week 3 of Watercolor Mastery

Paint along with Angela, using color theory and brush handling.
Listen to your heart, what is your mood telling you, what colors fit your mood...

This week was all about how to create with color, and use that color theory to add harmony into your paintings.

I loved this straightforward approach, I love studying all about color. I love learning about the different relationships colors have with other colors and the relationship between color and the viewer.

This week wasn't the most creative week for me in terms of producing works that I personally made, this week was all about painting along with Angela, which for this week was a good thing.

Winter Scene using warm and cool complimentary colors
My ahh hah moment or take away was this: Angela is fearless in her watercolor because she knows her subject well, she has painted the same scene a handful of times and by the time she is ready to teach it, she knows exactly how to paint it, and what colors, Like in so many things in life, we have to learn and experiment before we get it just right, sorta like your grandma's favorite chicken noodle recipe, she has made that at least 100 times in her life, it's the best because she has made it over and over. Same with most art that is created. Van Gogh, Monet, O'Keeffe, painted the same subjects over and over again, why? to learn! So my take away is paint something until you get it so good you want to teach it!

Today while painting and doing some warm-up exercises, I was reminded of being fearless in watercolor, and fearless with the color choices you choose. So I did, and I  found a lot of freedom in painting more how I feel with color than I did when I carefully chose what color because of the name. It was liberating!

As the next couple weeks continue, I am excited to shift from learning and painting along to going out and painting from my own reference photo's and get more of how I would like my style to be!
Autumn forest using expressive lines and bold colors.

I will say that in between painting sessions, I would feel like a fish out of water because I was using colors in ways I hadn't thought about or even wanted to try, I was always afraid of adding more than 5 colors to a painting, but introducing colors really does help add more drama to the page!

Thanks, Angela, I learned a lot and I can't wait to start painting again this week!

I am curious if your color choices are a go-to tool in your toolbox? I know want to paint all the things in vivid and beautiful color, with some neutrals I have made!

Week 2 on my Watercolor Mastery journey

This week was intense with watercolor. I went to bed thinking about my paintings, then woke up thinking about those paintings.

Watercolor was on my mind, It's funny how when you are as stubborn as I am, (Taurus) that you just don't back down.
What I mean is, all my free time was spent watercoloring. not on Social Media, not on watching Netflix, although I did manage to watch some Netflix while painting. My point: You can still produce watercolor paintings even when you think you can't find the time.

Going into the week, I knew it was a busy week, PTO stuff, Two field trips for my 4th grader (one was a trip to the art center) Can't pass that one up, the Georgia O'Keeffe and Matisse are my favorite ones! While Family will always come first, I still hungered for my creative time.

So I persevered. Finding those 15 minutes of time here and there along the way. I was surprised at just how much you can fit into a 30-minute painting session. As Artist's, we are so melodramatic! I thought there is no way I can produce art in 30 minutes. YOU TOTALLY CAN!

This week was all about learning to see and paint Value (the contrast between light and dark) I was totally ready as a professional photographer once a lifetime ago (Before Kids) I thought, I got this, This week was harder than I thought.

Seeing Value is one thing, That's easy! Painting Value, and understanding your paint and the value it has is a completely different ball game. I am so glad I didn't give up.

used my own reference photo, It had been something I had been doodling for a while and thought now it needed to be a painting. I planned my value studies, and came up with a good game plan and was off to paint.

I am happy with the end result, only because It taught me how to successfully paint a background, (negative painting)  Good I thought the assignment was over.

While thinking I could never paint like Angela, NEVER (again with my melodramatic antics) I thought, I am not supposed to paint like Angela, she wants me to paint in my style, ok, I will... So I actually used her recommended reference photo and really took her lessons to heart, but didn't paint like her. I painted in a way that I wanted too... literally for the first time. And I loved the result. I see lots of things I would change, but I loved the process, and hope to do more like this until I find the right way of how to paint the way I feel.  Thank you, Angela, for helping me feel and paint what I feel!

Add caption

I was able to get in some structured play time this week with watercolor, you know that time when you are painting, but it feels more like an escape from your world?

I loosely followed how to do leaf print tutorial and made those leaf prints into a painting, Third time was a charm!  I was happy with the composition and went to bed thinking of other color schemes that I want to try, watercolor is so addicting!

Snowfall on the river bank

Lastly, I used my new Daniel Smith Colors, (the Primatek set) I like to call it the Mineral set, These colors are amazing! and did another pallet knife/ no brush painting. I loved it, I used tissue paper, a fork, and a palette knife instead of my brush, I can't wait to try another painting like this! While painting this landscape, thoughts of QI (Chinese brush painting philosophy/term) came entering into my mind, and before I knew what I was doing my painting was done. It felt magical.  I'm leaving this piece alone and will frame it. I love this painting, I love how it made me feel while I was painting this. Do you see the snowy river bank? I just love this painting!

Although I had doubts about my watercolor journey this week, I learned to doubt my doubts before you doubt what you are capable of. That I did, and am grateful for my stubbornness to not give up when I wanted too, I would not have had the breakthrough that I did!

If you have dreamed of painting loosely and love watercolor I recommend this free class from Angela Fehr! 

If you are following along with me, Here is week one, 

Week one in Watercolor mastery with Angela Fehr

First Snow- Final for Week 1 in WC Mastery 

I needed a Creative distraction, and Week one of my Watercolor class helped me have that distraction that I hungered for.

Hungered to me is the right word, I was creatively starved. This class Angela has created meets you where you are as an artist! I felt like I was still in the newbie stage, where I knew all the techniques and the mindset of how to watercolor, but I was struggling to paint something more original.

This week was all about exploring your tools, and what you love about watercolor. I have so many ideas on how I want to develop my watercolor style! That I want to paint all day long.

Painting all day long is not an option for this busy stay at home mom with three kids! So taking Angela's Advice I spend a small amount of time in the morning (before breakfast) to paint for about 15 minutes. I can't believe how much creativity can come just from painting a little bit before the kiddo's wake up. then I start a small studio session once my youngest is in Pre-school. That is where I learn.

Then I try to find little bits during the day to "paint" doddle, created, learn, and read the suggested reading materials. By the way, the books are amazing! I can't wait to really dig in and do those exercises as well, to help with my style.

My Ahh Hah! moments that Angela taught, and finally sank in into my work:

my paintings in process

sketchbook play

The paper doesn't Owe you anything, play around with it, make mistakes, those mistakes often lead to those breaks through
!  I love my sketchbook for that! (but need a watercolor sketchbook for Plein air!

Do What you feel: That is where you will find your style! Then ask your self What do I want? Go with that feeling! 

And lastly: Use more Fresh Paint from the Tube! (I love the vibrancy and the intensity of the pigment straight out of the tube of watercolor!

My take away from week 1 Watercolor Mastery:
Learning to use the tools I already have, has made me want to do some mixed media pieces with watercolor, stencils, and gesso! I forgot how much fun it is to get my hands messy, and not worry too much about how loose and fluid my work is! I can't wait to play around with that!

Painting with colors that make you happy and help you convey the mood of the picture. I spent an afternoon outside with my Qorr Natural and Chroma Watercolor pallet, I was planning to paint what I saw, And I did, but when I was able to get to my "studio" (dining room table) I used all the vibrant colors that made my heart sing, using the knowledge of color theory, I was able to be happy with the color choices and that made my heart sing!

My Break Through this week: Color! I am loving the color choices and the way color can help make the mood of the painting yours! Watch for more dramatic uses in color in my paintings!

If you are learning watercolor, or want to learn how to watercolor, Angela has a ton of great content on her website. I have taken over 90% of her classes and love them all, they are a great resource for all artists!  Here is one of my favorite ones that started it all for me! Or try her free class for everyone! (it's worth watching!)

 Sketchbook play
 Happy Painting! Doubt Not, Fear Not!

How to watercolor a Christmas card in 5 minutes with 3 colors

It's possible to paint something in just about 5 minutes, and I have the perfect tutorial for you.

Are you like me and love to paint sunsets? This card is perfect for you!

Using the Snowy village stamp by Blue Knight Stamps is one of my favorite stamps for watercolor cards for Christmas that isn't a green or red card.

I would love to know if you look for stamps that you can add a sunset too? I know I can't be the only one right? 

Enjoy the process and creativity! 

Happy Creating!

Why I am a Watercolor Mastery Student

Summer Grass (sold)
My first piece of art that was in a Gallery in Des Moines.this summer 

Get your watercolors ready, this is going to be a great journey! Angela Fehr is enrolling students to her Watercolor Mastery Class! It's a 6-week class to help watercolor artists become their favorite artist! I can't wait to be a student in her class!

My Top 5 reasons why I am taking this class:

My Loose Rose study from AF. Lovely Loose Floral class

1. I really at a crossroads with watercolor, I know more than enough techniques, that I can critique my own paintings, But I am not Loving my paintings as much as I was hoping for. I want to love what I paint, (more often than not)

2. I need a Creative distraction. Seriously, I am making drama in my family's life, when that drama needs to be on the page- Just Keeping it real for you guys! Thanks, Julia Cameron for that!

3. I feel like it's time for me to grow as an artist, and Angela is so authentic with her teaching that I feel comfortable stretching and growing my skills as she helps mentor her students, it's really a great feeling knowing she is there to help you! I have learned so many insights from her critiques and comments!

Single Rose study
4. I need a reason to paint. I have a painting in my mind, ALL THE TIME. But the fear and the reality of  "doing the work" get's in the way. I really want to change my mindset, and be more proactive when I am painting. I want to always be painting with confidence, and I know without a doubt this 6-week class will help with that.

5. I need some time to myself. I need to grow as an artist and I need that structured time for my self to learn, so in 2019 I can hit the ground running with my art. I know I need this time because I just got done with the Lovely Loose Floral class Angela did on Facebook, which was amazing! I missed that painting daily challenge, Opps- there's my confession, my paints are drying out and it makes me sad! 

If you were able to take a watercolor class to help with your skills, what class would you take, and why?

Paint with me, and Angela and the rest of her students, This is a gift you can give yourself to become your favorite artist, and I can't wait to see what creativity you, and I can come up with when working with watercolor! Her enrollment starts today and ends when the class is full, or when it starts. I missed out last time because I was to slow! I can't miss out again!  Go here for all the info you would need to get started! 

See you in Class!

Positive Vibe Cards to your BFF

Warm-ups are part of an artist's way of producing art.
the background was simple line brush strokes to learn
what blues can do. Adding a simple sentiment with a
frame around it helps tie in the composition.
I used only one stamp: Penny Black's Hope Shines Through.
We all need those phone calls, cards, and prayers when a friend, or a family needs emotional support at times right?

I thought I would share with you some of the cards I like to send that really don't take to much time to do. If you like watercolor the fun part is, you have paintings, or exercises to help you make these cards fast, (the hard part is already done for you right?  Let me  Explain:

As a watercolor artist, I have a ton of good paintings that will not see the light of day, seriously my batting average for a good painting is like 1 out of 15, so twice a month I will have a good painting that I am willing to frame. ( that leaves me with a bunch of extra paintings to make cards out of! Hah!

So my process is simple, I buy a lot  of Background stamps, they serve two purposes,
1. They are perfect for watercolor warm-ups and I can use the stamped background for easy Clean and Simple Cards (CASS)
2. The background stamps are usually really open-ended so I can do a lot with them including mixed media pieces.

Pair background stamps with some nice size sentiments and you have a good card to send with your artistic style. It's that simple let me show you some ideas!

I like to save time in my creating time that I do have, so you will often see me stamp with black or brown archival ink on some card panels, that way when I am ready to paint I have some things already to add pigment too, it's up to me to decide what kind of media I want to use.
I enjoy Mandalas for uplifting and encouraging cards.
This background stamp is from Taylored Expressions
 I will also see the end from the beginning with cards and stamps, I will clear heat to emboss knowing what I want to do with it (watercolor) to get a resist effect. Then later I will add a sentiment that fits the occasion.

Star Background Stamp from Taylored Expressions
Faith Sentiment from Penny Black
 used Kureatake's Pearl Colors
A great way to make an uplifting card is keeping the color palette simple and easy, using your knowledge of color and keeping it as simple as possible will really help. This card I was strategic, I knew I wanted the stars to stand out just a bit, so I glazed over them with other colors to give it a pop of color. It works great, and I enjoyed making it.

I also love when a style of a card shows through unexpectedly, What I mean, is this stencil is from Penny Black, and I just love it, I used a gold texture embossing paste and it was so pretty as a background I had to use it for something elegant, I didn't want to take away from the beauty, so I added a vellum panel and heat embossed this sentiment to add to the simple beauty of this card. What a beautiful wedding card this will make! For this card, I used the Penny black Faith Sentiment set again and PB's Vine stencil.
I would love to know what you think makes a good uplifting positive vibe card? Does humor take a part in it? (something I lack in my card designs!?)

Happy Creating, When creating positive and uplifting vibe cards, it gives me a lot of peace and joy that comes from the process of creating the card. Then when I send the card to a friend, I get that joy back from a phone call, or a text saying thank you for the card, (my joy comes from making the card and sending the card to a dear friend!)

Happy Creating!

how to Craft a Christmas Card Collection

Crafting a Country Christmas Card Collection makes me happy! Here are some of my insights on how I created this collection. Links to the products I used are at the bottom of this post. Thank you Blue Knight Stamps for providing these stamps to share!

A Winter Cabin in the Woods

A good Card collection has a certain style to it that makes you feel like it's a complete collection.

Snowy Village

Winter Barn

While designing this collection, I wanted each card to feel like a part of a Christmas event I celebrate.

Car in a Scene
 I wanted to add my thoughts at Christmas through activities I cherish, For example, Sunday Before Christmas, Our big multi-generation family Christmas at a lodge, The scene of Christmas day, Going to Grandma's for Christmas brunch or dinner. sharing Christmas with Farming Friends that keep it real! 

Snowy Village

Some design elements and tips that helped with having a united look was having stamps that had the same feeling I was trying to convey. The stamps needed to be open-ended for watercolor and yet detailed enough so I didn't have to color them too much. These stamps from Blue Knight Stamps were the perfect fit for that! 

Have a simple color pallet, I love keeping Christmas Cards simple with some pop.      When designing a card collection I always ask why? Why am I creating it, Why would my viewer want to have this collection of Cards? Why would I want to display these as a whole as Christmas decorations? Those questions all have great value in creating a cohesive look.  Creating Country Christmas Cards I had to add some flannel or plaid, I also wanted some simple watercoloring, So there you have a simple watercolor style with some really impressive stamps. I hope you have a wonderful time creating some Christmas Cards for your loved ones this year. I always enjoy mailing them out and getting text messages back saying they loved my card I sent. Isn't it a great feeling when you send a card you made for a friend or family. I always hope that they want to frame the cards, these cards are frame worthy I think. 

Stamps I used: All from Blue Knight stamps. They offer free shipping on orders more than $50

Some of my favorite Materials I use for my watercolor cards:
Mixed Media Paper (for the stamped panel.)

A class you may want to take if you want to learn more about watercolor cards that I love and recommend is Creative Watercolor with Angela Fehr. Worth every Penny! 

Paint a garden in October: Free Refrence photo's

Oh NO! The flower gardens are drying up, and the bright colors of summer are turning muted and greyish brown. I have to preserve those beautiful summer colors that I wish could stay around all year long, Who is with me on that?
Learn watercolor through painting florals

I am so excited that Angela Fehr is opening her loose and lovely floral class starting October 1st. Not only that, she is going to have a special facebook group and videos to help all students that are enrolled in her lovely loose floral class to excel with watercolor! I love the live video content from her, she has repeatedly answered my questions on her live feed, and I am able to get an insight into how she conducts her paintings. I am really enjoying the process of watercolor, Angela has really helped me learn that the process of painting should be a joy of painting.

I hope you follow along with me, and Angela with her interactive class! 

To get you motivated I wanted to share with you some of the floral pictures I have been sitting on to paint. If you see one you like to use it for a reference, inspiration, Creativity is meant to be shared and I love to take pictures of flowers. Just give me credit, and share with me your painting!

Loving these colors, (this was taken at the Flower and Garden Expo at Epcot.) 

I just love the Characteristics of these flowers, I hope to create these flowers in my own artistic interpretation. 

I had to make this BW, the Value is wonderful, looks like a fun loose painting at it's finest!

I love this color combo!

a simple warm-up that was inspired by the class. 
experimenting with brushwork, I love the bright and cheerful mood this painting gives.
Painting a rose warmup.

This is one of my favorite florals I have painted, thanks to the lovely loos floral class. 

I truly hope that if you are wishing to expand your watercolor skills that you take the time to take this class while Angela has it open for enrolment. Can't wait to see what you can create! I can't wait to see what I can create!  Creativity knows no bounds! Let's learn together!

If you are wondering when and why to include some art in your day, I recommend reading Art Before Breakfast. It changed how I view creativity and painting every day. 

Disclaimer, I am an affiliate for Angela Fehr, When you click on a class through my blog and purchase a class, you are supporting my blog.

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