Kelsey Nolan

Writer. Eater. Illustrator. Roanoker. Finding my voice through pen and paint.

https://www.kelseynolan.com/

854 posts 6,861 followers 1,121 following

This is the over-the-top delicious turtle brownie cupcake I bought from @bubblecakebakeshop as part of our festivities yesterday. Gooey chocolate and caramel, sweet, crunchy pecans, chunks of brownie...it even smelled astonishingly delicious. AND it was fun to paint. This isn't sponsored, I just want to eat this thing every day of my life 😍
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #chocolateturtle #cupcake #cupcakeart #eatrke #bubblecake #roanokeva #roanokevirginia #foodillustration #chocolatedessert #chocolatelover

16💬

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Dirt pudding cup for December #artchallenge Day 9, pudding. I thought about drawing an English Christmas pudding to stay with the holiday theme, but I don't really know what it is! So I went with the familiar - chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos, and some gummi worms. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #dirtpudding #pudding #puddingcup #chocolatepudding #gummiworms #gummyworms #kidsdessert #chocolatedessert #chocolatelover

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Behind the Scenes: Final Thoughts

Hopefully I've answered all your questions, but if not, please feel free to keep asking! It was really fun to share more about my process with all of you, and if people would like me to, I can definitely keep posting paintings step by step a couple times a week.
Here are a few last pictures of the bits and pieces of my day and home, starting with one that shows the scale of the original art.
1. Paintings, candy cane and pencil for scale
2. All the tea all the time.
3. Backyard.
4. Vintage dishes and constant clutter
5. The current view from my painting spot.
6. Our fridge.
7. Vintage cross stitch collection ...
... #knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #dailylife #behindthescenes #abouttheartist #workinprogress #meettheartist #artiststudio #aboutme #originalart

8💬

Behind the Scenes: The Reality Gallery

Watercolor is my passion, and the way I fill my spare time, but of course only a fraction of who I am comes through on Instagram. These are some of the other things that shape my daily life. I also have some amazing friends (mostly far away 😭), but that would need to be another whole gallery in itself.

I started painting a year and a half ago, because my daughter was a really calm baby, and I had a lot of time to kill. I had no idea that it would end up shaping the direction of my future. Every improvement I see in my work motivates me to keep pushing. Art has become something of an accidental therapy, and this past year has been the happiest of my adult life so far. I can't wait to see what happens next.
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #paint #irl #pictureframes #sketch #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #picturegallery #illustration #illustrator #backtoreality #artistsofinstagram #watercolorartist #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #illustratedlists #abouttheartist #mydailylife #myreality #dailylife #doodlersofinstagram #relatablecomics #webcomic #indiecomic #behindthescenes

35💬

Behind the Scenes: Workspace and Schedule
December #artchallenge Day 7, poinsettia.
1. Final, scanned version.
2. My "studio"...aka the couch.
3. My usual setup.
4. Micron pen (size 04) outline.
5. First coat of each color. Yellow ochre base on the foil pot, for under the metallic coat later.
6. One more wash of the green and red, then details (same color mixes with a touch of black added). Added the shadows and the metallic coat on the pot. Done!

@yandrawsamon (Check her out!) asked me recently how I'm able to keep up with Instagram/painting with a two year old running around. The short, unglamorous answer is that my house is a cluttered, untidy mess most of the time. I keep the kitchen clean as I go, but the rest of the house is laundry and papers everywhere. It helps that my daughter loves to play independently. I do most of my painting in the morning while she plays, then I shower and clean a bit when she naps after lunch. I paint after she goes to sleep at night sometimes, but usually only if I'm excited about a specific idea. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #poinsettia #behindthescenes #abouttheartist #workinprogress #meettheartist #artiststudio #christmasart #holidayart #flowerpainting

20💬

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Behind the Scenes: Step By Step

Swipe to see the piece at various stages. Sorry about the poor lighting in the progress shots! In person the piece looks somewhere between the final photo and the scan. I used several sizes of round brushes for the whole painting.
1. Final, scanned version.
2. Light pencil sketch. For a painting using pen, the pencil sketch would be a bit more defined, and then immediately gone over with Micron pen.
3. Light wash of a yellow green mix, roughly defining highlights. First layer of stem.
4. Layer of dark green for dimension. First wash of reddish orange.
5. Darker red wash. Fine red stripes on the top. Softening highlights. Deeper green near stem.
6. Washes of brownish reds and yellow ochre. Added green and brown details.
7. Pale dots and shadows added, final piece. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #apple #apples #fujiapple #applepainting #foodsketch #appleart #behindthescenes #abouttheartist #paintingprocess #workinprogress

26💬

Behind the Scenes: Tools of the Trade

These are my go-to supplies for daily painting. Budget is the biggest factor for me 100% of the time, so most of these things are far from professional grade. But I'm a firm believer that if you truly love to do something, you'll do the best you can with the tools you have.

I only change out the colors in my palette when most of them are worn down, and even then it's usually just a refill of the same colors anyway. I almost never clean the mixing areas. I just make new mixes on top of what's there, though I do consistently mix greens in one area, browns in one, etc.
I would love to invest in more professional supplies eventually. Except maybe the brushes. I do have a few high quality brushes, but day to day I like to use the cheap ones because I know I'm going to be a bad brush mom and leave them in the water and forget to clean them properly.
For lists like this, instead of watercolor paper I use whatever inexpensive 8.5x11 cardstock I have laying around. And the titles are usually written with Sharpie.
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #artsupplies #toolsofthetrade #paintingsupplies #behindthescenes #abouttheartist #dailypainting #artiststuff #meettheartist #illustratedlists #doodlersofinstagram #indiecomic

21💬

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Behind the Scenes: How I Got Started *Link in bio to a blog entry that gives more detail on how I ended up using watercolors!

The very first thing I ever painted with watercolors was a Starbucks chai frappuccino, in July of 2016. The first picture is today's take on it. Swipe to see that original painting, and again for a collection of some of my older oil and acrylic paintings. I'd like to do a video "tour" of my original watercolor sketchbook, but my daughter is sick, so maybe tomorrow!
I used to paint with oils, acrylics, and inks, but didn't have space for the supplies in our last apartment. Our daughter turned out to be the most laidback baby on earth, and when she was about 10 months old, I decided I needed a hobby. On a bit of a whim, I bought a Royal & Langnickel watercolor set, which came with 10 colors, brushes, and drawing supplies. I also bought a Stillman & Bern sketchbook. My original intent was to keep a regular, written journal and embellish it with sketches, and share them all here. It wasnt long before it became clear that the painting was the part that was keeping my attention.
If you've been following me for that long, or have gone down the rabbit hole of my feed, you'll know that those early paintings don't have a whole lot in common with how I paint today. The first thing I posted was a painting of a sponge 😂 But I've painted almost every single day, often more than once a day, for the last 501 days. I do believe some people naturally have more instinct for art in them than others, but it is absolutely true that regular practice is the key to developing talent.
If you read this far, thanks! You guys have no idea how much your support means to me ❤️ Spoiler alert: it's a LOT.
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #behindthescenes #meettheartist #abouttheartist #gettoknowme #artjournal #artjourney #progress #starbucksfrappuccino #frappuccino

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Lately I've been thinking a lot about the New England winters of my childhood. One of our neighbors had a series of hilly fields behind her house, and we would trek up her long driveway and sneak around back to go sledding. I'm sure she knew, and just didn't mind. I don't miss the extreme cold most of the time, but sometimes I do miss the clean smell of the snow, and the strange, stark shadows the moon casts in a snowy field. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #winterscene #snowynight #logcabin #winterlandscape #snowscape #snowytrees #pinetrees #newenglandlife #childhoodmemory #watercolorlandscape

5💬

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Hello, lovely people! I've been getting lots of interesting questions about all different aspects of my work, so I've decided that next Monday through Friday I'll be sharing some behind the scenes info about my art and myself - in addition to lots of holiday foods, of course. If there's something you'd like to know about the supplies I use, my background, my process, or my personal life (to a point 😉), just leave it in the comments and I'll make a point to answer it in my posts next week!
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #selfportait #portraitoftheartist #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #meettheartist #aboutme #behindthescenes #myprocess #gettoknowme #gettingtoknowyou #faq #artprocess #paintingprocess #abouttheartist

14💬

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Every now and then I get this intense craving for all things blue. I took out every tube of blue paint I have (not that many - 7, two different brands) and did some little tests to see if I might want to replace the ones I have in my palette. Haven't come to a conclusion yet, but I did paint this very blue cupcake to please my eyes. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #pen #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #cupcake #cupcakeart #bluethings #brightblue #vibrantart #splatterpaint #quickpainting #colortest #colorcraving #iloveblue

7💬

The only thing Google was not helpful with was the mint. In the U.S., mint is the pretty universal fresh breath flavor, and maybe cinnamon. I'm sure that's true in plenty of other countries, too, but I was wondering what other flavors are considered "fresh breath friendly" around the world. Anise? Orange? I don't know! Someone tell me!
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #paint #painting #pen #sketch #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #art #artistsofinstagram #watercolorartist #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #illustratedlists #google #googlesearch #googled #searchhistory #doodlersofinstagram #relatablecomics #webcomic #indiecomic #funnydoodle

38💬

I am so in love with this plump, little snowman, I feel like my art has peaked. That's it. This is the cutest thing I will ever make. Probably shouldn't even paint ever again 😂 Okay, maybe not. But I am in love with him. Christmas card next year? Probably ☃️☃️☃️
November #artchallenge Day 30, carrots. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #painting #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #drawing #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #snowman #cutesnowman #winterart #winterillustration #festiveart #winterscene #holidayart #frostythesnowman #snowpeople

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Holiday treat pattern! Did this quickly just for fun. The green cupcake and tree are a little too close and lined up together, but not too terrible for my second-ever pattern attempt. I do like the idea of making prints, so I might take some time down the road to do paintings specifically with prints in mind. ....
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #christmaspainting #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #christmasy #holidayart #christmasart #festive #holidaytime #deckthehalls #christmastime #holidayseason #christmasillustration #holidaypatterns #holidayprint #patternmaking

25💬

Y'all. This was WAY more successful than I expected. And way more fun. I bought some candy canes for when we decorate our tree this weekend, and I knew I had to tackle one. Up until now, I still drew candy canes pretty much the same way I did in the second grade. I spent the day Christmas shopping downtown with my mom and my daughter, and despite a little hiccup with the car alarm randomly going off/refusing to stop/preventing the car from starting for a solid twenty minutes, we had a fun, festive day! What's your favorite part of prepping for the holidays?
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #christmaspainting #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #christmasy #holidayart #christmasart #festive #holidaytime #candyart #christmastime #holidayseason #christmasillustration #candycane #peppermintcandy #peppermint

18💬

To be perfectly honest, these are really the ONLY fruits I like. I like lemons and limes, but not just to snack on, of course. And I'll eat blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in a muffin or a smoothie or yogurt. But that's about it. I wish I liked more fruit, but it's just not in the cards for me. ...
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#knolanart #watercolor #watercolour #watercolorillustration #watercolorart #freshfruit #watercolorartist #watercolourart #dailysketch #doodle #doodling #draweveryday #illustration #illustrator #artistsofig #artistsofinstagram #cartoon #worldwatercolorgroup #illustratedlists #indiecomic #webcomic #comics #foodillustration #fruitpainting #illustratedfood #doodlersofinstagram #favoritefruit #healthyfruit #fruitsalad

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