Why Not Try Faber-Castell Gelatos for Big Art Pieces? (Experiment)

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Faber-Castell Gelatos are a medium that are often used for art journaling, card-making and other paper crafts. They actually work well as an underpainting layer for oil pastels on mixed-media paper, too.

But what about using them as the main medium for a larger project? That seemed like at least a fun idea to test. And while doing a full-on scene could work, it seemed best—and quickest in terms of this experiment—to do fairly simple images.

But first, what are Faber-Castell Gelatos?

Gelatos are a pigment often compared to lipstick, at least in texture. They are very creamy but are different from oil pastels in that they are softer. As mentioned, they’re often used in paper-crafting.

To test how they would come across in a larger art piece, we decided to do an 80’s tribute and tried two different images of vintage My Little Ponies.

Drawing with, and Blending, the Gelatos

Gelatos are especially fun to work with because they’re so soft. They go on easily and blend with very little effort (if you choose to blend them). The drawing of Bowtie (below) shows best how the medium blends, as the blue on the body was blended (or rather, smashed into the paper). Blending Gelatos is often done with a baby wipe.

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

The areas with the mane/hair were blended underneath, then a layer of the strands was stroked on above. Those areas were not blended and can be seen best on the drawing of the sea pony, Wavedancer.

"Working with Art Gelatos for Larger Art Pieces" (blog post) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.comIt may actually be more effective, if doing a really large or complex piece, to do the Gelatos for larger areas and the detailed parts with something like chalk, soft pastel or conte crayon.

For more on art Gelatos, also check out “Oil Pastel Experiment: Trying Gelatos for Underpainting.

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How a Random Word Generator Confirmed a “Writing Year”

All writers use writing prompts at some point—it’s almost a given. Whether looking for non-fiction prompts or ideas for a short story (or even a novel), many writers turn to the prompt for inspiration.

When looking for writing prompts, I see a lot of really good prompts for fiction—but the non-fiction ones seem more difficult somehow (though this may not be the case for everyone). Either they just don’t resonate or they don’t seem like a topic that my readers would want to read about.

For some reason, I recently forgot about my best source for non-fiction writing prompts: looking up “writing topics.” So turned to another fallback: random words. Random words are fun, anyway, because you learn some new vocab along the way.

Going to RandomWordGenerator.com, I chose the setting of receiving three random words—and here’s what came up:

Obviously, these words have a connection—at least to writers—so I did a test to see if most of the word trios I got had a connection of any sort.

Every other grouping I got was completely unconnected.

Other writers are sure to see the importance in this synchronicity, as it describes some main parts of a writer’s process:

Compose. Obviously, this is the first part of the process: creating the story or piece itself, the first draft or rough draft.

Flow: Catching any issues with flow is crucial when editing—if a piece doesn’t flow well, it won’t be as effective or will end up being complete nonsense. Again, this applies to both fiction and non-fiction.

Quotation: In this day and age, just about all writers hope to find quotable quotes in their works to share with potential readers and catch their interest.

Why is this important? To tell the truth, it may not be.

Then again, a friend in high school—also a writer—once said, “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

At any rate, it’s a good way for a writer to start a new year.

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Your Favorite Characters: Why Characters’ Youthful Dreams are Often Relevant

"Know Your Characters: Their Young Ambitions Matter"" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Looking around online, you may stumble upon infographics and lists that offer questions to help build characters — or offer journaling questions for yourself. Questions from either category can be useful for characterization — but it’s easy sometimes to overlook the why. In the series “Your Favorite Characters,” we’ll look at some of these questions and explore exactly why they matter.

A character’s younger aspirations were is a question mentioned every once in a while, as in this graphic for writers:



If your character is an adult, why do we care?

It’s obvious why a child’s aspirations are important in a children’s book (or an adult book with young characters); but with adult characters, does it matter?

The answer is likely “sometimes.” Let’s take a medieval character named Sir Jaredd. There may be absolutely no reason to dwell on Sir Jaredd’s past ambitions or childhood dreams. But did Sir Jaredd always aspire to become a knight? If so, how did he get there? Did he tread a difficult path, or did it seem easy, as if he were destined for the role?

Or did he absolutely hate the idea of becoming “one of those authority figures”? Was he originally a rebel, and why did he change his mind?

Looking Back from the Present

In the end, there are probably a lot of times when a character’s past aspirations do not need to be mentioned in a story. For example, it didn’t seem necessary in most of the pieces posted up until now on this site and may only have been of importance in “The Missing Servant” if the king somehow had a marred childhood that caused him to inflict his own pain on others — and as a result, wanted to rule over others to do his own evil will. Interestingly, that detail would have created a very different story in which the reader might actually pity the king…maybe.

But is it helpful for the writer to simply know in his or her mind where that character came from, even if it isn’t mentioned in the piece? Absolutely. A huge part of a character’s past is made up of childhood aspirations. Did they follow a certain path, and if not, why? Did someone have a change of heart frequently? Is the character therefore undecided on a lot of things in life — and within the story?

As always, it’s up to the author to decide how much to reveal; but well-rounded characters surely had aspirations when they were young. Didn’t everyone?

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