Drawing from Imagination vs Reference

Hi friends! Today I am going to draw a cherry for Sketchbook Sunday. I recently got sent the 120 set of Arteza Everblend markers. 120 is A LOT of markers and I was so excited to use them so I sketched a simple cherry in my sketchbook. I wasn’t happy with how it looked but I didn’t have one to go by.

Left: drawn looking at the real cherry in about 35 minutes, right: drawn from memory in 5 minutes. I am using Rendr no show through paper and it does not allow blending at all. On Neenah these Arteza Everblend markers blend quite nicely.

After purchasing some cherries at the supermarket I decided to take another run at this sketch. I also swatched out all of the marker colors on strips of marker paper and taped them to the barrel of the markers so I could tell as a glance what I had (no marker caps are ever 100% accurate) This made the painting much easier to do. I also spent a lot more time on it as I could look atthe cherry and get much more information as to color, shading, cast shadows, and reflections. I could not really remember the details of a cherry so the sketch on the right (above) took much less time. I really enjoyed drawing this!

A note about the markers I used…

I just wanted to mention if you already have the 60 set of Everblend markers I would recommend getting the new 36 grey set and the 36 skin-tone set rather than buying the 120 set because you will have a better variety as all but 10 of the greys in the 36 set are in the 120 set. Only 3 of the skin-tone colors appear to be in the 120 set. Let me know if you would like a review or demo with the 36 skin tone set as I am thinking about getting it. I also noticed that Arteza is offering replacement nibs in their website now so I am hoping it means that liquid ink refills will be available soon because there is no way the nibs will wear out before use up the ink. Fingers crossed! Today Amazon has 25% off coupons for all of the Arteza marker packs (I have no idea how long it will last and I a forbidden to mention prices from Amazon-I got a nasty letter and everything LOL!) If you are ordering on Arteza’s website (they have free shipping on all USA orders) you can use coupon code PROMO10 for 10% off and their prices are lower so you just need to check both sites for the best deal accounting for coupons.

Video!

Supplies:

I hope you find some interesting things from real life to draw. It will also improve your knowledge and ability to draw from memory. I think if I had to draw a cherry now I would do a much better job and land somewhere in between the two sketches pictured above. Thanks for joining me for sketchbook Sunday and til next time happy crafting!

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Drawing my Favorite Fruit!

Hi friends! Today for Sketchbook Sunday I am painting peaches with alcohol markers and colored pencils:

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It was so fun to draw! You can find the real-time narrated full lesson to this art in Critique Club where you will also find over 11 hours of real-time drawing/painting lessons from my sketchbook Sunday series in real time and fully narrated lessons. In addition to all of the lessons and creative prompts, you can upload 2 paintings a month for an in-depth critique from me if you want! The goal of this membership is to keep you practicing, motivated and help you grow as an artist. You get all of this for $5 a month and you can end your subscription anytime. I hope to see you in Critique Club!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Before you go a word about markers and supplies in general. I don’t want anyone to think you have to have brush tip markers for this. You don’t. If you have a variety of yellows, orange, pinks, and reds you can do this! Try using the chisel end for the large areas and the bullet tip for the fine areas. the honest truth is that you can create beautiful artwork with either type as long as you spend time learning how to use them. The set of 48 brush tip ohuhu markers I used as part of this illustration and lovely but the brush tip is not going to last as long as the bullet tip on the classic style and they are more expensive per marker and you get a smaller color range. I started off with Bic Mark-its and Prismacolor markers which were bullet and chisel tip markers and I still love those today. It is just what you get used to. If you have a set of markers already I bet they will do you just fine if you play with them and get used to their working abilities. I see a trend of jumping on the newest and greatest supplies without exploring what the stuff we already have can do. I get it, I love to try new supplies but the more I try the more I am convinced that most are equal to what we have already and with markers you really should use up what you have before they dry out. Then try the latest and greatest (or find refills.) I had some cheap Studio 71 markers that were well loved and I was going through them the other day to see what was still inky and what tips were frayed and I found about 10 markers with frayed tips. I almost tossed them but I decided to order some replacement Copic nibs I found on sale and I am going to see if I can repair the markers and I am going to see if I can make my own custom ink. Wish me luck and let me know if you would like to see a video of my experiment (if it works anyway LOL!)

I basically want to say that I don’t want to to feel like you have to have exactly what I am using because the pencils, paper, and markers in your stash are probably pretty darn close, there are only so many ways to make a marker or pencil. Only upgrade when you hit the limit of what you can do with them. And as always happy crafting!

Bubbly Betta Fish // Gouache on Canvas

Hi friends! Sorry this post is late, I uploaded it to YouTube yesterday for Sketchbook Sunday but was too busy yesterday to blog it. My son is getting ready to take is drivers licence test and needs more hours of practice to be eligible so we drove down to visit my parents and sister and her family. We had a great time but got home late and I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to get through my email.

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So better late than never right? This painting was a struggle. I almost tossed it in the fire pit about halfway through. But the awesome thing about almost giving up hope on a painting is the freedom in knowing “well, I can’t make it any worse!” and then you can relax and have fun. I hope this in enjoyable to watch and I hope it shows you that everyone struggles sometimes.

Sponsored by Smart Art Box. Visit their website to purchase a subscription, see available past boxes and see what countries they ship to.

Today I am using supplies from the March 2019 Smart Art Box. Occasionally they have extra boxes for sale here, Otherwise you can find the supplies below:

So the next time you are frustrated with a painting don’t be afraid to take a break and then go wild with it. After all, what’s the worse that can happen? Happy crafting!

Amaryllis in Gouache Sketchbook Sunday!

Hi friends! Today I am painting my Amaryllis! It bloomed this week and I wanted to be sure to capture it before it went by. I used gouache, watercolor markers and colored pencils in a 6″x9″ sketchbook but feel free to use what you prefer any size you like!

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I will have a real-time tutorial of this painting on February 1st in Critique Club. Join today for $5 per month and not only do you get 2 real-time tutorials from the Sketchbook Sunday series but you also get to submit 2 paintings a month for an in-depth critique from me to help you with whatever you are working on and improve as an artist! Click here to learn more or enroll today. Thank you for your interest! Now on-to the video!

Supplies (Affiliate links used)

I hope you have some time to create in your sketchbook today! Happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday & Can I offer you some constructive criticism?

Hi friends! I’m so excited to share something I have been thinking about for a while. I often get asked by viewers if they can share their art with me and I love seeing it. I have noticed the amazing progress my students in my online classes make as they work through the lessons and get feedback on each one. They can improve the problem areas in a painting and keep the things that are working. I think being able to give that feedback honestly pushes their skills to new levels. I have wanted to offer that service to more people so that’s why I came up with Critique Club!

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You can post any painting or drawing that you are currently working on or have finished to get personalized feedback by me (and encouragement by others) and you can make corrections and post them if you like. Often a new set of eyes can pick out something “off” in a painting you might have missed or help you appreciate an overlooked good part in your paintings that you might have taken for granted. You can even learn by seeing other student’s art and their critique because we often find we share the same struggles.

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I wanted to make this group extra valuable so I decided to take two of my sketchbook Sunday projects each month and post them in real-time with narration so you can see how I work through the paintings, what is going on in my mind and how I overcome obstacles during the painting process. The poinsettia painting from this weeks Sketchbook Sunday is available in the group now and a new lesson will post in the group every 2 weeks. Even if you don’t have a chance (or you are a bit shy at first) to post a painting you can still enjoy the painting lessons. The cost of Critique Club is $5 a month and you can cancel anytime.

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Since it is Sketchbook Sunday I have a time-lapse painting of something I wanted to work on this week. I purchased this pretty little poinsettia two weeks ago for 88 cents at Mardens. I loved the unusual red and yellow pattern on the leaves and I though the yellow veining was especially striking. As always I am never quite sure how my Sketchbook Sunday paintings will go (that is part of the fun, challenging myself, experimenting and trying different techniques) and this was no different but I did learn a thing or two. I hope you do too and that it inspires you to work in your sketchbook today!

I highly suggest you try cropping a page either with tape or by drawing a box to work inside. Something as simple as that can give you a whole new perspective on your subject. Remember if you want a full real-time tutorial of this painting it is included with your Critique Club membership.

Supplies:

  • Watercolors (Renesans) Carmine, lemon yellow, sap green, indanthrone blue and phthalo turquoise.
  • Watercolor paper (Hahnemuhle)
  • Brushes: #2, #8 round
  • Other: masking tape, pencil, eraser, and assorted colored pencils.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sketchbook Sunday project and if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to grow your artistic abilities please consider joining Critique Club. You can learn more about it, watch the promo or sign up here. Happy crafting!

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Sketchbook Sunday: Portrait of my Daughters

Hi friends! I signed up for a class a couple of weeks ago to improve my skills concerning painting people in watercolor. I tend to paint a lot of still lifes and the occasional landscape but I rarely put a person in there even though it can add so much to a painting. So for the next few weeks on Sketchbook Sunday you will see time lapses videos of my at home assignments from the class. I worked on this painting off and on over the course of a week.

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It felt good to push myself and try something new. I think no matter where you are on your art journey it is important to remain in an atmosphere of growth so you don’t get burned out (especially if you do it for a living.) I hope you enjoy my time-lapse and learn a  bit from my struggles:)

I used my M Graham palette for this as the painting is large (15″x22″) and I needed to have room to mix large washes. Affiliate links to Consumer Crafts, Hallmark Scrapbook and Amazon are used. Consumer crafts recently added many top artist paint brands and the prices are really great. In addition to M Graham, they carry Daniel Smith, Holbein, Winsor & Newton, Grumbacher, Van Gogh and more. It is worth a look if you need to replace some colors or stock up.

Colors I used:

  • Ultramarine blue (this is DaVinci)
  • Quin Red
  • Yellow Ochre 
  • Burnt Sienna
    (the above colors I used for my skin tone mixes as you can get a really nice range of neutrals from it, I recommend trying that color palette if you are looking to mix skin tones.)
  • Sap Green
  • Van Dyke Brown  (this is Qor) If you don’t have Van Dyke brown you can use sepia or burnt umber, it is a cool deep brown color.
  • Gamboge (I said Cad yellow deep which you can use but I double checked and I used Gamboge, really any warm yellow is fine)
  • My Palette is a 12″x16″ Jones Palette

Other Supplies:

  • I used a half sheet of Langton Prestige 100% watercolor paper (painting size 15″x22″) which is very similar in surface and equal in quality to Arches Cold Press 
  • I used a variety of brushes but mainly my Mimik synthetic squirrel value set, and I used a wedge brush for the leaves. The cute brushes with mermaid tails are by Jane Davenport
  • Prima Julie Nutting Skin Tone Watercolor Pencils are unfortunately discontinued and out of stock everywhere:( however, the colors are duplicated in the following sets: Earth Tones and Soft Neutrals. The sets can be found discounted at Hallmark Scrapbook for around $10 each. And they are also available on Amazon: Earth Tones and Soft Neutrals
    *BTW I am really disappointed that Prima discontinued this set as it is so useful!
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I hope you enjoyed the process, I must say after working on this for a week it was satisfying to see it come together so quickly in time-lapse LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

Sketching Citrus! Sketchbook Sunday…er Monday LOL!

Hi friends! First I want to wish all of my fellow Americans a happy Labor Day! It is considered the end of summer in these parts as the days are getting shorter and all the kids are back in school tomorrow! September always feels like a fresh start to me. My twins started High School this year so that means no more popping down to the local elementary school to lend a hand with this or that. It’s so weird! You kids go through life and get a little more independent each day and in turn you can be a bit more independent yourself. It’s a bit sad to see them getting older but on the other hand I am excited for the adventure that awaits them.

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Speaking of school…I think it is always important to learn new things. It helps keep our mind fresh and supple and puts us in the atmosphere of growth where we can find fulfillment and happiness. This might mean signing up for a class or giving a supply that you were frustrated with in the past another go to challenge and push yourself. You can find ways to grow and learn everywhere! I purchased a RENDR sketchbook a while back because it was supposed to be no bleed through paper for markers and mixed media but I soon realized that “no bleed through” meant “no blend” as well. I felt bad about buying this kinda pricey paper that I couldn’t seem to use but I decided to put it out yesterday and try it again. This time I decided not to fight with it but to do what the paper wants: layering. This also got me using my alcohol markers in a new to me way. I typically work small coloring stamped images blending from dark to light in a very quick fashion. I had seen some beautiful marker illustrations recently on instagram and I realized that these artists were using markers totally differently that I was by layering! This allowed them to work a bit larger and get really vibrant results. I never realty thought of my markers as a “serious art medium” as all markers (except for Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers *use coupon code SALE818 for an extra 15%-25% off through midnight today and Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers which are on sale now!) are fugitive, meaning they will fade in the light but hey, this is Sketchbook Sunday and my sketchbook isn’t getting direct sunlight! See a time-lapse on the layering technique here!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

  • Rendr Sketchbook there was zero bleed through on the back of the page but it doesn’t blend well so you are better off layering on this paper. If you have this paper give yourself time to learn to use it as there is a learning curve, I like it so much better than when I first got it.
  • Ohuhu markers I used pens from the 100 set  Review here
  • Prismacolor colored pencils
  • I also used col erase pencils for the beginning sketch but I didn’t need to erase so the others would have been fine but if you want the erasable version here it is
  • Extra fine tip Posca pens for opaque highlights

 

***BTW today is the last day to save 45% on any of my teachable classes with coupon code OFFLINE45 

And one more deal you don’t want to miss…

Consumer crafts is offering 15%-25% off total purchases on their website (*excluding WOW of the week) through 9/3/18 11:59pm PST with coupon code SALE818.  Craft fairs and holiday crafting is right around the corner and this is a great chance to grab some deals on craft basics, art supplies and more. You never know what you are going to find so it is a bit of an adventure and the deals can’t be beat!

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I have purchased a lot of my stencils, dies, craft storage, beads, pencils and markers from Consumer crafts as well as basic craft supplies for the library kids classes I used to teach as well as art gift sets and decor. If you know you need some of these products it pays to stock up when they have the total purchased discounts, they don’t happen often. Some, but not many, exclusions apply.  Use coupon code SALE818 to get the extra discount! Sale ends tonight at 11:59pm PST.

I hope you have a wonderful day! If you have today off I hope you spending it with family and friends or maybe creating some art! Til next time happy crafting!

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