Meet Lauren Arno

Lauren is sharing drawing tips and demo videos with Sktchy subscribers throughout July. Learn more

 
 

What's your background?

I am a resident of South Jersey, about 10 minutes from Philadelphia and two hours from NYC, so I have great art destinations so close to home. I have a teaching background and studied art education at TCNJ and special education at Rowan University.

I have been into drawing as soon as I could grip a crayon. My mother is an artist, so I have been surrounded with art supplies all my life. As part of my art education classes, I was exposed to many mediums and means of expression so that I have a broader perspective to offer to my students.

 
 

What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?

I personally have a knack for watercolor painting. I have never received any formal training in watercolor, but I feel it is in my blood. (Probably from all the times I accidentally drank my paint water or rinsed my brushes in my tea.)

I enjoy watercolor portraits because the translucent nature of the paints allow me to glaze with all the colors and tones that I see in skin. I feel that I can make someone’s personality glow with the right colors. Give me a thick sheet of cotton paper and a number 8 brush, and I am as happy as a piggie in mud.

 
 

How did you build your creative habit?

Sktchy has really helped me build my personal art habit. I have to create art a lot for work, but joining the community on Sktchy really helped me create art for myself.

Once I gained the experience and confidence from being an active part of the Sktchy community, I started branching out with commissions and even managed to land a solo portrait show. 

Sometimes when I feel that I am in a creative funk, I will listen to some crazy music, take a walk, browse the social media of inspiring artists, whine to my creative friends or practice some technical art exercises.

Doing some silly 30-day doodle challenges helps, too, or even drawing with my non dominant hand.

 
 

When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?

Committing to challenges definitely is a huge help. When I am given an external prompt, I think of it as a puzzle that I need to solve.  How can I put my personal style and creative twist on this challenge? Sometimes my students will make doodle challenges for me. It’s as if we are building a visual conversation together.

 
 

Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?

My recent watercolor portrait of Suzan Colon really sums up where I am as an artist. I really enjoy making and posting completed works with the process journaled along the way. I really utilized the community during the process, and the critiques I received helped me so much. Being able to stand back, take in other artists' words of advice and apply those changes is humbling. 

My painting depicts a woman in full bloom with the driving force of nature behind her. Yet her stern gaze holds grace and dignity. This is a portrait of what I strive to be.

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