I was asked by my friends over at Daniel Smith if I’d create a tutorial of the floral practice sheet I made a few months ago – and it fell off my to-do list! The good news? While making a step by step photo tutorial, I also kept the camera on, so you get to see it on video. Ain’t you lucky!

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

I hope you enjoyed that! I tried some fancy editing and filming tricks, kind of to show off that brush (more in a moment on that) – and so I could have more interesting photos than just overhead, since I was doing a multi-step photo tutorial. I shot it by propping my phone at different angles — it was a ton more effort than I thought it would be! Don’t expect a ton of that unless I hit the lottery and buy more cameras. Ha!

And now a little news (ish):

Brand Ambassador!

Just a few days ago I received this little treat in the mail from DS – I didn’t know I had any kind of “title”!?!? But it’s very sweet recognition of all the love I have for their watercolors – and very official!

Just so you know, I’m not staff or on retainer, they don’t pay me. When I first began with their paints and I was chomping at the bit to explore, they did give me a bunch of the tiny tubes (which I blew through really fast and rapidly began buying the bigger ones myself.) When I take classes at the store, sometimes students who don’t know me mistake me for staff because I know everyone there by first name, (say hi to my personal shoppers Janice and Patrice next time you’re there!) and the DS big cheeses sometimes pop in to the classroom to look over my shoulder and see what I’m doing. Whatever impressions that leaves with people – I’m not on staff, I’m just family!

I’ve been “paid” with lunch a few times a year when we plot to take over the world — and I pick John and Katherine’s brains about how to get myself to Italy soon for a big plein air competition held there. They also “pay” me with a little advertising; if you’ve met them as they travel the world, I hear they mention me whenever they cross paths with crafters…it’s amazing to me when I hear there are people in far away lands who even know who I am! *blush*

The blog post is exciting for me, since I don’t usually reaxh out into art circles, and their blog reaches out across a wide spectrum. It’s a step toward some of the goals I have as an artist that I spoke of in THIS video. It’s worth a few minutes if you missed it when it posted recently!

A word about that brush

For my crafting – and much of my painting – I’ve used Silver Brushes, the Black Velvet line. And they’re still great brushes! Please don’t think I’m done using them or don’t like them any more. I’ll still use them for my craft videos. They’re an excellent quality synthetic blend at a great price; they’ll help you become a better watercolorist for certain, but without breaking the bank.

The Winsor & Newton Kolinsky sable brush I showed today is….well, it’s a super expensive brush! I’ve been slowly treating myself to good natural hair brushes for my fine art over time, and I’m finally getting to a place I can make good use of them. I’ve had this one for about 2 years (thank you Janice for talking me into it!) and haven’t used it because I was afraid of it! It is overkill for crafting….but it. is. so. delicious. Such a fine point on it, and the broad strokes it makes are just plain YUM.

In the little Instagram video I posted a few days ago, I used a different brush, my daVinci Maestro – it’s a #14 and is also an insanely amazing brush. I just added it to my collection a few weeks ago; I wanted something a little bigger than the #10 for large paintings. Again, far more expensive than is warranted for crafting – the Silver Brushes will continue to be used for my cards, but Santa really loves you, either of these will make you happy. (There’s an Italy painting coming up in a couple weeks with the Maestro.) I’m saving up to get another Maestro in a really big size, maybe later this year if I’m a good girl. (Hey Santa….!!!)

The half pan sets

The physical palettes you get with these sets are NOT fancy. They’re plastic (and I have a thing against plastic, it just doesn’t work well with watercolor, I prefer metal or ceramic mixing areas in a big way), and you can’t really mix in the lid. So they’re good for direct-to-paper painting unless you have a separate plate/tile/butcher tray to mix on. I use these little sets sometimes for Bible journaling or plein aire travel since they are tiny. These were developed so DS could offer a half-pan sampling of a couple colors at a reasonable price – they didn’t want to just box up half-pans so found these tiny palettes to put them in.

When DS makes a half pan, you get more paint than what you and I would fit into a half pan, by the way. They fill it 1/3, let it dry and condense down, then squeeze in more, let it condense again. It takes a lot of time to make these – but they’re a really good value. From their side, they get us addicted to new colors, and well….that’s good business even if these sets are a ton of work to produce, eh?

These are the other set sample I created in roughly the same way–swatches of the colors that came in the set, and seeing what could be painted from only these.

Links to each set are at the bottom of this post.

Please clap?

Here is the shameless plug: head over to the step by step photo tutorial on their blog; in the preview link I received, I can’t see if there’s a comment section on the post, but if there is, fill ‘er up! They’ll post the tutorial on their social media if not, so you can find them on Facebook and Instagram and leave some love there for me. The art world is clueless about who I am so I need my crafty tribe to make me less lonely and scared as I put myself out there! heehee….

One more important thing

This blog post doesn’t wax on enough (ha) – but recently Carly posted my watercolor palette colors all in one place in the Ellen Hutson shop – she’s a rockstar eh? So instead of trying to link over to my palette video I have an easier place to say “hey here’s my colors!” The video about my palette is also on that page for quick reference. I might have her add my fave Silver Brushes there, too.