I "Started Over" On Instagram

Hi there! It's been such a long time since I've typed a blog post. For the last six months, I have spent a lot of time sorting through my ideas and trying to decide on what it was exactly that I wanted paint, what I wanted to blog about, what I wanted my brand to look like as a whole... It's been a battle between trying to figure out everything perfectly and just feeling like I wasn't good at anything in the first place and should just forget about everything. 

Of course, I only contemplated the latter in those late night moments of despair. I really do enjoy painting and running a website and microblogging on sites like Twitter and Instagram, so I knew that I really just had to keep working consistently and eventually I would settle on something I could work with and improve on. 

All of my brainstorming and planning finally began to overflow in to my real work space when, about two months ago, I decided to switch my website hosting over to Squarespace. I needed the simplicity of the "what you see is what you get" feature, especially with a young baby at home. I was becoming too distracted with trying to learn coding to get my website laid out "perfectly". Over on Squarespace, the themes are beautiful and have a very minimalist style, which was a perfect starting point for me, and most of the features are so simple to customise!

Next was Twitter. I had my first account for a very long time; I was still in school at the time. I just felt as if there was way too much history there that wasn't relevant to my brand. Of course, I wasn't about to delete all 70,000+ tweets! So, I created a brand new account. 

Final stop, Instagram. My account there isn't as old and while I did love most of the photos, my account's purpose had gradually been changing as time went on and my old photos no longer reflected my current vision as my page transitioned from person to a bit more business-related. I know most people tend to keep their photos and just continue and improve, but I was really only holding on to those past photos for sentimental reasons and that's nothing a good screenshot-and-save can't fix. So, I made my decision and patiently waited until the night before I launched this brand new website layout! ...which is probably why you're here reading this right now. 

I know it might seem a little strange, but it was a necessary step for me. Clutter has always been a source of frustration and my Instagram page in my mind... was terribly cluttered. I'm happy to "start over" now as I've got the clearest picture for the future of my art. 

I hope you'll stick around for the journey. I can't wait to show you what I've been working on. In time. 

 

A LATE MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Hi there. This is going to be a pretty short post, but I just wanted to stop in and wish you a Merry Christmas (even if it is a tad bit late)!

If you've been following me on my social media you already know that I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on December 2nd. My husband and I have been gradually adjusting to this huge change in our life, especially the lack of sleep (#teamnosleep). Truly though, we're enjoying every moment of this experience and already slightly sad about the fact that she's going to grow so quickly. Life really is like a mist and so, we are determined to treasure each little moment and be even more intentional with our time!

 
 

There will be lots of changes taking place in my life over the next few months, maybe even years, but I have much in store for what I want this website and my business to become. I hope you'll come along with me for the journey and I want to thank all of those who have stuck with me this far. It's been a long two years of figuring things out.

I can't believe 2016 is about to come to an end. It seems almost as if it had only just started. Ah, I hope you have a wonderful new year. Bye for now; best to get this finished quickly before the little one wakes up. I'll see you on the other side!

Grumbacher Opaque Watercolour Set, A Review

Hi there! It's been a while... In fact, it's been a six-month-long while. Can you believe it? Here's to hoping that I even remember how to do this blogging thing.

This is what you might call a long overdue review, since I've had this palette since 2013. These paints are available in 4 sets: a 12 & 24 opaque watercolours set and a 12 & 24 transparent watercolours set.

I have the 24 opaque watercolours set, better known as the deluxe opaque watercolours set.

What are opaque watercolours?

So what exactly is an opaque watercolour you might be wondering? Well, turns out, it's really just another name for gouache.

I've actually never tried what I would consider normal, transparent watercolours because back when I purchased these paints, I didn't really know the difference. So, it's only when I started to work with them that I realised they dried to a very chalky, somewhat dull, finish and this wasn't what I knew watercolours to look like based on watching Youtube videos and photos in art books.

 
 

Pros

Despite my initial frustration, which was entirely of my own causation since I purchased the wrong paints, I actually really love these paints. Turns out they were perfect for what I wanted at the time as well. If you're used to gouache, then you already know how to use these paints.

  • Because of the chalky finish, coloured pencils work amazingly on top of these paints to add dimension and texture.
  • This set comes with a great variety of colours for mixing just about any other  colour and a small tube of white paint.
  • The name of each colour is listed right next to the pan and it's also embossed into the plastic, so they are definitely not going anywhere. This would be handy for refilling or making note of colour mixes.
  • The inside cover has separators (like a palette), which is really handy for mixing a variety of colours on-the-go.
  • It's big enough that I can store my waterbrush inside! Definitely a major plus.

Cons

  • It probably would be easier if they just called them gouache paints, for the poor unsuspecting layman. Just saying...
  • The pans are removable, yet they do not seem to be sold separately, so in order to refill a colour, you might have to buy a tube of paint and refill or just buy a new palette.
  • The colours dry to a very light finish. I tend not to use them on their own; they look best with marker, pen or coloured pencil on top. However, they can be easily layered to deepen the colours if you wish to do so.
  • I've had issues with the paint, even after drying, causing problems with my Micron pens. I would wait as long as possible, maybe a day or more, before using felt tip pens or markers on top.

To be honest, I really have no other cons about these paints, they really have served me well over the past three years. I plan to finally get my hands on the transparent ones soon! Would you be interested in a side-by-side comparison and review of the paints? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading! I'm so excited to be back. I've got some exciting news to share, so make sure you're subscribed to the newsletter. A new one will be released on Saturday. 'Til then, happy painting!

- Adrianne

What I Have Been Up To: Update + Future Plans

Hey there! It's been quite a long while since my last blog post, so we've definitely got some catching up to do. If you're wondering, this does mean that I'll be back to posting regularly, but not as often as before. I'll only be posting once to twice a month but I'm hoping that I can also, finally, get into making some video content as well. I have some other great news but first, I wanted to give you an update on what I've been up to these past three months.

Mural Painting

The biggest thing, quite literally, is this mural that I painted in January. The design was client-provided if you're wondering, but it was a pretty fun fit, because you know I love to play around with tangled doodles.

It's definitely the highest I've ever been to paint anything; the top of the mural was three flights of scaffolding high. I'll be honest with you, I was a little shaky and a whole lot of scared when I got to the top but by the third day, I was swinging around that thing like a chimpanzee. I'm totally kidding, but I was much more comfortable and reassured of its sturdiness by then.

 
instagram-mural.jpg
 

The line work took a lot longer than I expected it to because the paint was quite translucent and required at least 3 coats to be opaque. It was frustrating, but when it's a first time experience, there's always sure to be unforeseen problems. At least, it's definitely knowledge gained and now I can anticipate this problem in the future. Not that I plan to be a professional mural painter, I've got some other plans in mind but you'll read about those soon enough.

Sketchbook Challenge

The next thing I want to talk about is the sketchbook challenge. March is about to end, and while I didn't specifically have the sketchbook challenge in mind,  I have been working consistently in a sketchbook and only last week or so, have I actually been enjoying the style that's being revealed to me. Of course, I still have the urge to go back and cover up the ugly pages and I've decided that it's okay and I will do exactly that for the ones that I really hate. The pages are marked with page flags at this very moment! However, I will date all of the paintings that I slot in so that when I'm looking back through them years from now, I will know that they are not in chronological order.

I've been sharing the process a bit on Snapchat, which I recently signed up to. I follow some other artists on there and it's so fun to see their process. Let's continue this sketchbook challenge for another three months until the end of June and see where it takes us! Of course, that isn't to say that at the end of June you should stop, but let's be intent on making sketching and putting our thoughts on paper a habit. It really is the best way to improve your art in a very practical way.

Ah, it's great to be back. What have you been up to?

Farewell, 2015.

Hello there. Happy new year! Can you believe that we're already 6 days in to the year? I almost don't want to. I've got much to do and time seems to be blowing raspberries at me, but we'll talk more about that in a bit.

First, let's reflect on 2015:

  • I launched this website on the 1st of March 2015. I think this might be the biggest accomplishment that I made for the year as it relates to my art. I've had many different blogs throughout the years, and I've found it extremely difficult to stick with one theme and create a focus for what exactly I wanted to speak about. While these are still something I struggle with, I made a pretty giant leap by purchasing my own domain and I'm proud that I've managed to stick with this site and see it develop.
  • I learned how to do a bit of CSS coding to edit this theme and turn it into what you see today. When I first launched the website, it looked very different from how it looks now. This is another big accomplishment of mine because just a little over a year ago, I thought I would NEVER understand what all of those brackets and lines of text ever meant.
  • I hosted my own art challenge. I mean, it's not a huge deal considering I was the only person taking part... but I stuck with it and I created something for every prompt except the last one, within a month's time. While I wasn't proud of every piece, a few great ones did come out of it. I'm extremely glad that I did it. Hopefully, the next time I host a creative challenge, there will be followers to share the challenge and experience with.
  • I finally completed my logo and business cards to go along with it (although, I did finalise the cards in the past couple days). Another huge accomplishment.
  • I posted 48 posts! How crazy is that? Of course there are a few that need updating, mainly the colour series, but I'm learning to see the beauty in progress and fighting the temptation to host a whole bunch of photo shoots to fix that problem. However, I WILL be updating the colour series photos and adding more content, so keep at eye out for that this year. I'll be sure to update you on Instagram, so make sure you are following me there!
  • And last, but certainly in no way least, I set the stage for the official opening of my business and the selling of my artwork online and locally. There's still a lot of work to be done and I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure that I can pull it off but I'm trying to keep the deadline that I've set (plus, 09/01/16 is such a nice date!). I've still got loads of unfinished art pieces to complete and lots of blank canvas in need of some colour.
  • Okay, I might have lied. The real last one (and the best one) is that I got married this year! If you've been following my blog for a while, then I'm sure you had the pleasure of following me along as I shared many of my handmade projects.
 
instagram-wedding.jpg
 

What a pleasure it is to start the new year as the wife to my best friend of many years. Not many people can say that they are so blessed and I thank God for the opportunity He has given us to reflect Christ and his bride, the church, to the rest of the world. We won't do it perfectly, but I pray that whatever our marriage looks like years down the road, that we can be said to have been a couple who strove wholeheartedly to know and serve Christ, to love each other and love the people that God placed in our lives.

Cheers to a wonderful 2015. May 2016 be even better.

- Adrianne