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Sketchbook Sunday

Here is a little sketchbook painting I did last sunday. One of my new years resolutions this year was to sketch more often in a sketchbook. I talk a little more about it here. Sundays are typically the best days for me to do that because they are my laid back days that I take off from my work side of art (i.e. Commissions) and most other responsibilities. I typically wake up early before the rest of the family or do it during quiet time.

If your wondering why I posted a “sketchbook Sunday” video on a thursday it’s because I had originally planed to record and share one of my sunday sketchbook paintings and share it as a bonus video. However, my computer died on Saturday night so I couldn’t edit the video I recorded for my Thursday video and had to change my plans. I ended up recording  and editing this video on my phone and pushing it back to my normal Thursday slot.

For this painting I used a fine point Sharpie for the outlining and Gouache for the underpainting. My gouache palette is a mix of both M Graham and Windsor and Newton paints. For the Colored pencil details I used my Prismacolor pencils. I was fun to be able to use them because I don’t use colored pencils very often or do mixed media very often.

This ended up being a fun little exercise that was a nice break for the commissions I have been working on. Its fun to see how I have really started looking forward to these sketchbook sessions when up until a few months ago I had hated working in a sketchbook.

What about you? Do you use a sketchbook? When do you typically work in it? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

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Dr Ph Martins Hydrus watercolor Review and Speed painting

Colorful bear - Watercolor
Colorful Bear – Watercolor

I love Dr Ph Martins Hydrus Watercolors, I have been using them regularly for the past 2 ½ years. I have used them for a wide variety of paintings and thought I would share with you their pros and cons while demonstrating how to paint a colorful grizzly bear. Yes, grizzly bears are my favorite animal so I tend to paint them regularly. I Hope you find this review  and speed painting helpful.

One thing that is really nice about hydrus watercolors (and professional art supplies in general) is that they are available in in sets and as individual paints. If you want to try them but don’t want to commit to an entire set you can order individual colors from places like dick Blick. You can also order replacements as needed.  If I was going to recomend a set to start with it would be Set 1. It contains a great selection of primary colors that allow for great color mixing. My most used individual colors are the  Hansa Yellow Light, gamboge, vermillion hue, crimson lake,  Ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, and Quinacridone magenta,

If you are interest here is a list of the supplies I used for this Painting:

Hydrus watercolors

Arches Cold Press watercolor paper

Silver Black Velvet Brushes

Palette 

Masking Fluid

Rubber Cement Pickup 

To give you some other examples of what can be created using Dr Ph Martins Hydrus watercolors here are some other paintings I have created using these watercolors.

If you have any questions or would like more information about these watercolors please leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

Sketchbook portrait

Just popping in to share a fun sketchbook portrait I did while taking a break from some  commissions I have been working on.

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Portraits and figures still make me nervous. If the thought of drawing/painting something makes me nervous it is a sign I need to keep practicing it so I have been painting a lot of portraits and parts of the body to become more familiar with them.

Here is a picture of my latest portrait. I am always drawn to faces with twinkly eyes, lots of wrinkles and facial hair. Most of my charcoal portraits include at a least one of those features but usually two. I decided to practice painting wrinkles and facial hair in watercolor. It took some planning ahead of time to mask and look at the areas I wanted to preserve the highlights in.

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Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out.

-Lauren

Best Watercolors for Children and Beginners

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I am regularly asked about what watercolors I would recommend for this person or that, for a specific budget, or purpose. I decided I would do a series where I review various watercolors and talk about their quality, pros, cons, and who I would recommend them for.

This is my first installment in the new series and I will be talking about inexpensive watercolors I would recommend for children, teens, and beginners.  I also discuss some of the signs of when its time to start to move up in quality as your kids progress in art.

You can find these paints at big box stores like walmart, hobby lobby, and Michael’s. The crayola paints can be found on sale in the fall right before school starts. These can also be purchased online, I found Dick Blick had the best deals for them.

Crayola Watercolors

Prang watercolors

Sakura koi Watercolors 

If you have any questions or want to request specific watercolor you would like me to review leave them in the comments down below,

-Lauren

The Benefits of Creating

I was recently reading an article that talked about the benefits of being creative. It was using the term crafting but I believe it can be applied to any creative/artist endeavor where we create something ourselves. It talked about how it can be a form of meditation and can help those who suffer from anxiety and depression.  This is something that I have seen in my own life. If you are new around here you might not know that I started painting and drawing again after a seven year break. It was at a point in my life when I was feeling burned out from the demands of motherhood and my husband in being in medical school. I had also just found out that my husband was going to be out of state for 6 months that year.

I am so grateful I started painting again at that time in my life because it gave me a way to take care of myself that I could do almost anytime. I would wake up early and stay up late so I could have sometime to escape from the stress of it all and just focus on how to mix paint and put it on the paper. I think the main reason I was able to make it though that year was because I had art to keep me balanced.

What about you? Has being creative helped you cope with stress? Let me know in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

 

 

Rocky Beach Pastel Painting

Rocky Beach seascape

A few weeks ago I painted this colorful rocky seascape. It was so fun painting it a different way than the seascapes I had painted previously. I felt like the practice I got from painting those pieces really helped me to get more loose and colorful with this painting.

This piece is now available on my etsy shop if your interested in purchasing it. To celebrate spring this piece and all other landscape, seascape, and botanical paintings are 20% off through March 31, 2018.

If you are interested in knowing the materials and tools I used for this painting here are the links to them so you can learn more about them. These are affiliate links but don’t feel pressured to use them. When you do it just helps me out and allows me to spend more time making videos for you.

MATERIALS & TOOLS

*Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew

*Mount Vision Pastels https://goo.gl/BCVnZ8

*Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn

*NuPastels https://goo.gl/Bf3aBV

*Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui

*Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y

*Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn

*Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk

*Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU

*Stiff Brush brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof

*White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj

*T Ruler https://goo.gl/GZRy1v

If you have any questions about my process or the tools I use feel free to leave a comment below and I will do my best to answer it.

-Lauren

Vacation Sketches

If you have read some on my recent posts you know that I have been traveling. I recently just got back from a family vacation where we visited our extended family. Typically, when I go on family vacations I am not very good at taking time to sketch in my sketchbook regularly. After a day of wrangling kids and traveling I usually just pass out as soon as I sit down. Often I end up only painting one-maybe two sketches.

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Picture of a Pie on the night before pie day

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This trip I decided to try and take time to paint and draw everyday except traveling days.  Overall, I did pretty good. Some days I only got 10 minutes to paint other days I would sit down for a couple of hours to do it while we watched a movie. When I had longer amounts of times to work I would try to do multiple sketches and not spend more than 30 minutes on each piece. There were a few days that I ended up skipping because they were just way to busy like the day we went skiing.

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A kid free ski day is worth skipping out on sketching for

The sketches are far from perfect but I am hoping that sketching and painting these quick pieces will help me gain more confidence and speed in my painting and drawing process.

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My daughter wanted me to paint a castle
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This sketch was done on loose watercolor paper and then was glued into my sketchbook

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With the mushroom paintings I tried experimenting with different styles of painting. The top one I wanted a softer look so I kept the contrast and lines a lot softer. Whereas the bottom one has a lot stronger contrast between lights and darks, pen and ink details, and more texture in the painting style.

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My moms tulips were starting to pop through the snow but hadn’t bloomed yet so I decided to paint a bloomed one.

Now to unpack and get back to work on bigger projects!

-Lauren