News — beginners

Color Bias - An Eye Opening Lesson

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Color Bias - An Eye Opening Lesson

Do you struggle with muddy watercolors? Do you want to get brighter mixes? Understanding color bias was a major step towards solving these issues for me. As a self taught watercolor artist, I spend a ton of time on blogs and YouTube. There is so! Much! Info! on any topic you can imagine on the internet. I spent a ton of time researching watercolor supplies after the free class I took at the library. I'm such a nerd--and I secretly hoped if I researched enough and bought the exactly right supplies I would have an edge over every other beginner. Silly right?...

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Alla Prima Painting

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Alla Prima Painting

"Alla prima" is a term I just discovered last week. It means "at first attempt" or "all in one go" and I just love this idea! It describes my favorite way to paint and it makes it sound so much more legitimate. "Hello, I'm Jen Roberts and I paint alla prima."  It just sounds fancy that way! Wikipedia also tells me the French version of this is "au premier coup" which I like quite a bit too (possibly due to my years spent studying French in college!). Painting alla prima just fits my impatient nature. I don't want to fiddle...

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"Self Taught" isn't derogatory

around the web art struggles beginners

Deciding to paint somewhat late in life means I spend more time than I'd like second guessing myself. That nasty whiny voice comes up and wonders "what basics of design and composition am I clueless about because I didn't formally study art?" No one's ever actually said or even hinted anything remotely like that to me of course! My self doubt just seems to have a way of sneaking in.Being "self-taught" may still have some negative connotations, but I think a lot of that is fading as more and more of us become self-taught via the internet. The current pandemic and...

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First Gel Plate Printing Failures

beginners experiments supplies

How do you decide what to focus on? I want to do ALL THE THINGS! Lately I’ve been following a ton of printmakers on Instagram. I’d seen some beautiful prints from artists such as Kim Herringe and Sarah Matthews, so I recently asked for and got a gel printing plate for my birthday. I was hoping I could use watercolor paint with it instead of my beat up old baking sheet...but that was not to be. I tried it first with watercolor of course, but it took a ton of paint to get what was not even a smooth layer (shown...

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Don't Throw It Away

beginners supplies

I have the frugal instincts of a 90 year old grandma who grew up in the great depression and can't seem to let go of anything. My husband makes fun of me for cutting open tubes of lotion so that I can scoop out every last glop. I was using the handle of my toothbrush just the other night to flatten and push any remaining toothpaste up to the top of the tube, and he took it away from me and called me ridiculous. But I don't care, in fact I'm trying to lean into it. And I prefer to...

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