Thursday, August 31, 2017

PRICE ALERT! Whiskey Painter's Travel Palette

Whiskey Painters have been well known to make the best, most sturdy palettes. Now they have brought out a much lighter travel palette that is great for Plein Air painting. It technically the palette holds 12 half pans but in pictures, artists are showing that not only can you get an extra pan on the end of each metal bracket but that one can also GET A LINE OF HALF PANS DOWN THE MIDDLE! Now that's cool!

Customized Whiskey Painters Travel Palette
(Photo from Amazon Customer in Reviews)
Please recognize that with this price, it does not come with empty half pans or paint. It is, for the price a fantastic, seriously fantastic deal. In fact, I want one! It does not ship to Canada but I'm hopefully gonna convince an American friend to let me send payment through Paypal for both palette and any shipping. I want it that much.

On it is being sold for $9.75.  See more pictures HERE. There you can see the empty palette and read all the answered questions. There are fantastic reviews on this palette,  4.5/5 stars!

Unfortunately this deal is not offered for Canadians, Sorry. Hope this post helps inform you about a great deal that you don't want to miss. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

New Winsor & Newton Supplies

Last month I won three tubes of Artist quality Winsor & Newton watercolors, a Series 7 W&N brush and a spiral bound 5" x 7" sketchbook of 300gsm cold pressed watercolor paper. Really, I never win anything and since I won two gifts of paint in one month I'm taking it as a sign to keep painting and putting myself out there. Hey, my motto is Just Add Water Silly after all. ;o)

The three colors included are French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna. I have been jonesing to try W&N Burnt Sienna since I found out it's transparent. I don't really love my Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna and I find DS Quin Burnt Orange too, well, orange, lol. 
The information about these colors is in the 1/2 pan painting below. I found that the French Ultramarine worked much like the Daniel Smith and Schmincke. I don't have Alizarin Crimson in my palette. When I went to create a palette I originally didn't add any fugitive colors. Aliz.Crimson is slightly fugitive but I've learned from a good friend, Tracey, that if you mix permanent colors with fugitive colors it makes the fugitives much more permanent. I'll be adding this color along with the Burnt Sienna to my palette.

The Burnt Sienna is the best find EVER. Yes it has a little less strength than the Daniel Smith Burnt Sienna or Quin Burnt Orange but the best part about it is it's NOT too orange AND it's TRANSPARENT!! I was so surprised to fall in love with this color. As I've mentioned above, Burnt Sienna and it's ilk have been the bane of my existence. Until now I hadn't found one I liked. It's such a great mixer so I really wanted to love a Burnt Sienna, now I do!

I used only the three colors above to paint these blueberries. It worked well as I could make a Payne's Grey with Burnt Sienna + Ultramarine. I could also make a version of PB60 (Indanthrone blue) with the same colors. I achieved a reasonable purple with Ultramarine + Alizarin Crimson.
These are great professional paints and I'm thrilled to have discovered the Burnt Sienna, it was love at first sight & meant to be. In fact, I've already emptied the tube! My full pan is only half full because I have use so much of my new Winsor & Newton Burnt Sienna. I'll have to save my pennies for another tube. I never want to be without this color!

I'll be putting up a review of the Series 7 No. 4 brush and the W&N watercolor paper that was part of this set very soon.

Learning: How to set up a WordPress blog
Eating: Prebiotic and Probiotic foods to improve gut bacteria
Reading: Robert Dugoni's newest "Close To Home"(preorder here) & "Gut Balance Revolution" by Mullen
Wishing: I knew someone who knew how to install and use Wordpress. ARGGG!!
Joining: PPF, thanks for hosting Kristin & Eva. Come on over and see what we created.


Winners from the Brad Taylor Book Giveaway

Hello all. The winners from the Brad Taylor Thriller Giveaway have been chosen with a random number generator. The winner of two Brad Taylor paperbacks and a one of a kind bookmark by me is Faye from Faye's Adventures In Art. Congratulations Faye!

The runners' up who each win a bookmark are:

Sandra Busby of Sandra Busby Art
Valerie-Jael of Bastelmania

Thank you all who entered. If you'd like to read Brad Taylor's latest paperback, "Ghosts Of War" it's out in print now and available for both download and shipping. All of Brad Taylor's books are listed on the Giveaway page.

Congratulations too those who won. Please send me your full name and address so I can send your prize. 

I'll be back soon with new art and a review of Winsor & Newton Artist Watercolors.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PRICE ALERT! Strathmore Softcover Sketchbook

Hi all, this just in, Strathmore Softcover Journals are on sale at Amazon! This is the 8" x 5.5" softcover portrait watercolor sketchbook. The paper is 300gsm/140lb and there's 48 pages. All that for just $11.84, that's 42% off. Obviously it takes watercolor but also anything else you could through at it, pen & ink, gesso, acrylics, glue. It has a sewn binding and a soft cover.

There is also an 8" x 10" (exact size is 7.75" x 9.75") larger Strathmore Watercolor Journal available for $16.37 if you're interested in a larger format. You save 36% on that one.

I have one of these and the paper is awesome, it's their 500 series paper and holds up to any water and washes you want to throw at it. The softcovers are lighter to carry and hold up well. Good luck and go shopping!

 PS. I'll be back soon with the winners of the two Brad Taylor books and the one of a kind bookmarks! If you haven't signed up, do it today, you have until midnight Pacific Time Aug 29th, 2017!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Van Gogh Watercolors

Doodlewash had a giveaway that I won in the World Watercolor Month celebration. My Van Gogh watercolor palette arrived a few days ago and I wanted to put the paint through it's paces to see how it performs in relation to my normal Daniel Smith watercolors.

The palette is plastic and has a removable mixing tray so you can use the lid and also the six well tray for mixing. It also makes the mixing tray easier to clean as it detaches from the lid. This set also comes with a travel brush. It says it's a size six, the other end is tapered and is used to pry the mixing tray and the half pans out of their position. It's really an adorable palette.

Click to Enlarge
The colors included are:
  • Chinese White PW4
  • Payne's Grey PB6/PV19
  • Yellow Ochre PY42
  • Burnt Sienna PR101/PBk11
  • Viridian PG 7
  • Sap Green PY29/PG7
  • Ultramarine Deep PB29
  • Cerulean Blue PB15/PW6
  • Madder Lake Deep PR264
  • Perm. Red Light PR254
  • Perm. Lemon Yellow PY184
  • Azo Yellow Med PY154/PO62
Before it arrived, I did some research on this palette and Van Gogh watercolors. Every site I went to seemed to agree that they were the best student watercolors out there. In fact one post suggested that there should be another category for these Van Gogh paints, one between Artist quality and Student paint. We'll see...

As you can see in the swatches, the colors are bright and vibrant, surprisingly so for student watercolors. I can see a slight difference when I compare these swatches to my Artist quality paint but I have to admit, it's slight. I'd say they have a little less depth and saturation, but as I said, not much. Let's see how they are to paint with. Oh, the swatches were done in my Stillman & Birn Beta soft cover sketchbook. The comparison paintings were done on Arches 300gsm hot pressed paper. In fact, I cut one piece of paper in half so it was the same piece of paper too!

Now let's get painting a pair of pears!

The first painting is the one using the Van Gogh watercolors. I used the Madder Lake, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Azo Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Sap Green, Viridian, Yellow Ochre and Payne's Grey. So, all but three colors were used.
Van Gogh Pear (Click to Enlarge)
I was thrilled to see how well these paints performed. Yes, I did have to work against a little ashiness. I pretty much conquered that problem by glazing problem areas with the lemon yellow or a mix of sap and lemon. I found when I used the ultramarine or the Payne's over the green would add a little bit of dullness. You can see remnants of this on the right lower side where I decided adding yet another layer of paint to battle the ashiness back was ill-advised.

Now for the Professional Watercolors. I use nearly the exact same colors as were in the Van Gogh set. I had to substitute the Madder Lake for Alizarin Crimson and instead of lemon yellow I used Schmincke's Pure Yellow. Other than that, the colors are nearly identical.
Professional watercolor Pear (Click to Enlarge)
Ok, yes I can see a slight difference. The professional watercolors (Schmincke, Daniel Smith, Winsor & Newton) are cleaner and brighter. BUT... seriously, there isn't that much of a difference! I noticed a difference but for any beginner I would whole heartedly recommend these paints. That's a 180 degree turn from what I would have said a week ago. I believe that saddling a student with sub-par supplies just sets them up for failure. But this set of 12 Van Gogh Watercolors (18 half pan set) is truly beautiful. The colors re-wet well, they're vibrant and lay down well. As a student learns they can upgrade but until then this set truly does fit the bill. I'm thrilled to be able to say that.

The only negative I can see with this palette is that the half pans can too easily come out of their position. If one were to drop one's palette or push it inadvertently onto the floor while using it there would be pans of paint everywhere. This is a minor thing though as I fixed it with tiny pieces of double sided tape on the bottom of each half pan. I'm sure I'll have to pry them out when I want to change a color but I don't think it's much of a problem in the long run. *Please note that W&N half pans are smaller than most other half pans you CANNOT switch them out for other half pans, you have to use W&N half pans.*

Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think of Van Gogh paints. Do you agree that students should start with good quality supplies or is it ok to save money and practice with anything?

Learning: That WordPress is HARD to learn, lol.
Dreading: A very busy week!
Dreaming: About winning lots of money to I can go art supply shopping!
Planning: To review Toned Paper sketchbooks. Several companies have agreed to participate.
Purchasing: Dip pens & ink (hopefully!)


Saturday, August 26, 2017

PRICE ALERT! Caran d'Ache Neocolor II

Have you ever used Caran d'Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels? They're a very cool tool. They look like crayons but work like watercolors. Watercolors you can color with much like watercolor pencils but even easier to use. These can also be used as solid watercolors too. Just get a water brush and add water to the tip of the Neocolor, just like you do a half pan of watercolor paint. I've even seen artists cut these up and put a piece in each half pan so they're incredibly portable.

Quick Sketch done several years ago
I have the ten color set and they're wonderful to use. The colors are bright and juicy. I did the sketch on the right a couple years ago, just a quick study of a couple of coffee mugs. I loved how accessible these Neocolors were. I found when I didn't feel like getting out my whole palette I could just wet a few colors and taxa! COLOR. This is a terrific price at 40% off, you get 30 colors for only $41.50!

Ok, go shopping!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

GIVEAWAY! (For The Bibliophile In Us All)

Yes, you read it right! I'm doing a GIVEAWAY! For all you book lovers out there, I'm gong to make your day. I was contacted by Penguin Random House, they asked me, since I had loved and supported Brad Taylor's previous books, would I like to giveaway his latest paperback, "Ghosts Of War"?Yes, yes I would!

I have truly enjoyed Brad Taylor's Pike Logan series. Not only does he write heart stopping thrillers but even better, his books are teaching tools. The reader learns about current Global politics, conflicts and military responses. Every book Taylor writes is so easy to read and enjoy but just through osmosis, I learned amazing amounts of details about terrorism and US military response to that threat.

I am so thrilled to be able to participate in promoting Brad Taylor's latest paperback "The Ghosts Of War" (Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover). It comes out at the end of this month, August 29th, 2017. The publisher has also agreed to give away a paperback edition of "No Fortunate Son" (Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover). You can learn all about Taylor's main character, Pike Logan and his backstory before jumping right in to "The Ghosts of War". I started reading Brad Taylor's series with "No Fortunate Son" and was hooked from there.

Brad Taylor isn't just a spectacular writer with a good imagination, he's the real deal. These books are written by an actual badass with real world experience in the military. Brad Taylor is a former Lieutenant Colonel who is a twenty-one year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces. He also put in eight years with the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment popularly known as Delta Force. I have found that as I read his books I look at what's happening on the world stage differently. In the last few books I've learned about international political infighting, ISIS and suicide bombers. In this book Taylor takes on Putin, Russian corruption and the fabled Nazi gold train from WWII.

Here's a list of all of Brad Taylor's books and short stories. If you don't win this giveaway I wanted you to have easy access to his books, in order. They're so worth your reading time. Normally military thrillers are not my favorite mysteries but I was addicted within minutes of picking up "No Fortunate Son" and have been an avid fan ever since.

One Rough Man
All Necessary Force
Enemy of Mine
The Widow’s Strike
The Polaris Protocol
Days of Rage
No Fortunate Son (My Review)
The Insider Threat (My Review)
The Forgotten Soldier (My Review)
Ghosts of War  (My Review)
Ring of Fire 
Operator Down (Preorder, Publication Date, Jan 9, 2018)

Short Stories:
The Callsign (Takes place between "All Necessary Force" & "Enemy of Mine")
Gut Instinct (Takes place between "Enemy of Mine" & "The Widow’s Strike")
Black Flag (Takes place between "The Widow’s Strike" & "The Polaris Protocol")
The Dig (Takes place between "The Polaris Protocol " & "Days of Rage")
The Recruit (Takes place between "No Fortunate Son" & "The Insider Threat")
The Target (Takes place before the Task Force is created, Aaron & Shoshana's backstory)

Praise for :Ghosts of War":
“Brad Taylor continues to solidify his claim as the best pure action thriller writer out there today....Ghosts of War combines the anticipatory genius of Tom Clancy’s geopolitical tomes with the high-stakes plotting mastered by the likes of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. A slam bang, read-it-till-you-drop thriller with as much brains as brawn.”- Providence Journal

“In this tenth book featuring Pike Logan, author Brad Taylor will have your heart pounding and your pulse racing out of control.”- Suspense Magazine

Ghosts of War might not just be Brad Taylor’s best novel but the best thriller of the year.”-

“Brad Taylor continues to amaze....[Ghosts of War] uses a bigger canvas than [Taylor] has employed previously, yet his transition is flawless, and is every bit as suspenseful, exciting and believable as his earlier novels. One can almost see the movement in the real world, following what he lays out in exquisite detail, in the next month or even in the next week.”-

How To Enter:

To enter this GIVEAWAY just comment on this blog post by typing, I LOVE BOOKS! I'd love to hear who your favorite authors and books are (other than Brad Taylor, that'd be obvious, lol.) The GIVEAWAY ends August 29, 2017 and I will choose a winner within three days of closing and inform them through email. If you are in the US the publisher will be sending out your two gorgeous Brad Taylor paperbacks, if you are in another country I will be shipping to you. Either way, I will contact the winner and ask for your particulars. Oh, and I'll be including a hand made, one of a kind bookmark to the winner, you gotta be able to keep your place in these exciting books, right? :o) (Two runners-up will also win a handmade one of a kind bookmark!)(OPEN TO EVERYONE)
Bookmark ABookmark BBookmark C


Monday, August 21, 2017

PRICE ALERT!! Derwent Inktense Pencils

Sorry for putting out two price alerts in two days, I thought I'd only be doing these once in a while. But I guess it's back to school time so art supplies are on extreme sale?? Who knows but YOU get to benefit! YAY!

I'm sure most of you have heard of Derwent Inktense pencil crayons. They're deeply pigmented, water-soluble  and easily blended. They have translucent effects of inky wonderfulness. 

This is a set of 72 pencils and the price is so much lower than the manufacturer's suggested price that Amazon won't show it to you until you put it in your cart. For US customers the price is $69, a whopping $54 cheaper than even Dick Blick has them on for!! (You also get free shipping.)

Anyway, I sure hope some of you can pick up this deal, they're gorgeous pencils that are water-soluble and saturated with color. They can be used as normal colored pencils, liquified with water (many use a water brush) or you can even dip the tip into water and get even more intense color. I have several colors and use them with my watercolor pencils. Good luck and have fun shopping!

Friday, August 18, 2017

PRICE ALERT!! Russian Red Sable Brushes

Ok, I was changing over all my "Products I use" on my sidebar and came across an amazing watercolor brush sale on Amazon. I thought I'd tell everybody! They are Da Vinci Russian Red Sable brushes which is the brand I use. You get five brushes,  0, 1, 2, 4 and 6. I don't even have a 0 and could really use one.

Normally these brushes are $47 but right now you can clip the coupon connected to the link by checking the box and you'll save 35%! I have no idea how long this sale is on as I've never seen Da Vinci brushes on sale. Hopefully this price alert will help you get some new fantastic brushes. I sure found that switching to my Da Vinci's elevated my work. When I took Tracey Fletcher King's Delicious Paint class I asked her what she used and got the same sizes she had, I have #1 through 6 and an 8 but I've only used the 8 for large washes so far.

Anyway, hope this helps you. There are several other Da Vinci sets on the same page on sale so I'm sure there's a set there for you.  Enjoy your shopping!

Whiskey Painters Master Palette

I just noticed an insane sale for the one palettes I've jonesed for since I started painting. It's the best made palette out there. I've never seen them any cheaper than $70 and then there's usually shipping on top of that. This is the reason I don't own it, to Canada it's well over a hundred dollars! has a sale on for The Whiskey Painter's Master Palette for, hold your hat, $39. And on top of that it has free shipping! I'd be on this like white on rice if it shipped to Canada. Just thought you'd want to know.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Just Buzzing Around

Hiya. I'm up to my eyeballs with work. I'm revamping my blog and adding the Amazon Affiliate Program to it. You'll notice a few esthetic changes in the sidebar. Mostly you won't notice anything different in my post as I've always added links to stuff. It's just for the first time, I might benefit a tiny bit if I help you find just the right new art supply or book.

I've added links to my blog posts since the beginning, it's one of the first things I learned when I started blogging seven years ago. I know that when I'm on another artist's site I appreciate when they tell me what supplies they used and where the heck they got them! Let's face it, we all love art supplies and looking at another artist's stash is a guilty pleasure for most of us. I've always just thought it was fun to allow for that indulgence. Hey, as a friend and reader wrote to me today, "It's cheaper than therapy!". Yup, totally agree.

Anyway, I wanted to show you my new mascot in sharing form! I ordered twenty stickers from Sticker Mule the other day and just approved the proof of my little guy. I'm in love. He's my social media mascot, when you see the bee, you see me! Isn't he cute, with my blog and name built around him? I used Pic Monkey to curve the script, it was actually quite easy.
If you want your own stickers or anything else Sticker Mule makes (stickers, labels, buttons, magnets and packaging), they gave me a $10 off coupon code to share with you. Just go to Sticker Mule through this link, sign up and you'll get a $10 credit. The next thing I'm gonna do is get him in magnetic form! Then he can fly around and stick to anything metal. 

I'll be back soon with more artwork, some reviews of art supplies I won in a giveaway on Doodlewash, and general shenanigans. I'll also be doing my own giveaway next week so watch this space! I'll be linking up with Paint Party Friday, come join us. Later Gator!

What I've Been Up To:

Learning: How to use Amazon Associates
Eating: Chaga & Five Mushroom Blend from Wild Rose, it's supposed to prevent cancer growth!
Reading: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman. Then tomorrow I'm starting the latest Cainsville Mystery, Rituals by Kelly Armstrong.
Planning: I'm thinking of moving the blog to WordPress... a boatload of work!
Dreaming: About writing my own book! Would you read a mystery I wrote?
Anticipating: Reviewing Hahnemüehle paper.
Purchasing: The newest Instant Pot - MINI It's SO cute and only 3 quarts!



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