Jay Lee tutorial: painting with bottle tops!

This is fun and simple… Gather your supplies:

watercolor paper, brush, paint, palette, water, and some random sized bottle tops.


Dip the top into paint,

then press a tin into the page. Twist it a bit if necessary. Using water on the paintbrush, draw the paint out into the middle of the circle.

Repeat, using different sized lids, and different colors, overlapping some.

It doesn’t need to be great art to be worthwhile. It is enough for it to be relaxing.




New Foldable Pocket Watercolor Kit

Click here to see on Amazon… currently $15.99 (I expect them to go up closer to Christmas)  Dyvicl Watercolor Paint Set – 42 Assorted Watercolors Foldable Pocket Travel Watercolor Kit with Brush for Artists, Beginners, Students, Field Sketch Set  

I have been looking forward to writing this review… I tried these paints a few weeks ago, and holy moly, are they ever fun. First, what a unique pan. I had decided if I could find these paints cheaply enough and I hated the paints, I would dispose of them and fill the pans with Daniel Smith colors. But i really like the paint, so far. They are vivid, transparent, and mix well. There is little apparent color shift on the paper as the paint dries.

I don’t know the brand name or manufacturer of the paints, but the set says “Superior” across the top.

There is no lightfast information I can find. I’m going to assume they are not lightfast, until I run my own test (which I’ll do soon, but it takes quite a while to get any results.) Still… 42 colors of quality (feel) paint for under $16, with a waterbrush and mixing palette… what a deal! That all fits easily into a purse or really anywhere. 42 is TOO MANY colors for me, but the smaller sets were only a bit less expensive, and the colors I really wanted were in the larger set. (of course)

I started by creating a swatch sheet that fit in the bottom of the pan. But it was still tricky finding where the paint was. The set fans out, like a deck of cards would in your hand…with 3-9 paints in each strip. The colors at the top, nearest to the hinge, will be harder to use.

The color swatches on the pans themselves were not good… not even close to some of the colors (which is pretty normal, really) so I made my own and covered them with clear packing tape, and glued them over the existing swatches with adhesive dots. Now I can tell exactly where the color I’m looking for is.

It has a top shelf which holds a tiny sponge like piece to be used as a blotter… this piece is velcro’d in place, and can be removed for rinsing. Some of the other brands keep this area empty and it is used as the mixing palette, but a blotter is very useful, particularly if you are taking the paints somewhere outside your studio to use. With this set, the bottom plastic piece has a frame around it so the whole length of the palette can be used to mix paints without worrying about them dripping off. (Also, side note:  I finally realized I can mix straight on my tile topped table as well!)

I love the paints, I love the interesting design, I love the portability… I found a pencil case at Target the set fits in nicely that I can use for storage. I even love the water brush, and I am not currently a big water brush fan.

I used the water brush and paints for both of these:


(the shimmery glowy bits on the lightning bug’s behind here are not from this set, I painted over this part with my finetec gold)


Today I followed a Jay Lee livened youtube tutorial and painted this, using my regular brushes and these paints:



I think this set is great fun as an introductory set for someone, an inexpensive way to discover watercolor painting. Or as an interesting travel set for a more experienced artist.  I’m buying a few more as gifts! Let me know if you try them!


Following a Rose Tutorial by Jay Lee

Here is the rose I painted during the livestream session today (and what could be nicer than painting on a rainy summer day?) :


It isn’t bad, but if I showed you Jay Lee’s rose that I was copying, you’d see why I wasn’t happy with this. I see what he did. I just didn’t do it. I was trying to paint what he painted as he painted it, and I couldn’t keep up… So afterwards, I pulled up my own reference photo, and came up with this:


Still not perfect, but I do think it is better than it would have been in early 2017. So I will keep moving!!


Day 22, 30×30 direct watercolor challenge: Jay Lee hydrangeas

A fun tutorial by Jay Lee (on youtube) These remind me of Iraville’s style (also youtube). This took longer than you’d guess!! Schmincke paint, in my Strathmore 400 series 5×8 watercolor journal. I like this sketch a lot.


Day 18, 30×30 watercolor challenge: pretty grasses (jay lee tutorial)

Check out Jay Lee’s watercolor channel… there are some really nice tutorials there. Today I stumbled accidentally upon a live demo, very simple to follow along.

I used schmincke pan watercolors in a strathmore 400 series 140 lb journal.