Today’s art is inspired by the coming Valentine’s Day holiday – but also by things I hear from my students and readers!

I often see comments bemoaning a person’s own art. “I wish I could blend.” “My coloring stinks!” “My art looks so bad compared to ___!”

And though I say it often, I don’t think I can ever emphasize it enough: get your nose off your paper! When you are staring at your paper from 6 inches away, of course you’ll see any faults. But you know what? No one else looks at your work that way. And if they do, they don’t have a vision in their heads like you do – they just see a beautiful piece of art, and that’s it.

So today I’ll show you some of my art close up so you can see how messy it appears at a few inches away, but how lovely when at a distance. Maybe that’ll convince you to give yourself grace!

Tutorial: Title


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!

Alcohol Markers (transparent color)

With strong, transparent color, it’s quite easy to color these chocolates with ease – go outside the lines to your heart’s content around the chocolates! Keep layering the colors til they look as dark as you want. Make the plastic liner of the box black (grey 7 or 8) or go over that with a brown to create a REALLY dark brown. White gel pen highlights top  off the “high points” and uppper left corner to create a shiny look.

Colored pencil (semi-opaque)

Since colored pencil can cover black lines below it, the medium can look a bit messier than alcohol marker. Gamsol, a blending solution, can be applied and color smooshed around to blend color and press it down into the texture of the paper.

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Gouache (opaque)

Gouache is an opaque watercolor – if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a little like acrylic with different properties. (You could try this same thing with acrylics). Make the plastic tray black, add highlights in a very dark grey, then painted blobs for the chocolates. This was definitely the most fun to add the drizzled chocolate to! Gradually lightening the color until it’s white creates the look of softly molded chocolates.

So how about you?

What’s your internal language like about your art? Do you look at your blending and wish you could create art like so-and-so? It’s quite possible their art doesn’t look perfectly smooth…..sometimes it does but it’s certainly possible to make art that looks realistic without being “perfect”!

Intricate Sketches you can color

There’s a set of 5 (five for the price of four!) or you can purchase any of them, including the chocolate box, singly. Visit the printables page for more info!


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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  1. Cheri

    Yumm….. these look just SCRUMPTIOUS, Sandy! So, if I just color the candies, then maybe I won’t feel the need to eat them … ?? ☺️

  2. Marisela Delgado

    So much awesomeness!


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