Swimming Hippo Sticker Video

Here’s my newest sticker design, and my newest tutorial topic: A swimming hippo!
I have the full, real-time tutorial version of this painting available on my Ko-fi and Patreon pages. There’s also a shorter version with less technical knowledge, but an added discussion about how I find inspiration, over on YouTube!

3D Printed Rainbow Snail Planters

I recently invested in a 3d printer, and these little snails were my test prints. They’re from a free to use model, and I primed them with watercolour ground, and painted them with India ink. They were suuuper fun to play with, and I learned a lot about printer settings and painting 3d shapes. I used masking fluid to mask off the stripes on the lighter two snails, but I really struggled with getting it to look clean. (Typical masking fluid problem.) For the final snail, I used acrylic paint over the ink to paint on the stripes, and I like how it’s still a bit translucent. Once the painting was done, I varnished the snail bodies with high gloss varnish and the bodies with matte varnish, so they feel a bit more like real snails.

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Etsy

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Cutie Hippo Watercolour Sticker

Here’s the first sticker for my next watercolour sticker pack: A hippo being extra cute! You guys know I loooooove pink and yellow together and squishy animals, so this is really just the ideal sticker design for me haha! I’m really pleased with how this came out; it feels very soft and friendly.

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Ko-fi

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Etsy

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Mini Seal Rugs

These tiny cuties are from the last batch of mini rugs I created in 2023. These little seal rugs are about 7-8” long. I love how blobby they turned out! Definitely fitting for seals. I believe these are all sold out, but if there are any available, they’ll be at RB Studio & Gallery in Fredericton, NB.

Serious Business Duck Watercolour Painting

I painted this little rubber ducky as part of a Secret Santa exchange hosted by Ko-fi. This is Rubberduckvba’s rubber ducky mascot in its Serious Business suit.

I had a loooot of fun painting this! Experimenting with painting water has been a goal of mine for a while, and their request for something charcoal grey made this as easy as possible. (But it was not easy haha!)

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Ko-fi

Patreon

Etsy

Skillshare

Freebie Sticker 2024!

Here’s this year’s freebie sticker! One of these gets sent out with every order through my website or Etsy shop. This is pretty much the only time I get to paint Tarts, the bobtail squid, but it’s always super fun. I love this little guy.

There are two versions of this little guy. The top one is actually the second one I painted and the final design I ended up printing. I tried to focus on keeping the piece feeling watercolour-y and light, which is something I really struggle with when painting purples and blues. The bottom painting is the first version I painted. I was experimenting with using more realistic colours for the cherries to help Tart’s slight rainbow gradient pop, but it just felt too dark to me.

Which version do you like best?

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Ko-fi

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Etsy

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Breathe Deep

Here’s the last painting on wood I created in 2023. I love the drama of black and white pieces, and they’re perfect for capturing the sleek, shiny look of birds. I also love how white paint pops against the warm wood.
Crows are probably my favourite birds, and I have a super strong association of them with the night sky. I used to have a recurring dream of them interacting with auroras that really cemented that connection for me.

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Ko-fi

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Etsy

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Bunny Hop

This little bunny was my last painting of 2023. It was a gift for my amazing mammal vet! (Anyone who can put up with Scuzzy cat for a year deserves at least a painting…) I’m not sure what breeds of bunnies she raises, but Dutchies are my favourite, so that’s what I decided to paint haha.

I’d like to experiment more with these bright, colourful backgrounds this year.

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Ko-fi

Patreon

Etsy

Skillshare

2023 Wrap Up & 2024 Business Plan

It’s that time of year to reflect on the pay year and look forward to the future! This is my favourite time of year, because I love seeing how far I’ve come and what I have to look forward to in the coming year.

My three goals for last year were to: 

1. Teach

2. Create more rugs

3. Transition from digital sticker designs to traditional ones.

I managed to, more or less, meet all of these goals! I created 6 classes, hitting my goal of releasing 1 class every 2 months; created a bunch of rugs (2 large,14 medium, and 56 minis), including really leaning into tiny rug designs; and released 6 (or 7, depending on if you break up the cats and dogs into different packs) traditionally painted sticker packs. I did technically create more rugs this year than last year, but most of them were mini rugs.

The biggest downside to this past year has been my health. I think it’s been the hardest year of my life in terms of my health, and there were a few times I wasn’t sure I’d make it to 2024. But I’m still here, and I’m excited about the future!

Looking forward, my main goal for 2024 is to make my business more sustainable for my health. To do this, I’d like to:

1. Replace mini rugs

2. Figure out social media

3. Create more cat work

This past year, I’ve discovered that making mini rugs is really hard on me. They require a lot of bending over and fiddly work, which messes with my blood pressure. I still want to offer affordable items for sale locally, so with that in mind, I’ve recently invested in a 3d printer. This will hopefully let me design some fun objects and create them without my direct input. Then I can focus on painting them to ensure they’re all unique. They won’t be as tactile as mini rugs, but hopefully I’ll be able to create something really fun.

I’d like to get better with social media and find a way to use it that benefits my art business without compromising my health. I’m thinking of trying video content, be that long form on YouTube or short form on TikTok. I need to experiment and see what works for me. Maybe I could do painting tutorials on YouTube for free… Or speed paints with voice overs explaining my techniques? Right now, Skillshare drives all my students through their own listings, and I’d like to bring in my own students and reach more people.

And my final goal is really leaning into creating more cat work, because I looooove painting cats! I essentially create for two audiences: online and in-person. In-person audiences prefer cats and dogs, while online audiences prefer reptiles and less common animals. I absolutely adore painting turtles, frogs, and lizards; but cats are my top favourite animal. I feel I shy away from painting them to cater to my online audience. That can definitely take a toll on my mental health, which feeds back into my physical health. With my health deteriorating, I don’t want to worry about money at the cost of not following my passion 100%.

That’s it for my goals for next year! I’m really excited to see how they come together and change over time. I want to thank all you fantastic people for joining me on this amazing journey so far! I hope your 2024 is full of colour and new experiences! Do you have any life or work-related goals for the next year?

Trixie the Tabby Watercolour Portrait

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope you’ve found some time to relax and are looking forward to the New Year. I’d like to make a goals post discussing my plans for next year, but in the meantime, please enjoy this kitty painting!

This lovely little lady is Trixie. She was commissioned as a commemorative piece by one of my close friends. I experimented a bit with pushing the detail in the face and letting the body fade out for a wispy, dream-like feeling, and I really like how it turned out. Most importantly, Trixie’s person likes it, too!

Support my work here:

Ko-fi

Patreon

Etsy

Skillshare