Less is More: Bonus Video 1 | Creating a Travel Watercolor Palette from Scratch

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

If you are a beginner watercolorist or simply never learned how to put tubed paints into your travel tin, then this is the tutorial for you! I will show you how to set up your own custom travel palette, show you a few of mine and how to get that tubed paint into the little white boxes (ie half pans). You’ll need a tin, half pans (half or full sized), Quake Hold (museum putty) or magnetic tape, a fine tip …

Less is More: Daffy | How to Paint Negative Space with a White Duck

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Daffodil aka “Daffy” is a Muscovy duck. Daffy is mated to Sparky. Sparky loves head scratches, but when he’s too long at those “scritches”, Daffy quacks that he’s taking too long. Apparently Muscovy ducks have this super cute “two step strut” when greeting their friends and family – there’s a video demonstrating this strut – you absolutely have to see it! As you can imagine, painting white animals can be a tricky business. But if you approach this negative space …

Less is More: Babe | How to Paint a Cow from Start to Finish

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Jess made an unplanned trip to a local auction. As you can imagine for a rescue, it’s hard to see so many animals without homes, and the wish to take them all is strong. On the day she met Babe, she made him a promise to love and care for him all the rest of his days. I just love how tender Jess is; the connection made with these precious creatures is so very beautiful. It’s such a gift to …

Less is More: Dink | Painting a Gosling from Start to Finish

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Meet Dink – In this picture, Dink is two days old and no bigger than one doorstep tall. He was rushed to @gratitudegate_farmsanctuary when his nest was destroyed the day before. If you can believe it, he was still mostly in his egg when he arrived. Jess, farm sanctuary Mom, had to give him some serious TLC, and she wasn’t sure if he would make it. Thankfully, his will to live was strong, and I’ve watched him grow into the …

Less is More: Finishing Touches| Re-Introducing Black & White and Sealing a Painting

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

It always amazes me how much of a difference a little white and black can make when finishing a painting. In this video, I will show you all about finishing touches. I’ll be using white gesso (white gouache or white acrylic is fine too), a mixed media detail brush size 18/0 (zero or 1 will do too), Cretacolor (sepia lead), tortillion and Platinum Carbon Ink Fountain pen.

Less is More: Painting| How to Begin Your Watercolor Painting

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

We’re ready to paint Fawn for real – WOOHOO! In preparation, I taped down my watercolor paper (Canson Heritage 140lb Coldpress) to a lazy susan. This enabled flexibility with turning my painting on film. You can simply tape your paper down to a rigid surface like chipboard or an art tote board. All grid lines have been erased, and we’re ready to paint with the colors we selected. The colors I used are Daniel Smith: Hematite Violet Genuine, Piemontite Genuine, …

Less is More: Color Selection| How to Choose your Paint Colors

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

We’ve discussed values, now how do we choose what colors to paint Fawn with. I’ll show you how I select colors for my painting and why it’s helpful to paint a secondary sketch to ensure you’re happy with your color selection. Think of this as your rough draft painting. Keep in mind that I’m using Daniel Smith watercolors. Names and colors can vary from brand to brand. Don’t’ feel the need to go out and buy new paints, try to …

Less is More: Basic Value Study

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Value is often overwhelming and does not always make sense. I will show you how to paint Fawn with one color, from lightest to darkest. By using one color it helps to simplify your layers. The watercolor I’m using is gray, specifically Daniel Smith Alvaro’s Caliente Gray. I’m using a Round 6 (Silver Black Velvet) in this exercise.

Less is More: Deciding Which Sketch to Paint

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

So by now, I’ve sketched free-hand, with the grid system and with trace paper. I also sketched all of them on slightly different substrates (ie printer paper, construction paper and watercolor paper). I will decide which of my sketches to paint and prepare it for paint. Keep in mind, if there are pencil lines you want to get rid of before you paint, now is the time to do that. Example, if you used the grid system, you want to …

Less is More: Charcoal, Graphite & Water-Soluble Pencils

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

I am a visual learner, so I’m approaching this lesson in a similar manner. It’s difficult to know when to use a standard #2 pencil vs charcoal. I demo graphite, Stabilo, Cretacolor and charcoal. There are perks to each of them, and I share which is best and why.

Less is More: Sketching| Tracing

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

In the event that you are not quite comfortable with free-hand or grid sketching, please feel free to trace. I show you how to trace using carbon tracing paper. If you would like to see an additional style of tracing, check out the end of my supplies video. I throw in one more style of tracing. You never know, one might be more comfortable that than the other. Either way, I’ve got a style that will work for you.

Less is More: Sketching| Free-hand

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Ready to simply dive in and sketch your content free-hand? I’ll show you how I sketch simply and quickly

Less is More: Sketching| Grid Technique

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

To begin this lesson, I must first introduce you to Fawn. Fawn was born very late in the season, and because of how small she was, she would need to stay on the farm through the winter. Caring for fawns is not easy as they are incredibly sensitive. However, Fawn was very strong and healthy. She became fast friends with Babe and Peebee, two resident cows. They became her family, and she remained with her “cowboys” until her passing. I’ve …

Less is More: Introduction| What Inspired This Workshop

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

I am excited joined this creative adventure because you too love animals. A little background on me; prior to starting my family, I worked in non-profit Animal Welfare for over 8 years. I fostered over 75 kittens in my first two years, adopted around 10 senior pets of my own and fostered lots of special needs dogs over the course of those 8 years. As a child I was deeply touched by animals, brought home my fair share of baby …

Show Up: Journal Page 9: Exploring Elements: Color

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Creating challenges for yourself is a perfect way to overcome fears by moving outside your comfort zone. This lesson will test my limits…well not really, but I will be using fewer colors and no marking tools! Follow along as I explore the boundaries of a limited color palette using a variety of brushstrokes, marks and textures to create a lively play with nothing more than the paint itself.

Show Up: Journal Page 8: Exploring Elements: Shape

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Every journal page is a fresh opportunity to explore something new. Some days are spontaneous and free and some days I prefer more structure. Exploring the Elements once again is a simple source of inspiration. In this lesson, I will focus on shape in composition. Explore how shape can be used to define space and create tension. Learn my approach to color play and it’s interaction with each other using texture and markings to create balance and interest.

Show Up: Journal Page 7: Exploring Elements to the Rescue

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Drawing a blank is tough whether it plagues us at the beginning or in the middle of a piece. To combat this common dilemma, it’s important to have a repertoire of tricks up our sleeves. My favorite exercise when faced with this inevitable situation is to go back to the basics for some inspiration. The Elements of Design: line, shape, color, texture, space, value and form never cease to be an endless source of inspiration capable of pulling me out …

Show Up: Journal Page 5: Wonky Flowers

In by Noelle Mena (Team JO)

Everyone has their go-to doodle. These are mine. Enjoy this lesson demonstrating the how-to’s of my sweet wonky flowers. This is a fast and easy page that can be created as a backdrop to a written entry or incorporated with your other journal ideas!