I wasn’t sure I should post this…

Hi friends, today we are going to talk about using social media as an artist. I often get asked from other artists online and in real life about how to grow a following online. The truth is I have been building an audience online for 13 years and what works today might not work tomorrow. I have seen strategies work well and then fail, I see a lot of guesses about what to do and rumors about the ever mysterious “algorithm.” Since things are always changing I have been hesitant to give advice. That said, most artists and crafters are sharing their work online now so I thought I would share what I know, or think, or think I now (LOL) on today’s video!

I think the key to using social media and building a following online is to accept what you can and can’t control. As I said in the video this is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t want to share 10 paintings today and then disappear for a month. Figure out a realistic schedule and be consistent. That might be once a week, daily, by weekly or monthly. Keep the quality of your work and the frequency you post consistent. This forms habits and makes it sustainable. When I wanted to get my work published in magazines I told myself I would submit 3 pieces each month for one year and if I didn’t have any takers at the end of 12 months then I would decide if I wanted to continue or not. I got my first project accepted on the 11th month. I made a plan with built in consistency and set a timeline. I can control that. Could I control and editor choosing my project, no, heck I couldn’t guarantee that an editor would open my email but I knew the law of averages and this would give me a pretty decent shot of something being accepted. After a year I could consider it a fools errand and move on. Good thing I didn’t quit at 6 months, huh? Basically you can control what you put out into the world, you can control where you put it and how often. You can build your skills and put out the best work that you can. You can’t control who sees your art or if the social media platforms you share it on will promote it or not so try not to get down if you are not getting the results you are looking for. (Full disclosure I am saying this to myself just as much as all of you!)

Lastly, set up a home base like a blog or website. I like blogs because you will often update them and search engines love blogs. If you search a how-to topic on Google or Pinterst it will usually bring you to a blog post or a YouTube video. You can embed YouTube videos in your blog posts and add extra photos and text to make it a more valuable experience for your reader. You can send people from your social media accounts to your blog for more info. I love reading blogs too! Best of all if something happens to one of the social media platforms you have all of your content backed up and people can find you. I have heard too many scary stories from DIY youtubers who have had their accounts taken down over a mistake. In all of the cases they were able to get them back but it’s scary and you need to protect what you are building. Also, most social media is ephemeral. Things you post go away quickly to be replaced with a constant rush of new content so it’s nice to have a curated space that you control.

Is my strategy perfect? No. There is always more you can do and a more optimal way to do it (sadly the optimal way changes from month to month) but I have found a way that I can sustain that works for me. If you still want to hop on this crazy hamster wheel too then figure out what you are willing to commit to and be consistent. I’m rooting for you! Happy crafting!

My “Lazy Days” Inktober Art Bag

Hi friends! It’s October, or if you are me “Inktober!” For the past few years I have attempted Inktober and the past 2 years I did the whole thing and didn’t miss a day. I have to admit I kinda crawled into this month. I was NOT raring to go or full of ideas and energy. I even doubted if I had it in me to undertake a daily art challenge. I decided that I was going to start it, one day at a time, and then I thought, why not make it a bit easier on myself? So I put together a “frictionless” bag of supplies for the days I am tired, lazy or just want to draw away from my art desk. See what I picked in the video below!

Here’s what’s in the bag. Affiliate links used.

I can grab this bag of supplies and sketch while sitting on my couch watching TV. Sometimes to meet an art challenge you just need to remove the “pain points” like going down to my studio and picking out supplies. Often I am not undertaking my daily inktober drawing until after dinner and all of my regular work is finished. I can be pretty tired by then but I always enjoy drawing and I am so happy when I am done. You can keep up with my inktober drawing on Instagram and you can find out about inktober here incase you would like to draw along! Happy crafting!

Mixed Media Parrot! Let’s layer up lots of supplies!

Hi friends! Today we are going to put Hahnemulhe Bamboo Mixed Media paper through it’s paces!

You might remember this bird from a watercolor tutorial I did a few years ago, it’s a longer on in case you prefer a slower approach in real time.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

That’s all for now! Happy crafting!

SAt Chat 10-2-21

Hi friends! Here is this weeks Saterday Chat!

The videos I referenced are on my channel and blog and if you want more info on my granulating watercolor palette I have still shots of swatches and more info on yesterdays blog post. And the real time lesson of the stream painting with granulating paints is up in Critique Club if you missed it.

These are the paint pens I mentioned. (Affiliate link)

Happy crafting!

My Custom Super Granulating Watercolor Palette!

Hi friends! I am so excited about this project! I made a palette of the most granulating watercolors that I own. This was days of research, swatching and comparison to come up with my most separating colors and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Here is my granulating palette sitting in one of my large studio palettes (John Pike Palette)

I was inspired by the new super granulating sets that have been released by Schminke and Supervision but I knew that I didn’t need any more paint and if I took the time (instead of taking out my wallet and buying the shiny new things) I could come up with something just as good. What I didn’t expect was that I would learn so much about my paint in the process!

You might ask: Where do I start looking in my stash for granulating color? Look for “Mars” “Cobalt” and “Iron” in the pigment info on your tubes of watercolor. Often those are signs that heavy metals are present in the paint and they will be sedimentary. I also got asked a lot about the granulation medium by Winsor and Newton. I showed an example of using that at the end of the video and honestly, I don’t recommend it. The added granulation effect is negligible on both staining and already granulating color. The Schminke granulation spray may work better, I don’t have that but the primary ingredient is alcohol and spraying alcohol on a wet wash does give intersting texture suitable for sea spray or snow. I found saltwater gave me the best enhancement.

Notes about the colors in my palette:

  • Any of the Renesans Watercolors I showed can be Purchased from a little creative on Etsy. I have a coupon code for 10% off Renesans paints at Alittlecreaveme on ETSY: FRUGAL10 I personally know the owner of this shop, April, and she is wonderful. **That said I would recommend getting the Potters Pink in a pan from Winsor & Newton and the colbalt green in a pan from Lukas because the tube colors are hard to rewet and can have a sheen from the honey used. If you are comparing what I listed to what you have at home go by pigment numbers first, then names as it is the pigment that provides the granulating effect.
  • I also mentioned LUKAS 1862 watercolors in tubes and pans as they are such a good deal and there is a buy 3 save 10% deal on them now. I have not tried the tubes but the pans rewet really well.

My Color List:

  • Renesans #22 Bordeax Cadmium PR108
  • QoR Cadmium Red PR108
  • Renesans #57 Potters Pink PR233
  • QoR Colbalt Violet PV49
  • Renesans #25 Maganase Violet PV16
  • Renesans #26 Ultramarine Violet PV16, PB29
  • Paul Rubens Lavender Violet PB29, PV3, PW6
  • Schminke Colbalt Blue Deep PB28, PB74
  • White Knights Cerulean Blue PB35
  • QoR Cobalt Turquoise PB36
  • QoR Cobalt Teal PG50
  • M. Graham Viridian PG18
  • Renesans #41 Colbalt Green Pale PG50
  • Kusakabe Oxide of Chromium PG17
  • Nickle Titatante Yellow PY54 (AKA Nickle Lemon, I have a discontinued Cotman Color)
  • Cotman Raw Sienna PR101, PY42
  • Renesans #63 Vandyke Brown PB15:7, PR48:4, PR101, PBk11
  • Kusekabe Burnt Umber PBr7
  • Renesans #64 Perylene Violet (Hue) PR101, PB60 (mildly granulating but a neat color!)
  • Renesans #69 Mars Black PBk11

Here are some close up swatches:

Swatches on 100% cotton cold pressed Hahnemulhe Cezanne watercolor paper.
Ultramarine Violet, Manganese Violet and Cobalt Violet
This was just a pretty test of the greens I ended up adding to the palette on Canson Montval cold pressed.

Other Options:

  • M Graham has a set of Colbat set that includes 5 colors from my list above: Blick or Amazon
  • Supervision has a 10 tube of granulating colors that split and are really lovely. If you don have any granulating colors this would be a great way to dive in at a decent per tube price and the tubes are 15ml
  • Schminkes supergranulating sets of 5 are pricey and the tubes are small 5ml but they do look pretty incredible! I’m not sure if they are using their regular pigments in these or more coarse versions. If you know please tell me!
  • The Jean Hanes watercolor set also has some pretty granulating colors, for that matter Daniel Smith is known for their granulating paint. They even sell dot cards if you want to try out all the colors before buying a pricy tube. *If you see a color you like see if it is in a stick first and you might save some money.

Does this mean I won’t add more colors to my palette? Probably not but I will add unique pigments that I don’t already have for greater versatility. I hope this inspires you to look through your paint and see what you can come up with. Please note that affiliate links were used in this post and I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through the links. Thank you for your support and happy crafting!

Spooky Decor make with DollaR Tree Stuff!

Hi friends! Are you ready for a “spooktackular” craft? Well, I’ve got one for you!

Watch the video to see how I painted the $1 wood decorations and then run out and get some to paint yourself! It’s a great family project!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Keep in mind I worked on these over a couple of days so if you are crafting with kids you will want to plan for that. I like to use large scraps of cardboard for a worksurface that can be lifted off the table when not in use so your craft project doesn’t hold the kitchen table hostage LOL! I’m sure you have your own mess-free crafting tips too, feel free to share them in the comments below. Happy crafting!

Let’s Compare Arrtx New Pastel & Skin Tone Sets

Hi friends! Today we are going to look at a couple of new marker packs from Arrtx and see if they might be right for you (or duplicate what you already have.) See them in action in the video below! *These markers were sent to me for free for review. Affiliate links used. I have reviewed most of the Arrtx marker sets so if you want more indepth info on any of these markers check out these videos.

The Arrtx pastel tone alcohol markers are available in 2 versions: Alp (Fine bullet tip and chisel tip) and Oros (Brush tip and chisel tip.) *At the time of writing there was a 20% off coupon for these sets. This is a beautiful selection of clean pastel tone alcohol markers. They are very pale versions of pure colors as opposed to desaturated muted tones. There are some pale peach tones suitable for light skin. This set does not include a clear blender. Keep in mind if you already own the 80, 90, and skin tone arrtx sets then these pastel tones will be duplicates. Since pastel tones tend to get used the most for blending out it’s nice to have a way to repurchase them at once, that said if you don’t use pastels much that these won’t be a good choice LOL! Arrtx markers are on the Shinhan color numbering system. Art-n-Fly sells refill inks to match many of the Arrtx colors, just go by the number and ignore the letters.

I wondered how these compared to the Ohuhu pastel set of 48 that came out last year. I found that the Ohuhu set had more muted and greyed tones and fewer of the clean light colors. I wanted to compare these two sets in case you had the Ohuhu and wanted to know how they compared. We also looked at the ALP 2.0 Skin Color Markers that filled in the gaps in the original skintone set of 36 that leaned very pale and cool undertoned. Here are the original skin tone sets of 36: Alp version and Oros version. I was also curious as to how those compared to the Ohuhu 24 skintone set that came out a couple years ago. The Ohuhu colors had really warm and orangy undertones as opposed the Arrtx 36 which were cooler. The Ohuhu were more in the range of the Alp 2.0 booster pack of 12. Ohuhu now has a 36 skin tone set that has some more cooler light colors tho.

My advice is to see what you have and where the gaps are in your stash and choose the colors you don’t have to make your set of markers more useful. This might mean buying a pack of markers like I reviewed today as the per marker price is cheaper, or if you just need a couple of markers, choosing a few open stock from an art store to meet your needs. Whatever you choose the best way to get value from your supplies is to use them! Happy crafting!

Podcast: Tips for selling at craft fairs

Hi friends! I just posted a new podcast episode with tips on selling at craft fairs. There were few craft fairs last year due to the pandemic but I imagine there will be more this holiday season. If you are thinking of renting a table I have some tips for success!

On the next episode we will go in the other direction and talk about whether or not you should turn your hobby into a side-hustle. Until then happy crafting!

It’s Granulation Week!

Hi friends! You know how Discovery channel will have “shark week”? Well I feel like I am having granulation week LOL! The want monster has been super interested in all the super granulating watercolors coming out. The sensible part of my brain knows that have have plenty of watercolors and can come up with a more than adequate collection of granulating options from my stash. So, I am listening to “sensible Lindsay” and using what I have.

A real-time version of this painting can be found in Critique Club! For $5 a month you get access to 66 in-depth tutorials in a variety of media, 33 past creative prompts plus 2 new lessons and 1 new prompt every month to keep you inspired and creating! What’s more, is you can even submit 2 paintings a month for feedback from me! If you like longer classes and want to grow as an artist while supporting my channel check it out, we’d love to have you as a member! Check out the time-lapse below for tips on getting the most from granulating colors.

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

Have a look through your watercolor stash and see how many granulating colors you have. You might be surprised at what you find! Happy crafting!