Review: watercolor sketchbooks

I’ve had a number of folks ask me about these sketchbooks – and without me even reaching out to Vitali, he messaged me on Facebook to see if I’d be interested in his “coloring books.” I almost said no (I get so many requests to review coloring books!) but fortunately I clicked and saw these were the books I’d been asked about. Yay! He sent me two of them, one is a Mix n Draw and the other is a Watercolor Trip. I asked for the Italy versions – I’m working on a trip there next year and thought these could be inspiring!

And yes, indeed, pretty darned cool. A unique concept! The sketch and photo resource and paints are provided – you get to just do the painting! Both “styles” of books are different, and would be helpful to different kinds of painters, as you’ll see in the video.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

The Mix n Draw doesn’t come with instructions, but it has sketches, paint, and photo resourcces. But there might be online lessons; I saw one of Vitali’s classes here, and he painted in one of the sketchbooks for the class. I’m pretty sure you could go to his Facebook page—don’t be scared, Vitali can reply in English! But there’s lots of demos you can watch in the video tab there.

The watercolor trip boxes are filled with other goodies, and the book has 3 step tutorials for each painting. I don’t know what brands the paints or paper are but they’re adequate for sketching.

This Card is the Greatest Of All Time!

This Card is the Greatest Of All Time!

This little goat is the CUTEST! GAH! He makes my teeth hurt. I wanted to make him and his farmer the “star” of the stage – the barn stage. In the video I’ll show ya how to create this cool spotlight in the center of a big ol barn!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Colors used on this card….

One of the things I like a lot about this card – lots of neutrals with a pop of color in the images. The light goat and red shirt really draw attention with this scene around them!

Wouldn’t someone you know like you to give a goat in their honor?

Rainbow Goldfish – and a Bloghop!

Rainbow Goldfish – and a Bloghop!

How about a little Saturday bonus video? I’m teaching at MFT right now, and those who aren’t there can have a little bonus coloring too!

Today’s card is part of a little hop with Ellen Hutson and Hero Arts stamps; these little Pet Goldfish hopped into my cart a while back, as I was planning the Underwater Scenes classes (now in pencil and watercolor as well as copic!) – but they sat there because, well, they’re domesticated and those scenes are in the wild! ha. I know, I could put goldfish in the sea but….I worried about them getting acclimated to being outdoors again! #yesimweird So instead – they’re just swimming in a circle. Some upside down. Some might not even BE goldfish. I’ll let you decide!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

For the colors I just picked a rainbow’s worth. If you’ve taken Copic Jumpstart just pull out whatever colors you used on that color wheel and match it up! (You can do this card with watercolors or pencils too!)

Not into fish? Try something with a circular rainbow of flowers. Or tropical birds. Or anything at all!

I put a little treat inside the card too – a snail crawling up the side of the goldfish bowl!

Bloghop

PRIZES:  You can win one of three $25 gift certificates to the Ellen Hutson shop! Winners will be drawn from commenters along the blog hop so make sure to comment at each stop before Friday, June 28th at 11:59pm PST. Winners will be notified by email.

Next stop on the hop is Amy’s blog!

(She’s awesome, be sure to go see!)

Dogs, a pink pig . . . and a workshop announcement!

It’s a good day to be a dog! Well, it’s always a good day, eh? They just live life to its fullest all the time – wouldn’t it be a great world if we could do that too?

Well I wanted to share some news, and couldn’t find a good hair day underneath the couch cushions, so I decided to combine it with some fun dog footage from a recent adventure. Enjoy!

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

My Watercolor Workshop at Daniel Smith is a biggggg leap for me. BIGGG. They’ve been bugging me for years to teach one, but I didn’t feel in control enough to feel like I could guarantee that I could paint anything on a teaching day – I never know what’s going to come out of my brush! But lately I’ve been feeling more confident – especially with something loose like trees. Even if structures or other subjects can stymie me on some days, trees and skies are often the only guaranteed parts of my paintings!

The classroom we’ll be in is one that has a long history for me. I’ve taken workshops from the likes of Alvaro Castagnet, Bjorn Bernstrom, Ron Stocke, Jean Haines, Brenda Swenson, Tom Schaller – and many more. The teacher’s demo space at the front of the room (with a cool overhead mirror) has seen so many amazing painters that I don’t feel I can stand where they’ve stood! But I’m going to step out and do it anyway.

See the listing on the Daniel Smith blog for class details, supply list, cost, etc – and call the store to sign up. You don’t need to register for the demo but sometimes it’s good for them to get calls so they know how many chairs to set up that day. I know crafters may not care to come to a whole weekend class where they have to paint large paintings – but the demo could be fun anyway. (And that part is free!)

Fingerpainting!?!?

And of course while I’m sitting here promoting myself as a painter worth taking a class from – my Bible journaling video is all about finger painting. So there’s that. Ha! Even if you’re not a Bible journaler, this might be entertaining to watch.

Enjoy your Sunday! I’ve got a crazy week ahead preparing for my trip to go see MFT – I might need a nap before I get started!

Big City Watercolor Card (and my NYC paintings)

Big City Watercolor Card (and my NYC paintings)

The new dies from Ellen Hutson, released last weekend, got me wanting to make a card that reflects a little of the style I’ve been working on in my urban landscapes – grungy colors that mix and blend the way the paint wants to go! It’s a lot easier to do it without 1000 brushstrokes like my large paintings (I’m trying to learn to simplify but it’s so hard!). It’s freeing though to just let the paints mix as they desire.

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

This painting is 11×15″ – and was created in my studio after the study I did in my hotel room. It’s on 7th avenue looking southward towards Times Square. On the left, somewhere in the dark building area, is where the helicopter crashed last week. (51st -52nd…my window was on 55th.)

This is the smaller version painted from the hotel window – my sister has it in London now. So I have a “permanent exhibition in the UK,” right????

See more of my NYC paintings later on in this post.

And now for the card video! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Colors used on this card…..some of them look very bright, but when blended they can get delightfully muted. Colors in my main Daniel Smith Watercolor palette are available as a dot card if you want to try just a little to see if you like it.

And yes, I think I might have to copyright the term “moosh” colors. Coz that just explains the moosh of what’s left in the mixing well of my palette! ha!

Some of the test cards I made before the video one have stronger, brighter colors – and more layers. This one has three layers of buildings with trees tucked between…

…and this card has four layers of buildings with trees – but no grass. Coz this might need to survive the post office. LOL!

Paintings

Plein Air is one of my newest favorite things to do! I was in NY for my niece’s graduation from Fordham (GO JULIE! MAGNA CUM LAUDE!) and took an extra few days to be there and paint, since it was cheaper for airfare to stay longer. Don’t count what hotels cost, it’s the airfare I was saving on, right? #justification lol

My hotel, the Wellington, was a few blocks from Central Park, so I went there early each morning to paint. This little tunnel had great acoustics, and someone was down there singing the most amazing jazz riffs in the echo the whole time I was there! Free entertainment!

Bryant Park, by the library – a table and chairs is a luxury for an urban artist! People there ignored me so well that they kept not only getting up and sitting down as people are expected to do – but they kept picking up entire tables and chairs and moving them around – having no clue I was trying to paint them.

This was the hardest one to work on; I was on a VERY busy street at rush hour, trying to capture the sunset – and there was just nowhere to rest all my stuff. I was balancing the watercolor block (I paint on those when traveling, no boards or taping to deal with), palette, water…..oh man. I was unprepared for a street corner without even a little nook to tuck something into. Everywhere else I found a step, a windowsill, something. But this one had to be finished from a photo back in my room, I gave up after being run into too many times. Ha!

Another morning in the park – by the pond. Very green scummy pond, but a pretty spot to sit. Lots of ducks and pigeons, and I met some nice gents who sat on the bench next to me chatting about the dangers of the import export business and the various ways people have been killed —eeep! They got off that topic after a bit and leaned over to watch me and chat a bit. For the most part, it’s only in a park where people in NYC will talk to an artist. Everywhere else you get delightfully ignored.

Chrysler building from the north view, sitting on the steps of a Synagogue. I learned all about the Avengers movie from the workmen taking their lunchbreak next to me – I haven’t seen ANY of the Marvel series, so it was quite educational. ha! In this painting I found the building in front of the Chrysler was way more fun to paint.

Bonus video!

My “Color All the Things” series at Ellen Hutson continues today with thse cute sharks – a boy and a girl shark who meet with a kiss! Click HERE to go see it on YT or HERE for the blog!

And in case you needed a reason to shop… a sale! Click to shop!

Pretty Pink Posh Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Pretty Pink Posh bloghop —scroll down for info on the hop, I’ll be getting to my card project first.

There are some fun new stamps and stencils in this release, but I chose the Surfboards and Tropical birds stamps—but the latter just for the tree and sentiment. I picked a scene to color from Google – but that didn’t seem to want to work out so I made up something out of my head in the long run. See it all in the video below!

Note: Supplies are linked in the supply list at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links may be used  – that means if you make a purchase using my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support of my work on this blog!  Read more.

Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Here are the colors I used for this card:

New to my blog?

Are you looking to learn more about copic coloring? I have a teaching site with beginner, intermediate and advanced classes….the place I recommend starting is Copic Jumpstart. But there are lots of fun ones, including “Mini” classes for scenes, too. See all the Copic classes HERE.

BlogHop details:

There are 4 $25 gift certificates up for grabs (two winners yesterday, two today). Winners will be picked randomly along the blog hop. Comments must be left by 11:59 PM PST on 6/17/2019. Winners will be announced on the PPP blog. Stops on today’s hop:

truncate_post( 70 );