Speed Paint - How to paint watercolor hearts

Happy Valentine's Day!  So when I first noticed watercolor, it was because of the blending.  Those color shifts from dark to light and the textures, they sucked me in.  You're probably feel the same way and want to learn how to do this yourself so let me walk you through a bit.

A fun exercise to do is to actually paint with the water first in the shape that you want to create.  Here I painted hearts with just water.  Making sure the entire heart shapes were still wet (and touching), start to drop paint into the water puddles.  The really fun part is mixing colors together.  Just adding a touch of  yellow to red will make a different color, adding more water will make that color lighter.  So just play with the color combos but quickly, because the heart water shape needs to stay wet.  

Then when you get to the area where the hearts are touching, push it a little so the color moves over into the new heart.  Then just keep dropping in colors.  Think about it like you are dividing the hearts into quarters, then drop in a different color of paint in each quarter.  Changing from lighter to darker, back and forth. 

Then when you are done, finish it off with a sprinkle of table salt for some texture.  It is so important to LET YOUR PAINT BE.  Just drop paint in, let it mix naturally and move on to painting another area.  You don't want the colors to over mix and fully blend if you want to see transitions and different colors in your painting.

I hope this helped and I hope you try it.  So so much fun.

Let me know if you tried it below and also what you would like to see next. 

I have the perfect beginner's painting set up listed right here too.  Happy painting!

Speed Paint - How I Paint Watercolor Floral Crowns or Wreaths

Hey guys!  I got a request for a video showing how I paint a floral wreath.  For some reason I kept thinking floral crown and that is the video I made.  Pretty much the same premise, just not in a circle.  I put floral crowns on my animal characters and they are just too cute!  

I draw my character in pencil with a little blank area where the crown goes.  I love drawing lightly in pencil with my favorite mechanical .3 pencil.  I try to keep a color palette in mind, bridal magazines or boho brides on Pinterest are a great reference point for ideas.  Even floral arrangements would work.  Once I have this in mind, I start with big organic flower shapes first with my small round brush.  Leaving space for mid-size flowers and then smaller flowers, leaves and berries.  

I wait for the first layer to dry before I paint anything next to what I already painted.  This way, I am not painting wet into wet and getting a big watercolor mix of all of my colors.  If you do want a gradient effect, wait until the paint is like 3/4 dry and then paint next to that wash.  Then they will mix together a little bit and dry beautifully.  

Here is everything I love in my watercolor kit.  From paints to brushes to paper.  

Let me know if this was helpful and if you paint your own floral crown or wreath, I'd love to see!

Definitely tag me on Instagram, @fluximagery

Speed Paint - How I paint with neocolor IIs

I love Neocolor IIs.  There.  I said it.  They are the best!  I just found out about them last October when I went to see a local artist with my friend.  He paints with his 6 year old daughter and they described their work together as a conversation, so sweet.  They had all types of media for us to play with after their talk and I think they were either Faber Castell or Crayola water crayons.  Either way, I was loving them and my friend said there were professional grade ones I should try.  

I quickly asked if she had any plans afterward so we could go to the art store, she didn't so we went!  You can get these neocolors individually or in tins in a packs of 10, 15, etc.  I started slow with a pack of 15 but once I got them, I knew I wanted more and I headed back to the art store to get some individual colors.  

The way I paint with them is to put down a little bit of the pastel with small marks and then I blend it out with water on my watercolor brush.  With my angel birds, I used a waterbrush dipped in water.  I don't like using waterbrushes as they are intended. I start with a light layer and when that is completely dry, I will make another mark and blend out.  Building up the values just like with watercolors is the beauty of it for me.  The pigments are intense and the color range is just wonderful.  I highly recommend these, so much fun!

These are my favorite colors so far:

Yellow Orange


Turquoise Blue

Have you used neocolors?  If so, how do you use them?  Let me know :)

This print is available here.

Sweater Mermaid Watercolor Speed Paint Chit Chat - Goal Planning

Happy New Year!  How are you?  I am using a word of the year this go around and my word is "routine" aka "consistency".

So far so good and I feel like I'm balancing on a super thin balance beam and I get some steps figured out, then I fall right off.  So I'm watching that and being mindful of what is working and what isn't.  One of the things that has worked so well for me last year was bullet journaling and planning one week at a time/day at a time.  

This is everything I use for journaling/planning

Things I have learned:

  1. Plan ahead of time - I figure out what free time I even have available daily and then from there I plan out my ideal week.
  2. Broadly plan for the week or day - I am trying not to get too specific about what I do in the time allotted, just committed to doing it.  Like exercise for example, I will say my days to exercise are Mondays and Wednesdays in the evenings.  Then from there, I just go to the gym.  On that day I might look at the classes available and whatnot but I am basically focused on getting TO the gym, once I'm there, I'm committed so I can choose what I want to do but the bottom line is I am there.  Same thing with art, making videos, etc.  Just do it and plan out the details later.
  3. When I "shoot from the hip", nothing gets done.  Having a completely blank slate for the next day doesn't serve me well at all and I end up not being productive at all.  Having BBRs (before bed routines) where I figure out what I'm wearing, get my kid's outfits ready, their lunches too, look at my schedule for the next day, etc all adds up to getting things in line for the next day and limiting the real-time decisions I have to make that day.  I read this book last year, "The Power of Habit", and I learned that my motivation is highest in the beginning of the day so I try to make the best choices for what I want to accomplish.  Tackle main goals for the day, drink more water, eat more veggies, move my body, do the hardest thing first, etc.  

Here's a post I wrote last year about bullet journaling.

This print is available here.

Are you into planning too? Yay or nay, let me know down below. Definitely share your planning tips if you have them, I need all the help I can get.

Inktober Fail? Not quite.

Have you ever had grand plans and they didn't go as planned?  I did with Inktober and I didn't last past one week.  However, I see it as a lesson learned and it just solidified my passion for watercolor and watercolorish mediums.  I talk about this more in this video.

I just got these water-soluble pastels and I will be working with them this week, can't wait to share how that goes.  Have you used them before?  So excited!  I have all of the tools I use linked up on my Resources page too.

Inktober 2017 - Inking with Watercolor

It's that time again, Inktober is coming up!  This will be the third year that I'm taking part in this inking challenge and I'm excited.  I don't want to put too much pressure on myself so I may stock up images or post daily, mix it up. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, watch this video where I talk about all of the inking supplies I'm planning on using in October.  Finding inks that work with watercolors is important to me so most of the inks (india inks) mentioned check that box.

My top 3 must haves are the following but watch the whole video to see everything:

Dr. Ph Martin's Black Star Matte India Ink 

Zig Cartoonist Pen Holder 

Brause Pen Nib 

Are you participating?  Let me know!  

Fluximagery Q&A Session with ZEM Brush

Hey guys!  This is me working in my beautiful studio/office/creative and happy space.  So grateful for the light and to have a space to call my own, it's great.

I have another article over at ZEM Brush but this one is a Q&A style.  I'm talking about how I got started in watercolor, how I manage to squeeze in time to be creative with two young kids and what brushes I love in my kit.  

Also, I have new prints up in my site shop, a little mermaid with blue pigtails and a trio of super cute bunnies with bow ties.


How to Use 3 Washes in One Illustration

The way you paint with different watercolor washes in your work is how you get your signature style.  My top washes are wet into wet, gradient and flat washes.  I talk about them in greater detail over at ZEM Brush.  Go check it out, it is my third article over there and I'm loving explaining my behind the scenes as well as showing how I paint.

Don't forget that you get 10% off with the code ERIKA10.

If you have any other questions, let me know!

Why I Love the Underrated Cat's Tongue Brush

If you are not using a Cat's Tongue brush, you definitely should.  It is like the Swiss army knife of watercolor brushes!  I absolutely love this style of brush and I talk about it in detail over at www.zembrush.com.  

I painted this entire mermaid painting with just a Cat's Tongue brush, the no. 4 2400 Golden Taklon Cat's Tongue Brush is my current love.  That triangular shape is everything!  Click here to read my article over at ZEM Brush.

I list all of my favorites over here, as well as what is in my watercolor kit.

Also, don't forget to use code ERIKA10 to get 10% off your purchase at ZEM Brush!

Join my list, The Creative Conversation, to hear more about my painting techniques and behind the scenes studio sneak peeks.