The best places to find Iceland photos

iceland photos-2

Has Iceland caught your attention? The lonely little country of Iceland, once thought of as obscure (when it was thought of at all), is gaining a reputation for being awesome. And that’s happening for really good reasons. Iceland is a geographical anomaly. It’s one of a just a few places in the world that’s both on a divergent plate boundary and above sea level. This is why Iceland is known for volcanoes, hotsprings, and geysers. Iceland is extremely friendly to tourism. When I traveled to Iceland in Spring of 2013—Iceland was the destination of choice for our honeymoon—I was treated better by locals than … Continue reading

Creature drawings, paintings, and sketches

Creature drawings are one of my all-time favorite types of art to make. You’ll find close to 100 imaginary creatures in the collections on this page—and the galleries will keep growing as I create more art. Insect-like characteristics, slime or decay, and robotics are common themes that show up in many of my creature art pieces. The patterns in the carpet, wrinkles in clothes, or shapes I see in woodgrain constantly seem to be inhabited by strange characters. Many of the monsters I draw were born out of a simple texture that told a story. Here, you’ll find collections (arranged by medium) of all … Continue reading

Creativity doesn’t handicap rational thought. Creatives do.

The more creative you are, the less rational you can be, and the more rational you are, the less creative you can be. Or so we tell each other. You’ve probably heard the words “I’m not creative” in school or at work from classmates or co-workers who are too shy to speak up or can’t think of a non-cliche paper topic. You may have also heard the phrase “I’m creative” from others used as an excuse for ignoring the rules or bombing a math test. Creativity is a weirdly polarizing characteristic, and the presence or absence of it is used to … Continue reading

35 free photos of Venice, Italy

In November of 2014, I gave away my first free downloadable photo collection (you can still download the set of 50 Christmas-themed images for free). It turned out to be a big hit, so I’ve compiled and edited a new collection of photography that you can download for free. I hope you enjoy. The 35 photographs in this collection were all taken in beautiful Venice, Italy. I was able to capture the images during a low-budget backpacking trip with two friends I met at Capernwray Hall (an international gap-year Bible school in rural northern England). During this trip—I was just 19 at the … Continue reading

12 drawing ideas to overcome creative blocks

March's drawing idea by Laura Kranz

Are you struggling to come up with drawing ideas? You’re not alone. Many creative people deal with mental blocks. Staring at a blank sketchpad with no idea what you’re going to draw can be frustrating. This year-long art challenge includes 12 drawing ideas to help you clear those creative clogs. There’s one idea for every month of the year. You can pick and choose the drawing ideas you like, do all 12 in a week, or start at the beginning no matter what month it is. If you create an art piece based on these drawing ideas and want your art featured in … Continue reading

Painted wedding portrait (a commissioned art piece)

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If you’ve followed my work for a little while, you’ll know that I create art in a variety of mediums, mostly for the purpose of exploring a concept or helping to educate about a specific topic. On occasion, someone will reach out to me to create a custom art piece just for them. To give you an example, here’s my latest commissioned piece of work. How to commission me About the wedding portrait The friend who commissioned me only had very low-resolution photos of her wedding, but she wanted a large tribute to the event to hang on her wall. She … Continue reading

14 artists to follow (who also happen to be Christians)

About this list of artists Good art made by Christians can be hard to find (at least, in contemporary times).  For one thing, there’s a lot of trite, cliche, and just plain bad work to sort through that goes by the label “Christian art.”  For another, it seems the majority of Christ-followers who make good art don’t put themselves out there as “Christian artists.” If you’ve asked me about other Christians who create visual art in the past, I’ve sent you one-off links to my favorite artists to allow you to browse their work (and maybe even to reach out and meet them). But … Continue reading

How to get surrealism ideas for art

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What defines surreal art in the first place? Whether you intuitively know how to recognize surreal art when you see it or not, you may have wondered what, specifically, someone means when they describe a concept as “surrealism.” The term is thrown around a lot, and if you’ve heard it described at all, the interpretations probably haven’t been consistent with each other. I’ve heard many different definitions that vary wildly depending on the person using the term, and depending on the art form they are describing. Even the dictionary definition of surreal is quite vague. Most dictionaries simply say that a surreal art form or … Continue reading

Bible verse art for the book of Esther

Esther Bible verse art by Laura Kranz

The book of Esther is, in my opinion, one of the most drama-filled stories in the Bible. There’s a pivotal moment in the book when Esther decides to risk her life to intervene on behalf of her exiled people. The theme verse of this book is from the conversation where Esther makes this decision (Esther 4:14), chosen by Jeffrey Kranz at the Overview Bible Project. Creating the Esther theme verse illustration Because there was a lot of text to deal with and because I was working with an excerpt from a conversation, I decided to try a speech-bubble setup. I’d been trying … Continue reading

Anonymous portrait series

Pastel portrait old man  laura converse art

The anonymous portrait series is a set of oil pastel drawings on black paper. For each drawing, I chose two or three oil pastel colors—usually bright, and often not skin toned (for example, the drawing below uses bright blue oil pastels). I referenced anonymous individuals in stock photos.  I intentionally chose photos with harsh light to provide more interesting shadows on the faces. Here’s my most popular image from the oil pastel portrait series: If you’re an artist, I recommend trying some drawings like these. It’s a great exercise for developing two abilities in particular: first, it develops your ability to … Continue reading