Mixed Media = Fun

When my opinions of art were formulated thing were still done in a very traditional manner.

Oils were oils, acrylics were acyclic, you only drew with graphite, charcoal or perhaps pen and ink—and by that I mean with a nib pen and a bottle of black Indian ink. There was also no such thing as color pencils for fine art. Not in South Africa at least.

These days thing are not so ridged and it took me a while to get used to the idea of “Mixed Media.”

Now? I absolutely love mixing media, and I have been experimenting.

My favorite is to use copic markers for base layer. Then to use my Polychromos color pencils for to deepen the color layers and create details that I wouldn’t be able to create with the Copics.


This is one of my experiments: I used several different images of ball jointed dolls for basic reference. 

I’ve seen something similar done with watercolor paints and color pencils.

Another invaluable tool when doing this, especially for those dark lines, like eyelashes is a brush pen.

Mine is the Pentel pocket brush pen. I wish I could have as much control with all my brushes.

On the opposite end of that spectrum, is the white gel pen for hightlights.

The Signo broad is good for that.

The point I’m making in my normal rambling manner. Is that the possibilities are limitless. If you can think it, and the mediums will work together, then do it. You might be surprised what you can create with it.


Have a great Sunday,



Finished Blossoms


We are only human, or so the saying goes. So it is logical that sometimes our projects will flop a little–or a lot.

I’ve finished my blossoms, but I’m not happy with it. It was not one of my most rewarding art experiences. Though, if you count learning lessons then yes, it was rewarding.


I can’t begin to describe the frustration  had trying to get the
“Spectrum Noir” color pencils to do what I needed them to do.

(and I write for a living, so that has to tell you something)

In the end I changed my composition, cutting off the last flowers because I couldn’t face the prospect of having to struggle with those pencils anymore.

Yes I’m a coward.

Please, learn from me, if you want to use pencils for fine art, DONT!

They are great for general crafting, but I’m removing them from my art stash and putting them in my crafting stash. Or I’m going to give them to my mom who is very into her “coloring books for grownups”.

It really peeves me that I paid so much money to get the full five sets (you can’t buy these puppies open stock) but I should have bought one set and seen. Lesson learned.  Karma coming to bite me on the…

I will not attempt another color pencil drawing until I have suitable color pencils. (Rant over) hahaha.

Right now I’m trying to get the big set of Polychromos. I know those are awesome because I have some that I got open stock and frankly those few colors kept me from tearing this drawing up.

That said I loved the way the airbrush background worked in the end and I learned a few valuable lessons from this piece, so it was not a failure.

I believe anything you learn from is a win, and not the opposite.

Have a crafty weekend.





Cherry Blossoms

Good Morning Crafties,

Today I’m going to share a work in progress, mostly because this one has a couple of interesting firsts for me.

Because of that I wanted to share with those who are also doing firsts, so you can learn from my mistakes.

My first time using masking fluid, and my first time airbrushing.

I use a South African brand of product called “Dala”

oil_medium_artistartmaskingfluidand I have to say it works great. AND it costs way less than the other brands. But I learned that I have to be more generous with my layer of masking fluid, because my airbrush ink/paint bled through on my thinner layers.


I have a cheepy single action airbrush and compressor (something that will hopefully be remedied this December when my birthday rolls around)

Because the compressor really doesn’t have my power at all, and it can get frustrating.


But for something as simple as this background it worked just fine.
You can see how messy I am tho. My poor table-cloth will forever be orange spotted.


For those of you who want to know, my airbrush paint (something hard to find in SA and we don’t get Createx here) is also Dala.

Dala drawing inks to be precise, they are just over R20 a bottle and well worth the money, I loved the way they worked.

I got the background done. Darker than the reference I’m working from which is from “Paint my photo” by the way.

So the airbrushing itself went smoothly but when I removed the masking fluid there were spots of paint that bled through and one big patch that I’m going to have to work around. But I’ll get creative.

I’m working in color pencils and I have to say. Brand makes a difference.

Its sad but true.

A while ago, and with great joy I bought all 5 sets of Spectrum Noir color pencils. They are oil bassed and I thought they would be perfect…


They would be for normal crafting, but for the kind of layering I do in fine art they just don’t do the trick, and its especially clear when I use the few Polychromos (Faber-Castell) that I bought open stock.

Can we say “Frustration” ? Another big ticket item on my list then, a set of proper artist quality pencils, because I’m working 5 times as hard as I should be.

I use normal thinners and a brush for blending and it works just fine.

I decant a small amount into a glass jar I keep just for thinners.


Again finding Mona-lisa oderliss thinners seems to be a no go unless I hit amazon. If anyone has a better alternative please let me know. But as I said it does work well.

Time for the WIP this is after the first bit of layering, by no means NEAR finished.


Can you see the big patch I”m going to have to work around.

Wont make that mistake again.

Thanks for visiting with me, Crafties.

Have a crafty day,






Bee on Lavender

Hi Crafties,

I’ve been drawing since I was little, but my true love is writing and as I was working to become published my art took a back seat (more like it went to the back of the bus and stayed there)

But lately, due to some insperation from some epic people out there I’ve begun drawing again.

My curent favorite medium is Color pencils.

And my favorite artist is Lisa from Lachri Fine Art. She has a Youtube channel and I wait for her Wednesday posts of her own speed paintings and work. I love watching how she works and I’ve learned a lot from her.

I fell hopelessly in love when she did a draing (pencil colors) of a bee on some lavender. It had a damask print added to it. That just made the image pop. She told us where she got her reference and I thought. Wow. I’d love to paint a bee on a flower.

I decided to do my own version of her drawing, because A) I wanted to honor her and what I’ve learned from Lisa. And B) I believe a bee in the house is money coming.

So I did my own version and it will be framed and hung in my living room of my house (when I get one)

And as usual I’ve yacked enough. Let me show you how it came out.


Spectrum Noir and Derwent Pencils on Fabriano Academia paper.

Eagle’s Stare – Finally done


Spectrum Noir pencil colors and normal drawing paper.

I do have some Fabriano paper that I’m going to try for my next piece, but this paper wasn’t too bad.

I don’t think I was able to get as many layers as I would have liked, and I’m still getting the feel for the pencils. So its a matter of getting used to the medium and seeing if it will do what I need it to do in order to create the effects I want.

Hope you like. 😀

Smudging Solution

Morning Crafty Folk,

This is just a quick tip for you today.

I’m busy working on me Eagle, and since I’m left handed I tend to smudge as I work. I’m sure it happens to right handed people too, but working left to right (as we are taught from small) makes it more problematic for a South-Paw.

You could use a normal piece of printer paper to stop the smugery (wow, there I go making up words again) but it doesn’t work all that well.

I have discovered something that is both cost effective and anti-smug effective.


Yes, the humble,wax wrap or wax paper.


You can still see through it, but it protects the work where your hand is.

Nifty huh?

Have a great day Crafties,