Playing with Paints Acrylics (or Love Acrylics, if you're in the UK) will be out in just a few weeks and I am still just BURSTING with excitement. This is hands down the biggest and longest project I've ever worked on. Truly, a dream come true. I started working on this book last summer and wrapped it up in the fall. It is kind of surreal to see it all come together. I talked more about the process here, when I surprisingly found out that it was already available for preorder.
Speaking of, have you pre-ordered your copy of Playing With Paints yet? Let me know if you have. Once they are all mailed out and in stores I plan on doing a freebie and/or a giveaway of some sorts for those who have supported this dream of mine! It truly means so much and I wish I could personally think everyone who does!
Playing with paints is 160 pages long. Broken down into 5 chapters with a mix of plays - prompts and projects.
The first chapter covers the basics and helps you get into the swing of painting, and familar with the materials.
In chapter 2 we're ARTYing hard for 15 minutes at a time. This chapter is full of ideas for you to do when you want to create and paint but don't have alot of time to do so.
Let's be honest, the whole book to packed with color (you won't catch me doing too many greyscale paintings). Chapter 3 focuses on colors and inspires you with different and bolds ways to use it painting.
In chapter for we're talkin' bout, learnin' bout and using texture in various ways. Incorporating texture into your painting technique will add more dimension to your final piece. Texture can be intimidating, but it's super fun wants you get comfortable using it.
One of my favorite things about acrylic paint is that it sticks to soo many surfaces. In chapter 5 I am taking you off the canvas and showing you different things and surfaces you can paint on with acrylic paint.
I am so excited for this book to be released, so thankful for the opportunity and even more thankful for everyone who has already supported me, ordering pre-sale and sending me sweet congrats messages. It truly means a lot to me. T H A N K Y O U!!!!
My Art Studio and office makeover is finally done and I am so excited to share it with y'all! As you may or may not know, Chris and I purchased our first home last September. We didn't move in until mid-end October and at that point in life I was still very much so in the process of finishing up my book. I was just overall exhausted. Buying a home (once it is over) is very rewarding, but the process can be complete hell, especially if you're two artists trying to prove yourself on paper. [Thats another story, for a different day- just dot your i's, cross your t's and set yourself up as a real business that pays yourself. That's the best advice I've got on that topic.]
Needless to say, I was just happy to finally be homeowners, thankful that we were able to find a cute place that we could afford in a neighborhood IN the city that we had lived in for the last decade and wanted to stay in [the Atlanta market is very competitive]. As much as I wanted to get to decorating EVERYTHING, I needed to catch up and rest and let our bank accounts do the same.
Also, even though we were going from a small loft apartment to a 3 story townhome, in my studio space- I was having a really hard time figuring it out. I kind of did (and still do... a little bit) feel like I don't have enough room. I went from a corner in our loft, to a full room. AND still ran out of space as soon as everything was moved in. The only thing I added was the desk. It had been in storage since we moved into the loft. Previous to the loft, we were in a two bedroom apartment and that's when I got the desk [from Chris' parent's basement, it was his grandparent's]. The reason we 'downsized' to the loft was just because we loved the space and location so much better, and we didn't really need an extra room at the time. You can see old pictures of our first apartment together here.
Anyways, after living and working in the house for a while and knowing how I am truly using the space and needed it set up, it was easier for me to have a 'vision' for the space. I finally made some purchases, got to painting (with the help of my sweet hubby) and brung it all together. I really didn't want to rush the process and I am so HAPPY I didn't. I truly love the space and feel like it is cute & functional and that is all I could want.
It always gets worse before it gets better.
Here you can see my sketch of what I had in mind for the space. I did this before I purchased anything, In my mission to find a leopard rug, I found a round one I liked better. I honestly have plans for different furniture/desk and work space. Kind of like built-ins all on one wall, but that will be in the future. I really didn't want to spend too much money, other than paint and a few accessories, right now.
Before & Afters
The befores and afters aren't that much different, but enough to (I think) show a transformation. I think it shows how much just a little bit of time & paint can truly transform a space.
Much didn't change here, either. I just rearranged a bit and added the pillows . I got the 'black out' curtains off amazon to try and help with the temperature. In the winter, it was getting to be like 50 something degrees down here, so these curtains helped a little bit. Same in the summer, it kind-of gets hotter down here so they help when the sun is hitting the hardest through the windows.
The steps might be my favorite in the space. I mean, if you're going to have this many steps in your home, you might as well make the most of it, right?! Rainbow steps for the win!
My cute little Olive girl running around the new space.
The secret to success/luck :: working hard !!!
I hand painted the black spots. It is a half wall, so it honestly didn't take me that long at all and I just used a regular ole brush that I paint with normally. No stencil or anything, just free hand. If you're not down for that sorta DIY, below I linked some peel and stick wallpaper that is very similar.
I absolutely LOVE this industrial DIY ladder that Chris made for me. I wanted a better and 'cuter' way of getting up to the top of my closet for extra storage. The industrial pipping is simple + functional and exactly what I wanted! We just got the supplies from lowes. It wasn't a kit or anything like that. Chris figured out where the studs were in the wall and that is how we decided how wide to make the ladder. It was the easiest way to go about it.
The pink + peach + yellow + orange vibe is pretty strong throughout. From the stairs, to the pillows, to the walls, that is how I pulled it all together. Not trying to be match-matchy, but mixing in those colors consistently with black and white gives it all a cohesive look.
This is the less ''pretty' but super functional side. Here is where most of the work happens. Where I make my leather handbags and paint my paintings. I have a 'vision' for this side of the room too, but for now I want to use what I have and save that investment for later. I put my work table [which is a kitchen table my mom's dad made] on risers to be standing height for me. To the left of that table is the closet, that stores all of my products and to the right is my easel.
This is the view looking down into the space. Behind me, there is even more steps to the entryway. Then another set on the main floor. This is the home of many steps, I get my workout in daily.
Cheers to finally being done with this space! I can't wait to see how it inspires me & what I create in it! Let me know what your favorite part is.
P.s.: My Book Playing with Paints will be in stores next month, have you pre-orderd yours on Amazon or Barnes and Noble yet?!
The best watercolors paints you can use, be it on a budget or looking for professional-artist grade watercolor paints & pallets- today, I'm sharing with you my favorites!
You know, acrylic paints will always have my heart and be my numero uno! But I am the type of person/artist that likes to dabble in a little bit of everything (enneagram 7). Watercolor paints are another one of my favorite mediums (obviously, by the amount that I have). They are similar to acrylics in how forgiving they can be, if you mess up, you can probably save it. Watercolors are approachable to everyone. Unlike acrylics, these paints are safe for the youngest of children (yes, even tots) and super affordable if you are making art on a tight budget.
As you can tell, these pallets are well loved. They are truly what I use and have been using for years. I'm sharing with you a wide range of the best watercolors out there, from cheap beginner pallets, to tubes and pallets that will be something you'll save up for and gain experience before you'll need/want to upgrade.
Affordable + Beginner Watercolor Pallets
The artist loft pallets are honestly one of my favorite pallets ever and they are SUPER affordable. These are GREAT paints for beginners or even kids. But, as you can see, I've used mine ALOT. There are a wide selection of colors in the artist loft pallet and they have pretty good pigment for the price. It is a good 'bang for your buck' deal in my opinon. If you don't have alot of money to invest in paints and want to make sure you get a wide selection of colors without having to by multiple pallets, this is the pallet to go with.
ThePrang andCrayola pallets are great and affordable options for the kiddos, but I still find myself using them too. You can always get a good deal on these pallets, especially if you look out for sales.
Sakura Travel Watercolor Pallets + Pearlescent & metallic pallet
The Sakura pallet is a travel pallet but I use it regularly and LOVE it so much, that I just bought myself the other pallet with glitter/metallic colors. Each of the pallets come with water brushes (as seen in the *new pallet bellow), a little tray for mixing colors and two sponges on the side for blotting the water brush in between colors. You can find these anywhere from $20-$30ish dollars depending on sales. Amazon has the best price I've seen. My original Sakura pallet I have had for 4+ years and it's traveled all over the world with me, can't wait to love one the new one just as much!
The Winsor & Newton pallet is another travel pallet that I have had for YEARS. It was actually my first. I have replaced some of the watercolor squares over time when I ran out and it's just been the best little thing. It's super small, will fit in the palm of your hand and comes with a cute little extendable paint brush.
Mission Watercolors Tube Paints with a Pallet
The Mission watercolors are tube paints that come with a pallet for you to squirt each color into with lots of space for mixing up your own colors too. Y'all, these colors are so rich + vibrant and are just the most beautiful shades. These colors get used so much. The blues and greens are my favorites. The pigments are so strong that you only need to squirt a little bit of paint out at a time. These are more pricy, but in my opion worth it and will last you forever.
The Kurtake is another really awesome, semi-pricey (cake) pallet, but again- totally worth it. I use this thang so dang much. I love the colors that come with the pallet (you can see some are very worn down), the blues, yellows and golds are my favorites/most used on this pallet.
Metallic Watercolors and Neon Watercolors Pallet
It can be really hard to find good metallics and neons in watercolors. The metallics are often muddy and the neons too watery and see through. The MozArt Supplies Metallic and neon pallets do just what you want them too and for a GREAT price!
I LOVE liquid watercolors and inks but they are a totally differnt ball game from regular cake and tube paints. They are obviously more 'fluid' so you really have to get used to how much water you need to use and how wet you can let your paper get before it rips. Keep in mind the ink watercolors are permanent, so be careful blowing, splattering and slinging them around.
I don't have a set any more, but in my classroom I used to use The Sargent Watercolor Magic set for our lquid watercolors. Perfect for childern and will last you FOREVER.
My personal favorite liquid watercolors and inks are from the Dr. Ph Martin's line.
“This is NOT a sponsored post from the brands + products mentioned but does include affiliate links to the products on Amazon. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
Guess what?! I wrote a BOOK! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have already heard the news. I announced it just before Christmas, when I surprisingly found out that it was already available for pre-sale on Amazon!
I spent the majority of 2018 working on this project, dreaming up the projects, shooting the pictures and writing the copy. It was a true labor of love, and the biggest + best opportunity I have gotten thus far.
Getting to write a book (of some kind) has always been a dream of mine, just one I wasn't sure how to bring about on my own. I don't necessarily consider myself a writer, per se, at least not in the traditional, grammar snob way. BUT I have always loved creative, free writing. Keeping a journal since 6th grade, writing down the details of my life, and creating little short stories. That naturally evolved into a Xanga, Livejournal, blogger and eventually- this blog right here. I guess the next natural progression was a book!
This opportunity first came about a couple of years ago, shortly after I left my teaching position. A editing house out of London reached out to me to pitch them a few ideas on what I would write a book about if given the chance. Naturally, I pitched all art related ideas and doing a book about painting just felt right.
The projects in this book are labeled as 'plays', 'prompts' and 'projects' and range from easy to slightly challenging, I wouldn't say hard, though. I really wanted it to be a book for 'everyone' type of thing. Something that adults and kids both could enjoy painting their way through. Something that art teachers could use as a jumping point for class projects, or that a beginner could pick up to start their acrylic painting journey.
The book is only on pre-sale right now (on Amazon and Barnes and Noble) and I haven't even received a physical copy of it yet. So I will be sharing more about this through out the coming months, maybe even giving you some teasers of projects inside.
Paint with me :
Let's be Friends!
D.I.Y. : Eyeball Clutch
#OWWWA : Frank Stella
Currently on the Gram :