Fearless Friday, The magic of shading


The current resident in my studio is not a canvas but a giant dollhouse



DD’s grandmother gave her this Southern mansion style dollhouse when she was a little girl

She got it at an estate sale and lovingly fixed it up with curtains, dolls and furnishings, most of which are long gone, but I did save the house in hopes of passing it down one day



“Mom, I think you should give CC the dollhouse this Christmas…”

Dear Santa, please give me more days before Christmas!!

So this house is what I’ll be painting this week



I keep a sketch book and art supplies within reach and love to idly draw for relaxation while I’m watching the news or my favorite holiday movie




 I did manage a quick sketch of a gingerbread house…

Gingerbread has been in the air this week,

and I want to demonstrate the dramatic difference a little shading can make


A simple line sketch




Gingerbread colored marker and a line of darker brown to dramatize the snow covered eaves

Look at the difference it makes when you compare the left and right sides in the photo above




More color and shading





I stopped the tree color short of the outline, to indicate snow covered trees and white dots were added with a white gel pen

The loops on the house front corners were striped to look like ribbon candy


The final dramatic touch was added to the doorway using a gray water color brush pen




A wide line along the inside of the doorway was softened and blended out with a clear waterbrush pen





Gray water color pen was also added to the snow on the roof and on the path to add dimension




A little shading can really bring a drawing to life!

Be Fearless!


In case you missed it, last year we painted gingerbread people




You can see the tutorial here



Psst…25% off everything Friday, Saturday & Sunday at my Society 6 Shop




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I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and RefinedBetween Naps on the Porch,   Make it Pretty Monday

Coastal Charm,   Cooking and Crafting with J&J,    Celebrate and Decorate,

Delicious Dishes Recipe Party   Oh My Heartsie Girl   Full Plate Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty  Foodie Friday & Everything Else 

Home Matters    Share it One More Time   Sundays at Home

19 Responses to “Fearless Friday, The magic of shading”
  1. Jodi says:

    Oh the gingerbread house is darling and I cannot wait to see what you do with the doll mansion 👍😉. It is sure to be fabulous as only grandma Jenna can do!! ❤️

  2. Lorraine says:

    I love it! Yes, shading is what brings art to life. Also, when I’m painting eyes on a person or an animal, I’m always delighted when I add the “shine” to the eyes. Suddenly I see my piece come to life, staring back at me. It’s a thrill every time!

  3. Mary says:

    Adorable Jenna! I love the shading on your wonderful gingerbread house! I’m looking forward to seeing the transformed dollhouse after you take your paintbrush to it! Happy Painting and Selling to you!

  4. I use the gel pen for white dots, too, like in animal eyes and snow. Better control! And you are so right about the shading. I’ve always known that but to see it in terms of this drawing and how it evolved into a wonderful and completely delightful piece is a terrific example. The gingerbread is adorable.

    I have to get to the art table this week to finish a commission. I have about 10 minutes of work but it’s the part where I can mess up the entire thing!

  5. Ricki Treleaven says:

    The gingerbread house is one of my favorites….I love it, Jenna! I love your whimsical, and dare I say, fearless style!

    I bet the dollhouse will be a work of art when you’re done. I can’t wait to see it!


  6. Sharon Mann says:

    So Christmassy, thanks for your step by step, awesome art!

  7. That dollhouse is positively darling, Jenna. And I love your painting of the gingerbread house. The colors are gorgeous. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. For some reason, I have been able to comment – I think the problem was on my end.

  8. I love your tutorials!! I have ALL these supplies, and have had them for many months – maybe in January during a blizzard i will start to play with them! The gingerbread house is adorable and the doll house is even cuter! Have fun updating it!

  9. Jenna, that is one adorable gingerbread house! I can’t wait to see the finished doll house after you put your magic artistic hand to it!

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