Watercolor Crayons Might Surprise you!

Hi friends! Do you have a certain art supply that every time you use it you wonder why you don’t use it more often? That’s how I feel every time I use watercolor crayons!

They are convenient, reworkable and fun to use. If you have ever used a crayon you can use these. I had some request from Critique Club members to use watercolor crayons and it sounded like a fine idea. I wanted to create a tutorial that will result is a beautiful painting but would also teach all the tips, tricks and techniques I have discovered about the medium too. You can find the real time version of this tutorial in Critique Club if you like. Critique Club is $5 a month and you have access to all of the lessons (53 in all) in the group and I post 2 new ones every month! You can also upload your original artwork for me to critique to help you grow as an artist. That is optional, no pressure, if you just want to learn from the dozens of lessons that’s fine too:) If that sounds like something that would be helpful to you you can learn more or enroll here.

This painting is 11″x11″ and took about 2 hours. Enjoy the timelapse!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

  • Watercolor crayons: first choice is Caran Dache as they have open stock and sets, and the quality is outstanding. Another very comparable budget alternative to Caran Dache is the Lyra watercolor crayons available in sets. They are about 95% as good for half the price *But if you want a really budget alternative you can try the Crayola Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, they are awesome and a good way to test out this type of medium for a song.
  • If you want to transfer a pattern to a toned surface white transfer paper is handy
  • You can sharpen up edges and outlines with watercolor pencils. I dip the tip of the pencil in a drop of water so the pigment will release, otherwise it can’t grip the waxy surface of the crayons.
  • Reference photo

Remember if you want to learn more about watercolor crayons the tutorial on Critique club has a lot of information. I hope you give this project a try! If you don’t have watercolor crayons then you can get similar effects in colored pencils (I’d draw it smaller tho or it will take an age!) or oil pastels. You do you! Happy crafting!

Struggling through a painting…

Hi friends! Today I am sharing a painting I struggled with. I’d been out of sorts all week and I found it hard to focus or even decide what to paint. As I worked through this painting there were many times I just wanted to toss it in the garbage and I probably would have if I didn’t need it for work. This brings me to the thought that there are several ways we can deal with a problematic painting. You can pitch it in the trash, you can set it aside to return to at a later date when your might has had a chance to forget the struggle (probably the best option but you may risk losing interest in the project) or you can do what I usually do which is to fight through and finish it. How do you deal with this?

The real time version of this tutorial is up in Critique Club if you want to see the struggle in real time and see how I solved the many issues that came up in this painting. You can also watch the time lapse below.

Supplies:

If you want to learn more about soft pastels I have a course: Soft Pastels for Beginners you might like and you can save 40% on that class, or any other class in my Teachable school by using the coupon code LOVE40 now through 2/20/21. The pastel class link above should contain the discount but if you don’t see it click “add coupon” at checkout and type in LOVE40 to get the Valentines sale price! Happy crafting!

Let’s Talk Layers: Using watercolor pencils and wax colored pencils together

Hi friends! I find that a lot of the time my students are displeased with their colored pencils work it is because they haven’t gone far enough with it yet. We think because all the paper is covered we are done but that is not often true. Not only do you need to cover the expanse of your paper but you need to build up areas as well. Think of it like a topographical map. the areas of your painting that are the focal points will have layers like a mountain range on a map would. Sometimes you want to add more pencils but you have filled the paper’s tooth and it won’t stick so what do you do then? In today’s video I will show you ways to build up layers and create a finished looking artwork. I will share tips of what to do when the pencil won’t stick and tricks for those final details.

You can find a fully narrated real-time tutorial of this painting in Critique Club. Below is the time-lapse.

Supplies (Affiliate Links used)

In other news I bought a new tea kettle. Thank you for your help in deciding:) Happy crafting!

Learn to Draw a Sumac Leaf in Marker and Colored Pencil

Hi friends! Today I have a leaf drawing and coloring tutorial for you. We will use toned paper which reduced the look of streaks and choppy blending.

By the Way, today is the las day of my fall sale! 40% off full courses in my Teachable school with coupon code FALL40 *Offer good through 10/18/2020, On checkout click “add coupon code” and paste in FALL40 to receive 40% off the class of your choice.

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

That’s all for today! I was sewing some masks yesterday and decided I wanted to reorganize my sewing supplies since I recently cleared out some drawers. I think that will be a fun afternoon project! Maybe I’ll film it, interested?

Til next time, happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday & My October Personal Art Challenge

Hi friends! I was planning on doing Inktober this year but decided that I would just do my own thing. I wanted to improve my figure drawing skills so I am drawing people every day this month.

This was day 2 of my personal art challenge. If you want to see the daily artwork you can follow me on Instagram. You can see the time-lapse of this painting below!

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

That’s all for today! Are you doing an art challenge this month? I might try to work in the 6 Drawtober prompts this month as well. I think personal art goals are really great for growing your skills. I am looking forward to working on this! Happy crafting!

Gas Station in Gouache: Sketchbook Sunday


Hi friends! I’m not usually inspired to paint architecture but when I saw this photo of an old gas station I thought it had a warmth and life to it and I was excited to give it a whirl!

Don’t forget the 50% off Launch special on my new Watercolor Glass Class! *Offer good through August 2020, use coupon code SHINE if the discount doesn’t appear.

I used this new set of inexpensive 24 jelly cup gouache from Artsy. I like this palette because it has a foam seal to prevent the paint from drying out or leaking and a carry handle that keeps the box upright. There is also a 5% off coupon on Amazon currently making this set less costly than other brands. I find the quality similar to the HIMI and ARRTX gouache so choose the set with the paint colors and palette you prefer.

The reference photo is from the Artist Photo Reference: buildings and Barns. There are currently 26 used copies on Amazon, I ordered mine from the seller Thriftbooks and they were awesome. I highly recommend all of the books in the Artist Photo Reference series. They are out of print but I was able to find the ones I didn’t have on Amazon used and inexpensively.

When painting in Gouache you can use any brushes you have for acrylics or stiffer watercolor brushes. I personally like the Zen All Media Brushes from Royal & Langnickle. They are available at most craft stores and are $3-$5 each and hold up very well.

I hope you had a creative day! Happy crafting!

The Fanciest of Pastels (Sketchbook Sunday!)

Hi friends, today for sketchbook Sunday I am breaking out my new fancy Sennelier oil pastels!

You can find the real-time version of this lesson in Critique Club. Critique club is a monthly membership group where you can upload up to two paintings a month for a critique from me. You also get access to dozens of real time narrated art tutorials with two new ones posted each month so you will never lack for something to paint as you grow your skills as an artist. Click here to learn more!

Supplies: (Affiliate links used)

These oil pastels were so fun to use and I can’t wait to play with them on a larger paper. What supplies are you currently excited about?

Sketchbook Sunday Flip Through & a Quick DIY!

Hi friends! I hope you are having a good Sunday. I spent the day tackling some projects around the house (more on that later) and as promised I have a flip through of the sketchbooks I used on vacation as well as a completed one because I was not as prolific as I thought during my week off LOL!

Stuff I mentioned:

  • Some of the sketches you see are available as real-time lessons over in Critique Club *You can scroll down to the curriculum and see a list of all the projects.
  • Some time-lapses can be found by searching Sketchbook Sunday on my YouTube channel
  • This is the loose watercolor flower workshop I mentioned
  • And this is the comic faces video from Becca Hillburn at Natto Soup that I followed along with on the tiny face sketches.

Today I decided to tackle a couple of projects that have been grating on my nerves. The overstuffed living room coat closet (too many shoes, winter gear and a vacuum cleaner that attacks anyone who dares to open the door) and the front porch that had stuff stored on it that belonged in the garage and shed. The closet was pretty easy and now it is spacious, yay! Quick win! The porch took a couple of hours but I needed to take everything off it and wash it from top to bottom and hubby put the heavy stuff in it’s proper place. Now it is a lovely retreat! Somehow we had manged to collect 3 door mats on the porch: a Christmas one, a scrubbie one for mud season and a rubber welcome mat that was best suited for non winter. I wanted to use it but it was looking pretty shabby and my porch was so clean that I didn’t want a tired old mat on it.

So I grabbed some paint and sponge brushes and pounced color to match my house on the raised areas.

And viola! A practically new mat!

I love a good DIY! I hope you had a good day and til next time happy crafting!