Pencil Peaches

Hi friends here is another colored pencil drawings on the matboard coated with clear gesso. I am seriously obsessed with this surface. I recently ran out of the Liquitex clear gesso and tried another brand and was so disappointed. I just wanted to mention this in case you were thinking about buying clear gesso to prep your paper or boards, go with Liquitex because it 100% works, and other brands are more like a matte sealer than a toothy primer. I want to save you the heartache:)

I also wanted to mention that you can find a real-time lesson on this painting, as well as 77 other long, more advanced art tutorials in Critique Club. You also get monthly creative prompts and the opportunity to upload your work for feedback from me. Thanks for checking it out!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

  • Derwent Lightfast pencils: Blick or Amazon *This will work with any pencils so use what you have!
  • Liquitex Clear Gesso: Blick or Amazon
  • Matbord scrap or toned art paper *Strathmore Art Again is a nice acid-free budget paper: Blick or Amazon *I use mat board because I have scraps leftover from custom framing. It is a great surface but the paper is good too and more convenient and affordable unless you do your own framing.
  • Eyeshadow applicators in bulk
  • Reference

I have some exciting news coming up tomorrow (and no, it’s NOT an April Fools joke LOL!) Til then happy crafting!

Get Better at Blending Colored Pencils

Hi friends! Today I have a tutorial on blending colored pencils when you have a limited palette. Pencils can be pricy and often we are trying to decide between buying a large set of budget pencils or a smaller set of a name-brand pencils for the same price. We all have different needs so I can’t say what the best purchase is for you but if you want to start off with pricier pencils but can only afford a small set to start with this tutorial will help you get the most from them!

Materials: Affiliate links used.

Above is a photo with pencil numbers from the tutorial. Below is my color wheel and skin tone example. Have fun! You can try these techniques with whatever brand you have. Happy crafting!

How to fix a rip or hole in a stretched canvas

We’ve all done it. Dropped something, or dropped a perfectly good canvas and made a hole in it. It happens. Today I’ll show you how to fix it flawlessly! You might even be inspired to pick up a few damaged canvasses on the bargain table at the art store now you see how easy they are to fix!

Supplies: *Affiliate links used


  1. Cut a circle of unprimed canvas fabric larger than the hold you want to patch. I go about 1″ larger on all sides and around the corners.
  2. Working from the back of the canvas brush glue on the damaged canvas as well as on the patch and press the patch glue side down over the hole. Brush over the patch to make sure you have good contact and the edges are glued down well. Let dry. *Make sure your work surface is protected with plastic or waxed paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Flip over the canvas and paint gesso over the hole. You can use a palette knife to scrape the thick gesso over the hole and level the surface. Feel free to do several layers and sand if needed.
  4. I recommend giving the entire canvas a fresh coat of gesso to make sure the surface is consistent.

I hope you found this useful and til next time happy crafting!

Sat Chat! 3/26/22

How’s your weekend going?

Stuff I mentioned:

It’s actually pretty warm today so I might try painting outside, we’ll see! Happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Loose Sunflowers!

Hi friends! Last week April, the owner of the ETSY shop A Little Creative contacted me about a fundraiser she was doing to help refugees from Ukraine who had crossed over to Poland. She is really connected to this region having visited there and even selling paint made in Poland. She said she wanted to donate 100% of profits from paint sales for a week to the relief effort! I loved that idea and I said I would share the info with my audience and make a fun tutorial using the paints as well!

Watch the video to learn how to paint these sunflowers in real-time. If you want to purchase some of the paint I used you can from A Little Creative on ETSY and April will donate 100% of the profits to the Ukrainian relief effort through 3/27/22!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and if you need paint and want to support the Ukrainian relief effort check out A Little Creative! Happy crafting!

Review: Derwent XL Charcoal Blocks

Hi friends! Today we are going to take a look at the Derwent XL Charcoal Blocks. You can find them on Blick, Amazon, and other fine art suppliers. *Affiliate links used


  • Very Lightfast
  • Lots of pigment
  • Very soft
  • Quick to use
  • Good for large sketches
  • Open stock available


  • Messy
  • Only available in 6 colors
  • Not good for detail work or small format

Bottom line: I think this product is ideal for life drawing practice on large sheets of newsprint. The limited color palette eliminates choice and the colors lay down so quickly it would be perfect for a quick, large sketching situation. That said, because these are highly lightfast you could use them for final work although I would recommend still working large and having some charcoal pencils or thinner sticks on hand for any details. They are quite messy so they are best outdoors or in a studio rather than on the kitchen table. The price has often been 50% off MSRP (which is $42) at Blick so I would wait for a sale if it is $42 when you look. Happy crafting!

Magnificent Mixed Media Magnolias!

Hi friends! Today we are going to use up some of those papers in your scrap pile and make a fun mixed media painting! This project was created for Derwent as part of their educational lesson plans for middle and high school teachers. If you know someone, especially a young person, who loves art feel free to teach them these techniques. In case you don’t know I am always thrilled for you to teach others what I teach you here on the blog. Sharing is caring!

By the way, the 40% off sale in my Teachable school ends tomorrow. Use coupon code LUCKYYOU22 to save 40% on any stand-alone class. Stand-alone classes have lifetime access so you can buy now and paint later if you are busy now but want to grab the savings. *Click “add coupon code” and paste in LUCKYYOU22 during checkout to get your discount. Offer good through 3/22/22.

Now on to the show!

Materials: *Affiliate links used

  • Derwent Chromaflow Pencils set of 24 at Blick or Amazon
  • Thick watercolor paper or matboard at Blick or Amazon *I have not used this amazon brand but it looked like a convenient size and inexpensive pack to try. I use Crescent matboard scraps leftover from picture framing but I realize not everyone has those leftovers.
  • Black and white scrapbook paper or old book pages for collage
  • Derwent Inktense Blocks at Blick or Amazon
  • Derwent Waterbrushes Blick or Amazon
  • Plastic wrap or plastic bag
  • Heavy book
  • White Glue
  • Clear Gesso Blick or Amazon
  • Large brush for glue and gesso
  • Butterfly Ephemera (optional)
  • Derwent Metallic watercolor pan paints Blick or Amazon

Happy crafting!

Sat Chat: A few Fun Finds!

Hi, friends! I’m a bit late posting Sat Chat to the blog. I was busy yesterday and got home late after watching my daughters perform in their last high school play, Legally Blond the Musical, last night. They did a great job and t was a really funny performance, I think we have some future comedians in the group! Soon they will all be off in their own directions, following their dreams and seeking their future. Wow, time flies!

Oh, before I forget! Classes are still on sale 40% off with coupon code LUCKYYOU22 through 3/22/22 in my teachable school.

OK, I bought a few things… …but I have good reasons LOL!

My Sketchbook Sunday video is up on YouTube now and I’ll post it here later. Til then Happy crafting!

NEW Paul Rubens Soft Pastel Review

Hi friends, a couple of weeks ago I got the chance to try out the new set of handmade soft pastels from Paul Rubens. Paul Rubens is an artist-grade brand out of China that developed high-quality materials to serve artists in China when not much was available. Over the past few years, they have expanded sales across the world. I have been sent products in the past free to review (including these pastels) and I have purchased products through this brand via amazon anonymously and always received fantastic customer service. When they asked me if I would like a set of pastels to review I jumped at the chance and they didn’t disappoint. They also offered an extra 10% off coupon code: lindsay01 valid March 14-27 2022 for the pastels, this is on top of the 20% off promotion they are running. Watch the video to see the full review and check out the pros and cons written below.

This is a set of 40 assorted hand-rolled soft (chalky) pastels packed in a sturdy box with a foam insert. The Paul Rubens handmade pastels are available on Amazon. *Affiliate link used.


  • Price
  • Highly pigmented
  • Very soft (similar in feel to Sennelier)
  • Easy to blend
  • Best for the last layers of a painting as it will fill the tooth quickly


  • No lightfast info
  • No open stock availability (as of yet)
  • The color selection in the set is not well balanced
  • These are handmade so the sizes are inconsistent

Bottom line: I will use these with my other pastels as final layers on paintings. This set on its own is not a complete color range but it’s a nice addition if you already have basic colors and want softer pastels to layer on top. I wish there was lightfast or pigment info for these as it would make me feel confident in using them in professional pieces but as far as performance goes they feel like other soft pastels I own.

I hope you found this review useful and til next time happy crafting!