Easy Birthday Cupcake Watercolor Tutorial! {It’s my Birthday!}

Hi friends! Today I hit the big 4-1 and honestly I don’t feel bad about it! I feel so good in fact that I put my Essential Tools & Techniques for Watercolor class on sale for $41 this week! *If you click the link above it should show the discount but if not use the coupon code: BIRTHDAY41 to get the discount:) I think turning 40 was harder. Since 40 is a milestone birthday I think we put greater expectations on ourselves and set goals we should have reached by that age. Non milestone years is where it’s at folks. I thought it would be fun today to make a hand painted cupcake birthday card. You can paint this card in less time than it would take you to drive to the drugstore and buy one!

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Feel free to switch up the colors, add sprinkles and do whatever you like. It’s your cupcake after all! ūüôā

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This is the reference photo I used, as you can see my painting is nothing like the reference but it did give me a subject to draw from and I could see where the shadows fell on the icing. A reference photo does not need to be copied exactly and often it is better if you don’t. Use it as a reference and go on from there with your own ideas. It’s your painting, have fun with it! And if it doesn’t work out try again, after all it’s only a piece of paper. ¬†Watch the video and paint along, paint a few if you like, they are nice to have on hand and you can play with color choices too!

Please feel free to use whatever paint and paper you like for this project. I like to paint on watercolor cards for practice because they are cheaper than making my own from watercolor paper and they come with an envelope but you certainly can make your own card with the paper you have.

Supplies:

  • Surface: Strathmore watercolor card #140 CP
  • Watercolors (I am using M Graham but you can use any kind) ¬†Colors: Ultramarine blue, Burnt sienna, Cad Yellow medium, pthalo blue, Quin. Magenta
  • #10 round synthetic brush (Grumbacher) *If you want to use a smaller brush you can, use what is comfortable but a big brush that comes to a fine point is most useful:)

I hope you give this easy beginner project a try, and if you feel like you want more in-depth watercolor training please consider checking out my course Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor Painting on sale for $41 (Regular $79) this week only!

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Join hundreds of happy students who are building their skills and confidence with watercolor! See what some of them have to say:

Hello Lindsay, Thanks for a wonderful class. Wow, it is packed with so much information, and such fun to follow you! I am 74 and still enjoy learning. You are an awesome teacher!! -Linda Pasmore

Thanks for the tutorial. I am glad that it is in more depth than the YouTube videos, although I love them as well. I am brand new to both painting and drawing so even the iris was a challenge. When I started watching your YouTube videos I found that I had some watercolor supplies I had purchased about 15 years ago and never had the nerve to try. Thanks for giving me the idea that it is possible for me to learn to paint! -Helanna Andres

Lindsay U R an amazing painter. I’m truly enjoying practicing these techniques. I’ve learned so much from this class. Watercoloring is a lot of fun. I’ve always loved detailing, so I know I’ll enjoy doing this iris..it’s just so pretty. -Kathleen Geisel

How to hold the brush is the best information you could have imparted! loving all these videos; can’t wait to start painting the iris. -Judith Taylor

In this course I show you the essential techniques to make your paintings more powerful. You will learn to mix colors from a limited palette. We will also go over the tools and supplies and how to use them. You will complete these paintings in class.

I think the best feature of this class is that it teaches you how to paint, not just copy someone else. My goal is for my students, upon completing this course, is for them to paint whatever subject they wish because they will instinctively know how to mix colors, pick paper and paints and handle a brush well. If you have ever felt like you needed more guidance in learning how to watercolor please check out my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course today at 48% off! Enroll today for $41 (Regular price $79) and you have lifetime access so you can return to the class whenever you like! This offer Ends 7/18/17. Thank you so much for painting along with me today and til next time happy crafting!

 

A New Watercolor Poppy to Paint!

Hi friends! As you might have realized I like to paint poppies and there were some beautiful ones growing on Monhegan Island when I was out there last week. Here is one I painted from a flower in someone’s garden.

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Watch the video for a step by step tutorial and paint along!

If you enjoyed this free painting tutorial please check out my Essential Tools & Techniques for Watercolor Course. It gives you the basics on the tools and supplies as well as foundational techniques so you can create stunning watercolors no matter what subject you choose to paint! From color mixing and holding a brush to creating 3 stunning paintings this class gives you the information you need with no filler boiled down to 5 hours of lessons you can complete at your own pace and you can keep the class for life! I hope to see you in class:)

Supplies:

Sketch and paint along with me! Feel free to pause the video if needed (or slow it down or speed it up:) There is a little gear at the bottom of the video player screen that lets you change the speed and quality of the video. Speed it up and I sound like a deranged chipmunk, good times. I took lots of photos on Monhegan Island so I hope to bring you some more coastal Maine painting tutorials soon. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Sharpen the Saw & The Difference Time, Good Paper and Reading can Make

Hi freinds! I hope you are having a pleasant weekend. ¬†I took some time this morning to paint while listening to an audiobook, I started listening the The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. I thought since I am listening to the Peach keeper I might as well challenge myself and paint a peach in water color. My first attempt was a quick sketch in a lightweight watercolor journal (the Jane Davenport journal that I HAD to have but the more I use it the less I like the paper. I am not knocking it, it is great for mixed media but not as robust as I would like for straight watercolor.) Painting on paper I am not crazy about can be a positive and a negative. On the plus side it is fairly inexpensive and I can be free because I am not afraid of wasting it, heck, I’d love to use it up! I can paint til the cows come home and not give a care about using up my “precious” paper. On the downside the paper is flimsy, it tends to ripple, it can’t take much scrubbing and I really don’t want to put much time or effort onto anything in this book because I know if I come up with something really great the paper won’t handle me working on it with watercolor for that long. Because of this I don’t work on anything too serious in this book.

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That said, working out a design on “practice” paper or in a journal can make you realize if it’s something you want to dive deeper in. Did you know many “old masters” would use watercolor for their on location studies and then paint their “real” painting back in the studio with oils. In the above example the peach on the left is painted on a sample of 300lb CP (oh so precious) Stone Henge Aqua paper and the one on the right was done in my Jane Davenport mixed media journal. Both were done with Rembrandt watercolors, I will have a review on that paint later:) Because I knew what I wanted to achieve with this painting after I “played” in my journal I was able to confidently dedicate time and effort on a nice piece of paper. The sketch took about 20 minutes, the final painting took about 2 hours which was a pleasure to spend while I listed to my audiobook. I didn’t film it. When I was about halfway through I thought “Oh shucks,¬†I should have turned on my video camera!” but then I realized that if I was taping this I would have taken safe routes and tried¬†to paint this in the quickest amount of time and not try new things to stretch my skills. I would have fallen back on my tried and true techniques instead of pushing myself to discover something new. I needed to sharpen the saw.

Like I said I like to listen to audiobooks when I am working and not filming. Earlier this year when I was working on my latest children’s book illustration project (more on that later) I listened to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. He lists 7 habits that we should adopt to be more effective people and leaders:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek First to Understand, and Then to be Understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw

I am not going to get into the first 6 habits, you can read the book (it is a popular one and your local library should have it) but the 7th habit was one I had been neglecting and it was really starting to bother me. For the three years leading up to about last February I had posted a tutorial a day. I certainly had daily practice in my craft but when you are focused on producing something decent continuously you don’t take risks, you repeat the same things that you know will yield predictable result. Well, you know what? Predictability does not yield exciting art and I had felt stuck, like I plateaued. Meanwhile my house was a mess and I was stressed! I got my home under control with the Konmari method¬†(the decluttering method from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo) and I vowed to make progress in my art as well.

The “Sharpen the Saw” analogy goes something like this:

There are 2 woodcutters, the first one works non stop for a week¬†cutting wood from sunrise to sunset. He looks over to the second¬†woodcutter who seems to always be taking breaks and resting. At the end of¬†the week the second woodcutter has three times the wood cut than the first woodcutter does. The first woodcutter says “How have you cut so much more wood than me? Every time I look over you are resting!” The second woodcutter replies “I was not resting, I was sharpening my saw.”

Deep huh? But so true, we spend our time running at top speed to keep up and not questioning the way we do things. Like the cleaning for instance, I would spend so much time trying to organize, dust and manage my junk and it did not occur to me to get rid of a bunch of stuff and you will have less you have to manage. If you feel like you are just repeating yourself in your art because you know how this will turn out and it is becoming repetitive why not take a risk and try something new? After all, precious or cheap, it’s just a piece of paper. Happy crafting:)

 

PS, I bet you can find most of the books I mentioned for free at your local library. Compensated affiliate links to amazon are provided in the post if you wish to own any of the books I mentioned.

 

 

Live Free Rose Painting Class Today! 12:30pm ET

Hi friends! I had some time yesterday to plan today’s live stream and this is what I came up with:

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I really enjoyed painting this one although I am not thrilled with the 3 pale leaves in the upper right corner so I think I will leave them out, we can always free-hand them in later (so if you are tracing the pattern you can leave those out.) I think it is a wonderful lesson to learn how to capture the soft, smooth, velvety texture of rose petals by building luminous glazes. It is really a kinda advanced technique but as always I will break it down so even beginners can understand and I always make my replays available so you can work at your own pace and come back later if needed:) Below if the photo we will work from.

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You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat live with other painters or ask me questions as we go you will need to watch at 12:30 today on youtube.

Supplies (*Compensated affiliate links used. I earn a small commission on sales made via my links, it helps keep my tutorials free on YouTube without costing you a penny more, thank you for your support:)

Member’s Favorite classes are on sale this weekend at Craftsy for under $20 including my class Mix it Up Mixed Media Step by Step!

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Browse hundreds of classes from painting, sewing, quilting,cardmaking, gardening and crafts and save big! Don’t you love to learn something new?

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I hope you join me for a free live painting class today and if you love the friday live lesson please share with a friend! there are handy sharing links at the bottom of this post, you can pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or even Tweet it! With all of the depressing stuff on social media these days let’s share something happy and fun! I’ll see you live at 12:30pm ET today, til then happy crafting!

Last Two Days to Save 50% on My Watercolor Course!

Hi friends! I just wanted to pop in with a friendly reminder that my Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor course is 50% off through tomorrow! Come June 1st it will cost $79 to enroll in this class but you can enroll today for $39 and have lifetime access so you can take you time in completing it and return to it whenever you feel like you want a refresher.

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Still not convinced? Here is what some of the students have to say:

“Thanks so much for this class Lindsay as well as all the videos you do. You are so encouraging and motivating.” -Virginia Staib

“Lindsay, you’re the greatest! I’m pleased with the results of my still life after a second try. I’ve definitely enjoyed your in-depth course. Still need work on glass but it’s the best I’ve done. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to more classes.” -Priscilla M. Ware

“I hate for this to end. I have never done watercolor before because everyone said it was so hard but you made it so enjoyable, I’ve done oil and acrylic but I think……I really like the water color. Especially how you never waste any paint! It was so much fun and relaxing. I want to learn more, more, more so I hope you will have another one.” -Sherry Sandberg

“Lindsay, I am enjoying your class so much! You have such a nice manner and make everything look easy! Your lessons are such a pleasure, it is like spending time with a fun friend who also happens to be an artist!” -Gerri Dauer

The class is broken up into two parts. In the first part we go over techniques on their own and color mixing. We also learn washes. It is important to isolate these skills so you can practise and perfect them.

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In the second part of the course we put those techniques to good use as we complete three finished paintings. Learning a technique is only useful if you see how to apply it in a painting.

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In the iris painting we learn wet-in-wet wash, plastic wrap texture, scraping, glazing, shading, color mixing, masking fluid and cutting highlights.

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In the landscape we learn wet-in-wet washes, lifting, layering, composition, perspective, spattering, masking with tape, side load shading, scraping, shading, color mixing and reflections.

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In the still life we learn masking with masking fluid, controlled wash, wet-in-wet wash, salt texture, layering for texture, glazing, lifting, shadows, reflections and glass refractions.

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You can see that many techniques are repeated in the painting lessons, that’s because¬†application and repetition over different subject matters will help you learn where you can use those techniques on your future paintings making the techniques you learn in this class extend to your art outside of the classroom.

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If you love watercolor but feel you are missing some of the foundations or you want to brush up (pun intended) on your skills and have three new paintings to show for it consider enrolling in Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor Today! On sale for $39 (regular $79) through May 31, 2017. Don’t miss out, learn the essentials for half price! Thank you so much for your support and til next time happy crafting & painting!

LIVE! Realistic Cherries in Watercolor 12:30pm ET

EDIT: Here is a photo of the painting we did in today’s live stream. It was a lot of fun and not too difficult, I hope you give it a try!

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Hi friends! I have a skill builder exercise for you today! I will show you how to get the smooth, shiny and realistic texture and for of these juicy cherries from this photo.

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Here is a practice sketch I just worked up:

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We will paint this live at 12:30pm Eastern time today. You can watch live or the replay in the player below but if you want to chat with fellow painters or ask me questions live you will need to watch on YouTube.

Supplies available from sponsor Jerry’s Artarama: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/ Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It‚Äôs and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing

***Last 4 days to save 50% on my watercolor course!!!

Grab my NEW Essential Tools and Techniques for Watercolor Course for $39 (Regular $79) sale ends 6/1/17!

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Learn techniques for mixing brilliant colors, masking, perfect washes and more! This course contains the techniques I think every watercolor painter should know to easily create beautiful paintings that look effortless. Upon completion of this course you will have three beautiful finished paintings showcasing the techniques you learned. You can take as long as you need to complete this self-paced class and return to it as often as you want, you get lifetime access! This is a beginner course that combines basic and more advanced techniques in a relaxed paced, easy to follow format.  Learn more or enroll today!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and maybe carve out a little time to paint, the weather looks like it will be good for us in the Northeast so my painting might involve a ladder and trim! Thanks for spending some time with me today and til next time happy crafting!

A Watercolor Rose, Upcoming Projects & A Sale!

Hi friends! My work table has been delighted by many projects this week using a variety of media from mold making supplies, gel printing plates, acrylic paint, rubber stamps and embossing folders. I planned on sharing a big batch of gelli printed greeting cards on Tuesday but the batch got bigger and took me into yesterday to complete and I haven’t even looked at how much footage I have to go through!

The reason I am telling you this is because in the video I mentioned that embossing folders are on sale for $2 this week at Consumer Crafts but when the video goes up the sale will be over so if you need any grab them now AND shipping if half off too (or free on orders over $75.) I just don’t want anyone mad at me if they missed the sale (and I also don’t want to have to voice over the video since I narrated it live…OK I’m lazy, so sue me:)

Now on to today’s tutorial! I was not happy with this rose painting but I liked the leaves so I re-filmed the leaves only and shared that a week ago. I showed this card as well and said I would post the video for it if anyone was interested and surprisingly many said that they would like to see it. I think you just like to see me struggle LOL! Well, at least you can see how I think through a hot mess painting, in any event it is only a piece of paper so why worry?

Video!

Supplies:

I hope you enjoyed that little practise and I hope it makes you realize that not every painting is a winner, everyone struggles, even people who paint everyday, it is part of the journey. Just to let you know I am back to normal live streaming time tomorrow so mark your calendar for 12:30pm Eastern Time tomorrow for a free live paint along! I will try to have all the supplies and details ready tomorrow morning so you can be ready to paint:) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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