7 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

Creativity CAN be Nurtured

7 ways to do it

Let your color genie out.

DIY Canvas Decor
Painting with acrylics, paint markers, or oils is fun with this bright Fiesta undertone. The bright Vermilion peeks out from between colors to pop snippets of vibrant energy into your finished painting ~ be sure not to cover it all up!
  1. Use Color Underpainting

This technique is one I’ve used since I first began painting. The colored canvas peeks out between the colors to give vibrancy and a foundation for the finished painting.

DIY Canvas Decor
Joyful Sundown is based on a watercolor painting I made during my Tuscan residency. Try using Lilac Gray for acrylics, oil, paint markers or pastels.

2.  Use Your Heart Colors  

To find out what your heart colors are, begin by selecting your favorite colors. Your heart knows which colors these are. Don’t listen to your head telling you what you SHOULD pick! Listen to your heart!

Hint: Think of grabbing your favorite color blouse so you’ll feel wrapped in fabulous all day. 
Tuscan Sunset
“Tramonto sul Oliveto” (Sunset on the Olive Grove) is the watercolor inspiration for the “Joyful Sundown” DIY CreativSOUP. It is featured in the CreativSOUP Coloring & Creativity Book as well.

3.  Take a Step Back   

As you paint each color, take time to step back and view your piece from across the room. It helps to have your palette set up across the room from your painting. That way you will not forget to walk away and see your painting from a distance!

Find my DIY Tuscan Landscape and Village Wall Art in

Coloring Poster French Landscape
Coloring Poster French Landscape

 CreativSOUP Studio

4.  Take Your Time & Breathe!  

Take a deep breath while you are across the room and feel how the colors are balanced on the canvas. Have a cup of tea and let the colors steep into your psyche. The momentary abandonment of what you thought you were doing will give your Creative Spirit an opening to insert inspiration in your flow.

Hint: This is the MOST IMPORTANT one ~ don’t skip it or save it for later. This one can change everything! Do it now! I spend as much time in the studio looking at my paintings as painting.
Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Tuscan Village “Villa Fiore” in Snorkle Blue, Fiesta Red, Lilac Gray, Limpit Shell or Black & White.

5.  Try Transparent Paint or Markers   

You can see in my inspiration painting for Villa Fiore (bottom pic), I used a white background with transparent watercolor. If you are using transparent paint or markers ~ thinly applied watercolors, acrylics, oils or gel pens ~  select one of the drawings on white or light gray paper.

French Village Coloring Canvas
French Village Coloring Canvas

6.  Try Opaque Paint or Markers

If you are using opaque paint or markers ~ heavily applied acrylics, paint markers, oils, pastels ~ try one of the colored canvas with contrasting lines. Imagine how your colors will look with the contrasting color peeking in between them! If you’ve never painted with opaque paint or markers, try it ~ it could change how you see the world!

Tuscan Village DIY Wall Art
Watercolor painting inspiration for “Villa Fiore”

7.  Try one of my DIY Tuscan Landscapes or Villages  

Mix and Match colors, images, and sizes to create your own unique wall art grouping with your own heart colors.

Get my CreativSOUP Adult Coloring & Creativity Book on Amazon.

Watercolor Crayons ~ No so Serious, Pure Fun!

What a great way to loosen up and have fun painting! Watercolor crayons changed my attitude about being a watercolorist. No longer concerned with making the paint do what I want it to do, I am playing with paint, water, color, and shapes.

These small watercolors were experiments. I wanted to see what would happen if I wet the paper and drew with the watercolor crayons. The soft bleedy lines are how it looks to draw on wet paper. And when a puddle accumulated, the effect was even greater.

watercolor crayons
Three Sisters, watercolor, 5 x 7

The most important thing was that it freed me up from trying to be good and professional at watercolor! I had so much fun, I don’t care! And I was rewarded with a couple fun paintings! When I went to title this one, I suddenly recognized my old theme of Three Sisters.

watercolor crayons
Muse Chincia, 7 x 5, watercolor

This one got off to a slow start. I thought it looked to simple, until I laid in a couple strong color fields of bright yellow and the whole painting popped. Leaving the white paper show is a leap of faith for an artist who has worked in opaque mediums like oil and pastel.

watercolor crayons
Duomo in Siena, watercolor, 8 x 6

How to paint a complex cathedral, or any complicated structure, building, tree, city? In contrast to the sky, the Duomo in Siena is white.  I began by painting the sky shape.

When dry, I wet the white paper a little and drew the cathedral with a watercolor crayon in lavender. Lavender is a shadow color.  I didn’t try to make too many details, only prominent ones.

Then I blocked in a few of the larger shadow shapes with light Ultramarine Blue. I used a lime green watercolor crayon to draw in a few highlight colors. A day later, I added another layer of Cerulean Blue to the sky to make it a deeper color and to touch a few details into the spires of the cathedral.  A cerulean highlight on the circular window make the dark window appear lighter.

Small Oil & Watercolor Paintings Shipped from Italy

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Play Along with the Muses

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Watercolor Travel Kit ~ Preparing for Tuscany

watercolor travel kit
in Monet’s garden with my watermelon striped watercolor travel kit

It won’t be long now before I take off for my Tuscan painting adventure. I am updating my watercolor travel kit from the one I used in France two years ago. The simple watermelon-striped satchel I carried throughout France was terrific. It was stylish, light-weight and big!

Style aside, I couldn’t resist purchasing this artist’s satchel with all its wonderful pockets. I am still playing with how to arrange all my papers, paints, and brushes. In France, I simply threw two packs of watercolor postcards and a travel palette with two brushes in a plastic bag. I carried it everywhere, whipping it out in cafes, on park benches and picnic blankets. I hope this black one doesn’t tie me down. I’m throwing my watermelon one in just in case!

watercolor travel kit
watercolor travel kit

Watercolor Travel Kit

This bag has a stiffener built into the bag itself. I thought it was cardboard I could take out ~ NOT! I guess it will keep my papers from getting messed up.

watercolor travel kit
Several pockets hold various size papers

With all its pockets this watercolor travel kit is getting kind of heavy as I am loading up more and more supplies each day. I ordered some watercolor crayons and pencils which I will show you when the shipment arrives.

watercolor travel kit
watercolor palette slides in easily

Even my 9 x 12″ palette fits into this bag. Watercolors dry out on the palette and are easily reactivated with a little water. No wasted paint here. The large wells are for mixing. My colors are the same as my oil palette: from the bottom up, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Green, Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow (it’s got a smear of green on it), and Cadmium Yellow Medium.

I have laid them out in the sequence in which I would use them to mix specific colors. For example, Alizarin Crimson is beside Ultramarine Blue. This is coolest red beside warmest blue. Together they make a lovely purple.

If I were to mistake one color for another (which is easy to do as they are so dark in their full strength form), I might mistakenly mix Alizarin with Cerulean or Phthalo. Instead of lovely purple, I would be shocked to see muddy brown!

Like the keys on a  piano, it’s best to keep each color in a predictable position. This rigid structure frees me to paint spontaneously. Stopping to hunt for stuff is a great deterrent to creative inspiration. A predictable structure is a huge aid in painting loose and freely.

watercolor travel kit
this bag has lots of individual pockets for brushes and pencils.

It’s all about balance. If I control the structure; my paint, palette, brushes, papers ~ I am free to go with the flow.  I can throw paint on paper willy nilly if I feel like it.  The best watercolors have that sense of wild abandon ~ yet are crisp, clean and simple.

I am hoping my upgraded watercolor travel kit will have the same effect on my watercolors. In France I struggled for control of the medium. In Tuscany I am hoping to cut loose with  my watercolors and fly free. We’ll see if this kit helps me do that!

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Greve in Chianti ~ Taking Off Soon
Postcard Painting Inspiration