Mix Up Your Mediums by Ashley Lucas

I’m happy to introduce you to one of our new blog contributors, Ashley Lucas. Ashley will be taking on a monthly art tips column here at Eastern Penn Points! Welcome, Ashley! Here’s a little bit about her….


Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is an illustrator, craft designer and the self-proclaimed queen of cute characters. Her first picture book was published in 2011 and featured a trio of lovable Halloween characters named Boo, Bat and Pumpkin. Her most recent work, The Angry Artist, is a picture book for creatives {no matter what their age might be!}. Ashley grew up in Lancaster, PA and moved to New York City at the age of 18 to attend New York University. She is currently traveling around the US and abroad to pursue her passion for making the world a cuter place. Follow her on Twitter @LadyLucasArt or visit www.ladylucas.com to say hello!

Mix Up Your Mediums!

Creative people are by nature very curious beings and tend to want to try every craft, camera lens and cookbook in sight. Children’s book illustrators are no exception. One tip that keeps my work fresh as a picture book artist, is changing up the mediums I use for different assignments. Here’s a look at some ideas for switching it up in your own art studio or creative space.

 Cupcake Liners

1 Cupcake Liners - Lady Lucas

When teaching art to children, I am constantly coming up with new {and sometimes zany} ideas to keep the kids entertained. Of all the many little crafty items I’ve presented over the years, cupcake liners are always one of the biggest hits! Invest a small amount of money on some pretty patterned liners at the dollar store, then fold them to create a whole zoo of different animals. Add paper pieces and marker for a bold look. Once scanned, these sweet animals look professional enough to be featured in the story of your choice.


2 - Gouache Lady LucasBeside having what some might consider a silly sounding name, gouache is a pretty cool medium that gives artwork a bold and opaque look. If you are used to working with acrylics, then gouache paint shouldn’t be too different. Add layers of paint to achieve a more solid composition. Painting on colored paper also enhances the look of these paints. If you’re looking for lovely, saturated color, consider gouache for your next project.

Watercolor Pencil 

3 - Watercolor Pencil - Lady Lucas

My secret weapon of choice for years has been watercolor pencil. I love it because it gives me the freedom of watercolors, with a more exact execution. Add a line of permanent marker around your illustration first to ensure that the color doesn’t bleed too much. Then lightly add watercolor pencil to your drawing. There’s no need to press the pencil tip too hard, as the water will eventually make the color darker. After you’ve colored your drawing completely, wash water over it carefully with a small paintbrush. You can also dip watercolor pencils directly into a saucer of water. I often do this using the color red to achieve perfectly round rosy cheeks!


4 - Pastel - Lady Lucas

When you feel your lines are getting too tight, or you’re not having any fun with your art… try pastels! Because it’s kind of impossible to be perfect in this medium, the softness of pastels invites creativity. These rabbits were drawn with regular packed pastel sticks, although pastel pencils are a fun alternative. Just don’t forget your kneaded eraser, as that’s the only thing that can truly get rid of pastel marks on paper.

What’s your medium of choice? Comment below to share your favorite one! 

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4 Responses to Mix Up Your Mediums by Ashley Lucas

  1. Filomena says:

    Great article! My favorite tools change day to day…I like to experiment! 🙂

  2. I’ve used white gouache before to put highlights on watercolors. Never thought to use gouache to do a whole painting. What a great idea.

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