pastels and in this video (along with the old Knud video I did) you can see exactly how I apply the colours.

I’d sketched Jarl out a few weeks ago but I wanted to do a proper drawing of him like I did with Knud and Astrid. I might re-do the drawing at some point, I’m not sure what it is but somehow I’ve managed to loose the kind look he had in the sketch, and in this drawing he looks a little harsher than he’s meant to.

I hope you like the video and feel free to suggest which character/location from Outsider I should draw next

Glue Guns Review

Glue Guns Review

I have used a lot of glue guns, I’ve also broken a fair few of them because I used them to death. So I thought today I’d do a run down of the pros and cons of all the glue guns I have used/have.

High vs. Low setting?

This part is important because it depends on how you want the glue to cool. A high setting will be faster to work with (and a little less stressful on your fingers) but the glue will flatten out more because of how hot it is. The cooler setting allows you to keep the texture but is much slower obviously. If you can get one with a dual setting so you have option.

Mini Glue Gun (**)(£6.99)

The one I have has a low and a high setting, not all glue mini glue guns have this setting . The first one of these that I had broke because I used it a lot. If you’re not planning on using your glue gun a lot or just for small project then this one is perfect, only problem is the glue gun sticks size are not standard. You won’t just be able to pop into most craft shops to pick up refills, so if you can bulk buy a few packs so you don’t run out at the worst possible time.

Stanley Hot Glue Gun (**)(£9.89)

This one is in the middle price-wise between the glue guns I have. It has a dual setting and a standard glue stick size, the only draw back is the trigger which, at lest for me, really starts to hurt my knuckles after a while because it’s so stiff and over all this glue gun feels a lot less sturdy.

Tec 305 Glue Gun (**) (*) (£26)

I have two of these, one is on a high setting and the other on a low. Out of all the glue guns I’ve used these are my favourite for two reasons, the trigger is a lot easier to pull and they have interchangeable tips, an ordinary point and a thin point (the thin point is my favourite) so they’re perfects for making masquerade masks or anything else which requires detail.

I hope you find the video useful :)

DIY: Aquarius Jug

Jug Finished

I’ve had this jug uselessly sitting in my kitchen for the past few months. Why is it useless? Well for starters it’s one of those annoying jugs that just doesn’t pour anything properly, and each time you try the water runs down the side and you end up soaking yourself. So I figured since I can’t use it for making coconut milk I’d use it for my zodiacs series and then use it as a flower vase afterwards.

Jug Painted Black Lining

Making it was pretty simple. Firstly, I spray painted it black and then I put Sellotape around the top of the jug so that I could get the lines perfectly accurate. As for the pattern, I did it freehand with some gold ink. Ink is not the best when used over spray paint, but I liked how it partly separated on the surface, a little like the aged gold you see on artifacts.

Painting Lining the Edge

The pattern I painted didn’t work if it carried along to the tip of the jug, so instead I changed the pattern so that it followed and dipped down from it. After that all I did was paint a line over the top of the jug handle and underneath it. Not the most adventurous thing to do, but I didn’t want anything to distract from the pattern along the top of the jug.


Later (after I took the photos) I gave gave the whole jug two coats of clear varnish so that the gold wouldn’t flake or chip off, and that’s all I did. I’m not sure when I’ll be doing the aquarius look but, like I have mentioned before, I tend to do my looks sporadically depending on which one I feel I can to the best on filming day. At least now the props for Aquarius are done and ready to film with and hopefully soon I should have a new look for you.

Art Tutorial: 4 Different Tools for Blending


As any makeup artist knows if you can’t blend then you have a serious problem, the exact same can be said of traditional art, and the thing is, I think a lot of people don’t quite realise just how many different tools and tricks there are. You don’t just have to use your fingers, so today I thought I’d go through my favourite tools for blending.

Paint Brushes:

Yes, you read that correctly, paint brushes. The great thing about this is that it means that you can use makeup brushes which might have fallen out of favour or are long since used up. In my art roll I carry around several different brushes. Some small nail art brushes (perfect for small details), a stiff concealer brush (perfect for blending or blending out colours) and a large powder brush. Destroyed old paint brushes are also good if you want a bit of variety in the texture, for example, if you’re drawing clothes and need to get the texture of wool.

Rubber Sculpting Tools/Silicone Colour Shapers:

These are as close to miniature versions of your fingers as you are going to get, and they’re perfect for tiny, tiny details and hair. They come in different strengths, soft, medium and hard. I have one of each and in different shapes though my favourite is this one (**). I use it in everything from small details in the eyes and lips to hair.

Paper Blending Sticks/Tortillion:

The first thing I’m going to mention about these is how to sharpen them because a lot of people don’t seem to know. First thing to point out is don’t use a sharpener, you will absolutely wreck it if you do that. What you need is to run it down some fine sandpaper to scrap the upper layer off, you could also techincally use a craft knife to sharpen it but it’s far too easy to take off too much of the end and waste a lot of it if you do that. You can find some here (**) or in The Works where I buy mine from.

Cotton Buds:

I think mostly everyone will have this in their house, though it’s not a trick I use often since I have paintbrushes and tortillions. With some cotton buds you will have to pull at the cotton a little to fluff it up a bit if you want the blending to be smooth, or leave them as they are and they’ll have a similar effects as if you were using a Tortillion.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

DIY: Shoes Decoration

Shoes Decoration I think it was about a year ago I did a tutorial slightly similar to these here. I’d been planning to do something similar with these shoes, I don’t like plain shoes, any kind of bare space on shoes or bags I get the uncontrollable urge to fill it in in some way.

I’d found some fabric markers on Amazon and tested them out on one of my bags first

Before some of you ask where I got the shoes I got them there on ebay. Just a small word of warning, I highly doubt these shoes will last for long, a month or two of heavy use at most. If you want to do this pattern of a better pair of shoes but you’re a little bit worried about messing up then one trick you can do is take a pencil and draw out the pattern on the shoes first. You should be able to rub the lead off if you mess up (just don’t press down too hard) and then after you can go over with the fabric pens.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

Art Tutorial: Drawing Transfers

How to Transfer Art Work

I’ve been promising this tutorial for ages and now I’ve finally gotten around to it. I use the tracing paper from The Works but if you don’t have that you can also use Baking Paper. The only drawback with baking paper is that it isn’t as transparent.

Just a few more tricks which I didn’t mention in the video:

1. You don’t have to be as neat as I am in the video. Once you’ve drawn what you want on one side you can just run over the opposite side with a graphite pen and transfer that. It’s a much faster trick, only draw back is that it can leave graphite traces on the paper which is why I prefer not to do it in general.

2. If you’re worried about getting your proportions right then look at your drawing from the other side, it’s amazing all the mistakes you notice when you look at your drawing from a different point of view.

3. One thing I’ve seen people do is they outline the drawing on both sides and then scribble all over the paper to transfer the drawing rather than going over just the lines, I don’t like doing this because it leaves dents in the paper and makes detailed blending a lot harder to do.

4: When you’re transferring the drawing try and use a clip board to hold it in place, or tape down the sides. It’s so easy to move the tracing paper just a little while you’re transferring the drawing and then before you know it the whole drawing is a little lopsided.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

A Little Bit of Decoration

Bag Finished

A while ago I did a tutorial on how I decorated a pair of shoes with gold paint and this is pretty much the same idea just with a pen. I was going to do a tutorial for this, but in the end I decided to save that for another shoe DIY I want to do which will be much easier to follow.

I got the bag here (**)

Last time I used a gold fabric paint. It was good, but it did tend to bleed a little in the rain, and living in England that tends to be a bit of a problem. So this time I tried out some fabric sharpies and I love them! The only draw back was that the brown shade (as you can see from above) looks closer to black than brown.

What I used Bag Without Doodles


The black fabric pen I got along with the gold pen was my favourite out of the three because it was double ended, one with a really fine tip and the other with a regular tip so I could do more detailed work. I didn’t really have a direction with this bag, I just knew I wanted swirls, lots and lots of swirls! I was really just doodling on the bag and having fun with the pattern, though I can promise that the DIY I’ll be doing soon using these pens will be a lot more structured and easy to follow.

You can get them here (**): Gold Pen, Black Pen, Brown Pen

DIY: Ram Horns

Horns DIY

You’ll be please to know that for the most part this tutorial is just using wire and shopping bags. I can’t say that it’s completely glue gun free, but it’s not used as much as in my other tutorials. If think I’ve covered most of the methods I can think of for making horns, but I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll probably be back with yet another method. On the plus side I don’t think anyone can complain for a lack of DIY horn tutorials.

If you haven’t seen it already you can see my Aries tutorial here

If you can’t get your hands on any garden wire then you can use string instead, or you could just keep the cling-film wrap and spray paint that. One last thing you could do is cover the horns with patterned tights and then spray paint it so that the pattern is printed in the horns. A simple trick, but it looks amazing.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

DIY Arrow Head Jewellery

Arrow Jewlery DIY

This is probably one of the simplest DIY videos I have done, and I was half tempted to just keep it to a blog post, but I knew the minute I used these in the next Zodiac look (sagittarius) I would have people asking how I did it.

You can wear this as a necklace or do what I did and turn them into earrings

Ideally you should use earring hooks which are the right colour. I want that mixed metals look for Sagittarius, so there is a reason for me using copper, silver and bronze, but if you want these to look a little more uniform then it’s quite important to match the colours you are using.

I hope you like the tutorial :)

DIY: Hades Badge

Hades Pin Badge

Not the pretties prop I’ve ever made but Hade’s outfit was pretty simple, grey skin, yellow eyes, blue hair and a scull pin. I was going to keep it clean and neat but then I figured that since we are talking about the god of the underworld I’d scuff it up a little.

Making this is simple, just a little clay, some sculpting tools and a little bit of paint

I used some white modeling clay (**) at first, rolled it into an oval shape and then flattened it a little. Next take a sculpting tool (you can use the rounded end of a pen or a cocktail stick if that’s all you have to hand) and mark out the shape of the eyes and teeth.

What I Did

Once you have cut off the sides next to the teeth and round the edges, just go over everything and neaten it up. Push the eye sockets a little deeper,  sharpen the lines on the teeth and then just wait for it to dry.

Once the clay has dried you can paint it with several different mediums

You could do a wash over it with black or brown ink so that the colour settles in the cracks and sockets. You could also use acrylic paint or water colour (which is what I used) or even spray paint. Once I’d painted over it I brushed a nail file over the surface to roughen it up a little.


The last thing I did was glue gun a little loop of ribbon at the back so that I could pin it to my shoulder, you might also need to superglue it down a little so it doesn’t unstick from the clay. Especially if the clay is quite heavy, it can have a little trouble sticking to the hot glue since the surface isn’t very porous.

And that’s how you make the Hades pin. Simple!