Gesture drawing for creative ruts

Gesture drawing of horse by Amelie Hegardt via

I have been trying to teach myself how to draw for what seems a lifetime, I hope to pull together a list of resources that have helped me and I have had a modicum of success with. My problem is that I don’t practice and to successfully master a skill, you really must practice. I have a lot of excuses of why I don’t practice, some are stupider than the next, like I don’t have the right pencil or paper, or I don’t know what to draw, so many choices and on and on. Now of course there’s that little bit of not having any time, which is true but really I could figure out some time to practice, but alas I find myself often just admiring the work of artists from afar and wishing that I could draw (unfortunately that does not make for progress friends).

Lately, I have been reading a lot of Roald Dahl, he of  the”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’, ‘Mathilda’ and too many titles to list fame. Most of his books were always accompanied by illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake and my envy rises with each new turn of the page. Mr. Blake’s drawings are so effortless, they are like rapid fire sketches that spilled from his brain to his pen. It got me interested in this ‘gesture drawing’ and looking into further. I mentioned it to Michelle and she said she took some lessons in gesture drawing and it was great fun. I can see where it would be, you need to rapidly draw/sketch your subject within a 30 second to 2 minute period.  Most of the masters used it to warm up, but I find that it’s perfect just as it is, as beautiful as a ‘finished’ work. There’s a whole movement going on right now utilizing this skill and I will discuss some more tomorrow, but for today I thought I would leave you with some quick resources to explore if you are feeling in a bit of a drawing or creative rut. You don’t need to be an artist or even know how to draw to do it, it’s very ‘loosey goosey’ and that’s the beauty of it (in fact the more raw and naive the better!)


Gesture Drawing Definition

Gesture drawing tutorial

Pose generator

illustration by amelie hegardt

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

How to Access Glyphs in Photoshop

How-to Access Hidden Font Features via Besotted

Did you know that there are secret extra characters built into many of the fonts we feature here? You can find everything from ligatures, to alternate characters, to fun ornaments – whatever the font designer felt necessary. These characters are collectively called glyphs, and they are not only fun to use, but they are the key to making a hand lettered or calligraphic font look realistic!

If you are a graphic designer, and glyphs are old hat, you may not know that the latest version of Photoshop (finally) has a glyphs panel! That’s right, you don’t have to open Illustrator, and your command C / command V fingers can take a well-deserved break if you are designing something for web.

View the tutorial after the jump! Read More

Modern Calligraphy Social Media Photoshop Brushes

hand lettered social media photoshop brushes

I mentioned that I have been inspired lately by an artist to break out my nibs and I wanted to share some of the fruits of my labor with you. The lettering isn’t anything like hers (although I wish my hand could do such wondrous, effortless movements), her lettering got me inspired to break out the ink and paper, something that I haven’t done in a little bit. I created this little hand-lettered Photoshop brush set to use on your blog or site (for personal use only please and thank you), the set includes the words: Tweet, Pin it, Intsa, Contact and Email.  I made them brushes so you can easily adjust the size and stamp them in any color your heart desires. I hope you enjoy them and let us know if you have any questions! You can download here.

P.S. Of course I cleaned up the lettering and created the Photoshop brushes using none other than our Vitamin L25 | Paper to Pixel Photoshop set. Yup, there’s even an action that will turn your lettering into a brush in one click!  It’s how I got the ‘tweet’ on my post image!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Photoshop Clipping Mask Tutorial

Clipping Mask Tutorial via Besotted Blog

We are super excited to share this next Photoshop tutorial with you. We are trying to create tutorials that are super easy to accomplish and accessible for even the most novice of Photoshop users. As you know we are super fans of the software and want you to feel the same way too. Being able to harness the power of Photoshop can unleash a flurry of creative projects that you can use for your business, blog, hobby the possibilities are endless! In this tutorial we will be showing you how to place your artwork (or photo) into a shape, in Photoshop this is called using a Clipping Mask. We have made the geometric shape in the image available for you to download for a limited time, so download while it’s available. This technique is so simple and the results super fast. We hope you enjoy! Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions. Video tutorial is after the jump!Read More


Clutter Control a Simple Toddler Play Area

Thank you Brooklyn Limestone readers for your visit today!

I am a minimalist, I always have been, I hope that I always will be. I like lots of open space, I like things orderly, I like white. Those former sentiments are not in line with having a baby/toddler. A baby adds a host of items that you never even would have dreamed you would own, and when they get to the toddler stage, it seems most of those items can usually be found tossed haphazardly across the room in a gust of chaos. Before E. was born we had been living in the country in a large house on 4 acres, we traded that in so we could indulge in the little things like being able to walk to the grocery store and non-well water showers, that move has also compromised our space. We have a much tinier living space now and I was at an impasse as to how to create an area for our daughter to play in that would seamlessly flow with our living area, I didn’t want to do anything permanent as we are renting. I looked into baby gates, all of which were pretty hideous. I then got the idea of using a couple of Ikea Kallax shelves on their sides to create a little play area, the shelves created an open ‘division’ and doubled as much needed toy storage with the added baskets on the bottom of the units. The upper shelves we rotate out toys, putting her current faves out for easy access. If in the evening I feel the desire to have an adult space to relax in, I can easily put all the toys in the storage baskets below (but truthfully I miss her when she goes to bed, so I love to see what she has left out for the day). The storage baskets which initially I thought were just a good idea, have become one of her favorite ‘toys’, it seems kids love to open and close drawers, put things in and take them out, and do it all over again. E. can spend hours just rearranging her toys in the different baskets, good times.Read More