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

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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