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Watercolor Techniques To Get You Started

We all know how frustrating watercolor can be when you’re trying it for the first time. You either make a watery mess or you mix colors on accident. But we can fix that with these simple tips and tricks!

  • Use Textures – A great way to add something special to that puddle of red paint is texture. Anything that has texture already or can soak up paint is a great way to add texture to your painting. You could also just use a small brush to push some of the paint away.
  • Use Water To Your Advantage – It is called watercolor right? Use drips of water to add spots, dilute your paint or make it more opaque, get different colors with the water. It’s simple, yet effective.
  • Practice With Gradients – Gradients will help you get used to how the paint flows and blends. Experiment with water concentration and dry time to see how it affects the end result.
  • Layer Colors To Get Different Effects – When you layer colors together is can either blend them or give a translucent look depending on how long you wait. Waiting little to no time will blend the colors together and waiting until it is almost or already dry will layer the colors.
  • Practice With Ink Or Outlines – Using outlines to guide you and your brush will give you some practice on where your brush is and how to control it. Start with simple shapes and then work your way towards more intricate spaces until you can freehand watercolor.

With these few techniques and tips you can soon become very talented with watercolor. If you need more help go here or here for more!

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5 Creative Writing Prompts to Knock-Out Writer’s Block

Whenever I am looking for something to write but I can’t seem to think of anything, I always try and find some prompts to spark my creativity. Here are some of my favorites to help you crush writer’s block.

  • It was less than a second, half a second maybe, but somehow it changed my life.
  • With her whole body shaking, she loosened her grip and let the dagger fall to the ground, and she ran.
  • When she needed help, she ran to the woods. She had friends there: the magical kind.
  • A polluted and war torn earth left for mars, you were left behind.
  • He saw her only twice, once as he passed her on the street, the next in his dream.

10 Tips on Improving Your Writing

  1. Don’t Use Bland, Dried Up Words – Very, Really, Bad, Good. These are all words that will take your writing from interesting and deep, to drab and crusty. Instead of these words, try using words like: nefarious, brutal, valuable, immaculate. (more here)
  2. Build on Your Characters – Especially if it’s your main character, you always want to give details and tell more about your characters. I like to give my main character a backstory for some depth. Tell where they are from, how they grew up, etc. (more here)
  3. Conflict, Conflict, Conflict! – Writing with no conflict has no depth and can be boring. If nothing happens how do you keep it interesting. You can kill a character off (not the main character) the right way. Fight scenes are full of suspense and thrill. This makes the reader want to find out what happens next. with fight scenes comes a lot of action and intensity, make sure to use the right words (see #1).
  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Add Romance – Adding romance is another tool to add something new and exciting. Just be careful to not force it or dry it up. Keep it interesting but unless your book is a romance novel, don’t make it the main focus. It’s easy to spend too much time on weaving love into the mix and forgetting the main plot. (example here)
  5. Having a Quality Villain – Who is my villain going to be? How is my villain going to act? What does my villain want? These are great questions to ask yourself when you are creating your evil mastermind. A great way to build character on your villain is relating them to characters already in the story. Or you could leave them mysterious and find out more as the story goes on. (more here)
  6. Dialogue Is More Important Than You Think –  Having dull and short (small talk) dialogue is an awful way to drown out a good story. When “hey” and “no” fill up half a page, the story line isn’t going anywhere. You’re stuck in a revolving door with no way out. Try putting in dialogue that progresses the story and stays interesting: reveal a secret, add threats to the mix, flirtation, etc. (more here)
  7. Put Just Enough Emotion In The Story – Emotion doesn’t always have to be sappy and sickly sweet, it can be anger, frustration, anxiety or joy. It provides a way to relate to the characters and make the reader feel what the character is feeling. It turns your story into a world that they can feel and believe. (more here)
  8. Provide An Appearance To Your Character – What do they wear? Facial features? How do they walk? Hand gestures? These are all things that you have to put into perspective when you are making your characters. Give some insight to what they are like and how they move. Detail is a great way to add more character development and silent feeling. (more here)
  9. Don’t Forget The Renowned Plot Chart – Plot diagram, story roller coaster, whatever you call it, it was made for a reason. Using this can help make sure you don’t get lost in all of the goals and focus on the main plot of the story. Add an exposition, rising action, conflict falling action, and conclusion for a classic plot diagram. (more here)
  10. Always Have A Goal To Strive For – Find out who their real parents are, discover a new planet, sail the world etc. This keeps something always happening and interesting. Make the goal not so easy to accomplish. Add conflict, glimmers of hope, new helping characters, etc. This creates a striving force to get it done and makes the journey worth it. (more here)