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!

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10 Tips for Using Cheap Watercolor Supplies PLUS 5 Reason Cheap Watercolors are Great!

Hi friends! Today I will share some tips and tricks to get the most of inexpensive student grade supplies. You can have fun while using up your student grade stash and learn a lot about watercolor technique too!

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See my top 10 tips in action in the video and refer to the list below for a written tip sheet!

My top tips! (This article includes affiliate links)
1. Use student grade color straight from the tube instead of squeezing a bunch out to dry out in a palette. You will get the vibrant result you want without the struggle of rewetting less pigmented paints. Also, often when you let student watercolor dry in a palette the paint cracks and falls out therefore wasting it. Just put a drop of each color you need on a plate when you are ready to paint, you don’t need much and the leftovers can easily be rewet so there is no waste. *The watercolors I am using in today’s demonstration are JoiArt watercolors that are $14.99 for 25 tubes.

2. Practise your brush control. You can use any grade watercolor and paper to practise making thick and thin strokes and learn good brush control. Build your muscle memory with the cheap stuff.

3. Buy a brush once. If taken care of your watercolor brushes can last a lifetime as watercolor is such a gentle paint. It is better to learn with a decent brush because you will always have it. I think a soft and pointy #8 round is an ideal brush to start with. Here are my recommendations:

4. Don’t overmix. Many student paints don’t list the pigments used and many are already mixed colors, that’s why you often make mud when you try mixing these colors. You will probably need to use more colors than you would with professional quality paints.

5. Let the colors mix on the paper rather than mixing on the palette. This will keep you from over mixing and getting a chalky or muddy mess.

Paper tips! Cheap paper is less durable than artist grade paper. It is usually made of wood pulp and often it does not have enough sizing (the material that keeps the paint from feathering.) My favorite cheaper paper to use for practise is actually 100% cotton paper made by Aquabee, it comes in 6″x9″ sheets in #90 and #140 weights and you can get 50 sheet packs for $12-$18

6. Avoid excessive scrubbing or erasing on your watercolor paper to prevent pilling.

7. Work wet on dry. You can keep vibrant colors and crisp edges.

8. When doing a background wash on cheap cellulose paper wet a section at a time then add in your colors one at a time and let them mix on the paper. This prevents part of your paper drying out on you as you complete the wash and it keeps your paint from becoming muddy.

9. Use a dry “thirsty” brush to sop up puddles in a background wash. This allows you to soak up extra water and avoid ruffle edge blooms from appearing.

10. Don’t be afraid to mix your media! If you watercolor painting is lacking the “glow” you desire, add details and shading with wax or oil based colored pencils. This will give you the luminosity can can be hard to achieve sometimes with student grade supplies. You can use ANY brand pencils you have but Prismacolors have been pretty cheap lately and that is what I prefer.

Great things about student quality watercolors:
1. They lift well.
2. They are less likely to feather on cheap paper.
3. You get many colors in a set so you can see what you really use and then only purchase those colors in artist quality as you run out. It will save you money as you only rebuy what suits you.
4. You can paint without fear of wasting precious paint!
5. They are a great way to see if watercolor is for you without a big investment.

I hope this post helps you realize that you don’t have to be rich to get a lot of enjoyment from watercolor! Hmmm, maybe the term “starving artist” came because artists were broke after buying their supplies LOL! It dosn’t have to be that way, use what you have and put paint to paper. After all it’s using the supplies and not owning them that makes you an artist. Let me know what you think in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a Hibiscus in Watercolor!

Hi Friends! It is a balmy 43 degrees in Maine today, I hope that is a sign of things to come. We had a pretty cold couple of days this week and my studio got down to 48 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit folks!) So to combat that nonsense I turned on all my lights, cranked up the under table space heater and put some tropical scented wax tarts in my wax melter and pretended that I was painting someplace tropical. I have a good imagination. The fact that I was wearing 2 sweaters, my fleece studio coat, leggings, jeans and wool socks did not help my creative imagery but painting a bright and bold tropical flower did!

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I used this beautiful photo or a hibiscus flower by Katrina on Paint My Photo as a reference. I was just what I needed! I sketched the flower with a black fine tipped paint pen by Posca but any waterproof pen like a sharpie or micron would be fine too. Watch the video to see how it is done.

I once read that the famous artist Jackson Pollack worked in an unheated shed he used as a studio in New York. I think of that often when I want to complain about my chilly workspace! 😀 Have a great night, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Watercolor Sunset! {I almost forgot about this one!}

Hi friends! Today I have a quick and fun watercolor painting tutorial for you, a watercolor sunset. Watch the video to see how easy it is!

This painting as done in only 3 colors:

  • Alizarin Crimson (a cool red)
  • Ultramarine Blue (a warm blue)
  • Cadmium Yellow (a warm yellow)

And of course we mixed our “black”. You can find the photo I used as inspiration by Jeana Wood at Paint my Photo. I hope you try this easy painting and let me know how you do! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Swans! Beginner Watercolor Tutorial in 4 Colors

Hi Friends! I just got back from my morning walk and saw about 30 Canadian geese hanging out near a small pond. I wonder if they are heading south? It was neat to see them up close. I wish I had my camera with me. Oh well. Today we are going to paint a swan scene. I found a wonderful website with public domain photos taken by the talented Jon Sullivan, it is called Public Domain Photo and I used a portion of this photo to paint this painting.

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You might want to print out the photo as you follow along with the video. The colors I am using are: ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, yellow ocher and sap green. You can mix everything you need from only those colors. I tried out a cat’s tongue brush in the tutorial too but you can just use rounds. I am not sure I really like this brush, it feels to small. It is not a Neptune as I thought but it is from Princeton. Also not e that I sound different in this video, I did my first voice over on this, what do you think?

I think I prefer narrating most of my videos live but for some of the longer more in depth projects I will use a voice over so I can speed parts up and so I can concentrate on my art rather than trying to talk, think AND paint. Don’t worry, I’ll save the voice overs for the long in depth projects. It will also give me a chance to create more intermediate and advanced tutorials. I ordered a better mic too, the one I used in today’s video was a $5 headset mic from Big Lots that I have had for years LOL! I hope you enjoyed the video, you can let me know what you think in the comments and as always happy crafting!

Let’s Paint Beach Roses!

Tonight I have a quick tutorial for you on painting beach roses. I shared some that I painted at the beach in watercolor last week and I was requested by several for a tutorial so here it is, enjoy:)

Painting does not need to be difficult or complicated. Just play and have fun, it’s only a piece of paper after all. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint a sunflower in Watercolor!

Howdy friends! Today I have a very easy watercolor tutorial for you, a sunflower by request:

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Watch the video to see how it is done:

That was easy huh? I hope you found my tips for drawing a sunflower and painting it in watercolors helpful. If you try it let me know how it turns out! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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