* recent makings : en plein air, seaside inspiration, starscapes

working on a chunky knit seafoam green pillow cover with some watercolor seashells to match

a quick illustration of my baby pup at home for national dog day

stretching my sketching muscles with icy blue & green florals

en plein air lake erie sunset from a long weekend in my hometown

vacation winery sketch

en plein air sketch of the freedom tower

painting of the week, for the word “split”

painting of the week, for the word “lattice”

painting of the week, for the word “guide”

painting of the week, for the word “permanent”. (i struggled with this word, but finally ended up with this as the only permanent thing i could think of: change)

star studies / a sneak peek of the upcoming skillshare class that i’m working on !

* mid summer paintings

an update on paintings of the week . . we’re about halfway through summer and i’ve posted here some of the highlights (chosen word of the week underneath!):

“tip” – – i also created a skillshare class using this one as an example! the class is free, but if you click the link above you can also get 3 months of skillshare for 99¢!

“half”

“shift”

“spark” (for independence day week !)

“fresh”

“train”

“loft”

“idle”

“froth”

also, a few pieces just for fun (sketches, travel paintings, etc.) :

(for national icecream day !)




happy summer !

* one year of a painting a week !


above is my 52nd painting a week! we picked “one” for this word. some other recent best-ofs below !

“fleet”

“cast”

“sink”

“under”

“tie”

“sweet”

we’re still pressing on – hope to see another year of paintings-a-week !

* 2015 painting a week update

the painting a week is still going strong! here are a few of my favorites from the past few months & the words that go along with them —
“treat”


“monday”


“new”


“gather”


“ephemeral”


“blanket”


“thanks”


“scrunch”


“bolt”


“swing”


“legacy”


“scattered”


& a knitted galaxy for fun !

happy new year !

knitted watercolor landscapes

lately i’ve been painting these knitted landscapes (seascapes, mostly!) that combine my favorite things

cabled waves. .

color work sunset . .

field of peonies. .

color work night-time sea

& the most recent, a beaded sparkling sea! i’m planning to continue this series & have a few ideas kicking around! i also sell prints at my etsy shop here !

exciting news !! (finbar&fiona)

i have big exciting news! i illustrated a children’s book !!
now, if you search for erin kate archer on amazon, it pops up !!

the title is finbar & fiona and is the story of an adorable kitten (fiona) who tries her best to befriend her family’s houseplant. (&its also available at barnes&noble)

here’s a little sneak peek! the illustrations were done in one of my favorite styles, in ink & watercolor.

i really enjoyed the process & would love to do this again if the opportunity presents itself!

the author & i are hoping to do a few book signings here on the east coast of the US, if you’re interested in keeping updated on that just let me know !

p.s. also, i’ve created a facebook page to share my work for those that prefer it over blogs. if you’re interested, you can check it out here !

diy : homemade bath bombs & free printable !

i recently tried out homemade bath bombs thanks to the inspiration from a beautiful mess — the perfect mother’s day gift! i made a few adjustments . . recycled packaging and measuring instead of weighing ingredients & i thought i’d share !



what you need :

1 3/4 cup baking soda
2 cups cornstarch
1 cup citric acid
1 cup epson salts (i used lavender)
3-4 drops food coloring (optional, we also used edible glitter for a few)
5 drops essential oils (i used vanilla)
1 tsp water
1 1/4 tsp coconut oil (heat it up a little in the microwave first)
plastic easter eggs
clean spritzer bottle
empty half dozen egg cartons
gold spray paint
2×4 labels

first we spray painted the cartons gold — fancy !

whisk together the dry ingredients . .

& combine the wet ingredients & slowly add them to the mixture. we ended up with a rather dry formula so we started using a little spray bottle to wet it more. it should still feel more or less dry to the touch but be able to stick together if you smush it in your hands

then we formed the bath bombs! we filled up each half of the egg so that it was over flowing & squeezed the halves together. then we removed one half to let it dry out a little before removing the other side . . .

we ended up with about 16 eggs! (we also added edible glitter to a couple of them !) then we left them to dry out completely overnight & worked on the packaging in the meantime . . .

a little faux-calligraphy & watercolor labels for the boxes . .

& that’s it !!

they work wonderfully & make a great craft for kids! if making the label isn’t your thing i’m offering these ones to download for free here & here !


thanks to my sister-assistant for helping with this post !

painting a week

a friend & i started a “painting a week” challenge — we pick a word each week & use whatever medium we like to portray it & post the result on sundays !
if you’re following my instagram, this will be old news but here are the past few weeks work:


“citrus” — grapefruit in ink & watercolors


“flight” — gold tipped wings in pen


“wave” in watercolors


“break” — daybreak in oils on canvas


“starlight” — snowy mountains in watercolors


“sleep” — coffee & reading in bed

if you’re interested in the other half of the challenge, check out claireisaherman on instagram !

how to : ink & watercolor illustration


a simple tutorial on how i make my illustrations !

i use watercolor paper, micron pens (waterproof is important), a mechanical pencil, and an eraser.
you can start with a reference picture & make a sketch from it or just a concept. i decided to go with bunny love in honor of valentines. i use a mechanical pencil for the beginning sketch for light & erasable lines.


after you have the sketch down, use the smallest pen possible (my smallest is the .01) to retrace your sketch.


erase the pencil marks . . .


& use larger pens to vary line thickness. a nice way to do this is to keep the outside edges darker & thicker while letting the details remain light.



next up, color ! i use this watercolor palette. starting from the shadows and blending out to leave the highlights the color of the paper. there are many tutorials online for learning how to shade but you can also rely on your reference photo or keep the colors flat.

add your final details (i.e. hearts, eyelashes, blades of grass !) & if you feel so inclined, use a white pen to highlight & really make the drawing pop !

if drawing & painting isn’t really your thing but you’d like to give someone some bunny love too, feel free to print & gift this one :

diy : en plein air watercolor kit

image by --erin kate
image, a photo by –erin kate on Flickr.

I’m currently studying in Barcelona & I’ve really gotten into travel drawing/painting using this little “kit” . . .


I started with this $1 eyeshadow palette

– sanded off the label

– scraped out the eyeshadow

– painted the lid white to make a clean surface to mix colors on

-spray painted the outside (gold is best !)

– squeezed in my favorite watercolors (these are Koi brand)

& that’s it! Some things I’ve done with it . .



[p.s. I’m still updating my travel blog if you’re interested !]