Whimsical Deer in Watercolor Real Time Tutorial

Hi freinds! Today we are going to paint this fun, colorful deer!

Watch the video and draw and paint along! You can do it!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

If Christmas is your thing…

…check out my new class “Hand-painted Holiday” and save 50%! You can create hand-painted watercolor Christmas cards and gift tags sure to be saved as keepsakes by your family and friends!
*Use coupon code XMASTREAT if discount doesn’t appear automatically. Regular price $39, with coupon $19.50, offer ends 12/1/19

Happy painting!

The Antidote to Feeling Bad About All of Your Art Supplies…

Hi friends! I love it when I set a personal goal and it ends up having positive side effects I didn’t anticipate. When I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings in November it was more of a way to beat the “winter blues” and ride the high of having an art goal like I experienced during Inktober. I had really missed painting in oils so I thought hat would be a nice medium to focus on. I didn’t expect the other positives…

I had A LOT of oil paints back from when I had a downtown studio and taught two oil classes each week. I bought my oils in large economy tubes and had jars of mediums and brushes galore. Luckily oil paints hold up well and I haven’t found any spoiled paint in my stash. With each completed painting I felt lighter, any guilt over having so much paint dissipated with every canvas panel I used up. Knowing that I was putting the stuff I had (and my time) to good use while I worked on improving my skills was the shot in the arm my creativity needed. I loved that I didn’t have to run out and buy something new to improve myself.

I would wager that many of us have an excess of some supply we bought years ago when we were really excited about a project. The more those supplies sit around we either feel bad about them or become blind to them. Neither is a great solution. I think many of us think if we use up our supplies on a project that doesn’t turn out well it is a waste but think of the waste of space the supplies take up if they are not getting used regularly. Or the waste of supplies if they dry up or go bad in the package. Even if you paint an canvas and it is “bad” you have created something. You may have failed at the idea you had in your mind but you succeeded in finding out what didn’t work. Often the painting looks different the next day and you can always try scraping back or adding more paint. You can even cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and staple on some fresh canvas and try again if you feel bad about wasting a canvas.

Nobody creates a masterpiece every time, especially if they haven’t done it in a while so why do we think we need to produce a winner every time we sit down to paint? I’d go as far to say that if you do create a great painting every time you sit down to paint that you are not challenging yourself and trying new things. With failure comes growth. Life if made in the mistakes and so is art.

I hope this post helps you lighten up your expectations a bit in your art journey. Take care and happy creating!

P.S. I’ll have a new real time watercolor tutorial for you on YouTube this evening and tomorrow here on the blog:)

DIY Drying Rack

Hi friends! This month I challenged myself to paint 20 small oil paintings, I quickly realized that I would need a place to safely dry these out of the way so I created this drying rack that I can put up on a shelf in my studio away from my work area and my cats! This is what I came up with:

I built this from some leftover foam board (foamcore) I had but you can also up cycle a couple of cardboard boxes to do the same thing. This is sturdy, lightweight and should last a long time.

Supplies:

  • Foam board/foam-core or cardboard
  • craft knife
  • Hot glue (duct tape could also be used but I think it will be more difficult.
  • Yardstick

I love crafting with foam core, I have made many storage items over the years with it like this ribbon storage and this ink pad holder. There is so much you can do with it! Some viewers on YouTube said they were going to make a card display for craft fairs using a similar method to my drying rack and I thought it was a wonderful idea. What have you made with foam core? You can find it at the dollar tree or order it in bulk from any big art supply retailer. Happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday: Using Powder Blender for the First Time!

Hi friends! As a reward for completing Inktober I decided to treat myself to a supply I have been curious about for a while: Brush and Pencil Colored Pencil Powder Blender. During my research I realized that this was not going to be a cheap endeavor. The colored pencil blender itself s $7, but I did some research and realized that I would need need fixative and special sanded paper. At that point I figured if I was going down this road I would get the other accessories that round out the experience. Although pricey, I knew that I would definitely use the sanded paper and fixatives with pastels if the powder blender was a bust so I decided to give it a try. The products arrived two days ago, here is my fist attempt:

For best results with powder blender you want to use oil based pencils (all regular colored pencils contain both oil and wax but pencils regarded as oil based have a lower percentage of wax) which is fine by me because I have Polychromos and I don’t use them that much as I favor the thicker waxy more opaque Prismacolors. That said sanded paper is just what is sounds like, sandpaper, and it wears down your pencils like crazy! Since I didn’t want to “waste” my expensive Polychomos on a practice piece I grabbed my affordable Art-n-Fly pencils as they are oil based and $20 for a set of $48 so i can afford to experiment without it being too precious. The paper is precious enough LOL! (I only used half a sheet on this) 😀 BTW the reason you want to use “oil” based and not “wax” based pencils is because the wax wants to ball up and get gummy when you add the powder blender. If you have any pencils that feel kinda dry they will work fine. The Arteza pencils worked pretty well too. I was able to use Prismacolors for final details that I didn’t belnd out at the end tho. If you are curious as to how this all went together please watch the time lapse.

Supplies: *Amazon affiliate links used. I will also link to Brush and Pencil and Blick as not all products are available on Amazon and the prices may be better in a bundle from those sellers.

My friend Lisa has a wonderful tutorial using these products. I highly recommend you check this out if you are thinking about trying these products.

It’s not to often that I find something really new and innovative to try. I think the technique of layering the pencils with the powder and fixative is really cool. You can approximate this at home as I did last month with panpastel and the workable fixative I had. The sanded (or gessoed) paper and oil based pencils makes all the difference here. I think anything that is powdery would work to blend as the pencils want to blend on the sanded paper even with no product because the grit shaves off pencil as you color making it’s own powder. That said I like supporting innovative companies and I do like that fixative, touch up texture and titanium white powder and knowing it won’t scratch off will save me on some mixed media work. You can feel OK to substitute with what you have on hand to see f you like the process before dropping $50+ on the whole shebang. I don’t regret my purchase. I think my first try was pretty successful and I look forward to using it again. One more thing I wanted to mention is Alyona Nickelsen, the woman who invented this system, has a book that I am currently reading called The Colored Pencil Bible and it is wonderful! I got the kindle version and I am about halfway through. So far there is no mention of the powder blender (I think she wrote it before inventing the product) but she does talk about shaving colored pencil leads for similar effects. It’s worth a look especially if you like Prismacolor pencils as that is what she mainly uses in the book! I hope you enjoyed my Sunday Experimentation and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Beautiful Blue Ball Jar With Bittersweet Berries!

Hi friends! I hope you are free this evening for a fun paint and chat on YouTube at 8pm eastern time. We are painting this pretty still life.

My friend Glenna took me to lunch yesterday and on the way home we spotted these pretty berries growing along the side of the road. We stopped and clipped some because we thought they would be fun to use in fall decorating or maybe wreath making but judging by how many berries fall off when we handle them we would end up with a stick wreath, not a berry one LOL! Feel free to use my reference photo to draw or paint from. You can also print it out and trace it if you don’t want to draw.

I will be premiering this tutorial at 8pm eastern time tonight on YouTube. I will be hanging out live in chat so I hope you come by. Make sure you watch on the YouTube watch page if you want to ask me questions as we go along or chat with fellow painters. You can watch it on my blog but the live chat is only on YouTube. The tutorial will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes but a replay will be available. I figured a long holiday weekend is the perfect time for a long tutorial as you can stop and take a break and come back to us when you have time.

Supplies

NEW Class! Hand-painted Holiday! 50% off Launch Special!

Have you ever wanted to send beautiful watercolor Christmas cards? How about decorate your gifts with gorgeous hand-painted tags that can be used as bookmarks or ornaments? In Hand-painted Holidays, new mini-course suitable for all levels, I’ll show you how! I’ll offer tips of making the most of your time and supplies and offer advice on making prints of your cards if you don’t want to hand-paint them all. I’ll show you haw to transfer a pattern (patterns are available for the 4 featured greeting cards) so you can start off on the right foot, and then we will warm up with 6 freehand gift tags that you will draw and paint with me step by step! Before you know it you will be painting beautiful Christmas motifs right beside me that you can proudly mail your friends and family. Best of all you will have time to complete these projects before the holidays roll around! This class sells for $39 but, as always, I give my friends 50% off when I launch my classes. Use coupon code XMASTREAT or click one of the special discount links in the blog post to enroll in Hand-painted Holidays for $19.50. I hope to see you in class, thanks!

If you have any question about the class you can leave a comment here or join me tonight at 8pm ET on YouTube for the live chat. See you then!

Painting the same still-life in watercolors & oils

Hi Friends! Woah, this has been a busy week! I just realized I had forgot to update the blog in a couple of days, my apologies! I stated a new personal painting challenge (20 oil paintings for the month of November) and I have been finishing up a new watercolor class (more on that tomorrow!) and it has kept me on the move! Today I have a tutorial of this watercolor painting:

I took this reference photo the other day because I wanted to paint it in oils as part of my November personal challenge. Part of the challenge is also working from my own reference photos as much as I can.

Here is the oil version, I think I need to wipe out some of the reflected highlight on the bottom of the grapefruit because it makes it look a bit moldy LOL!

I enjoyed painting it in oils so much that I wondered if it would be fun to paint with watercolors (a media I am much more proficient in) and I recorded the results in today’s real time tutorial:

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Which version do you like better, the oil or watercolor? I have really been enjoying the challenge of getting back into oils but I find myself fussing too much in an area and basically redoing the same spot multiple times. I think I need to set a timer and when it goes off be done with it. I don’t mind spending the time if I am making progress but fiddling doesn’t improve my skills or the painting so I am trying to identify when I do that and break myself of that habit. I hope you have some art goals you are working towards, it makes the journey so much more rewarding:) Til next time happy creating!

Sketchbook Sunday & My November Art Goal!

Hi friends! I really enjoyed participating in, and finishing, Inktober this year even tho some days I didn’t feel that motivated to do my daily drawing. That said I always felt better once I started drawing. I thought I would be relieved once I drew my last Inktober drawing but instead I felt a bit of a let down. I took November 1st off to rest and reflect on October and then it hit me! I really love having a goal to work toward and I love completing things I set my mind to. During this eureka moment I had another idea to do my own November challenge. I have a stack of small canvas panels and enough oil paints to choke a horse! I used to love to paint in oils so I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings this month! Here is the one I did yesterday:

It was fun! I am keeping the size small, I have nineteen 5″x7″ canvas panels and a few other oddball small sizes kicking around so I am set there. I was hoping for each painting to take about 45 minutes which I think I will get to once I knock the rust off LOL! The avocado took about 2 hours to paint but I loved it! The Iris took me 1 hour 20 minutes so I am moving in the right direction. I waste a lot of time fussing and overworking an area and then having to rescue it and I attribute that to being out of practice. Both of the paintings were painted from my own reference photos and I liked that. I am going to try and work from my own photos as much as possible this month as I rely on stock photos more that I want to. You can see a timelapse if the iris painting below. You might remember we painted this in watercolor a couple months ago, I really liked this flower! I took the photo in my sisters garden. I’ll take a proper photo of this painting in the morning once the shine dulls and post it on Instagram.

Supplies (I am using a variety of brands, I don’t notice as much of a difference in oil paint qualities as long as you go with a recognizable brand you should be all set) *Affiliate links used

  • Oil paint in colors: Titanium White, Yellow Ocher, Alizarin. Crimson, Sap Green, Ultramarine blue, Burnt Umber (I listed a couple under $20 sets if you want to try oils) Water mixable option with colors needed (rinse brushes in water while painting and clean with soap and water after, good if you don’t want to use solvents) or Traditional oil paint with all colors needed (clean up with paint thinner, then soap and water)
  • 5″x7″ canvas (affordable multi-pack of different sizes)
  • Pentel oil pastels for sketching
  • Assorted brushes (smaller ones, 1/2″ flat and #8 round are the largest ones I am using) I am not very picky about the majority of my oil brushes but for details I like the Royal & Langnickle Fusion line.

I hope you liked the time-lapse, the real-time version will be in Critique Club in a day or two. Critique Club is a membership group where artists can upload 2 paintings a month for detailed feedback from me and also get access to 2 new real time tutorials per month as well as all past Critique Club tutorials. There is also a monthly prompt design to stretch you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to create but you can work on whatever you like even if it doesn’t fit the theme of the prompt. I meet you where you are. Cost is $5 a month. If you want to level up your skills as an artist please have a look and see if it would benefit you. Thanks!

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