Comparing Colored Pencils LIVE 3pm ET today!

Hi friends! One of the upsides of being home with a light workload is that I get to explore things that I otherwise wouldn’t have time to. I recently received a new set of colored pencils and while I was using it I found the need to compare them to another brand I had, which made me want to try that next a another brand which lead to to swatching out nearly all of my artist grade pencils and I took notes on their unique qualities and differences. While the info was fresh in my mind I thought it might be useful to do a live comparison for you so if you are in the market for a set of pencils you could see how they compare and ask question about any particular brand. I asked my friend Harry from The Art Gear Guide to visit in the chat to provide more info as well. It should be a really informative hour! If you want more info on any particular brand you can use the search bar on my blog to look up a review on it, I think I have done separate reviews on most of the brands I am discussing today.

My table awaiting the live-stream.

You can watch the livestream or reply in the player below but if you want to ask me questions during the broadcast you will want to watch on the YouTube watch page at 3pm Eastern Time.

Here is a list of the pencils we will look at today. I have grouped them but similar feeling pencils. This by no means is a representation of all the pencils available on the market (I don’t know anyone who has them all and part of the reason I have so many is because in addition to ones I purchased I have been given gifts over the years as well as had brands send some for review. You do not need this many.) Pencils with a * are also available open stock so you can purchase a couple of pencils to try them out before investing in a whole set. That is what I did with any sets I personally purchased.

Soft (waxy) pencils:

Medium firmness oily feeling lead:

Medium-Soft/Dry feeling pencils:

Medium Hard Waxy feeling Pencils:

Hard Dry Feeling pencils:

Specialty pencils:

I recommend seeking out several opinions before investing in expensive pencils. A couple of colored pencil reviewers I really like are The Art Gear Guide and Coloring Bliss. Owings Art also has quite a few colored pencils reviews on his channel. I respect the views and opinions of these channels and I am sure you will glean some useful info from them. For colored pencil tutorials, I recommend Lachri Fine Art. She is super talented, upbeat and energetic!

If you would like to improve your drawing skills and save 50% please check out my course Learn to Draw with Lindsay (there is even a couple of colored pencils tutorials in there) and get half off by clicking this special discount link, Regular price $79, with coupon $39.50. If the discount doesn’t show up use Coupon Code NOFOOLING to take 50% off this or any other class in my online school through tomorrow. It’s a great time to learn something new! Offer ends 5/1/2020, click orange “add coupon” at checkout and type in coupon code NOFOOLING to receive 50% off any class in my online school.

I hope to see you at 3pm ET on YouTube! Til then happy crafting!

Sparkly & Fluffy Clouds!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun card that is loaded with color and sparkle!

I just love those fluffy clouds! Learn how to make this in today’s video!

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


I was thrilled to find that iridescent embossing powder in my stash, I’m pretty sure I bought it 12 years ago at a yard sale for 10 cents so it was nice to put it to use! Have you unearthed any crafting gems crafting through your stash during quarantine? Let me know, old supplies are so fun to revisit. Happy crafting!

Storage for my ceramic palettes using recycled materials

Hi friends! I love using cute white ceramic palettes for mixing inks and watercolors but I often forget to use them (or buy more cuz they are cute) because I store them safely on the other side of my art room on a shelf. I decided to make a storage insert for my storage cubes on my desk so I could safely store them all within reach. See how in today’s video!

I used 3 flat UPS cardboard boxes for this, a craft knife and duct tape. I couldn’t be easier and it works so well! I hope it inspires you to make some crafty storage too. Happy crafting!

Stuff I’ve been up to…

Hi friends! What to hear a weird thing? My most popular videos on YouTube lately are the causal ones I post on Saturdays where I sit down and chat about stuff. I don’t always post them on my blog because their is not a project or tutorial or something to learn. Nothing in life is normal now so I figure, what the heck, why not? Here is a crafty chat, enjoy!

Happy crafting!

Let’s Play with Pigment Powders!

Hi friends! Today for sketchbook Sunday we are going to play with watercolor pigment powders along with traditional watercolors for a bit of pizzazz!

Watch the video to see how! There is an hour long version of this tutorial up now in Critique Club.

Supplies (Affiliate Links used)

Don’t forget it’s your last week to save 50% on any class in my online school. simply use the coupon code NOFOOLING at checkout to take 50% off the class of your choice! It’s a great time to learn new techniques! Offer ends 5/1/2020. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Waiting for Lilacs

Hi friends! Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers. We had a huge lilac bush growing up and every year I gather buckets full when I visit my parents. They bloom around the beginning of June and that feels so far away this year. They say we might get snow again tomorrow. I am not hear for it as the kids would say. At least I can dream of spring right?

In today’s video I’ll show you how to paint these lilacs in acrylics but you can use oils or gouache if you don’t have acrylics, the technique is the same. Enjoy!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you are doing well and til next time happy crafting!

Review of Altenew Watercolor Brush Pens

Hi friends, today I have a review of the new Altenew watercolor brush markers. These pens are actually a fine tip ink filled water brush meaning when you run out you can refill them with liquid watercolor or wash them and reuse the pen as a water brush. I want to mention that because I love being able to reuse a product once empty or refill it. These pens come in a variety of themed sets and I was sent the Spring Garden set to review.


  • Refillable, ink refills available for purchase or you can buy the markers with the ink refills for a discount.
  • Individual ink refills available
  • High quality reusable water-brush.
  • Fine point on brush
  • Easy to squeeze to get started however I recommend starting the ink flow on a palette so you don’t get a surprise blob of ink on your work.
  • Colors blend and mix well
  • Very clean and transparent color


  • As with most markers of this ilk they are probably not lightfast so more suitable for cardmaking, art journaling or sketchbook work and not art that will he hung on the wall for long periods of time as fading may occur.
  • The marker only has a tiny dot indicating the color on the label and the ink looks march darker than it is so I recommend taping a swatch of the ink on the marker as I did in the review for quick and easy color identification.

Bottom line:

I think the fact that these brush pens are good quality, have a fine tip and are refillable make them a solid value. There is an initial upfront cost as with most media but would be very economical over the long run. As with any supply though, it’s only a good buy if you actually use them and they make your other supplies more useful. They are very similar to the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers so if you like those but want a finer tip you will like these too. Since these pens are filled with a liquid ink you may not like these if you want a more slowly controlled ink flow like you would get with the Arteza or Zig Real Brush pen with a felt in the barrel. I did not find the Altenew watercolor brush markers difficult to control but there is a lot more ink ready to go at your disposal than a marker with a felt inside so I wanted to mention that. I hope you found this review helpful and til next time happy crafting!

Disclosure: Art materials were sent to me at no cost for the purpose of review. Affiliate links used.

Limited Supplies Happy Mail You Can Make & Send to a Friend!

Hi friends! Today’s project can be done with just a few stationary supplies. Don’t worry if you don’t have exactly what I have, dig through the junk drawer or borrow the kids gel pens/markers and hand letter a quick “hello” to let your friends know you are thinking about them! Watch the video to see how!

This video is sponsored by Smart Art. Smart Art is a monthly subscription box that delivers a unique surprise assortment of full-size art supplies to your door each month so you can learn and try new media! If surprise art supplies aren’t your thing you can also purchase past boxes while supplies last or beginner bundles of supplies. Each box comes with a project booklet too. Smart art ships to many countries. Click here to learn more today!

Sometimes easy is best. The important thing is that your letter comes from the heart. Get creative with ink, it’s simple and fun and we can all scrounge up a pen right? Happy crafting!

Paint this relaxing mountain scene in watercolor (perfect for beginners too!)

Hi friends! Do you need to relax? We all do so here is a lovely peaceful watercolor tutorial. All you need is a few paints and a waterbrush (or round brush and cup of water) so gather your supplies and let’s get stated!

If you are a beginner I recommend you watch the tutorial through before you try and paint it that way you can anticipate the steps as you paint along. Seasoned painters can jump right in. I hope you like it! I want to note that the paper I am using is a very textured and inexpensive handmade watercolor paper from India. It’s 100% cotton and I think it is made from recycled materials. I came across it at Fiddleheads in Belfast and it was so cheap I had to give it a try and then order a pack when I realized how nice it was! The texture in the paper gives this simple painting a nice result.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

If you want more training on painting landscapes in watercolor please check out my online class “Watercolor Landscape Workshop” and you can save 50% through the end of the month by clicking this special discount link or by using the coupon code NOFOOLING at checkout (Regular price $79, with discount $39.50) OR take 50% off any other class this month by adding the coupon code NOFOOLING at checkout. Simply click “add coupon” on the checkout page and enter the coupon code to receive your discount. Offer ends 5/1/2020.

I hope you get the chance to relax and paint soon and til next time happy crafting!