What I did all summer

What I did all summer

I sure wish I could say I had exciting tales of international intrigue to tell! Alas, no vacation for me (though I’ll be taking some time this fall for a wedding and during the holidays this winter!).

But I did do a lot for YOU. 

To what end? To provide new classes. To improve my students’ experience in classes. To make this blog more valuable. To restore Bible journalers access to my sketches collection. To allow my fine art buyers access (gasp) to the shop! So much on the internet breaks over time, and that’s why a lot of the “big” bloggers and website owners have tech folks on retainer of some kind, so there’s someone to fix what breaks. I’m just stuck with me looking for time under the couch cushions!

So today, I’ve got a bit of fun for you. The other day I spent a few hours early early on one cool morning (which I now wish for, it’s hot again!) walking the pups and just talking to my phone about everything I’ve been working on. I stitched it into a fun vlog….and I hope you’ll enjoy it! More after you watch the video below…….oh and btw I need to go take early morning photos after fixing my hair up right next time, ha!

Vlog: What I did in summer 2022

Imagine my neighbors watching me walk around filming…I wondered if they thought I was one of the TikTok kids!?!? I had a ton of clips unusable because cars whooshed by on their way to work, or airplanes flying low (I live near an airport!). And looking for decent light, and getting the dogs to stop tugging me so hard…..it was rather amusing!

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!

Lots of this effort was, of course, not just for you but also for me. I’ve wanted to fix some things for years now….unifying all my websites so I use common colors, design elements, footers, etc. Just so it doesn’t feel like I’m a different person everywhere! And to rewrite some of the pages that have needed a serious refresh for a long long time. My August not-so-creative lull was the perfect chance to get me busy on my computer, feet up and sitting in front of a fan in the heat. I stil have more work to do, but enough is complete that I thought this would be a good time to get the word out!

Special request

I interrupt this post with a special request! Last week I had a reel on my fine art instagram page go viral – and I don’t mean 50k viral. I mean over a million views viral! Instagram always asks if it can share it on Facebook (but it only reshares million+ content)….if you see my iguana on Facebook can you let me know?

It’s been an interesting experience; the first 500,000 views I didnt get all that many comments but once that was over, more started pouring in. And my direct messages exploded – with mostly young men learning to draw, and they have questions! I hope some might become students but their age might preclude spending money; but I’m hoping they’ll join Artventure and share some of their work. They’ve been bold and asking for critiques – I don’t think I ever had the hutzpah at their age but good on ’em for doing so!

 Scavenger hunt

I’ve put together a little fun below – the photo is made up of 12 sections and each one links to one of the mentioned pages; hover your mouse and you’ll notice they’re clickable. And hidden among them is a coupon code for classes, good for only this weekend! #motivation Post a comment once you find it – but don’t tell others where it is, let them have the fun!

If you’re looking at this on a phone or tablet, you won’t see the “full effect” I was going for here – do yourself a favor and log onto a computer to see what picture appears! If you want to re-animate it, just refresh the page.

Did you find the coupon code? 🙂 I emailed it to subscribers over at art-classes too!

For those not able to play the scavenger hunt…

First, I’m hoping the hunt above *works*. If not, well, below is another option to see the new things – I list the items and a little about them so you can just look at the items you want to see.

*******Tap on the box to go see that item.

Your Art Classes account is more helpful now. And navigation is new and awesome! Classes are in the process of getting a facelift; to see what the eventual “look” will be, check out any Jumpstart class. Those are also all closed captioned now – lmk if you need other courses cc’d!

Fine art galleries and the shop can actually go past page two! It’s now fixed and looks pretty fabulous. Additionally there’s new art added to the shop! You will need to register a new account though; I moved the site over entirely and wasn’t able to work out how to move accounts with it.

I’ve needed a good resume page for a long time now…recently a company contacted me for an illustration project but didn’t end up finding out some basic info about me! So the page is robust, includes some of my creative philosophy, and some Sandyisms that just might make you smile.

I recreated my Meet the Instructor page at art-classes as well, making it something I hope students will see and be encouraged by! I talk there about my mission, vision, and purpose, debunking some myths about artists that I’m constantly wrestling with, and I think you’ll find it a valuable read.

Studio Snacks is the replacement of my old supplies page; I used to have just a list but this page has so. much. more! Pros and cons for each medium, storage I use, supply list, beginner class recommendations….and then a video too! I’ll change those periodically so watch now and visit again.

New classes were added this summer – six minis! I was so excited to see the popularity of various mediums combined with pen and ink. Stay tuned for more of that! And check out the classes – two Christmas ones that might help you get ready for the season, and a new one is coming up next week sometime too.

New homepage here on the main blog is my new hub to all-things-Sandy! If you ever get lost and want to see what I’m up to or you need to find my book or have supply questions or anything, well, that’s the place to go! The main nav block under the jokes or other items below that – all now helpful stuff!

Bible journalers! The site is back and functional once again! When I first built it, it all worked fine but time and the internet broke the galleries. The sketches are the thing I know many have wanted, so go download to your heart’s content….and share your work if you make something with a sketch!

New art community!!? As much as I’m thrilled about everything else above, I’m thrilled about the new Mighty Network group. It’s not just for students, it’s an all skate for any artists in my orbit or beyond! I’ve had a small group kicking the tires with me, and Monday I’ve got a Zoom scheduled if you’d like to join in on the holiday. It’s free to join, you can do it just on the web or by downloading the app to your phone or tablet. Lots of fun, and maybe now I won’t be missing out on your art, your questions, and your comments anymore!

Class levels are now better delineated now, with information that’s no longer squeezed into jpgs with a tiny font…that used to be my way to get around the fact that the education platform didn’t have optiosn available to me before. Lots of other tidbits are being revamped over there too, and if there are questions you have that would be helped by additional content, drop me a note; I want to help you get the info you need in order to just be a student and tackle classes – that’s where your energies belong! 🙂

Well you reached the end – and for those wondering what theme I’m using on all these websites, it’s Divi. It’s not for the faint at heart! It works with WordPress but it’s not intuitive for an average blogger. I have enough website coding under my belt that I figured it out, but I wouldn’t recommend it to my blogger pals. But it has soooo many fun things you can do, like the scavenger hunt above – I’ll be goofing around in the future to see what else it can do.

nd if you didn’t locate the coupon code, here’s the easy route.

Have a great weekend – if you’re over at Artventure, c’mon to the Zoom on Monday and we can make some art together!

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Drawing Convincing Shadows! + Black Friday sales

Happy Black Friday – the day us little businesses hope to become “in the black”! Thank you on behalf of all of us for supporting the work we do – there are more entrepreneurs trying to make it today than ever before! I have a little speed coloring for you today – along with some sales!


Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YT.

Sales on my classes!

  • All classes are on sale from now through Cyber Tuesday – just slightly less of a sale each day, so Black Friday is the best deal. Check them all out here.

Two new classes!

Studio Sale Part Deux!

THANK YOU to all those who invested in my work in the past week, wow! I am blown away. I’m so grateful!

A bunch of the rest of the pieces are going into the “Grab Bag” categories – a few paintings will return to the store when I rebuild it next month, but for now – go see if there’s a price point that tickles your fancy and you’ll get an art surprise in the mail!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Picking a Lighting Direction

Picking a Lighting Direction

It might be a squeak before Thanksgiving – but there’s one more Anita Jeram Christmas release…..very very sweet! The bunnies, mice, and birds are putting the final touches on THEIR holiday prep, even as we are doing the same. Check them all out here.

I’m prepping a class to launch in about a week, all about shading – and I wanted to add this as an example of one of the class teachings. So here we go!


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

I used the “wrong” lighting here – normally having the light shine on the face of a figure is important. But in this case, what happens when the lighting is reversed? The face goes dark, the paw in front is dark …. but what tells the story is the light source – coming from the house and lighting up the back. This shows that you CAN use the “wrong” lighting and make it work – but it’s a little tougher than using an obvious light source in front of a figure. Stamp is Santa Bunny.

For these cards, each has a dark card base, so they’ve got liners – this one has the tiny mouse stamped on it. Stamp is mini Hanging Stockings.

This one has Duochrome Cabo Blue in the background, with spaces in between painted negatively to create the trees. Again the light is behind the rabbit, lighting up the back side. Stamp is Hiding Presents.

Moonglow and Paynes Blue Gray make up the background – I kept adding layers because the trees looked funky! Neutral tint for the critters. Stamp is Getting Ready.

Community Survey 2021

I’d love it if you could take a few minutes to fill out a survey. I have some super fun things planned for the future and some of the answers here can help me find the best ways to fine tune so I can help you achieve your art goals! Click the image or this link to take the survey.

Bloghop + Giveaway

Each blog is giving away the Hanging Stockings Mini stamp set – leave me a comment to qualify with what your fave of these four sets are!

The giveaway ends on the 23rd at midnight mountain time. Winners will be announced on the CCC blog on the 25th of November. Be sure to follow @coloradocraftcompany on IG too!

  1. Adrienne Kennedy CCC 
  2. Angelica Conrad
  3. Jenn Gross
  4. Bibi Cameron
  5. Jennifer Kotas
  6. Daniel West
  7. Emily Midgett
  8. Jenn Shurkus
  9. Kassi Hulet
  10. Erin Thompson
  11. Mansi Bhatia
  12. Donna Hitz
  13. Amy Young
  14. Kelly Griglione
  15. Caly Person
  16. Jessica Frost-Ballas
  17. Nichol Spohr
  18. Cathy Zielski
  19. Sandy Allnock <—last but not least….saving the best and all that, right? heehee!



Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

Some news…and a flip-through

Some news…and a flip-through

Rest in peace, Punch. Hope you found Ciara to go snuggle with, I know she’s been missing you.

It’s obviously been quite the week and I forgot to post the winner of the CCC stamp from last weekend, but her info was sent in to CCC for the prize – it was Didi Irwin.

Gratitude Junk Journal Class is about ready to start!

Early Bird Special: Good thru October 31, 2021 – Get 20% off with code JOY2021 at checkout. SIGN UP Backgrounds videos: 14 backgrounds and acrylic background with photo



Random.org selected winners for my Colorado Craft Company giveaway….congratulations to:

  • Lori Spitzer 
  • Ruth Gauss
  • Kathryn Eddy

Go pick out the stamp set you’d like as your prize, then email Belle at CCC with the stamp name and your mailing address!

There’s still another giveaway that’s open til Sept 30th for an art journaling class – right here!

Tiny tutorials

Tiny tutorials

Hey friends! Hope you’re doing well on this Tuesday in the middle of summer!

I’ve been doing a few new things of late on social media, and while I know some of you aren’t on Instagram, I thought you might like to know what you’re missing.

I do know some folks who’ve created IG accounts just to go view things – no posting or anything, and with a name that wouldn’t be recognizable so no one will find them. (ha!)

I’ve been looking for a while for something to shake up what I’m doing; biz has gotten stagnant, YouTube seems to be dying for creators like me (all these years later and views just stay at the same number)….but one place that does seem to be reacting and growing for me now is Instagram. But growth in numbers isn’t my goal – finding more people who I can help by inspiring their artistic ventures is what I want!

I’m doing lots of experimenting with types of content on Instagram, and since you come to my blog for tutorials, I wanted to be sure you don’t miss out on content that you might like.

What’s a tiny tutorial?

My YT tutorials are “big” ones – longer video, voiceovers, the teaching of concepts, mediums, and techniques. The “tiny” version of those: a single “little” idea that may have an outsized impact on your art! I look at questions I’ve received in emails and comments, noting the pain points of other artists – then try to answer them.

Go see all the tiny tutorials here (they’re collected in a “highlight” yellow icon at the top of my page), and click on the one you’d like to view. I add the ones from my main IG page as well as those on my fine art page; I’m trying to make them on Thursdays and Saturdays. My inner graphic designer loves these assignments, heehee!

For one example:

And a little project for today…

I’m a little late at getting to the new Colorado Craft Company release….but maybe the wait was worth it? While this isn’t a graphical tutorial like those above, I did take some pics along the way while working on this 5″ x 7″ watercolor card….this would work for Copics or others too. I’m using the new Color My World set from Colorado Craft Company along with The Artist.

Stamp brushes, masking as needed, and stamp image to be the painting in a lighter ink.
Paint or color the table.
Paint or color the image. Consider lighter colors than the “real” brushes and background.
Add shadows under the “real” brushes, going over the “paper” beneath them.
Add a shadow under the “paper” too, since it’s “real.”
My purple shadow bugged me so I added another layer of yellow background to soften it.
Add layers and sentiment to finish!


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. If you choose to shop using my EH (Ellen Hutson) links, please accept cookies on that site in order to retain the link to my blog, or that compensation does not happen for me. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art