The Difference the Background Colour Makes

Debutante Colored Pencils Club 2015 Debutante (light) Colored Pencils Club 2015The choice of background colour makes a huge difference to the mood, feeling, palette choice and procedure of creating art.

Debutante was originally designed for the darker background. Although it was a hot summer day my setting is my shady backyard. My subject matter is Mama chipmunk with her baby. There they are…perched at the edge of the patio looking through the leaves into the world beyond. Even though I wasn’t going for the big scary world, it is definitely a world of unknowns and perhaps Mama is telling her young one. You are ready now to take it on yourself.

Using black or a dark colour for the background is wonderful for help with creating the darker and mid-values. And surprisingly it wasn’t all that difficult getting the brighter values with my coloured pencil.

Two of my favourite “additions” to coloured pencil – OMS and pan pastels are not as effective on dark paper.

When I decided to redo this design on the light background I  found out very quickly that the mood of the piece changed dramatically. The heat of the summer day is keenly felt with the bright yellow sunshine background and the long cool shadows. The focus changes from the chipmunks looking out to the big world to having fun in the sun.  In fact, I probably would not call this piece Debutante anymore.

For this piece I had to work harder on the mid-values and the darks. I used the OMS to help me blend and I had to add a colour or two to the palette. And surprise, surprise I actually had to work a little harder to get my whites! The pan pastels were the perfect addition to the background to get the sunshine yellow!

Although I enjoyed doing both of these pieces….as well as the results……I have to ask myself what I was trying to achieve? What was my message? Because the answer to that question  was to depict the introducing of the young one to the bigger world my original decision is still the best.

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Art Play Date

all%20projectsJD in the Summer Sun Art Play Date 2015 Art Play Date has all the projects available for viewing now! This has got to be the best value with 26 projects. And a great selection of media as well.

My JD in the Summer Sun is colour pencil on my beloved pan pastel background.

Please go through my home page to access the official website.

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Color Pencil Play Date

Color Pencil Play is pretty organized now. All the projects are up for viewing.

I’ve got two in the line up. Snowy Owl in the Arctic Sky and Fuzzy Love. Both have the pan pastels in the background and then the Prismacolor Premiere color pencils for the main image. Hope you’ll join us for a color pencil experience.

Please go to my home page to access the official website.


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Fuzzy Love Color Pencil Play Date 2015 website

Snowy Owl Copyright

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Tiger in the Grass

Acrylic Painting Club has just barely started. There is still time to sign up.

Please remember to go through my links on my home page to sign up.

That is the only way they know who sent them! Thanks.Tiger in the Grass (APC 2015) 250

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Little Pekoe Promo

Little Pekoe is next on the Purely Acrylics online classroom!

Ron and I had a bit of fun making a promo movie. Want to see it?

Remember to sign up for any of these online classes to go through my homepage links. That is the only way they know who sent you. Thanks!

Little Pekoe copyright 350

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Colored Pencil Play Date

Snowy Owl Copyright

Snowy Owl in the Arctic Sky. I used the pan pastels in the background. Love the colours! And then prismacolor premiere coloured pencils for the owl.

Colored Pencil Play Date will begin March 16. Fifteen weeks and fourteen teachers. $99.00

Please remember to always go through my link on my home page so they know who sent you! That is how I get paid.

Sign up now or just go look at the rest of the projects.

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Acrylic Online Contests

I am in two acrylic groups offering online classes next year. And they are both offering contests!

Acrylic Painting ClubTiger in the Grass – Classes begin January 1. 2015 Cost is $99.00. Fourteen online classes over the year……Sign up for the club and have a chance to win the following prizes…..the grand prize is your subscription for 2015. Three second prizes are a subscription to 2016 classes and then three “surprise” third prizes. Please sign up through my home page link. Winners will be announced December 22.

Acrylic Painting Logo 350 Tiger in the Grass (APC 2015) 250







Purely AcrylicLittle Pekoe – classes begin February 2, 2015 cost is $99.00 Thirteen online lessons are offered weekly with access for the whole year. Six subscriptions (for 2015) will be given away. Email me with your answer to this skill testing question “What is Lydia’s favourite theme to paint?” Contest closes December 21. Winner will be announced December 22. Please sign up through my home page link.

PAlogo 250

Little Pekoe copyright 350

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What is an online event?

Decorative Painting has gone online it seems. I talked about the E-zines in my previous blogs. But there are also “on line events”.

These “events” are like mini conventions. There are slight variations of course, but basically a group of teachers get together and present their projects to you in the comfort of your own home. Usually there is a video as well as a complete e-packet. The projects are released regularly to your email and then there is a full year for you to access the videos at your convenience. And I mean at your convenience! Stop and start the videos as you like. Watch them 100 times!! In your pajamas or dressed for a party!! The e-packets are yours to download and keep.

With the cost of traveling and the demise of our beloved painting studios and shops this is a great way to keep on painting. The community aspect of painting is continued with a Facebook page. Projects are shared and encouragement is ongoing and contagious.

Find an “online convention” that matches your needs…..Art Play Date is a mixed bag with the focus on creativity. Coloured Pencils of course. Look for Acrylic events coming and I believe there is an Oil Painting one available as well. They are always a great value with at least 12 projects and the price seems to be hovering about $100.

Decorative Painters will always find a way to keep on painting!!

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The Pixalated Palette e-zine

The third e-zine I know about it The Pixalated Palette. Each e-zine seems to have a slightly different focus so you can choose the one tailored more to your creative pursuits. They certainly all seem to be reasonably priced too. Especially with the introductory offers.

Here is what The Pixalated Palette has to say ……

“What we’re trying to do is create a digital painting magazine that features a wide range of projects that hits a range of interests. Our readers like to do more than just decorative painting, so we try to make sure there are plenty of mixed media projects, some crafts, and a bit of fine art in the mix as well. Since we miss Painting Mag and PaintWorks mag, we have connected with all the artists that made a regular appearance in those publications and offered them another outlet for their work.

The nice thing about the online e-zines is that we can now easily include our friends overseas in Italy, South America, Britain, Australia and everywhere else. These folks fly in for conventions every year, order tons of craft products from the US and have shops open in their hometowns, but have never been able to get the US painting magazines because they simply aren’t published overseas. They’ve created their own versions in their home languages that are fantastic and we wanted to make sure our readers got a chance to learn from them too! I’m delighted to have several artists in our e-zine who live in Italy, Canada and Colombia. Their work has a really unique flair that I know will be popular!

So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re very excited to see how the next year will go. Our readers are enjoying the convenience and ease of access that the digital format brings, as well as the ability to save each issue without having all the paper clutter around. I think this is going to be quite the popular trend in the future!”

There’s a summary on their page here:

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Painting Ezine banner



Susan Kelley and Sharon Chinn decided to do an ezine after they learned about the closing of PaintiWorks, the decorative painting community’s last print magazine available to the general public.

Susan was previously editor of Paint the Town ezine which was part of for 3 years, have been a designer for many years, and also runs her successful Puddles of Paint website and membership club for painters. Sharon Chinn (previously Sharon Saylor) has been a designer for over 25 years, was partner in Sharon & Gayle Publications – a leading publisher of tole and decorative painting books for 12 years – and is now owner/operator of the popular website, where she sells ePatterns for over 70 designers.

The closing of PaintWorks was the perfect opportunity to introduce a new online magazine to bring new designs and articles to painters as well as provide designers an outlet to bring their new works to the marketplace. Susan and Sharon’s past and current experience make them the perfect pair to partner for this new publication. They are the self-declared computer geeks of the painting world. In today’s world, with the popularity of computers, tablets, and smart phones, anyone can easily access an online publication. Online publications are “green”… they can be electronically stored by subscribers, so they don’t add to studio clutter, and can be selectively printed on demand.

Susan and Sharon picked the name PaintingEzine because it simply states what and who they are. Their ezine is a bit different from the others on the market in a couple of ways. It is in a flipbook format, which means you can view it on your computer/device from their website and the pages ‘flip’ to give the feel of actually flipping through a print magazine. Each issue will also be available in a downloadable pdf format so the subscribers can save the magazine to their computer enabling them to print the projects/pages they want to paint or just to keep in their digital library for years to come. Another difference is all projects in PaintingEzine will be primarily painted. They will cover a range of skill levels from beginner to intermediate to maybe a few advanced, and they will be mostly acrylic projects, but with the addition of oil, watercolor, colored pencil, or pastels from time to time to add variety. Susan and Sharon feel there is still a large part of our painting community who want to “paint” vs. creating projects that mostly require the purchase of mixed media tools like stamps and stencils. While they will allow projects that include a small addition of a mixed media tool or technique, that addition should be an optional decision for painters to add or not.

PaintingEzine will premiere on November 15, 2014. After that new issues will be available on the 1st of each month. Subscriptions are available for 12 issues or 24 issues. Individual issues will also be available for purchase.


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