Crayon Comparison Artist vs Children’s Crayons (water resistant)

Hi friends! If you want to feel like a kid again try coloring with crayons! You can even get artist-grade crayons that will open a whole new world of possibility to your art. In this video, we will be comparing water-resistant wax crayons. I have compared water-soluble crayons in the past if you want to check that out as well.

Crayons rated today:

  • Neocolour 1 wax crayons by Caran Dache. These are my favorite and I actually prefer these to Prismacolor Art Stix. These are smooth, rich, vibrant, and opaque. An all-around heavy hitter. If you want the best get these! They are available in 40 colors in sets and open stock at Blick or in sets at Amazon. *There is also a wax pastel called swiss color that comes in half-stick sets from Caran Dasche. Might be a slightly cheaper alternative to the NEO 1 crayons.
  • Prismacolor Art Stix: These are wax pastels reportedly made of the same lead you would find in a Prismacolor pencil. To me, they feel harder than Prismacolor lead though there might be hardeners added so they don’t break. They are wonderful and I was sorry to see that they were discontinued. They are very slow wearing and a nice value. You might be able to find some colors in brick-and-mortar art stores.
  • Crayola Color Sticks are surprisingly similar to Prismacolor Art Stix. they are solid sticks of colored pencil lead in a hexagonal shape. they seem nicer than the Crayola colored pencils I’ve used in the past. They are available in sets of 12 and 24 Big box stores may have these as well as Amazon. the 24 set is out of stock at blick but they have the 12 set.
  • Deli Crayons: I bought these on Amazon last summer. They are smooth and soft and easier to lay down color than the artist-grade crayons/wax pastels. They do not have the opacity I was looking for but would be nice in an adult coloring book especially if you have strength issues in your hands.
  • Bic Plastidecor crayons: these are affordable and very vibrant on white. Good for adult coloring books but not opaque enough for my needs in mixed media.
  • Classic Crayola: good quality for a children’s crayon but not the best solution for art IMHO
  • Mr. Sketch Twistables: These were more pigmented than Crayola. Very similar in quality to the Bic Plastidecor
  • Crayola Twistables: Very affordable and smooth to color with. Transparent. Nice for resist techniques
  • Crayola project crayon: these feel like a China Marker, they are more opaque than the other Crayola products, they lay down thickly and are vibrant, and make a nice base layer to blend colored pencils over. I like them and put them in my colored pencil rack to use as a base layer.
  • Jane Davenport Power Pastel: these are a cross between a crayon and an oil pastel. They stick well to plastic or glass as a bonus. These are excellent as a wax resist. They do feel a bit sticky and gummy on paper and don’t blend as well as oil pastels or some other crayons. I think these have been discontinued because I could not find them for purchase anywhere.

If you want to learn more about wax crayons here are some tutorials:

Personally, I like the Caran D’ache Neocolor 1. what was your favorite? Happy crafting & coloring!

The Snow was Wild but today it’s sunny & mild! Sat Chat 1/28/22

Hi friends! I hope your weekend is off to a great start! Today turned out sunny and mild. I walked the dog (be careful if you are in my neck of the woods because the is a lot of hidden ice under the snow) and did my groceries so now I can relax. I am looking forward to a craft-nite zoom with some friends this evening and I hope you have some time to create as well. Please enjoy this week’s Sat Chat!

Stuff I mentioned:

Phew, that’s a lot as always (I fit 10 pounds of words in a 5-pound sack LOL!) but there is always something fun and new to chat about. Happy crafting!

Inspired by the humble Crayon

Hi friends! Today I am sharing a fun painting I did of crayons! I recently dug all my kid’s crayons out to see how they fared against artist-grade crayons and I thought these humble Crayolas would be a nice subject for a painting!

a watercolor painting of crayola crayons

You can find a real-time lesson for this project in Critique Club. For only $5 a month, you get access to almost 100 real-time, in-depth art tutorials (2 new tutorials added each month!), monthly art prompts, and the ability to upload your art for feedback from me. If you want to be a part of this vibrant community of artists of all levels we would love to have you!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Here is the reference photo I took:

8 crayons artfully arranged

Reminder! 50% off Specials on Critique Club Archives through January 31!

  • 50% off launch special on the 2022 Critique Club Archive This class gives you lifetime access to all 24 art lessons posted in Critique Club during 2022. Regular price $60, with discount $30. Use coupon code 2022SAVE50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. Offer ends 1/31/23
  • OR You can save 50% on the entire Critique Club Archive Bundle. This gives you lifetime access to the 96 real-time art lessons posted in Critique Club from January 2019 and December 2022 all for one low price. This is a $240 value. Regular price $200, with the discount $100. Use coupon code ARCHIVE50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. Offer ends 1/31/23

I hope you have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Adding a collage-stamped background to a watercolor painting (real-time tutorial)

Hi friends! I had a great time painting this butterfly. I didn’t have anything planned when I started but the butterfly was so pretty that I wanted to turn it into a finished artwork. It really needed a background and I didn’t want it to feel “cut and pasted” so today I will show you how to integrate an interesting background after you have painted a subject.

artsy watercolor painting of a butterfly surrounded by art supplies.

This video is real-time so feel free to paint along, or watch it through and paint along after. You can pause anytime you need to. Just be sure to have fun!

If you like this real-time tutorial you will love my online classes! I am running 3 specials this month:

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

I hope you enjoyed this full-length tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

New Glasses, GALentines & Snow! Sat chat 1/21/23

Hi friends! I hope you are having a lovely Saturday. I just got back from walking the dog, the sun is out and the sky is the most brilliant blue against the fresh white snow! Penny met a couple new dogs and wanted to play with them until the owner let them loose and then she hid behind my legs until they left. Such a funny pup! I now have bread rising because Maizy called and asked if I would bake some bread for her and her friends. They are going to come over after hiking to hang out and have a snack. You are never too old to play in the snow or come home for some freshly baked bread apparently! Either that or college food is really bad. Either way, I’ll take it! Now for this week’s Sat Chat!

Stuff I mentioned:

Phew, that was quite a list of topics! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and til next time happy crafting!

They’re thick & I Like Them!

Hi friends! These markers are big and beautiful! I was sent the new release of Ohuhu Molokai markers the other day and I can’t stop drawing with them!

Sketchbook with marker illustration of a landscape surrounded by markers in their boxes

They come in 4 sets of 6 alcohol markers and they feature a 3/4″ nib on one end. You can pull the nib out (I tried it and show it at the end of the video) and refill with an alcohol ink of your choice (Ohuhu does not offer ink refills at this time but they plan to in the future for their most popular colors to start) making this an economical alternative to the empty wide marker Copic sells.

Marker sketch of Penny the dog with markers in the background.

You can see the markers on the Ohuhu website and on Amazon. See my full review in today’s video!

The Molokai wide markers use the same color names and numbers as the Honnalulu series (brush) markers. They would be a nice addition to that range.


  • Price
  • Good color selection of colors you would want in a large format (landscape, architecture, basics, greys)
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Nice amount of line width variation.
  • Fun to use
  • Color name and number are printed on the marker body
  • Comes with indexing stickers to color and put on the caps for accurate color identification
  • Nice reusable packaging with acts as a marker stand/storage and protects them.


  • Only available in 6 color sets, no open stock options
  • No refill ink or replacements nibs are available as of 1/17/23 (and it looks like the Copic wide nibs are not a match but you can use Copic or any other ink to refill them)
  • *This is a nitpick but I don’t link the one neutral grey in the grey set as the others are cool grey, I think they should have given us a darker cool grey instead of the random neutral grey.

Bottom line: I really enjoy using these! I hope they come out with a skintone or earth tone set because I would like to have these for large figure drawings. I think the sets are well thought out tho (except for the one neutral grey) and I plan to use them with my other markers. I am keeping them handy on my table so I do. I’d recommend starting with the Haycion oasis set if you want to try these out as there are some good landscape colors in there and that is where I think you would want to use wide-fill colors and see how you like them. I can’t wait to see what colors they have next, I hope they expand the line but they are off to a wonderful start! Or at least offer packs of empties or clears so we can make our own at a lower cost than Copic. I hope you found this review useful! Happy crafting!

I loved it, then hated it, then loved it again!

Hi friends! Do you ever go through a love/hate relationship with your art? I mean while you are painting? It’s going so well and then BAM! hot-mess time! I’m sorry to say that I think it is more of a regular occurrence than an exception to the rule. Especially when you are pushing yourself. That was the journey I went on with this painting.

I filmed this one for Critique Club. I knew I wanted to take my time on it and it was going to take a while so if you would like the in-depth 2-hour lesson for this chock-full of teachable moments you can find it up in Critique Club now in the January 2023 section. Critique Club is a monthly membership group where you can upload your art for feedback from me, enjoy monthly creative prompts, and paint along to over 90 real-time and in-depth tutorials like the one above (and 2 new ones are added every month!) all for $5 a month. It’s like Netflix for art LOL! Click here to learn more or sign up! Now, on to the timelapse of this painting and hopefully some inspirational words and gentle encouragement for anyone who also has a love/hate relationship with some paintings.

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Speaking of Critique Club I have a couple offers for you. I just compiled all of the 24 tutorials from 2022 into a yearly archive collection and it is 50% off now through 1/31/23. The regular price of the 2022 Critique Club Lesson Archive is $60, with a discount $30. Use the coupon code 2022SAVE50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically.

24 paintings arranged in a grid

The yearly archives are best for students who would rather pay one price and get lifetime access to the tutorials. *The archives do not include the monthly creative prompts or the ability to upload original (non-tutorial) artwork for critique however you are more than welcome to upload the art you make following the included tutorials that you do for feedback.

I also added a bundle of all 96 tutorials posted in Critique Club from January 2019-December 2022 and I am launching that Critique Club Archive Bundle at 50% as well. This is a 240 value but you can purchase it for $100 now through 1/31/23. That’s $1.04 per in-depth art lesson. Use coupon code ARCHIVE50 if the discount doesn’t automatically appear. You will not lack ideas while you peruse hundreds of hours of art instruction! The hardest thing will be deciding what to try first!

These archive classes offer lifetime access so you can buy it on sale and paint when you are ready. If you are like me and enjoy trying lots of supplies and subjects then the Critique Cub membership or archives are perfect! Don’t wait, the sale on the 2022 archive and bundle ends on 1/31/23! Happy crafting!

Sat Chat (The Surprising Markers Arrived!)

Hi friends! I hope you are having a lovely weekend! We are enjoying the last couple of days of winter break with our girls before they head back to school. The weather has been so weird this week, we went from frigid sunshine to warm, misty fog to snow and ice this week. It was great to see the sun but I’m not gonna lie, walking the dog in 53-degree weather was a nice brief relief from the typical Maine January day. Enough about the weather, it’s time for Sat Chat!

Stuff I mentioned, there was a lot:

  • Yay, the surprising markers are here and they are super fun!!! Review to come soon!
  • 50% off launch special on the 2022 Critique Club Archive. This class gives you lifetime access to all 24 art lessons posted in Critique Club during 2022. Regular price is $60, with discount $30. Use coupon code 2022SAVE50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. Offer ends 1/31/23
  • OR You can save 50% on the entire Critique Club Archive Bundle. This gives you lifetime access to the 96 real-time art lessons posted in Critique Club from January 2019 and December 2022 all for one low price. This is a $240 value. Regular price $200, with the discount $100. Use coupon code ARCHIVE50 if the discount doesn’t appear automatically. Offer ends 1/31/23
  • And I just posted the first tutorial for 2023 in the Critique Club membership These oranges were a lot of fun to draw!
  • I posted the craft room clean out and defrag this week
  • And an ill-advised stained glass project
  • This is the book Upgrade by Blake Crouch I just finished it and loved it!

Phew, that was a mouthful and a lot of artsy content to watch LOL! I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Try Stained Glass!

Hi friends! For Christmas, my husband bought me a stained glass kit. I had mentioned I would like to try one of these MAKE Market pre-cut stained glass kits I saw at Michaels a few months ago and he picked one up for me. They normally sell for $30 but have gone on sale for 50% off so I was curious about the quality for that price. All I needed was a soldering iron and a few common items from around the house and I was off to the races! Watch the video to join me on this journey. BTW this is NOT a tutorial. Also if you are a nervous person my soldering setup might give you anxiety but I swear it is safer than it looks LOL!

I got some good tips from viewers over on YouTube. The general consensus was that I needed a hotter soldering iron, I didn’t need to leave gaps in the glass and the solder and flux that came in the kit were not the highest quality. Still, I made it through and it looks pretty good in the window from a distance:

What do you think? will you be picking up one of these kits to try? I honestly might grab a couple if I catch a sweet 50% off sale and use my own solder and flux. It would be worth it for the glass I think. It was something different and I like to try new things so I call it a win even though my technique left something to be desired. Learning is fun! Til next time happy crafting!