LIVE Castle Paint-a-thon!

Edit! The live stream was so fun today! Here is the final painting. The replay is available below!

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Hi friends! This week I am in a castle collaboration with talented painters Angela Anderson and Cinnamon Cooney-The Art Sherpa! We are all painting castles! Here is a color study for the one I will be painting:

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The colors I am using are: Quin Red, Cobalt Blue, Cad. Yellow Lt., Burnt Sienna, Sap Green, Yellow Ocher but you can pick whatever you have that is closest. If you are new to watercolor you can thin down acrylic paints to a watery consistency and work on paper. You do not have to worry about under-binding on paper;) Here is the reference photo for the castle but please refer to the printable pattern because I am adding more landscape area to this.

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You can watch the live stream or replay in the player below but if you want to chat with fellow painters live or ask me questions during the show be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page.

Today’s Live Stream Castle Collaboration Schedule:

  1. 10am ET Angela Anderson with a lovely Fairytale Castle in acrylics
  2. 12:30pm ET Me, the Frugalcrafter with a lovely watercolor castle
  3. 2pm ET The Art Sherpa paints Hogwarts Castle in Acrylics

All the supplies for this tutorial can be found from sponsor Jerry’s Artarama:

I hope to see you today at 12:30pm ET on YouTube! Maybe I’ll see you in the chat on Angela’s or Cinnamon’s live stream too! Til then Happy Crafting!

Playing With Pencils! Sketch Along With Me!

Hi friends! I am feeling a bit under the weather today, I have a sore throat. I had two kids home sick today and the school secretary said that middle-schoolers were dropping like flies (and I chaperoned a class trip with the entire middle school Friday!) I thought while my voice held out and since it was the first day of Spring (paying no attention to the foot of snow on my lawn) that I would paint a springy picture!

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This was one f of the reference pictures I asked you to vote on last week and so many of you liked it so how could I refuse!

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Watch the video and sketch along! I am using watercolor pencils but you can use what you have, if graphite blend with your fingers and if wax pencil you can blend with paint thinner or leave it unblended. It is daily practice that will make you better, not a certain kind of materials:)

I am using Aquablend Pencils from Spectrum Noir. They come in sets of 24 (4 sets total-primaries, naturals, florals, essentials) with no duplicate colors between sets. Because things sell out quickly I found a few shops that have them in stock at an affordable price. *If you want all 4 sets the best price is at Hallmark Scrapbook when you buy the collection.

Shops & Prices

The above links are affiliate links, I earn a small commission on the items you purchase after clicking my discount links. It doesn’t cost you any extra but is does help keep the free tutorials coming on my channel. Thank you for your support!

If you want more spring painting tutorials in watercolor or watercolor pencils please check out my Paintings for Spring YouTube playlist! There are different length videos so you can try something according to your time and it’s free! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Bunnies in Watercolor LIVE 12:30pm ET Today!

Hi friends! Thank you for voting yesterday to help me decide on this weeks live tutorial! You picked these sweet bunnies as our subject.

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The totals were really close though so I plan to create recorded tutorials of the other sweet animals as well, how could I not? You can watch the live tutorial (or the replay) in the player below but if you want to chat with us live and ask questions as we go be sure to watch on the YouTube watch page at 12:30pm ET today.

Supplies available from our sponsor Jerry’s Artarama

I hope to see you at 12:30pm on YouTube for this fun paint along! Til then Happy Crafting!

You Don’t Have to Get Ready if You Stay Ready {mini pep talk}

Hi friends! Have you ever had a really daunting task? I am the queen of short, instant gratification projects. I could write a blog article every day for a year with no problem but if I had to write a 365 page book I would be overwhelmed, even if I had a year to do it! I realized that tasks can seem manageable or daunting depending on how we look at them. I am currently in the middle of a children’s book illustration job. The deadline is tight and I ordinarily would not have accepted a job with such a short deadline but the success of the book depends on it being ready for this years catalog for bookstores. Also I am friends with the author and I don’t want to screw up someone else’s dream. I had to start the process with the cover of he book which I would prefer to do last after getting a feel for the book and the other illustrations. People, despite good advice, judge a book by it, that is a lot of pressure! Creating the cover was like pushing a boulder up a hill on an unfamiliar path, you think you are at the top but the author needs a change, so you plod away some more and you think you reach the top and the publisher needs a change and then you finally do reach flat ground. phew!

Now, instant gratification “me” would be running for the hills (or maybe start a massive declutter of her house instead of buckling down and getting this job done…) but luckily responsible-artist-in-her-right-mind “me” grabbed the wheel and set this ship strait. I sat down with a stack of white paper, a copy of my friends manuscript and a pencil and sketched out 12 illustrations, and you know what? They were pretty darn good. I was so caught up in the immense size of the project and short deadline that I forgot that I have trained my whole life for this. I draw every day. I am always creating. I am ready for this. I don’t need to go 0-60 because I am always cruising down the art highway at 65. You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready.

A few works in progress I am evaluating, it is always best to take a break before you are “done” and see them with fresh eyes.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by a project whether it be a work, school or personal project remember that you have been training for this, or, if you haven’t, cut yourself some slack and just start somewhere. Just starting is often all you need to do. I hope you are having a great week! We will have a live show tomorrow at 12:30pm eastern time, I hope you can make it. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

Schmincke Akademie Watercolor Review

Hi friends! Today I have a review of Schmincke Akademie watercolor. They are student grade paint made in Germany. They are hard to find in America (Thank you Dave in Munich for sending these to me for review) but can be purchased affordably in Europe. I have had many requests to review these paints so here goes….

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Video review!

Schmincke Akademie is a student grade watercolor that can be found in 24 colors. I am reviewing the 12 color set.

Pros:

  • Price: Around $25-$40 where available, about half the price of Schmincke’s artist grade Horadam colors
  • Paints uses the same tried and true pigments you expect from quality paint.
  • Nice lightfastness.
  • Clean vibrant colors
  • Good mixing ability
  • Glazes well (2 layers)

Cons:

  • The tin these came in had raw edges that were sharp as opposed to rolled edges found in most paint tins, not suitable for children.
  • I found the colors to wear down quickly, after a couple small paintings I had noticeable “wells” in the paint pans.
  • If applied thickly or in too many layers it will tend to streak or dry with glossy spots. *a common trait with student paints, par for the course.

Bottom line:
These are a lovely student grade set on par with Cotman, Grumbacher Academy and Van Gogh just be aware that the 12 pan tin might be sharp. I have seen this set packaged in a tin holding 24 colors (room for 12 more) so that might be a better idea for a child or clumsy adult (like me LOL!) I hope you found this review useful and til next time happy crafting!

Year of the Rooster (in watercolor)

Hi friends! Since it is year of the rooster and I have had a few requests I decided to paint one and try out a new set of watercolors!

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The paints are Schminke Akadamie student grade paint and I am working in my Aquafine sketchbook so this was done with all student grade supplies (yep, use what you have:) Watch the video and paint along if you like!

I added spatters after I was done filming and you can see that in the top photo. I will have a proper review of these paints in a few days. as you may have noticed (probably not, you are busy I am sure) I have cut back to posting about 5 times a week. I am undertaking a massive home declutter inspired by Marie Kondo’s book The life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. So far I have done clothes, books and linens. It is quite a process. If you are unaware of her book, basically you gather all of your possessions by type (all books for instance) put them in a pile on the floor and pick each one up and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” and if yes you keep it and put it back on the shelf and if not you discard it. It’s amazing how any things collect in your house. I am famous for accepting hand me downs of all types, a recommended book, piece of furniture to be refurnished, art supplies, weird funky clothing and accessories, the list goes on. I usually enjoy these things but lately (for the past 6 months or so, maybe more) they have been making me feel anxious and claustrophobic.  It is time to clean out! I am simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the craft room tidy. I don’t enjoy creating as much as when I had less. Also I have all of my teaching supplies mixed in with my personal supplies which I reckon is a big part of the problem. Also there are crafts that just don’t appeal much to me anymore. I have probably made all of the candles I care to make for instance and I have supplies I bought when new to a craft that no longer suit me. I am saving that for last because I want to refine my decision-making process before I start. It is not going to be easy. I think I might film parts of the process because I have found it helpful to see how others tackled certain categories. I am really gung-ho on this project right now and I am wondering if any of you are going through the same no art mojo spring cleaning marathon phase? Let me know in the comments, we can cheer each other on! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Paint a snowy mountain landscape with me LIVE at 12:30pm ET today!

Edit: Here is the finished painting from Today’s live stream. Have a great weekend!

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Hi folks! Very soon we will be painting live on YouTube! Here is a color study I did to prepare.

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You can catch the live stream or the replay in the video player below but if you want to chat live please watch on the YouTube watch page.

Supplies can be found at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama!

Supplies:
9″x12″ Arches watercolor paper Cold Pressed or Rough (Block on sale for $24.28 reg. price $54!)

Watercolor paint: Turner *colors: Turquoise, Ultramarine, Pthalo Blue, Quin Rose (or any cool red) Burnt sienna, Yellow Ochre

Other: Pencil, paper towel, 2 waterbuckets, tape and a board if you are not using a block of paper

Reference photo by Sandie Bell on Paint my Photo

I hope you can paint with me live at 12:30pm ET today! Til then happy crafting!

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