Easy Sunset Painting Tutorial, Limited palette, DIY Gouache!

Howdy friends! One year ago I was sitting on a tropical beach sipping a Mai-Tai (Facebook reminded me) and today I am sitting in my living room, near the fireplace watching the snow fall outside. I’m not saying one is better than the other but I sure would love to feel the sun on my face and the warm sand between my toes! Hence the inspiration for today’s beginner painting tutorial.

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Today’s post is about making the best of our situation and appreciating what we have. Do you have some inexpensive watercolor paints from when you first started out? How about a tube of Chinese white paint that came in a watercolor set that you just never knew what to do with. Today we are going to use inexpensive watercolors mixed with chinese white watercolor to make our own gouache and paint a beautiful sunset. You can also paint this with acrylics if you prefer, heck you can use oils too just swap out the watercolor paper for a canvas panel. If you have never picked up a brush before this is the perfect project to try, it’s a no fail recipe:) So, let’s forget it’s winter for a bit and step into this lovely tropical beach scene!

Reasons you should try this technique:
1. You are using the paint more thickly and will less water so lower quality paper can be used and still look nice.
2. It is a great way to use up those tubes of white and some economy paints if you have upgraded your watercolors recently.
3. It is a nice “bridge” technique if you are going from watercolor to acrylics or oils.
4. It allows you to capture pastel colors without watering down your paints which can be problematic on low-grade paper.
5. It’s fun!

Supplies:

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I hope this inspired you to paint and it gives you a new idea on a different way to put your watercolors to use. As for me I think I’ll put on some steel drum music, make a pitcher of lemonade and dream of summer. Happy crafting!

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Complex clouds (that aren’t) in watercolor! Tutorial!

Hi friends! By now I am probably hanging out with my crafty peeps in W. Springfield MA but I could not bear to leave you without any crafty goodness on a Friday night so how about we paint this serene scene in watercolor:

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You only need three colors of paint: Cadmium Red Deep, Lemon Yellow, Cobalt Blue and two brushes:
1/2″ cat’s Tongue Filbert (Princeton Neptune synthetic sable) and #8 round (Royal Aqualon).
My surface is 9″x12″ Cotman Watercolor paper 140# Cold Pressed. Other Supplies: Painters/masking tape, pencil, water buckets and a paper towel.

Watch the video to see how it’s done in real-time. This can be painted in under 20 minutes!

The image I used as a reference is from our sponsor GraphicStock (search “fishing boat sunset” and you will find it.) You may think they are only a source for professional, commercial use clip art but they have so much more available. Have a look around and if you like what you see sign up for a free 7 day trial and download some goodies. I like how you can sort projects ideas into light-boxes do you won’t forget what you liked and then you can download the ones you want to use when you are ready, I don’t like clutter on my computer. Now, I will tell you that a credit card is required to use the free trial and if you don’t cancel before the 7 days are over you will be charged. Think of it as a “Netflix” for graphics! You can go month to month or sign up for a year for more savings.

I hope you have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Basic Color Mixing & Brush Use in today’s Video (learn to paint a sunset!)

Hi friends! Sorry I did not have  a post for you yesterday, I was completely wiped out after a day at the Made in Maine Expo. I shared some pics during the day on the Facebook page if you are curious. I was a great show and a lot of fun. I have to say that I am a bit sore from lugging product up and down stairs (cutting boards are heavy!) But all-in-all it was a good time, and I left with less than I brought. I will have a recap later this week and tips for selling at a higher-end craft fair in case you were considering it! Tonight I am going to do something many of you have requested. I am going to go back to basics and we are going to mix 3 colors to make all the colors we need for a painting, we will talk a bit about color theory and I will also show you my two most used kinds of brushes and show you why I like them so you can pick the best brushes for the job. Watch the video for all the tips! Before you ask: I am working in my Canson Mixed Media Journal and the plastic palette is the Jones palette and I have had it for 15 years but it is still available at many retailers (Jerry’s Artarama has it for about $20) the brushes I am using are by Royal & Langnickle, I like the Majestic and the Aqualon lines and you can find them at many retailers.

OK, on to the video!

I hope you try this one even if you don’t think you can paint. You can even use children’s watercolors (Prang is really good actually and you can grab those anywhere!) The most important thing is that you try. You will learn so much about color mixing just by experimenting with the paint. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

2 Days ’til Christmas! {you can panic now…}

Ha ha, just kidding. I don’t want you to panic, Christmas will come whether or not you bake that extra batch of cookies or hit the mall one last time. People will enjoy gathering together even if there is a layer of dust on your mantel or you burn that apple pie. We don’t look back and wish we spent more time shopping, cleaning or baking. we wish we spent more time with the people we love…let’s do more of that! Here is a painting  I painted it a couple of weeks ago. It is a peaceful sunset in Maine:

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Since all of our snow was washed away by rain this weekend it looks about right. 🙂  So, don’t stress out today trying to finish everything on your to-do list. Snuggle on the couch and watch a Christmas movie or decorate a gingerbread house with the kids. As for my stress free day the Schwanns man is scheduled to stop by today so I have Christmas dinner all set LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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