A few updates on the Ruby Charm Colors project…
It’s been a busy past few weeks in the studio and I’ve been diligently working on a coloring book filled with funky insects (and a few other smaller projects), but I also put together a Bunny Bundle for the RubyCharmColors Etsy shop to help my coloring friends usher in Spring and celebrate Easter. And truthfully, I could use a little Spring magic myself as there’s still snow on the ground here in northern Michigan. Will winter ever end? At least the robins are returning, so there is hope.
The Bunny Bundle on Etsy consists of two coloring pages with bunny designs: one in a circle with a few happy bumblebees, and one in a patch of fiddle-head ferns and flowers. There are also two different greeting cards that can be printed and colored—one with a “happy Easter” greeting and one with just the bunny in the circle design. I also included a full color copy of the bunny in ferns I colored just for kicks.
I had the help of colorist Betty Hung (who is one of my coloring team members) to test out the design for the bunny with bees in the circle. I am always amazed by the illusion of brushstrokes she manages to create using colored pencils, and by her stunning, playful use of color. This girl is on fire!
Betty also colored the bunny in the patch of fiddle-head ferns not too long ago (which is also included in the bundle). If you haven’t followed Betty on Instagram yet, be sure to check out her account as well as her website.
Yesterday, while working on my Etsy listing, I printed out a card and did a fairly quick coloring of it using first, a layer of Karen Spencer‘s beautiful handmade watercolors.
Karen’s mica paints are truly a joy to work with and they provide a stunning, rich shimmer to any piece of art. You can find Karen’s paints in her Etsy shop, and she is known as @indigoartgb on Instagram.
I’ve been storing my pans in Van Gogh “Starry Night” tins which I found on Amazon not too long ago. Nice tight-fitting lids that will help keep the paints semi-soft when not in use.
I started charting out all of Karen’s paints in my copy of the Creative Companion but need to add a few more and do a little reorganizing. Warning: these paints are addictive. You will eventually want them all! And Karen is so terrific to work with as an Etsy Seller.
Did you know she designed a beautiful ruby red mica and named it Ruby Charm? Be still my heart!
In addition to mica paints, Karen has flat watercolors, too, which give me a nice base layer to use under my colored pencils. This often gives my colorings more depth.
Unfortunately, the card stock I used to print this card was a little too toothy (not crazy about Staples 67 lb card stock for coloring). And since I was in a hurry, I was not totally satisfied with my results. My printer was misbehaving, too, and spat out inky black blotches on my page) but I managed to finish it all up with a mix of Caran d’Ache Luminance and Irojiten colored pencils, plus a few Sakura Souffle gel pens and UBRANDS metallic pens that I picked up at Target. Decent pens and economical (a pack of 30 for around $13) but they take forever to dry and are prone to smudging.
What I like best about my card is the mica paints I used for the orange flowers, the “dark blue DA” background, and the “Blanco” I used for the wings of the bees on this card. Hard to see the shimmers in photos, but in person? Wow! In anticipation of the insect book coming out, I would suggest grabbing a few of Karen’s micas—the Blanco and some of the lighter colors can be absolutely magical when it comes to painting and coloring insect wings!
If you purchase the Bunny Bundle, you can print and color a few cards and then make copies of them to send to friends and family for Easter, or just to say hi. Or, send out your original coloring! In this time of endless texts and email, it’s always nice to get something handmade through good old snail-mail. Sorta romantically thoughtful and personal, yes?
In addition to stickers, a zip pouch (2 sizes), a tote bag (3 sizes), and a cute drawstring bag, I also put the image on pillows. I am hoping to have coffee mugs and maybe even coasters available soon, too.
If you receive something from them that you aren’t happy with, just send it back and they will refund or replace your purchase, no questions asked!
I ordered a pillow and stickers and hope to have them in my hands soon. I’ll let you know how they turned out!
That’s all I’ve got for today! Thank you for supporting an independent artist, and I hope you all have time to do a little something fun and creative. Get some paint under your fingernails and spill a few pencil shavings on the floor.
Art is messy and healthy and good for your soul!