Ain’t This a Fancy Pen! {Pen & Ink Watercolor Tutorial}

Hi friends! Today I will show you how to make this pen and ink with watercolor drawing.


I am using a brand new tool called the Cuttlelola DotsPen. It is a pen with a nib that goes in and out creating stippling on your paper. I was really skeptical about this one, I thought it would take a long time to learn but it was quite easy to get the hang of, this was my first attempt! Here is the reference photo I used.


Of course you can use any pen with waterproof ink and make the dots by hand:) After the video I charged the pen again and used it straight away and got 30 minutes continuous use on high use before needing to charge it. I even let my kids try it and they loved it, even my son who says he is not “artsy.” Then I went over my watercolor with the pen again after it was dry and added the additional dots in 10 minutes. This is great if you want the look of stippling but do not want to spend the time. I could see myself enhancing plain rubber stamp images with this pen too!



  • Fun to use.
  • Easy to use. (this is my first attempt)
  • Fast. I usually do not do stippling because I do not like the time it takes, this is quick and easy!
  • Waterproof ink great for pen and ink with watercolor washes.
  • Compact-everything fits in a reusable tin.
  • Affordable ink refills-these inks cost about the same as other pen refills. (shipping is extra)
  • Rechargeable with a USB cord (included) but it is the same cord that my other electronics use so it is convenient.


  • The pen is large and may cause fatigue or discomfort after prolonged use.
  • You get one size of dots, where as with a set of traditional pens you could choose different point sizes.
  • Initial Price (although I think it is well priced for what it is and if you are a working illustrator it would pay for itself quickly)
  • You can’t draw with the pen “off” because the nib will push back into the pen, I tried signing my name with the pen on and that looks weird. Have a regular pen handy for drawing lines.

Bottom line: I think it is a great invention . It is fun and easy to use. I wish the battery charge lasted longer but you will have a longer charge if you use it right after charging instead of waiting, also it can be used while charging. I would recommend this to any illustrator who wants the look of stippling in less time. What do you think? Would this be useful to you? Do you like the painting with more or less stippling better. I can’t wait to play with it some more, maybe I’ll even do some more digital stamp files LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!



Learn to Paint a Portrait LIVE!

Hi friends! Today at 12:30 I have a live painting class and by request we will be doing a portrait!


I will show you how to mix skin tones using watercolors. We will be using yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and rose red (or a cool pinkish red) to mix the skin tones. I snapped a photo of the sketch I made so you can transfer it to your watercolor paper ahead of time.


You will be able to watch the live show or replay in the video player below but if you want to join in the live chat be sure watch it on the YouTube watch page and you can ask any questions you have to me while we are painting.

Supplies available at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!

Don’t worry if you can’t join us live, the replay will be available after the show! I look forward to painting with you! Happy crafting!


Brush Lettering Basics! Make Quick Cards!

Hi friends! Just a quick tutorial on some easy brush lettering you can do with your watercolors:


You can use a round or cat’s tongue brush for this. Just remember “up light, down heavy.” Confused? You won’t be after today’s video!

The paints I am using are the Gansai Tambi watercolor from Hallmark Scrapbook, and I used a #6 Princeton Cats Tongue but a #6 round will work just as well. I was just using inexpensive watercolor paper for this, a nice heavy cardstock would work too since we are not doing any abrasive techniques or soaking the paper. Seriously, use the paper and paint you have and try it! It’s fun!

Give this a try, and let me know how it goes! Til next time happy crafting!

Glass Bottles In Watercolor {LIVE Fridays!}

Hi friends! I will be hosting another live class on YouTube this Friday at 12:30 ET, this time we will paint this in watercolor!


Here is a pattern you can use if you don’t want to draw it:


You can get the reference photo by Anika Makay at Paint my Photo. You will be able to watch the show live, or the replay in the video player below BUT if you want to join the party you can take part in the live chat on the YouTube watch page. You can also ask questions ahead of time if you have some but can’t make it live.

Here is a full supply list:

Tip! If you plan to paint along live be sure to have your pattern transferred and your workspace set up before the show (12:30pm ET 11/13/15) but don’t worry, you can always watch the replay as many times as you need:) I am so excited to paint with you Friday! Happy crafting!

Stamp School! Playing with Punches & Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels!

Howdy friends! Today we are going to talk about the power of a paper punch! These are workhorses of any stampers studio and if you buy wisely you can end up with a ton of looks from just a few versatile punches.


I have to admit, I don’t have a ton of punches and the ones I use the most are basic: Circles, scalloped circles, flowers, tags and generic design elements like this mosaic punch (that I just got in the mail today and I think will b a new favorite-prepare to be sick of me using this LOL!) and labels.

Watch this video to learn more about punches and see how I made this card in real-time!



Reasons why punches are handy:

  1. All in one tool, no die cut machine to fuss with.
  2. Quick, cute shape, no cutting!
  3. Versatile: Google “punch art” to see really creative ideas of embellishments you can make with basic shapes, you will animals, Sesame Street characters, minions and more made from basic shape punches!
  4. You can make use of small scraps of paper that otherwise might be thrown away.
  5. Portability: It is easier to grab a few punches to take to a crop instead of a machine and dies.

Punch Tips!

  1. Choose basic designs to start, a circle or oval will be more useful than a balloon shape BUT you can easily make a balloon from a circle or oval!
  2. The more detailed the design (like a lacy corner) the more limited you will be with materials it will cut. Die cuts are generally better for really intricate designs.
  3. If a punch sticks you can put it in the freezer and it will usually pop back. You can clean and sharpen punches by punching through aluminum foil and use WD40 or another light oil to lubricate them if they stick, just punch through scrap paper until no grease remains.
  4. Make sure to buy the designs you will use the most from a quality brand but it is OK to get the $1 novelty ones you are only likely to use a few times too. :)


I hope you enjoyed this project and if you have punches you give it a try! You can always trace stencils or use die cuts to get the look that I have here. The most important thing is to use what you have! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Pretty Flower for a Very Sweet Viewer!

Dear friends, I don’t think you realize the impact you make on my life when I read your emails, messages and comments. Today’s video goes out to a very sweet lady LaVonne who shared a lovely photograph of this bromeliad flower growing in her yard and gave me permission to share it with you.


Grab your paper, paints and brushes for a fun tutorial using only 3 colors! You will need Hookers Green, Lemon Yellow and a cool red like Magenta, Alizarin crimson or Rose Red. This can be painted with only a #6 round brush but you might also want a 1/2″ angular for leaf shading. I am painting on a 140# Strathmore watercolor greeting card.


I hope you enjoyed this relaxing tutorial and if you give it a try, please let me know how it went. I also have another favor to ask. This dear lady who shared the photo is back in the hospital, if you could send some positive thoughts her way and maybe leave a word of encouragement for her in the comments I know it would make her day. She has no idea that I am mentioning this and I hope I am not speaking out of turn but it is the least I can do for someone who lifted me up recently. Take care of yourselves and til next time happy crafting!


Snapdragons in Watercolor & 10 Giveaways!

Hi friends! I have another (or should I say 10) giveaway for you today but first I am going to show you how to paint this picture of snapdragon flowers:


Here is a pattern you can print out and trace on your watercolor paper. I recommend graphite paper but if you do not have that you can scribble a pencil on the back of your printout and trace. You can also see my DIY graphite paper tutorial here.


And this is the reference photo I took at the Common Ground Fair this year. I created the pattern because all of these flowers might be confusing to deal with. This will provide color reference though.


And now, here is the video!

You can find the products I used at our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!
Turner watercolor 18 color set-5ml tubes (List $150 SALE $29.99!)
Mimik Kolinski Brushes (vegan synthetic)
Mimik Squirrel (the large grey handled wash brush I used)
Brush Stand
Arches Watercolor Paper (up to 65% off list on all sizes of blocks!)

This painting is part of the Creative Arts Collaboration #ThinkPinkArt collaboration and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month Jerry’s Artarama is giving away 10 pink wristwatches. Leave a comment below and I will select 10 winners at random next Saturday. This contest is open to US residents only so just let me know that you live in the US in your comment to be eligible. I want to thank you for spending some of your weekend with me tonight, take care and til next time happy crafting!


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