LIVE! Pretty Pastel Macarons in Oils! FREE Real Time Painting Class @ 12:30pm ET

Let’s paint pretty pastel macarons in oil paint at 12:30pm Eastern Time today on YouTube! Here is the painting:


And here is the reference photo from GraphicStock (I can post it here because I have a graphicstock subscription)


I don’t have a pattern to trace because we are going to sketch the design together on the canvas with oil pastels or oil paint. I will be using water-mixable oils for the sake of easy clean up but feel free to use traditional oils or acrylics if you like. The steps will be about the same! You can watch the live class or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat with us live you need to watch at 12:30pm ET on YouTube.

Supplies available from sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!

Want more art instruction? Check out these DEALS on upcoming classes I am taking part in instructing! Purchasing any of the awesome online courses help keep my free tutorials coming!

Creative Watercolor Course with Angela Fehr (I am a guest instructor, use coupon FIRSTDIBS to save 50% if the discount does not show up)


LIFE BOOK 2017 (Use coupon code FIREWORKS2017 to save 20% off the entire year-long class!)


OR Enroll in my Mix it Up Mixed Media Step-by-Step! Craftsy Class at 50% off!


I hope to see you at 12:30pm Eastern Time today for a fun & free oil painting class! Til then, Happy crafting!

Wildflowers in Mason Jar Painting Tutorial & White Nights Watercolor Review

Hi friends! Today I have a quick tutorial of flowers in a  mason jar and a review of White Nights watercolors!


These paints are an affordable option for folks wanting a professional paint. Watch them in action in this video tutorial:


You can find the White Night Watercolor from Pro Art Supplies on Etsy OR Ebay. Here s a link to the exact paints set and palette I used.

The sets come in cardboard or wooden boxes or in a plastic palette. Sets come in 12, 24 or 36 whole pans. There are over 50 colors in the range and you can also buy the pans individually (for about $3.50) which is a nice option if you just want to try a couple of colors or if you use up ones in your set.


  • low price compared to other artist lines
  • vivid colors (except some earth tones)
  • good quality
  • colors are semi moist and reactivate easily
  • mixing area removes from palette in the 24 count or higher sets which makes cleaning easier


  • some earth tones like sepia are weak
  • many people dislike the plastic palette because it may stain, in that case save money and get the cardboard box set and put the pans in a palette you like more

Bottom line: I really like these paints and about 15 years ago I bought a set of Yarka St. Petersburg paints that I also loved and I recently found out that both White Nights and Yarka are trade names for the same paint. The reason for this is the Russian manufacture name is difficult for most to pronounce so they changed the name for American and European markets. Let me know what you think of these paints if you have used them and then people can get more views on these in the comments below. As always I as not paid to review these paints but I was provided with a set for free for the review. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


Live at 12:30pm ET Today: Watercolor Candies!

Hi friends! If you are in the mood for a bright cheerful painting session and good company be sure to join us for the free painting live painting class today at 12:30pm Eastern time on YouTube.


Here is a color swatch and a couple rough sketches. We are using the following colors: Quin Rose, Perm. Scarlet, Perm. Gamboge, Perm. Yellow, Pthalo Blue and Turquoise.


You can use my sketch as a pattern to trace. Be sure to check out the reference photo by Lillian Bell on Paint my Photo (she is one of my favorites!)


You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat with us (you folks do have a blast in the live chat!) you will need to watch this at 12:30pm ET on YouTube.

You can find the supplies from our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama:

ALSO I wanted to remind you of the early enrollment special for LifeBook 2017! I am one of the many teachers on the year-long artistic journey and I would love for you to join me! 20% off Life Book 2017 with coupon code: FIREWORKS2017 learn more or sign up here.


I hope to see you on YouTube at 12:30pm ET for a fun and free painting class! Happy crafting!

Another Quick Fall Landscape, Creative block & 20% OFF Lifebook!

Hi Friends! I hope you don’t mind another quick, beginner, Fall watercolor painting tutorial:


It was such a beautiful fall weekend that we took out the kayaks and I managed to snap a few decent pics for the foliage on the pond and I based my tutorial on them.


The tall pic is the same bunch of trees I masked in the tutorial, I think the composition is more interesting tall. You can paint it however you like. I picked the landscape version because it filled the video screen better but in retrospect I like the tall one better.


Here is the tutorial, more of a quick sketch but we use the technique for masking on the rocks and trees so that is worth something I guess. I was excited to use my new White Nights paints that have been collecting dust for a couple of weeks on my desk. I will have another tutorial/review coming up this weekend on those:)

If you are only here for today’s tutorial you can stop reading. I am going to ramble a bit, just a warning:) Oh and if you want the 20% off discount for Life Book 2017 scroll to the end of the post.

Honestly I was not that happy with how the painting came out. If I have to be honest I have not been that happy with the way a lot of things I have been making have turned out lately. You should see the pile of crappy scraps (UFOs-unfinished objects) on my table right now! I have been feeling overwhelmed and uninspired lately, and tired. Maybe I have a bit of burnout, or maybe it is just the change of seasons making me feel glum, maybe I am fighting off a cold, I have no idea. I know I am always trying to cram too many things in a day and then I feel disappointed in myself when I can’t complete them. For the past week I have been trying to keep a reasonable schedule and allowing myself adequate time to do the stuff on my calendar. It seems like reason has no place these days, everyone seems panicked and stressed-out online. Experts and consultants tell me I need to grow my audience on social media meanwhile I’m thinking that I already have a freaking awesome community and I need to grow my skills as an artist and create stuff that is worth your time to watch. I want my YouTube channel and blog to be valuable to you. For some time now I have been thinking and feeling that this YouTube social media game is just a contest of who can yell the loudest and get the most views instead of providing value and real community. I was feeling a bit disillusioned I guess. So there it is. For the past three years posting a new project every day was inspiring and fun, but there have been times when I felt “oh, I need to post something today, oh no, I have no ideas!” like I am a kid trying to get perfect attendance or something. So now I am thinking “Hey, I’ll post something if I have something worth posting” and pass on mindless filler that helps no one. Of course, then again sometimes I make something I think is wonderful and nobody else does or I will post something that I think is super simple and it is a hit. You just never know.  One thing I know is that YOU are awesome and I want to develop my skills and make tutorials that will enhance your day and inspire you to create. It has always bothered me that YouTube (a platform that I am very grateful for to be able to use for free and has allowed me to reach so many people) encourages us and rewards us for keeping people glued to the screens and I want people to grab their paint and stamps and whatever supplies they have after watching one of my videos and create! I want you to DO not just watch. I know I feel better when I create and I feel bad when I just watch a screen.

Maybe I am over thinking all of this, what do you think? Bottom line is there might be a video every day, or I might skip a day or two from time to time. I am not sure if anyone would notice a missing day if I didn’t say anything about it but you are my peeps and I like to keep you in the loop. That is all I guess, til next time happy crafting!

PS. Yes there will be a live show on Friday 12:30pm ET, it is my favorite part of the week!

PPS. I almost forgot to mention the deal! I just got word that I can offer a 20% off discount to anyone wanting to join Life Book 2017 if you click this link and use the coupon code FIREWORKS2017 you will receive 20% off the class price. AND if you already bought the course they will refund you the 20% or give you another free course so no worries to the early enrollers. You can find out more about LifeBook and see the amazing roster of teachers here, I am so happy to be involved this year!

Really, that is all I have to say today:) Thanks for stopping by and listening to my rant, honestly I do feel better:)

Beginner Fall Landscape in Watercolor & Schmincke Watercolor Review

Hi friends! The fall foliage is in full swing in Maine and we spent the weekend out in nature soaking up as much of the color as we can! I was inspired by the colors to create this watercolor tutorial for you.


I thought it was a great excuse to try out some new watercolors! Watch the video to see what I think of them and see my spooky new DIY paint palette;)


I am using the Schmincke Horadam Watercolor paints. I am using: Ultramarine, Brilliant Purple, Scarlet Red, Cadmium yellow light, Helio Cerulean and Burnt Sienna. I am also trying out the new ZEN dagger brushes from Royal & Langnickel I picked up this weekend.

Big thanks to sweet viewer Christiane who reached out to Schmincke on my behalf because she heard me talk about how I would love to try their Horadam watercolors. They generously sent me 12 tubes to test out. Thanks to you both!

I also received 6 other colors to try out. I was really impressed with the strength and granular properties of these paints. They reminded me a lot of Daniel Smith Watercolors. Here is a swatch so you can see the 12 colors I received. The big squares were a wet in wet wash and the darker squares are a glaze applied on top.


Bright vivid colors
Unique characteristics from color to color, nice granulation in some
High Quality-Artist’s Grade
mixes well

Price is higher than many brands
Some funny mixes, the ultramarine was PB15 + PB29 instead of just PB29 and Burnt Sienna was PR101+PBk9 instead of PR101 or PBr7
Harder to find than other brands in the USA
Paints take a long time to dry out in a palette, I would probably purchase pans in the future because I prefer to work from dry pigment

Bottom line, I recommend them, I have been a fan of Schmincke pastels (my favorite pastels actually) and their watercolors do not disappoint. I received these paints from Schmincke for the purpose of this review and I think I will probably purchase some others in the line, probably pans because the paint squeezed from tubes take a long time to dryout.

You can find out more about Schmincke paints on their website.

Reference photo by Shanna Leigh at Paint my Photo. (you might need to copy/paste the link, I am not sure why it won’t link.)

I took some foliage photos while out in the kayak Saturday, I hope you are in the mood for a few more fall landscape tutorials:) Thanks for spending some time with me today and til next time happy crafting!


Today’s Live Watercolor Tutorial is Something to CROW About! 12:30pm ET!

Hi friends! Today we are going to paint a crow on a fence post! I think it is a great subject for this time of year whether you celebrate Halloween or not.



Here is a pattern you can print and trace if you like:


Here is a color swatch. We will use the 5 following colors: Quin Rose (or any cool red), Pthalo Blue, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, and Sap Green. You can see the mixes in the swatch under the main colors.


You can watch the free live watercolor class in the player below but if you want to chat with us live at 12:30pm ET today make sure you watch on the YouTube watch page. I will also have the replay available for those of you who can’t make it live:)

Supplies available at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama

Also, Big News! Registration is now open for Life Book 2017! I am teaching along with a slew of other talented mixed media artists for a yearlong art journey! Find out more and register here.


I hope to paint with you live at 12:30 on YouTube, til then happy crafting!

Dreamcatcher Mixed Media Tutorial

Hi friends! let’s have fun making this mixed media painting of a dreamcatcher!


Watch the video to learn how!

Sponsored by Lost Coast Designs SAVE 15% when you use the coupon code: the frugal crafter AND get FREE SHIPPING on all USA orders of $115 or more OR 1/2 price shipping worldwide on your $115+ order!

If you like these mixed media tutorials please share it using the handy sharing buttons below the video!

11″x15″ Canson Monteville Watercolor Paper
Stamps from Lost Coast Designs Feathers and Grunge Border 3″ 
Watercolors (Gansi Tambi & Holbein)
Colored Pencils (Spectrum Noir)
Black pen (Pitt)
White Pen (Uniball Signo)
Glitter brush pen (Wink of stella)
Watercolor brushes

Please take your time building up layers, it is a fun process and there are no rules. Grab your supplies ad have some artsy fun today! Happy crafting!

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