The Lemon is in Play… (and WOYWW)

Hi friends! It has been ages since I shared my desk for What’s on Your Work desk Wednesday. WOYWW is a fun weekly event at the Stamping Ground where you can share a pic of your desk. If you are nosy curious like me it’s fun to see what other crafters are working on! A viewer mentioned last week how much they used to like those pics so I thought it would be fun and my desk actually looked somewhat interesting. I was getting ready to film a review for a new set of markers and watercolors and the painting I did this morning was still out so I snapped a pic and immediately thought of the traveling lemon game. It’s from a really funny radio show called Cabin Pressure I borrowed from the library once. If you ever get a chance to hear it I recommend it. It is a riot! Anyway…

I have yet to film the watercolor review but hope to get back to my studio tonight once the house quiets down. For now though, you can enjoy this skill builder lesson. Let’s paint a lemon!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

Need more help with your watercolors? Check out my most popular course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor to get you started off right on your watercolor journey. This comprehensive course will fill in any gaps you might have in your watercolor training and get you painting now! Learn more here. That’s all I have for today! I hope you find some time to paint!

Shocker! I'm Painting with Acrylics for Sketchbook Sunday!

Hi friends! If you’re a regular around here you know I am typically not that fond of acrylics but I decided to give them a spin this week for sketchbook Sunday!

I had a lot of fun with this painting. The reason I enjoyed it was because I didn’t force myself to finish it in one go. I started it early in the morning then walked the dog, then did another layer, then went to the gym, then painted a big chunk of it, then made dinner and finally I added the finishing touches after I let my eyes have a break from it. I think we often have times when we don’t get more than 20 minutes at a time to paint and having something like this on your easel to come back to can be really encouraging because you don’t have to come up with something from scratch, you just keep adding to it! The real time version of this is up in Critique Club if you are interested:)

Supplies:

Feel free to use the stencils and stamps you have on hand to create your background, it will be totally yours that way! Happy painting!

Sweet Little Lovebirds Beginners Can Paint!

Hi friends! Let’t take a break from winter for the next 45 minutes and paint these sweet tropical lovebirds!

These vibrant colors were so fun to work with on a bitterly cold winter day. I hope you will give it a try!

Supplies *Affiliate links used

I hope you are having a lovely day and til next time happy painting!

They don't always turn out pretty…

Hi Friends! It is a snowy Sketchbook Sunday here in Maine! I just got back from walking the beast (aka Penny puppy) and I have to say that one of the benefits to having a very high energy dog is that you must get outside everyday whether you want to or not LOL! Winters are hard on me. I am someone who tends to feel cold a lot of the time and the short days can do a number on anyone’s state of mind. Also the lack of sun gives most of us in this neck of the woods a vitamin D deficiency. I tend to fall into the “Everything I create is garbage” spiral this time of year. Last year was really bad and I am trying my best to redirect and stay out of the dark and icy grip of winter artist block. In today’s video you will see the first attempt (the bad pancake art I like to call it) and how I redirected to create a better painting. I might go back and try to save the bad pancake but I know when I am in a certain frame of mind I need to change tack completely and start something new or I will just end up sad and frustrated. How do you cope with creative block? Do you find it harder to create during certain seasons?

Probably many of you are thinking “why don’t you take a break and come back when you feel inspired?” That’s probably very good advice for some people. I did take a week off from filming from Christmas Day to New Years Eve and 2 out of the 3 things I filmed on New Years Day were absolute junk. So many bad pancakes haha! I think, with me, art is like excersize. You don’t go from working out every day to being a couch potato and expect to hit the ground running a week later. Even when I take a proper vacation I sketch and watercolor for my enjoyment. During this week off at home I cleaned, read and organized (organizing is probably my biggest hobby after crafty stuff) but any time I sat down to paint for fun I felt like the well was empty and instead of pushing through or just drawing anything I decided to procrasticlean…boy, you’d think my house would be gleaming wouldn’t you? LOL! I don’t know if my tale of woe will be a help to anyone reading this but if it does then I’m glad. I don’t know of any creative person who doesn’t suffer from an unmotivated apathy from time to time. You just need to figure out the best way for you to deal with it. For me, the only way out is through as you will see in today’s video.

This video is sponsored by Smart Art! Smart Art is a monthly subscription box that delivers a unique surprise assortment of full-size art supplies to your door each month so you can learn and try new media! If surprise art supplies aren’t your thing you can also purchase past boxes while supplies last or beginner bundles of supplies. Each box comes with a project booklet too. Smart art ships to many countries. Learn more today!

Supplies:

  • Watercolors (Art Creations by Royal Talens) *Let me know if you would like a review on these!
  • Accordion sketchbook (Hahnemuehle)
  • Brushes & Carry Case (Royal & Langnickle) Watercolor Pencils (Bruynzeel)
  • White wax crayon added from stash
  • Rose Palette (a Christmas gift from hubby)
  • Reference photos: Rainbow Cabanas (failed painting) and Stream

Want more?

Want to learn how to paint better landscapes? Try my course Watercolor Landscape workshop! This class contains 7 hours of exclusive training to teach you how to paint landscapes with ease and confidence! You will find lots of lessons to build your skills in landscape painting plus 4 real-time step-by-step scenes to paint including a tropical beach which will be a nice break from winter. You can upload your work for feedback and ask me questions right in the class. You get to learn and it’s fun! I’d love to see you in class!

Thanks for spending a bit of your weekend with me and til next time happy painting!

A Loose Portrait in Gouache

Hi friends! Isn’t the week between Christmas and New Years Day odd? It’s kind of a surreal time where it’s OK to drift along from druther to druther and take a break from the normal grind. (BTW if you don’t know what a “druther” is, it’s something you would rather do. For instance: If my child had his druthers he’d eat chocolate for dinner. I believe it is a contractions of “I would rather” but it could also be a Maine thing.) Today I washed palettes. I fussed around my studio and reorganized a few things. I think it’s good to move your supplies around to inject some energy and shake the dust off. It’s also good to evaluate whether or not you are going to finish those UFOs (unfinished objects) that you have become clutter blind to and also honestly determine if you will actually use those leftover products you have kept out in sight so you don’t forget about them. You see, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We intend to use up every bit of a supply so we leave it out to remind us, we gather supplies and put them together in plain sight ready to craft or we start a project and we leave it out to inspire us but sometimes we lose steam or realize that this craft really doesn’t suit us. The longer those supplies sit untouched the more we are reminded that we didn’t get it done. Don’t bring that baggage into the new year. For me that means going through the project trays of ideas I had and putting the supplies back into regular storage so I can use them for other things and donating supplies I know I won’t use. Do you reset your home or art supplies for the new year?

I didn’t film a sketchbook Sunday today but I realized that I forgot to blog last Sunday’s project so here it is! This painting was so fun to paint using gouache on tan mixed media paper! You can find a real-time tutorial for this in Critique club. *Critique club is a membership club that gives you access to 2 new real time intermediate/advanced tutorials in a range of media and access to past tutorials (currently there are 24 lessons.) In addition you can upload up to 2 paintings you are working on per month for a critique from me so you can grow and improve as an artist. You get all of this for $5 a month and you can cancel anytime. Learn more here.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I was wondering since I am tidying up an rearranging if you would like a new studio tour when I am done. I was also thinking about doing a video on how to set up a studio in an unfinished basement since I have been using this space for 13 years and have come up with a lot of tips and tricks to keep comfortable and keep my supplies safe and workable in a 4 season climate. I am a big believer in finding that unused (unwanted by anyone else) space in your home and making a creative retreat. Where do you create?

Well, that’s all for me for tonight. I hope you are having a nice weekend and til next tie happy creating!

Twas the Day After Christmas…

Hi friends! The day after Christmas is a day of guilt free laziness for me. I won’t feel bad lounging around and reading or catching a Doctor Who marathon on TV. I can ignore the Christmas aftermath mess and not apologize about the state of our house should anyone drop by. I hope you are enjoying the season and you take some time to recharge during the next few days. Perhaps by doing a bit of painting.

I painted this yummy looking pudding on Christmas Eve. I like to have a creative break when things are hectic and this small painting was the just the thing. There is an old saying about meditation that I think applies to creating as well “If you have the time [meditate] for 20 minutes a day, if you don’t have the time you should do it for an hour a day.” I love that! Give yourself permission to do what brings you joy so you can be a more joyful person to those around you.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

That’s all for today! I have a book to get back too! I received the book I was most hoping to get (The Testaments from Margaret Atwood) and I am enjoying it so much. At this rate I will finish it an a couple of days and I am trying to savor it! If you have any book recommendations please let me know in the comments. Happy painting!

If you paint with oils you will want to read this!

Hi friends! After watercolor oil paint is probably my favorite medium. I love the smooth buttery consistency, the rich glossy colors and the creamy blending that I can achieve with this medium. I even like the smell of the oil paint! It’s not all sunshine and roses tho. If you are using traditional oils you will need to clean your brushes with some type of solvent. I rinse my brushes in solvent, wipe off the excess and wash with brush soap. Today I’ll share how I conserve my solvent so I get the most for my money, keep it in my brush tank and out of the environment!

I use a silicoil brush cleaning tank (affiliate link) but you can make a similar contraption if you like. I use Lavender brush cleaner because I like the lavender smell. If you prefer and odorless option I recommend Gamsol. You can also use hardware store paint thinners. The artist grade solvents can be pricey so it’s really worthwhile making them last! You will need your brush cleaning jar plus two empty glass jars with lids. I use washed spaghetti sauce jars for this.

FYI: solvent refers to your paint thinner of choice: Turpentine, Gamsol, Odorless mineral spirits etc

  • Step 1. Let your brush cleaning tank sit for a couple of days if you can. you will notice that you have a clear liquid on top (the solvent) and a opaque gunk on the bottom (paint and oils that have settled out of the solvent.)
  • Step 2. Pour off the clear liquid into one jar.
  • Step 3. Gently shake the brush cleaner and dump the solids into another jar. You might want to pour a bit of the solvent back in the cleaning tank and shake again to clean out the rest of the solids and pour that in with the solids.
  • Step 4. Pour the reclaimed solvent from jar 1 back into the brush tank and top off with fresh brush cleaner if needed. Next time you do this you will be able to pour a bit of clear solvent from the solids jar into the solvent jar. You will keep adding the solvent to the solvent jar and the solids to the solids jar until the solids jar is full. At that time you can take the jar of solids to hazardous waste disposal. Never pour paint of solvents down the drain. *Your town office should be able to tell you where to take your paint, if not contact a paint store.

Saving money and saving the environment go hand in hand when it comes to oil painting! You might be wondering why I don’t just use water-mixable oils and not bother with the solvents. Honestly, if I was just starting out that’s what I’d do but I have a lot of traditional oil paint to use up. I used to teach 2 adult oil classes a week and I had a lot of supplies and mediums already. When watermixables first came out they weren’t as nice as they are now, they were still and kinda weak and just not as pleasant to work with. They have gotten A LOT better over the years but honestly, I still prefer my traditional oils and it’s not much more bother if you have a brush tank set up as I do. I also find that traditional oils keep longer. During my recent oil painting month I used some oil tubes that were nearly 20 years old but I find watermixable oils dry out in the tube after a couple of years. That would not be a problem for someone using up their paint in a reasonable time but I had my old teaching supplies to get through. I hope you found this helpful and happy painting!

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