Posts Tagged ‘painting’

Review: Sakura Koi Water Color Set


I’ve spent about 3 weeks with Sakura’s newest product, the 48 pan watercolor set (it’s currently sold out on Amazon). It’s fabulous. I’m loving the color and texture quality. LOVING. 

See my review below and enter to win a 36 pan set on Instagram RIGHT HERE.

If you want to learn more about how to watercolor, check out the work of Natalie Malan

Sign Painting Inspired Photo Backdrop


Sometimes I enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to a project before understanding the scale. It’s a problem I get myself into constantly. As much as these decisions cost me in time, I benefit in learning new things: new methods, techniques and at the very least when I should say, “no.”


AlixMegan and I were asked to head up a photo booth for Alt Summit this year. After mulling through several ideas, our theme was b&w pre-internet, we settled on some typographic backdrop for the photo booth for Alt Summit (summer 2015). It took until the 11th hour to think of what words to use.

I’m no copy editor. Coming up with copy is difficult for me. I can make it beautiful, but figuring out what to write can be like pulling teeth for me. It took several conversations as a team and an hour long phone call with my mom. I figured it would make the most sense to do onomatopoeias. Since it’s B&W pre-internet (which I thought was kind of vague) I started with the sounds you would hear from pre-internet technology like the “click and clack” from a typewriter. Then it grew from there to include any onomatopoeia that I could think of. I didn’t want to repeat the words too many times.


Initially I had thought about inspirational words or phrases, but we didn’t want readability to be an issue. The short words turned out to be great.


This sign ended up being roughly 9′ wide and 4′ tall. Doing something this large isn’t typical of my day-to-day work. Also, sign painting and lettering isn’t something that I do often. I was more than a bit out of my comfort zone here. Between that and the fact that the only space I could complete the sign was the kitchen area, stress levels were at an all-time high. My stress always sky-rockets around Alt Summit. So Chris knew he needed to steer clear. The kids quickly learned that lesson after an embarrassing amount of yelling, “GET OUT!! I can’t have you touching the paper!!”

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they live in a mausoleum, but I also can’t have their sticky otter pop hands anywhere close to the paper. My paranoia mounted the further along I got. Stakes were escalating, I couldn’t start over!


In my efforts to keep Pen and Felix out of trouble and my precious paper out of harm’s way, I barricaded the kitchen off with various chairs and a car seat. Chris got a kick out of it. That buffer saved my bacon a couple of times by keeping Felix from barreling through the room on his way outside.

At one point Alix came over to help fill in words with her two littles in tow. 5 kids under the age of 7 made for some interesting work time. Her kids were so good at staying clear of the paper and paint. Mine, not so much.




The event went well, but as we were setting up for the backdrop I noticed that we had an awkward blank space on the top left corner of the backdrop. I made it a point to have my art supplies with me so that I could letter names for people (that was so fun!). So it was no big deal to whip out the white paint and brush and get to work on a couple extra pieces to fill out the negative space.


If you look carefully, you’ll see that the “alt.” logo, arrow and “BAM” are a slightly different white. I had a different white, a teeny brush and I had to do it while the backdrop was hanging so I didn’t have a hard surface to work on. It certainly wasn’t my best work, but I was able to fill in the blank and make it look like it was supposed to be there.

I may be biased, but we rocked the photobooth. I’m glad I said yes to this project and got out of my comfort zone.

Project materials:

Tutorial: Getting the Most Out of Your Watercolors


It’s been a while since I’ve busted out the paints. I love painting! Painting was my life before I had kids.


When talking to friends about my love for painting the conversation usually steers towards watercolor, “the most difficult paint medium”They’re not as difficult as you may think. If you’ve got the right tools, you’ll be surprised how forgiving the medium is.

Periodically, I’d like to chime in here and there with a few tips on painting with watercolor. Let’s start with the basic tools and how to get saturated tones.



Cropped Art Tutorial

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I’m over on Make and Takes today sharing an easy way to display children’s work, by layering/cropping.


Click here for the full post.



Sponsored: Discover Art You Love


This post is sponsored by Find your art and love your space with’s prints and museum-grade framing.

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Back when I was first learning how to paint with real watercolors (about 8th grade), we had an assignment in my french class. I’m not sure what it had to do with speaking the French language, but I loved it all the same: we had to replicate a french impressionist work of art. I chose an obscure Monet piece. As I was looking through and discovering artists of the French impressionism, Monet really struck a chord with me. I became just slightly obsessed.

A painting I did at the ripe old age of 13

Funny story, not long after I discovered my obsession with Monet I found out I needed glasses. BADLY. My mom and dad joked that my poor eyesight was the reason why I related to Monet’s impressionist style so readily. They were probably on to something. Or perhaps it was something about the impressionist movement that made real moments and landscapes so beautiful and breathtaking.

Since learning more about art and art history Monet still has a place in my heart, but I’ve grown to love all kinds of artists. Right now I’m totally digging on these fantastic artists:

Even now, as I look back through the paintings I’m most proud of (interesting how most of them happen to be at my parents’ house) I find that each of them have a very painterly approach.  Perhaps this is a coincidence because of the style of the first artist I ever loved?

Throwing paint isn’t always my go-to technique, but it’s fun to do. There’s something about the almost childlike or (this is such a ‘po-mo’ term I hate to say it but it’s true) visceral experience of the controlled chaos of making an image with bold brushwork.

Who was the first artist you ever loved? I would love to hear your stories! Let’s talk art, today.

Do you have an iPad? You can access’s Art Circles app where you can discover more art via curators (yours truly is on there), style, color and words. The app is absolutely stunning, free, great inspiration for your home and for getting your art on. If you don’t have an iPad, you can find my art picks at my You+Art profile page.

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