Keeping a Sense of Normalcy

The kids go back to school and my husband reports for office today. There’s still another typhoon within the Philippine Area of Responsibility, but it will not make a landfall and instead just pull the southwest monsoon. So, I suppose we’re good and out of danger. Yes, life can be declared in a state of calm right now, though we remain vigilant and prepared for yet another onslaught. I hope everything’s okay on your end. <3 Connie


Deep Discounts on Art Magazines and Collection CDs

The Interweave store is still running a massive sale with deep discounts on art and craft related magazines and CDs. This event ends July 10th, 2014 so you may want to head over to their site soonest and see which items you can get for a great deal.

I’m an avid buyer of two magazines published by Interweave, and these are PAGES (on art journaling and bookmaking) and CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS (on mixed-media art). You can now get these magazines for as low as $2 each!

interweave hurt book saleFor those who are into art journaling, you may want to check out some books and DVDs that have been marked down. It’s a limited offer so you may want to take advantage of it as well. I’ve acquired a few art journaling and mixed-media art books from Interweave and they’ve been helpful in my artmaking.

All for now,
Connie :o)

My Favorite Drawing Pencils

Just for fun, I took an online quiz last week. The question that begged to be answered was “What art medium are you?”

How could I resist a quiz like that? I answered the questions as truthfully as I could. And, I got this result:

which art medium are you

Amazing. Just. Amazing.

I do so like the pencil because I enjoy drawing immensely. And it’s true that I like to have control over what I wish to render and to pay attention to certain details. It’s just me.

If you’d violate my small art space in this house, you’d find out that I have quite a number of pencils in my humble collection — graphite, Conte, charcoal, watercolor, color pencils. Yep, I have all these. And, there’s more that I’d want to have. (I’m hopeless!) It’s a good thing that many of these pencils can be bought from loose or open stock. I don’t have to buy an entire set every time. Although I must confess that I yearn for certain drawing and coloring sets that are only sold in tin sets.

fave drawing pencils

Anyway, as of this writing, my favorite drawing pencils are the following:

Will you take the art medium quiz, too? Do let me know what result you get! :o)

Using Watercolor Pencils to Draw and Paint Flowers

Watercolor pencils make a great color medium for artists and crafters. They are versatile because they can be used dry or wet, and they’re good for quick sketching as well. I often use watercolor pencils to render studies on my sketchbook and art journal. Here’s a painting of flowers that I did using watercolor pencils. I used one of my sister’s nature photos as reference. (You can view more of her nature photos here.)

Using watercolor pencils to sketch. I first tried using a 3H pencil (one of my favorite drawing pencils) for sketching the flowers and leaves. But halfway through, I decided to do away with it and use the watercolor pencils to outline everything else. I used light green/yellow green for the leaves, and pink rose madder for the flowers.


Coloring the edges and insides of the flowers and leavesAfter doing the preliminary sketch, I restated the lines using the same two pencils. I wanted to “deepen” the edges so I could easily drag the colors from there later on when I’d be using the brush. Then I colored the inside of the leaves and flowers.


Using a waterbrush to activate the colorsI used a large waterbrush to drag and distribute the colors. I did the leaves first and the flowers second. I prefer to use a waterbrush when working with watercolor pencils because I’m more able to control the flow of water. This avoids unwanted buckling of the paper. (My art journal pages weigh 200 gsm — good enough to take in water, actually. But I still choose to use less water.)


Adding background color for drama and depthI didn’t want to use the dark background as shown in the photo so I went with brighter, lighter colors. I used Prang watercolors and a size 12 sable brush to make the background. The colors were turquoise blue, yellow green, and yellow.


And it’s done! I always enjoy drawing and painting flowers, so there’ll be more of this. :o) I hope this post has, in any way, inspired some art enthusiasts out there to try watercolor pencils too.


You don’t have to use the most expensive brand of watercolor pencils to achieve this result. But I suggest you get a brand that’s trusted by both amateur and professional artists. Below is my supply list:

You may also want to check out my other art projects via Instagram (@ConniesNotebook) and Facebook (Paper Crafts, Mixed-Media and Art Journaling Projects). Thanks!