Learning to paint…everything!

Art lessons, Winsor and Newton watercolors

I have had the wonderful chance of attending art classes in Madrid during our family visit here and I am learning so much. After 6 months of learning from books and YouTube videos, I felt so privileged to be able to paint under the guidance of professionals. I had 2 teachers who taught me in 2 very different ways so I was very lucky.  One was a young painter/teacher Clara Varela who taught me the techniques I really needed to understand in shading and blending with watercolours. In my first class with her, I told her I would eventually like to be a food painter since I’m such a foodie, and she said, “so paint food.” and I replied “eh…ok”. I was actually putting this off until I could paint well enough but I guess  had to start somewhere, and no better time then with a teacher.

turnip signed.jpgI chose a turnip as I love the colours of the leaves, but I didn’t realise it was going to be so difficult to paint all the folds and my highlights look like tiny worms…but overall its not bad for my first attempt and I love the turnip root!

1st outdoor painting

We had an outdoor class with her and I learnt so much in this lesson but essentially learning to compose my image on paper and adding shading instead of contours. This also taught me to paint the big picture and not concentrate too much on details, although I still added too much. It was so enjoyable to paint outdoors in a park in Madrid and to find a little respite from the 35C heat here!

leaf study a3.jpg

At the same time I was taking classes with Justin Williams at DeCinti Villalón Academy of Painting & he taught me how to mix my colours smoothly & tried to get me to go with the flow, something which terrifies me! Because this is what happens when I do…

Ines abstract.jpg

I tried to paint my daughter in an abstract way but as usual I put too much colour and went overboard… but I had fun and I will try to redo it again. I did learn so much from him about drawing according to proportion as this is my first portrait drawing/painting too.

I’ve had many “firsts” this week, also filling an A3 size paper as until now my largest paintings have been on A4, and painted different subjects and styles so do I know what I prefer? I’m not sure yet but I do know I still love the idea of painting botanicals and colourful abstract art and I’m happiest when painting details with a small brush but I still want to learn to let go & create large washes in different colours.

At the same time I’m learning to paint with oils, water soluble oils that don’t smell and wash off with water and its so much more forgivable than watercolours…but that’s for another post!

 Thanks for stopping by & I’d love to know your thoughts on my painting experiments.

Have a great day!

paint signature base

*All the painting were done with Winsor & Newton watercolours and Raphael or DaVinci Maestro brushes.

Watercolour layering + video

Cards, The Ton stamps, Watercolor

Hi all! Its officially Autumn here in Germany but the weather decided otherwise and we’re having a really sunny warm weekend! So I thought it was a great time to try a new to me water colouring technique called Watercolour layering. As you all know, I love trying new techniques so when I discovered this method after watching a few different Youtube videos, I just threw myself into it! I also made a video to try and explain the technique but as I’m not an expert watercolorist nor an instructor, please bear with me!

This technique consists of adding layers and layers of thin watercolours onto your paper, but letting each layer dry before adding the next one. I did it beside an open window, but on cooler days, you could just use a heat gun or hair dryer to dry each layer if you don’t want the whole process to take 3h. Lol!

transluscent painting anemones.jpg

My first attempt, which took 2 and a half hours (!!), was ruined after I didn’t like the colour of the backwash I gave it. But I enjoyed the process so much that I immediately started on my second attempt! I think the reason why I love it, is that there is no need to shade or add dimension to the flowers, as the dry on dry layering technique creates it for you! Make sure you use thick watercolour paper for this technique  as you’re going to be putting down alot of water! I used Canson 300g watercolour paper.

transluscent painting anemones main

The Ton’s Fresh cut Anemones, which I’ve never used before, was also perfect for this technique, as it has a few layers of petals hidden underneath which I coloured whole, so you could see a hint of them underneath the top layers of petals, which is the whole idea of this technique. I kinda ruined the buds though, as I had forgotten to paint in the stamen until after I had finished, so I had to add more layers of paint on top of them and the effect is heavier than what I was going for.

transluscent painting anemones cu

Another reason I love this technique is also cause it shows hints of colours you used to mix your paints to achieve the colour you were going for. For eg; I created the violet /blue with pink and blue paints and the pinks shows through my blue paint when I took away the excess paints! The effect it creates on my water-coloured flowers is just beautiful don’t you think? I can’t wait to try it using reds made with blues, oranges and pinks, I wonder what colours will show through.

Well I hope you enjoyed the video tutorial and if so, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel if you haven’t done so already, that would really make my day!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you liked my card!


I’m sharing this over at:

nbusNBUS Challenge #12 – Anything Goes.

CAS mix up CAS Mix Up Card Challenge – Its not very CAS but I’m sharing it anyway!

addicted to stampsAddicted to Stamps – Stamp a background

love to create.jpgLove to Create challenge Blog – Anything Creative/Mixed Media goes

addicted to casAddicted to CAS – Flowers


Smell the Roses

Cards, The Ton stamps, Watercolor, Zig clean color real brush

I bought three rose plants during the last Rose festival in Ulm that smelt so delicious and plan to plant them in the garden of our new house when we move next year. Strangely enough, all through summer their scent was hardly noticeable, even with my nose right up their buds (get it? 😂)… Anyway, once the cool weather came in, their perfume was heavenly and I’ve been wanting to paint them for awhile now.

Terrace rose

They say that anyone can paint roses as anything look like roses! Well I guess thats why my roses come out well then and probably due to the fact that I used the gorgeous background stamp from The Ton called “Rose Terrace” as a template too. This is the third time I’ve painted roses, but the first time that one rose didn’t fill up an A3 page… so I was quite nervous when I started, that I didn’t even bother filming it. So now I’ll have to do it again, as I loved the result and given my fast approaching dementia, I have to make a video soon before I forget how I did it! 😆

Terrace rose nu

Anyway, back to the card. It was quite easy really. I  first inked up parts of the beautiful Rose Terrace stamp from The Ton with Spun Sugar distress ink and pressed a sheet of Clairefontaine 250g Multi technique paper over it. I mixed afew pinks/reds from my Winsor and Newton watercolours and just added strokes over the stamped images. Once it was dry, I added the blue background with my Zig clean color real brushes. I still have a problem colouring in a smooth background, is there a good video out there or class to take for that?

Terrace rose blue

You notice that the bottom left is brown. Its cause I was testing if I should add brown or blue, I’m glad I went with blue! I cut a rectangle panel with my Sue Wilson stitched rectangle dies. These dies come in larger sizes than the normal rectangle dies which is great when I don’t want to lose too much of a painted card.

Terrace rose cu

I then stamped the beautiful sentiment from The Project Bin and adhered my panel onto a red card base and the card was finished!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like it. Please let me know what you think!


I’m sharing this over at:

the tonThe Ton – I was inspired by the roses in the vase, the blues in the scarf and the fushia/reds I saw in the leaves

the flower challenge The Flower Challenge – I went with Distress inks, Watercolour and die cuts.the flower challenge

CAS mix upCAS Mix up Card challenge – Its not very CAS but I wanted to share it anyway with stamping, watercolour wash, no line water-colouring and die cut.

time out Time Out Challenge -I just stopped at the word “Paint” of the inspirational quote: Paint The Flying Spirit Of The Birds Rather than its Feathers


Back to Scrapbooking

Altenew, Scrabook, Watercolor, Zig clean color real brush

4 years ago I decided to start a scrapbook for my best friend of 25 years, as a going away present to her, when I left France to come to Germany. That was my first contact with the paper crafting world. I remember going to a scrapbook course and everyone knew what they wanted to do and how to do it and I didn’t even know what scrapbooking meant! I brought one photo and thats all! The teacher was really frustrated with me and if it wasn’t for a really nice lady beside me who explained what I should do (just decorate around the photo with different shapes of paper…) I would have left in tears, feeling very stupid indeed!

When I decided to start the scrapbook, I thought I could finish the 25 page album in the month I had before I left France, in between packing my whole house… and life. Little did I know it would take me between 4 to 6 hours to decorate just one page! She got the book 2 years later… and that was the last time I touched a scrapbook! LoL!

altenew scrapbook Cinthia & I.jpg

Then this summer, I started learning to watercolour a leaves and flowers with Yao Cheng at Creative Bug and I wanted desperately to paint a flower wreath, but my painting skills were not good enough…yet! 😉 So when I saw the Scrapbook challenge at Altenew, it was the perfect opportunity to create a flower wreath AND use almost all the Altenew flower stamp sets I have!

altenew scrapbook Cinthia & I left.jpg

The roses come from Vintage Flowers, the leaves from Freeform Greenery, the pink peonies from Peony Bouquet, the long leafy stems & camelias(?) from Blooming Bouquet & the yellow freesia & sentiment comes from Fresh Freesias. They were all coloured using my Zigs Clean colour real brushes & a water brush.

altenew scrapbook Cinthia & I right.jpg

I really love that I get to use so many different stamps at the same time and as it didn’t take me 4h to do this page, I now look forward to doing more scrapbook pages!

I also want to share a pic of my daughter using my stamps and inks to decorate her school book. She didn’t choose the easiest stamps to start with and she did it all by herself so I’m really proud of what she created! She drew the elephant on her own btw.

Here are afew pics of my progression in my water colouring course with Creative Bug.

Lets say the roses are all leaning towards me which is why they have such big heads!! LoL! I used Windsor and Newton paints and DaVinci Casaneo brushes.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think of my painting efforts. Your comments always make my day!


P.S The beautiful lady beside me in the scrapbook page is my closest friend here. We met on Facebook before I arrived in Germany and because of her, coming to Ulm was like coming home. So my first scrapbook page I’ve made here, is for her.

P.P.S.S I’ve started using Affiliated links for some products which I love using and have been using for some time. This means I will get a very small commission (I’m not kidding, its VERY small) from the companies, if you buy the product through my links. There is no extra cost for you. This helps me feel less guilty about spending so much on craft supplies. Yes, earning $3/mth WILL help me feel better about spending $100 each month… its the principal that counts! 😉 And I can tell my hubby I’m running a business and its not a hobby so I need to spend 10h a day crafting! 😂

I’m sharing this at:

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Anything Goes

addicted to stamps Addicted to Stamps – Make your mark

work it wednesday Use your favourite Stamps – Altenew is certainly one of my top three favourite brands!

Altenew Sketch The sketch layout for the Altenew challenge









No line Water colouring with Altenew Vintage Flowers + video

Altenew, Cards, no line watercolouring

I’m in the midst of learning a few techniques, like making slider cards and creating galaxy backgrounds. Here are 2 backgrounds I created. 1st one is with distress inks and 2nd with watercolours. The 3rd was done by my 12 yr olds Ines who looked at my efforts and said: “Mum let me show you how its done”… and proceeded to do just that… with cheap paints and sponges! Sigh life is not fair… :)) I should have video taped her process though as I love what she did! If you would like to see what I did with my galaxy backgrounds, come back on the 1st of August and you’ll see the full card… and for some exciting news too!

Anyway, I suddenly got the urge to go back to water colouring some flowers. Its sort of like a therapy for me now, as I go into a zone and just concentrate on water colouring. Its also very frustrating when my attempts don’t turn out the way I wanted, like these.

altenew peony.jpg

Looking at them now I just realised they look like a tutorial on how to darken your watercolour shades! Lol! Even though I was disappointed, I received so many encouraging remarks from the Altewnew Fan club Facebook page that I will try to make a card with them soon. I’m so thankful for those amazingly supportive crafters on social media!

altenew vintage flowers wc1

For today though, the card I actually want to show is one I made for Altenew’s July inspiration challenge. Its a bit late, but better than never I always say! I also made a YouTube video below showing how I water coloured the flowers.

I used Altenew’s Vintage Flowers and water coloured them using my new Winsor & Newton watercolours on watercolour paper. I first stamped the flowers using distress inks and the leaves with Color Box pigment inks as they both can be water coloured to blend in.

altenew vintage flowers cu

Once it was done, I die cut the water coloured panel with MFT Blueprint 20 scallop rectangle die. I stamped the sentiment from The Project Bin onto a vellum sheet I cut using my craft scissors. Stazon is the best ink I use for stamping on Vellum, as it dries quickly and doesn’t smudge, but its hell to take off my stamps!

altenew vintage flowers wc.jpg

I flicked some vintage brown water colour on it, added some sequins and adhered the panel to a fuschia card base and it was done!

I do hope you liked it and I would love to know what you think! Thanks for stopping by!


I’m also playing along at:

addicted to stamps n more Addicted to Stamps and More – Make your mark

ssswchallenge Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge Anything Goes

stamping sensation Stamping Sensation – Anything with Flowers

Altenew.jpg The Altenew inspiration pic