Prisma Colored Pencils

I love the Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils. They work perfectly for me in my mixed media projects. They are available in 150 colors and come in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 132 & 150. You can also buy them individually when you just need to replace a color or two, which is always a plus!

They are very soft which makes them blend so easily, this makes combining them with other mediums works so well for me personally. You do need to be careful & avoid dropping them as the core is very soft and therefore can break easily. For me this is a small price to pay to get the effects I can achieve. If they do break a little trick is to put them in direct sunlight for a few hours. Some say to use a microwave, but I personally do not recommend doing that, as microwaves use too much heat.

I also recommend buying the Prismacolor pencil sharpener to use on these. They are specifically designed for the soft-core pencils and I find the lead breaks less when I use mine. Another tip is to use a nail file instead of a sharpener. Simply twist the pencil while filing to get your fine point.

To make your blends you can use a blender pencil or stub to blend your colors smoothly. If you do not have a blender pencil, that’s ok just use a lighter colored Prisma pencil instead. I also at time use  Gamsol mineral spirits sometime. However, I recommend only using that when you know you are not wanting to layer more color on top. Trying to add more color over top after using mineral spirits sometimes doesn’t work very well as the spirits tend to create a layer that is too smooth for the new color to adhere too.

Also, when you use these use a piece of paper to rest your hand on to prevent the oils, dirt & sweat from smearing the color. Your hand can also leave a thin layer of oils that may make it harder to get the color to adhere properly to your paper.

These can be bought easily online at a variety of places. I bought mine from Amazon. Hopefully these tips will encourage you try them out for yourself if you haven’t already.

Hugs & Love from Ranae’

What to do with the Inner Critic

The critic....You’re not good enough. You can’t do that painting. You’re just wasting your time. You will never be as good as them. What you’re doing is horrible. You should just give up. You will never accomplish that.

We all struggle with this Inner Critic and maybe even more so when we are creatives. From early on in our lives we are taught to think logically, weigh the odds, be realistic. Blah dee blah, blah… Now I am not at all saying these things are not useful and needed, I am saying they are not enough! These concepts need a balance and too often we are not taught this balance.

Think logically but allow creativity to open new doors and logic to simply guide you through those doors. I can’t begin to count how many times I had started an art project and felt I messed it up so badly that I wanted to give up and listen to those critical voices. What I can tell you though is when I decided to push through and tried to find a new creative way to change what I thought was horrible mistake, over 90% of the time I fell in love with finished project.

Weigh the odds but use that knowledge to help you prepare for the times those odds are against you, instead of avoiding them. Figure out new ways to beat those odds, practicing is a great way to change the odds into your favor.

Be realistic, I don’t even want to go there… What is realistic anyway? Being realistic implies that there is some type of universal rule that all must adhere to. I would rather you create the reality you are the most passionate about, and that reality will change many times in your life.

Ok, so what do we do with this know it all inner critic?

I believe the first thing we must realize is that little miss know it all is actually here to protect us. Unfortunately, she is overly sensitive and tends to speak from false fears a lot. Her voice is often born from the ideas others in our lives have verbalized to us or about us. Whose voice is she emulating? When her voice comes forth we need to recognize that she believes her words are helpful and protection. Acknowledge her words and her fear with love then move forward despite them.

“I realize you say I am not good enough and I also understand this concern is born from the voice of “insert someone in your past who may of said such to you” However, I release that fear and chose to know and accept that I am more than good enough.” And YOU ARE !

Hugs & Love from Ranae’

Art Journaling – Many Types

Art journaling has become very popular over the years.  So what is Art journaling? Is there a predetermined way to create one? Does every page have to be filled or finished? Is the a certain type of journal you have to use? My answer to these questions is simple... No! You do not need to follow

any specific guidelines. If you want your journaling to follow set rules, that is fine. If you want it to be project specific, fantastic. If you only have notebook paper and pens to use, no problem. 

I personally do  my journals more project specific. Needless to say I have quite a collection of Journals. This photo actually shows only about a half of the journals I own.

The first few journals I created were for creating Zentangles and simple line art. From there I started doing Word Art Journals. I had no rules, they were simply for my eyes only. Since then I have actually gone back through them and created other art that was inspired by some of those first few journals. I also have journals I use to test new techniques and background ideas. Those are very relaxing to me since they have no pre-formatted idea behind them. I use them a lot when I have no specific idea for a new project but want to keep my artistic mode going. Then I have some I use just for mixed media. They are the more standard types of Art Journals and a lot of the pages are from Art Journal tutorials I have found online.

Then I have my "Girls Only" Art Journals. No it doesn't mean that guys can't see them. lol They are journals that I make pictures of the little girls I so love creating.  Some of those pages have made their way into becoming prints for my shop, others are just for me and a few are from online tutorials.

 They don't have to complicated, specific, or time consuming. You may only have 15 minutes a day to dabble in yours and that is perfectly ok. Maybe you just want to write about your day and do some little doodles around the edges, that works too. So no matter how you decide to use a journal, it's all good. Your journals are for you, it's up to you what do with them, how to use them and who you want to see them. Just let your creativity out and have fun! 

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

NeoColor II

One of my favorite products to use are the NeoColor II Artist Crayons by Caran d'Ache. They have a very high pigment and can be used on so many of my mixed media projects. They can be bought in sets of sets of 10, 15, 30, 40 or 84. You can also buy just one at a time, which is perfect when you find you use up your favorite colors.

I use them on almost all of my art projects. I find the ease of use and the wide variety of colors often works better for me than using one of my regular watercolor sets. Plus they are perfect to use when you want to carry them with you, just grab a few colors, put them in a little bag with an aqua brush and your ready to go.

There are various ways that I apply the color to my projects, so I thought I would share those with you. Most times I apply them with an aqua brush, which is basically a brush with a barrel that holds water, but I also use them with my regular water color brushes also.

The way I apply them when I want less pigment, or I am working on smaller areas where I don't need a lot of pigment, is to scribble the color onto another piece of paper and then use the wet brush to pull some color off the paper. I enjoy the control I get when doing it this way, unfortunately you do waste some of the color this way.

Another way I use mine is to color with them right onto the project I am working on and then use a wet brush to dissolve the crayon marks. I personally don't use this method often as I have found I have less control this way. Also it can sometimes leave traces of hard lines on the paper or doesn't smooth out as well as I would like.

 My favorite way to use them is to pull the color right off of the crayon itself using a wet brush. This is great for projects that are larger and you need more pigment to spread around or if you want it to be bolder in color. It does tend to make your crayons odd in shape but that doesn't bother me since I get the results I want.

A little tip when using them right off the crayon, you may need to scrape a bit of the top layer off to get to the full pigment. The outer layer seems to be a bit more waxy and often doesn't pull the color unless you do that. You don't need to scrape too much though just a very thin layer.

You can also just use them as you would a crayon or regular pastel without using water at all. This is nice when you want a bit of texture from a rougher type of paper or if you want a pastel look and they blend very easy this way also. You can blend them with your finger or with a blending stub. I personally do not use them in this way, but have seen some wonderful pieces by other artist's done in this manner.

You can find these in a wide variety of places, just type the name into Google and you will find them easily. I hope you found some helpful tips and will try this great product.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

Grand Opening


Crazy Daze & a new Studio

It's been a whirlwind in my life lately. Many ups and downs
that intruded on the things I really wanted to get done.

But all is better now & I have been busy moving to a new
home, located in Tampa.  Moving is so much fun, right? As if !!!
Sooo many boxes to unpack and a lot of empty shelves
to fill, in my new Studio, but it's getting there.


Grand Opening Celebration 

50% off ALL Prints

To help us celebrate I am offering 50%
off ALL prints in my Etsy Store
during the next week.

Click the photo or Discount Code to go
to my Etsy Store & use the following
code to get your special discount.

GRAND2018


Coming Soon

I am creating some YouTube videos that will include tips on various
artistic techniques, as well as some speed clips of projects I am
working on in my art journals. So be sure to watch out for those on my
social media profiles Which can be found at the top right of web page.

Another exciting addition will be "Throwback Thursdays"
where I will be highlighting various art project's from
my past with ideas and tips about how I created them.


Greeting Card Sets

Soon I will adding these greeting cards to my Etsy store.
So be sure to watch my Social Media channels
so you will know when they are available.
Each set is packaged in a protective Crystal Clear Box, which
includes 8 [Blank Inside] Greeting Cards - 2 of each Design
- 8 Envelopes & they will be available in two different sizes.
Who knows I may just run a special discount to
help introduce them So be sure to stay tuned.