Tips for organizing and getting the most out of your tubes of paint!

Hi friends! Tonight I am going to show you how I am organising many of my tube watercolors that do not have a dedicated permanent palette. I was concerned about having too many small random homemade palettes to deal with so what I have done is taken the tin that my Qor paints came in and filled it with half pans (or you can use bottle caps, I am sticking to half pans so I can put them in one of my field palettes if I want to at any time) with magnets attached. You are probably wondering why I just don’t glue them to the tin and save money on magnets. Here’s why: I rarely use more than 5 colors in a painting and I wanted to be able to move the pans to the lid with the mixing wells when I am painting and since they have magnets on the bottom they wont slide around on me. As exciting as it is to listen to me talk about this process I’m sure you’d probably rather watch a video so here you go!


I know I covered a lot in this video, here are the references I mentioned.

The gadget I used to get the paint out of the tubes is a tube wringer, Jerry’s has them the cheapest. Don’t bother with the paint saver keys. The one I have is similar to $5.99 model but if you can swing it I’d go with a metal one.

I did find a source of affordable empty half-pans and full pans, I just ordered 40 half and 30 fulls from Jacksons Art Supply on amazon and no matter how many you order (and you can combine half and full pans) it is just one shipping charge of $3.50 from UK to USA. I am not affiliated with Jackson’s or Amazon but it was the best deal I could find (26 cents half/39 cents full.) There is another outfit called Half Pan PH which also has a good price on half pans, they ship out of the Philipines, I have never ordered from them but they just announced global shipping.

The tin came with the Qor set of watercolors. I got a big tin with each set of 6 paints I ordered. They have switched to smaller tins for the small sets because artist complained but i like the big tins. You might ask where you order if you can get a set in a large tin if they still have them. currently Jerry’s has the best price on these at $20.00 (which is a couple bucks less than what I paid sheesh!)

I got the magnets from Oriental Trading but there is nothing special about them, just look for a good price, I got 200 for $6  or you could use rubber cement to tack down your pans but i wanted to be able to move the colors I wanted over to my mixing side so I did not get confused:) and also be able to rearrange them.

I wrote the names on my pans with an ultra fine tip sharpie which I also use to do watercolor pen and ink with:) Someone suggested using a brother label maker to do that so if you have one it’s a great idea. I don’t have one or plan to get one, I can’t even imagine being that organized with life.😀

I hope you found this useful. I have lots of room to store and mix paint in this tin and I actually have 2 more of these from the other 2 Qor sets I bought, one is storing random tubes of paint ans the other one is sitting in my “empty box storage” please don’t call hoarders. Erma Bombeck was talking about me and her mother when she said “She never met a box she didn’t like.) LOL, Gosh, I miss Erma. I sure is nice to have your paint organized and ready to go, almost as good as painting with it which I hope you do. Remember it’s not the paint that makes the art, you do that bit:) Have a good night and as always happy crafting!


Let’s Paint Rocks in Watercolor LIVE 12:30pm ET Today!

Hi friends! I am so happy to be painting with you live today! I had a great vacation last week and today we are going to paint one of the Plein Air paintings I did while on vacation by YOUR request! We are going to paint rocks because many of you told me that rocks were a challenge for you so you will have me at your disposal to ask questions along the way if you get stuck. We will be live at 12:30pm Eastern Time today, I hope you can join us!


You can watch the live class, or the replay in the video player below but if you want to chat with us be sure to watch it on the YouTube watch page.

Sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama:

  • Cotman Watercolors *You can use any watercolors you have though:)
  • Fabriano Studio Watercolor Paper (the best “cheap” paper I have found *the 11″x14″ 50 or 100 sheet pads are a great buy and is what I made mt landscape watercolor block from, I cut each sheet into 3rds 4 1/2″ish x11″ pieces)
  • Brushes-Mimik 1/2″ filbert (under $5) OR try the Princeton Neptune 1/2″ oval wash (about $10) *you can also use a nice thirsty round brush:)
  • Waterbrush (I like this Koi one and it is under $5)
  • Black waterproof pen (sharpie, micron, pitt pen-your choise!)

Want more inspiring tutorials, try my Mixed it Up Mixed Media Step by Step Class for 50% off at Craftsy!


I hope to paint with you live today on YouTube! Til then Happy crafting!

I’m Back! Did you miss me?

Hi friends! I will be working my way through comments and emails as soon as I can but I just wanted to pop in and let you know what I am working on for projects this week and show you what I painted on vacation. Also if you are interested in tutorials for any of the paintings I showed you today just let me know in the comments. I can record watercolor fairly efficiently (hence all the watercolor tutorials during my busy summer LOL!) and I am happy to if you want to see them:)



Here is a casual, weekly wrap up and preview of what’s to come vlog:)


Stuff I mentioned in the video:
Cotman watercolors
Zen 1/2″ (13mm) filbert watercolor brush with scraper handle
DIY watercolor blocks (tutorial here)

For those of you sick of watercolor tutorials I have some fun projects coming up this week:

  1. Fashion: Hand-dyed/stamped/painted scarf
  2. DIY scratch board (good one for the kids!)
  3. Back to School Apple for Teacher papercraft
  4. Under the Sea Party Invitations
  5. Friday we will have the 12:30pm ET live stream and it will be a watercolor:)


Here are still shots of the painting I shared in the video:)

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13996300_10206915299386419_769285438379346843_o 13920470_10206922107036606_604707159111688986_o 13962972_10206934549907670_3989539836941852154_o13975378_10206894542867519_7246764976406042565_o

During the video I mentioned a couple craftsy classes that you might like both by Anna Mason. I enrolled in her fruit class thinking it might help me with my strawberries:)

Fantastic Fruit-Texture & Form


Another nice one from Anna Mason is Realistic Watercolors Step by Step (it is mainly botanical flowers and a good place to start:)


Thanks for being awesome and til next time happy crafting!

Plein Air Postcard #5: Sandy Point

The decrepit piers in the water were a challenge to paint so feel free to leave them out if you wish, otherwise it is a lovely coastal maine scent. Have fun and happy painting!


I am using the set of 24 koi watercolor box. The paper is one of the watercolor blocks I made the other day:) Happy crafting!

Plein Air Postcard #3: Belfast Bay

Here is a plein air sketch I did in Belfast Maine on the coast the other day.


I am using the set of 24 koi watercolor box. The paper is one of the watercolor blocks I made the other day:) Enjoy the quick and easy painting tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

Plein Air Postcard #4: Secret Beach

Here is a watercolor sketch I painted at a lovely secluded beach I found. Paint along and enjoy!


I am using the set of 24 koi watercolor box.
The paper is one of the watercolor blocks I made the other day:) Happy Crafting!

Plein Air Post Card #2: Fields Pond

Hi Friends! I am officially on vacation for a week but never fear, I have planned tutorials for you in my absence, it will be like I never left LOL!


A few of you asked me to do tutorials of the plein air watercolors I have been doing lately so I have!


I am using Winsor & Newton watercolors:
perm rose, yellow ochre, winsor lemon, Windsor green, ultramarine, pthalo blue, burnt sienna

grab your watercolors and paint along! Til next time happy crafting!


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