Let’s Paint a Galaxy & Sunset in 4 colors (CYMK)

Hi friends! Have you ever noticed that your home computer’s printer usually has 4 colors? Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and Black. I wondered what it would be like to paint with these colors and I came up with this:

*Full disclosure, I used white gouache for the stars. Also I will be posting a video next week on how to use various spatter tools like I did in the above painting. The painting below uses just the 4 colors and is super easy too!

Watch the video to learn about this color scheme and see me paint these paintings!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.


  • Lukas Watercolors-The colors I used are available in the 12 half pan set with the exception of Ivory Black (but you can use the Payne’s gray in that set) and white gouache (but you can use any white watercolor, tempera, acrylic or water-based ink you like) Magenta PR122 Cyan PB15:3 Lemon Yellow: PY3 Ivory Black PBk9 *Use pigment numbers for assistance in substituting colors from your stash
  • Creative Mark Mimik Brushes
  • Spatter Tool
  • Reference photos: Galaxy, Sunset
  • This is the sketchbook I worked in today

If you want more help with your watercolors I’d love it if you checked out my most popular course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor to get you started off right on your watercolor journey. This comprehensive course will fill in any gaps you might have in your watercolor training and get you painting now! Learn more here.

Make sure to stay tuned for my “How to spatter” tutorial coming up in a few days. Til next time happy crafting!

Use those messy supplies you’ve been collecting & make a batch of cards!

Hi friends! Before we get into today’s craft I want to let you know that I have not been blogging every video that I have posted to YouTube lately. I am totally planning to but I have been very distracted for some reason and it had slipped my mind on several occasions to blog the near daily video projects here. So if you are looking for new projects to try and not seeing them on my blog please check out my YouTube channel until I get my act together:)

Today we are going to play with all of those goodies in our stash. Please don’t feel like you need the exact stuff I have, this is a use what YOU have project (feel free to raid the kids craft stash if you need to as well) and we will all end up with happy unique little projects! The inspiration for this project was the cute postage stamp from Carabelle studios. They hosted a challenge for the month of December and I heard about it on the last day and was bummed that I didn’t know about it to take part. I decided better late than never and I would make us some of these fun mini works of art and use them to embellish a card because I always need birthday and thank you cards on hand. Feel free to run with any ideas and techniques you learn i the video, there are a ton!

This video is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies from Top Flight Stamps:

Just a reminder if you are using the Stampendous Creative Palette instead of a Gel Press or Gelli Arts plate to no let the paper completely dry. On the Creative Palette letting it sit for 5-10 minutes will suffice. Longer than that and it might stick ad rip the paper. I have not used any other plates so if you are unsure of how yours will react go for less time. I don’t want to see all your hard work go to waste:) Do you have any supply in particular gather dust that you want to put to use? This is the perfect project to try it out on! I hope this inspired you and til next time happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday: Shiny Balloons in Alcohol Markers

Hi friends! I love drawing reflective things. It’s really satisfying when you succeed in making something look shiny using non metallic art supplies. I had a ball drawing this with markers.

If you want a real-time narrated version of this tutorial you can find it in Critique Club. *Critique Club is a membership group where members can upload two paintings a month for personalized feedback from me. There is a monthly creative prompt and you get two new intermediate-advanced tutorials a month. You also have access to all past tutorials while you are a member. Learn more here.

This video is sponsored by Bianyo! Bianyo features high-quality art supplies at affordable prices. You can save even more by clicking the coupon links below. Enjoy Art Life With Bianyo! *discount will appear at checkout *

  • 20% off Classic Markers here
  • 20% off Brush Markers, Fineliners and Classic markers here
  • 15% off Markers pad here

Other Supplies (affiliate links used below)

I hope you enjoyed this video and it inspires you to do some drawing today! Happy crafting!

Freestyle Rooster Using 1 Brush (watercolor tutorial)

Hi friends! Let’s de-stress and unwind with a fun freestyle painting!

Watch the video and follow along!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

That’s all for today! I hope you are staying warm and finding some time to create! Happy crafting!

A Sweet Sushi Valentine!

Hi friends! When my kids were little I loved crafting classroom valentines treats with them. I had really missed doing that the past couple of years so I said “What the heck, I’m making some!”

You can use this idea on any small boxed candy or take the idea and make a bookmark or card with it. Watch the video to see how!

I made a recipe card for coloring below. If you don’t have the same brand of alcohol markers I do (Ohuhu) you can match up the swatches with the markers you have.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

The moral of this project is if you you want to craft something
(even if you have no practical reason to) do it! I’m sure I’ll have plenty of help making sure the candy isn’t wasted LOL! Happy crafting!

A Tour of My Workdesk & How I store Acrylic Paint!

Hi friends! Over the next week or two I will be rolling out videos on how I updated my craft area over the past year. I filmed a pretty in depth studio tour last year that you can see here if you like but I have changed a few things since then as I discovered new ways I like to work. I get a lot of questions about the items on my desk when it’s shown in videos so that’s what I am going over in this video:

I also came up with a better way to store my acrylic paint this week. I had a jumble of different sized tubes and brands including 30+ more large tubes that were from a freelance project I just finished up and they would not have fit in my previous storage. I also had the issue with my kids using my acrylics and accidentally grabbing an oil paint tube because they were sharing the same storage rack. I really love this solution!

I hope this sparked some ideas for you. My studio isn’t fancy but it works for me and if you do prefer a pristine all white studio but you are on a budget you can always grab a can of enamel white trim paint (and a can of white spray paint for plastic) can change the color of your furniture and bins to match your preferences on a budget. Thanks for watching and til next time happy crafting!

The Lemon is in Play… (and WOYWW)

Hi friends! It has been ages since I shared my desk for What’s on Your Work desk Wednesday. WOYWW is a fun weekly event at the Stamping Ground where you can share a pic of your desk. If you are nosy curious like me it’s fun to see what other crafters are working on! A viewer mentioned last week how much they used to like those pics so I thought it would be fun and my desk actually looked somewhat interesting. I was getting ready to film a review for a new set of markers and watercolors and the painting I did this morning was still out so I snapped a pic and immediately thought of the traveling lemon game. It’s from a really funny radio show called Cabin Pressure I borrowed from the library once. If you ever get a chance to hear it I recommend it. It is a riot! Anyway…

I have yet to film the watercolor review but hope to get back to my studio tonight once the house quiets down. For now though, you can enjoy this skill builder lesson. Let’s paint a lemon!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.


Need more help with your watercolors? Check out my most popular course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor to get you started off right on your watercolor journey. This comprehensive course will fill in any gaps you might have in your watercolor training and get you painting now! Learn more here. That’s all I have for today! I hope you find some time to paint!

Comparing 8 Skin-tone Marker Set. Which is best for you?

Hi friends! There have been many new alcohol marker sets released over the past couple of years. Today we will look at 8 popular skin tone sets to see how they compare. I will look at price, quality, variety/color selection, nib type, and overall value.

Markers in order of appearance, affiliate links used.


  • Price: $17 for a set of 24-23 colors+1 blender (.70 cents a marker)
  • Nib Type: Bullet-chisel
  • Barrel: Rounded square with larger squared-off end at the chisel nib
  • Not refillable
  • Includes carry bag
  • Thoughts: Out of all 8 sets I liked this color selection best. I like the new body of marker they changed to as the caps are easier to remove and prevents ink from drying out.

Arteza: $30.99 for 36 set (.86 cents a marker) *Use coupon PB15PROMO for extra 10% off

  • Nib Type: Bullet/Chisel
  • Barrell Type: Triangular with a colored band at bullet end
  • Not refillable (but maybe in future)
  • Open stock available on packs of 4
  • Packed in plastic trays
  • Thoughts: This is a nice neutral set with rich colors for ski and hair. This would be an excellent set for wildlife art too. *This is the case I put mine it and you can fit the 36 greys set in too:

Azure by Royal & Langnickle

  • Price: $16.42 for 13 markers -12 colors+1 blender ($1.26 per marker)
  • Nib Type: Bullet/Chisel
  • Barrell Type: Triangular with a colored band at bullet end
  • Not refillable
  • Packed in plastic trays
  • Thoughts: I like the Azure line of markers but I didn’t care for the selection in the complexion set. They are also hard to find and more expensive than similar options. These might be available at Walmart. I think they are mainly sold through school suppliers.

Studio 71

  • Price: $6-$8 for a 6 pack (skintones can be found in the 48 set too for $40-$47) $1 per marker
  • Nib Type: Fiber Brush/chisel
  • Barrel: rounded triangle
  • Not refillable
  • Open stock available
  • Packaged in plastic boxes
  • Thoughts: The color selection is nice but limited as it is only 6 colors. I recommend these markers to anyone interested in trying alcohol markers but don’t want to spend a lot of money. All of the colors in the skintone set are in the 48 color set and there are beautiful blending combinations in that set. The downside is that the stiff brush nibs will fray and if left idle for a long time you will get desalination (salt and pigment build up) on the tips. These are markers to try out and see if you like alcohol markers and then upgrade if you do.


  • Price: Around $30 for 24 colors ($1.25 per marker)
  • Nib Type: Fiber Brush/chisel
  • Barrel: round
  • Not refillable
  • The brush nib can be reversed if it frays extending the life of the marker
  • Includes carry bag
  • Thoughts: This is a very warm (yellow/orange) leaning skin-tone set. I would have liked some cooler or more neutral skin tones. This set doesn’t have a really pale shade either. The quality is good for the price but I would recommend one of their assorted color sets for more options.


  • Price: TBA but likely around $25 for the 12 pack (2.08 per) and $15 for the 6 set (2.50 per)
  • Nib Type: Foam Rubber Brush/Chisel
  • Barrel: Rounded octagon
  • Refillable and nibs are replaceable
  • 24 set packaged in sturdy cardboard box, 6 set n a plastic wallet
  • Thoughts: I love the durable and flexible brush tip on these markers. I really like the line of markers but the 12 color set has 4 very similar pale peach colors and I wish they’d replace a couple with some mid-tones. The 6 set is useful but will be replaced with the 12 set to prevent duplication across the range of colors.

Spectrum Noir Illustrator (reformulated)

  • Price $17.05 for 6 pack ($2.84 per)
  • Nib Type: *Foam Rubber Brush/Chisel
  • Barrel: Hexagon
  • Refillable and nibs are replaceable
  • Open stock available
  • Packaged in a plastic tray in a cardboard box
  • Thoughts: This is a good start but you will likely want more mid tones. The old version of these markers had fiber brush nibs that frayed but the new sets feature high-quality foam rubber nibs which are much more durable.

Copic Sketch

  • Price $35.10 for set of 6 ($5.85 per)
  • Nib Type: Foam Rubber Brush/Chisel
  • Barrel: oval
  • Refillable and nibs are replaceable
  • Open stock available
  • Packaged in a plastic wallet
  • Thoughts: Copic markers are the gold standard and the price reflects that. I generally advise against buying copics in a set because they cost the same if bought individually and purchasing what you want individually ensures that you only get what you will use. That said the colors in the skin tone set are very useful.

I hop this helps you in your quest for skin-tone markers. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Happy crafting!

Shocker! I’m Painting with Acrylics for Sketchbook Sunday!

Hi friends! If you’re a regular around here you know I am typically not that fond of acrylics but I decided to give them a spin this week for sketchbook Sunday!

I had a lot of fun with this painting. The reason I enjoyed it was because I didn’t force myself to finish it in one go. I started it early in the morning then walked the dog, then did another layer, then went to the gym, then painted a big chunk of it, then made dinner and finally I added the finishing touches after I let my eyes have a break from it. I think we often have times when we don’t get more than 20 minutes at a time to paint and having something like this on your easel to come back to can be really encouraging because you don’t have to come up with something from scratch, you just keep adding to it! The real time version of this is up in Critique Club if you are interested:)


Feel free to use the stencils and stamps you have on hand to create your background, it will be totally yours that way! Happy painting!