Essential Watercolor Kit VIDEO TUTORIAL!!!

This is an exciting moment for me! You know how hard it can be to try new things? I bet you do! Well, I have been wanting to make and share videos about watercolor painting for a long time, and I have finally learned enough and had enough time to make this first one.

This is an exciting moment for me! You know how hard it can be to try new things? I bet you do! Well, I have been wanting to make and share videos about watercolor painting for a long time, and I have finally learned enough and had enough time to make this first one.

If you’ve purchased the Essential Watercolor Kit (available here) or have heard me talk about it before, this video is a short unboxing of what comes with the kit and then I paint one of the included templates, explaining the techniques I’m using and chatting about how you can get started with the kit. The video is embedded below, or you can follow this link to head to my YouTube channel, where you can subscribe to be notified about future videos.

You know, every time I try new things, I think it makes me a better teacher. It reminds me of how it can be difficult to start something, and how, if you’re a perfectionist, it can be hard to not be REALLY GOOD AT IT RIGHT AWAY.

I tell my students that learning to paint isn’t about having a beautiful, finished, gallery-worthy painting straight away. It’s about learning something from each painting you finish and taking those lessons to the next painting. The same can be said for just about anything, and I hope that as I continue to explore the world of online tutorials and making videos, I’ll continue to gain skills that I can only imagine right now!

I’d love it and appreciate it if you would watch this FIRST VIDEO TUTORIAL (ahh!) and let me know your thoughts! Leave a comment about some videos you’d like to see–I have a whole bunch of ideas up my sleeve, but I’d love to serve you all and make things that will be helpful to you.

20+ Watercolor Leaf and Foliage Shapes

Friends, I’m so excited to start sharing some educational tips and tutorials with you! I’ve been teaching watercolor in-person for a while now, and in the back of my mind I’ve been wishing and hoping for a chance to expand that educational content into something more accessible for everyone!

Thanks for the chance, Quarantine!

Scroll down to find more than 20 ideas to inspire your leaf and foliage shapes. If you’ve ever been a student of floral arranging, you know that the greenery and foliage is a KEY component to creating a beautiful bouquet. The same holds true when you’re painting. While there are always going to be those big, show-stopping blooms (peonies, roses, hydrangeas, etc.), you need to back it up with some great supporting actors (leaves, berries, foliage, and more!)

In the coming days and weeks, I’m going to be releasing videos and graphics like the one above that demonstrate a few of my favorite parts of watercolor painting.

Each of the leaf shapes was created using a Pointed Round Watercolor Brush and a mix of a few green paints that were already mixed up in my palette. You can watch me paint them using simple brushstrokes in this short timelapse video!

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Happy painting,

Alex

Virtual Art Classes (NOW LIVE!) (PLUS A GIVEAWAY!)

So. We are all basically hobbits now.

We’re living inside in cozy holes, eating a lot every day, we are skeptical of people who enjoy going outside on adventures, and we are each and every one of us hairy-footed and nimble.

Oh wait, is that just me?

Ahem. Anyway.

What I’m trying to say is…we’re all stuck in isolation for a little while, and it is tough on the extroverts in our lives (hi Sofi) and tough on the small businesses around us (hi Me) and tough on people who don’t thrive on alone time or who need socialization and activity to feel normal (hi all of humanity).

I teach art classes for a living and meet hundreds of people a year doing just that! I’ve been trying to figure out a way to bring those art classes to you over the Internet for a while, and this situation has sped up the process considerably. Drumroll please…introducing…VIRTUAL ART CLASSES!

PLUS, comment below and tell me something you’d love to create (can be something you CAN create or just WANT to create, in any medium–food, photography, art, music, etc.!) to enter my art supply giveaway. If you share this post to your blog, get an extra 5 entries! You’ll be getting 6 glorious QOR Watercolors, three sizes of Princeton watercolor brushes, and a pad of delicious watercolor paper. Yup, I called it delicious.

Here is the current listing, and more will be added. Plus, I would LOVE to hear your feedback about what other types of art classes you would enjoy in the days and weeks ahead. I’m here for ya!

  • Tween Drawing Class (10-13 years old): This is for my young fellow-artists who are missing art class! Invite your friends from school and let’s draw together. I’m going to teach you how to draw about 10 different flowers and you can use whatever supplies you have at home, including crayons, markers, pens, pencils, and more! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP.
  • Adult Drawing Class (I’m not putting an age range here): Doodling is by FAR one of the most relaxing things you can do and even if “I can’t draw a stick figure” I guarantee you can follow along with the drawing basics I’m going to show you. Your new floral drawing skills are relaxing and I personally find that filling up a journal with floral doodles and sketches is great for anxiety! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP.
  • Loose Watercolor Roses: This virtual class will walk you through how to paint loose roses and florals with watercolor. It does not include supplies, but I will send you a list of inexpensive supplies to buy, you can purchase a kit from me (supplies are limited), or use what paint supplies you have on hand. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND TO SIGN UP.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER CLASSES YOU’D LIKE TO SEE? Let me know in the comments. And please share this with friends and family–my business is struggling this week and will for the foreseeable future as I normally teach 100% face-to-face and obviously that isn’t an option right now. That being said, I’m excited to see what opportunities open up and what creative ways we find to work around the limitations!

Don’t forget to leave a comment about your own dream creations below to enter this giveaway!!

Puffy Cheetos, Amazon, and Reykjavik

My Amazon account tells a lot about me. Like maybe I’m a little too interested in White Cheddar Popcorn and have moved more than anyone should.

My Amazon account tells a lot of stories about me.

If you look at the saved items in my cart, it tells a story about six hundred (yes SIX HUNDRED) things I thought about buying and then didn’t. Things like a Frank Lloyd Wright finger puppet, a lot of books about the extinction of passenger pigeons, an organic mushroom growing kit, and more than one t-shirt that says, “Can’t get out of bed. Please send waffles.”

(Someone buy me that shirt?)

If you look at my prime video account it tells a story about how I like police procedurals staring Tom Selleck, and that I maybe spend too much time on any TV show with a strong-jawed, kind-eyed, noble hero.

My Kindle content is a treasure trove of stories. It tells a story of good intentions, found in the unread free samples of non-fiction and business books. It also tells us that I might have an addiction to war-time-spy-historical-drama-romances narrated by a spunky, ahead-of-her-time heroine. Also, more books about passenger pigeons, but you guys, there were six billion of them and now there are none.

BUT for all those stories, there is one in particular I’d like to share with you today and that is the one under the “My Addresses” tab, where there are currently thirty-five options to choose from, making this little corner of the web perhaps the most reliable history of my movement in the last fifteen years!

When I was sixteen, my parents decided to change our family life dramatically and in the course of a few months, our family of six moved from our small hometown in upstate NY to Reykjavik, Iceland. Want to hear more about that? Let me know!

Amazon keeps up with all of the moves, from an embassy in Prague to a small side street in Northern Ireland. From a friend’s house in Virginia to Spain, Florida, Croatia, the Netherlands, New York and—now—to Texas.

Imagine my joy when I learned the word “peripatetic” and had an obnoxious way to describe myself!

The fun (FUN, I say!) thing in all of this is that I am diametrically opposed to change. I loathe change. I like comfort zones, ruts, status quos, and my childhood bedroom and so it takes divine signs, a change in visa status, and severe winter weather to uproot me. So…I hear you asking…why all the moving?

It’s simple.

I blame my parents.

I mean, they were just so spontaneous, so brave. They wanted to broaden our horizons (the gall!), make us try new food (the nerve!), and then have us decide as a family that we really missed puffy Cheetos and then set up an Amazon Prime account so we could ship said-cheetos to Croatia.

I mean, I think that’s why they did it.

And it worked! We really did get puffy Cheetos!

Oh, and we also broadened our horizons, tried new foods, blah blah blah… Of course, things weren’t always cheesy puffed corn snacks (oh that they could be…). There was plenty of hard stuff mixed in there, too. Uprooting is always going to be difficult, and when you add family illness or death into the mix, or even weddings and births that you miss, it gets a whole lot harder and you discover that life is a peculiar mix of bitter and sweet.

One thing that has been a constant thread in this peripatetic life is creativity. There were a lot of places where life was very quiet, where no one spoke English, where there were bouts of loneliness, and creative pursuits have always held a wonderful sort of solace for me. I think—looking back—that creative outlets are how I handle change and cope with hardship. I write, I paint, I sing, I play the piano, and I start (and don’t finish) to crochet way too many blankets. This blog is the next evolution in all of that. I want to share some of the stories of all that moving, I want to talk about my journey towards becoming a creative entrepreneur, I want to take you with me and show you behind the scenes and tell you what it’s like to live abroad, to come back home, to dig in and start over.

I want to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about passenger pigeons.

I want to openly discuss my addiction to buying art supplies.

I want to find people who love puffy Cheetos like I do.

So! What would your Amazon account reveal about your life? Let me know! And if anyone wants to send me that waffle shirt, you know where to find me.