Yellowstone Watercolor Tutorial

Here is a fun watercolor tutorial I made.

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The reference photo I used for it is from Yellowstone National Park. Living in Montana has made it really easy to go visit Yellowstone regularly. The fun thing about going so regularly is that we get to see the park in all its various seasons. Last year we saw super-blooms with fields of flowers and later the gorgeous reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn . This year we got to see amazing thunderstorms roll in and early morning fog . The morning fog looked so beautiful on this day with the sunlight shining through it. I am hoping to create some finished pieces for my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

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You will notice some differences between the sketchbook painting and the reference photo. I simplified the landscape in my painting for several reasons. The first was because of the size of the painting. I was working in a sketchbook so I didn’t have a lot of room to paint tons of details. Also Strathmoore 400 paper is good for things like sketchbooks and simple paintings but it cant handle as many layers of glazing and scrubbing like Arches can so I simplified the painting so I wouldn’t have to fight my paper as much. The other reason i simplified the landscape is to make the video easier for you to follow and not have it be ten thousand hours long. The longer it takes me to paint a picture the more i have to speed up and trim out piece of the process. In total this painting took me about 4 hours for me to complete.

Here is the list of the tools I used:

* M. Graham Watercolors (Azo green, Hookers Green, sap green, Cad Orange, Cad yellow, Ultramarine blue, cerulean Blue, and Ultramarine Violet).
*Strathmoore 400 Watercolor Sketchbook
*Creative Mark Mimik Paint brushes (Grey Handle)
*Princeton Neptune 1/4 Dagger Brush
*Fineline Masking Fluid
*Masking Tape
*Paper Clamps
*Clean Rags
*Mechanical Pencil

 

If you have any questions about this painting please feel free to ask below.

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

It has been a crazy few months around here with the work, family vacations, kids school starting, etc. I am trying to get back in the swing of things and finding my new balance.

The last few weeks I had been struggling to feel inspired on what to paint and create. In an effort to get inspired I decided to watch some other artists youtube channels. I found that a lot of the artists I was watching were combining pan pastels and Faber Castell Polychromo colored pencils. So I decided to order some from Dick Blick. When they arrived I started experimenting with different layers of  pan pastels, the colored pencils, and Pastel Pencils on Uart sanded paper. The results were exhilarating. It sounds strange to be exhilarated about drawing with pencils on sandpaper but for this artist struggling with artist block it was just what I needed. While doing my little sketches my brain started generating tons of future project ideas.

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First sketch with Polychromos
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More Polychromos sketches on sanded paper
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sketches combining Polychromos, Pan Pastels, and Pastel pencils.

One of those projects was a series of owl drawings. I love owls. They are beautiful birds with such big eyes.  I have now finished the first two owls in the series.

Tree Barn owl Etsy

Etsy owl

Here is a timelapse video that I recorded while I worked on the second owl.

I cant wait to share with you more from this new series I am working on.

 

-Lauren

My Top five essential soft pastel tools

Here is a list of 5 of my favorite and most used tools when I work with soft pastels. My favorites include Rubbing Alcohol, Dark Ink ( I use Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks),  Photo Corners in various sizes,  Work able fixative ( I use Krylon Fixatif), and Rubber shapers.

The video goes into more detail of why I like these tools and supplies when working with pastels.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

How to paint a landscape using Mungyo soft Pastels

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Today I am sharing with you a soft pastel demonstration where I give tips and tricks on  how to use Mungyo and Stabilo CarbOthello soft pastels to paint a field in the autumn. The reference photo is one on got of Pixabay.

 

 

The Mungyo set is a entry level set that I reviewed a few months ago and I finally got a chance to do another painting with them.  I still think they are a fantastic entry level set if you are wanting to experiment with pastels before investing in more expensive sets. It’s also a great set for children to use given that they are affordable and non-toxic. Like always use whatever pastels you have on hand. You don’t have to use this specific brand to follow along.

There are a lot of pastel pencils on the market I happened to use the *Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils which is the brand I have on hand. You don’t have to use pastel pencils to do this painting I just found them useful for doing the smaller details since I was working in a 6×11″ size. If you are only going to be using traditional soft pastels I recommend pressing really lightly for the sketching and underpainting portion.

I also used Uart 400 Grit sanded paper in a 6×11 size but if you are just learning and wanting to figure out how to paint using soft pastels on sanded paper you can use regular sand paper between 260-800 grit.

Other supplies include rubbing alcohol, *Dr Ph Martins Bombay ink, Old paint brushes, and a rubber blender.

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If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments below.

-Lauren

 

All links marked with a * are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you use these links that help support my channel. I only link products that I regularly use and recommend.

Colorful Bison

This past month I was asked to do a colorful painting of an American Bison. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to demonstrate how I used Brusho and Hydrus watercolors to create my colorful animal paintings.

 

 

Paints and Supplies
*Dr PH Martins Hydrus watercolor

*Arches water color

*Black Velvet Brush

*Brusho

* Masking Fluid

 

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All links marked with a * are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you use these links that help support my channel. I only link products that I regularly use and recommend.

Vacation sketchbook tour and travel watercolor supplies

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Here is a video of what supplies I took with my on my hiking and biking trip to Moab. For this trip I approached my sketches as a form of journaling. Most of the paintings represent something we did or saw that day. I didn’t paint on the back side of the paintings so I could use it as a spot to journal about what we did, saw, and funny things my kids did.

These illustrations are very simple as they were painted while my kids were eating lunch, while riding in the car, etc. I tried to mostly capture the mood and lighting more than the detail.

 

I’m sorry my voice is so scratchy in this video allergy season has hit.

 

Here is a list of the art supplies I took on this trip.

*Sakura Koi Watercolors Pocket Field Sketch Box Sets

*Global Art Hand book Artist Journals

*Pentel Aquash Water Brush

*Sharpie Pens

Bic Mechanical Pencil

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I am really excited with how this sketchbook journal experience came out and I hope to do this kind of sketchbook work more often. I think it adds a more personal touch to what I am creating and allows me to soak in those memories a little more.

-Lauren

 

***All links marked with a * are affiliate links. I earn a small commission when you use these links that help support my channel. I only link products that I regularly use and recommend.

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

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

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

Sketchbook Tour

One of my new years resolutions has been to get better at regularly drawing in a sketchbook. I often get so busy with commissions and projects that I don’t always have time to work on personal projects or try new techniques. I am hoping that by drawing and painting in a sketchbook regularly will not only improve my skill but also give me a few minutes each day to paint and create something just for the pleasure of creating. As much as I love doing commission (it’s the best job I could have) I need to spend some time creating pieces of work that are personally motivated so I don’t get burned out.

 

I have owned many sketchbooks over the years and have never actually finished one. I didn’t like having “ugly drawings” stuck in my sketchbook so I would either rip out pages I didn’t like or just hold off from drawing in my sketchbook until I got better as an artist. I think part of me was ashamed of my skill level for not being “good enough.’ It is kind of silly to think about now as a (slightly) more mature artist because the entire purpose of a sketchbook is for it to be a safe place to practice, experiment, and grow as as an artist.

Setting this goal for the year has helped me to FINALLY finish my first sketchbook. It’s far from perfect since I bought it a few months after I got back in to art in 2016. Some sketches have been torn out because I didn’t like them or used them for other projects. But  I finally completed the pages that are remaining.

It may seem silly to celebrate such a small and silly thing but when trying to develop a new habit it is always important to celebrate the milestones along the way. It is also a sign of my personal growth as I am now more accepting of my shortcomings as an artist. I always want to improve my skill level but I am no longer ashamed of my journey as an artist.

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A landscape sketch done in 2016
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A landscape sketch done in 2018

Another benefit of using a sketch book (and not tearing out the pages) is that I have also been able to see how much I have grown over the years as an artist. Being able to see tangible proof of my progress is so helpful on days when I feel discouraged.

What about you? Do you like using sketchbooks?

-Lauren