Relax and Paint a Happy Little Stream! {Using Gansai Tambi Watercolors!}

Hello Friends! Summer vacation has officially hit the Frugalcrafter’s household…well for the kids, I still have a bit of work I had hoped to have finished before the kids got out of school and doing what would normally take me 15 minutes takes me all day. I totally needed a  few quiet minutes of painting therapy last night so I snuck down to my studio and painted this…


…but they found me. I was recording this tutorial live when a few minutes in my twins showed up in my studio, started to bicker and then picked up a painting I had packaged up to mail to a customer, I could see one was trying to bop the other one on the head with it and I had to intervene before someone got hurt or the painting was damaged. I was a trooper, I tried to keep my cool and carry on but listing back I could hear the irritation in my voice and I was painting angry little trees and we can’t have that now can we? And besides, this painting should have only taken me about 15 minutes and I found it hard to get back in the flow after the interruption. See, we all have days like that, sometimes parenting is all friendship bracelets and rainbows and other times you are thinking “Who are these people and why do they keep calling me mom?” I’m pretty sure I have a rubber stamp that says that too LOL!  Now on to the video!


One of the reasons I wanted to paint this is because several people asked me to paint a picture with the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolors (Affiliate link-Hallmark Scrapbook) that so many stampers have been using lately. They are more opaque than traditional western watercolors but you can use them just the same. Go ahead and you whatever paints you have though, Traditional paints will be a bit more vivid.

Colors used: Kuretake Gansai Tambi Color numbers & Names () indicate traditional color names
#31 Scarlet Red (Vermillion or Cadmium Red)
#44 Light Brown (Yellow Ocher)
#54 Olive Green (Chromium Oxide green)
#62 Colbalt Blue
#47 Dark Brown (Burnt Umber)

Other Supplies:

Prima Watercolor Pencils (affiliate link)
140# Canson Monteville watercolor paper
A hunk of clear wax
Princeton Neptune brushes #16, #8 rounds (Micheals has these on clearance!)
Reference photo by Lynn Quinn at the new Paint My Photo Website.

I hope you give this painting a try, it is great for relaxing after a not-so-relaxing day:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


Has it been THAT long? A watercolor tutorial!

Hi friends! I have been doing a lot of painting for a freelance project that I am working on so I did not realize how long it had been since I posted a watercolor painting tutorial! My apologies 🙂 Please accept this humble tutorial (viewer requested) of a stargazer lily (you can find the reference photo  by Tracee Murphy here) for your painting enjoyment.


The watercolor pencils I sketched with can be found here. You can use any brand you like but the Primas are a good value for the quality. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and til next time happy crafting!

My Secret Trick for Soft Blending with Watercolor Pencils

Hi friends! I was playing with my watercolor pencils a lot this weekend and it occurred to me that you may have never heard of the tool I used to get soft even blending with these pencils. It is a water-based blending marker. My favorites are Stampin Up or Tombow but you can also get them by Dove, Letraset, Marvy LePlume and probably others. It is basically a marker filled with equal parts water and glycerin. One of my viewers even cleaned out an old marker and filled it herself because she could not buy them in her country. Watch this video to see how easy blending watercolor pencils with a clear water-based blending marker is, PLUS frugal card making tips!

Now, just to be clear I prefer this method for coloring stamp art because the images can be kind of small, for drawing and painting freehand I prefer a water brush or a synthetic brush and a bucket of water. Try both methods and see what you prefer. Make sure you use a water based blender because the alcohol ones do not work well for this and they make the colors stain through the back of the paper (not good if you want to make a one layer card.) A water-based blender will set you back about $3 but a good one can be used for years! I hope you found this tutorial useful and you are inspired to try it with your watercolor pencils soon! The Prima Watercolor Pencils I am using are from Hallmark Scrapbook. Happy crafting!

Breaking News! Prima & Spectrum Noir Pencil Expose!

Hi friends! Let me tell you about my nerdy afternoon! It all started with me indexing my new Prima watercolor pencils with washi tape depending on what set they were from then cross indexing them with thinner strip of washi tape to indicate what other sets they could be found in. then I started coloring some stamped images. I was coloring one of my favorite PSX pansy images but it just did not have the depth I wanted with the watercolor pencils alone so I grabbed my Spectrum Noir colored pencils to punch up the color….wait a minute, hold the phone, the color numbers on both lines of pencils matched! They looked identical as far as I could tell so then I swatched out the Spectrum Noir pencils next to the Primas on the chart I made yesterday and low and behold the colors matched from number to number. don’t believe me? Have a look:

I wonder if these pencils were made in the same factory, both of the tins said they were made in China. How do you feel about this? I like having lines that match even if they are not from the same company. I hope that one of these companies release the whole line of colors in watercolor pencils because I like the Primas and the Spectrum Noirs both very much. I have to say I prefer the way Spectrum Noir releases products so that you do not have duplicates between sets and you can collect as your budget allows. I’m sure there is a reason for Prima releasing the watercolor pencils with the same color in more than one set (they probably think that a crafter will buy the one set they like most and do not realize that we want them all LOL!) Nobody asked my opinion.Hey, if there are any companies out their looking for a  product development specialist I’m available.  Well, the phone isn’t ringing yet LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Edit: I realized when reading the comments that some readers did not realize that the Prima pencils are Watersoluble (aka watercolor pencils) and the Spectrum Noir pencils are traditional wax/oil based colored pencils and are not watersoluble. So if you have them both you did not just buy the same thing twice, they are different mediums with very similar colors, in facet as near as I can tell the colors are the same (in my opinion.)

%d bloggers like this: