Quality art supplies make all the difference

Quality art supplies make all the difference!

Many years ago I had art school interns, one of them whom suggested that I’d probably love watercolor, because it was a forgiving medium. So one day I decided I would try it, I was at the drugstore and bought one of those multi-pans of watercolor that came with a brush and pulled out some copy paper from my printer. Do I need to even mention how my results were far from any expectation I had? Probably not, it was a disaster, a waste of time and money. Nowadays we have access to so many more resources on line but I thought I would do a quickie review of some supplies that might make your foray into trying a new art medium/skill a little more successful for the first time. It’s really not quantity, but quality and luckily quality art supplies are available in a range of affordable prices so you can try something new out without a huge investment.


This is the most basic of mediums, all you really need is some pencils, paper and an eraser. The problem lies in a lot of people trying to sketch and draw with their trusty No. 02 pencil, using the eraser on the end of it and whatever paper is available.  This seems to be no problem for someone that already has some aptitude for drawing but for the newbie it could be both the beginning and end to a successful drawing career. I would suggest buying an inexpensive pack of pencils with different lead hardness. An eraser that won’t tear your paper or leave behind a residue or dye (like the pink eraser does) and a good sketching pad. These simple tools are a meager investment and can make a world of difference! If you follow any good drawing how-to book (here’s a fave) it should go over shading, having a soft pencil at your disposable makes it effortless to do so.

Modern Calligraphy

I can’t even tell you how many bad supplies and wrong nib types for what I wanted to accomplish. When I started exploring no one was sharing their supplies. It makes such a world of difference results wise and may even be the difference between quitting and pursuing further (we hope always that you do the latter).


Drawing pencils

Drawing pencil set in case


Metal pencil sharpener

Sketch pad

Travel sketch notebook

Modern Calligraphy Supplies

Modern Calligraphy Set (beginner)

Modern Calligraphy Set (intermediate)

Watercolor set with brush

Watercolor set in pans

Watercolor tube set (great gift set!)

Watercolor postcards (such small real estate, you can have so much fun tackling such a small project!)

kit shown Belle Calligraphy Kit

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

12 awesome (and easy) resources to learn to sing or play guitar!

Learn to sing + play guitar via besotted blog

Another frequent skill wish that we saw was the wish to learn to sing (or be a better singer) and learn how to play guitar (I will soon be teaching myself ukulele). Michelle and I both wondered if singing was innate or if there was a way to develop it, I am pretty hopeless but our research proved it is not an impossibility!  Basically if you are not diagnosed tone deaf (often a self misdiagnosis) or are not deaf (but research says that’s changing as well) you can learn to sing!  Will you be an award winning, break champagne glass with your high note singer? Probably not, but one never knows until they try!


This fellow has a slew of short easy to follow videos covering everything from vocal exercises to the psychology of singing.

The BBC has a huge series on ‘How to Sing’.

Here’s a series on ‘singing for beginners’ from a celebrity singing coach, some super information in these videos!

Vocalizing is supposedly a great exercise, you can listen to demo’s here.

Berklee school of music is a super well known and respected institute and they offer online vocal courses.

On-line singing class not for you? What about an in-home or studio lesson. TakeLessons might be able to pair you up with someone in your area for a fairly reasonable fee (they also can help you find a teacher to teach you instruments from piano, guitar, drums to ukulele.)

Learn some elite singing techniques that the pros use.

Learn to play guitar in 60 days by playing a video game? That’s a two’fer right there.

Justin Guitar houses over 850 free guitar lessons!

There’s no better person to take a guitar lesson from then someone that has become wildly successful in their craft, right? Learn from professional (and famous) guitarists (over 400,000 people already have!).

Artistworks has free beginner acoustic guitar lessons, I hear a Kinfolk-esque bonfire sing-a-long in your future.

Michelle said her friend learned how to play guitar with the guitar tab method,we linked to the video on how to read guitar tabs and a huge guitar tab resource.

photo by maybelle imasa-stukuls

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

25 Amazing Resources to becoming a better artist

25+ Amazing Resources to learn to draw! You can do it, we believe in you!

I was very touched by all your answers for the skill question giveaway. So many of these skills are most definitely achievable in this lifetime, I do hope you explore some of these resources.  I have mentioned some of these resources in previous posts, but I figure if you decided you wanted to get started (it seems time is definitely a factor stopping a lot of us), then I should make it as easy as possible so you can just dive into learning your new skills. Maybe I shouldn’t have titled this ‘becoming a better artist’, because art is subjective, someone might think you are incredible right now, but I do understand that what most of you want to do is better develop your skills and I can say from experience that drawing emphatically is not a skill that you have to be born with to become great at (I’m not great by any stretch of the imagination but I  improved dramatically from stick figures to realistic animals in about 6 months time). You will need to devote some time, practice my friends seems to be the ‘secret’ to skill building. Below are some great resources for you to get started. I can’t wait to see what you all can accomplish! [Read more…]

How to Access Glyphs in Photoshop

How-to Access Hidden Font Features via Besotted

Did you know that there are secret extra characters built into many of the fonts we feature here? You can find everything from ligatures, to alternate characters, to fun ornaments – whatever the font designer felt necessary. These characters are collectively called glyphs, and they are not only fun to use, but they are the key to making a hand lettered or calligraphic font look realistic!

If you are a graphic designer, and glyphs are old hat, you may not know that the latest version of Photoshop (finally) has a glyphs panel! That’s right, you don’t have to open Illustrator, and your command C / command V fingers can take a well-deserved break if you are designing something for web.

View the tutorial after the jump!  [Read more…]

Photoshop Clipping Mask Tutorial

Clipping Mask Tutorial via Besotted Blog

We are super excited to share this next Photoshop tutorial with you. We are trying to create tutorials that are super easy to accomplish and accessible for even the most novice of Photoshop users. As you know we are super fans of the software and want you to feel the same way too. Being able to harness the power of Photoshop can unleash a flurry of creative projects that you can use for your business, blog, hobby the possibilities are endless! In this tutorial we will be showing you how to place your artwork (or photo) into a shape, in Photoshop this is called using a Clipping Mask. We have made the geometric shape in the image available for you to download for a limited time, so download while it’s available. This technique is so simple and the results super fast. We hope you enjoy! Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions. Video tutorial is after the jump! [Read more…]

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