BLOG

Best Apple Pencil Grips, iPad Cases, and Desk for iPad Drawing

Best Apple Pencil Grips, iPad Cases, and Desk for iPad Drawing

I just made some major changes to my workspace, so I thought it would be a great time to share all of my favorite pencil grips, cases, and drawing desk tips! Want to hear all of this in video form? Watch the video here: I […]

Winter Illustration in Procreate + 27 Free Brushes and Stamps

Winter Illustration in Procreate + 27 Free Brushes and Stamps

When it’s cold and windy outside, there is nothing I like more than curling up on the couch and drawing winter plants, objects, and lettering projects. Let’s be honest. I like eating cookies more, but this is definitely #2 on my list! So I decided […]

Free Library of Reference Books for Artists, Illustrators, and Letterers

Free Library of Reference Books for Artists, Illustrators, and Letterers

If you haven’t stumbled upon Archive.org yet, get ready to lose some time sifting through beautiful old books.  Archive.org is a non-profit with a mission of providing universal access to books, so anyone without access to libraries can still view, print, and share the wealth of knowledge stored in the library. 

If you’re like me and you live in a tiny city with a library that basically just has romance novels and kids books, then this resource is a lifesaver. The site is an incredible bank of imagery for artists, designers, and anyone with a penchant for old books, so beware if you have important things to get done today!

Their books in the creative commons are always available for viewing, but newer books require an account to view. If you create a free account you can “Borrow” books for 14 days.  So just like a real library, books can be checked out, and you can join a waitlist for any books that are already checked out by someone else.

One important note for artists and designers using these books as references — books that are 100+ years old are typically in the creative commons and are safe to use as a reference in your work.  However I wouldn’t recommend using anything under 100 years old because it could still be protected by a copyright. Archive.org allows anyone to upload books, so be sure to check the date printed on the book before using anything in your artwork!

A quick tip for searching the site to be sure you look at the oldest books first:

  1. Enter a search term and tap GO (I searched for ‘botanical illustrations’)
  2. Select ‘Search Text Contents’ under the search bar so that you’re only searching books (not videos or single images)
  3. Set the search order to ‘Date Published’
  4. Reverse the sort order by clicking the little arrow by the words ‘Sort By’

I have found so many amazing books on this site, I couldn’t possibly share them all here, but I wanted to share a few examples of the beautiful imagery you can find:

Lettering

Looking for some inspiration for your hand lettering or font making? There is no end to the amount of typography inspiration on this site. Tip: once you find a book you like, scroll down below it to see similar books. I found most of the books listed here that way!

1914, Art Alphabets and Lettering by  John Mauritz Bergling

1906, The Signist’s Book of Modern Alphabets by Freeman Delamotte

1874, Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, etc. by Wm. H. Page & Co.

Decorative Elements

If you’ve ever wished you had a go-to resource for borders, flourishes, and illustration ideas, check out these three books for tons of ideas.

1891, The Embroiders Book of Design by John Mauritz Bergling

1902, Progressive Design for Students by James Ward

1916, Painters’ and Decorators’ Work by Henry Dowling

Botanicals

Whether you’re looking for fine line drawing, watercolors, or just composition ideas, you’ll find a seemingly never ending supply of botanical inspiration on Archive.org!

1765 book Yama No Sachi by Ryusui Katsuma

1815 book The Botanical Register by Sydenham Edwards, John Talbot Earl of Sherwsbury

That is just a tiny sampling of some of my personal favorites, but of course you’ll discover tons of books that fit your personal style and interests.  Discover something interesting? Send me a message, I’d love to see it!

Not sure how to use these resources? Check out my class on Art Nouveau Illustration to see how I turn vintage inspiration into modern illustrations.

Create an Illustration Series: From Inspiration to Print

Create an Illustration Series: From Inspiration to Print

In this class, you’ll learn how to plan and create an illustration series from start to finish.  Creating a series is the perfect way to develop a cohesive body of work that shows your unique style to the world in a professional format.  In the class, […]

3 Free Online Resources for Beautiful Color Palettes

3 Free Online Resources for Beautiful Color Palettes

If you’re like me, you spend wayyyy too much time searching for color combinations. I finally broke down and did an exhaustive search in order to narrow down my favorite resources for color palettes so I never have to suffer from lack of good colors […]

Art Nouveau Illustrations on Your iPad in Procreate

Art Nouveau Illustrations on Your iPad in Procreate

I absolutely love everything Art Nouveau — the colors, the fluidity, the botanicals — so this class was a true labor of love! In the class, you’ll learn how to create three different kinds of Art Nouveau style illustrations on your iPad in Procreate.

When you take this class you’ll get all of the brushes and stamps I use to make my art nouveau illustrations including 10 composition templates, 12 backgrounds and illustration elements, 11 texture brushes, and a few drawing and shading brushes.

We’ll start the class by using a drawing book published in 1904 to learn the techniques and forms that artists and designers in the Art Nouveau era used.  I’ll show you how to get the book as a free download so you can use the exercises to practice drawing flowers, leaves, and decorative elements in an art nouveau style.

Then we’ll create a line drawing using the technique in the book, and use watercolor texture to give the drawing some variation and contrast. 

Next we’ll look at how to build up color and texture to turn your line drawings into a vibrant frame around a quote.

I created an Art Nouveau font that I’ll share with you as a free download, so you can add text with an art nouveau feel to your compositions.

Next we’ll use a reductive drawing process to create a flowing border made of fruit and leaves.  We’ll look at options for creating overlapping elements, and talk about ways to give your work the fluid feel that you see in Art Nouveau illustrations.  We’ll also look at how to create a pattern brush, so you can add a layer of subtle pattern behind your compositions.

Last we’ll combine plants, animals, and patterns in an overlapping composition with texture and playful movement.

You can use the work you create in this class for print on demand projects, gifts, social media, or your website.  By the time you finish this class, you’ll be able to depict any object or decoration in an art nouveau style.

Not ready to take the class? Hover on the image below to pin it for later:

15+ Free iPad Wallpapers

15+ Free iPad Wallpapers

Do you ever get tired of seeing the same ‘ol boring image on your iPad home screen? I change my iPad wallpaper about once per week because I love to be surrounded by whatever images are inspiring me at the moment. I spend wayyyy too […]

Collages on Your iPad in Procreate + 35 Stamp and Texture Brushes

Collages on Your iPad in Procreate + 35 Stamp and Texture Brushes

I started making collages as soon as I was old enough to hold scissors, and somehow I never grew out of it.  I love finding vintage images (and mixing in some of my own) on paper, but now that I’m making them in Procreate I’m beyond […]

Free Minimalist Digital Bullet Journal + 64 Stickers

Free Minimalist Digital Bullet Journal + 64 Stickers

While I love planners with an interesting border or background (like my last free planner here) sometimes I just need to simplify my life with some minimalist bullet journaling. My new planner has simple bullet points and an open layout that is easy to customize with the colors and stickers that fit your personal style.

In this quick tutorial I cover some tips for downloading and using the planner + some tips about Goodnotes 5 that make it easy to bookmark important locations. Check out the video here:

The planner includes 6 sections. A yearly page that links to each month of the year:

A monthly page with a few bullet points for each day:

A weekly spread with bullets for each day + a notes section:

A lined paper section for notes:

A blank paper section for lists, sketches, etc.

A goals section for keeping track of daily or monthly goals:

And a sticker page with 64 stickers:

I show my whole process for making this planner from start to finish in my Skillshare class on designing a digital planner on your iPad.  Check out the class if you want to make your own!

Remember to check the video tutorial above if you have any trouble downloading or using the planner!

Download the Minimalist Bullet Journal for Goodnotes

or

Download the Version for Notability*

*If you want to use the stickers too download this PNG file and place it on the sticker page after you download the PDF for Notability.

Geometric Vector Illustration in Affinity Designer + 33 Geometric Vector Assets

Geometric Vector Illustration in Affinity Designer + 33 Geometric Vector Assets

There is something so satisfying about making perfect geometric shapes. Maybe it brings out my inner math nerd? I decided to create a class for all you other math nerds out there who feel frustrated that you can’t make things PERFECT in Procreate. (Am I […]