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The Things You Want to Learn: part 1

I found the comments on April 26 (Wedding Ring) stencil hop post absolutely fascinating.  I asked the question, "What is a craft/art supply you'd like to learn more about?"  I loved reading all the answers and it sparked a number of thoughts in my mind.  I even went so far as to make a list and note how many times each technique or supply was mentioned.  Today I thought I'd offer you some resources for some of the most often requested things on that list.

The overwhelming number one answer was PanPastels.  Almost one-quarter of you said that you wanted to learn about PanPastels.  Well, I've got good news.  My friend Nathalie has an online class all about PanPastels!

In this class she covers:

  • What are PanPastels? 
  • Basics & Tools
  • Using PanPastels on different Surfaces
  • Stamping Techniques with PanPastels
  • Mixing PanPastels with all sorts of Paint Media

If you've been curious about what PanPastels are or how to use them, Nathalie's class is a great way to get started!

A close second was Faber-Castell products.  The company has done a really good job getting people excited about their products, but not such a good job in educating people on how to use them.  Lots of folks asked about their gelatos and big brush markers.

Here are some links you might find helpful:

  • Jenny, from Craft Test Dummies, has a wonderful review of the gelatos and takes you through her experiments with them.
  • Rose Ann Reynolds shares a step-by-step tutorial on using gelatos for stamping.
  • Jennifer McGuire has a great video where she shows you how to use the big brush markers with stamps.

I really loved this video from (and for the person who asked about the watermark ink pad, watch this video):

Finally, here's a hint from me to you: the product that Faber-Castell is marketing as a "gelato" seems like it is also a kid's product they've made for years known as "Gel Sticks."  I don't know for a fact that they're 100% the same, but reading the reviews on Amazon, they seem to be the same -- just packaged differently and priced much lower.  (If you buy the "Gel Sticks" you get a full package of all twelve colors in a little case with a paintbrush for $10.80!)  They also have a package of metallic Gel Sticks.

I can't believe how popular encaustic has become!  I gave faux encaustic, otherwise known as beeswax, a try a while back and wasn't a huge fan.  But as they say, different strokes for different folks.  And as it happens, the other day I got a newsletter from Interweave Press announcing a new book and DVD combo called The Encaustic Studio.  There's a pretty extensive peek into the book on Amazon (it looks good to me, almost good enough to get me to give encaustic another chance....)  Here's a page from the preview:

The book comes with an hour-long DVD.  And all four reviews on Amazon give the book five stars.  A very good sign!

was mentioned by a few people.  One of my favorite bloggers and letterers, Lori Vliegan has an online class...

...that looks really good.  And the supplies are super minimal.  Click through the link to see a teaser video.  Here's an example of Lori's gorgeous work:

Giveaway-blank journal
I was not at all suprised to see gesso (pronounced jess-oh) on the list.  I can't live without it.  Gesso is a chalk-based primer that dries dimensionally.  In my DVD, "Collage Fast & Furious," I cover a number of techniques for using gesso.  If you click through the link, you can watch a preview video where I share one of my favorite gesso techniques.

Here are some other links you might find useful:

I have to admit that I was surprised to see stencils on the list.  There were some specific requests like working with stencils & metal, or working with stencils so that they disappear, but there were still a number of folks who indicated that they needed some stencil basics.  My FREE online class "Stencil 101" covers most of what you need to know when working with stencils.  

There are EIGHT free lessons:

  1. Exploring Different Mediums (i.e. what paints and inks play well with stencils and ways to apply them)
  2. Controlling Your Image with Masking
  3. Repeating a Pattern
  4. Taking Care of Your Stencils (i.e. cleaning and storing them)
  5. Project: 3 Tags 1 Stencil
  6. Project: Scrapbook Page
  7. Project: Art Journal Page
  8. Q&A

And I recently added a video about my new stencils-that-are-meant-to-layer.

You can also check out all of the stencil hop posts from last year and this year by clicking here and here.  And, of course, there are a whole bunch of videos on my YouTube channel.

I love oil pastels, but they are tough to use in my journal because they never fix and tend to rub off on the facing page.   That said, they're super fun to use and smush around with your fingers.  I loved this video from eHow (which should also be of interest to those of you who mentioned learning how to draw or paint):

Here are some other links you might find useful:

Oil pastels also come in a water-soluble form.  The brand is Portfolio and they are super cheap.  I've heard you can even buy them at your local office supply store.  I have some but I'm not in love.  However I know others love and adore them, so if you're interested, check out this fun video from Suzi Blu.  Personally, I think Portfolios and gelatos are pretty much the same thing.  The Portfolio is a crayon and the gelato comes in a tube, but otherwise they're pretty much the same art material.  Although I will add that the Portfolios come in a duskier range of colors and the gelatos are a bit brighter.  


I've got lots more links and videos and info for you, but it's kind of overwhelming to do it all in one post.  So I'll share some more resources for "the things you want to learn" next week.

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. The winner of Patty Debowski's Digi-Basic Book Special PLUS is...

  PattyDebowskiWinnerCongratulations, Grace!  E-mail me with your mailing address and I'll send it on to Patty!