Let’s Paint a Cat! A long tutorial by request!

Hi friends! It feels like it has been a long time since we had a chatty tutorial…the last one being the snowy winter scene I think. I kept this tutorial narrated live in real-time for the first 40 minutes (watercolor portion) and I thought the painting was done at that point but I was not totally happy with it so I grabbed some colored pencils to enhance it. You will have to let me know if you liked it better before or after I added the pencil at the end. I did voice over the end of the video because there was a lot of noise and commotion here with everyone around and the colored pencil was an afterthought.

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I used 4 colors of paint: Ultramarine blue, burnt umber, light red (a rusty color) and yellow ochre. I used an assortment of earth toned colored pencils at the end. You can download the pattern here if you do not wish to draw it but I will show you how to draw it in the tutorial. You can find the photo by Lisa Martin I worked from at Paint my Photo. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

This was fun to paint. I do not often paint animals and I think this is the first time I have ever painted a cat…maybe I did as a child, it is hard to remember. Let me know if you think it was better with or without the colored pencil, I might have been a bit hasty adding it. I think you should probably let a painting sit overnight to decide. All in all it looks quite a bit like the new addition to my house. Maybe I’ll donate it to the humane society if they have an auction. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

What? A free Saturday? Can it be True? (and a pencil/marker demo!)

Hi Friends! Do you hear that? Silence. Everyone is still asleep, I have a cup of chicory coffee in my mug and I am looking forward to a day with nothing planned. It is starting to feel like fall too, it is a bright crisp day full of potential, my kind of Saturday! A couple of days ago the folks at Tombow sent me a set of Irojiten colored pencils to try out. I had been admiring them from afar since they came out because of their beautiful book like packaging. In today’s video I am going to show you how they work with a little help from my favorite Tombow product, the Dual Brush Pen. The stamp I used is from Lost Coast Designs.

Can you believe my markers are 20 years old? I love a good long-lasting marker!

Here is what you need to know about the Tombow Irojiten pencils:

  • They are a hard pencil that can be sharpened to a resilient point.
  • Slow wearing.
  • They resist smudging.
  • They have less wax so less “bloom” or waxy build up.
  • Good for detail work or sharpening up soft edges.
  • The full range contains 90 colors including 10 fluorescent colors that glow under black light.
  • According to the package they are highly lighfast (resists fading.)
  • The lead is glued in the barrel to further protect from breaking when sharpened.

These will take a bit of getting used to if you are used to soft waxy pencils. I recommended you try them on their own, and then use them with the other pencils you have for more versatility. They are highly pigmented so they work well with solvent. The lead is hard but there is a lot of color/pigment in there! These will not replace your softer pencils but enhance them allowing you to get more detail with in a painting.

I hope you found this demo helpful, if you have any questions let me know in the comments. The Irojiten pencils and Dual Brush markers can be found on the Tombow website or your favorite art supply retailer!

That’s One Bodacious Flower!

Hi Friends! I feel like i have not made a card in a while and I know many of my blog readers are cardmakers so today I am going to show you how to make this one:

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Supplies:

The above links will take you to Oriental Trading Company who generously donate craft materials to make these tutorials possible. If you shop there make sure you thank them for their support of The Frugal Crafter and tell them Lindsay sent you! Watch the video to see how this card is made and the image is colored!

The bow maker that I used in today’s video can be purchased from my shop. My husband just made a new batch of Bow Making Jigs and they are ready to ship! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Are Spectrum Noir Pencils Worth the Money?

Howdy friends! If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I would do a tutorial on Spectrum Noir Pencils I’d a millionaire, well, maybe not but at least a hundredaire!  It was enough to make me spring for these pencils when they went on sale for $16 a set of 24 at Consumer Crafts two weeks ago. And because I am a sucker for free shipping I got all 5 sets and a new WeRMemory Keepers album because the Project Life one I previously ordered in a moment of temporary insanity was not cutting the mustard. Anyway, here is a card I colored with the new Spectrum Noirs, it took all of 15 minutes to color.

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I have a bit of a colored pencil addiction, I love trying out new pencils! Since I have a few of the most popular brands I thought I’d compare them to the new Spectrum Noir pencils and see how they preformed, see my findings in today’s video:

Now, here is where I retract things I said that are wrong. Please refer to the below chart. Koh-i-Noor pencils are available open stock. I have only seen the woodless sets of 12 and 24 so maybe they have another grade of pencils that I am not aware of and maybe there are more colors. Leave a comment if you know.  There was a bit of controversy over the Spectrum Noir pencils being oil based. They preformed most like the Polychromos (the lead in the SNs was thinner and they were a bit less creamy and opaque) but I’d wager they were oil based if I had to guess but there may in fact be an oil/wax blend going on…oh heavens, does anyone care? I do not because they do what they were interned to do extremely well. They layer and blend well. They are translucent enough so I can clearly see my black stamped lines when coloring yet they are opaque enough to stand up on kraft cardstock, a very hip trend might I add. I would not use them on darker cardstocks but on mid-light they preformed very well. Here you can see some swatches and also the retail price for a set of 24 pencils across the brands reviewed (but you can always find them online for much less.)

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That said, the Spectrum Noir pencils would not be my first choice to create a painting with. I prefer the creamier properties of Prismacolor or Polychromos pencils. The Derwent Coloursoft pencils are nothing to sneeze at either but I have been using Prismacolor pencils since I was 5 and loyalties like that are hard to break. Now that brings me to another bit of controversy, Prismacolor pencils are now made in Mexico and their quality has declined (you can check out the Prismacolor vs. Polychromos review by Lachri Fine Art if you want to know more) and it is really too bad because Prismacolor was my favorite. All but 3 white pencils in my Prismacolor box are stamped USA and the ones stamped Mexico had off-center lead. I have not sharpened them yet so hopefully they are adequate, I find the white Prismas to me the most achy-breaky ones in the bunch. I had an imperfect stamped image on my table (the one I demonstrated in the video) and decided to color 4 of the flowers with 4 brands of pencils so you could see a side by side comparison. I think the Spectrum Noir pencils do what they are intended for. Coloring stamped images, I find I can color quickly with them and layer easily without losing the definition of my stamping. If you do not want to see your stamped lines then you can use lighter ink.

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Bottom Line, these are fun. If your goal is to easily color stamped images on white to mid value colored paper these pencils are ideal and a bargain. If you are a colored pencil artist I think you would prefer a pencil with more opaque and creamy lead But since they layer really well and cost less than half of Polychromos pencils you might want to give them a whirl and maybe pick up a few light-colored prismas. Honestly the Polychromos are not terribly opaque either so you might want a wax-based white with those as well. I would be impossible for me to test all of the great pencils on the market (I’m a hundredaire remember…) but these are the most accessible to me and hopefully you. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I’d love to know what your favorite brand of colored pencils are. I have had several requests to compare watercolor pencils too so you can let me know if you are interested in that as well. Thanks for taking the time to read through this long post and til next time happy crafting!

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PS Quick tip! When making a card make the envelope first then use the scrap of leftover paper to embellish your card. Another tip, dig out the old-school deco-scissors and circle punches to cut a cool wavy border on the card. Using a two-tone cardstock like Doublemates makes the look really pop! Happy crafting!

Painting Peacock Feathers with Pencils!

Howdy folks! Today I want to inspire you to dig out your colored pencils and paint a peacock feather:

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This one is done in Inktense watercolor pencils (and it is the one I am demonstrating in today’s video):

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This one was done with Polychromos colored pencils:

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You can use any kind of pencils for this but I like the watercolor pencils for vibrancy. Won’t you paint a long with me?

I also painted a 2 minute bookmark on watercolor paper. That is a fun no-stress project that makes a great gift!

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Draw and Paint a Lady Slipper in Colored Pencil!

Hello friends! Wow, I could have used an extra 8 hours in this week! I was right out strait it seemed. I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend (between scouts and softball that is!) If you have some downtime this weekend why not try something new? Like sketching and coloring with your colored pencils. This is a viewer request of how to paint a lady slipper in traditional colored pencils. I used Prismacolors but try whatever you have before buying new:)

I really like the way it turned out plus pink and green is one of my favorite color combos. Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Dragonflies in Colored Pencil & a Winner!

Howdy friends! I hope you had a good April Fools Day, Mine started early with my twin daughters up at the crack of dawn trying to prank their brother LOL! I have no tricks up my sleeve for you but I do get to announce the winner of the dragonfly stamps and gift certificate from About Art Accents (drum-roll please) Dawn Y. Yay! Check your email for your confirmation and info on how to get your prize. Speaking of Dragonflies here is a tutorial on how to paint one in colored pencils:

I just love the rich color I get with my colored pencils! The digital stamp is available here in my ShopHandmade shop. I have been filling orders like crazy today, apparently everyone is in the mood to color!  If you want to order multiple items and combine payments you can email me at artstudiosofbangor@yahoo.com, there is a glitch in the shop where it asks you to pay separately for every item, it is fine if you want to do it that way but if I combine the order it saves me paypal fees and you get a free $1 worth of product for ever $5 you spend so if you rack up $15 in stamps you get 3 images (or $3 worth of product) free! I was just made aware of this glitch so if you placed separate orders totaling over $5 just email me and I will make it right. Aint technology grand? To clarify the orders ordered from my Lindsay’s stamp stuff shop handmade shop are emailed out within 24 hours. If you want instant downloads you can shop Lindsay’s stamp stuff @ MyGrafico, but the stamp I used today had been retired from my MyGrafico shop because it was an older design.

If you need any help using digital stamps you can see my easy tutorial using free simple software here. Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by my shop and ordered this set today, I truly appreciate it! Happy crafting!

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