Breaking Free with your Art

The Art Sherpa Tutorial

I Remember when I first started getting back into my art, how hard is was for me, so I wanted to talk to you about breaking free with your art.

At first when I re-entered my Artistic Journey I did a lot of free classes found online & I had a lot of fun doing them. I did Coloring classes, Word Art classes, Art Journaling classes, Watercolor classes, Acrylic classes, Drawing classes, Mixed Media classes. Pretty much any type of Art class I could find and it was great! I was learning and felt good about what I was accomplishing.  [Note - Click Photos to see tutorials used]

Then at some point I realized that the only art I was doing was just a mimic of what someone else did. Suddenly just following classes was no longer enough. I wanted to create my own art, from start to finish. But I had no idea what to create. I would literally sift through google & pinterest pages for hours, doing searches for the various types of art photos that were created using materials I had. Still nothing came to me. It felt like every idea I had of what I wanted to create was just coming from someone else.

   Tamara Laporte Tutorial

I was so dependent on following another artist tutorial that I didn't know where to start and on top of that I felt like I needed to do something completely original. Then I ran across a book called, "Steal like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. His theory is basically that nothing is completely original, everything is created upon what came before.  Light bulb moment, I realized I agree with him and that understanding freed me. I highly recommend you read this book, you can get a free PDF Download of it by clicking Here.

Now I am in no way saying it's ok to completely duplicate another artist's work, or to even make something that is obviously similar to someone else's work and call it your own. That is just ethically and morally wrong. What I am saying is I finally understood that it was ok if I used techniques that I learned from someone else.  It's ok if I felt inspired to paint a picture of a sunflower, a horse, a person...

Creativity comes from combining things that you have learned to then re-creating your version and interpretation.

       My Own Creation

Once I embraced this new understanding I was then able to go to that blank page or canvas and begin on my own journey into finding my own personal style, using information I learned from all the fabulous artist's before me. And guess what I am still learning and re-developing my own style everyday and I still love doing online tutorials. Learning from others is the best tool anyone could have, so use it. It helps us to grow and learn new techniques that we may want to incorporate into our own unique personal style.

Hugs & Love from Ranae'

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’

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'

You Deserve Your Passion


Art is more than just a pretty picture. It is a Passion that dwells deep inside of us. It is an expression of all the beautiful parts we hold within, 

both good and bad. Art inspires, heals, motivates, transforms, and connects us with our inner self as well as the very essence of our lives.

We are all creative beings by nature, perhaps your creativity is not artistic, it may lean more towards music, dance, photography.  Perhaps your creativity lies within your ability to problem solve, sing, mathematics, healing, design, inventions. Whatever your passion is, it is born from creativity. Born from that first  creative idea you had when you realized that you wanted to become a...

No matter where your passion lies it is important! It's so easy to give up, to say you have no time, money and/or resources. Find that time, an hour a day, half an hour a day even just 15 minutes a day. Find the money, a dollar here or there set aside, start a kick start for some funding.  Find the resources, Google is your friend, ask people in your networks. Trust me, if it is a passion within, then you can and will get to where you want to be. But since it is 'your' passion it is you who has to begin.  You may be amazed at how easy it is to start developing your special passion(s) once you actually get started.

If you push aside your passion(s) then you will never truly be "You". There will always be a part of you that is missing, an emptiness you will feel inside. You deserve to be the passionate, creative soul that you dream of being!

Hugs & Love from Ranae'