May Recap

Spring finally arrived in Western Pennsylvania in May, and I’ve become increasingly inspired to use brighter colors in my sketchbook. There’s just something about the the bright greens of spring that just lifts the spirit!


This little birdy was such a fun way to experiment with the bright and transparent hues of Turner’s Artists’s Watercolor. Because of my partnership with Jerry’s Artarama, I am privileged enough to try brands I would have never tired before. Every brand of paint and every pigment reacts differently, so there’a always a learning curve to using new paint, regardless if it’s the same medium that you’re already used to. Watercolor paints consist of certain ratios of pigment powders and binders, and those binders contain a mixture of various substances from gum arabic, to honey, to clove oil, and more. Each brand and maker have their own recipe, setting them apart from the rest. Learning how to master a new brand takes a decent amount of experimentation, which is fine with me!

Due to their pigment and binder ratio, these Turner’s watercolors mix like a dream and flow beautifully on the paper. I am enjoying them so much that they seem to have taken over a majority of May’s sketchbook spreads.


This fun citrus spread was painted primarily with Turner’s Watercolor, but I played around with using Turner’s Acryl Gouache to the backgrounds. I really love how the flat opacity of the gouache contrasts with the free flowing transparency of the watercolor fruits. Although the gouache background was my own idea, I learned how to paint the fruit through a Skillshare class called Paint Realistic Citrus Fruits in Watercolor. I can’t recommend Skillshare classes enough! They are my go-to when I am in a creative slump.

Speaking of Skillshare, my first class, Painting a Watercolor Forest with Depth and Light, surpassed 400 students in May! It makes me so happy to see the positive reviews and student projects. I never imagined I would have any success with my classes, but I am so encouraged to keep creating them. I am hoping that my second class, How to Paint Mini Tree Line Vignettes in Watercolor, surpasses 200 students by the end of June! That’s been my favorite class to create so far because I just can’t get enough of those cute miniature tree lines! They make great gifts when turned into magnets or bookmarks. I recently listed a few of the magnets on my Etsy shop, so check them out if you are looking for an inexpensive gift.

The Sprout Creative design team is also doing an art swap, so I’ve been busy painting small forests in my spare time to send to my team members! One down, 5 to go! Here are highlights from some that have already made it to their homes.


If you’re interested in learning this style of landscape, follow this link to the class and you’ll also receive 2 free months of Skillshare! It really is an invaluable resource, in my opinion!

My goal for next month is to release a new Skillshare class, so please reach out to me if you have any class suggestions! I have been toying the the idea of making a sketchbook layout themed class, but am not really sure how to execute it yet. As you can see from the first few pictures I shared, I’ve been developing a style for my spreads to include a color swatch area, along with a smaller, complimentary illustration. I don’t do this for every sketchbook page, but it’s becoming more and more frequent so I might as well roll with it!

I’ll leave you with this little guy. That’s it for now, see you in June!


April Recap

April began with much excitement, as I was contacted by Jerry’s Artarama (a well established online art supply retailer) and asked to be a brand ambassador. After accepting (and freaking out!) I promptly received a box of amazing new supplies to try out! Along with brushes and sets of both pan and tube watercolors, they also sent a set of Acryl Gouache, which I’ve never tried before.

My first project was to test out their 12 piece LUKAS 1862 watercolor pan set. I took it back to basics with a color chart in my sketchbook. Along with being very vibrant, the colors re-wet beautifully, and I couldn’t be happier to have this set! Check out the range of colors!


One of the things I was most excited to use was the Turner Acryl Gouache, and for those of you who don’t know, acryl gouache is a matte finish acrylic paint, but is creamier and acts more like watercolors when mixed with water. Basically, it’s an illustrator’s dream. I feel strongly about experimenting with different mediums and styles, because that’s when you truly start to develop your own style. So although this piece is pretty different from what I’m used to creating, it was such a great learning experience.


All of the new supplies from Jerry’s have given me a ton of inspiration to try new subjects and styles! I’ve filled up so many sketchbook pages using their products and am so very excited about this partnership!

Speaking of amazing partnerships, I also received the latest watercolor collection from The Sprout Creative, the Secret Garden Collection. I am so lucky to be a member of Vanessa’s design team and honored to test her paints. Let me tell you, she’s set the bar pretty high and this month’s collection did not disappoint! To be honest, it’s one of my favorite collections. Here’s a floral arrangement I painted to show the variety of hues this set gives:


I can’t say enough about the quality of these paints and the generosity of Vanessa. She truly puts her heart and soul into her family run business.

I also used The Sprout Creative handmade watercolors to celebrate the season premier of Game of Thrones! Here’s my take on the Three Eyed Raven:


I’ve also been getting ready for an Etsy shop update in May! I know, it’s been ages since I’ve listed new art, but it will be worth the wait! I put together some Thank You and blank note cards and I hope to list them in a 4 piece set. It took me an entire weekend to sketch and paint four separate floral scenes, scan, digitize them, and then format them for stationery. My first stationery collection is truly a labor of love and I can’t wait to make more! Here’s the first printing of one from the set:


I also have some monochrome forest pieces mounted on wood in the works! I’ve painted three of these in various color schemes, and hopefully they sell well! Keep an eye out for a shop update! There will also me an announcement made on my monthly newsletter about an exciting sale for the month of May. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter here to get the latest news about studio happenings!

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a painting of Notre Dame that I was inspired to paint after its devastating fire. The History of Art and Architecture student in me was heart broken when I watched the spire fall. I am so lucky to have been able to visit it in 2003, although I wish my disposable camera skills were better back then!

I used skills learned in a Skillshare class to get the light and shadows right. It’s a little looser in style than what I’m used to painting, but like I said earlier, it’s so important to have a well rounded education and try new styles.


There were also a lot of sketchbook pages filled in April, and May’s blog post will most likely document all of my outdoor painting excursions. I have a ton of information on how to set up a travel palette and paint plein aire (outdoor painting), and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you. You can also check out my Skillshare class “The Four Seasons: Creating Temperature and Mood with a Limited Palette” to learn how I started!

Because I had no commissions to work on this month, I took advantage of the down time by painting for fun as much as I could. I tried new subjects, styles, and mediums, and feel like I’ve grown so much as an artist in the past few weeks. Thanks for joining me on this recap! Check me out on Instagram for more photos and videos of my work, and I’ll see you next month!