Lobster Head Painting // Sketchbook Sunday!

Hello, friends and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Today I am sketching a lobster head my daughter found on the beach last weekend:

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Morbid or cool? What do you think? You can see how the painting come together in today’s sketchbook Sunday Video!


The coloring was perfect for the very granular Daniel Smith Primatek paints I picked up on Amazon a couple of months ago. I also used a yellow ocher watercolor from my Paul Rubens palette. This was painted on Paul Rubens hot press block. I used a variety of rounds and 1/4″ angle. *Amazon affiliate links used.

I enjoy painting subjects from life whenever I can. The next time you find something interesting or unusual try painting it! Til next time happy crafting!

PS Everything is back to normal in my teachable school and I am caught up on comments as of Sunday at 10am ET. Everything has been working fine for 24 hours so if you have been waiting to upload artwork you are fine to do so now:) Thank you for your patience!

 

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Fun 4th of July Card!

Hi friends! Celebrate the fourth of July with this classic Americana inspired card!

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Watch the video to see how!

This video is sponsored by Rubber Stamp Tapestry  – use coupon code: LINDSAY and receive 15% off your retail order of $10 or more of peg stamps, peg stamp sets, and unmounted stamps! Coupon expires a week from this video publication. Continue to receive great deals by becoming a PegStamp VIP here.  As a PegStamp VIP
you’ll get a weekly deal via email plus links to fabulous tutorials by me, Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and other designers.

Supplies:

Directions:

  1. Make a 5”x7” card base from kraft and layering panels in red, blue and silver. *Tip: Cut the centers out of the matting layers to use on inside of card.
  2. Stamp the base of the snowglobe from the let it snow stamp set upside down to make a window box. Stamp again on a post-it note to make a mask. Apply the mask over the window box and stamp flowers and leaves.
  3. Place a grid or fence stencil over the bottom of the card under the window box and cover the top of the card and spay ink over the stencil to create the fence.  Let dry.
  4. Make buntings by cutting a 9” piece of ribbon and accordion fold it and gather it at the top and glue. (see video for demo)
  5. Layer up stamped panels and mats on card base and adhere flag bunting and rhinestones to embellish.

I hope you make something inspired by this card. Happy crafting!

Is it worth it to refill your markers?

Hi friends! About 10 years after originally getting my Copics, I finally need to refill a few favorite colors. Let me be totally honest with you, I am not a marker snob and I love trying out different brands. People with fewer markers will likely need to refill them sooner than I did. Since my Copic Sketch markers were such an investment, I decided to order refills when they started to feel dry. You want to refill them before they go totally dry to prevent wear on the tip, especially the brush nib that is costly to replace. I shopped around and found the best prices on Copic Refills at Scrapbook Pal. I ordered some and they shipped the next day and I had my refills in a couple of days. Shipping is free if your order is over $25. I paid $5.29 per refill and I am glad I ordered them there, because they were $10 each at the stamp show! I was so pleased with the service that I became an affiliate, so if you do order after clicking on one of my affiliate links I will make a small commission without costing you more. Thanks!

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I also wanted to mention that Simon Says Stamp is having a 25% off sale on Copics with coupon code MARKERSALE until 6/26 but they are still $2 more than Scrapbook Pal’s normal price. I thought I’d mention it if you were going to place an order there and just needed one or two inks.  Both are great stores!

Here are the refill colors I bought at Scrapbook Pal: Barley Beige – E11, Blush – R20, Buttercup Yellow – Y21, Chartreuse – YG13, Cotton Pearl (Formerly Skin White) – E00, Honey – Y38, Mignonette – YG11, Mint Blue – B01, Pale Yellow – Y11, Robin’s Egg Blue – B02, Sugared Almond Pink – RV02

These colors are all very light. I could tell these were all getting ready to need refilling when I could feel a drag on the paper. You want to refill it before it goes dry so you don’t damage the nibs. I use my markers to color stamped imaged in cardstock usually. The super light colors are my most used, because I use them to achieve the color blends. If a color is hard to blend I prime the area with the lightest color, then add my shadows, then my middle color (by coloring over the dark and into the medium tone area) then I go over about half of the middle value out to the highlight with that pale color. You can see how I use 4 to 6 times more of the lightest colors vs the dark and medium tones. Also, I find if you invest in refillable lighter colors, you can use a cheaper set of basic colors and have a fabulous set at an affordable price. I was going to make a video on how to refill them, but Copic already has a wonderful one so I’ll just post that:)

One of the questions I get all the time is “can you refill these?” anytime I review a new brand of markers. Since I have had the opportunity to review dozens of markers, I have determined that you can refill just about anything without messing them up as long as you can find the appropriate ink or something that matches really closely.

There have been a lot of fabulous markers that have come out in sets at a very low price point recently. The following brands use the ShinHan touch equivalent inks so if a color goes dry you can look at the last 2 digits on the marker and order the refill in the ShinHan Touch range. There are other generic markers on Amazon using this system, but I am only listing ones I have personally tried. Having a refill is awesome because you don’t want to have to rebuy a whole set because you need to replace one or two colors.

  • Ohuhu *I really like these!
  • TouchNew
  • Concept (Jerry’s Artarama)
  • Arteza (these are a bit tricky because they have a 4-5 digit code so look at a Shinhan swatch to be sure you have the right color/number code. I think they plan on offering refills as well as brush tips in the future so you might want to wait and see. I love the case these come in!
  • Arrtix (now with a 168 set!) I love how the bullet and chisel nib’s caps are different and easy to identify.

Do you need a “brush tip”?

I am going to be honest, it is easier to blend with a brush tip, and Copic is the gold standard. I don’t think you need every color in a brush tip if budget is a factor. If you can swing your lighter colors (see my most used color list above) in brush tip markers (in either the Sketch or cheaper Ciao version-ciao – it has the same nibs, it is just a skinnier marker so it holds less in but if you have refills it is not a big deal) then you can totally get by with the affordable chiel/bullet tip markers and have great blending.

Here are some brush marker recommendations:

  • Copic (I’d pick and choose rather and buying a full set)
  • Bianyo (these have very flexible high-quality nibs at 1/4 price of Copic) No refills but you could try matching up to a Copic chart. *If you don’t need a refill this is the best deal!
  • Blick Studio Brush marker (not the seasonal illustrator line) they now sell refills for these. Best budget brush marker if you DO want refills.
  • Prismacolor Brushmarker
  • Windsor & Newton Brush Marker (formally Promarker by Letraset) *These used to have refills when owned by Letraset not sure if they still do tho.
  • ShinHan Touch (the line of refill inks I mentioned above) also has a high rated line of brush tipped markers but I have not tried them personally)

These brush markers are less expensive generally but the tip is less flexible. They blend well but will fray over time especially if they go dry. They aren’t bad but they are more of a disposable option. If you only use markers occasionally they might be the best choice for you.

  • Studio 71  *Most affordable and equivalent to the following brands listed in this section.
  • Ohuhu Brush Markers (available in a couple of weeks)
  • Premiere (AC Moore) *Open stock available in store (I prefer the chisel nib in their original design markers tho)
  • Blick Illustrator
  • Stampin Blends ($4.50 each from a Stampin Up demonstrator)

Spectrum Noir also offers chisel, bullet and brush tip markers in their spectrum noir marker coloring system as well as refill inks. These markers offer all of the options of nib choices and refill inks at a lower price point, and money-saving packs of markers if you are just getting started and want to buy a lot at once. They are not as cheap as the chisel/bullet combos I mentioned above, but you do get more training and support online, such as free downloads on their website. I like this line of markers and I will be posting a review of their innovative TriBlend markers on Saturday.

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Wow, I did not intend to make such a long post! I guess for me it’s worth it to get refills for these markers I am using a lot and depend on (my philosophy with ink pads as well) but there are colors I will never run dry at my level of use. I suggest waiting until you need a few colors and order them at once to minimize shipping costs or get free shipping. Ordering refills is not as exciting as trying a new set of markers but in the long run, it is more cost effective, especially if the markers you are considering trying are duplicate colors to what you already own. What do you think- have you refilled any of your markers before? What is your favorite brand? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

 

Painting on the Point! Paint a coastal Maine scene with me!

Hi friends! Just a quick bit of housekeeping, if you are a student in any of my classes at Teachable I am having issues seeing and responding to comments and questions in my admin. I have Teachable tech support helping me with this issue and I will approve and reply to any comments as soon as I have access. You are very important and I am upset that I can’t get to your questions in a timely manner and I do apologize. thank you for your patience as we fix the back end tech issues. You should be able to access any classes without issue though. It will just take me a while to approve comments. thank you!

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Last weekend we went to Schoodic Point in Winter Harbor Maine. The weather was lovely and the crowds were small! I was able to do a bit of sketching on location and took lots of photos as well.

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Today we will paint this coastal scene in a vibrant, expressionistic way. I will show you some fun techniques and show you how to bring order to a “hot mess” chaotic landscape! Watched the video, relax and paint along! Feel free to speed up, slow down or pause the video if you need to. Enjoy the painting process!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

If you want to learn more about painting in watercolor check out my course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor Painting and use the coupon code TRYME to save 20%! Happy crafting!

Brush Style Painting Techniques with Genuine Crafts Watercolor Brush Pens & Giveaway!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun technique that will give you a bit more use from your watercolor brush pens. I’ll even be giving some brush pens away! For a chance to win a set of watercolor brush pens just leave a comment on this post and I will draw 5 lucky winners for a set of 20 Genuine Crafts watercolor brush pens. Winners will be notified via email one week after the publication of this blog post.

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Watch the video to see some fun ways to use watercolor pens!

This tutorial is sponsored by Genuine Crafts! Save 20% with a coupon code you can get on their website.

Supplies:

  • Genuine Crafts Watercolor brush markers
  • Watercolor paper (trim to 5″ circle and 4.5″x6″ for a postcard size panel)
  • Waterbrsuh (or #6 round brush and a cup of water)
  • Non-porous mat, plate or piece of plastic to use as a palette(you can use the packaging your markers come in for this)
    Your choice of rubber stamps (I use stamps from Local King Rubber Stamps)

Below are some of the practice sketches I did with the pens.

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I had so much fun playing with the technique to create other motifs. You can find a lot of inspiration online and the library by searching for Chinese brush style paintings.

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Use the many tips and tricks form the video to create hundreds of more projects of your choosing! And remember to have fun and til next time happy crafting!

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Watercolor Hibiscus for Sketchbook Sunday

Hi friends! The weather is glorious today and we are about to head out to the ocean, hopefully, I will get a little time to paint. For sketchbook Sunday I have a Hibiscus flower for you:

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You can find a real-time narrated lesson for this painting in Critique Club. Critique club is a monthly membership group that allows you to upload up to 2 paintings a month for customized feedback from me so you can grow as an artist. You also get 2 real-time narrated lessons from the Sketchbook Sunday series that I have time-lapsed on YouTube. You also have access to past narrated tutorials. All this for $5 a month, thanks for checking it out!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Have an awesome Sunday and til next time happy crafting!

Does it blend? New vs Old Blending Brushes and Sponges

Hi friends! Today we are going to compare the new “make-up” style ink blending brushes to color dusters (they look like shaving brushes) as well as blending sponges.

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I tested them over a stencil (above) as well as fading the ink off onto paper as I did with the clouds below. (Cloud die from My Favorite Things)

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Watch the video to see all the brushes and sponges in action and see what’s right for you and how your favorite tool compares!

An overview of the materials (Affiliate links used when available)

New Ink Blending Brushes. I purchased mine at a stamp show, the multi-pack I bought was $20 from double Trouble but they are sold out online. Prior to purchasing, I used a friend’s set who said she ordered this set on Amazon half what I paid at the show. I was so impressed I bought a set!

These are the Life Changing Brushed from Picket Fence Studio if you want the best of the best. (or at least the first ones to be used with crafting)  That set has the 4 larger brushes for $25

Pros of the new “make-up style” brush:

  • Captured fine detail for stenciling
  • Very Smooth ink blending with both dye and pigment inks
  • Easy to clean, most ink transfers to paper with hardly any left on the brush. Wipe brush of a rag and move on to next color without needing to wash it.
  • Very smooth fades when working off a mask on for rouging the edge of a paper.
  • No awkward ink blotches even when you stat on the paper instead of off the edge. Foolproof blending.
  • These can be compactly stored on your table in a small jar

Cons of “Makeup Style Brushes”

  • It takes longer to apply the ink over a surface
  • They can be more expensive than other methods HOWEVER you don’t need as many as they wipe clean so easily between colors
  • You could snap the neck of the brush and stain your wrists if you hold the brush at the end rather than supporting it at the head/neck area. My natural inclination was to hold it at the neck with my finger supporting the back of the bristle area and it was very comfortable to use. Not much pressure is needed this way.

Color Dusters (Judikins, Rubber Stamp Tapestry and the new Tim Holtz/Ranger ones in the silver tubes are all examples. Also called ink sweepers and sometimes come on long handles. These have stiffer course bristles made of hog)
Judikins color dusters
Tonic
Tim Holtz
Rubber Stamp Tapestry

Pros of Color Duster style brush:

  • Quick soft blends
  • Easy to use
  • The more you use a brush the better it gets as the ink buildup in the brush primes the bristles
  • They won’t wear out

Cons of Color Duster style brush:

  •  You need a brush for every color family (reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, browns, greens, blues, purples, greys, black)
  • You get a less defined look when used with a stencil or mask.
  • Although you get a very even application of color with little effort the stiffness of the bristles give the blend a bit of texture

Foam style blenders. Examples of this are:
Ranger blending foam
Colorbox Stylus
Fingertip daubers
My Homemade make-up wedge and bottle cap blenders (my favorite!)

Pros of Foam Blenders/ Blending sponges

  • Inexpensive
  • You can achieve a bold saturated color or a softer blended color (skill required)
  • The more you use them the better they get (until they wear out)
  • They are inexpensive enough to have a blender for every inkpad you have and many brands (such as Ranger) have a reusable handle that you can swap out the foams on so you can store a lot is a little space.

Cons of Foam/Sponge blenders:

  • You need a sponge for every color family, many crafters have a sponge for every inkpad to ensure they don’t cross contaminate their pads as it is easier to transfer color from the sponge to a pad.
  • They take practice to get good results
  • It takes longer with foams than color dusters to blend.
  • They eventually wear out and start to break apart but you can get a couple years out of them.

I also wanted to mention the Darice sponge daubers I showed at the end. I like them for coloring stamped images but not for use with stencils or large areas because I don’t think they can take the heavy use. Unfortunately, I can’t find them online. I got them at a stamp show years ago.

What is your favorite? I think they are all useful and you can pick one and be happy with the result. The most important thing is that you practice and learn to use what you have.

 

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