The Making of a Jess Brown Doll Part I

kiki and coco go to paris via besotted blog ii

My toddler daughter and I are currently having a major love affair with the Nina Gruener & Stephanie Rauseer books Lulu & Pip and Kiki & Coco in Paris. They are simple stories that are easy for young ones to memorize, the photos are visual treats and the ‘co-star’ the Jess Brown doll is now a hugely wanted commodity in our abode. I did a little research and the designer Jess Brown wrote a book and describes her process and there’s even a template to re-create a version of her doll!Read More

Realistic painting effects in Photoshop

digital painting sam andy warhol reference via besottedblog

digital painting details

Michelle and I have been working on a project together which included painting, something I have little (to no) skill in. What I do have is an aptitude for Photoshop so I decided to take my meager painting skills and try my hand at digitally ‘painting’.  My first efforts were, ‘ok’, Michelle decided we needed a studio tablet, so she promptly ordered one and I started playing. That’s where my rabbit hole begins–one little thing leads to another, that leads to another… I realized quickly that I needed to find some artistic brushes that would mimic the strokes of a real brush. I downloaded some free ones but quickly found they didn’t look any better than the default ones. You can change settings for brushes to achieve all sorts of realistic effects (it’s a TON of research and trial and error), but I have been too chicken to, what if I change my brush settings and can never get them back again? Well, friends lucky for me (and you), a mad creative genius created a huge arsenal of Photoshop brushes and he pre-programmed ALL the settings so you don’t have to think you just have to use. I mean they are seriously goof proof. You can play with digital gouache (you know the type of paint that the internet is coo coo for? Think Rifle Paper co.), there’s even brushes that mimic pencils and charcoal and so many other art supplies that I was going a little batty deciding which set to choose from!  A little side note here, I am not very familiar with all the effects different ‘real’ art supplies achieve, so if you do know, you are going to have a little bit of a leg up on the individual that doesn’t, but experimenting for me is half the fun so I didn’t mind trying the brushes out to see the different effect. Btw, these work great for lettering as well!  So many possibilites!

I re-created this image of ‘Sam’ from Andy Warhol, because my daughter has been obsessed lately with a story about Andy Warhol’s 23 cats named Sam (a true story). I loved how charming and quirky the Sam portraits were so I tried the new brushes with Sam in mind. I am a total newbie at drawing and painting so I love to have something I can reference. Apprentices used to copy the masters to get down techniques, so I figured why not?  I am not good at tracing (super wobbly hand and there’s that whole attention span issue), so I just free-handed the outline with the tablet using my reference image as I worked. I did ‘paint’ Sam in using the mouse, because even though the brushes are specifically made to be used with a tablet, I wanted to see if you could get good results with a mouse (and you can!)  I think these brushes will open up a whole new creative world for me and are perfect for everyone from the hobbyist painter to the professional illustrator. If you had any interest in illustration, I think these are an amazing asset to add to your art supply arsenal.


Realistic digital painterly effect brushes Gouache | Watercolor | Dry media (like pencils, chalk, crayons) | Mega Pack (a variety of digital art supplies to test)

Watch Kyle the maker of the brushes paint demo!

Wacom tablet entry level | intermediate level | pro level

Featured script font

Uncle Andy’s Cats

23 cats named Sam

Watercolor for designers (learned so much about shading in this easy to follow class)

Gouache for Illustrators class (nice to see gouache being demoed)

Free on-line life drawing classes

If you have any questions let us know in the comments!  Have you tried these brushes before?  Do you have any other recommendations?

P.S. You can get 3 months of Skillshare for .99 here. That’s plenty of time to take a TON of classes;)

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.

Retro-inspired script font

retro inspired script font via besotted blog

I am a huge script fan, but recently it seems I have seen a lot of the ‘same’ hand. My eyes were aching for something a little different when I stumbled across this lovely little font. A sweet (but not too sweet) monoline font, it has a nice retro feel and would be perfect for so many designs-a birth announcement (especially cute if the baby has one of those quaint retro-inspired name). I think the idea of making recipe cards or even a bookplate for a perennial favorite cookbook (like the ‘Joy of Cooking or Julia Child’s famous tome) would be perfect in this font. Lately, I have been studying a lot of scripts used in vintage Children’s books (loving Roger Duvoisin’s effortless hand) so you may see some more retro-inspired font goodness coming your way again soon!


Featured retro-inspired font

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.


bare minerals gel foundation review via besotted blog

For someone that never leaves their zipcode I sure do go through an awful lot of foundation.  I am kind of on an endless quest for a beautiful, light (but nice coverage) foundation that is easy to apply, doesn’t feel like I am wearing anything, is hydrating, has sunscreen and actually matches my skintone fairly flawlessly.  Is that way too much to ask?  I have hyper-pigmentation on my cheeks so I definitely want the coverage, but I honestly don’t feel like I have the time anymore to invest in concealer. The other day when I went to Sephora to pick up some of my favorite Laura Mercier mineral foundation I was sorely disappointed to see that it was no longer carried, since I only get to Sephora about once a year now, I seriously wanted to get something!  I went to the BareMinrals section and saw an interesting new product called BareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted hydrating gel (mouthful!), I was intrigued, was color matched and took it home.

I have been using it about a week now and I am totally in love with it! Yes, you can get buildable coverage, it’s super easy to apply even if you are trying to keep one eye on the mirror and the other on your toddler who insists on trying to do something dangerous while you are trying to not scare the neighborhood with a naked visage.It is a gel, so at first I thought it may be sticky but it dries super fast. The con here being a gel is there is a sheen, in my mind I thought ‘glow’ my husband asked what was wrong with my face, so I have been using the BareMinerals veil powder, it is feather light and I haven’t heard nary a comment from him since (that’s a good thing because he likes it when I ‘don’t wear any makeup’). The best part for me is it lasts ALL day, I can’t remember the last time I put on a foundation that lasted all day. I am duly impressed!  It’s worth a try, sunscreen is 30, and if you get it at Sephora they have an awesome return policy if it doesn’t work for you!

Have you found any great products lately?  Do share if you have!