Painting a Bear with Three Colors - Color Mixing Online Course

I loved painting this bear! When you color mix, you can just use the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) and get a whole range of colors. So I used this staple set of watercolors by Designs by Rachel Beth.  Dance with Me gives you the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) along with a gray/green and a purple berry shade.  It’s pretty versatile and I color mixed using my color mixing skills, to get the neutral brown for the bear and other colors using just 3 total.

I painted the brown by mixing three of the colors together and used it in the sunflowers and bear. I played with the values of the blue for the overalls and mixed red and blue to get a purple. That purple was added into the overalls. I kept incorporating the same three colors in different ways throughout the bear painting and that’s why it ended up being cohesive. My pieces have gotten stronger by understanding colors and color mixing to make my own unique colors. Just look at the rich greens in the flowers, this was from mixing different levels of yellow with blue and using layers!

You can grow in confidence in your painting as well when you take this color mixing course for beginners. Can’t wait to see you in class!

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Designs by Rachel Beth Watercolors - Dance with Me - First Impression/Swatches

This is a good and practical set of watercolors by Designs by Rachel Beth.  Dance with Me gives you the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) along with a gray/green and a purple berry shade.  It’s pretty versatile and I color mixed using my color mixing skills, to get the neutral brown for the bear and other colors using just 3 total.

The colors mix well and you can get a nice value range from them too. I loved building up my layers in my painting with this palette, so nice.

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Long time no introduction. Hi, my name is Erika.

Hey there!  I thought it was time for a little introduction from me to you.  It's been awhile.

My name is Erika Barriga and I'm a watercolor illustrator and painter.  I'm a mom of two little girls (3 and 6) and they are everything.  I've been away for a little bit because A) this is a one woman show, B) I've been working on the site and my online watercolor mixing course for beginners which comes out later this month and C) this is our first year of adjusting to a kiddo that is actually in school with a summer break (omg, the adjustments!).  

Thanks for bearing with me. I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little better.

Have a great one!

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Designs by Rachel Beth Watercolors - Irish Luck - First Impression/Swatches

Spoiler alert, I absolutely love these watercolors by Designs by Rachel Beth on Etsy!  She makes handmade watercolor palettes and the attention to detail is everything.  From her consistent Friday shop updates, to the ease of ordering, it's all good.  I love the unique shades you get in this Irish Luck palette, there is just nothing like them that I've seen.  These have a shimmer to them that works beautifully in original pieces.  Duo-chrome candy and I am obsessed.  I've painted bears with the paints so far and you can see them right down below and on my Instagram.

These green shades will work perfectly with my future mermaids as well.  Such a great addition to my set.  If I had to give a tip, it would be to have a mixing palette on hand.  A white plate or plastic one is fine, I just needed room to mix my paints.  These beautiful tins have all of the space occupied by the swatch paper and the paints (which I don't mind at all, so convenient).  So when I was working with them I completely forgot that I need room to mix and once I had that room, painting was an even better experience.  

I can't recommend these paints enough and I have a bit of an obsession.  You can get half pans and full pans, plus she offers free shipping.  I'm on my fourth palette. *ahem* :) #sorrynotsorry

Have you tried her paints or any other handmade paints?  Let me know!

P.S. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter where you get 20% off art prints and paper goods, plus you will get studio sneak peeks, updates, freebies and more.  Just saying, sign up now :)

P.P.S. Online Watercolor Summer Camp is now OPEN.  Check out all the details right here, limited spots available. :)

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Speed Paint Watercolor Mermaids Pt 2 and Creative Workshops Chit Chat

A couple of weeks ago I attended the first Children's Festival of Stories in Denver.  The first day was all about different events for kids and meeting other authors/illustrators.  There was a musician playing the cutest songs on ukelele, Emily Arrow, loved her songs!  The second day was full of different workshops, some focused on drawing the art for picture books and others were more focused on writing.  Instead of just taking classes centered on art, I decided to choose some writing workshops too.  It was so informative.  I am an author/illustrator and I have a published book, Queen Quail is Quiet, but it isn't a story with a beginning middle and end. There is a different tongue twister story for each letter.  

The writing workshops were SO good because I was able to understand more of the steps of creating character and dialogue.  A way to go about it is to think of the characters, their setting and what they are doing.  Then understanding the background of the story for the characters to have a thing and issue to react to in their dialogue.  It was amazing.  In the video I talk about the lamest dialogue ever, give a little background and then share what we came up with as a group in like 30 minutes tops.  It was the coolest thing ever, I'm still hyped about it.  

Bottom line, workshops can help you grow.  They did and continue to do so for me. :)

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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

Lilac

Turquoise Blue

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

This print is available here.

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!  

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.

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