How to Fix a Dent in Canvas Artwork

I’m incredibly clumsy which is one of the reasons why I really like painting acrylic on canvas. It’s durable and it’s basically Katana proof. Once I even sliced open one of my canvases (how did that even happen?) and had to stitch it up and paint over it.

Don’t worry, a fix for a dent is a lot easier. It just happened to me so I took some photos to share the repair.

I just finished painting a landscape and put it down on a table; I didn’t even see the keys that were sitting on the table. The keys left a dent in the surface of the artwork which doesn’t look good.

An unsightly dent in the finished artwork.
An unsightly dent in the finished artwork. Don’t worry we can fix this. I took a picture with glare so you can see the dent more easily!
Here is the dented canvas from the back. In a previous life it was a demo canvas so I used the back to show an example.
Here is the dented canvas from the back. In a previous life it was a demo canvas. I used the back to demonstrate a brushstroke which is why there’s paint here! 

Take a note of that curved line because in the next picture you can’t see the dent.

Repair ruined canvas art by adding water on the back
Just add water to the back of the canvas. It will bead up, so massage it a little to make it soak in. And just like Kelly Clarkson, it’s Already Gone.
The canvas dent is fixed
And now the canvas dent is fixed!

The Best App for Coloring Pages on Ipad

If you want to use your iPad for coloring pages, the best app for it is Procreate.

There may be coloring page specific apps but with Procreate, ANY black and white drawing can become a coloring page. Coloring pages can easily be erased- or, you can color the same page multiple times without deleting your past work. You can edit the linework, too.

Even though it is aimed at professional artists and illustrators such as myself, this app is straightforward enough for children and non-tech savvy adults alike. With this tutorial, I will teach you the easy way to import coloring pages of any black and white art you can find, unlike coloring page specific apps which require you to wait for  updates when you want to color a new picture.

Teach Your Child to Use This Coloring App

Say “Watch” as they sit beside you. Open the app, Go through the process of importing a coloring page. Then tap the brushes menu and the color icon to select a color. Then close the app. Now it’s the child’s turn. I have used this app with children as young as two – with younger children, I simply teach how to select a color and set them up with a blank page. My stepdaughter uses a blank page too and draws from scratch. Even better, this is foundational Photoshop, so if you have a young artist, this will prepare them for commercial application of their creative skills.

Procreate Coloring Pages Tutorial

There are really only three steps- I hold your hand through the picture tutorial so you know exactly what the menus and icons look like. Tutorials are confusing if you don’t know what I mean by Blending Menu- much better when you can see the icon for yourself.

1. Import your coloring page. Find some coloring pages here.

2. Set the coloring page black line layer to multiply.

3. Create a new layer underneath the coloring page black lines layer, this is where you add the colors.

import your coloring page - any black and white image, into Procreate.
first, import your coloring page – any black and white image, into Procreate. Click the plus sign to reveal this menu. Then tap ‘image’.
select your image
Find the image you want to color, if you have downloaded it from online to your tablet choose ‘camera.’ When you find it, it will create a new image file.
create a new procreate menu.
After your page appears, Tap the squares in the top right. This is the layers menu. Tap the plus sign: a new layer appears.
Rearrange the layers in procreate.
Drag and drop the layers so your coloring page is on top.
select the Procreate blending layer by tapping the letter N for the coloring pages layer.
select the Procreate blending layer by tapping the letter N for the coloring pages layer.
select multiply.
Tap ‘Darken’ then ‘multiply’ then a blue check appears beside Multiply. Tap outside the menu.
Use the bank layer in procreate app
Then open the layers menu and select the blank layer you created earlier. Now you can start coloring. Select your brush by tapping the brush icon, select your colors by tapping the circle icon in the top right. (In my picture, I have selected orange, which is why the circle is orange).
coloring page app
Your colors will appear underneath the black lines. If they do not appear, your lines layer has not been set to multiply. If you draw over the lines, check to see you are using the blank layer underneath the coloring page.

 

How To Make Blueberry Bannock

Egg Free Bread with Blueberries bannock recipe.

My Mom’s Bannock Recipe

Bannock is a bread that my mom makes. I am under the impression it was the quick bread best suited to the ingredients the government gave out. It’s like scones, and it has no egg (which I am allergic to). So if you are allergic to eggs, you’ll enjoy this too. Most Cree / Native / First Nations / Native American / Indigenous people have had this at one time or another. It also goes by the name ‘fry bread’ and sometimes is made in a frying pan. This is the one I grew up with.

Here is a photo of my mom's bannock cooling on a rack in my kitchen. You can see Morro Rock in the distance.
Here is a photo of my mom’s bannock cooling on a rack in my kitchen. You can see Morro Rock in the distance. This one is a little flat because of the shortening we used. Butter and Tenderflake will make your bannock fluffier.

My mom makes this every week and brings it to the food kitchen. They call her Bannock lady. She made it for after school snacks, and some of my friends (comment if this is you, it makes me happy) still remember eating it at our house when we lived in the same town.

It took me so long to learn how to make it. When my husband and I were visiting at Christmas two and a half years ago, she made it every morning, so this last visit I made sure to learn how to make it too, so that we could have it when we missed home. And because Jeremy kept raving about how he wanted to eat it more often.

My mom mixing blueberries with flour and sugar before adding them to the bannock.
My mom mixing blueberries with flour and sugar before adding them to the bannock.

Why are Blueberries in this Recipe?

Blueberries, small and dusty blue with kiwi-green centers, grow wild in northern Saskatchewan, where my Cree family lives, especially around Lac La Ronge. So they are a food that is totally abundant – on the reserve industrious people fill up their freezers. A blueberry bannock can also be smothered in blueberry jam (which is more like syrup filled with whole blueberries.) You can’t buy any blueberry this delicious anywhere else in the world. Maybe New Brunswick has good blueberries too, but northern Saskatchewan is still amazing. For 10 grand I suppose I could show you these wild blueberries. Otherwise you are best served by going to the farmer’s market or what have you in your area.

I should have gotten to the camera before we started eating this bannock.
I should have gotten to the camera before we started eating this bannock.

What can You Add to Bannock?

Pretty much anything. When I was little I liked chocolate chips, but not so much anymore. Jeremy has put in a vote for chocolate-covered açai berries; I vetoed it. Raisins, cranberries, dulce de leche … this could all work. Whatever is local and in season or in your kitchen. If it’s a berry, add flour so that your dough doesn’t get too soggy.

OK, Here is the Bannock Recipe

Here are all the ingredients you need to make bannock : flour, lard, salt, baking powder.
Here are all the ingredients you need to make bannock : flour, lard, salt, baking powder. Blueberries are optional.
Start with 4 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.
Start with 4 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.
Add a pinch of salt. Like a teaspoon.
Add a pinch of salt. Like a teaspoon.
Two tablespoons of baking powder. Or a bit more.
Two tablespoons of baking powder. Or a bit more.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add in the shortening.
Cut in 1/2 a cup of shortening. I like butter because it stays softer longer. My mom says use tenderflake lard.
Cut in 1 1/2 to 2 cups of shortening. I like butter because it stays softer longer. My mom says use tenderflake lard.
Two cups of water to make it a dough.
Two cups of water to make it a dough.
Pour those two cups of water into the center of the flour and mix the flour in from the sides. Think of erosion.
Pour those two cups of water into the center of the flour and mix the flour in from the sides. Think of erosion.
Your finished bannock dough. Now its time to add blueberries or some other delicious thing. Or not.
Your finished bannock dough. Now its time to add blueberries or some other delicious thing. Or not.
Roll your bannock out on a floured surface. I cheat by flouring the pan I use to cook the bannock.
Roll your bannock out on a floured surface. I cheat by flouring the pan I use to cook the bannock.
Mix a 1/4 of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 cup of blueberries. The flour keeps the blueberries from making the bannock soggy.
Mix a 1/4 of flour and 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 cup of blueberries. The flour keeps the blueberries from making the bannock soggy.
Put all your blueberrys into the bannock dough.
Put all your blueberries into the bannock dough.
Fold/Roll up the bannock so the blueberries are in the middle.
Fold/Roll up the bannock so the blueberries are in the middle.
Bake for about 45 minutes at around 400.
Bake for about 45 minutes at around 400.
Home made blueberry Bannock.
Home made blueberry Bannock.

 

tl;dr Here is the recipe all in one image.

How to make your own blueberry bannock.
How to make your own blueberry bannock. (Native American Scones)

Spirographing. How That Spirograph is working Out

I draw the spirograph patterns by pinning one wheel or shape to the board then spinning a circle gear with a pen.
I draw the spirograph patterns by pinning one wheel or shape to the board then spinning a circle gear with a pen.

I recently was gifted a spirograph, which I absolutely love. I like making the circles in each pattern, and watching the pattern appear. I have been using the circle wheels until my pen ran dry. I am going to experiment with pens. I want a nice dark line that applies smoothly and doesn’t puddle or spot (when the pen leaves white spots in its wake I have to fix it in Procreate). My pen did both but for what I had, its nib fit in the Spirograph discs so I used it anyways. Mine is vintage, and from the looks of the ugly bulky colored not clear plastic modern ones, I am very lucky to have it. I guess parents don’t want toys that come with dozens of tiny push pins. I don’t blame them; Jeremy has already punctured his thumb after picking up what he thought was a small green bead off the floor.

Here are the Rainbow spirograph shapes all together.
Here are the Rainbow spirograph shapes all together.

My Super Spirograph set comes with a little cardboard surface. I lay out my paper – I like more than one layer of paper so my pen doesn’t fall in a pin hole and puncture my paper. Then I pick the larger shape and pin it to the cardboard. This is the one the circle will spiral inside or around.

Now I can repeat these spirograph patterns i
Now I can repeat these spirograph patterns in any drawing I like.
Triangle Spirograph with an interesting darks on light transition. This is what happens if I don't clean up the contrast before making a brush.
Triangle Spirograph with an interesting darks on light transition. This is what happens if I don’t clean up the contrast before making a brush.

Then the circular wheel, with pen shaped holes spiraled around the disc. These are where the pen goes in and turn the gear. Its a little bit of a steampunk craft, with the little gears revolving around a shape and laying down a pattern.

The process reminds me of this drawing machine.

eske rex: drawing machine from designboom on Vimeo.

(edited to add: my friend Alan let me know my previous link was not working and adds, “Caveat: the device above is not recommended for small apartments or those with nervous cats…” Ha! 😀 )
Have you ever heard of the Spirograph nebula IC 418? It is so named because its patterns are complex and lovely, too.

The Spirograph nebula named after the toy phot from NASA.
The Spirograph nebula named after the toy phot from NASA.

Eske Rex: Drawing Machine from thisispaper on Vimeo.

Spirograph custom Procreate Brushes i created for my illustration work.
Spirograph custom Procreate Brushes i created for my illustration work.

I import the spirograph designs into my digital illustration app, ‘Procreate’ and edit away the texture of the paper. Then, I transform the drawing from pen and ink to black and white, suitable for creating custom brushes in Procreate.

Spirograph mandala creation.

Colorful mint salmon and lemon spirograph.
Colorful mint salmon and lemon spirograph design. Available on Light Love Art Etsy
Looped spirograph.
Looped spirograph design available on Light Love Art Etsy.

Acrylic Painting Tips and Tricks for Beginners- How to Select Art Supplies!


Most people feel better about their painting when they know they have the right supplies. There’s just a few supplies that I think are important for an acrylic painting set up ever since my first class in university.

acrylic painting for beginners
acrylic painting for beginners
  • Glazing Medium
  • Matte Medium
  • Many Cheap paintbrushes
  • Primary Colors – Red, Yellow, Blue in warm and cool shades
  • I usually have a Sharpie silver marker or Silver Leaf pen to add accents to my paintings.
  • A mechanical paper and Pilot precise V7 pen for sketching.
  • Canvases or a surface to paint

These colors make it possible for you to mix any color found in nature. The glazing and matte mediums are for making translucent colors – useful for skin tones and flowers. I also have a selection of neon colors for sunsets and special occasions. But these are the basic art supplies that are enough to get anyone started.

Then all you need are a few canvas or canvas boards or even just a little wood to paint on.

Get started on your acrylic painting.
Get started on your acrylic painting!
acrylic painting tips and tricks for beginners
Acrylic Painting Tips and Tricks for Beginners – how to select your art supplies and make sure you have enough colors without spending too much money.

cosmic sunset

Behind the Scenes: Image Gallery of Recent Painting Processes

A few photos from around the Monastery -- cat Sophie, me, and some watercolors. Painting processes for my recent paintings "Lotus Lake" and "Cleo"

  1. A picture of the Eastern mountains here at Madre Grande Monastery
  2. Watercolors for an upcoming WalksWithin.com illustration for The Five Elements.
  3. In progress photos from recent acrylic “Lotus Lake”  (Available)
  4. In progress photos for Christmas gift for my husband, “Cleo” (one of our kitties)
  5. Princess Sophie, the cat
  6. Marianne Williamson quote from her book “The Law of divine Compensation.”
  7. PLEASE COMMENT, love!!!