Among princesses and wolves

On June 8th, 2016, I had the honor to have my second solo exhibit at Gameros Manor, in my hometown, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The museum I showed is a beautiful Art Noveau mansion built in 1910 that now serves as the regional art museum of Chihuahua.

I was lucky enough to show my art on one of the main rooms in the second floor, just in front of impressive stairs and a massive stained window, and I felt just like the high society ladies that lived there during the times of the Mexican revolution, with fluffy dresses and elegant jewelry.

This exhibit was called Among wolves and princesses”, I got inspired by the original fairy tale stories from the Grimm brothers and many others.

I did extensive research and I learned a lot about the original stories, which have a much darker tone that the sugar coated versions that have been passed to us over time, and god forbid, the saccharine Disney versions.

I also had the opportunity to work on large format paintings, something I don’t do very often, but it was super fun letting my darker side lurk around in the canvas, with new interpretations of the fairy tales I had read since I was a child.

Opening night came and I got to give a short and emotional speech that made me shed emotional tears, I was very happy to see all my family and friends gathered for such an special occasion.

My parents helped cut the ribbon for the official opening and everyone came in to enjoy my art… I was so nervous because I did not know how many people was going to attend outside my friends and what were they going to think.

It turned out to be a packed night! There was lots and lots of people and a queue formed outside to let people trough, and everyone was taking selfies with my paintings and me… It’s such an unusual experience having complete strangers asking to get a picture with you!

My super sister decorated the pace and turned the food table into a little handmade forest with cupcakes, candy and moody lighting and decorations, she made sure everyone had an amazing experience there.

I really had a wonderful time, and I treasure the memories I made, the friends I met and the comments I got about my work. It really made me feel proud of being an artist and doing my part to make the world a better place.

The paintings will return to me soon and I will share the ones that have not been sold at the museum in case you are interested, they are a twist of my usual work with moodier colors and more mature themes, but I am sure you are going to love them.

Just take a look at the main piece, sleeping beauty, and you will know what I mean,  bound by thorns, naked and vulnerable as she holds a rose in her hands, but her body hides a secret that only once you look you understand.

I’ll let you know when they are back and prints and the originals are available for you to enjoy.

Many special thanks to my friend Marcela for getting me the show, and to the University of Chihuahua for providing the venue for my second show.

Art doll tutorial with DecoArt fabric paint

I’ve been using acrylics to paint my dolls for a long time and I love them for covering the entire surface. But when I want to make a soft doll I want a paint that stays soft as well. That’s when I discovered DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint.  It’s permanent, washable and really, so soft.  So I thought I’d give it a try and see how well it worked. I also used some other products like Photo transfer medium and some stencils.  Want to see the process and learn to make your own? Just follow these easy steps:
1. First, gather your materials.  You’ll need:
2.  Laser print or photocopy the face you’re using and trim it.  Using the Decoupage Transfer Medium apply a layer to the muslin and other to the printed paper. Place image face down to the fabric and apply another layer on top making sure to smooth it out, working from the center to the sides. Remove excess medium with a damp cloth. Let it dry.
3. When It’s completely dry, apply water and let it soak a bit. Slowly remove the paper with your fingers, rubbing the paper until it comes off.
4.  Your fabric will be wet when you’re done removing the paper. You can let it air dry meanwhile you work on the body.   I started by applying Yellow Ochre to the muslin with a stencil.
5. Then I mixed some Blue and Green to make a beautiful Aqua and use the same stencil in a different position. I also use some deep brown and red.
6. Then I used another stencil and used it in the center of what would be my doll’s dress and painted around the head with the aqua color I just mixed.
7. Then I painted the face using yellow for her hair, aqua for the eyes and some red mixed with white for the cheeks and lips.
8.  When everything was dry I sew freely around the doll’s head and the body of the doll, attaching them together.
9. Then I used my writer to add more details.
10.  Use a piece of fabric as the back of the doll and add a thin layer of cotton batting and the doll’s front.
11. Sew around everything and cut the excess.
12. Your doll is ready! You can further embellish it with some buttons or ribbons.  You can use your kid’s or grand kids faces to make them personalized dolls. It’s so much fun!

Prima watercolor pencils

prima watercolor pencils
The second product I got for review is the Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils.
They come in 6 sets of 12 pencils.  I got the Earth Tones, Hair and Skin Tones and the Basics.  After making a quick search on google for an official color chart I think I’ll have to get the Scenic Route too… Those colors are my faves!
prima watercolor pencils
When you open the boxes they look like this.
prima watercolor pencils
I like the fact that they have the color on top, it’s easier to spot them when you’re using them. I’ve used other brands and they all look the same and you have to be checking the name or the point and that sometimes can be a pain.
prima watercolor pencils
The first that I tried out is the Classics set.
They’re pretty intense when dry and the colors are beautiful.
prima watercolor pencils
But again, it’s when you add the water when the magic happens.
prima watercolor pencils
And the more water you add the more they dissolve and spread out.
prima watercolor pencils
The earth tones are a little bit less soluble than the classics, and when they were wet were so much stronger than when they dried (typical in watercolors). But I didn’t see as much change in the classics in vibrance.  Maybe because they are more vibrant?
Here’s the scanned swatches. They’re as closed as the original as possible, but you know how things look different in different monitors?
prima watercolor pencils
prima watercolor pencils
And here are the Hair and Skin Tones.
prima watercolor pencils
I like this set because it has a variety of colors to make any skin color you’d like and you can make them as saturated or as light as you’d like by just adding less or more water.
prima watercolor pencils
I used them to sketch a girl on the watercolor paper before painting it to have a foundation on which to paint my girl without the harsh lines of the pencil to show through.  You can also use them before the acrylic on your canvas and they will blend beautifully.
Using watercolor pencils to sketch a girl before painting it by Danita

Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils

Click on your favorite Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils to get them delivered to you by Amazon.com

Pros: Easy to use, the tin package can be used as a blending palette, beautiful colors, last a long time, easy to transport.
Cons: Have numbers instead of names (I wish they have both), You get repeated colors if you get all sets (which can also be a pro if you use those colors a lot), a bit of color shift when dry, don’t specify lightfastness.
Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation
In conclusion, I think they will be great in my mixed media projects, specially for outlining before painting with watercolors or acrylics.  I will definitely go and get the Scenic Route set!

Prima Marketing Water soluble oil pastels

The other day I was thinking about sharing reviews of many of my art supplies with you, specially the watercolor ones because I usually go through a process every time that I get new stuff which consists on taking everything out and make color swatches on a journal.
I like to do that, specially with watercolor products because they tend to look very differently in the palette than they do on paper and it’s super useful to have that info on hand and try them out so you can make better and informed choices when you are going to make an art piece.
Also because there are so many products out there is so hard to choose which ones to get and how and when to use them.
I think the guys at Prima Marketing were reading my mind because I got an email from a very kind lady (that’s you Sharon!), asking me if I’d like to get some samples of their new watercolor line for me to try out.  And of course I said yes!  I had seen the products at the CHA show but I didn’t have the chance to play with them.

 

When the products arrived I was super excited.  They sent me Watersoluble Oil Pastels, Watercolor pencils, Watercolor pan sets, Watercolor Brush pens, watercolor pads and canvas. I also got a Mixed Media Essentials set and some brushes.  It felt like Christmas!

I immediately started unpacking everything.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels
Prima watercolor pencils
Prima marketing watercolor brushes
Prima marketing watercolor paper
Prima marketing watercolor confections
primal gels
The product that first got my attention was the Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
What?  Water Soluble Oils? Yes. That was exactly my reaction.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
This set contains 24 yummy colors.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I took one of the Watercolor pads and the brush pens and got to work. I had to try them out.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
The colors, as I said, are yummy.  The consistency is very creamy and they’re very saturated.  They’re very easy to apply, they have a buttery consistency.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I loved them even before I added water.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
But when you add water the magic begins.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
And you can also blend them directly on the paper and just add water.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I think they can also be used as watercolor pans, taking the pigment right out of the crayon and paint with it. But applying them to the paper is so nice I wouldn’t like to miss that sensation.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
There are some colors that are easier to dissolve than others, but it only adds to the charm.  I think I’ll have to stay a little bit late today to keep playing with them.
prima watersoluble oil pastels
One word of caution. These contain oil, so you have to use a thick and resistant watercolor paper or they will bleed.

I used the Prima Watercolor Paper which I’m guessing is 90 lb. and it bled right through it.  When I used them on a 140 lb paper they did not bleed. I didn’t have that problem with any other of the products so I’m assuming this happened because they are oil pastels.

back of the paper bleeding

So, if you’re using a paper pad it will be best for you to remove the sheet of watercolor paper from the pad when you work so the next page won’t get stained.

Scanned water soluble oil pastels by prima
Here’s my color chart after it dried. I scanned to look as close as possible to the original.
Prima Marketing Water Soluble Oil Pastels Box

 

Pros
Highly pigmented, easy to apply, smooth consistency, easy to blend, very affordable, a little bit goes a long way, portable.
Cons
I can’t find info about their lightfastness. As much as my kids begged me to let them play with them, they have a warning saying they’re not for kids under 14, which may or may not be an issue for you if you’re keeping them all to yourself (like I am!).
(Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation.)

In conclusion…  I love them! I would definitely be using them a lot on my art journal and personal pieces as soon as I find out how lightfast they are.

And if they’re are they will definitely be part of my art pieces for sale!
I’ll be reviewing the rest of the watercolor sets in the future. Stay tuned!

Beautiful art from the heart: The official blog.

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