Sketchbook Sunday & Can I offer you some constructive criticism?

Hi friends! I’m so excited to share something I have been thinking about for a while. I often get asked by viewers if they can share their art with me and I love seeing it. I have noticed the amazing progress my students in my online classes make as they work through the lessons and get feedback on each one. They can improve the problem areas in a painting and keep the things that are working. I think being able to give that feedback honestly pushes their skills to new levels. I have wanted to offer that service to more people so that’s why I came up with Critique Club!

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You can post any painting or drawing that you are currently working on or have finished to get personalized feedback by me (and encouragement by others) and you can make corrections and post them if you like. Often a new set of eyes can pick out something “off” in a painting you might have missed or help you appreciate an overlooked good part in your paintings that you might have taken for granted. You can even learn by seeing other student’s art and their critique because we often find we share the same struggles.

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I wanted to make this group extra valuable so I decided to take two of my sketchbook Sunday projects each month and post them in real-time with narration so you can see how I work through the paintings, what is going on in my mind and how I overcome obstacles during the painting process. The poinsettia painting from this weeks Sketchbook Sunday is available in the group now and a new lesson will post in the group every 2 weeks. Even if you don’t have a chance (or you are a bit shy at first) to post a painting you can still enjoy the painting lessons. The cost of Critique Club is $5 a month and you can cancel anytime.

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Since it is Sketchbook Sunday I have a time-lapse painting of something I wanted to work on this week. I purchased this pretty little poinsettia two weeks ago for 88 cents at Mardens. I loved the unusual red and yellow pattern on the leaves and I though the yellow veining was especially striking. As always I am never quite sure how my Sketchbook Sunday paintings will go (that is part of the fun, challenging myself, experimenting and trying different techniques) and this was no different but I did learn a thing or two. I hope you do too and that it inspires you to work in your sketchbook today!

I highly suggest you try cropping a page either with tape or by drawing a box to work inside. Something as simple as that can give you a whole new perspective on your subject. Remember if you want a full real-time tutorial of this painting it is included with your Critique Club membership.

Supplies:

  • Watercolors (Renesans) Carmine, lemon yellow, sap green, indanthrone blue and phthalo turquoise.
  • Watercolor paper (Hahnemuhle)
  • Brushes: #2, #8 round
  • Other: masking tape, pencil, eraser, and assorted colored pencils.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sketchbook Sunday project and if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to grow your artistic abilities please consider joining Critique Club. You can learn more about it, watch the promo or sign up here. Happy crafting!

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Snowy Winter Sunset – Paint With Me!

Hi friends! I invite you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and paint with me. You don’t need many supplies and you can paint this in under an hour!

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The colors you will need are:

  1. A cool red like Alizarin Crimson, Rose Madder or Permanent rose
  2. A warm Yellow such as Cadmium Yellow, Gamboge, Permanent Yellow, Hansa Yellow Deep or Indian Yellow.
  3. A warm blue like Ultramarine Blue or Cobalt blue.
  4. A cool soft blue like Cerulean (look past a pastel looking blue hopefully made with PB36) or sky blue. Avoid a cerulean that looks intense and vivid. Sometimes companies call Phthalo Blue (PB15) Cerulean but it is too intense for this. If you don’t have a good cerulean than you can leave it out

Keep in mind you only need one of each of the suggestions for a total of 4 colors in all. You will also need a 1″ flat brush, 9″x12″ watercolor paper, pencil, masking tape, a rag and 2 water buckets. Enjoy the video tutorial!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I hope this was a nice break in your day and let me know how you got along if you painted this! I love bringing these free watercolor tutorials to you and if you find value I them please share them with a friend using one of the handy sharing buttons below. Sharing is caring and I do appreciate it! If you enjoyed this tutorial but feel like you need more beginner instructions please check out my online course Essential Tools for Watercolor Painting here and save 20% with coupon code TRYME. I makes a great last-minute holiday gift too! thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Sketchbook Sunday is Back!

Howdy friends! After a couple of weeks with no Sketchbook Sunday video I have one! This is going to be a brief post as I was dozing off ready for bed and realized that I did not blog my SS post today!

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I just finished up a watercolor class I was taking so I will now have more time for discretionary sketching and non work related art. I hope you enjoy this painting!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

Want step by step real-time instruction? Try a class and save 20% with coupon code TRYME

 

 

I am off to sleep! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

LIVE 12:30pm ET Close-Up Watercolor Peony

Hi friends! Back in 2005 I painted this peony:

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I had it down in my studio last year up on my easel because I needed to repair the frame it was in and several people spied it in the background and wanted a tutorial. I generally bristle at the thought of painting something more than once, especially something this large but I did enjoy it the first time around so I filed the idea away. Then I came across this reference photo on Unsplash and I thought the similarity was so striking to the vantage point of my painting and the idea would be fun to revisit!

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Feel free to paint this whatever size you like, the techniques are the same whatever you choose. If you want to ask me questions during the live stream be sure to tune in at 12:30pm Eastern Time on YouTube otherwise you can catch the replay later.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing. Their Cyber week sale is going on now!

Supplies:

I hope to see you at 12:30pm ET on YouTube, til then happy crafting!

LIVE! Paints & Skates!

Edited to add the finished painting from the livestream. Have a great weekend!

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Hi friends! Take a break from Black Friday shopping and relax with a fun painting tutorial. We will paint some ice skates today filled with winter foliage! I am hoping this will inspire me to get my front porch decorated this weekend because I have an old wooden sled that I like to lean up on the stacked firewood on my porch and drape ice skates over. Let me know if you would like a Christmas decorating video and that might push me into decorating sooner LOL! Here is the practise sketch I did to prepare for todays video:

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We will have 2 ice skates in the live video, you can get the reference photo and traceable pattern in the supply list below. If you want to chat live be sure to tune in at 12:30pm ET on YouTube today or as always you can catch the replay in the player below:)


I will be using supplies from Arteza today, they have 25 % off their shop today only with coupon code: BLACK25  *This video is not sponsored but I am using affiliate links so I earn a small commission if you purchase something with no additional cost to you, in fact if you use the coupon code BLACK25 you will save 25%! Thank you for your support!

Supplies:

I hope you are having a nice start to your weekend! I hope to see you at 12:30pm on YouTube for a fun skate painting party! Happy crafting!

A round watercolor painting in a vintage color palette!

Edited to add the final painting from today’s live stream. Have a great weekend everyone!

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Hi friends! Today we will compost a round painting design. It is a fun new way to approach your painting which is very helpful if you are ever stuck in a rut! We will also discover how to make a vintage color palette that harkens back to the Victorian era.

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We will be exploring tints (adding white) and shades (adding black) to create the muted tones of vintage postcard art. Modern watercolors are so crisp and vibrant and normally I love that but the muted vintage tones of yesteryear are also lovely. I have seen a few vintage and pastel specialty palettes for sale lately and while they are lovely and fun their use is very limited. The colors in the those palettes contain lots of white and some black to desaturate the colors. If you already have your basic watercolors a tube or pan of black and white (you probably have them from sets) will accomplish this task in a flash! A tint is when you add white to a color and a shade is when you add black.

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By now you are probably asking “Lindsay, why don’t you just add water to lighten and add the complimentary color to darken these colors?” Great question! I usually recommend this method because it keep out colors clean and bright but when going for the vintage look we want to tone down the chroma more and also give the color a bit more body. Confused? Well tune in to YouTube today at 12:30pm ET and have all of your questions answered! The replay will also be available in the player below if you can’t make it!

Supplies available at 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’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

  • Lukas watercolors: Lukas red, cadmium yellow, green-gold, prussian blue, ultramarine, mauve, black and white (any brand and colors near to these will work)
  • Watercolor paper *cut your paper round (I will go 12″ round) or you can get round watercolor here. I placed a dinner plate upside down on my watercolor paper and scored along the edge of the plate with a craft knife and then held the plate in place as I tore my paper against it and it worked great! The score mark helped the paper tear where I wanted it to.
  • Brushes: Mimik faux squirrel *I recommend the value set
  • Pattern to trace
  • Inspiration art (above) from this book of copyright free images (included a CD of images as well as a book of them.) This book is from the Memories of a Lifetime book series and I have found these to be an invaluable reference book series over the years. I used the book for painting inspirations and also for collage and paper crafting projects. I think they are out of print but Amazon has some used copies at reasonable prices.

I have missed my live show peeps so much over the past 2 weeks! We are having our first real snowstorm of the season with all the kids schools cancelled so you may here an errant noise here and there but that is all part of the frugalcrafter experience LOL! See you at 12:30pm ET on YouTube and til then happy crafting!

Should you use white watercolor paint?

Hi friends! Today we are going to discuss a rather controversial topic in the watercolor world: Using white paint! Some of you may faint at the thought of using white preferring to reserve the white of the paper while others may think since companies make white it’s fine to use.

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Well, I think both opinions are correct! Used intentionally white can be a valuable asset in your watercolor painting but it can also lead to a chalky and muddy mess depending when and how you use it. It todays video I will talk about the different kinds of white watercolor paint and how you can achieve some spectacular effects if you choose to use it.


Let’s look at the kinds of white watercolor:

  • Chinese White (PW4 Zink oxide white) is a translucent white. Use it for mixing, not for highlights as it is brittle and prone to cracking. *Note a diluted PW6 is often substituted for PW4 in Chinese white yielding a cooler white that you might need to warm up or neutralize a bit. I think this substitution may be made to solve the cracking issue.
  • Titanium White (PW6) is a mostly opaque white. This is a cool white and very opaque, if you want a warmer off white you can try PW6:1 Buff titanium or tint your white with a neutral.
  • Titanium white gouache is a completely opaque white containing PW6 but also may contain PW18 (chalk) to increase the opacity and matte finish.

*There is also an extender or base for lake pigments called Lithopone (PW5) that is used in gouache to make it opaque because it has a low tinting strength and also in cheap student paints as an extender. PW5 does not have to be disclosed on a pigment label because it is used as an extender not a pigment.

Also to note PW20 is mica added to paints for sparkle, very reflective. It is usually listed on paint labels as mica and not PW20.

Pros & Cons of Using White!

The cons:

  • It can ruin the luminosity of you watercolor and make your painting more prone to mud.
  • It can make your paintings look chalky if used in layers and it is often used as a last-ditch attempt to save a painting but it is usually unsuccessful.
  • It makes your paint more prone to lifting and granulating (if you don’t want that effect)

The Pros:

  • It adds granulation and softness to a wash.
  • It makes the paint easier to lift.
  • It gives volume and substance to things like fabric (check out the masterful way John Singer Sargent used white to create volume in his portraits) where the white of the paper would feel a bit thin and flat.
  • White can also be successfully used to paint the sparkle highlight in an eye or a bright reflection on a shiny opaque object.

When deciding to add white ask yourself “What is the truth of my subject and how can I paint it most effectively?”

A row of colorful glass bottles on a windowsill for instance is very transparent so avoid white and paint it with transparent glazes reserving (you can use masking fluid) your white.

A boat at sea on a misty day can effectively use white to capture the thick air and billowing sails.

What do you think? Do you use white in your watercolor paintings? If not would you try it knowing what it can do? Did this explain why some attempts at using white are successful and others are not. I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below and if you like this article please share it on social media using one of the handy sharing links below, thanks! Til next time happy crafting!

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