Watercolor 101: Virtual Summer Camp 2017

You guys, you guys, you guys! I am so excited to tell you that I am offering an online class this summer.  This class is for your little ones, five years old and up. I am going to be painting with your kiddos real-time, teaching them watercolor 101. This is going to be a three day camp from the comfort of your home.

I'll give you a list of all the supplies you need, which isn't a whole bunch, and you're going to get some much deserved me time in the meantime.  Share this out on your social sites!

No drop offs and no pickups, it's going to be amazing!  You can sign up for the notification list right here so that you'll be the first to know when classes open.   Spaces are limited so definitely stay tuned. This virtual summer camp will teach your child how to paint with watercolor, learn color theory with color mixing and how to add texture with salt.  If there's anything you absolutely want me to cover, let me know now and I'll be sure to consider adding it to the class.

I hope to see you on the list and can't wait to share more details!

Talk to you soon,

E

P.S. I also have a course all about color mixing which is super helpful as well.  The options are limitless when it comes to color combos with watercolor!

 

Original Watercolor Art Auction - The Unicorn on Aqua Board

I have two things I want to push past; painting bigger and offering original art.  So I'm having an art auction this week to help reach one of my goals!  Baby steps right?  

This is a sneak peek of a 4"x4" aqua board painting.  This is a one of a kind original hand painted piece of art, there will never be any prints made because of the surface it was painted on.  This surface is like a ceramic tile in weight and texture, there is no need to frame it.  I think it looks best either leaned against a surface like books on a desk as well as laid flat.  It is unsealed, painted with watercolor and the fine details were made with my trusty .03 mechanical pencil. It's fragile, so I would advise limited touching on the surface.  

Unicorns are magical and this one is no exception.  I will hold the auction on Instagram (@fluximagery) since that is where my party is the biggest.   Doors open on Wednesday, April 19 at 2 p.m. MT. and close on Friday, April 21 at 2 p.m. MT.

Details for entering:

  • Follow me, @fluximagery, on Instagram
  • Like the Instagram post (full picture of unicorn art) (public profiles only please)
  • Tag a friend
  • Like my Facebook Page - Fluximagery by Erika Barriga (get ahead of the game and Like it now)
  • Bid in $5 increments (minimum) and when you bid, tag the person who bid last
  • When the auction closes I will verify the winner and Direct Message the winner to let them know they won
  • Once payment is completed via a Paypal custom listing, the winner will be publicly announced on Instagram.  
  • If there is any issue with payment for any reason, the person who bid second to last will be the winner.
  • This auction is for US only (apologies out of country friends)
  • Shipping and taxes totalling $7 will be added to the final bid amount
  • *Insurance and expedited shipping are optional and if chosen, winner will pay for these options.

Let me know if you have any questions and please share this news with a friend!  I so appreciate your support, this is going to be fun! :) Good luck!

How to Deal with a Creative Slump

I've been feeling a little down in the dumps.  Inspiration and creativity come and go, comes with the territory a bit.  I found an artist that completely inspired me but at the same time made me doubt what I was doing.  That's all my little protective positivity dam needed to spring a little leak and then a rushing river of negative thoughts came pouring through.  

I needed to make it stop and quickly so I thought about what I would do if this happened and I was still in college.  I would walk up to my professor and I'm pretty sure he or she would say, "What do you like the most about this other artist's work? Break it down and get back to basics."  So that's exactly what I did.  I took screen captures of this artist's work, put them all into a Word doc, printed it out in black and white.  

The thing that I felt the biggest slump about was composition and adding more elements to my pieces.  So I went back to basics, The Rule of Thirds, and I drew little grids over the artwork.  This was so helpful in showing me what I wasn't able to see on my own just by looking.  Bigger element here, smaller complimentary elements here and they are placed here because of where they fall in the grid.  The basics.  Once I worked on that for a bit, I started sketching again and ideas started to flow.  Not immediately but the point is that they did.

Always remember to push yourself, there is always something new to learn.  Even if it is the basics and you have "been there, done that", do it again.  And be kind to yourself.  I think artists have the worst negative self talk, we are brutal sometimes.

What do you do when you get into a negative funk spiral?  

Angel Bird - Watercolor Process Timelapse Talkthrough Video

I love birds.  They are so cute, cuddly and innocent already and then when they are decked out in super cute outfits, I'm in heaven.  I posted a pic of this guy with my Evan Healy cleanser on Instagram, tagged Evan Healy and they reposted it.  That was one of my highlights last week!  

This is my latest watercolor process timelapse talkthrough video of my angel bird from that post.  I share info about how I layer, my thoughts on colors straight from the pan and I really would like to know what you are interested in hearing about next. I go into more depth about colors and color mixing in my Carefree Color Mixing Video Course.

Definitely comment below and let me know if you love talk through videos, art supplies videos, talks about art technique, talks about how to stay inspired, etc?  I can't wait to hear from you!

Have a great day!

5 Ways Bullet Journaling Changed My Life

No, but seriously.  It did.  For a long time I thought having goals was being self-centered and never being happy with where I currently was in life.  Because of this I didn't organize my plans at all, I would just have things I wanted to do without plans attached, which is basically just wishing.  I believe one needs to be grateful and thankful for the whole journey but there is nothing wrong with pushing yourself in education, status, art, joy, etc.  Many many things didn't work in the past for me and day to day I would start from scratch on things I wanted to focus on, listed in my head or on scraps of paper all over the place.   That's when I turned to the bullet journal and now I'm getting closer to my dreams every day. There are key things I love about it.  Let's get into it.  

Brain Dump

I have ONE place that is my main spot for my notes, to dos, ideas, what have you. Last year I started to plan daily.  Writing the day of the week, the date, the hours in that day, and then I knew what time I realistically had to work with for the day.   Whatever I had dumped onto the page could then be prioritized and plugged into the available spaces of free time.  Once I completed the task, it was crossed off.  Nothing like ticking a box or crossing off an item on my list.  

Brings Order to the Chaos

I have an index in my journal so I actually know what page my notes are on, a project idea bubble chart, etc.  My thoughts have some sort of order that I can come back to reference when I want to.  When it's time to work, I can get to work and not waste time looking for my info.  It is awesome. 

Bird's Eye View of To Dos

Rarely do things sneak up on me, I put down everything that is happening during the current month and from a high level I know that I really don't have "all month to do  X".  There is a play date here, wisdom teeth appointment there, movies here, etc.  This helps to further prioritize my time and understand what really matters and what can probably be put off until next month or later in the year.

Flexible

I use a dot journal where I can write out whatever I want and change things up when needed.  It is a blank dot grid journal with page numbers.  The dots make it easy to draw lines when I want to.  This is one of my favorite things because if something isn't working out with the way I am journaling, I can change it.  No inked dates, grids, or calendars already printed on the pages.  It is literally a blank slate and it is freeing.  

Tangible

There is something about writing things down, pen to paper, that makes it more likely that you will actually do what you set out to do.  Having digital references are great, I use Google calendar and Evernote but when I write things down, I tend to accomplish more of what I set out to do.

If you have ever been curious about bullet journaling, I highly recommend you get into it.  Here are a few references that talk about the concept further.  It's all about baby steps and knowing what works for you and what doesn't.

I list out everything I use for journaling here

Ryder Carroll, the creator of bullet journaling: How to Bullet Journal

Rachel from That'sChic - Bullet Journal Setup for 2017

Do you bullet journal? What helps you stay organized?

P.S. I have a video course called Conquer Creative Challenges that outlines how to time manage and get organized in a way that will help you stick with and finish creative challenges such as Inktober, The 100 Day Project, etc.  Find out more here.  

Ink and Watercolor Wash Ideas - Mixed Media

I mainly work with pencil and watercolor, sometimes a bit of colored pencil is thrown into the mix as well.  I usually paint on the go because just sitting at my watercolor desk and working can be a bit of a daydream scenario when you have two little kids under 5 years old like I do.  

One of my goals for the last Inktober challenge (creating with ink for the whole month of October) was to combine ink and watercolor for my daily pieces.  That didn't work out because I had limited time for this kind of experimentation and I didn't want to have a ton of unfinished pieces for the challenge.  So, I broke it down here on what inks worked and didn't, but the ones that didn't could be happy accidents for you.  They were for me.

  1. Dr. Ph Martin’s Matte India Ink - an opaque matte ink that is my no. 1 favorite - no smudging
  2. Dr. Ph Martin’s Carbon Black India Ink  - another opaque ink but this is a little glossier than the matte version - no smudging
  3. Dr. Ph Martin’s Sepia India Ink  - a softer option if you don't want a harsh black - no smudging
  4. Dr. Ph Martin’s Pen Cleaner (mine turned black because of cleaning nibs in the bottle) - excellent nib cleaner
  5. Belle Calligraphy Starter Kit - found this at Anthropologie and I love the ink and nib w/holder even if the ink isn't completely smudge proof
  6. Daniel Smith Walnut Ink - this ink has a super soft look because it has various shades of brown when you use it.  This ink is smudge crazy but I let that slide because the brown is so gorgeous.  Could use this over dry watercolor washes as an option.

Do you know any inks that work well with watercolors?  No smudging, no budging?

Need help with color mixing?  I have a Carefree Color Mixing Course that shows how to mix all of the colors of the color wheel with just the primary watercolors.  

Top 5 Must Haves for Dry/Sensitive Skin

When I'm painting and showing my painting videos, the first thing I do is lotion up my hands.  (Thank you so much Midsummer Cream from Trader Joes).  You do not need to see any crypt keeper action when I show you projects I'm working on.  My hands and general skin is dry and sensitive, plus I live in Colorado.  Anything that works for me, I have to share with the masses because the dry skin struggle is real.  

  1. Evan Healy Blue Lavender Cleansing Milk - This cleanser is the real deal.  I feel nothing lurking beneath the surface of my skin.  Everything is soft, smooth, clean and moisturized.  Usually with cleansers I have to rush to get moisturizer on my face before I start feeling dry and skin starts cracking.  Does not happen with this and the scent is a calming experience!
  2. Evan Healy Lavender Facial Tonic Hydrosol - I spray this on my hand and press it into my face or I mist it on.  Super refreshing.
  3. Evan Healy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum - I am scared of oils because I've tried jojoba, hemp and argan.  They all gave me some sort of reaction but this rosehip oil is heavenly.  I like to mix 3-4 drops with the hydrosol spray and apply it that way too.
  4. Evan Healy French Rose Clay Mask*- I use this once a week.  Just mix into a paste with some spring water and you're good to go.  I use a little condiment bowl I got from Target with one of the kid's baby spoons, perfectly does the job. *this is a bonus pick me up
  5. Avene Physiolift Eye Cream - This is the only eye cream I have used where I have seen a clear difference with moisturizing my under eye and reducing puffiness.  A little goes a long way, I only use a pea size for both eyes and it is so nice.
  6. Kate Somerville Nourish Day Moisturizer - I am probably on my 4th jar of this moisturizer and trust me, it is the bomb dot com.  It isn't heavy but it packs moisture like none other.  You press down on the top and the moisturizer comes out through a hole in the middle.  Here's a tip though, I didn't know the top opened until I bought another jar recently.  I thought it was sealed closed!  Oops.  So don't make the same mistake I did and open that top, get more of that product out, its gold.

Is there anything you absolutely love for dry/sensitive skin? Let me know. I like L'Occitane original shea butter cream for my hands when I'm on the go but I think I need something heavier at this time of year in Denver.

Reindeer Squad and Christmas Sweater Birds are Here!

On Dasher, on Prancer, on Dancer and Vixen!  On Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blixen!  Can't forget about the star, Rudolph too.  I had SO much fun sketching, drawing, painting and designing the little outfits for this Reindeer Squad.  They are now available as mugs, clocks, phone cases and more in my Society 6 store.  I'm working on another design with all of them together, the whole crew in full effect.  

My process started with figuring out how I wanted to draw reindeer in the first place so I played around with the heads and body proportions.  I wanted them to work together nicely visually so I picked a cohesive color scheme by color mixing primaries and focusing on red, blue, purple and green.  The clothes were especially fun because that is where their littler personalities come out.  I forgot there is only one lady reindeer, Vixen, and I had so much fun painting her dress with peter pan collar and striped stockings.  Of course I had to paint another girl reindeer (rainbow dress) who isn't part of the immediate squad but a friend all the same.  

The Christmas Sweater birds are listed in my shop now too.  They are rocking sweaters that say "Joy", "Noel", "Ho Ho Ho", "Peace" and "Hope".

This was fun and sparked new project ideas, which is the whole point of a creative challenge to me.  Had a blast.

Watercolor Project Update

Oh my goodness you guys.  I have been gone for a minute and I've missed you. I've been Periscoping pretty randomly and with the lack of daylight due to daylight savings, it's killing me.  I usually scope or film in natural light so since that's limited, I'm at a loss.  I have been re-focusing everywhere but this blog.  So, let's see.  I've been painting and when I finished the 100 day challenge I updated my Etsy shop with new watercolor prints from that challenge as well as adding new photos to show the prints themselves too.  I hope that helps with envisioning how they look in real life and they are super cute.  Could be a little biased though.  I joined Society 6 forever ago as well but I updated that too so now there are more cute characters on phone cases, totes, mugs, pillows and more.  I don't know when they made changes but it is so much easier to add products now.  Check them out and follow me there!  

I've been painting two side projects, The Reindeer Squad and Christmas Sweater Birds (birds in Christmas sweaters that say Joy, Peace, Noel, etc, eep!).  I've only shared little sneak peeks on my Instagram (@fluximagery) so far but I will be launching those designs very soon.  Join my newsletter so you don't miss a single update.  The prints and products available make great gifts!  After all, Christmas is right around the corner.  

Love this time of year!