art in progress

You can make art!

IMG_0135 Today I have a quick video for ya! A little work in progress! Have you every had a quote or scripture jump out at you and you wanted to remember it?  An easy way to do that is paint it! As soon as I read this, I knew this was the picture I wanted to paint. Now I know what you’re thinking, what if I can’t draw? or what if I hate my handwriting? No excuses! You can make art! Here are three alternatives to what I have done below.

I used various  watercolor mediums, the “crayons” are actually Neocolors in Chestnut and Flesh. The heart was painted with a Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor Stick in Permanent Alizarin Crimson. I am painting on mixed- media paper from Strathmore.
But you can use whatever medium you have.  I drew my picture but you could find a stamp or stencil that would work. Or even find a a picture in a magazine and collage it!

Don’t like your handwriting? I used an app – Adobe Spark app on my iphone for the lettering! Another idea would be to use alphas and stick them on or type it up on your computer, print it and paste it into place! You can do this!

I hope this inspires you to do your own painting! I promise you can make art!

In other news I want to make sure you are watching me on Facebook Monday nights!  If you haven’t I am doing Mixed Media Mondays is where I do some type of tutorial, project, tip around Mixed-Media. The exciting part is that I have some fun sponsors lined up to give away prizes! The very first giveaway is from Activa! Check out their website  and meet me of FB Monday nights!

Avoid these 3 common mistakes most beginning artists make!

3 common mistakes most artists make

You’ve spent times pouring over you latest masterpiece,  you think you are finished but something is not quite right…How do you fix it? Here are five common mistakes that most artist make and how to fix it!

3 common mistakes most artists make

Mistake 1: Using the wrong paper, starting off with the right type of paper is so important for good results. I wasn’t paying attention and I used a paper form my drawing pad instead of watercolor or mixed media paper. When you paint on drawing paper it makes the paper warp and if you are using a lot of water or heavy mediums you can make the paper start to pill or worse you could make a hole in the paper! Yes you can gesso it first, and that is what I did once I realized it was the wrong type of paper (of course I had to do it in front of a live audience! ha!) and it helps, but it’s not enough. It also is not meant to take paint – so you don’t get even coverage. Most drawing paper is a lot thinner than watercolor or mixed media paper. I like a lot of layers of paint, textures, blending directly on the project, so the paper gets very wet with all these mediums.

'If you are going to abuse your paper you had better make sure it's strong enough to handle it!' quote='If you are going to abuse your paper you had better make sure it's strong enough to handle it! Click To Tweet“(giggle)

*Solution: the right paper – I prefer at least 90lbs watercolor, mixed media or bristol paper. (Most watercolor has texture I like it, some prefer smooth especially for faces which is when I reach for the bristol.)

Mistake 2 : Scale and proportion: Often times I (especially when doing videos) I forget to take a step back a look at my piece perpendicular to me. Let me explain, most of us are drawing, painting on a flat surface (a desk or table). It is easy for the proportions to be skewed from this point of view. Which is why many artists use an easel.

*Solution? You could use and easel. Or simply stop every once in awhile and hold that picture up –  look at it for balance. Especially for faces – our eyes naturally look for balance. Had I stopped and looked I would have noticed one eye is slightly larger than the other, Can you see it? I also have an issue with the eyebrows – I prefer that they be more similar.

3 common mistakes most artists make

Mistake 3 : You know something is wrong maybe It’s in the details…because I blog, do videos, post on social media I take pictures of all my work. Nowadays everyone has a camera on their phone. You can take a picture blow it up and look at it up close! There are small details you can live with – for example I don’t mind that the eyebrow is not perfect because when I look at the overall picture is not noticeable. However when I looked at it close up I didn’t like some things- I had more white dot highlights and it just felt like too much. I decided to take it back a notch and simply grabbed a marker and went over some of those areas. When I stepped back it looked much better without them. If you look in whole photo above, you can see a little red mark on her neck where the hair color bled. I only noticed it when I did the close ups, an easy fix if you catch it. two suggestion when using watercolor: Get a wet paint brush and work it in (BLEND) or lift it off. Use a clean wet paint brush, “paint” the are to be removed and wipe the paint onto a towel, repeat until the paint is gone or blended in. If you are using acrylics get your gesso,cover it up and paint again.

If you watch my videos you have heard me say this so many times…

'Gesso is your friend!'Click To Tweet

There have been times (when I have rushed) I even forgot to paint something, in my classes the most common mistakes I see when doing faces is they forget eyebrows and/or eyelashes. When you look at  your picture in pieces you will find those mistakes.

*Solution: Take a close up. take a picture up close, (you don’t have to print it) just look at it on your camera; you can see things you didn’t even know were wrong! Make sure the pieces are all painted, fix mistakes and all body parts are present! lol

(This project is on my latest periscope called “hey let’s do something creative, are you with me?” Most of the paints are from Daniel Smith. That fantastic color I got on her hair is by using Daniel Smith Gold grounds first then adding red watercolor on top!)

We all make mistakes as artists, even those of us who have been doing this a long time so slow down, try these tips and see if your work doesn’t improve! Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them, leave them in the comments below!

How changing color can completely change your art

Princess in Progress white color Rita Barakat
Hello color creatives! Well things are getting crazy around here!  I am creating like crazy, teaching classes and getting ready to head to MI  to demo for a convention! Should be fun times! Meanwhile I have been doing some fun live videos on Periscope – have you been watching? I am trying to figure out an easy way to transfer those videos to Youtube... but I digress…

Here are some pics from yesterday periscope. This one is before I added color to her hair  – notice the feel of the piece. I find it interesting that changing even one color can  change your perspective and the feel of a apiece. I think I will do this again and leave her hair white, I like it.  Here is  a close up of the background…

Yellow and fushia color Rita Barakat
These are the textures before I did a final layer of Gesso to soften the look, notice the different feel when I change the color…

Pink color Princess Rita Barakat art journal
Totally different look with Gesso and pink hair color right? night and day! I loved both outcomes, even though they are so different! The pink and pastel yellow color  background seems to make it more warm, magical, ethereal, fairytale-ish.  The white color against the bold background feels like winter, more modern, easy to imagine in a children’s book. Amazing the power of color!

Pink color Princess Rita Barakat
Here is a close up of her face, isn’t it interesting how color can completely change the feel and look of the same painting? Here she is again on an art journal page…

Yellow color Princess Rita Barakat art Journal
On this page she has a different background and fluorescent yellow hair color. Same girl different feel. And depending on who you are and what you like you will favor a different  girl. I actually drew her here first in my art journal. Most of the time this is where I start, making sketches in my art journal or sketchbook. I don’t always color all of my sketches but as soon as I finished I knew she would be the perfect subject for the commissioned piece, ent on to do that and then came back to paint this one.

Yellow color Princess Rita Barakat
What is very interesting here is that her hair is actually fluorescent – it doesn’t show in the photos but it is amazing bright fluorescent yellow in person and on a video. I really like all three versions. Here you can see again how changing colors makes such a dramatic difference in the feel of a piece. It makes me want to be more proficient in photoshop! LOL   It also makes me think about how we choose color – sometimes it’s good to experiment!

I think you will be seeing this girl again- any name suggestions for these girls? Please leave me a comment!

Making a Magical Fairy Forest

RIta Barakat Fairy Forest

Hey fairy creatives! Here is the finished project from yesterday’s Periscope! My magical fairy forest perfect for fairies to move right in don’t you think? I made a quick video to show the progress pics…

Make sure to join me on Wed at 3PM EST for my next scope

and Friday for Bible journaling

and Bible Art Journaling this Saturday, March 5th at 12 noon!

Youtube & Periscope

Hey there creatives! I hope that you had a great weekend! I made a couple of short videos this weekend.
One was for a little intro on my youtube channel. Did you know I have a youtube channel?
Well I do and you can sunscribe to it here

I also made this quick video with Permopaque pens I recently recieved from Sakura of America. These pretty much write on any surface which is pretty cool. I also thought this would be a fun way to write a little quick message for you! Later today I will do a periscope – but it won’t be at 3pm EST it will be earlier as I will be driving at that time – can’t scope and drive! Don’t forget to follow me on youtube & periscope See you then!
Happy Monday peeps!

CHA DIA display by Rita Barakat 2016

Hey there crafty peeps! Whew so I am finally back from CHA! I hope you were able to see my periscopes while I was there – not as many as I would like because of the sketchy wifi in the convention center but I got a few in and a couple of videos. So here is a clean video (the periscopes that did work were very grainy thanks to the wifi) of my Designer Display, if you were there I hope you were able to see it in action but if not you can look at it now. The display got a great response and I was soooo happy that it worked like I thought it would. (You never know with these things!) Thank you for all my sweet peeps that wished me well! XOXO I would also like to thank Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft®, DecoArts, Deflecto, DCWV and Beacon- all these companies provided wonderful products that went into my display and I am so honored to work with them! (Now if I could get a canvas and/or watercolor paper company to work with! )

Here are some pictures of me building my display -not the best pictures but you get the idea. 5-IMG_6945

I was so happy to see all my creative peeps and truly missed some that weren’t there. Next year it’s in AZ, should be interesting since I’ve only driven through there a couple of times.

If you were there I hope you got one of this years button, this is the third year I have done these buttons and I am super excited people actually came to find me to get one! On the left is this years apron – you know I cannot walk around wearing a plain apron! (Did you know that you can use PITT pens on fabric?) I spent a LOT of time working in the booth but I did get a little time to walk the floor – I will post those pictures this week so stay tuned!

I am so happy to share these pictures from the Texture Techniques class I taught at CHA…
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You know I had to represent my Texas peeps by wearing my cowboy boots ya’ll! LOL
We had so much fun, everyone did a fantastic job!

Now that I am back and holidays and CHA are over it is back to business as usual – or the new usual, I will be kicking off a new DIY periscope series, adding more videos to my youtube channel and revamping my mixed media class newsletter. So if you aren’t following me please look me up.
As always the latest news will be on my FB page.


So the question of the day is what day and what time of day are you most likely to stop and watch a live video (periscope)? ((Please include your timezone!))

Happy crafting peeps!

Handmade for the holidays!

Hey everybody! So excited to share with you not one but three mini art journals (5×8) I made for the
Handmade for the holidays blog hop! Not only am I giving you an idea for handmade gift I made a hyperspeed video for you!
This mini art journals are full of blank papers for the artist in all of us, add some color pencils,
markers or paints and it will be a fantastic gift for the holidays!


I used a ton of Deco Art Media Fluid Acrylics and Tinting Base in the video! Don’t forget to put a layer of Gesso down first! Hey and if you can’t draw, no worries – trace a picture, glue down a coloring page, the fact that you made it your self will truly make someones day!

Here are some close ups!
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Remember you can make this however you want, it can be a reflection of you or the person you are giving it to! Have fun with it!
This is the backs of the art journals. Here are more fabulous  ideas to make you gifts holiday handmade!

 Click on the frog to see links for all the participants and more chance to win!

The giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade.
Enter to win using the widget below! (Did you see those prizes!?!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Hopping!
And while you are here sign up for monthly newsletter on the right of my blog!
Rita Barakat
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Rita Barakat Mixed Media Artist, Illustrator and Designer & Educator. From wall murals to itty bitty minis you can find her work in various hospitals, corporations, family homes, manufacture websites and magazines. She designs for Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft® and freelances for a variety of manufacturers

Creating Art on the go: part 3 You want me to create where?

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Hey there creatives, we are on day three of Creating on the go!
Todays post,  You want me to create where?
I love that title because a few years ago if someone would have suggested what I am going to suggest to you today that would have been my response! (LOL I am channeling my inner Bernie Mac voice…”say  what???” )

Being a mom of five (yeah that’s right five + hubby and one grandbaby) I have to create when I get my moments! So not only is making time to create a summer thing, it is a way of life for me. So yes, what you see in the photo above is my steering wheel. If you are a mom you spend a lot of time driving and waiting – driving to appointments for the kids and waiting for them to get out. Sometimes I don’t have to be in the building so I sit in my my car – I know I have 45 minutes to an hour to accomplish something but cant really leave. For example, two things I have to wait for each week is when one of the kids have Occupational therapy and another has ballet – I can’t be in there so the other kids and I create, read or do homework (if they are in school). If you don’t have kids I guarantee you are still doing some waiting . Ahem…doctors appointments, hospitals (don’t get me started- I have spent more time in hospital waiting rooms this year), the DMV, the movies, the airport, Starbucks, the pharmacy…  You may not be able to start and finish a project in those settings (well some you might! LOL) but it sure is better for you than staring at your phone all day! (And yes I do that too!) You wont be able to do this though if you haven’t packed your bags! (Your art supplies! Remember  even a small sketch book and a pencil will work as I mentioned on day 1)

If you are on the go and are lucky to have a hubby like mine you can even create at places like CEC – that may mean doing a little art in public (no worries they are all busy running around, playing games to look at you) while hubby and the kids are playing. You can stop for a little inspiration here and there- maybe some pics for later (like I mentioned on day 2).  (Please do not judge – games are just not my thing , except for a little air hockey or skee ball, but hubby and the kids enjoy it so I go, take some pics, guard the pizza and do a little creating in the noisy chaos that is Chuck E. Cheese.) Other places to consider – parks, pools, playgrounds – of course this all depends on the age of your kids, you can’t do this if you are the only adult and you have a bunch of toddlers running around! My kids are older now so I can multi task and if I am lucky  I have another adult around… this is more about being prepared (having you supplies with you) and capturing the moment.
Hotel rooms are another great place for creating – even on vacation there is bound to be some down time and all hotels have desk and a bathroom. Remember I mentioned  spray water bottles on day 1?  If you use watercolor pencils or Gelatos® you don’t have to bring paint- just the water bottle that you can fill in your hotel! And if you have your sketch book and a pencil that is all you need to start a project! Here is a pic I drew yesterday in the car waiting for my girl to come out of her ballet class. The ballet class provided opportunity and inspiration for a little creating on the go!

So there you have it – creating art on the go is easy if you
pack your bags, Creating Art on the go – part one pack your bags
look for inspiration all around you Creating Art on the go – part 2 inspiration and capturing ideas
and be open  to create in the moment! 
Creating Art on the go: part 3 You want me to create where?


Please leave me a comment enjoyed this little series and suggestions for other ones if you have them! I would also love to hear how you create on the go!

What’s going on?

Hey there creatives! Lately I have been working on this spiral Kraft and black memory book  from DCWV. You may have seen some of the pages I have been working  – how I did this one is on the ColourArte Blog today! The album has several  pockets, places for pictures and blank space for creativity. I am not sure what I will use this for yet but it is so sturdy and fun to decorate I’m sure you have ideas!

Here is another vellum page – I opted to only color some of the page and I really like the way it looks ( also on the ColourArte blog). I love the way the vibrant shimmering color makes those flowers really pop!


You may have seen this sneek peek I just did on my previous post – this page will be revealed later in the month. There are so many cool pages in this little album I am thinking I will do a video with all the finished pages when it’s finished!

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And I bet you remember this one I did for The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog!  So I am working away on this hopefully I will be ready to do a full review soon – I seriously did not realize how many pages this actually had when I started! ( Have you done that before? LOL) But you get the feel of it – what would you do with this DCWV memory book?  This one is 8 1/2 x 11. I am thinking it might be a great place for papers, business stuff so I can also  carry a bit of my art with me at all times…what do you think?



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Rita Barakat Mixed Media Artist, Illustrator and Designer & Educator. From wall murals to itty bitty minis you can find her work in various hospitals, corporations, family homes, manufacture websites and magazines. She designs for Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft®,The Crafters Workshop, DCWV, Deflecto, ColourArte and freelances for a variety of manufacturers