YouTube Artists Collective: Themes & How to Take Part

Have you seen the acronym YTAC in art videos on YouTube and wondered what it means? Read on, because I'll explain what YTAC or YouTube Artists Collective is, why and how to take part in it as an artist and how to vote for the next themes. And then I'll leave you with a list of the previous YouTube Artist Collective themes, so you can use as ideas for your artworks.

How to Paint a Face with Acrylics

One of my favorite things to paint with acrylics are female portraits and I thought I'd share with you how I paint a face with acrylics including tips for the sketching stage, mixing skin tones, blending with acrylics, working in layers and painting eyes, eyebrows and lips. You can also watch my tutorial video on painting a face.

My art style is maybe somewhere between realistic and semi-realistic and this is just my method for painting a face in acrylics. It also changes from painting to painting, but hopefully the tips in this tutorial will help you in painting a portrait with acrylics.

How to Sketch for a Portrait Painting
When I'm painting a face I usually start by finding a reference photo. It might be from a stock photo site or a photo I've taken myself. A free stock photo site I like to use is Then I use the grid method to sketch the face and get the proportions right. Here's a blog post on the grid drawing method, if you want to try it.

I then tra…

2017 in Review | YouTube Analytics + Yearly Recap

Time for another yearly recap! This one will be mostly about YouTube since that's what I concentrated on this year. Blogging and my newsletter were on the back burner for most of the year. Read on for thoughts about was it worth it to upload videos twice a week, which videos got the most views and the direction I'm taking in 2018.

How to Prepare Cardboard for Acrylic Painting

Would you like to paint on cardboard, but have noticed that the paint soaks into and you can't achieve bright colors? I'll show you how to prepare a piece of cardboard for painting with gesso primer. Cardboard works for both acrylic and oil painting and you might sometimes want to use it instead of canvas, board, wood or paper to save money or to be more environmentally friendly.

Free Printable Adult Coloring Pages

Get ready to color!  Print out these free ethnic coloring pages for kids and adults. You'll get an Indian girl portrait coloring page and a tribal pattern coloring page + envelope by signing up for the Ivy Lily Newsletter here. You'll get the coloring pages (+ more freebies) as PDFs you can download, print out and color with the materials of your choice. Cut, fold and glue the envelope together after coloring and it's ready to use for sending snail mail.

Pretty Little Liars Fan Art

I've steered away from doing fan art for a long time due to copyright reasons. But I gave in and decided to make some for myself this year. I can't sell fan art so I can use it to experiment without having to worry about the outcome. As PLL season 7b is starting I thought it was a good time to make some Pretty Little Liars fan art.

I started watching Pretty Little Liars, when the first season aired in Finland, but lost interest as season 2 rolled around. Then at the end of 2015 I randomly watched a few episodes I had saved in my digibox and got hooked again. I got all seasons 1-6 DVD sets from the library and watched them in the wrong order. I also made a note of interesting episodes I'd like to use for painting references. And these are the ones I chose.

I painted Alison DiLaurentis from season 4 episode 19 Shadow Play, Emily Fields and Spencer Hastings from season 6 prom episode 9 Last Dance and Hanna Marin from season 4 Ravenswood Halloween Special episode 13 Grave New…

Easter Witch Watercolor Painting

Almost everyone knows of the egg painting Easter tradition. But if you're not from Finland or Sweden, you might not know about Easter witches. In Finland children decorate willow twigs with colorful feathers and other decorations on Sunday, one week before Easter. Then they dress up as Easter witches and go door to door kind of like trick or treating for Halloween. The children say a little poem to wish good health and then they give away the decorated willows in exchange for Easter eggs or other candy. This Easter tradition is a mix of religious and non-religious Finnish customs and there's a similar tradition in Sweden as well.

Watercolor Painting Process
For my Easter artwork I painted a little girl dressed up as a witch and carrying the willow twigs decorated with feathers. You can watch the painting process video here. I started by drawing a small thumbnail sketch to figure out the arrangement and the color scheme. I narrowed down the colors to mostly blue and orange, y…