Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Painting Progress: How Not to Paint With Acrylics

I have done quite a bit of painting, and I should really have some progress to report, but the truth is that I seem to suck at painting with acrylics. It has been a while since I painted with them, but I don't recall having so many problems with this medium before. It could be the cheap paints and canvas, but I tend to assume it is my technique when I have these types of problems. I mean, it usually is me. In this instance, I feel that my rustiness and lack of experience painting portraits with acrylics are more likely to be the real issue. However, I have ordered some higher quality paints, canvas, and acrylic mediums to see if this is my problem. So look forward to some more reviews!

Meanwhile, I have created a couple of portraits using colored pencil as practice so I could experiment with color schemes without using the rest of my white paint. I also wanted to feel better about myself after the epic paint fail. My vision for the girl in the painting was a surreal snow white skin tone, very similar to albino skin. I was using photos of albino models as references for the skin colors, but I am having difficulty translating this to paint. I feel like I did better with colored pencil.

Colored pencil sketch #1(more stylized)

Image of Colored pencil portrait by Pumibel

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Painting Project Progress and Daler Rowney Simply Acrylics Review

Affiliate Disclaimer: For full transparency, you should know that many of my links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when readers purchase items using my affiliate links. This helps me fund the blog domain costs, and you will not be charged extra if you buy anything using my links. 

I have been having a lot of fun learning how to use my new digital camcorder and playing around with Windows Movie Maker. I have managed to make progress on my painting project at the same time as well. My initial inspiration for the painting was a blooming cherry tree, but my idea has evolved over time to a fantasy portrait that will incorporate the colors of the blooming spring sakura blossoms. As I looked around for reference and inspiration pictures, I realized that there were plenty of representations out there of my favorite flowers. My new vision for this project will be a stylized portrait of a lovely woman with petal-like skin and flowing white hair. It isn't a new idea either, but I enjoy painting people and animals more than I do flowers.

The Sketch

Image of Rough sketch of lady portrait by pumibel
Rough sketch for painting by Pumibel

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Planning a Painting Project, Review for Actinow Digital HD Video Camera

Affiliate Disclaimer: For full transparency, you should know that many of my links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when readers purchase items using my affiliate links. This helps me fund the blog domain costs, and you will not be charged extra if you buy anything using my links. 

My usual procedures for planning and executing a painting project are rather simple, but this time I wanted to make the experience blog-worthy with crisp photos and maybe even some video of certain steps in my process. Since my outdated digital camera is not very good for video, I decided to buy an inexpensive video camera that can also serve as a regular digital camera for still shots. I bought the Actinow Full HD Video Camcorder, which was approximately $63 but included a coupon for $10 off. As of today, July 25 2019, this offer is still available.

I am not a great photographer; I cannot even call myself a hobbyist in photography, so keep in mind that my observations in this review are from a true rookie- newb-layman point of view. However, this camera has one great thing going for it, and that is its simplicity. I was able to set it up and take photos and video within an hour of unpacking it. As I have played with it over the past couple of weeks, I have learned the basics of operating a video camera, but I am not up to par on all of the photographic and cinematic lingo that I hear the YouTube Gurus throw around in their expert reviews. So let's start with the basic contents of the box, shall we?

Image of Actinow HD Video Camera, photo from
Photo from

Image of Actinow HD Video camera with accessories, photo from Amazon
Photo from

Sunday, July 21, 2019

7 Confessions of a Raggedy Artist: Part 4

Today's post will complete my 7 Confessions series. I saved this confession for last because there are a few subcategories under it. I have always learned best by researching and hands-on training and practice, and I know that I am not alone in this, so I decided to turn my last confession into a teaching moment to help others avoid my mistakes.

Confession #7: I still make rookie mistakes! 

Sure, I have been into arts and crafts for decades, but I still make some mistakes that I think I should be well past by now. Hey, nobody's perfect! Maybe this confession will help a few rookies out there.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

7 Confessions of a Raggedy Artist: Part 3

Photo of organized workspace by Daria Shevtosa from Pexels
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Like I said in my last post, I am going to discuss a problem that I believe most artists and craftspeople can relate to. I am talking about hoarding. No, not the kind we see on TLC, but an issue that I have had to address more than once in my life. Being both artsy and craftsy, I am prone to collecting an enormous amount of nonessential items, and it is always difficult to declutter when the time comes. I can rationalize keeping just about anything if it is for my projects, even future projects that have not even entered the concept stage.

Over the past year I have actually thinned out and organized my huge stash of drawing, painting, and sewing items. I had to replace my floor, so while packing up everything in my room, I took the opportunity to apply a little Marie Kondo philosophy to my belongings. I discovered a couple of things about myself in the process: 1. I will part with clothes and jewelry far easier than art supplies, and 2. I am a very specific type of hoarder. Now confessions five and six will address this second discovery.

Monday, July 15, 2019

7 Confessions of a Raggedy Artist: Part 2

Greetings and welcome back to my blog! In my last post I confessed to two "sins" I commit knowingly, using cheap paint brushes and relying on photo references too much. I decided to limit confessions to no more than two per post, so there will be four parts, and the last confession will have its own post. Today I come clean about my obsessions with my own face and erasers.

3. I like to draw my own face.

Besides sounding vane, drawing my face doesn't seem like a big deal. After all, Frida Khalo is famous for her stellar self-portraits. She is quoted as saying,

 "I paint self portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best." (from the home page). 

Friday, July 12, 2019

7 Confessions of a Raggedy Artist: Part 1

While my majors for my college degrees are not in the art category, I did attend some art school many years ago, and I have taken non-credit art courses in my spare time over the years. I watch online videos and read a lot of books about art techniques as well. I have noticed that there are some bits of advice that have reappeared throughout my studies, mostly little "rules" that are actually well-intended and helpful to a point. We all know that breaking rules is part of artistic license, however, and today I am here to confess some art school "sins" that I commit regularly without remorse. Let's keep this a judgement-free zone, folks. Glass houses and all that!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Adult Coloring Books Review

A few years back, when I first started seeing more adult coloring books popping up in both local stores and online, I didn't pay much attention to them. Since I find sketching and drawing both enjoyable and relaxing, the books didn't appeal to me at the time. Plus the my inner art snob was dismissive of them I admit. However, I have become a big fan of certain coloring books over the past 18 months, and that is because I have found many that are filled with absolutely astounding art. Even in blank form, the pages of these books are inspiring, and coloring them makes me feel part of the works themselves. That is why I chose four of my favorites to share with you below.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Reviews: Derwent Coloursoft, Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor, Pencil Organizer, Strathmore Coloring Pencil Paper

Affiliate Disclaimer: For full transparency, you should know that many of my links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when readers purchase items using my affiliate links. This helps me fund the blog domain costs, and you will not be charged extra if you buy anything using my links

 Derwent Coloursoft Colored Pencils, 6 Piece Portrait Set

image of 6 piece Skintone Derwent Coloursoft pencils from
Photo from
 I bought the set of six pencils last month so I could finally try out this line, which has been around for a long time. The reason why I hadn’t tried them before is that they are pretty expensive compared to other wax based colored pencils. The pack of six is very affordable and contains useful colors (Cream, Ochre, Pink, Blush Pink, Dark Terracotta, Brown Earth).

Derwent cores are thicker than those in my OG favorite Prismacolor Premier pencils, and their performance is comparable to the Prismas. I think Prismas are a bit softer and blend better, but Coloursoft pencils are less likely to break when sharpened to a fine point. I used both electric and manual sharpeners for these pencils, and they sharpen rather well without any apparent uneven or broken cores. The six piece portrait set comes in a nice tin and is less than $10 for Amazon Prime members.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A New Beginning (Again)

I know, I know, It has been three years since my last post. All I can say is that I have been busy with grad school and various personal issues that took me away from my blogging. Now that I have two more college degrees and all of the experience and inspiration I have gathered during my sabbatical, I am going to use these resources to improve my content.

New Era, New Media

I have some fairly ambitious ideas for upcoming posts, but I will still focus on subjects pertaining to budget friendly art supplies and tools. I have collected many new items over the past few years that I would love to share with you. While written blog posts have been my favorite delivery method for reviews and tutorials, I have learned that well-crafted multi-media content can be more enjoyable to my audience and enhance the learning experience. I plan to make interactive content such as videos and presentations for future posts, but I will still provide traditional blog posts as well.