Sweet Friendship // Sketchbook Sunday

Hi friends! Today for Sketchbook Sunday I am sharing the painting I did for the watercolor class I am taking. My sketchbook Sunday posts are all about the stuff I do to help grow my skills and perspective as an artist, usually it’s in a sketchbook but sometimes it is a larger painting like this 22″x29″ watercolor:

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You can see the time-lapse in the video below. Many of you asked how I did the skin in one layer on a previous painting and this video will show that.

Painting the skin in one layer gives a very fresh and translucent effect, you just need to be brave enough to use more color than you think you need and leave it alone LOL! This is the other painting I mentioned, I shared it on Instagram but forgot to share it here. I painted the skin the same way, one layer and lots of color and then left it alone to dry (and it looks like a hot mess when it is wet just so you know.)

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Supplies *Affiliate links to Consumer Crafts and Amazon used. See deal at Consumer Crafts at the bottom of this post!

Today Only! Consumer Crafts is having 20% off your total order and free shipping over $49 with coupon code FFSALE18 through 11/11/18  *I just got a great deal on M Graham watercolors there:) They now have tons of artists quality paints, pencils and markers as well as general craft supplies and gift art sets. Their prices are very low to begin with so 20% is a big deal! I apologise not mentioning this sale earlier and it is over tonight at 11:59pm PST so don’t delay if you need a good deal on any supplies! Happy crafting!

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Sunny Sunflowers You Can Paint in Watercolor!

Hi friends! Today I have a fun and cheerful beginner watercolor painting tutorial for you so grab your paints, a cup of tea and block out a relaxing hour of art time! You deserve it!

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You will find step by step real-time instructions in the video below. I hope you enjoy:)

Supplies:

  • Watercolor paint *I am using Renesans paint: Indian yellow (or any warm yellow), Raw sienna (or yellow ochre), Magenta (or any cool red), Ultramarine blue,
    Cinnabar green deep (or sap green), Burnt Umber (or burnt sienna)
  • Watercolor paper: Strathmore Windpower
  • Watercolor brushes
  • Other: pencil, eraser, tape, 2 water buckets
  • Reference photo

If you liked today’s video you’ll love my Watercolor Flower Workshop. I have created loads of easy to follow step by step tutorials so you can create loose floral bouquets, wreaths and swags to enhance any painting you want to create! Learn more here and use coupon code TRYME for 20% off any class!

I hope you give this painting a try and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Colorful Ram in Watercolor!

Howdy friends! I am not having a live show today, Sarah has to work today and I am trying to learn a new high-definition camera I bought so I can make better quality videos for you. It’s wicked fancy! For now though I have a colorful painting of a Ram with a limited palette for you!

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I am using really inexpensive paints here, it was a $20 set of 36 I took a chance on a couple of months ago because I really loved the mint green tin LOL! Turns out the paints are fabulous. I’ll have a full review on my YouTube channel tomorrow. I used Quin Rose, Yellow ochre and Cobalt Blue (but I think I called it Ultramarine a few times, truth be told I think their cobalt is likely an ultramarine blue as you wouldn’t find real cobalt in a $20 set LOL!)

Video!

Supplies (Affiliate Links used)

I love the challenge of working in a limited palette as well as completely changing the colors of an object. It is a great way to make you rely on the values of an object instead of the color because as long as you have the values right you can use whatever color you like! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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!

Ask a Watercolorist LIVE! 12:30pm ET

Hi friends! Do you have any burning watercolor questions? Bring those questions to YouTube at 12:30 and you can ask me and my guest April from A Little Creative. April has a watercolor shop and is an avid painter as well and you know my background so it will be fun to have a couple of different perspectives!

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Make sure you watch on YouTube at 12:30pm Eastern Time if you want to chat live and ask questions. Sarah will be there (as well as out other moderators) to relay your questions to me. We will get as many answered as we can in an hour. The replay will also be available in the player below!

So if you have questions on brushes, paints, storage, palettes, technique or anything else watercolor related we want to hear from you live at 12:30pm ET on YouTube!

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On a fun side note I was interviewed for the Wall Street Journal on an article on Eco-Crafting. They were interested in my DIY Paper Straw recipe video I posted back in 2014. I must admit I was a bit disappointed that the article mostly focused on “what can go wrong” when crafting instead of encouraging readers to seriously try some of these projects. For instance they profiled a woman who made waxed fabric food wraps and it talks about her ruining her countertops and eventually the carpet in her office where she makes them to sell instead of showing a very simple, non messy, easy and frugal method of making them like I did in this video.  I guess for readers it’s probably more fun to read an article about craft fails than one where you actually learn how to craft sustainable products. I’m sure the former sells more papers than the latter and at least I’m told the article is on the front page of the print edition, so that’s cool. I hope it brings some new folks into The Frugal Crafter Family where they can learn it is possible to craft sustainably without an awful counter-ruining mess and have fun in the process.

See you at 12:30 for the live Q&A and til then happy crafting!

Loose Style Watercolor Cup-o-Joe!

Howdy friends! Today we are going to use only four colors to paint this cheerful yellow mug of coffee in a loose and juicy style!

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Originally I painted this on a cold press greeting card but I wasn’t happy with it so I decided to redo it. You can do that, did you know? If you see more in your subject or are unsatisfied do it over (and nobody has to see the first one if you don’t want them too!)

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That’s what’s so great about painting. You can add-on, improve, finalize and get it just how you envision before sharing it with others. Please let go if the inner critic and enjoy the feeling of paint and water on paper!

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.

Supplies:

If you like this loose style of painting you might be interested in my Watercolor Floral Workshop course and you can save 40% with coupon code: FABRIC through Saturday!

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If you are a beginner to painting you might also enjoy my most popular course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor which combines all of the tried and true techniques you need to know to start your watercolor journey off on the right foot! This course is designed to get beginners up to speed faster and fill in the gaps that some intermediate painters might have in their watercolor practise.

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Clicking on either of the classes above should bring you to the discounted price but if not (or if you wish to purchase a different class) use the coupon code FABRIC at checkout. Sale prices good through Saturday 10/27/18. Thanks for painting with me today and til next time happy crafting!

Should you use white watercolor paint?

Hi friends! Today we are going to discuss a rather controversial topic in the watercolor world: Using white paint! Some of you may faint at the thought of using white preferring to reserve the white of the paper while others may think since companies make white it’s fine to use.

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Well, I think both opinions are correct! Used intentionally white can be a valuable asset in your watercolor painting but it can also lead to a chalky and muddy mess depending when and how you use it. It todays video I will talk about the different kinds of white watercolor paint and how you can achieve some spectacular effects if you choose to use it.


Let’s look at the kinds of white watercolor:

  • Chinese White (PW4 Zink oxide white) is a translucent white. Use it for mixing, not for highlights as it is brittle and prone to cracking. *Note a diluted PW6 is often substituted for PW4 in Chinese white yielding a cooler white that you might need to warm up or neutralize a bit. I think this substitution may be made to solve the cracking issue.
  • Titanium White (PW6) is a mostly opaque white. This is a cool white and very opaque, if you want a warmer off white you can try PW6:1 Buff titanium or tint your white with a neutral.
  • Titanium white gouache is a completely opaque white containing PW6 but also may contain PW18 (chalk) to increase the opacity and matte finish.

*There is also an extender or base for lake pigments called Lithopone (PW5) that is used in gouache to make it opaque because it has a low tinting strength and also in cheap student paints as an extender. PW5 does not have to be disclosed on a pigment label because it is used as an extender not a pigment.

Also to note PW20 is mica added to paints for sparkle, very reflective. It is usually listed on paint labels as mica and not PW20.

Pros & Cons of Using White!

The cons:

  • It can ruin the luminosity of you watercolor and make your painting more prone to mud.
  • It can make your paintings look chalky if used in layers and it is often used as a last-ditch attempt to save a painting but it is usually unsuccessful.
  • It makes your paint more prone to lifting and granulating (if you don’t want that effect)

The Pros:

  • It adds granulation and softness to a wash.
  • It makes the paint easier to lift.
  • It gives volume and substance to things like fabric (check out the masterful way John Singer Sargent used white to create volume in his portraits) where the white of the paper would feel a bit thin and flat.
  • White can also be successfully used to paint the sparkle highlight in an eye or a bright reflection on a shiny opaque object.

When deciding to add white ask yourself “What is the truth of my subject and how can I paint it most effectively?”

A row of colorful glass bottles on a windowsill for instance is very transparent so avoid white and paint it with transparent glazes reserving (you can use masking fluid) your white.

A boat at sea on a misty day can effectively use white to capture the thick air and billowing sails.

What do you think? Do you use white in your watercolor paintings? If not would you try it knowing what it can do? Did this explain why some attempts at using white are successful and others are not. I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below and if you like this article please share it on social media using one of the handy sharing links below, thanks! Til next time happy crafting!

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