Tutorial: How To Create Art Deco Header Boxes!

Hi there, old sport! I’ve shown you a few ways to make header boxes before, that's nothing new - BUT since you are all so kind and supportive of my Art Deco posts, I figured I’d show you some simple ways to make your header boxes with a little 1920s flare! ✨


A lot of Art Deco is built upon symmetry, angles, and line work, which makes them easy to create step by step, and easy to apply to any dot grid journal. The dots create the perfect canvas for this style!


Using the simple steps above, and some fantastic Faber-Castell pens, you are able to bring a little glam to your days! Did you know they make metallic pens as well? In MORE than just silver and gold? You heard me correctly! I'm such a fan!



Want to give these tutorials a try and share it? Be sure to tag @fabercastellusa and @plansthatblossom so we can take a peek! If you’re interested in this style, but can’t master the technique, we've created a fun printable with many different art deco styles to use in your own journal! I've left them blank so you can use them for months, days, lists - whatever you choose! Jazz them up with some fabulous pitt artist pens as well! Download the printable HERE.

Thanks so much! Keep creating!

Winter Wishes

Are you the type of person who loves winter? The snow, the hot drinks, the cozy fire? Or are you more of a "Will summer just get here, already?!" kind?

I, for one, LOVE winter, and all that it brings. So, I made a fun little heart filled with some of my favorite wintery things using Pitt pens in the "shades of blue" pack, plus grey, a 1.5 fineliner, and a big black brush pen.


Try it out with some of your favorite seasonal things!



Photo Feb 28  9 52 26 AMChelsea has a not-so-slight obsession with all things lettering. Watching lettering videos is what got her started, and you an usually find her posting videos using every art supply she can get her hands on. From brush pens to watercolor, and everything in between!

Grip Color Marker Swatch Page & Doodles!

Hi there! Faber-Castell USA was kind enough to send me a set of Grip Color Markers, and I LOVE them! The colors are so vibrant, and the markers themselves are created to be easy to hold while using. Plus, they are non-toxic and washable, which is perfect for kids! (...and me!)


So, what’s a girl to do with a fresh set of supplies? Make a swatch page, of course!

Swatch pages are one of my favorite pages to make - I use them as a reference constantly, and they are just so pleasing to look at.


Another great part of playing with new markers, is seeing them in action! Here I’ve shown you how to create 3 writing utensils from a rectangle. It’s amazing how much you can do with a simple shape!


When you’ve finished creating your doodle, be sure to make it pop with vibrant colors like the ones shown here!

If you’re not sure how to create a swatch page, I’ve created a free printable template for your journal or sketchbook! You can download it *here*

Thanks for stopping by - Keep creating!

Duck Pond Project

Lucky duck pond

Pond name

Duck pond 1

Creative Studio

Welcome to the studio, a place to relax, to be inspired and to develop your
own creative potential. Here, we will explore ideas and create art with mediums
and techniques that will have you achieving rewarding results with your own art.

In this lesson plan, we explore the art of nature journaling, translating our
outdoor adventures and observations in nature with watercolor pencils.

Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils are an impressive medium. They offer
the unique combination of pencil sketching and painting, making them ideal for
casual, spontaneous artwork in or out of the studio. Their vibrant colors and ease
of use make them fun to use and they are easily mastered with a little practice.


Faber-Castell Goldfaber Aqua Watercolor Pencils
Graphite Pencil
Hand-held Sharpener
Faber-Castell Kneaded Eraser
Variety of Flat and Round Brushes
Paper Towels
Faber-Castell Watercolor Pad 9 x 12 or a journal made up of watercolor paper

Why Nature Journaling?

Experts say that the benefits of getting outside and connecting with nature
through creating art is not only good for your health, it could get you hooked. To
describe the basic experience in a few words, nature journaling can be seen as
a form of meditation, filling you with a sense of calm and well being. Unlike silent
meditation, the act of observing and recording the beauty around you through
sketching and painting keeps the brain focused, making it difficult to drift off to all
of life’s stresses.

“Part of the lure of keeping a nature journal is
the world you enter when you open it. Working
in it sets up an island of quiet and deliberateness
to which you will long to return. ”
- Hannah Hinchman, Artist/Naturalist

Gather a few art materials and go take a walk, a hike, or a trip; just get outside
and explore; discover all the beauty and peace that nature has to offer!

Let the following steps serve as inspiration and guidance in getting started
on your own artistic journey. Take your time and enjoy your new practice, it will
change your life.



The Pond

When I came across this
lovely duck pond, I knew that Pond2
I wanted to paint it. I sat down
on the grassy bank and made
a sketch in my journal while
some noisy ducks hid quacking
in the tall grasses nearby. As
it was nearing dusk, I realized
that the best way to continue
would be to work from a photo
back at the studio.

I took this picture on my
phone for later reference.



TIP:You can enhance the quality of your photo
by brightening and defining it a bit in editing
on your phone. You can then transfer the
photo to your desk or laptop for reference

Choose Colors and Experiment:

It is important to plan your colors before getting started, giving thought to
the mixes and placement of them in the painting. Back at the studio, I began to
experiment with the watercolor pencils, and finally settled on these colors and
mixes of them to produce other colors I saw in my photo.

One of the great advantages to watercolor pencils are their versatility. The
most basic way to use them is to sketch directly onto the paper, and then brush
water over them. The more pigment you apply to the paper, the darker the
color will be when water is added.

Another painting technique that I combine with the basic method, is
to create a palette of colors on a separate piece of watercolor paper by
scribbling the pencil, as shown below. From there, I can pick up the paint with
a wet brush and transfer to the artwork.

Look carefully at your reference photo and choose as many colors as
possible; more colors will help add more depth and interest to the artwork.

Here, I’ve layered the following numbered colors on my paper palette to use.

#170 #167 #173          #151 #233                  #107 #187                   #199


Begin With A Sketch:

Here is the quick graphite pencil sketch that I made at the pond. I began
by determining the horizon line of the water in the distance at the upper left.
I then sketched the curvy shoreline and then the duck house as the focal point.
I continued to compose my sketch with careful placement of fewer lily pads,
beginning with larger and more detailed ones in the foreground and smaller,
more loosely sketched ones as they fade into the distance.

Although a well thought out sketch is very important to begin with, it is only a
loose guide to position the basic elements. The look of the pond and number of
lily pads will ultimately be determined during the painting process.




Apply Watercolor Pencils:

In this step, I apply the watercolor pencils directly to the sketch. Referring to
the photo, I loosely color in shapes and areas of lights and darks. My plan is to
keep the foliage along the shoreline simple and fading out at the edge.

I layer some areas of the image with two to three different colors of pencil. By
applying varying pressure, I can darken and lighten the pigment. Note the dark
shadow that the duck house is casting in the water; this detail will help anchor the
structure and help to give the water a realistic look.

The following steps demonstrate how to add water, creating a series of washes
that will make up the finished art.

TIP:Set yourself up with a scrap piece of watercolor paper at hand to confirm the
colors you will be using and to experiment with blending methods and amount of
pressure you color with.



Paint With Water:

Here is where the surprising magic of watercolor pencils really impress!
Beginning in the back along the water’s edge, I use a soft, round brush and wet
the area. The paint comes alive. I begin to suggest a variation of foliage by gently
pushing the paint around into shapes.

For the water, I use a flat, wet brush. I begin in the distance, painting the
water in long sweeping motions from left to right as I move to the foreground. The
colors come to life as the variety of greens and blues blend. I create a soft, muted
effect in the back at the horizon line to suggest distance. This first wash will dry in
about 15 minutes.

While there is a good amount of control with the dry pencils, when the water is
added, the paint itself has a mind of it’s own and will do unexpected and beautiful
things. You can work with it to some degree but also relax and let it do its thing.

TIP:Use appropriate brush sizes and types. Larger brushes for larger areas will give
a smoother, less detailed effect; forcing you to use fewer brush strokes, which is
desirable in watercolor. Smaller brushes will work best for smaller areas. Round
brushes are used for softer edges, while flat brushes offer a useful straight edge.



Now, after the first wash has dried, it is time to add a second wash of detail. I
use the combination of both watercolor painting methods.

I pick up my mixed palette colors with my wet brush and add a layer of shorter,
sweeping streaks of color in the water. I use the edge of the flat brush, holding it’s
edge horizontally. I add faint, watery lily pads in the distance along the shoreline
and around the duck house. As I come forward, I paint the lily pads with more
detail and add simple flowers. I then paint the duck house.

Next I use the pencils and sketch directly onto the painting. I add more color
and texture to the water and sketch grasses on the shore and detail to the lily
pads in the foreground. I add water to some of it and leave other areas the dry
pencil texture.

TIP:It is important to replace your water when it starts getting murky from paint. Using
dirty water will affect your colors and muddy up your artwork. Consider working
with a few cups of water to reduce time spent changing out the same one.



Final Details:

The final details in the painting include a third wash of paint: more lily pads and
water detail, more shadows and grass detail.

I add texture and interest to the foliage with a paint spattering technique of
dipping a stiff brush into a pool of color and carefully flicking it on with my finger. I
protect the surrounding area with paper towel.

I paint shadows from the lily pads reflecting in the water. For this effect, I wet a
large area with clean water directly under each pad and then paint a narrow band
of darkness just underneath the pad. I prop the artwork upright to let the dark color
softly bleed downward into the wet area.

Finally, I add a few accents of yellow here and there, a shadow under the eaves
of duck house, and some lightly drawn line definition to the duck house and front
lily pads with a well sharpened dark watercolor pencil.

TIP:Try to paint in a light-handed way, layering thin, transparent washes. Leaving
small areas of the white paper showing through here and there allows the
painting to breathe, and adds an airiness.




Designing and Writing Your Journal Page:

In my finished journal page, I chose to complement the color painting with a
smaller, simple black and white sketch of the ducks hiding in the grasses that I
mentioned earlier. I sketched this pair with a sharp, black watercolor pencil. I then
very sparingly brushed on a small amount of water to create a light gray tone here
and there giving the ducks a bit more dimension.

The final element to add to the journal page is anything you want to write about
your experience; it can be notes, descriptions, incidents, thoughts, or memorable
observations. Design a date/weather mark, and don’t forget to sign your name!

I decided to call this nameless and ordinary little pond, Lucky Duck Pond, because
it looked like a pretty happy place to be a duck.

To download the tutorial in .pdf format, click here

Happy New Year Word Art!


Happy New Year everyone! It's a special time when we get to reset and reboot again, at least partially, in our lives. I wanted to create a piece that captured my dreamy new-beginning feeling with Goldfaber Color Pencils and PITT Artist pens. Let me show you how I did it.


Faber-Castell Creative Studio Color pencil Goldfaber metal tin of 48 (#114748)

Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft Essential PITT Artist Pens BLACK (#770075) - S, B tips

Other - white cardstock


With S-tip PITT Artist pen BLACK, hand-letter your message. My word inspiration came from the movie by the same name. Draw some stars around the word to frame it visually. You could also use a pencil lightly to sketch everything first and then trace with the PITT pen and erase your pencil lines.


Start coloring the negative space around the words and stars with Goldfaber color pencils. I started with the blues and grey.


Add colors to the mix that you see fit and keep filling the negative space.


Here's my piece so far. I like the cross-hatched textured look so I made sure to make my color pencil strokes prominent. If you like a more blended look, make softer marks and blend them together.


Give prominence to your hand-lettered word by adding a thin dark shadow with B-tip PITT Artist pen, Black to finish.

I hope you enjoyed my word art tutorial and give these pens and pencils a try in your own work!


Preparing for the New Year in Your Journal!

Happy Holidays, everyone! Now that 2018 is coming to a close, I wanted to share some tips on how to reflect on the year, and prepare for the next one!


Faber-Castell USA and I partnered up to give you examples on how to create list and topic boxes to help you grow into your best self! Using these simple structured boxes, you are able to make a plan for the new year.


There is real value in taking time to pause and reflect on the past year before you make your resolutions. We are able to learn so much about ourselves and really focus our attention toward the future.

So while this year is quickly dwindling, don’t run from the difficult moments - take time to learn from them. A new year full of opportunity and possibility is right around the corner! Cheers to you and to 2019!


Click the link for a free download to help you prepare for the new year!

Pitt Artist Pens Used:

Black 199 (Sizes: XS & F) - Warm Grey III 272 (Brush) - Green Gold 268 (Brush)

Happy New Year! 


Blending Watercolor Connector Paints

Photo Dec 20  5 02 59 PM


Today we're using our connector watercolor set, along with a stencil to make this dreamy, blended piece!

Start with some watercolor paper, and using your Faber-Castell 2B pencil, trace the outline of your stencil. Then use the kneaded eraser to erase the darkness of the lines until they're barely visible.

Color them in! Mix and match your favorite colors, and blend away!


Dream big in 2019!


Photo Feb 28  9 52 26 AMChelsea has a not-so-slight obsession with all things lettering. Watching lettering videos is what got her started, and you can usually find her posting videos using every art supply she can get her hands on! From brush pens to watercolor and everything in between!

Christmas Ornaments



These ornament illustrations can be added to anything you are working on to make it more festive!

1. First you want to pick out the watercolor pencil colors you are going to use. Then lay down the color in your ornament shape.


2. Step 2 is to ADD WATER! :)

IMG_4137 IMG_4138

3. When everything is dry, take the black pitt pen and add your details. Whatever designs come to your mind. Get creative :)


4. OPTIONAL last step- Add some extra details with the white pitt pen. 



Erin+AdamEngagements-14 copy

Erin is a teacher by day and a creator by night. She loves to try and inspire creativity in her students everyday! Because she’s busy during the day, the night is when her creativity gets to explode into the world through lettering and messing around with watercolors. Her biggest advice would be to not compare your art to other people’s art! Be uniquely you!

The Lettering Fern

Bringing You Some Holiday Cheer!


Hi everyone, Mou here today wishing you Happy Holidays! 

My little girl and I started playing a little holiday game of our own this year - whenever we are out and about, we count the cars driving home with Christmas trees on the roof. We have several Christmas tree farms around here which means people come from far and wide and even from New York City to get their trees. I decided to draw one such car and let me show you how I did it.

Let's start by looking at the supplies:


Watercolor pencil Goldfaber Aqua tin of 48

Deluxe Waterbrush

PITT Artist Pens S tip - BLACK

Other - Watercolor paper, pencil

And now, scroll down to see my step-by-step process.


Start with a light pencil sketch of a vintage-looking car with a Christmas tree tied to the top. Next, if you like, add a Holiday themed word below it.


Go over the pencil lines with the S-tip Black PITT Artist pen. Erase pencil lines.


Color the drawing with Goldfaber Aqua watercolor pencils as shown.


Blend the colors with the Deluxe waterbrush. Because the PITT pen is an India ink pen, it is permanent when dry and will not smudge during wet blending.


Fill the space above the car with little circles also drawn with watercolor pencil to finish.

I hope you enjoyed today's tutorial and will pull out your watercolor pencils and PITT pens this Holiday for some creative joy!


Let Your Heart Be Light

And suddenly I’m in the Christmas spirit!




It was a no brainer to pull out my Pitt Artist Big Brush Pens. These richly saturated markers are my go to for vibrant, flowing letters! 🥰


Colors: Green Olive 167, Deep Scarlet Red 219, and May Green 170 


Happy Holidays!