Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I've never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.

How to Paint Realistic Skin

I grew up reading American artist and The Artist’s magazine, and my mom has almost as many of those two magazines as she has of National Geographic. Between those two magazines, I learned a lot about seeing. My mom has always asked me to crit her paintings when she has been looking at it for too long, and I love talking about art with her. So I really enjoy reading the Procreate forums. Procreate is the art app I use on my ipad to create my illustrations. The Procreate forums inspire me with other artist’s work, crits, and custom brushes.

Even if you draw effective 3D shapes in a portrait, it's not realistic until you add the flesh!

Even if you draw effective 3D shapes in a portrait, it’s not realistic until you add the flesh! Tutorial from Navate.com

So when I was reading about art and found this skin tutorial today I decided to share it because it is the best resource I have found about skin tones all in one place. While most portrait painters will freely share their palette, seeing faces in tones from light to dark in different undertones really hammers home the variety of colors. There is no one ‘flesh’ or ‘Nude’ color even on a single person!

SKIN: A Tutorial Part 1
SKIN: A Tutorial Part 2

Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I've never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.

Look at this range of colors and hues and tints for medium skin. I picked this portion of her tutorial because medium is MY skin tone, and I’ve never seen such a wonderful tutorial that includes my skin tone.

 

Carpenter Creek near New Denver, flows beside the Galena Trail and we can hear it as we fall asleep in our tent. It fills the air with a cold fresh smell and thunderous yet soothing sounds.

Bicycling on the Galena Trail

We are camping near the Galena Trail and rode our bikes up to Alamo  siding. New Denver used to be a mining town and now it’s very quiet! This is my first bike ride on a trail and it was challenging and exhilarating, although for anyone who is more than a beginner will find it fairly easy! The stones and roots rattled my arms and I did quite well.

Carpenter Creek near New Denver, flows beside the Galena Trail and we can hear it as we fall asleep in our tent. It fills the air with a cold fresh smell and thunderous yet soothing sounds.

Carpenter Creek near New Denver, flows beside the Galena Trail and we can hear it as we fall asleep in our tent. It fills the air with a cold fresh smell and thunderous yet soothing sounds.

The cedars and trees line the Galena Trail. It was fun yet challenging for me, and nothing but fun for Jeremy.

The cedars and trees line the Galena Trail. It was fun yet challenging for me, and nothing but fun for Jeremy.

We took a neat trolley across Carpenter Creek, thanks to Grant who organized a team to install it in the nineties. We pull ourselves across with a rope and pulley.

We took a neat trolley across Carpenter Creek, thanks to Grant who organized a team to install it in the nineties. We pull ourselves across with a rope and pulley.

A little toad sitting on the Galena Trail.

A little toad sitting on the Galena Trail.

Alamo siding, once a silver mine, now a ruin, along the  galena Trail.

Alamo siding, once a silver mine, now a ruin, along the galena Trail.

Riding along this narrow trail is challenging and fun. At times, the drop off to Carpenter creek is quite steep.

Riding along this narrow trail is challenging and fun. At times, the drop off to Carpenter creek is quite steep.

The ruins of Alamo Siding, former silver mine.

The ruins of Alamo Siding, former silver mine.

The ruins through the trees, our destination on our bikes near New Denver, BC.

The ruins through the trees, our destination on our bikes near New Denver, BC.

Snow on the glacier at Rogers Pass.

Cabin in the Woods

This outhouse is over 100 years old, and has recently been relocated and freshened up for the new season.

This outhouse is over 100 years old, and has recently been relocated and freshened up for the new season.

Locals report seeing a small bear in these woods lately!

Locals report seeing a small bear in these woods lately!

Here is my parents bus parked in their camping spot in the woods!

Here is my parents bus parked in their camping spot in the woods!

Here is the tent Jeremy and I sleep in, just like when we first got together!!

Here is the tent Jeremy and I sleep in, just like when we first got together!!

This cabin my grandparents builtHere are some photos of my grandparents’ cabin, where we are camping for the week. It smells amazing, lush and green, with all the cedars. Such a relief from California drought, and the fresh mountain water tastes amazing. So grateful for water!

 

 

 

Mountain vista from Idaho peak in the Kooteneys

Hiking Up Idaho Peak

Even though it’s July, there is still snow up Idaho Peak. Later this year, tourists will be able to drive up to the ridge we hiked to, park in the parking lot, and hike along the ridge to the old fire lookout house. But for now, you will have to leave your car at the 8km mile marker and hike up the alpine bowl to get to the good views!

This meltwater is so fresh and pure you can drink it from the stream. It tastes better than the priciest bottled water.

This meltwater is so fresh and pure you can drink it from the stream. It tastes better than the priciest bottled water.

Here is the picnic table where we ate our lunch, still buried in snow!

Here is the picnic table where we ate our lunch, still buried in snow!

This golden flower glowed, and thousands of them cover the alpine slopes this time of year. Later, red and purple flowers will cover the mountain too.

This golden flower glowed, and thousands of them cover the alpine slopes this time of year. Later, red and purple flowers will cover the mountain too.

The switchback mountain road holds snow in the lee of the slope.

The switchback mountain road holds snow in the lee of the slope.

Are these mountain flowers crocus?

Are these mountain flowers crocus?

True north wild and free.

True north wild and free.

Mountain vista from Idaho peak in the Kooteneys

Mountain vista from Idaho peak in the Kooteneys.

The snow hasn't completely melted from the slopes on  Idaho Peak, in the Kooteneys.

The snow hasn’t completely melted from the slopes on Idaho Peak, in the Kooteneys.

feeds into the tiny creeks that become a raging river in the valley of Sandon  BC.

All the snow melts and feeds into the tiny creeks that become a raging river in the valley of Sandon BC.

Roadtrip! Travelling Across Canada in a BlueBird Bus

Timmy's in California, and it's cheap and very canadian.

Here we are stopped in Revelstoke to get some long awaited Tim Hortons. We don’t have Timmy’s in California, and it’s cheap and very canadian.

Snow on the glacier at Rogers Pass.

Snow on the glacier at Rogers Pass.

imageIt was going to be either a brilliant family vacation or a comedy of disaster- my husband and I were flying into Saskatchewan from California, than packing into my parents Bluebird bus and driving to the Slocan in British Columbia inside of 48 hours. It went well, though my dad’s driving was a bit scary (I only sat shotgun once). My moms dog, a Puli, was the most adorable, though she is spoiled rotten. She is the black mop in the photos, they have natural dreadlocks!

my parents bus, here we are stopped at a rest stop.

Here is a photo of my parents bus, here we are stopped at a rest stop.

image trim.7C873899-3886-442D-B4EC-5F20AC889E4F

The pet portrait Lou and Julie commission

Charcoal Pet Portrait Commission

Lou and Julie two sweet doggies pet portrait commission

Lou and Julie two sweet doggies pet portrait commission

I was recently chatting about my art, and I mentioned I occasionally took commissions and showed my work.

Most of the time when I tell someone I am an artist the response is “My friend or relative is an artist too.”

I usually request to be put in touch to see their work and do some networking with other artists.

But an even happier response is, “Can you make some art for me? I will give you money” and that is usually how I land happy commission like this one of Lou and Julie.

These two versions I will present to my client and hear if they capture the spirits of her animal friends. If so, I will collect the remaining fee [a deposit was paid before I started] and if not, I will collect feedback and do another version so that I know it is just right.

These two dogs are best friends and Lou is the elder. I really enjoyed the feel of charcoal on vellum and when I finished I sprayed them with Krylon clear coat as a fixative.

The pet  portrait Lou and Julie commission

The pet portrait Lou and Julie commission.

Best paintbrush cleaning how to tips

The Best Way To Clean Paint Brushes

When I was in art school, the best way to clean paintbrushes was to wipe the excess paint off the brush (and into a jar of grey paint reminiscent of Torrit Grey) and then take the brush to the brush cleaning station.

Cleaning Paintbrushes with Microbes

ECUAD describes it thus, “Each Painting Studio is equipped with a Smartwasher, providing a more sustainable studio environment for students to clean their paint brushes, preventing solvents from being introduced into the waste stream.” It uses little microbes to break downs solvents and grease, very handy and wonderful. By far, this is the best way to clean a brush,  especially for oil painters.

But haven’t all we artists had a paintbrush slip underneath the canvas, hiding its dirty bristles until they hardened? At that point, it is often to late to save the brush, which is why I prefer cheap nylon brushes!

As I paint, I do my best to keep the brush wet- sitting in a glass of water, until a lull in creative motion occurs, which is when I take them all to a sink to wipe off and rinse out. This is when the greatest trouble occurs- paint embedded deep in the ferrule does not just rinse out so easily. Sometimes I end up scrubbing my brush which I know is not good for it!

Forgive yourself for those ruined paintbrushes: You can choose to care for your brushes better in the future! Here’s how:

We do not all have access to a Smartwasher. So here are the best ways I could find for you to clean your paintbrushes at home!

Mineral spirits and solvents are for oil painters, but the other tips are applicable to painters in all mediums.

Always, definitely, wipe the paint off the brush before washing it. Its lovely if you can save the excess paint, and just like my mom, I like to wipe excess paint onto a pair of painters’ jeans. Artist’s regalia.

You can get brush cleaning tools which comb out excess paint. Don’t pull the bristles out!

James Gurney recommends brush washing soaps and conditioner. Basically, mineral spirits strip the brush, and conditioner restores it.

Bob Ross recommends a combination of odorless mineral spirits followed by cheerfully beating the devil (and your frustrations) out of the brush!

 

Brian Santos recommends fabric softener! This is my favorite tip of the lot!

 

  •  Mix up several gallons of this magic potion in a 5-gallon bucket: For every gallon of warm water, add 1/2 cup of fabric softener. The fabric softener is a surfactant — it actually makes the water wetter, so it can more easily dissolve paint.
  • Dip your brush into the mixture, swish briskly through the water, and count to 10. The paint will release from the bristles and settle to the bottom of the bucket.

Anna Mosely suggests boiling regular white vinegar, than simmering your paintbrushes for five minutes. But since heat can loosen the ferrule and cause the brushes hairs to come out, this is a last ditch effort, best saved for ruined brushes.

are having a bad hair day! Best brush cleaning tips

My paintbrushes are having a bad hair day! Best brush cleaning tips

Lori McNee of Fine Art Tips crowdsourced a variety of tips including soaking brushes in Murphy Oil Soap or Baby Oil before cleaning them. She does use dish soap, which others advise against.

How do you care for your paintbrushes?

kitteh online

How I Get A Paycheck From the Internet

How I Create Little Streams of Income

I love blogging, I really do. Sometimes I wish I got more comments, or more traffic, or money from it, but all in all, my results are quite satisfying. I could have more advertisements, I could probably put my products and services more front and center, and I am always practicing balancing my shy introverted nature with the necessity of selling my freelancer skills! These little ways of making money online are small but significant, they don’t take very much time or energy, and anyone can do them (whereas you have to know WordPress or Art to be an illustrator or website creator, some of the other ways I can make more substantial dollar amounts online).

Chris Guillebeau, Manifesto Writer

Chris Guillebeau, Manifesto Writer, World Domination World Traveller!

Making Money With Chris Guillebeau

This is the easiest way I’ve ever made money online and it’s also where I’ve learned so much!! Chris Guillebeau is one of the biggest inspirations I’ve had in starting and maintaining my blog. He even took me out for Tim Hortons Coffee when I lived in Vancouver and asked, “How Can I help you?” (seriously, how cool is he!) I’ve made over $700 as an affiliate for him not to mention the priceless knowledge and encouragement I’ve gained from his writing – I have so many of his products and they are ALL AWESOME! Get yourself some of his travel-creativity-writing-wisdom here, and then apply for the affiliate program yourself. It’s win for everyone!

Get Rich Slowly: The Unconventional Guide to Mastering Your Money

A screenshot of my sponsored tweets income - I've posted 27 ads on my twitter.

A screenshot of my sponsored tweets income – I’ve posted approximately 27 ads on my twitter.

Making Money with Sponsored Tweets

I used to be a social media consultant – charging $75 to teach people how to operate their social media accounts. Usually they didn’t listen or follow through, which drove me nuts. So now I just run ads every now and again on my twitter. Not too much – and I  make sure I have a feed of great, free, useful content that posts way more often than ads. It’s easy to sign up and pretty much click, click, paid. It adds up!

Custom T-Shirt Design Banjo Playing Velociraptor

Custom T-Shirt Design Banjo Playing Velociraptor

Making Money With Zazzle

I created this banjo-playing velociraptor on commission for a friend, and then I posted it for sale on Zazzle. It makes me a few dollars every few months. Pretty much anyone can come up with a simple t-shirt design, and it does provide a little income here and there.

Book Cover - Out Nordstrom Nordstrom

Book Cover – Out Nordstrom Nordstrom – a photoshopped book mockup I did for a Fiverr gig.

Making Money On Fiverr

I pick up quick and easy photoshopping and article writing gigs on Fiverr. I have to be careful about what gigs I accept so that I am not undercutting myself – ie. photoshopping a photo can easily turn into a job more than 1/2 an hour long if I let it! I’ve made over $140 on this.

Really beautiful artwork! Bright colors, clear and crisp image, and exactly as described/seen in the photo. Seller included an extra copy and an amazing photo of the moon - such nice and thoughtful surprises! Thank you.

One of the testimonials from a happy customer in my Etsy Shop

Making Money on Etsy

Want to start an Etsy Shop? Get 40 free listings when you sign up after clicking this link.  Visit my etsy shop LIGHT LOVE ART  and see my items. I sell vintage patterns from my late friend Val and original art and prints of my artwork. I haven’t built up enough business to do much more than cover my etsy fees, but it’s very satisfying when I make sales!

 

how to tell the different kinds of birds

How to Become A Better Bird Watcher

Like the saying goes, “There’s an app for that!” The bird-watching app I use has helped me identify all different kinds of birds where I live – like the difference between a Stellar Jay and the Scrub Jays that frequent our balcony! My friend Becci recommended The Merlin Bird ID app to me and I have proudly discovered the names of all kinds of different birds and even to tell what sounds belong to which bird.

Watch the Western Scrub Jay drink from this teacup!

Discovering Different Kinds of Birds

I put out this self-filling water dish at a height the birds could use, and they are loving it! I’ve mostly seen California Scrub Jays, and while I know we have Stellar Jays around the apartments, they haven’t been seen here. I did see a tiny hummingbird this morning, but I didn’t get a chance to identify it. Thanks to my friend Becci who recommended the Merlin Bird ID app, I have been able to accurately recognize the California Towhee, Scrub Jays, Mourning Doves, and more of the birds in our area, which is a popular place for bird watchers.

I created this illustration because these lovely birds are inspiring with their beautiful blue feathers – I hope they’ll drop one for me and I’ll use it in a dreamcatcher. Magical!

Merlin Bird ID – the Best Bird- Watching App

The Merlin Bird ID app offers you five simple questions and generates a list of possible birds, complete with photos, making it easy to identify birds!

The Merlin Bird ID app offers you five simple questions and generates a list of possible birds, complete with photos, making it easy to identify birds!

I also like to use this app to play bird calls that will attract the blue jays to come and say hello. I sometimes try to imitate them with my voice and it sounds terrible! And the scrub jays are not known for their beautiful calls to begin with, haha.

There’s a pair of Scrub Jays that hang out on our porch and watch us as much as we watch them. When we go inside, the male watches my husband through the glass of the door, and just now, one of them hopped over to look in at me through the open door before drinking some water.

I lent out the watering dish to a dog whose people are out of town (don’t worry, the roommates are looking after him) and before I got a new dish of water outside, the blue jays got perturbed and dropped one of my crystals off the ledge onto the porch. So funny ! I would love to get a hummingbird feeder up, too!

mind over matter you are the placebo

You Are the Placebo: The Science of Believing You Can Heal

‘The Secret’ For Pragmatists

For everyone who thought The Secret wasn’t scientific - You are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza is your ‘secret’! Exploring medical miracles – and the science behind them, this tome shows you how your own mental state can impact your health and recovery.

You are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza Book review on ArtLoveLight

You are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza Book review on ArtLoveLight

How to Create a ‘Medical Miracle’

It’s incredibly dense, packed with readable and interesting studies and scientific explanations. And it definitely falls on the side of science: this is a contemporary healing book of facts!  Dr. Dispenza doesn’t believe in medical miracles – what he shows us is how our beliefs can create apparent miracles – and how these ‘miracles’ follow the laws of the universe, science, and physics. There’s no such thing as magic!

The Placebo Effect is All In Your Head

I was just reading 4 things you didn’t know about Seasonal Allergies  on BoingBoing.net, and this stood out to me: “Placebos work really well for allergies,” Mitchell Grayson said. “The placebo effect is around 20-to-40 percent.” This book explores how to achieve that placebo success for yourself. 

One of the things I really respected about You are the Placebo is that Dr. Dispenza doesn’t talk about the ethics of tricking someone into believing they are taking medicine – this is all about your own self, your own suggestibility and programming.

Meditation and The Cutting Edge of Thought

Most of us are not on the cutting edge of medicine and thought. And so we don’t see how practical spiritual practices such as medicine fundamentally impact our bodies – instead, it all seems a little woo. This solid, substantial book marries what adepts know about the power of the mind, with what science knows about the human brain’s plasticity. Dispenza includes a meditation that you can record for yourself, and you can also purchase the pre-recorded guided meditations as well.

This is an invaluable book for deep thinkers!

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