Let’s Paint a Beautiful Long Hair Cat PLUS 25 Watercolor Pencil Tips & Giveaway!!!

Howdy friends! I have seen bursting with excitement to share this project with you today! I have had a lot of requests lately to use watercolor pencils more. Watercolor pencils are versatile, portable and you can get an almost endless array of colors from just a few pencils! Today I will share a real time tutorial for painting this lovely long-haired cat (I think it’s a Maine Coon Cat) and share 25 tip to improve your watercolor pencil paintings!

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Grab your supplies (or a nice cuppa) and enjoy the show!

Tutorial
Sponsored by Amazrock! Amazerock is giving 3 lucky viewers a set of 36 watercolor pencils in a beautiful fabric storage roll. Click here to enter their giveaway!

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Here is the product page where you can learn more about these pencils and purchase them on sale (there is even an extra coupon you can get if you scroll to the bottom of the page!)

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Supplies:

25 Top Watercolor Pencil Tips!

  1. Use watercolor paper or a robust mixed media paper for best results.
  2. Choose the right surface for your project. Hot press paper is smooth like drawing paper but will withstand lots of water and aggressive techniques. Use this paper for botanical, portraits or any time you want a smooth line and lots of detail. Cold press paper is the most common paper with a bit of tooth or bumpy texture. Choose this if you want to add lots of layers. Rough paper is the most textures (as the name implies) and it great for landscapes and other subjects that have lots of rough texture where you want a more grainy or expressive look.
  3. Tape your paper down to prevent warping and it will give you a beautiful white border when you are done if you paint to the edge.
  4. You can tape your paper to any drawing board you have or use the cardboard backing from an old paper pad or use inexpensive lightweight foam core board for a lightweight option. You can also use plywood, Masonite or a free recycled paneling sample like I do! The plywood/Masonite boards are also good if you prefer to work at an easel as the extra weight will keep your painting from rocking as you work!
  5. Always test out new techniques or colors on a scrap of paper (use the backside of failed painting or cheap paper you want to use up for this!
  6. Start with an accurate sketch. Watercolor pencil (like watercolor) is transparent so you can’t simply cover up mistakes and erasing on your watercolor paper can damage it so you want to make the mistakes and corrections on your scratch/drawing paper. After your drawing is good you can transfer it to your fine watercolor paper with graphite paper or a lightbox/window.
  7. Make a palette for your watercolor pencils by sanding a cheap plastic  palette. Color the pencils on the plastic and then wet the swatch of color with a brush and paint. You can also save broken lead on the palette and add water to make paint. No more tossing broken points in the trash!
  8. Alternatively you can pick up color from the tip of your pencil with a wet brush and create wet washes and watercolor effects that way.
  9. Remember anytime you wet the pencil lead you weaken it and it will break more easily so let it dry before trying to sharpen it.
  10. Sharpening tips! For a sharp point for drawing details use a handheld or electric sharpener. Turn the sharpener, not the pencil, to avoid breakage. To conserve lead for painting large areas use a craft knife to whittle away the wood and leave the lead intact for painting.
  11. Texture tips! You can add beautiful texture to watches you create with watercolor pencils, you can spray water in a wet wash,
  12. Add salt to a wet wash or
  13. Grate dry watercolor pencil lead into a wash.
  14. For a dark like thinner and darker than you can get with a pencil try scraping into the wet paint with the edge of a cut up credit card or gift card. Great for fur, hair and veins on flowers!
  15. Try not using water! You can draw and color with dry pencils on dry paper for a traditional colored pencil look! Try the hatching technique for fur, cross hatching for shadow or scumbling (aka scribbling) for textured effects.
  16. For darker details that won’t easily dissolve with water try drawing with a sharp dry pencils on wet paper, that’s called dry on wet.
  17. Use a wet on dry technique for stippling. Simply dip the tip of the pencil in water and dot on details (like the dots on the muzzle the whiskers protrude from.)
  18. You can also draw with a wet pencil on wet paper for bold expressive marks that will not easily dissolve.
  19. Build depth and dimension with glazes! Simply layer up veils and veils of color and shadow for realistic paintings full of depth and interest.
  20. Details are best on dry paper with a sharp pencil.
  21. Burnishing can be used to build up colors and create a smooth glassy look. To do this in watercolor pencils I suggest coloring dry on dry and liquefying the pigment with water. Then after that first layer is dry keep coloring with dry pencils until the grain of the paper is full of pigment and the color is rich and vibrant.
  22. Create highlight by scratching off the top layer paper with a craft knife. Just be careful not to cut too much paper away or cut through your paper! And don’t cut yourself!
  23. Mix your media! A white paint (or gel) pen will make quick work of bright elegant highlights!
  24. You can also add traditional colored pencil over a watercolor pencil painting as a final layer but be aware that watercolor pencil will not stick over traditional colored pencils.
  25. When your painting is done and it is time to remove your tape peel it back flat at a 45 degree angle to discourage paper tearing or heat the tape with a hair dryer to make it easier to remove.

I hope you enjoyed these 25 watercolor pencil hacks and apply them to your next watercolor pencil project! If you liked this be sure to share it with a freind or pin it on pinterest using one of the handy sharing links at the bottom of this blog post. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Watercolor on YUPO Live at 12:30pm ET today! Southwest Landscape Tutorial!

Hi friends! Have you ever wanted to “loosen up” in your watercolor painting? If so, I have just the thing for you: Yupo!

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Yupo is a synthetic paper that is loads of fun to play with! A lot of people are using it for alcohol ink these days but I have always loved it for watercolor (so much so that I bought a ream of it about 18 years ago and I am still using it up! Luckily it is synthetic and doesn’t go bad LOL.) Yupo is a very smooth thin white sheet of plastic that never buckles or warps while you paint on it. If you don’t like your painting you can rinse it off and try again. It easily takes watercolor pencil too which was a fun surprise I discovered today and it is awesome even with less expensive paints! I used to use this with my M Graham watercolors (which are my favorite but since they are in my big studio palette I rarely use them on camera because I can’t fit the palette in the video) but I often found the surface to be sticky due to the honey content I think but I don’t have this issue with my Prima watercolors which are really nice watercolors at a low price aimed at crafters. Are you curious? Well you can paint with me live today at 12:30pm ET and find out more! You can see the live broadcast or replay in the player below but if you want to chat live be sure to tune in on the YouTube watch page.

Supplies:

  • Yupo paper (you can also use this paper with alcohol inks, acrylics and other media!)
  • Watercolors (Prima watercolor confections: Decadent Pies) *On sale for $17 currently. I also recommend the Tropical set as a good inexpensive mixing set.
  • Silicone tools (the set I have has tripled in price and take 2 months to arrive but I found a cheaper set that are single ended.
  • Brushes:*I am recommending this set of Royal Majestic brushes on sale for $16 as they have good control and do not hold as much water as my Mimiks because we are working on Yupo. Yupo is a plastic paper and water does not absorb so if you use a lot of water it will take a long time to dry.
  • Watercolor pencils Spectrum Noir Aquablend Naturals Set. The primary set would be good to have too. *you can get by with just the naturals set for today’s tutorial. I am seeing 12 piece sets coming out that are as are selling for as much as the 24 pencil sets linked above so I am not sure if they are changing them, if so grab the bigger sets now while you can:)
  • Other: Paper towel, bucket of water
  • I combined 3 photos from the Artist Photo Reference book Landscapes to make this picture. This series of books is wonderful if you can get your hands on then at a reasonable price. I was able to get the full set of books piecemeal from several used book sellers on amazon.They come and go, check back often here.

My Original artwork is available for sale!

Have you ever wanted to own one of my original watercolors? I have a selection available for the month of February on my website, first come first served.

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We will be adding a new collection of paintings every month and removing the old. You guys have been asking me to offer these for years and now hubby has made it happen. Thank you for the encouragment to do this. 🙂 We’ll see you at 12:30 for some wet and wild watercolor on Yupo! Til then happy crafting!

Easter Card made with Limited Supplies!

Hi friends! I have seen some really cute cards made with “peep” themed stamps lately, there are a few companies who make them but I don’t have any so I decided to use what I had, a pen, watercolor pencils and some paper.

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You can do it too! Watch the video to see how!

Supplies:

Affiliate links to Hallmark Scrapbook used.  Think of all of the things you can draw with the simple template technique! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

For those of you who miss the long chatty videos…

…you are in luck my friends! And know what, I have missed them too! The other day my son needed a birthday card and I did not have one on hand (most of my cards get used right away or the go into my shop in Brewer) so I made one on the spot using supplies on my desk. I turned on the camera and decided to have a chat and a visit too!

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Please note that this is a real-time tutorial aimed at beginners and my chatty friends;) You can always click the gear at the bottom of the player to speed things up or mute me completely, I don’t mind 😀

Video!

That was fun to make and relaxing. We need to relax this time of year and isn’t that one of the reasons we create? Oh, the jukebox rubber stamp I used is from Carmen’s Veranda, my friend Linda who owns Lost Coast Designs bought Carmen’s Veranda a while back and there are some good stamps there especially if you like weird and vintage and Wizard of OZ LOL! They are a good company too so if you have not seen their stuff before go check them out! I will also be teaching classes for Linda in June in West Springfield MA again this year so stay tuned for details on that! I hope you took a bit of time to relax and create today, I appreciate you stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Stamp School #5: Winning Ways With Watercolor Pencils!

Hi friends! I hope you are enjoying your summer, we had another beautiful day in Maine! Sunshine and low 80s! I hope you picked up some watercolor pencils because I’m going to show you a few techniques while we make this card:

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I recommend a waterproof black inkpad and watercolor pencils for beginner stampers for 2 reasons: 1. they are very versatile and allow you to have a rainbow of color for a small cost. And 2. Because even if you do not continue to stamp you can use the watercolor pencils for many other hobbies.  I hope you enjoy this weeks lesson!

Video!

This video is sponsored by Art Neko (Formally About Art Accents)
Special Deals for Stamp School Students:
10% off merchandise (not shipping and handling)
or
FREE shipping on $50.00 orders.
You will get either the 10% or FREE shipping, whichever is more.
All YOU have to do is mention The Frugal Crafter.
***Special Deal! $10 off the full sheet that this stamp is from for Frugalfans only, search LIND in the search box at Artneko and the stamp set will show up at a lower price! (don’t share the link, it is a special deal for YOU guys only;)

Supplies:
White cardstock
watercolor pencils
Butterfly stamp
Sentiment (this is by inkadinkado)
Blender pen
watercolor brush
bucket of water
Waterproof black ink pad
Black pen
Glue
Optional

BTW  If you don’t have a waterbased blending marker just use a paintbrush dipped in a 50/50 water glycerin mix (glycerin is available at the drug store.)

Let me know how these techniques work for you! If you liked this project please click the like button below and share it with your friends on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter! Thansk for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Paint a quick Iris with me!

Hi friends! I am just getting back from vacation, unpacking and settling in. I will have the winner of the Plasty-Craft giveaway as well as pics of artwork I creating on vacation for you tomorrow so please check back! But for now let’s paint an Iris!

Video!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s Paint an Orchid Together!

Hi friends! Today we are going to paint this orchid! I was so happy to see it in bloom again, surely it is a sign of spring right?

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I will show you how to draw the orchid in the video but if you prefer to have a pattern I have a similar orchid illustration in the Fancy Flowers digital stamp set. I sketched the picture with a yellow watercolor pencil and I also used my new Golden Qor watercolors.

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I have to say I like using them much better dry in the tin AND they dried quickly, I was even able to close the tin without them falling out of the wells ad making a mess. I think the Aquazol binder these paints use help the paint adhere to the palette better. That said the color released quickly when touched with a wet brush. I enjoyed these so much that I ordered the other two intro sets of 6 from MerriArtist because they had them cheaper ($20.99 vs $24.49 a set at all of the big store I usually order from) and a coupon (coupon code 10OFF) for $10 off an order of $100 and free shipping on orders over $90. I am not affiliated with MerriArtist but I ordered Saturday and my order should be here tomorrow so I am happy! You don’t have to have these paints though, any watercolor paints will work. Watch the video to see how it is done:

If you don’t have any watercolor pencils you can sketch lightly with a pencil and when it comes time to do the veining on the orchids you can use a thin liner brush and paint but you need to let the petals DRY completely first instead of working on the wet petals with the watercolor pencils.  I used Prima watercolor pencils but any brand is fine. I hope you try this lesson. Several viewers who saw the video on YouTube already have shared their beautiful paintings with me on TheFrugalCrafter facebook page and they all turned out so nicely. I love seeing the painting you have made, it touched my heart that you would take time out of your day to watch my videos and make a painting or project that I designed. I also love you guys supporting each others creative endeavors.  🙂 Thanks so much for spending some of your day with me and til tomorrow happy crafting!

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