My Accidental Reverse Bucket List

Now there’s bucket lists, and then there are reverse bucket lists. Things in your life you’ve already done. But I’m going to take it a step further and present you all with my reverse accidental bucket list. These are things I didn’t think would ever happen until they actually did happen. I think it’s fun to sit down and realize all the random cool things that have happened to you. If you want, think of some from your own life and comment a list!

  • Watched the Phantom of the Opera in the theater it was first performed
  • Gotten my writing published in a book (Regarding Franz)
  • Gotten photobombed by a SWAT team in Paris
  • Climbed up a mountain in heels
  • Seen Big Time Rush in Walmart
  • Been messaged by Perrie Edwards
  • Been whistled at by R2D2
  • Seen Billie Piper
  • Been asked to speak in front of 1,000 people within two hour’s notice
  • Been to a fashion show
  • Swam with an olympian swimmer
  • Gotten on the newspaper (don’t remember why)
  • Became godmother to a grouse in Alaska (Google it)
  • Been in a live audience in a TV show featuring Nick Vujick
  • Gotten paid to taste test for Cheetos

London Travel Diary 2015

I’ve always wanted to go to England. I’m kind of obsessed with all things British. So I was so excited to finally get to visit in November! My family and I spent 4 days in London, (including a trip to the Harry Potter studios!!!) and it was everything I hoped it would be. Here’s a little snippet of my time there. Videos on our trip to Paris and Vienna are coming soon!

My Favorite Celebrity Covers

When people cover songs from other artists, I think it’s just so cool. I love how you can listen to one song, and then someone new sings it and it can turn into something totally different. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

(These aren’t in order. I can’t choose favorites.)

  1. Imagine Dragons- Stand By Me

The band performed this at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. They’ve done some really cool covers, including “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, if you wanna look that one up. This one I thought was super cool.

2. Boyce Avenue and Bea Miller- We Can’t Stop

Can we just take a moment to appreciate these people’s voices? They’re those kinds of singers that don’t really need to try, they just sound naturally beautiful. Love their take on Miley Cyrus’ song, how they softened it up and made it sound so pretty. And Bea was only 14 at the time!

3. Taylor Swift- Riptide

I love Taylor’s version of Vance Joy’s song, I actually like it better than the original. It’s also refreshing to see her with a piano.

4. Little Mix- Doo-Wop/ Never Leave You (Acapella)

The only thing I love better than a good cover- a good acapella cover. I love it when Little Mix does acapella. It really shows off their talent and individual voices. Little Mix are the winners of the British X-Factor in 2011. They are currently #2 in the charts in the UK with their new album “Get Weird” (which I highly recommend, by the way).

5. Fifth Harmony and Boyce Avenue- Mirrors

This one is also with Boyce Avenue, featuring Fifth Harmony. The blending and harmonizing in this is marvelous. I listen to this version even more than Justin Timberlake’s.

6. Ed Sheeran- Stay With Me

If the sunset had a voice, I’m pretty much it would sound like Ed Sheeran.

7. Birdy- The A Team

I think this one is just beautiful. And her piano- playing skills are incredible! The way she sings this song makes it seem like I’m hearing it for the first time.

That’s all for now, folks! Hope you enjoyed these! Feel free to comment your favorites, or if you have any other cool covers you’d like to share!

Top 5 Studying Tips and Tricks

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I’ve been homeschooled most of my life. And I love it. It’s taught me a lot about having a solid work ethic when it comes to school.

I am now a senior in high school, but I’m taking dual credit classes at my community college. I was really nervous about it at first, but surprisingly the jump from homeschool to college wasn’t so bad. Plus, I got a system down.

Here are my top 5 tips on studying.

  1. Cell Control

Let’s just – as a generation – face the truth. Phones are distracting. Unless you have super-ultra-crazy self-control powers, one little “ding” or “bleep” (or in my case, “medieval horn noise”) and all of a sudden you’re out of your studying zone and into the consuming world of technology. There’s always a new app to look at, a new social media platform to check. So will we ever get things done?

The best way to stop yourself from using your phone is by using your phone. Hear me out on this.IMG_2027

There’s this app called “Forest”. Really modern and simple, which I love. You “plant a tree”, and it sets a 25 minute timer. During that time span, you can’t leave the app or your tree will die. You can also set it to more than 25 minutes by planting multiple trees, and soon you’ll have a “forest”. It’s a great way to stop myself from doing anything on my phone for a while so I can concentrate on whatever it is I’m doing. There are also a lot of other apps similar to this one, but this is my favorite.

2. Mynoise.net

I know a lot of us love to study with music in the background. It’s just more fun that way. But sadly, science says it’s not the best way to study. It’s distracting. You can’t retain as much information while listening to music.

But with no music, my mind tends to wander off. So what do I do? There’s this website called mynoise.net, and it is a life-saver. It contains a whole bunch of different background sounds that are great substitutes for regular music.

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The noises are stimulating but not too distracting. There’s so many fun ones to choose from. You can hear the sound of rain, the ocean, a waterfall, even things like a cat purring or a cafe restaurant. You can even adjust each sound to your preference. It’s just awesome. Click on the picture above for the link!

3. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Repetition is probably the best way to study. Writing out something over and over again is a good way to remember things. Also, recording yourself reading your notes aloud and listening to them over and over does wonders. I just use my voice memos app.

4. Make Your Notes Good

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You probably know, I’m an artist. I like things that look nice. I like to try and make my notes look decent. In a way, it kind of motivates me to look at my notes. Is that weird? Oh well.

Anyway, I like to write my notes like I’m writing a textbook. I write as if I have a friend who is taking a test and all he has to study with is my notebook. I also go crazy with sticky notes and color code my highlighting 😉

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Things you can do in your notes that help:

  • highlight
  • underline
  • doodle and illustrate
  • make mind maps
  • make lists!

5. Plan and Strategize

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I. Love. My. Student. Planner. I think it’s just so important to stay organized. To stay on top of deadlines and everything.

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I am really forgetful, so writing down all my deadlines and things I need to read is super important. That way every time I have time to study, I know exactly what I need to do for each subject.

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Oh, and here’s a picture of my backpack. I like to think it’s secretly cow-printed.

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That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment or share… you know….

Random Questions to Ask Your Friends

Random Get-to-know-you questions

Watch out, awkward silences.

P.S. I made these up all by myself 😉 you’re welcome

  • If you had to be renamed based on what you ate for breakfast, what would be your new name?
  • What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say “don’t do it!”?
  • What restaurant have you probably eaten the most at?
  • What’s a unique skill you have that you wish you could get paid for?
  • What’s your spirit animal when you’re angry?
  • Which celebrity do you want to be friends with?
  • What TV or movie family you think you’d fit in with?
  • Would you rather fight off 3 toddler-sized adults or one adult-sized toddler?
  • What’s your fictional dream job? (super spy, superhero, mermaid…)
  • Would you rather have to act like you just won the lottery every time you saw a vending machine or cry a single tear every time you forget someone’s name?
  • What time period would you most like to live in and what one thing would you want to bring with you from the present?
  • If you had to be roommates with a movie villain, who would it be?
  • If you had to take a bath in a breakfast food, which one would you choose?
  • If you had to be renamed after a name of a restaurant, which restaurant would you pick?
  • What song describes your relationship with food?
  • Would you rather be a bird that can swim or a fish that can fly?
  • Which do you think is the most unnecessary letter in the alphabet?
  • If you had to trade places with one of your friend’s parents, who would that be?
  • If you had to dress like one movie or TV character the rest of your life, who would that be?
  • Which pop star would make the best math tutor and why?
  • What’s the nicest house you’ve ever been in?
  • Would you rather have an ugly car, an ugly house, or ugly clothes?
  • What board game do you wish you could earn money with?
  • What’s the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What’s the smartest thing you’ve ever done?
  • What cartoon character describes you when you’re tired?
  • Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten that you actually liked?
  • Which historical figure would you like to have as a sibling?
  • You’re stuck in the last book you read. What are you doing?
  • If you could master 3 skills right now, what would they be?
  • What commercial would you love to be in?
  • If you had an exercise routine based on the last book you read, how fit would you be?
  • During a zombie apocalypse, would you rather go to an office supply store or a craft supply store?
  • If you had to/got to relive a day from last week, which one would you choose?
  • If you got to scroll through your Instagram feed from 1 year into the future, would you do it?
  • What book would you love to live in?
  • If you had to switch lives with one of your grandparents, which one would that be?
  • Who do you wish could sing you to sleep every night?
  • What store/restaurant would you rather be the manager of?
  • You have to spend the next 24 hours on one app. Which one?
  • If you had to change languages right now, which one would you pick?
  • What first comes to mind when I say “favorite”?
  • If you had a superpower based on the last restaurant you ate at, what power would that be?
  • If you got to talk to your childhood self but only got to share advice using song lyrics, what would you say?
  • What would your autobiography called?
  • What movie genre would your life be and what would it be called?
  • If you had to perform a commercial jingle in front of a live audience, which one would you choose?
  • What would you choose as the theme song for a sitcom based on your year?

That’s all for now, folks! Let me know if you’d like more, there’s a lot where that came from! Thanks for reading!

Pinterest- my internet addiction

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This is my pinterest account. I have 5.2K pins and counting. It’s kind of a problem.

I don’t know why, I just can’t stay away from this website. It’s so cool! Right now I have a lot of boards dedicated to fashion and all that jazz, but if you scroll down you’ll see my extremely nerdy boards. Oh, and if you want a laugh, check out my “laughs” board, because I think it’s hilarious. Just my opinion, though.

I guess I’m just really visual, so a website full of pretty pictures is the perfect Isabel trap.

Anyway, click the above picture to go check it out! Just wanted to share so anyone who also has a Pinterest addiction can know that they’re not alone.

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Adventures in Alaska- Part 2

Alaska, adventure, trip, travelThe day we got to the camp, the Hope Youth Corps leader told us that we had 5 days until we had to actually run a church camp. There were 30 kids from 2nd to 10th grade coming to stay with us for 3 days, and we were totally in charge. (Obviously, there was adult supervision, don’t worry, but we called the shots.) 22 teenagers were supposed to be the counselors, lead lessons and activities, feed the kids, and we had to plan all of this on our own while doing the 8-hour-a-day blue-collar labor. This was our big second task. Kids.

We thought it was impossible. At least, I did. I was shocked that they were giving all these responsibilities to us. We had just gotten to know each other, now we were expected to run a camp? We were just teenagers!

But we had no choice. We had to pull off this camp for the kids. We each thought of our experiences with church camp and wanted to give someone else that great experience. I was so surprised at what we were capable of. I think the world has such low expectations of teenagers sometimes, and things like this reminded me of how much of an impact we can make with God and each other.

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We had a blast those three days. It was great. It felt like one big play date. We got to know each kid and spend time with them, play with them, teach them, talk to them. It felt like a big family at the end of it.

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Yes, there were smores. What else would we do in the woods in Alaska?

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On one of the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage, we got to climb Flat Top. Being from mountain-less Texas, I had never climbed a mountain before. (The picture above was taken probably when we were a third of the way up. ) I’m not going to lie, it was super hard. But I’m glad I did it. I’ll spare you a cheesy mountain analogy.

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What’s a mountain adventure without a motivational speech? This is my friend, Nathan, giving the best mountain speech I’ve ever heard. Yes, he was very intense.

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Here’s my friend Lizzy doing one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

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And here’s Peter wearing my backpack. Real men carry Vera Bradley.

Here’s a few of my favorite random pictures from my amazing trip. (Click to view full image)

Thanks for being great, Alaska. ‘Till next time.

Adventures in Alaska- Part 1

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Recently, I participated in a mission trip with my church called “Hope Youth Corps”, specifically the Alaska chapter. I flew to the largest state in the US with two of my close friends.

We were trying to take a selfie on the plane, and someone decided to join. I don’t know him. We called him Jorge. Guess he couldn’t stay away from the camera. Anyway…

One thing is for sure, Alaska didn’t disappoint when it came to scenery. Pictures will never do it justice. That didn’t stop me from snapping away, though.

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I had no idea what Alaska had in store. I didn’t know it was going to be two of the best weeks ever.IMG_9628 IMG_9786These are some of the 22 volunteers (aged 15-21) that became my family for two weeks. We lived together in cabins two hours away from Anchorage and all civilization pretty much.

No showers, no electricity, no running water, no heaters or air conditioning. We only saw bathrooms on the weekends when we drove down to Anchorage. You know it’s true friendship when they still love you after you haven’t taken a shower in a week. Camping, Alaska, Talkeetna, Youth Corps

Two Weeks in Alaska

Two Weeks in Alaska

We worked hard. The first week, we served with manual labor, building and improving a camp for kids. Blood, sweat and tears was an accurate way to describe my experience. But it felt good. I didn’t realize what I was capable of until I was pushed to my limits, lifting wood and shoveling rocks from 9 to 6. I ached all over but loved it. volunteer, alaska IMG_0252

It felt good to do something had for a good cause. We built beds and tables, dug 7-foot-deep outhouse holes, maintained gardens and cleared trails in the woods, built a shed, moved rocks and gravel, and more. And that was only the first week.

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The camp we worked on became very dear to my heart. It was a privilege to contribute to it during that first week.

Posting about the second week soon! Stay tuned, thanks for reading!!!!

I wasn’t the only blogger on the trip. Check out my good friends Hannah and Lorena’s blogs! They put up some killer stuff!

Lorena (blogger) : Le Unexpected Traveler

Hannah (vlogger): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUVEShNYzk6aS-aJMQ3QPRQ

How my Artwork Came to Hang at my Congressman’s Office

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Hey everyone! Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t think I really posted anything in maybe a year… Whoops! I’ve been mainly focusing on my instagram account, @artsyrosebud, which now has over 1400 awesome followers (link in the menu bar!). I decided to see how my wordpress blog was doing since I haven’t gone on it in a while, and was surprised to discover people have been looking at it. So I figured, why not start posting again? Anyway, back to business. If you can call it that.

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This happened a few months ago, but I figured I’d tell ya’ll about it anyway. I entered my drawing- the one with the girl in a sunflower field- in Congressman Sam Johnson’s Congressional Art Competition. The pieces entered were displayed in the McKinney, Texas city hall art gallery. There were 84 pieces in the show by students from all over Collin County.

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I didn’t win. I got second place. The first place winner got tickets to Washington, D.C., and her work is being displayed at the US Capitol for a year. I’m trying again next year, but for now second place is great. I got a fancy certificate, a fancy US flag that had been flown over the US Capitol in my honor, and like I said, my work will be hanging at the Congressman’s fancy office for a year. One of my friends joked that I got second because the Congressman liked my work the best and wanted to keep it to himself.

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See? Fancy.

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I read up on Congressman Sam Johnson, and found out he is one of the few members of Congress who fought in combat. During his 29 years in the US Air Force, he survived 7 years as a Prisoner of War, and 42 months in solitary confinement. He is 84 years old.

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All in all, it was pretty successful I’d say. It was a fun night, some of my best friends and my family came to support me. They’re pretty awesome.

Drawing a See-You-Later present

So, my friend Brittany just graduated from college and is moving to China for a year as a missionary. I’m going to miss her so much, but I decided to do this quick drawing as a see-you-later present.

First off, I chose a picture I wanted to draw and did a really faint, rough outline. It all just starts with circles and oblongs, and I usually just go over it with more and more detail until it’s an outline I’m happy with.

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Next, I went in with a thicker black outline. This is where it’s really important to get the facial features right. I also added the creases in her clothes and the flowers in her hair.

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The next step is my favorite part- adding the color! This is the part where you have to really look closely at your reference picture for all the variations in hues-where the darks and lights are- etc. Since I had already put in the black outline, it’s kinda like working on a coloring book- but shading at the same time.

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Just keep adding color… I think in this stage I sort of removed the black outline to see what it would look like if I just outlined each section with a darker color. For example, her shirt is white, so I outlined it with grey. Her skin was tan, so I outlined that with a dark brown. I think this is what I went with in the end.

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The hair is the trickiest part of coloring. My tip is to just make sure your brush/pencil is set really small. Treat each stroke like a strand of hair, and just keep layering. It takes practice.

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Brittany portrait

Here’s the finished product! Comment what you think, and please follow me!

My First Charcoal Attempt inspired by Eleanor Calder!

I’ve tried lots of mediums, but not charcoal yet. I’ve been wanting to take a wack at it, but I just never have until this week. My art teacher supplied me with all different kinds of charcoal sticks, pencils, and paper. I got to experiment with all that, and I rather like what I came up with.

But first, who is this Eleanor Calder girl? She’s most known as the girlfriend of Louis Tomlinson from One Direction, but she really is just an average, extremely beautiful girl who goes to the University at Manchester. She is considered by many as a fashion icon. She’s even got a fanbase. Her fans call themselves “Calderics”. Plus, the girl is just so sassy when people send her hate. She has more than 3.7 million followers on Twitter, and has been ranked 27th on a list of influential British Twitter users.

Anyway, she’s just one of those people that I really wanted to draw.

See, that’s the thing about artists. Some of us can be kinda creepy. We see someone’s picture, or even just a stranger eating lunch, and think, “Wow, I wanna draw your face.” This may or may not involve staring for a weird amount of time, or in my case with Eleanor, looking her up on Pinterest. I just like certain people’s faces, okay?

Well, I was commenting on one of El’s pictures on Pinterest (I pretty much live on Pinterest, just to let you know), and guess what? She responded! I was kinda fangirling.

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So, yeah. But what’s that got to do with charcoal? And why would I ask her that question? Okay, knowing what someone’s favorite Disney Princess is a very important piece of information for me.

After we talked about Disney Princesses, other fans started telling her she looks like Belle. She agreed, saying, “I’m Bell, but shhhh, is a secret! Xx”. So that kinda got me thinking to make a Beauty and the Beast-inspired drawing using her face.

So what I like about charcoal is that it’s really forgiving. I pretty much just went crazy with a charcoal stick and spread it around the paper pad my art teacher gave me. I made sure to leave a light spot where the girl’s face would be.

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And next, I added in more detail. I wanted to make sure her face was perfect before I got started on the rest of her.

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And then I added a book. In the picture of Eleanor that kinda inspired me, she was holding her phone and taking a picture. But I decided to put a book in her hands instead.

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Again, charcoal is so forgiving. Just get a gum eraser, and it lifts most of the charcoal off the paper. Any lines you made that you don’t want, you can just smudge into the background. As you can see, I was very rough with the sketching, but was a lot more detailed as I went in to refine the drawing. Just take it by layers, adding in more and more detail as you go.

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There’s my desk (I just cleaned my room, so I can actually SEE my desk, woohoo!!!) and my plush pencil that my sister made for me. Isn’t it cute? And then there’s me in a shirt I refashioned (by the way, if you want to see me refashion something, comment below!) And there’s my messy hand. Charcoal is VERY messy, but I like that. That’s just a little of how messy you can get your hand.

Tip: Have a wet paper towel nearby to wipe your fingers on. But don’t get your paper wet!

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And.. vwala!!!! (Is that how you spell it?)

Now, I didn’t try to copy El exactly, she was just an inspiration, and I kinda just liked her facial expression. But I love how it turned out. I’m working on a portfolio for college, so I can’t do any copyright things. The rule is to change a picture %30 I think, so I can’t really do fanart. So this is kinda my way of doing it, I guess? Anyway, I absolutely LOVE charcoal now and intend to use it a lot in the future.

Hope you like it!

Let me know in the comments below, what celebrities do you like drawing? Anyone’s faces capture your attention?

 

Scratch Art Tutorial

Some of you might have seen my first scratch art piece on the “Portfolio” page. That was one of my very first art pieces that I did when I started art class. Since then, my art teacher likes going around and showing her other students what she calls “The best scratch art any student of mine has ever done”. And that’s a lot, since she’s been teaching kids for decades. This is my reaction on the inside:

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(I really like the Sprouse twins, so I couldn’t pass up that gif.)

So it’s been a couple years, but I did another scratch art!

Tip: When you look for a picture to do for scratch art, make sure there’s LOTS of contrast. In black and white form, it should be as close to just black and white as possible. Make sure there aren’t much greys in the picture. This makes life so much easier.

So once I found a good picture to do, I printed it out.

Tip: Print out your picture in the exact size you want. Then tape it (with masking tape or painter’s tape so it doesn’t peel your art work) on to the actual scratch art paper, the picture you printed facing up.

Here’s what mine looked like with the piece of paper taped on it. This is how to outline your scratch art drawing. Make sure the picture is on the exact spot where you want your image.

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Tip: To outline your scratch art, use a colored pen. Press down on the paper hard to outline the details you want to scratch. Using a colored pen helps let you know what you’ve already marked and what you haven’t. This should leave marks on the actual scratch art paper. Once you have marked the whole picture, remove the piece of paper and you should see that your scratch art paper has markings that you can use as an outline.

Once I finished pressing down with a colored pen, here’s what it kinda looks like and here are the things you need to get started scratching:

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You can kinda see the pen markings here. And also, obviously you need something to scratch with. I have a simple pen holder and three scratch knives with different tips. A smaller, sharper one for details, and a couple bigger ones to cover larger areas.

Tip: Make sure you have a practice sheet! Scratching takes practice, so test out your tools first! And if your pen isn’t scratching easily or effortlessly, you’re probably holding it wrong. It should scratch smoothly.

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Tip: Unlike pencil, you can’t really undo or erase scratch art. So BE CAREFUL!!!! If you really messed up, try using a black pen to cover any mistakes.

 

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It takes practice and patience, but it’s lots of fun!

Thanks for taking the time to read this! And if you want me to do more tutorials, please let me know in the comments!