Sunday, February 16, 2014


Starting 2014 with one more fun piece of pallet art - literally! Then, in my next blog, I will provide step by step instructions for a watercolor painting.

I am enjoying using slats from an old pallet and I wanted to find a way to make another sign and find something to do with old paint brushes! I never have the heart to throw away old paint brushes......they hold fun memories.

Supplies needed for the above sign:

1 piece of pallet
White paint
Black paint
old paint brushes

Using the old pallet slat: I painted it with a wash of white paint and allowed it to dry. I painted block letters spelling A-R-T vertically on the pallet, leaving some extra space at the bottom of the sign for the paint brushes. When dry, using medium sand paper I sanded down the edges and in random spots on the sign....sanding down to expose the unpainted pallet underneath.

Arrange several paint brushes under the lettering and glue into place. When dry - hang! You have a wonderful pallet art sign!

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas - a Craft for the Season!

I love Christmas and crafting, so what better time of the year to enjoy both! The simple nativity scene above is easy and inexpensive to craft for yourself and as gifts to share the "reason for the season!"

The photo above will show the basic design which is made out of the following supplies:

- 1" x 1" wood for the bodies of Joseph and Mary. Cut (1) 4 inches long for Joseph and (1) 3 inches long for Mary.

- 1/4" x 3/4" craft wood (2 inches long for Baby Jesus

- (2) inch ball knobs for Joseph's and Mary's heads

- (1) 1/2 inch diameter dowel cap for Baby Jesus's head

- Small piece of burlap approximatly 4" x 6" for Mary's shawl

- 18 - 24 inch piece of jute to wrap the figures together

- Wood glue to hold pieces together

- Paint (color of your choice). I used green for Joseph and burgundy red for Mary, flesh color for the heads, and burnt sienna for an antique wash

See photo below of supplies.

Assemble the pieces as illustrated below.

Glue figures together AFTER placing the shawl on Mary. Glue shawl on where the pieces meet in the front. The back part of the shawl is wrapped with the jute. Glue Baby Jesus in place.

Wrap with the jute and make any adjustments needed to the shawl.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ The Lord.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pallet Christmas Tree

There are so many wonderful uses for pallets....from signs to Christmas trees! Yes, Christmas trees.....see the steps below for making a pallet Christmas tree.

Step 1
Select your pallet. For any pallets that will be used indoors, be certain to determine whether or not the pallet may have been treated with chemicals that may release harmful gases. I usually try to obtain a pallet that was used to transport food items. There are regulations for treatments that can be used for foods, which would make the pallet safe for indoor use.

Step 2

After selecting the pallet, cut it down into the shape of a Christmas tree, see photo below. I left both sides on the bottom section to make a base. The other boards were removed from the back, however the board running down the center was left in place.

Step 3
Select the color paint you would like to use. I selected green and used a "sample" size container of paint from Lowe's. Use a large brush, apply the paint. Since I like a "worn" look, I used only 1 coat of paint and allowed the wood to show through in some areas.

Select the "saying" for the tree and using either stencils or computer lettering you have transferred, paint the letters in a contrasting color. In my case, another sample size container of paint from Lowe's - in red.

Step 4
To complete the tree, I painted a star in yellow on the top, hammered nails in the 5 points and wrapped with jute. I wanted to display my tree outside, so I purchased a 100 count string of white lights and wound around the tree!

Step 5
Set up in the location of your choice and enjoy!

Until next blog, Happy Painting!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall is Craft Time!

Although my blog is mainly for fine arts, specifically watercolor painting, sometimes I share other crafts. I have recently been lucky enough to get several old pallets that I am using for several crafts. Today I will show you a great use for pallet boards for seasonal crafting fun!

I took one pallet apart (with help from my husband). Pallets are hard to take apart and still have salvageable pieces of wood. This pallet had been left outside in the weather for quite a while, so the wood was "antiqued" - just like I wanted.

My project today is a seasonal "harvest" sign. I selected a piece of pallet wood and used sandpaper to remove any extremely rough edges. I like the rough, worn look, so I only sanded lightly.

I painted the front side only in a bright orange using acrylic paints. Allow to dry. I wanted a seasonal sign for fall to use through Thanksgiving. So, I decided on the word "Harvest." Any word of your choice and any font will work. I saw a font I liked on a card and simply copied it. To be certain of the placement, I cut a piece of paper the same size as the sign and printed my word on it first. Once I had the spacing like I wanted, I transferred the letters to my pallet board. Since the surface is so rough, it is difficulty to do. Use a pencil and draw your letters on the pallet. Press lightly with the pencil and any errors can be erased. Once you have the placement correct, use an old brush to paint the letters

Caution: Be certain to use an old brush. The surface of the wood will ruin a good brush for painting.

I used a dark brown color paint in keeping with my harvest theme!

Until next blog -
Happy Painting!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 6

With our background and rocks painted, it is now time to add some details. I want the red rocks to be the dominate feature in this painting; therefore, I will not use detailed trees or yucca plants.

The yucca plants in the foreground will be the last step in this painting. The trees at the base of the rocks will be painted next.

Prepare the following paints:

- Deep Green mixed from Indigo and Sap Green
- Light Yellow/Green mixed from Sap Green and Light Yellow
- Sepia for trunks/branches

Using a small, dry sea sponge, pick up a little paint and using the painting above as a guide, dab in the foliage working across the horizon and varying the heights of the trees. Use a mix of both shades of green. When dry, add a small truck/branches using a liner brush and the sepia. Allow to dry.

Using the same mix of light green and a flat brush, add grasses working from the horizon to the foreground.

See close up photo below for details.

Painting the base of the Yucca plants:

Use a round brush and the following colors of paint:

- Sepia
- Yellow Green used above

Using clean paint and the round brush, paint in the shape of the bottom of the yucca plants. While wet, drop in the sepia and pull to the lower part of the plant and drop in the yellow green in the top part of the plant.. Allow the paints to blend and using the round brush, paint the foliage using sweeping strokes. Allow to dry. If the color is not as intense as you would like, repeat.

Remove the masking from the yucca blooms using an eraser.

Using a pale wash of the yellow green, add some color to some areas of the blooms, but not to all. Allow the majority of the bloom to remain unpainted.

Add the stems/stalks of the yuccas using a small round brush and wash of both green and sepia. Let the colors vary slight.

Add some darker areas to the base of the scrub brush in the background.

Allow to dry and check for any additional details you would like to add.

Sign your name - your painting is complete!

Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 5

The foreground grasses are painted in this next step The ground is a yellow orange clay/sand mix with touches of grass, rocks and scrub brush. There are trees in the distance and yucca plants scattered in the foreground.

Prepare a wash of the following colors:

-Burnt Sienna
-Medium Yellow
-Cadmium Orange Light
-Sap Green

Wet the area of the painting from the bottom of the large rocks to the bottom of the page with clean water. While the paper is still wet, apply a light wash of Medium Yellow and add Burnt Sienna and Cadmium orange in areas as you paint from the top to the bottom of the paper. Allow areas of the yellow to show through. Drop in areas of a mix of Sap Green and Medium Yellow. This will be a pale, yellow green. Refer to the picture for location. Allow to dry.

Wet the area at the top of the foreground where it meets the large rocks with a #6 round brush and clean water. Dip the brush in the wash of Burnt Sienna and paint across the line where the rocks and foreground meet. Allow the water to pull the paint down into the foreground area. Do not make this a straight line. We will add trees to the front of this. But this line will "ground" the large rocks.

Next blog, we'll paint the trees and the yucca plants in the foreground.

Until next time....

Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 4

The next step is to paint the large rock formation in the center. These rocks are painted using the same basic colors as the rocks on the right side, only using different intensities. Prepare a wash of the following:

Indian Red
Burnt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue

Wet the entire area of rock with clean water and allow to dry until the paper is no longer shiny, but still wet.

Using a light wash of Indian Red, paint the entire rock area using a large round bush or a flat brush - which ever you are more comfortable using. I used a #10 round brush. While the first coat of Indian Red is wet, drop deeper shades of Indian Red into specific areas to create shadows, and add movement to the rock.

Add additional colors that vary in intensity from light to dark of true colors and mixes of the above colors referring to the photo for shape and color.

Allow to dry and look at the rock formation to determine areas that may need to be deepened. Use a dry brush, if desired to add texture to the rock.

Next blog, we will work on the foreground sand and grassy areas.

Until then......

Happy Painting!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 3

Background mountains and trees are painted next. To paint the rock formations and mountains in the distance, prepare the paints you will need before starting to paint.

To paint the rocks/mountains on the right side, prepare a wash of the following colors:

Indian Red
Burnt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue

Wet the area to be painted using clean water and allow to dry until the paper is no longer shiny, but still wet. Using a light wash of Indian Red and a large round brush, apply to the entire background rock formation. While this color is still wet, drop in Burnt Sienna and Indian Red in the bottom area to deepen the color as well as a few spots in the upper areas. Drop in areas of violet mixed from Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue. Refer to the picture for color placement. Allow to dry.

To paint the trees and background mountains on the left side, add the following colors to you pallet:

Sap Green
Hooker's Green Deep
Yellow Ochre

Apply clean water to the mountain/tree area and allow to dry until no longer shiny. While the paper is still wet, paint the mountain area using a wash of violet used in the mountains on the right and Indian Red. While these colors are still wet, drop in several shades of green including one dark green mixed by adding Ultramarine Blue to one of the greens. Also, drop in Yellow Ochre in and around the trees. Add shapes to the tops of the trees by paining the tree tops into the sky area. Allow to dry.

Next blog, we'll tackle the large red rock formation in the center. Until next time,

Happy Painting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 2

Foreground and Yucca Plants:
The basic painting has been sketched in and now I plan to add some detail to the yucca plants in the foreground. See sketch above.

I drew in a little more detail for the stems and flowers. Since the yucca flower is mostly white, I will need to mask off the areas that need to remain white.

I used artist masking fluid to mask off these areas. For those of you who have never masked or may need a little refresher, the following are basic tips on masking:

- Use an old brush or one specifically put aside for masking. The masking compound is rubberized fluid which is difficult to remove from a brush and could ruin a brush for other uses. I use an "old" #6 round brush for most of my masking; and if I need a finer line, I use the tip of a toothpick However, for more precise masking, brushes can be bought specifically for that purpose. I am an Impressionist painter, so I don't need the precision of a finer brush.

- Dip the brush into a small container of liquid soap. This will coat the bristles and prevent or reduce the damage to the brush. It will also aid in clean up.

- Once the brush has been dipped in the soap, dip in the masking fluid and "paint" the areas you would like mask.

- Immediately wash the brush with soap when masking is complete. Never allow the masking fluid to dry on the brush. If the masking fluid dries on the brush, it will harden the bristles and the brush will be useless.

See my photo below for the masked yucca flowers. Allow the masking fluid to dry before proceeding with the painting.

Painting the sky:
I wanted a bright blue for the sky with a few hints of red reflected from the rocks below. I used the following colors:

- Cerulen Blue
- Phthalo Blue
- Crimson

The main sky color is Cerulen blue. I mixed a small amount of Phthalo blue for the upper part of the sky.

To paint the sky, apply clean water to the sky area and add a wash of your selected sky color. Starting at the top, paint down to the rock formations. While still wet, drop in a little bit of the Crimson in various spots.

To make the clouds, use a dry tissue (Kleenex) and remove areas of paint in the shape you would like.

Refer to my painting below. Allow to dry.

Next blog, we'll start on the red rocks...this will exciting to paint in the layers of rock.

Until then..........

Happy Painting!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Red Rocks of Sedona - Part 1

The photos above were taken in Red Rock Canyon in and around Sedona, Arizona. The following blogs will give instructions on how to paint these magnificent rock formations. No matter how grand the painting or photograph, it can never do justice to the actual landscape itself.

One of the hardest parts of this painting will be selecting which one of the rock formations to paint.

I like to do a pencil sketch on my watercolor paper before painting to give me basic placement for rocks, the horizon, trees, shrubs, etc. I will probably place a few yucca plants in the foreground to add interest to the landscape.

For my initial sketch, I visually divided the painting into 3 sections for placement of the horizon and the height of the rocks. I lightly penciled in the basic shapes with very little detail. I am an Impressionist painter, so I don't put a great amount of detail in my paintings, but I do like basic shapes and placement of the horizon.

The sketch below is my initial drawing for my painting. I'll give the yucca plants a little more detail and use masking fluid on the white flowers before I start painting.

Prepare your blog, we'll start adding color. Until then....

Happy Painting!