Confused about color? FREE watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips!

Hi friends!  I had a question from a viewer last week about substituting color in watercolor paintings. Sometimes you may be following along with a tutorial and you don’t have the color the teacher is using, usually I will mention substitutions but it sure would be handy to have a reference chart to give out. So armed with my huge watercolor swatch book I compiled a list of substitutions based on color hue, tinting strength and undertones and put it in an easy to print reference. There are also some mixing tips and I put my 9 must have colors (in my opinion) in bold in case anyone was interested:) You can download my free watercolor conversion chart with mixing tips here. This color conversion chart will also work with other wet media:)

Here is a video with more info on using the guide and color theory with color examples.

Below are a couple of recommendations for paint sets to get you started if you are new at various price points.

  • Daniel Smith Essential Into set of 6 tubes
    *This contains a warm and cool of each primary for $31 The quality is excellent and I use this set in my Essential tools and techniques for Watercolor online course. I also recommend having a Yellow Ocher, Sap Green and Burnt Sienna paint for watercolor (Add a titanium white if using acrylic, oil or gouache colors.)
  • Schminke 12 half pan set $57 at Jacksons. *This is the artist quality version of the 12 pan set I demoed with, excellent paint and it is all you will need to mix just about anything color wise. *Sometimes we pick colors like cobalt teal for instance for their granulating capabilities, texture or opacity/transparency but that is more high level painting stuff. Learn color theory basics first:) Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time!
  • For $30 you can get this 30 color set of Shinhan which is lovely, not quite as high quality of Daniel smith or Schminke, but good for a beginner. *This will contain all the colors you need and then some but some of the names are off so you will need to trust your instincts and swatch them. The preform well though and the tubes are lager making for a lot of material to play with without the fear of wasting paint. I question the light-fastness of some colors but for learning it will suit you well.
  • I also really like this “Pretty Excellent” 36 budget pan set for $20, again the names are dodgy but the paint is great if you want to play.

Need more help on your watercolor journey?


Want in-depth watercolor lessons containing all of the information and tutorials you need to start your watercolor journey off right? Check out my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course! With 6 hours of step by step instruction I will take you from how to hold a brush to perfect washes and color mixing then guide you through four finished paintings. Click here to learn more or enroll today!

Oh! I almost forgot! We will have a live stream tomorrow at 1pm Eastern Time, Sarah will be in the studio too so if you have missed us please stop by and say hi! Till then happy crafting!



We’re painting a creepy old vintage car LIVE today at 12:30pm ET!

Edited to add the photo of the finished painting! Have a wonderful weekend!


Hi friends! I am really excited to paint today’s project with you live at 12:30pm ET on YouTube today!


But first I want to announce the winners of the Jane Davenport book Giveaway! The following 3 people will win a copy of Fabulous Figures and Whimsical Girls!

  1. Lil Cordova from Albuquerque, NM
  2. Cathy Snyder from Pennsylvania
  3. Jill Salinas from Boulder City, NV

*Winners, I have also contacted you via email (check your spam folder if you don’t see it) please respond to that email for claiming your prize.

Today I thought it would be fun to play with color and texture so I chose this photo of an old rusty car by Kevin Clark on Unsplash. It kinda reminds my of Christine for the Stephen King Book although hubby tells me it was a Plymouth Fury, still, it is a bit creepy and fun for this time of year!


I love the contrast of the faded rusty paint job and shiny chrome as well as the texture of the asphalt in the background. It will be a fun project to do in watercolor. Please feel free to use what you have but I will be trying out my new Mungyo watercolors.


I have had dozens of requests to review these over the past year as Mungyo makes a lot of the art supplies for other popular brands on the market so it will be fun to compare swatches and see how they do! We are going to work in a limited palette today of Rose Madder (or Alizarin Crimson), Yellow Ochre (or raw sienna) and Pression Blue (or indigo or indanthrone blue.) Here you can see the beautiful array of muted shades we can get. BTW check out yesterday’s blog post if you want more info on making a watercolor mixing chart with your paints.


You can watch the live broadcast or replay in the player below but if you want to chat with fellow painters live or ask me questions during the show please tune in at 12:30pm ET today on YouTube.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope you will join me LIVE 12:30pm ET for this fun painting tutorial, til then happy crafting!

Edited to add!!! I just got an email that Consumer Crafts is having another 20% off Sitewide sale this weekend, use coupon code SAVE20 through Sunday. They have a ton of fine art supplies now (maybe because the company that owns them bought Aaron Brothers?) and the prices are great. If you need any art or craft supplies now is the time to stock up. They are selling top brands like Arches, Daniel Smith, M Graham, Wisor & Newton and more. I replishined some supplies the last time they had a 20% off sale and got some great deals!


LIVE! Paint a Rusty Old Truck in Watercolor! 12:30pm Eastern Time!

Hi friends! Are you ready to paint?15975319_10208175716216052_1886779803078494136_o

Today at 12:30pm Eastern Time on YouTube we will paint a rusty old truck in watercolors!


We will use a warm/neutral palette of the following colors: Yellow Ocher, Cadmium Red Deep, Ultramarine blue, Olive Green (or sap) and Burnt Sienna. We will see granulating pigments in action and learn how to mix earth watercolor pigments without making the dreaded mud! You can watch the live stream or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat with fellow painters and ask me questions be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page at 12:30pm ET on 1/13/17. Ohhhh, it’s Friday the 13th, spooky huh?

You can download the PDF pattern to trace here.

Find supplies at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!



*Thanks for purchasing classes at Craftsy, I earn a commission on classes bought via my special discount link and helps keep my tutorials free on YouTube!

I hope to see you in today’s free painting class at 12:30pm ET on YouTube! Happy crafting!

LIVE “Coffee Break” Painting LEsson @ 12:30pm ET today!

Hi friends! We have another free painting class for you at 12:30 Eastern Time today! I saw this amazing Photo on my friend Tracey’s Instagram account. I asked her if I could paint it and she said yet, thanks girlfriend!


Here is my version:


I modified the design a bit. The tea cup in the photo was the same size as the pastry so I made it larger and full as coffee and I snuck it over to the side more so everything was not lined up. You can alter differently or even put a different kind of pastry in the dish if you wish. You might want black coffee and cherry pie (subtle Twin Peaks reference.)


Here are the 4 colors I am using: Yellow ochre, Perylene Maroon, Prussian Blue, Rose Madder. I can mix all of the colors I need from these 4. If you do not have these colors use the closest you have, it is OK if you need to use more. I just like to try to use as few as possible to get my point across.


You can watch the live show or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat live then you need to watch on the YouTube watch page and be logged in, it is that simple:)

You can find the supplies I am using at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama

  • Watercolor Paint (Mission Gold)
  • 140# CP Watercolor Paper (9″x12″ Fabriano Artistico)
  • Brushes (Mimik Kolinski and Mimik Squirrel)

We are going to talk about color mixing quite a bit today but I always have people who want more info on color mixing. I am enrolled in a wonderful Craftsy Class called Improve Your Paintings: Luminous Color Mixing and it is 33% off right now! The teacher uses the same split primary system that I recommend and she goes in depth as to why it works so if you find yourself wanting more info in color theory please check out this class!
*Purchasing this or any other Craftsy class through my link helps me produce these free lessons on my YouTube channel and I thank you for your support! See you soon and Happy Crafting!

Let’s Paint Geraniums {Quickly or Slowly LOL!}

Hi friends!  If I had a dollar for every technical difficulty I have suffered with over the last week I could afford to go to another stamp show LOL! I won’t get into all of that but I was finally able to figure out a work-around to render a long HD quality video that was still small enough in size to upload on my rural internet connection which I think consists of soup cans and string. Ironically after discovering this awesome trick for my current software we had some problems with our computer and the only way to fix them was to do a factory reset and uninstall all software and I can’t find my original disk to reinstall it. Looks like I’ll be upgrading anyway. Oh well, when computers get you down paint something pretty! We are going to be painting a sunny windowsill with geraniums on it:


The reference photo I am working from is from the very talented Ruth Archer at Paint My Photo.  I wanted to share a picture of my palette so you could see the mixes. The colors I used are: Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Quin. Rose (or any pinkish red)


In this long tutorial we will paint the picture in real-time. Feel free to grab your paints and work along with me. I am working on an 140# cold pressed Arches block. I begin by sketching the design with Prima watercolor pencils but you can use what you have. I am using M Graham & co paints but again, any brand is fine. Scroll down for the shorter tutorial.

If you just want a sped up brief video this next one is for you, OR if you want to see if this painting is something that you might like to try, if so, then paint along with the longer version.

I hope having both is helpful to you and I am really happy my computer cooperated! Let me know what you think in the comments below! I posted the long version because so many YouTube viewers requested it (I do listen to my readers!) If you liked this video please share it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter, there are handy buttons at the bottom of the post to help you do this and I appreciate it so very much!  Thanks so much 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!

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