What do Skeletons and Peonies Have in Common?

Hi friends! I am so glad to be back doodling around in a sketchbook today! After many weeks of spending my “free” time on assignments for a painting class I am taking it is fun to just play in a sketchbook!

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I started off wanting to do a bit of a Halloween sketch so I sketched a skeleton in ink in the sketchbook that came in my Smart Art Box but I didn’t think that this mixed media paper was best suited to ink as it bled through so I decided to also try my watercolors on it.

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The watercolor also wanted to absorb in and show through the back of the page a bit but I actually really loved the effect, it was like Chinese brush painting (not that I am trained in that discipline at all but I have played with the materials before) and I loved the effect. I also loved accenting that sketch with the flexible pen that also came in the box that I forgot to use in the first sketch. Remember, just because a supply came with certain things doesn’t mean you can’t try it out with something else you have that you might enjoy more. Any new supply you add to your stash should make your other supplies more useful (not redundant) and you often come up with really cool techniques when you use materials in new ways or in combination with other products. Mix up that media man! Watch the video to see these two paintings come together:)

The supplies in this video were in the October Smart Art Box. Smart Art sponsored this video and I thank them for their support. If you would like a surprise box of art supplies delivered to your door each month consider subscribing. They ship to many countries and you can find out more on their website.

Supply List: (Occasionally Smart Art will have additional boxes for sale. You can check availability here. As of now there are no extra October boxes listed so I have linked to the products on Amazon (affiliate links used) for your convenience.

Out of curiosity I looked up the prices of the products in the box on Amazon and they came out to about $61. I will definitely use these products in other projects (and yay they included my favorite fountain pen safe waterproof ink!) After I open and use my products from a subscription box I store the supplies with other “like” supplies so I will remember I have them the next time I need a pen or bottle of ink. I recommend doing this if you get random supplies here and there. I know it is tempting to keep kits or certain brands together but you will use them more (and they won’t dry up and go to waste because you forget you have them) if you store like with like. If I find I have a double I put the extra in my office art space (for when it’s too cold to craft down in the basement) or in my travel art bag or pass it along to a friend if it has a shelf life. I mention this because art subscription boxes are fun but you might forget what you got if you don’t put them in their proper homes after the first play. At least that’s how I am. I hope you enjoyed this sketchbook sunday and til next time happy crafting!

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Sketching Citrus! Sketchbook Sunday…er Monday LOL!

Hi friends! First I want to wish all of my fellow Americans a happy Labor Day! It is considered the end of summer in these parts as the days are getting shorter and all the kids are back in school tomorrow! September always feels like a fresh start to me. My twins started High School this year so that means no more popping down to the local elementary school to lend a hand with this or that. It’s so weird! You kids go through life and get a little more independent each day and in turn you can be a bit more independent yourself. It’s a bit sad to see them getting older but on the other hand I am excited for the adventure that awaits them.

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Speaking of school…I think it is always important to learn new things. It helps keep our mind fresh and supple and puts us in the atmosphere of growth where we can find fulfillment and happiness. This might mean signing up for a class or giving a supply that you were frustrated with in the past another go to challenge and push yourself. You can find ways to grow and learn everywhere! I purchased a RENDR sketchbook a while back because it was supposed to be no bleed through paper for markers and mixed media but I soon realized that “no bleed through” meant “no blend” as well. I felt bad about buying this kinda pricey paper that I couldn’t seem to use but I decided to put it out yesterday and try it again. This time I decided not to fight with it but to do what the paper wants: layering. This also got me using my alcohol markers in a new to me way. I typically work small coloring stamped images blending from dark to light in a very quick fashion. I had seen some beautiful marker illustrations recently on instagram and I realized that these artists were using markers totally differently that I was by layering! This allowed them to work a bit larger and get really vibrant results. I never realty thought of my markers as a “serious art medium” as all markers (except for Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers *use coupon code SALE818 for an extra 15%-25% off through midnight today and Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers which are on sale now!) are fugitive, meaning they will fade in the light but hey, this is Sketchbook Sunday and my sketchbook isn’t getting direct sunlight! See a time-lapse on the layering technique here!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

  • Rendr Sketchbook there was zero bleed through on the back of the page but it doesn’t blend well so you are better off layering on this paper. If you have this paper give yourself time to learn to use it as there is a learning curve, I like it so much better than when I first got it.
  • Ohuhu markers I used pens from the 100 set  Review here
  • Prismacolor colored pencils
  • I also used col erase pencils for the beginning sketch but I didn’t need to erase so the others would have been fine but if you want the erasable version here it is
  • Extra fine tip Posca pens for opaque highlights

 

***BTW today is the last day to save 45% on any of my teachable classes with coupon code OFFLINE45 

And one more deal you don’t want to miss…

Consumer crafts is offering 15%-25% off total purchases on their website (*excluding WOW of the week) through 9/3/18 11:59pm PST with coupon code SALE818.  Craft fairs and holiday crafting is right around the corner and this is a great chance to grab some deals on craft basics, art supplies and more. You never know what you are going to find so it is a bit of an adventure and the deals can’t be beat!

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I have purchased a lot of my stencils, dies, craft storage, beads, pencils and markers from Consumer crafts as well as basic craft supplies for the library kids classes I used to teach as well as art gift sets and decor. If you know you need some of these products it pays to stock up when they have the total purchased discounts, they don’t happen often. Some, but not many, exclusions apply.  Use coupon code SALE818 to get the extra discount! Sale ends tonight at 11:59pm PST.

I hope you have a wonderful day! If you have today off I hope you spending it with family and friends or maybe creating some art! Til next time happy crafting!

Playing with Brusho // Smart Art June 2018 Box

Hi friends! Today I played with Brusho Pigment Powders. They are fun but there is a learning curve with them. Watch this in-depth video of experimenting and fun!

Sponsored by Smart Art, a wonderful monthly subscription art box company, Learn more or subscribe today!

Supplies:

I really enjoyed this box and I am glad that they send me colors of brusho I didn’t have already. I really need to explore this medium more if I want to be competent with it, I lack patience just letting the powders do their thing. I think it would be good to take a day and just play with these and work on a lot of paintings at once so I don’t overwork any. What do you think? Have you used these? Have advice? Let me know what you think and til next time happy crafting!

Magical Friends! Ever After Begins July 1st!

Hi friends! I just wanted to pop in today and let you know that Ever After 2018 starts in just a few days! See below for discount code!

Ever After is a magical 4 month immersive fairy tale themed workshop led by Tamara Laporte at Willoing.org. I am one of the instructors and my theme is wizard of OZ. My lesson will teach you how to paint this using watercolor, colored pencil and Pan Pastel.

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There are several ways to take this course, you can do this year’s tutorials only, this years tutorials and style development lectures or bundle this years tutorials with other Ever After workshops. You can see all the options here. And through July 5th you can save 20% with coupon MAGIC2018!

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I hope you will join m along with 15 other talented mixed media instructors for 4 months of magical fun on Ever After 2018! Happy Crafting!

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Shabby Chic “Farmhouse Flowers” Mixed Media FUN Art!

Hi friends! If you joined us live on YouTube today you would have seen this painting unfold, if not you can watch the replay below!

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I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun playing with acrylics! Yes, I said acrylics! I used other stuff too but the acrylics were the star!

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I hope you enjoy this long real-time tutorial, if it’s too long you can click on the gear icon on the bottom of the video player (after you start it) and choose to speed it up. I know an hour and a half is a long time!

Below are the supplies I ended up using. *Amazon and Consumer Crafts affiliate links used. Consumer crafts has really great prices and they have 20% off this weekend in the paper crafting category so you can snag the stencils and gelatos even cheaper, use the code: SCRAP518 if you end up placing an order. Also I linked to the Studio 71 acrylics because I have used them and they are a great deal and much cheaper than Liquitex but if you prefer the Liquitex brand you can find them here.

I ended up painting the edges of my panel white and then I mixed the violet paint I used in the painting mixed with white to make a lavender and I stamped a flourish design on the edges. I also stamped the corners with that stamp in white. This stamp is an old one from Tattered Angels but you can probably find a similar flourish stamp or stencil it. Foam stamps also work great for this, use what you have!

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I hope you enjoyed this mixed media project, I sure did and it was fun to work on a rigid wood panel vs paper. I am going to hang this up in my kitchen! Hubby is repainting the cabinets white and I think this will look charming! So, are you going to give this project a try? I hope so and be sure to let me know how it turns out! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Mixed Media Fun LIVE 12:30pm ET & Privacy Policy Updates!

Hi friends! I was doing to cleaning and reorganizing in the basement this week as it is finally getting warm enough down there to work more in my basement art area. One of the things I enjoyed about working in my tiny (but heated, yay!) office this winter was that I put a small shelf next to my desk to hold a full set of watercolor pencils, colored pencils, marker and pastels. I found I used these supplies so much simply because they were easy to get to. On the other hand in my larger section on my unfinished basement where I have space and tons of supplies these items rarely got used because I didn’t like to bother getting the tins off the shelf and I didn’t like the real estate the open tins occupied on my table. So I dug around in my “empty storage” storage (yes, since I decluttered most of my storage space is filled with boxes of empty boxes…I wonder if I am a container hoarder now, hmm…) and I found some clear acrylic gift shop displays a friend gave me a few years ago. I also moved my pastel drawers to my table.

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The pastel drawers had some pastels in them but also gelatos, shallow stamps and some other odds and ends. I put the gelatos in the clear racks with a variety of other supplies I wanted handy. I put watercolor, pastels, specialty and standard colored pencils in the other rack and I unboxed some very precious soft pastels to go in the pastel drawers. I was able to clear out a cubby behind my desk and I put my pan pastel sets there because I really want to use them more so I need to make them easy to grab when I think of it because with me if I can simplify my process I will get more done and use more supplies. I am not done setting up my “within reach area” but I plan on filming a tour of it when I am done if anyone is interested, you can let me know in the comments below:)

I posted that photo on instagram the other day and many people asked me where I found the clear organizer and pastel drawers so I have some options below (may contain affiliate links)

  • Pastel Drawers: I bought mine years ago from Art Supply Warehouse which is owned by the same company as Jerry’s Artarama but you can also find the 3 drawer ones like I have on Amazon for $24.47 with good reviews. *other sizes available
  • Clear Acrylic storage with risers: The closest thing I can find are nail polish storage displays. Different sizes are available and some have dividers on each level and some don’t. Also check sizes before you buy as some are large and some are tiny and come with up to 7 risers. Measure your space before you order.
  • The spinning cubbies are from Harbor Freight. I have tried to move this off my table but it is so convenient to have andy and I reach for something in this spinning organizer every time I work. I saw this spinning organizer for $14.99 in Amazon and it will accommodate some taller items too, there is alos and extra $2 off coupon! You can also find a metal one like I have on Amazon but I think it is overpriced. I think the one I got in store at Harbor Freight was under $20. Also if you go to harbor freight I recommend their magnetic tool strips, I keep all of my scissors and oft used tools on that on the edge on a shelf behind me and I no longer lose my scissors!

Since I have all of this crafty goodness on my table I plan on doing some mixed media today! I am not totally sure what I am going to end up using but I will either update this post later or create a new one with all the supplies I used. I am thinking I might use one of my cradled wood panels, matte acrylics, stencils and pastels but don’t hold me to anything! You can watch the live stream or reply in the player below but if you chat live with fellow painters be sure to watch on YouTube!

I did see this pretty metal bucket of flowers that I think I want to use as inspiration tho, again no promises:)

One more thing!

With all of the talk about GDPR privacy compliance going on in the EU I thought it would be a good time to have a refresher on how my blog, school and website uses your information. I want to assure you that I only use info you provide for the intent you gave me. For instance if you comment on my blog you have created an account with WordPress to do so (you can see the WordPress privacy policy here) and I can see your email address in my blogs back-end. The only time I would use your email address is to notify you if you entered and won a giveaway on my blog and I would “CC” that email to the giveaway provider, for instance the marker company who was mailing you the prize so you could give them your mailing address to have your prize shipped. I never add people to mailing lists or share your information other than if you won a prize from a sponsor and they need to contact you to ship you a prize. The only instance that I would use your email is if you asked me a question in a comment and I felt it would be better to respond privately via email instead of in a public forum. If you are receiving an email when I create a blog post you have signed up to follow my blog. You can unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any email or you can switch to a weekly digest if you prefer. You can always manage your subscription if you look in the upper left hand corner of my blog (on a computer) or scroll down on your phone/mobile device and look for “Email Subscription”. I want you in charge of what stuff you get from me:) The other mailing list I have is my monthly newsletter and if you receive that you at one time opted in. If you would like to join it or unsubscribe you can do that here, or it is right under the email subscription box on my blog. As always there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of any email you get from me. I always strive to do right by my peeps and if you have any questions about how your info is used on any of my websites you can find out more here for my blog, here for my school and here for my shop. I hope over the years I have earned your trust on these matters but it is always a good idea to do a privacy checkup with any websites you use regularly.

Enough of that boring but important stuff! I have materials to play with to get ready for today’s live stream, see you at 12:30pm ET! Happy crafting!

Ever After Blog Hop & Giveaway!!!

Hi friends! I have some wonderful & exciting news! I am going to be teaching
on Ever After this year! I saw the beautiful artwork from many talented instructors last year and I am so happy they asked me to be a part of this years crew! And even MORE exciting news is that I can give away 1 space on this magical new collaborative
art course! Keep reading if you want to find out more about Ever After and if you want to find out how you can win a spot! 🙂

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First let me tell you a bit more about Ever After in case you haven’t heard about it yet!
“Ever After” is a mixed media art & style development course with a fairytale theme hosted by Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts. Tam is joined by 14 popular mixed media art teachers who will all share beautiful fairy-tale & myth inspired lessons with you AND they will also divulge all their hints and tips on how they developed their own style and how YOU TOO can find your own unique voice as an artist! 🙂 Yay!
You can find out all the deets (and sign up with the Early Bird price) by clicking HERE.
My chosen fairy tale is The Wizard of OZ. My lesson will be inspired by this
fairy tale, I have some fabulous ideas cooking! I’ve not fully developed my class idea yet, but I’m excited to be sharing my drawing, layering and perspective techniques with you, much like you can see in this painting I did for Lifebook last year.

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Registration opens on May 15th 2018 and the class begins on July 1st 2018.
So if you want to start your summer drawing and painting fairy-tales, exploring your own personal story and style and hang out with a wonderful creative community of like-minded souls, be sure to join once registration opens! 🙂 Keep this page bookmarked so that you can sign up the moment it goes on sale! 🙂
Now then, onto the give-away and blog hop! 🙂 I can give away 1 space on this year’s Ever After to 1 lucky winner, yay! 🙂 And if you follow the blog hop (see below for links and dates) you can up your chances of winning a space by entering all the other give-aways also! 🙂

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To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment below letting us know why you would love to join Ever After this year. I will announce the winner on 5/17/18.

Here is the list of the other amazing teachers who will be teaching on Ever After this year. They too will be giving away a spot on Ever After so go check them out and enter their give-aways! 🙂

Have a great time following the blog hop, good luck and til next time happy crafting!

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