How to: Facial Shading

Often I’m asked about some tips for coloring or painting faces, especially when working with digital stamps. Often, people see finished products of the digital stamps & then when they attempt to create with them, they fall a little flat. Well, not to worry! I’m sharing the basics with you about shading portraits & how you can create depth in any digital stamp.

For this example, I’m using this digital stamp from Oddball Art Shop. I printed out a few large copies (one of the great benefits of digital stamps) of the girl so I could play and experiment. Hop over & grab it & practice along with me below. (Use DTALEXA10 for 10% off!)

First, I gathered colored pencils & art markers & did some color swatching so I could figure out the best combination of colors.

Once you’ve gotten a sense of your colors, you want to choose 3 colors, a light, a medium & a darker shade that work together. For this tutorial I’ll be using the 3 markers for my main shading. Next, decide on where your light source is…

Using this as your guide for where shadows would fall & where highlights will be, you can start to map out your work. Some good rules of thumb are, 1. The bridge & tip of the nose will have your lightest highlights with a typical light source (obviously, there are some exceptions to this, but those are much more specific cases) & 2. Your darkest areas will be the opposite of your light source. This includes the side of the face opposite the light source, the side of the nose opposite the light source, etc.

Here is a rough visual for shading areas:

So here’s a step by step of shading this piece:

First I did a light base in colored pencil just to get a start of some color

Next I colored all of her face except for tip & bridge of her nose with Blush (my lightest tone)

Next, I came in with my mid tone (Dusky Pink) & shaded the side of her face opposite the light source & under her hair line & nose.

And back through with blush to help blend the edges of color

Then, coming back in with my darkest shade, I added along the hairline, under the nose, under the eye, cheek/jawline, under the lip on opposite side, & neck.

And again, bringing the blush color back in to blend the edges of color & add a bit to the nose.

Add a little rosy color to her cheeks & lips & voila!

Here she is finished with some color:

Now, with that principle, let’s look at what happens if we use a different color tone…

So. No matter the look you’re going for, you can definitely add some great depth & dimension to your digital stamp faces!

Any questions?? Ask below! I’d love to help!

Also, of course I had to make a fun piece with the full stamp & of course, all I could think of was the rainbow girl herself, Rainbow Brite!

All Love

Tis the season of love right?

Well, there is just waaaaaaay too much that I love about this tag bookmark featuring Oddball Art Shop digital stamp!

My 80’s loving heart swoons over these legwarmers & rainbow bright feel. The color loving maker in me just had to give her a rainbow horn. And can we just talk about the fact that she’s the cutest Unicorn girl ever?! And of course, top it all off with the fact that this tag is also a bookmark….as a former English teacher, books, well, books give me LIFE!

Want to create your own bookmark? Go grab a cute digital stamp in the Oddball Art Shop & use code “DTALEXA10” for 10% off your purchase!

OR win this tag by leaving a comment here on my blog! I’ll randomly pick a winner on Friday February 16!

Alice’s Tea Party

Who doesn’t love Alice in Wonderland!? My favorite is the Mad Hatter & the crazy tea party, so today I’m bringing you this piece featuring 2 digital stamps from Oddball Art Shop, Alice & the Mad Hatter. Remember to use code “DTALEXA10” for 10% off any purchases in the Oddball Art Shop.

Here’s a peek into the process.

I started by laying down my background pages. I loved that I had a vintage clock page & a London Underground Railways paper too, how perfect!

Then I went over it with a Burnt Umber Fluid Acrylic & Gloss/Glaze medium to grunge it up a bit. The process is one where I lay it down, wipe it off & repeat. This helps build the color but between the glazing medium & the picking some back up, I maintain some of the background peeking through and get varying depths of texture and color.

Next, I start playing with placement of my characters & loose sketching where I want things. I colored my digi stamps with art markers, a blender & various pens & gel pens.

Now, time to create the background using stencils & gel pens. Then placing my papers to make the table, chairs & teacups. Finish off with the Cheshire Cat & the quote & call her done!

Art Crayons, Gelatos & Pastels Oh My!

So, you probably see all kinds of videos, tutorials & process videos with artists using products you’ve never tried before. And you wonder, hmmm what are THOSE!? & what can they do that’s different from the OTHER art crayons?!

So today, I played with 3 products, Artist’s Loft Water-soluble Wax Pastels, Faber-Castell Gelatos, & Marabu Art Crayons. I created a video so that you can see what these products do, how they’re different & which might be best for you & your projects. I end the video by creating an art journal page using the Marabu Art Crayons & these awesome feather digital stamps from Oddball Art Shop.


If you enjoyed the video, subscribe to my blog or YouTube channel to see more…or better yet, give it a like or leave a comment!

Also, if you’d like to snag some fun digital stamps, head over to Oddballartco & use the code “DTALEXA10” for 10% off your purchase!!

Fairy Magic

See this beauty here.. Well, let’s chat about it a bit, shall we? So, I was set on making a piece for a kid’s room or nursery using this super cute stamp from Oddball Art Shop….but I just ran out of gel medium & mod podge…what to do!? Check out my video below to see my solution was. Also, not only did I have a supply issue, I also had some technical issues & the actual process video got screwed up (d’oh!) Well, nonetheless, here’s the before and after with some tips & thoughts. Check it out!