Sketchbook Sunday: Watercolor Eggplant

Hi friends! here is this weeks offering for sketchbook Sunday:

Watch the video to see it come together!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Enjoy your day and til next time happy crafting!

A Fall Themed Still Life

Hi friends! Wow, it is so gorgeous outside! We have unseasonably warm weather and the trees are all shades of red, green, gold and orange contrasted with bright cerulean blue skies! It’s a great time to live in Maine (do me a favor and remind me of this in January, OK.) I was keen to do some fall decorating so I bought some gourds and pumpkins and I thought I would do a simple still life for you!

And here is the photo I snapped.

Just to be clear, simple doesn’t mean fast LOL! This is a longer video but I didn’t want to skimp on technique or cut out portions that would be useful. I have had a lot of viewers ask about how I would paint a white object so I wanted to how that as well.

Supplies:

One more note, my YouTube tutorials have outpaced my blog posts so if you are looking for something new I have a couple new cardmaking tutorials up on YouTube that haven’t been posted here yet. I didn’t want anyone to miss out:) Happy crafting!

Artsy 24 Watercolor Review: Good Paint but use with Caution!

Hi friends! Before we get into this review of the Artsy set of 24 watercolors I want to let you know of a discrepancy between the pigment info available for this set on Amazon and the Safe, non-toxic, conforms to safety certificates: U.S. ASTM D-4236 & EU EN71 also on Amazon. The pigment info on a photo in the amazon listing claims 2 of the colors (Cadmium Red and Cadmium yellow medium) contain cadmium. Cadmium paints are safe to use however you do not want to spray apply them or eat, drink (or smoke) while painting or until you have washed your hands. Also make sure your pets can’t get to your paint water. Honestly, I am doubtful that these paints have real cadmium for 2 reasons, 1 the price (cadmium paints cost much more than synthetic version) and 2 the opacity. These “cadmiums” are quite transparent and real cadmium are rather opaque. And a 3rd reason, for a paint the be certified non toxic by ASTM it has to undergo independent testing and the packaging must disclose any toxic chemicals. I didn’t see the photo of the swatch before I filmed my review and there was no pigment info on the swatch card in my set or on the pan wrappers. Since that swatch with pigment info is on Amazon I wanted to point it out so that you will have all the info you may need and if you buy this set you can take precautions when using it. The only change I would make to my review would be not recommending it for children just to be on the safe side. Ironically the “cobalt blue” is not cobalt. It is ultramarine and white as I suspected. All of this to say, don’t eat your paint.


Today I am reviewing the inexpensive, 24 half pan set of Artsy watercolors. This set features individually wrapped half pans of paint in a beautiful teal reusable tin tray. Empty tins can cost as much as this set so I was intrigued at how good this set could be, at least I’d have a nice tin regardless of the paint! This set is packaged with a soft polishing cloth similar to the Paul Rubens set and also comes with a water brush. It is packaged in a sturdy chipboard box adding to the luxurious feel. Last year I reviewed their fan and accordion watercolor sets and liked them very much.

Pros of Artsy 24 half pan set

  • Price Reusable tin
  • Includes waterbrush
  • Strong bright colors
  • Lifts fine
  • Glazes well
  • Mixes well (except for black which produced a weird chalky residue when mixing)
  • Flow is OK

Cons:

  • One of the browns is weak
  • They market this as “master level” which implies it is professional quality but without pigment info or lightfast info it is not a reliable claim. *Edited, there is a photo of a swatch with pigment and lightfast info but I am not convinced of some of the pigments and they have + signs for lightfast but no explanation of how many + mean what. They all list++ or +++ and in ASTM 1 star is excellent and 3 stars is fugitive so I am not sure what scale they are using as the 3 star colors they show appear to be ones that would be more lightfast. Plus a professional set of 24 half pans would run between $110-$250 and this set is only around $20. I’m not saying the paints are bad, I just find the pigment info dubious.

Bottom line: Yes I do recommend these paints as a starter set or a travel/sketching set. They are good for the price but with any inexpensive paint set from China you have to take the claims with a grain of slat. They behaved very nicely and they would not hinder the any budding watercolorist who want to learn or an experienced artist who wants an inexpensive set for practice. You also have a great reusable tin! Just be aware of the potential cadmium pigments and enjoy your paint. Happy crafting!

Pumpkin Spice Hair {Sat Chat}

Hi freinds! FYI every Saturday since the pandemic started I have uploaded a sat chat on YouTube. I don’t always pot it on my blog because often I chat about nothing for 27 minutes so if you are interested in any you missed that can be found on my YouTube channel. I hear they are nice to listen to while you do chores LOL!

Stuff I mentioned:

One more thing I wanted to remind you of is Craftworld! It’s a free site with thousands of free papercrafting projects and classes. You can see the marker class I did last week on my expert page at Craftworld. It’s kinda like Pinterst meets Facebook without any drama. I’d love to see you there! That’s all for today! Happy crafting!

A Pretty Fall Leaf with Dewdrops // Sketchbook Sunday

When I saw this leaf on the ground covered in dew I had to snap a pic with my phone so I could draw it later! Here is my marker version with colored pencil accents:

You can find the 83-minute full length lesson in Critique Club. And enjoy the timelapse below!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

If you have a smartphone (or even a flip phone with a camera) you can capture beauty around you to use as inspiration back at your studio. So the next time you are struck by the beauty of something snap a pic, you never know when you want want to use it for your art! Happy crafting!

Let’s look at all the Arrtx alcohol marker sets and compare them!

Hi freinds!

I have a lot of info to share in the video and blog post below. Have a look if you are considering buying new markers or if you just like learning about products:)

It occurred to me after recording this that these markers would be ideal for adult coloring since the bullet tip it very small and the ink flows slower than other brands I’ve tried. Please read the review below for more info and resources I mentioned in the video!

Arrtx has outdone themselves releasing a new line of alcohol-based markers this year under the name Alp. You can see the variety of markers they have here. Some of the newer colors sets are not showing up on their store page so check here for the other sets. The Arrtx Alp markers have a slimmer rounded triangular barrel made of white matte plastic with color chips on each end. The Arrtx name is printed in black on the marker and both end caps are labeled with a color number. You can see the color name and number on a hand color swatch that comes in the box. The box is designed to be permanent storage/display. The 90 color set has a plastic grid in the bottom of the box to keep the markers in the order you like while the other boxes have a cardboard grid that can bend if you are not careful. The 80 color set and skin tone set also had a metal clasp on the front but they have replaced that closer with a magnet of the other sets, an improvement I think as the clasp would get in the way when setting the box up for display.

The markers have a fine bullet tip and a standard chisel tip. The bullet tip is smaller and harder than the other markers I have used. I find the ink flow to be a bit slower in the Alp marker, that is not good or bad, just an observation. I also find many of the pastel-colored markers have color chips that are much darker so be sure to make a swatch. I beleive that there are 200 unique colors in the line of Arrtx Alp Markers. You can get all of the colors if you buy the 80a, 90b and 36 skin tone sets. If you bought those sets the only duplicates you would get would be black and clear blenders. This would also include the 4 fluorescent colors, not in the color family sets.

The prices range from about 60 cents a marker in the larger assorted packs to about 96 cents a marker in the color family packs so it is more affordable buying the big sets if you like them as all of the colors in the color family sets are in the 2 big sets. If you are unsure I would recommend starting with the skin tone set as none of those colors are duplicated in any other sets and then you can decide if you wanted to pick up the smaller sets as your budget allows or save up for the big sets. These markers are more expensive per marker than the original Arrtx markers or similar grade markers that run on the same color numbering system with the exception of Concept or ShinHan Touch. Here is a color chart of the Shinhan touch markers. I recommend printing one out to color by hand if you get these. *You may notice many maker lines use these inks, the color names and names match but you may find little discrepancies between brands. The alp markers appear lighter and I wonder if it might be the harder nibs restricting flow so the ink appears lighter. I had no issues blending these markers. You can refills for the markers here and they are less expensive than copic. ***The skin tone set appears to run on Copic comparable colors if you go by the name of the color they are a perfect match for Copics of the same name.

More Arrtx reviews:

Wow, that was a lot of info but I think it’s important to lay it all out there because everyone has different needs, preferences and budgets and not all markers will appeal to everyone. We are certainly spoilt for choice in the marker department these days! FYI this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Happy crafting!

This Misty Forest is a Fan Favorite on YouTube!

Hi friends! I have got more comments on this tutorial than any in recent memory!

It’s easy to paint too! I hope you give it a try:)

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

That’s all for today! Happy crafting!

Spooky but Cute! Cards using old and new plus Frankenpapers!

Hi friends! We have 3 fun card today!

Some say it’s too early or Halloween but crafters need to get started early to have time to make and send them.

Plus, I just really love Halloween cardmaking!

So pour yourself a cup of hot cider, or a Pumpkin Spice Latte and enjoy a spooktacular trio of cards!

The cards are so fun to craft using supplies from our sponsor Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies:

I hope this inspires you to use your stash and send some Halloween cards this year! Happy craffting!

Let’s paint a pretty wold rose card!

Hi friends! Looking for a fun, loose and relaxing project? grab your supplies and let’s go!

Video!

Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Join me for a free live marker class tomorrow!

Hi friends! I just wanted to pop in quickly and let you know that I am hosting a free alcohol marker color class tomorrow at Craftworld!

The class will begin at 7am Eastern Standard Time (New York time) and last about an hour. I will pause for questions a few times during the brocast and a replay will be availabe on Craftworld after the broadcast has ended.

Supplies:

I hope you will join me over at Craft World tomorrow for a fun artsy way to start your day! My hope is that it will help you get more use out of your alcohol pens no matter the brand! Coffee and coloring sounds like pretty good time to me! Til then, Happy crafting!

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