Misty Woods in Oil Pasels (You can paint this!)

Hi friends! Do you have a box of oil pastels gathering dust? Well, go get them and paint with me!

This project took me 45 minutes but I did speed it up a bit for the demo.
Feel free to pause the video if you need to!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Check out this video if you want a similar scene in watercolor. Happy crafting!

Tips for watercolor portraits

Hi freinds! Today I have a portrait of my daughter Lila in watercolor.

My girls just turned 17, where did the time go? I love that you can capture the essence of a person in watercolor and keep it frozen in time forever. I hope the tips in this time lapse help you with your portraits and if you want a real time version of this lesson you can find it in Critique Club. *Critique club is a subscription with monthly prompts and over 60 long more advanced tutorials. I post 2 new classes and one creative prompt every month and you have access to all past lessons while you are a member all for $5 a month and you can cancel anytime. You can also upload your work for feedback from me. Learn more here.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

  • Lukas watercolor kit (my favorite for portraits and figures) *contains Mimik faux squirrel brushes and Fabiano or Arches watercolor paper depending on availability.
  • I also tried out Hahnemulhe “the collection” watercolor paper for the first time on tis painting, I like it!
  • I did the hair with a 1/2″ Creative mark sword brush *This has long bristles and is floppy so it holds more paint but you have less control. And a 3/8″ dagger *this has golden talkon bristles for more control but less paint holding capacity. Tip: the shorter the bristles the more control you have but the trade off is the brush holds less paint.

I hope you have a lovely day and til next time happy crafting!

Substituting products on Mixed Media Paper!

Hi friends! Have you ever seen a tutorial that you would like to try only to find out that you don’t have the supplies the artist is using? I think we have all been there. Today I will show yuo how to get a very similar look with 3 different media so hopefully you can find a product that will suit your style or give you ideas on how to make what you have work better!

I also want to mention that this painting took nearly 4 hours so please don’t expect similar results in 30 minutes. I didn’t want to time lapse this so I had Jason edit it down but keep it real time so you could get a feel for the techniques better but I realize that might make you think it was drawing quicker than it was and I like to keep it real:) Often when someone isn’t happy with their art (especially colored pencil or marker) it’s because it’s not done yet. I hope this video inspires you!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Here is a closer look at the artwork:

Colored pencil with touches of white pen

Adding a base media can save time and give great results!

Watercolor base with colored pencils & white pen.

And my favorite…

Alcohol marker base with colored pencils and white pen.

Which one did you like best? Happy crafting!

Oil Pastel Tips & Tricks!

Hi friends! Do you have a box of oil pastels in your stash? Maybe you have fond memories of using Cray-Pas in grade school or you just felt like trying something new one day and decided to buy a box. If your oil pastels are sitting unloved on a shelf today’s video might have you wanting to use them more!

If you enjoy this time-lapse I encourage you to check out the real time, narrated lesson in Critique Club.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Looking for stand alone workshops on a specific topic?

Check out my other courses and save 40% with coupon code FUN40 through the end of the month. *Stand alone courses priced $39-$79 include lifetime access so you can buy now and watch whenever. **Click add coupon at checkout and type in FUN40 in the coupon box to receive your discount. Offer good through 8/31/21

Thank you for your support and til next time happy crafting!

How I sketch on the down-low & 40% off classes!

Hi friends! This week we went to Boothbay Harbor and took a whale watch and puffin cruise and while the fog obscured any whales that might be in the area we did get to see puffins.

I brought my incognito sketching supplies but didn’t get a chance to use them but I though it would be fun to share what I bring when I want to sketch small and quick and demo how I’d go about it. Hopefully this video gives you the inspiration to try it too!

I used a portable painter micro palette (affiliate link) that comes with 6 half pans but you can get extra full and half pans for it if you want to swap colors out or you could use a bit of double-sided tape to stick pans you have in. For that matter you can stick pans in any little tin or container you have like an Altoids container, if you spray paint the inside of the tin’s lid white you will even have a nifty mixing area and it’s practically free! I like the have some ultramarine blue in one end of a full pan so I can create large washes because I live in Maine and it is an essential color in your landscape. The other colors I have in this palette are Burnt Sienna, Quin Rose, Cobalt Turquoise and Hansa Yellow, this is not the perfect mixing palette but it works well for quick Plein air sketches in my neck of the woods. You should pick colors that are best for you. I sketched in a Stillman & Birn 3.5″x5″ Beta series mixed media sketchbook. I also brought a waterproof black pen, mechanical pencil, white gel pen, rag and a waterbrush. The weird looking bottle is a kool-air flavor enhancer bottle I washed out and filled with water and I can use it to refill my brush with it 3-4 times. Below you can see how big the supplies are when laid out:

And here is the palette and sketchbook open (and a travel sketch from a couple years ago LOL!)

So, are you ready to try some travel sketching?

But wait! Before you go I want to let you know that I am having a 40% off sale on all classes!

Use coupon code FUN40 to say 40% on any class in my Teachable school! Click “add coupon” on the checkout page and then type in FUN40 in the coupon spot to receive your discount. My stand alone classes (not Critique Club which is a monthly membership) have lifetime access so you can buy now and paint later if you want to take advantage of the sale but you don’t have time to do the class right now. Offer good through 8/31/21

Thank you for your support and until next time happy crafting!

Does this painting tickle your funny bone?

Hi friends! I have been participating on World Watercolor Month this year and I really love how the prompts have stretched my creativity and imagination. I created this scene for the prompt “tickle” Tickle your funny bone…get it? You can see my daily world watercolor month paintings over on my Instagram.

I like how this turned out but there were a few moments of “yikes!” while I was working but I didn’t let that get me down, I just pushed through and I’ll show you how to overcome some issues you might have in your next painting!.


I am planning on doing some sketching at the coast today, wish me luck! I hope you find some creative time as well. Happy crafting!

NEW Derwent Pastel Watercolor Review

Hi friends, today we are taking a look at the new Derwent pastel watercolor pan paint set of 12. You can find it on the Derwent website as well as a download of the color swatch with lightfast info and on Amazon USA. (affiliate link) This product sold out shortly after my review went live on YouTube but it is a new product and I’m sure it will be restocked soon. You can take this as an opportunity to decide if this is something that would add to the supplies you already have.

*This product was sent to me for review.


  • Nice color selection (thought I would like a brown in place of one of the greys)
  • Color layer well
  • Smooth
  • not chalky
  • Good quality small waterbrush included
  • Price $25
  • Good lightfastness for pastel shades


  • I wish there was a brown in place of one of the greys and a cleaner warm green instead of the drab kakhi green.

Bottom line: I prefer this pastel set to the other pastel watercolors I own. They lay down well, layer and are not chalky. I wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone set but it is a great addition to other traditional watercolors.

I will have a tutorial for the macarons next week! Happy crafting!

Using Crayons on a Heat Pad! (Great for artists with arthritis or hand strength issues)

Hi friends! If you struggle with achy hands when you try and use colored pencils or art crayons this tip will help. It will even save you time! We are going to use colored pencils and crayons on a hot mat!

I am using a heated floor mat but you could also use a heating pad with something hard on top to draw on. Watch the video to see how!

Here is another tutorial on colored pencils on a heated surface, and oil pastels on a heated surface.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Have you tried working on a heated surface before? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Rustic Textures in Soft Pastel (Sketchbook Sunday)

Hi friends! Today we are breaking out the pastels to create this painting of an old weathered door.

This was so fun to draw with soft pastels. Soft pastels are sticks of pigment, binder and clay and feel like a very pigmented chalk as opposed to oil pastels that can feel like lipstick. I know it can be confusing to know what kind an artist is referring to:) You can watch the timelapse of this demo in the player below. There are a lot of tips and tricks for working in soft pastel. If you prefer the 2 hour and 17 minute narrated real time tutorial it’s up now in Critique Club.

Supplies (affiliate links used) *I used a variety of pastels on this painting. Below I will list my favorites as well as getting started budget picks. I will link to Amazon and Blick, check both places as often prices fluctuate, and if you are buying a large set of pastels the savings can be big.


50% off my Soft Pastel for Beginners Course through 4/30/21! Learn everything you need to know to get started in soft pastels. Offer good on one-time payments and payment plans. Use coupon APRILSHOWERS if the discount doesn’t appear. Regular price $79, with coupon $39.50

I hope this inspires you to give soft pastels a try! Til next time happy crafting!