5 exercises to help you warm up your creativity

Do you want to make art but feel a bit unmotivated? Don’t over think it… just start making something. It’s like getting your butt up to exercise, the hardest part is to just get to the gym, once you are there it’s easy.

Below are some places to start:

  1. Copy a master/inspiration.
  2. Pick up an old book and flip through it, draw images that inspire you.
  3. Make marks on a paper, just scribble…
  4. SWATCH, make swatches!
  5. Doodle items you see in your room.
Study of Hubert Green

The image above is a copy of a piece of art I like, I really enjoyed making it and learnt a lot about the joy of playing with colour, making marks on a piece of paper and composition . SIMPLE but so beautiful and intentional!

Pencil: Prismacolor Pencils

Paper: Cason Drawing Paper 110 gsm

Van Gogh is a bad ass in the art world. You cannot go wrong with studying Van Gogh. The two above images is a Van Gogh interpreted by me in line drawing style.

Medium: Digital Ipad with Rubber Stylus

I didn’t quite find this image in a book however it was an image I came across that inspired me to use my Huion Tablet. I used Adobe Photoshop and my tablet to create the image on the right.

Sketch book page by Teresa Dang

Yep, the above is literally a doodle of the things around me like laundry, my lamp and my hand. Plus a few random things here and there.

Swatches by far are my favourite exercise. So simple, meditative yet fun at the same time. Check out my Weekend Mindfulness Art for ideas on how to make mindfulness art.

Pencils: Jasart Colour Pencil 72

Paint: Cotman Watercolours Winsor and Newton

Original art by Teresa Dang

This is a fun little drawing of my room. I was sat on my bed and I drew the view of my room with a fine pen on some scrap Muji Paper.

Paper: Recycled Paper Note Pad/Plain $1.60

Pen: From Vietnam Brand Name Ben Nghe it’s blue and super fine and scratchy

I hope you get back to creating and do a little scribble. Have Fun!

Have an awesome week!

Teresa XX

New Year Ritual 2023

Some years will be like this but you’ll just have to keep showing up!

Last year I created a post titled “New Year Ritual” this ritual helps keep me grounded and I have returned to these exercises for 4 years now, yay me!

So this year I wanted to set some goals for myself to keep me motivated to make and create. I also wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the year of that was.

Thank you 2022

I have been blessed this year with a number of great milestones and I am super grateful and not at all disappointed when I look back and see that there was a huge gap between my posts.

When I think about the amount of projects and art I have made, I wish it was more however I do remind myself that I have also had a very busy year! With this being said, I am pretty pleased with the projects I have completed. Some years will be like this but you’ll just have to keep showing up!


  • Clay projects with my nephews and niece using air clay
  • Europe sketch book
  • Painterly faces

Start, Stop, & Continue

What do I want to start doing this year? Create a cohesive collection.

What do I want to stop doing this year? Maintain too many social media outlets at once. Ultimately to focus my attention and decide where I want to spend my energy.

What do I want to continue doing this year? Making physical art.

This year I noticed that I have been into using an inky consistency to paint. I continue to enjoy drawing buildings and am getting faster and more confident with my art making.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2023 filled with art making and fun projects ahead.


Teresa xx

Painterly faces

A minimalistic style piece inspired by Henri Matisse portraits

Want to know how to create your own prints in Matisse’s style?


These faces have been painted with Gouche using a paint brush. A minimalistic style piece inspired by Henri Matisse portraits.

This painting style is called Fauvism characterised by strong colours and fierce brushwork (Tate Museum).

“Fauvist art is characterised by its bold colours, textured brushwork and non-naturalistic depictions. In some ways, Fauvist artists emerged as an extension of the Impressionist artists working at the turn of the century.”

What I love about this style is that it really highlights the use of colour and the way in which you can still see the brush strokes. It illuminates the artist’s process as it looks unfinished, like a work in progress.

Interested in reading more about Fauvism see #source1 #source2 #source3

If you want to find out more about inky paintings see my post on Sumi Ink

Original art by Teresa Dang – Mahogany Girl

What you need for this exercise:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Gouche (HIMI #link) or Watercolour paint (Koh-i-Nor #link)
  • Round paint brush size 6 (ROY MAC paint brush #link)

The process:

  1. Find photos of faces you want to paint.
  2. Look for shapes in the image that you can sketch out as larger shapes.
  3. Once pencil drawing is laid down, load up your paint brush with a good amount of paint.
  4. Use the lightest touch to line the pencil drawing. It may be useful to practise a few strokes before hand to get the feel of the paint brush and to see what lines you can achieve.
  5. Fill in the rest of the area of the painting with quick bold brush strokes, be guided by the image, looking for area of shade and light.
  6. After you scan the painting on to the computer you can use the Magic Wand Tool to remove the textured paper background.
  7. Use The Bucket Tool to fill in the light areas.
Original art by Teresa Dang – Green Girl

Some tips:

  • Trace trace trace so that you have a base image to experiment with. Use a window, glass door or the screen of an Ipad to illuminate the image so you can trace it.
  • Practise using your brush to create various styles of strokes so you get a feel of the different lines you can achieve with the brush.
  • Load up the brush with lots of water and pigment.

This style of painting would look lovely in a vibrant blue, enlarged and framed for home decor.

Good Luck with making your beautiful master pieces! Hope you are all having a fun holiday season with family and friends.

Teresa xx

Inspiration capsule: Winter 22

Original art by Teresa Dang ‘Warhol Girl’

This is a quick post about some gems who give me hope and inspiration in the independent art and illustration world. They have all stood the test of time ❤ If you are looking for inspiration and new artists to follow make sure to give put these guys on your list:

  • Nina Cosford – she is a UK illustrator who loves to draw on location, she makes quirky little illustrations of a relatable character named “Girl.”
  • Leigh Ellexson – Canadian based, her art is colourful and cool like she is. Her youtube videos are genuinely the most effortless looking beautiful vlogs I’ve seen. I am addicted!
  • Furry Litttle Peach – is an Aussie illustrator who basks in all things cute and vibrant. She is sunshine and rainbows from inside out which she infuses into her art.
  • Fran Meneses – is a New York based illustrator, she is generous with sharing her art journey and the ways in which she develops her art style. Her art is editorial and super stylish.

These people remind me of the joys of art making and doing things.

Have an awesome weekend!

Teresa xx

Random summer nights – a poem

Photograph of Sydney CBD.
North Sydney.
A  night, unplanned. 
Where the night takes us, who knows.
A gap in the fence.
Moon light, couples in a secret search for a special spot, a sky painted with rich blues, yellows and orange.
A feeling, a place and time irreplicable.
A moment alone. The heat of the sandstone below my feet.
The silence of nature.
A daze as the lights of the city flash.
A dash back in the dark. 
Last ones to leave. 
The trill of nearly getting locked in.

TD x

Watercolour Mixing

Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!

Colourful little watercolour butterfly


I wanted to quickly jump on here to share! I quickly did some water colour tests this afternoon after a “little break”. Life happens and sometimes art takes a back seat. *shrugs* haha

Today I took the opportunity to test my water colour skills, it just goes to show I’ve forgotten some of the techniques after taking such a long break from using them. With watercolour painting it’s all about timing and preparation, drying time and mastering this comes with patience and muscle memory.

Art is a practice and practise means doing something regularly!

Watercolour gradients

I tried a few wet on wet, wet on dry techniques to create this butterfly. First, I tried a few samples of gradients and picked the colours combos I liked the most. I traced this butterfly from an old drawing I did for my 365 day challenge in 2019/2020 and painted it the same way I painted the gradients. I was rough with it and liked that the paint didn’t say in between the lines. I went over the butterfly again with lead pencil. I did consider lining it in black in but decided it would be too harsh for my liking.


It appears that Windsor and Newtown (W&N) products are very expensive to purchase in Australia. The 12 set of W&N tube set was 16 pounds which is equivalent to $30 AUS. So bizzare. Note to anyone travelling to London, buy art products over there, it’s so much cheaper!!


I hope you guys are staying safe and well.

Teresa x

Note to self

A little reminder.

Draw as much as possible.

Don’t be limited to what you feel you NEED to draw, draw what your heart and mind are drawn to.

Tim Burton (director, producer, creator) says, do what you love and what you are passionate about and keep doing it, for it’s the love of the the labour that leads to mastery and true artistic expression. Don’t get swept up in easy wins or shortcuts, it can lead you down a pathway or direction that is not authentically you. Stay true to what you love… (Tim Burton – Master Class)

I hope this helps you to draw and create as much as you love to and not limit yourself by any rules.

Be you, that is what the world wants to see.


Teresa x

Sumi Ink

To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.

A lesson on ink.

Ink is a super fun medium to play with. I have been playing with Sumi ink lately and have found it loose and free. As someone who has tendencies toward careful and slow mark making using ink has helped me to loosen up. To be more free with my lines, to allow my hand to flow without too much thought behind it. I am still yet to “get there” but am enjoying the process.

Fun, loose and quick!

I found doing these studies helped me to use my ink brushes on my digital drawing apps.

What I learnt:

  • Ink makes you commit to your strokes, don’t think too much. Have a word/picture in your mind and paint.
  • There is little room for error.
  • Simpler the better.
  • You can achieve different values by adding more water/ink. The more water the lighter the wash (just like water colour).
  • Quick strokes work best.
  • Composition is key.
  • Rhythm is needed, light touches to create dotted thin strokes and more pressure to create bold voluminous lines.

What you will need:

  • Sumi Ink Option 1, Option 2
  • Paint brush (any)
  • Paper (printer paper works but can bleed if you use too much water)
  • Porcelain dish or cup to hold the ink
  • Cup filled with water for washing your brush

Art created on: Bamboo App

A few artists I drew inspiration from to do my studies.


Henri Matisse has a few notable pieces whereby he uses brush strokes to depict nature, faces and still life.

Anna Farba

Anna Farba, a botanical artist, has made some lovely floral art with ink.

Rosie McGuinness

Rosie McGuinness, London Based artist fashion artist and life drawing.

Lucy Auge

Lucy Auge, UK based artist has a beautiful collection of inky flowers.

Check out my pinterest board for more ink art ideas to learn from Pinterest Board.

Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

Teresa xx

How to draw buildings, what I have learnt so far….

Drawing the same thing over and over will lead you to develop your own process…

I spent a whole year practising how to draw buildings.

All together I drew 18 buildings between the 3rd of January 2021 – 22nd November 2021.

For a long time now I have aspired to fill up a journal with one subject matter. I am so proud of myself as I usually find it difficult to follow through on a self assigned project like this. I have a tendency to get distracted by something new and shiny. As you look at these drawings you will notice that staggered dates throughout the year.

Art takes patience, persistence and deliberation.

I have reflected on the process and there are notes beside the drawings; things I have learnt, process notes and what I liked about the drawing.

What you will need:

  • Printer paper cut to 26 x 13cam folded in half and secured with three staples on the fold. ( All together you will need 10 pieces of paper.)
  • Lead pencil
  • 1 coloured pencil
  • Photos of buildings

Overall, my reflections on this project are below:

  • Thumb nailing is worth spending time on – it’s a quick smaller drawing that helps you plan out the larger piece.
  • I love drawing sketchy trees.
  • Simplifying details can make a drawing look more fun and cohesive – not all details need to be accurate.
  • Drawing the same thing over and over will lead you to develop your own process… for me the process went 1. lightly blocking out shapes 2. Blocking out darkest sports 3. Add line 4 Add smaller shapes and objects.
  • Keep the sketch book on your desk, when you have a free 30 minutes draw!

Some notes on the paper/journal I used:

  • The printer paper is a bit slippery for coloured pencil
  • Good practise to get a sense of composition
  • Okay to write on
  • Suitable for graphite pencil
  • Use coloured pencils that a softer
  • Blending is challenging
  • The values are hard to build up which means the images look flat.
  • Layering is difficult

Download the full e-book for free below. I hope you learn something.

Thank you and good luck!

Teresa xx