How to draw on your kicks! (alcohol markers)

How to draw on your kicks! (alcohol markers)

Have you ever wanted to draw on your kicks? (That’s your shoes.)

About a year ago, today’s project was birthed, but didn’t happen til today; I had visited Old School Shoes in Santa Cruz, CA, and on a whim I asked if they had any “orphan” shoes. Like a leftover single shoe no one had thrown out, but couldn’t sell because there’s only one. They sent me home with a pair that just needed laundered – and thus today, I finally get to share my new kicks!

Tutorial: How to draw on your kicks in alcohol marker

I’ll be using alcohol markers; if you want to use paint, then google for the right kind, I did see there are lots of recommendations out there, but I didn’t feel like buying something new for my shoes.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Sunflower shoes

This was my first pair; I discovered just how soft the color blends, which is great except for detail, you have to add black pen. Use something waterproof so your shoes won’t run in the rain.

Also – do the color work first. The sharpie did bleed a little when I added color atop it. It’s possible giving it more time to dry would help, but test it to be sure.

Galaxy shoes

This design worked great for the soft blends! Lots of pretty colors make them a rainbow! You can create all kinds of gorgeous blends whether making it a sky or not – do rainbows, soft flowers, whatever you like! For the stars I used acrylic white, in hopes it’s permanent.

My doodled kicks

I’m so excited – I never once owned a pair of hightops! Glad I at least snuck that in under the wire before a full six decades passed. LOL. I used one of my favorite doodles as inspiration for the lines, and colors had to include the trim color on the shows – reds and blues (which I translated as a blue violet). And added my signature yellow.


I wore my shoes for dogwalks a time or two, but just last night I wore them to an art festival/wine tasting. It was a swankier community so wearing the PF Flyers stood out among the nicer-dressed crowd. One guy ran up to me and asked if those are “real” PF Flyers? And could I run and jump farther and faster now? It was kinda hilarious – but I felt VERY cool wearing my new kicks!

What would you draw on shoes?

If you try it I’d love to see what you make! Tag me on social or email what you create….by the way kids can do this too, it’d make them so proud to wear shoes to school that they made!


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Having trouble finding Ohuhu blending groups? I hear ya!

Having trouble finding Ohuhu blending groups? I hear ya!

For something a little different today – a “talkie!” Just chatting, no tutorial, but I hope there’s something in here that helps everyone learn a little bit.  Pull up a chair and let’s chat!

Vlog: HELP! Color selection in Ohuhu markers (hex chart)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Thoughts from the cutting room floor

Originally this was an even longer video, believe it or not! Gah! Craziness. I apparently had a lot to say!

This is a government/business issue, not a people issue.

The people who live in any countries with the aforementioned terrible practices are NOT at fault. Please do NOT attribute characteristics of the unethical businesses and governments to the average citizens in these countries or in your own. We have enough of that going on. Don’t blame the wrong people for the misdeeds.

Costing us art supply companies

A big thing that I decided to cut because I think it was implied: these companies who steal intellectual property are putting art and especially small craft companies out of business. If you’ve noticed a bunch going under in recent years, that’s often a part of it. These manufacturers are stuck either paying legal bills to try to get these fake products removed from these horrible websites, or they just leave it there and lose customers who won’t come back to shop at their own store anymore, because they only shop from thieves around the world to get themselves a deal.

We can help keep our favorite maufacturers and retailers in business by taking care where we buy from.

Exceptions to every rule

There ARE products made in unethical countries all over the world that ARE clear of the kind of corruption mentioned.  Not everyone is on the take. There are even some products I use regularly that were invented in and sold by companies within corrupt countries—but they came up with something new and unique in the marketplace. I’m not at all against that!

I’m also not an avid researcher of EVERY single item I purchase; plenty of good companies source some portion of materials from unethical places, and mircomanaging everyone’s supply chain is not what I’m advocating. 

But products that should cost much more but carry a dollar store price always do raise my spidey sense. If it looks like a dodgy item, it’s safe to assume there’s more to the story. Feel free to give them the benefit of the doubt if you’re comfortable doing so, but I personally find another product to purchase.

My own policy

I don’t knowingly promote any product that benefits from their Human Rights violations or commits Intellectual Property theft. (I’m not perfect at finding out all the details on every company, and every time Amazon is involved there’s a risk since it’s hard to go track down information.)

I also don’t promote product that I simply do not think is worth you spending your money on—unless I tell you don’t buy this $125 ballpoint pen. You certainly may buy anything you wish, but I don’t need to be part of that food chain, so generally I ignore not-good supplies rather than providing them oxygen.

I get 5-1o emails a DAY from foreign dodgy companies wanting me to promote their stolen goods, and it’s exhausting. Their marketing is insane. Ads chase me on Instagram and Facebook, and I hardly scroll my feed any more because of it! Any company that hounds me that way gets the “talk to the hand” treatment. Ohuhu hasn’t been as bad as others, but they did fall into the too-many-ads category and I had to mark them as spam on Instagram.

If any companies ARE really reading my blog like they tell me they are (ha!)….please just stop emailing me. Engage with my social posts and YT videos in comments, let’s get to know each other, THEN you can email me. Cold emails get you nowhere but my block list. Thanks.

So I can sleep at night…..

Since I do not want to profit from products I do not believe in, I’m doing two things:

  1. I’ve donated my set of markers and a bunch of sketchbooks to our family homeless shelter, and I’m hoping some young person with talent finds them and uses them to lift their family out of poverty.
  2. I’ll be donating the profits from the Ohuhu Honolulu Hex Chart to Human Rights Watch. 

I think that’ll help me get better sleep.

Ohuhu Hex Chart – Honolulu Set

Purchase a downloadable hex chart for Ohuhu’s Honolulu set of alcohol markers – included are both a blank one to color with your own markers, and a completed one to print for reference.

How to Use a Hex Chart Class

In this color course, learn all about ways to use the Hex Charts for alcohol markers or colored pencils to choose the right colors! Includes discussion of color theory as we examine photos and learn terminology like hue, value, saturation, temperature, and more.


I hope this was helpful – if you have further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

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Glazing layers | watercolor paper test #3

Glazing layers | watercolor paper test #3

With glazing layers, my watercolor paper testing series continues!  This time it’s an outdoor plant – this time a Hawaiian Akia….and we’ll talk about glazing to build up color, especially on a paper like Stonehenge Aqua!

Tutorial: Glazing watercolor (wc paper test #3)

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Layer colors to create variety in greens

In this painting with 5 passes, I started with yellow for the lights, added the 2nd light with a thin green. Followed up with Cascade for the blue leaves, green for the rest, and then went stronger with color at the end. It’s a way to slowly step up color; lots of times we fear going too dark, and knowing how to SIMPLY glaze – not scrubbing – can help adjust color in a controlled way.

Performance assessment

The Stonehenge Aqua hasn’t been my favorite paper; it has two distinct sides, which you can feel when touching it even if the surfaces look textured.

  1. Absorption – I think overabsorption may be what caused the gumming up of the pigments when I applied it heavily; when there’s flow on the surface, it doesn’t get weird and pilly.
  2. Layering  – worked much better! Lighter pigment to build up. But the paper can’t handle scrubbing, so keep to simpler brushstrokes.
  3. Edges — the surface texture did really well with that! Check a few of my recent paintings added to my fine art website that are on this paper.
  4. Overall — not bad for a $5 sheet, the texture is decent. It’ll depend on your painting style if this is the perfect paper for you; most of us don’t paint as simply as works best here, but I’m sure there’ll be some who work well with it!

Green Thumb Watercolor Sketches class

I’m not one with a green thumb (ACK! my poor plants!) – but I can celebrate all the diversity of plants by painting them! And in response to some requests for these sketches from this series to be made available for purchase, I turned it into an inexpensive course – that means everything will be together in one spot, rather than digging through my YT channel, blog, etc. Eventually there’ll be probably 10-12 lessons in the class, but right now there’s two in the Green Thumb Watercolor Sketches class.

Got plant ideas?

Feel free to add to my list of green plants to use for this further series! I’ve already got more on the list than I need but ya never know if I’ll find one extra inspiring. Leave a comment and let me know!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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Tiffany Glass Stamp & Doodle: 3 ways

Tiffany Glass Stamp & Doodle: 3 ways

Have you heard of Tiffany Glass Stamp & Doodle technique? I bet not, because I just coined the term! 🙂 I’ve been thinking of the people of Hawaii for weeks, and created these tropical-themed designs with them in mind. The stamps were perfect for the idea!

It’s a bloghop day so be sure to enter to win – instructions are at the end of this post!

Tutorial: Tiffany Glass Stamp & Doodle: 3 ways

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

The paper

I stumbled on this vintage watercolor paper online – every sheet is different, and I wondered what it would be like to paint on. Terrible for watercolor, but great for gouache! 

Technique 1: Pre-draw graphic

I created a grid, drew some angled lines, so I could create a bit of a pattern. The background color is the complement of the flower – yellows vs purples, so they really vibrate on the piece. Doing the doodles afterward is lots easier than doing the drawing part in pen first; getting the paint right up to the line without going over is too hard, but the lines later work great.

Technique #2: Ignore the graphics

I started by drawing fronds in the background – but really didn’t like them by the time I painted the bird of paradise. With gouache I could just ignore the lines, and painted shapes that worked in the space available. Cool colors in the background and warm in the flower in the front.

Technique #3: Skip the graphics

This time I gave in – I hadn’t liked being controlled by the sketch so skipped it and just painted leaf shapes! I made the colors pastel cools, then doodled like mad all over. So much fun!

Use any medium for this technique!

I can easily see using other mediums and papers – get out your markers, paints, waterbased markers…..and go to town with a pen!


Not just one giveaway – there are two! You can comment up until Midnight (ET) August 31st; winners will be announced September 2nd.
  1. CCC  is giving away a free stamp set from comments on this blog post!
  2. If you use my link to make a purchase, you’ll be entered to win the entire release. ($270 Value)
Blogs to visit for more inspiration:
  1. Adrienne Kennedy 3C
  2. Amy Tsuruta 
  3. Caly Person
  4. Daniel West
  5. Donna Hitz
  6. Jenn Gross
  7. Jennifer Kotas
  8. Kassi Hulet
  9. Kelly Taylor 
  10. Michelle Lupton
  11. Nancy Sheads 
  12. Sandy Allnock <– you are here!



  1. Adam Karle
  2. Jasleen Kaur
  3. Joe Sysavath
  4. Mansi Bhatia


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

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Coloring fuzzy white polar bear fur (3 mediums)

Coloring fuzzy white polar bear fur (3 mediums)

Welcome to my stop on the Sunny Studios Stamps bloghop!! Mendi’s celebrating the 8th birthday of her business baby and I’m so proud of her!!

In honor of her milestone, I’ve got some fun ahead for which I hope no one needs a wintry coat or scarf like I did – but Holiday Hugs Stamps will be used to make a chilly snowy card perfect for a winter celebration card! 🙂

Tutorial: Coloring fuzzy white polar bear fur 

The first few seconds are jarring…watch out! ha!

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Bear coloring

Start with marker, add pencil, then soften with marker, then more pencil as needed – layer away! The secret to getting it to look fuzzy is partially in leaving tufts of fur white (see above the eyes, top of the head and ears, lighter snout…) in comparison to the other greys. The PUNCH of color in the reddish dark color will make all that grey start to look lighter, along with that dark nose and eyes.


Colors used include these Sketchmarkers, and a Prismacolor 936 bluish gray color, and a Polychromos 133.

Contrasting background

Creating a big dark shape for all that white fur to bounce off of gives two benefits – “hiding” the lighter stamped line, and all that dark value lightens everything else. Then the white gouache snow also has something to show up on that’s dark enough.

Around the eedges of the bear, pencil only went so far in creating a soft edge – a little gouache also helped whiten places where the stamp line still showed.

Something to hold, no masking!

Then it’s a matter of what your bear will hold, if anything! I hadn’t thought about it in time, but you could take these easy steps to stamp it without ANY masking:

  1. Stamp the cupcake or other item to be held. No masking.
  2. Stamp the bear so that the paws cross over the cupcake.
  3. Definitely color nice dark mittens before coloring the cupcake. That will cover the light stamp lines of the cupcake.
  4. Color the cupcake richly enough to cover the scarf stamp lines. Either dark colors, or add glossy accents and glitter as shown here.
  5. Then color the scarf and bear. 

Something to hold, the way I did it

Since I hadn’t thought of what I’d put in his paws, here’s my steps:

  1. Color the bear, adding mittens.
  2. Stamp and color the cupcake or other object and fussy cut.
  3. With an xacto knife, slice around the top side of the mittens. You might need to curve around to the bottom depending on the size of what’s being tucked in.
  4. Put a little dimensional adhesive on the back of the cupcake and tuck it in.
  5. Add glossy accents and glitter!

My glitter problems of the past stemmed from sending cards overseas to heroes in war zones; glitter gets all over everything, as we all know, and it gets on them when they get something from us too! And glitter can make them visible to the enemy’s night vision goggles. If you send anything to a hero serving abroad, be respectful of your desire for twinkle and shimmer, and settle for the simple pretty shine of something like glossy accents alone – that won’t twinkle in enemy gunsights. 🙂 

Bloghop sale, prizes, & hop links

SALE: Sunny Studios will be offering 20% off Sunny Studio branded products (excluding clearance and new release products) using discount code EIGHTYEARS at checkout through August 29th. Limit one discount code per order.  They will also automatically include a free mini snowflake die on all orders.
PRIZES: I’m authorized to give away $25 to spend at Sunny Studios!! WHEEEEE! The contest will run through Monday, August 28th, and the winner will be posted on the Sunny Studio blog on Friday, September 1st.
TO ENTER: Tell me how MUCH or how LITTLE you love glitter! Do you have a story!?!? I love a good controvery-thats-a-nontroversy! 
HOP LINKS: Go see all the creativity!
  1. Sunny Studio
  2. Wanda Guess
  3. Rachel Alvarado
  4. Sandy Allnock <–that’s me!
  5. Marine Simon
  6. Tammy Stark
  7. Caly Person
  8. Isha Gupta
  9. Bobbi Lemanski
  10. Gladys Marcelino
  11. Tina Henkens


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