Paint with me! Cherry Blossoms!

Hi friends! I have lost track of my weekend! No blog post yesterday so I intended to get this post up this morning so you would have time to paint with me before the weekend was over but alas time got away. Girl Scout cookies came in and we had to get them sorted and accounted for before we delivered. I had a box of caramel delights left over at the end and I just about came unglued before finding the bag it was missing from. The thought of opening every order I had bagged up to find the delinquent cookies would have put me over the edge. I am so glad it was missing from the first bag I checked. Phew, time to relax and blog. Better late then never right? Grab a waterproof black pen, watercolor and paper and let’s paint a springy picture!

I really like the way my lighting looked in this video, I was experimenting with an adjustment in my editing software (it was over 20 minutes and my camera starts a new file after 20 minutes so i had to edit those bits together anyway) and it seems to brighten the picture without washing out the colors so it is more true to life. What do you think? I also used a different setting on my camera. There is always something new to learn even after 900+ videos, there is always something new to keep it fun! I hope you enjoyed this watercolor play-date and til next time happy crafting!

Tutorial: How to watercolor with markers!

Hi friends! Today I am going to show you how to watercolor with watercolor markers. You can follow along with any watercolor markers you have and I say watercolor instead of water-based because there are some acrylic and poster paint markers and pens out there too and technically they are water-based but not watercolor. That means you are good to go with any of your basic watercolor markers, even the kids kind. That said, I will be using the extremely lovely Spectrum Aqua pens that I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. They work with any of the other watercolor markers you have so if you are considering buying some get a set with colors unlike what you already own. It’s a great way to start out! The only other thing that is important is to use watercolor paper, it is essential for blending, Today I am working on the same 140lb Strathmore cold pressed cards I use for most of my watercolor tutorials.

When you are choosing a brush you want a synthetic. A natural sable/camel/pony hair brush will hold too much water for this technique and not be stiff enough to push the color around and a natural hog hair brush is too rough and can damage your paper. A waterbrush is a synthetic but any nylon round in the #5 to #8 range will suit you just fine. Don’t stress about it, if you want to learn how to paint you have to put that brush to paper!

Tips!

  • Sketch with the fine point to avoid depositing too much color on the paper.
  • Work on small areas at a time, it is easier to blend if the ink is wet.
  • For larger soft washes with no streaks scribble the markers on a plastic palette, plate or tile and add water and use a brush to apply it.
  • Wet the paper before adding the wash for a smoother blend.
  • You can vary the line (aka stroke) of the brush marker by working on the tip for a tiny line or applying more pressure for a thicker line. Practice this technique to get experience with your markers!
  • For extra control when water-coloring stamped images (make sure to stamp them with waterproof ink) use a brush tip blender pen, many companies make them but I enjoy the Stampin Up and Tombow brands. The Dove Blender can also be used, I have not tried it but it but many stampers I trust love the it plus it comes with extra nibs and a bottle of blending ink so you might be set for life there! The blenders for alcohol markers will not work for this. To color with a blender you need to scribble the marks on a palette or dish and pick up the ink with the blender pen then start to color your image, start at the darkest area because it will gradually fade as you color with it. It is a great way to get a soft blend. Hot press (aka smooth) watercolor paper is best for this but cardstock can also be used pretty successfully. *If your blending pen goes dry or you run out of blending solution you can make your own by mixing equal parts glycerin and water.
  • Play. You won’t learn unless you use your markers. You will not harm them or use them up… well, if you do use them enough to use them up you deserve another set LOL! You buy supplies to use them so make sure you don’t let them become too precious to use!

I hope this tutorial helped you get more from your watercolor markers! Thanks to Hallmark Scrapbook for sending me the new Spectrum Aqua markers, I am having quite a bit of fun with them. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Stamp with me in Springfield!

Hi friends! I just wanted to give you the heads up that I will {hopefully} be teaching 2 stamping and watercolor classes at the Heirloom Stamp Show in West Springfield  Massachusetts in June. Are you going? I’d love to meet you! I have so much fun there every year! I wanted to make sure my blog readers get first dibs on the class (only 16 students are allowed in each class) so if you want to be notified when sign ups are posted leave a comment on my class page and I will let you know. The classes will likely be on June 5th or they could be held on the 6th or 7th. Who knows, maybe they would let me repeat the class on Sunday if the Friday spots fill up…now that would be cool! Here is a preview of the two classes:

DCF 1.0 DCF 1.0

Please visit my class page for more info and samples. If there is a good response I might teach at other conventions! If you are wondering if there is a Heirloom Stamp Show in your area you can visit their website  or Facebook page (you could also tell them how much you’d love to take my class! Just kidding….not kidding, tell them! Kidding…not.) I hope you are finding some time to be crafty this weekend. It is snowing again up here in Maine (shocking) so I think we will be inside and crafty tomorrow! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

DIY Travel Watercolor Palette! {cheap up-cycle!}

Hi friends! Don’t toss empty eye shadow containers! You can use those tiny compacts to make wonderful travel watercolor kits! Watch the video to see how:

You don’t have to use these for just travel. They are a great way to store extra colors too. The small size of the wells makes the paint dry quickly too, I made my palette last night and used it today! It worked great. If you don’t have access to old eyeshadow palettes (or a friend who can save them for you) you can use pill boxes, fish and tackle boxes, ice-cube trays or blister packages that things you buy come in. If it has little wells in it you can use it! Yay! This tiny palette is perfect for my small heated upstairs workspace too! I hope this little tip helped you. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Let’s paint an icy cold landscape!

Hi friends! This week has been so cold in Maine, we have had sub-zero temps every night this week and I have to say that I am looking forward to spring. Ah, well, if you can’t escape it then you might as well paint it! This project uses only 3 colors of paint, a 9″x12″ sheet of 140# watercolor paper and whatever brushes you like.

SAM_2178

I used this photo by Robyn “Ro” Lovelock on Paint my Photo for a reference. Watch and see how easy it is to paint!

If you liked the lesson, you may also enjoy the Mixed Media Watercolor 101 course from Curious.com. And they are offering a special deal to my subscribers: If you buy the course, Curious will give you $5 towards future learning when you email support@curious.com and mention “thefrugalcrafter”. While you are there be sure to sign up for Curious to keep up to date with current specials and daily free classes! I hope you enjoyed today’s project, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

 

Let’s Paint a Cat! A long tutorial by request!

Hi friends! It feels like it has been a long time since we had a chatty tutorial…the last one being the snowy winter scene I think. I kept this tutorial narrated live in real-time for the first 40 minutes (watercolor portion) and I thought the painting was done at that point but I was not totally happy with it so I grabbed some colored pencils to enhance it. You will have to let me know if you liked it better before or after I added the pencil at the end. I did voice over the end of the video because there was a lot of noise and commotion here with everyone around and the colored pencil was an afterthought.

DCF 1.0

I used 4 colors of paint: Ultramarine blue, burnt umber, light red (a rusty color) and yellow ochre. I used an assortment of earth toned colored pencils at the end. You can download the pattern here if you do not wish to draw it but I will show you how to draw it in the tutorial. You can find the photo by Lisa Martin I worked from at Paint my Photo. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

This was fun to paint. I do not often paint animals and I think this is the first time I have ever painted a cat…maybe I did as a child, it is hard to remember. Let me know if you think it was better with or without the colored pencil, I might have been a bit hasty adding it. I think you should probably let a painting sit overnight to decide. All in all it looks quite a bit like the new addition to my house. Maybe I’ll donate it to the humane society if they have an auction. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

This is why I have not been around the last 2 days!

Hi Friends! I am just digging out from 17″ of snow! We just got internet and power back this morning. We are lucky, some folks in my area may be out until Friday! The people living around the corner from us don’t have it back yet. We got slammed with a lot of snow very quickly. Since it was wet heavy snow and all of the leaves had not fallen off of the trees yet it made for many downed branches on power lines and tens of thousands of people without power. I think it might be a long winter! I hope everyone else who was hit is staying warm and safe. Check on your neighbors if your area was affected. Oh and don’t forget to vote today!

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I had been requested to paint a snowy scene and I was inspired Sunday as the flakes started to fall to do just that (I luckily got it uploaded and scheduled before our power was out!) You only need two colors of paint, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna, to paint this scene. I am working on a block of #140 Strathmore 400 series but you can use whatever you like. I also used the huge Simply Simmons brush I bought for $4 at ACmoore the other day and I really like it! The photo is by Joseph Honings and ca be seen at Paint my Photo.

Now i need to go vote! Thanks so much for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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