Art Carts

What’s inside August Red’s Art Cart?

crop of sketch

Every month Mrs Red likes to bring exciting and different art supplies to the Art Carter’s doors. This month is no exception, pushing boundaries for some, including Mrs Red!

For the past year, every month, Mrs Red has done the accompanying art work for the Art Carts. This artwork is also filmed and uploaded to the Mrs Red’s art room YouTube channel for everyone to enjoy. However, this month was different, for two reasons. Firstly, I am not equipped to film myself drawing beyond my studio due to my camera set up and this month is all about drawing outside. Secondly, I have not done a lot of location sketching and like everything, the more you do it the better you become. So, I rapidly decided to have a feature artist for this month, which is something I have been intending on doing but haven’t got around to it.


For August, the theme for the Art cart is Urban Sketching. Have you heard of Urban Sketching before? It is actually an art movement which began in 2007, where groups of people would come together and sketch, on location, sketching what was happening right then, right now. Seattle based illustrator and journalist, Gabriel Campanario created an online forum, inviting others to draw the cities they live in, the cafes they adorn, the parks they sit and have lunch in. There was only one rule, the sketch had to take place on location, not by photo’s or memory. A year later Gabriel set up a blog called Urban Sketchers, where he invited people to upload their sketches so that we could all “see the world, one drawing at a time”.  This blog went crazy and by December 2009, Urban Sketches was incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Washington.

Fast track to today, there is a yearly event held in a different city of America, worldwide urban sketching workshops and on Facebook you will most likely find an Urban Sketching group in your closest city or town. But don’t let the social aspect of it stop you. If you are an Art Carter and received this cart or you simply want to give it a go, head outside with as little as a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch away!


Included in the August Art Cart is some basic needs for a bit of urban sketching. The main product of the cart is the beautiful A5 Winsor & Newton journal that has tracing paper interleaven between each piece of drawing paper. The idea behind this is so that when using soft materials such as charcoal and pastel, the rubbings will not move around so much, you can draw on both sides of one page and they also just keep the opposite page clean. Then there is a HB graphite pencil and a 2B woodless crayon pencil (for shading in larger areas) as well as a Faber-Castell kneadable eraser, which is great to rub off excess graphite or make highlights into your darker areas. And then there are 3 different sizes of paper stumps which help you blend graphite or colour, giving a smoother finish. I have also included two Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils so that there is a little bit of colour added to the cart and the best thing about these pencils is that they can be used to turn colour into a light wash as well. Finally, a simple sketching pen, the Artline 200, which does not bleed through but is not archival or waterproof, just keep that in mind.

After realizing that I was not able to provide the artwork for this cart I went in search of an Australian sketcher who could help me out. I came across the ever so talented Suzi Poland. She doesn’t do a great deal of urban sketching but what she has done has such an organic feel to it through loose lines and simply using a black marker pen in her sketch journal. You can follow Suzi at @suzipoland on Instagram or head to

All stock in this month’s Art Cart can be purchased through the Mrs Red’s art shop which is

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video below to see my very first, and a little wobbly, YouTube LIVE video. If you would like to subscribe to the Art Carts, then please follow the links on this website. PLUS, Mrs Red now holds an online art classes every month where the Art Cart subscribers can come together for an art class, show their work, discuss materials, ask questions and get advice on their work, all in the comfort of their own creative space at home!

Red’s Art Cart is perfect for hobby artists, people who live in rural areas, artists who need that push to just get moving on something and is a great way to hold accountability for your monthly creative time. You will also use products that you would not normally purchase and some Carts contain samples of products that normally have to be purchased in larger amounts. The feeling you get from sitting down and having a dabble is such a wonderful and healthy way to spend your down time. Give it a go!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart. This way we all get to see your wonderful urban sketches.

Happy sketching everyone!

Mrs Red

Art Carts

What’s inside MARCH Red’s Art Cart?

Koi close up

The best part about receiving this monthly art subscription is that you never know what is going to be inside. It’s like having a birthday every month of the year! The Cart is always stocked with professional art supplies, from all over the world and although the art example piece has always been done by myself, that will not always be the case.

Product image

March theme is around coloured pencils and the Derwent Colour Collection is the perfect way to sample different ranges from the Derwent brand. All the Art Carter’s received the tin of 12 pencils which includes 5 Coloursoft, 4 Studio, 1 Metallic, 1 Blender and 1 Burnisher pencil. But what I love the most about this tin of pencils is that it is a go anywhere kind of pack. There is an adequate colour range so very handy for travelling.

Also included is a Koi Aqua brush and the reason for including the aqua brush, apart from just being very handy to have, is that the metallic pencil is also a watercolour pencil! I have used every pencil in the tin for the drawing of the Koi fish.

Koi Fish

There is a Cretacolor coloured pencil sharpener which although feels different to use, it is designed to not allow too much of the coloured graphite to be exposed, which was hard to get used to. And finally, everyone received one of the 7 sample books from the Fabriano Boutique Paper Range. These are pocket size books with one of the 7 different grades of paper.

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see the Koi fish drawing taking place and if you want to subscribe to the Art Carts then please follow the links on this website. The contents of each month’s cart is a big secret that only my suppliers and myself know about. For you, it cuts out the decisions of what art materials to buy, finding the time to buy them and to explore products you would never select yourself. There is never anything wrong with having too many art supplies!

Finally, if you have purchased this cart, please please please show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart. This way we all get to see your beautiful artworks.

Happy drawing everyone!

Mrs Red

Creating art, Uncategorized

Learn how to draw a Tonal Scale


Tonal ScaleThis week I wanted to show you a quick exercise to try if you are about to draw something in pencil or about to sketch something up, like a painting for example.

A graphite tonal scale shows how heavy that grade of pencil can go following through to how light it can be used. In the YouTube video, I used a 2B which is a fairly standard weight. Ladies, if your own weight is somewhere between size 12-14, the next time you are asked what is your weight, just say 2B, merely to see the reaction!

Tone is a critical part of any drawing, painting or mixed media artwork. Why? Because without tone, your artwork will look flat and 2D. By doing a tonal scale in just one weight pencil for a graphite sketch, you can then check if your sketch includes all areas of that scale.

Artist: Norman Lindsay (1878-1969) Title: Study for Marriage Medium: Pencil on paper Image Size: 64.5 x 51.5 cm

Australian artist, Norman Lindsay (1878-1969), is a great example for tonal sketches. This continues in his pen sketches, etchings and also paintings. Imagine the lack of choice art supplies available around the turn of the 20th century yet the quality of the work of these artists is simply outstanding.

Enjoy watching this quick video of Mrs Red doing a tonal scale in 2B pencil and then have a go yourself. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper, too easy!

Creating art

9 ways to make time for art, every week.

Photo by Atilla Taskiran on Unsplash

Since I released the Red’s Art Cart in July 2017 some of my subscribers have said that in that month they haven’t found the time to open the box and play with the products. I am going to help you FIND time to do some art every week, regardless if you are a subscriber to the Art Carts or not.


Below is 9 ways to make ART time every week!

Set 30 minutes aside ONCE a week. This may be on your day off, get up 30 minutes earlier if you are an early riser like myself or if you are the opposite, a night owl, plan for 30 minutes in the evening after dinner and when kids have gone to bed. It’s 30 minutes in a WEEK, not a day. It has to be a full 30 minutes too, not broken into 10 minute sessions.

Set a monthly theme. Perhaps for the month of October, your theme is all about flowers (its spring time in Australia so there is an abundance). Set yourself a monthly goal of maybe 4 art projects related to flowers. Again, this is once a week and depending on your skills and your materials, these projects may take 10 minutes or a few hours. Breaking down 4 projects into 4 weeks becomes manageable though.

Photo by Victoria Bilsborough on Unsplash

Behave like a Master! Think about the Masters of the art world. The likes of Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet. I truly believe they became so darn amazing at what they did because back then in the late 1800’s they did not have the distractions that we have now. No television, no telephones, no fast cars to get you from A to B and the big one and you know where I am going with this… no online world to distract them from their profession! I hate to be blunt BUT replace 30 minutes (a week remember) by turning the TV off, put your phone down, stop scrolling through social media. Just 30 minutes, replace 30 minutes of most likely wasted screen time with art time. Social media will still be there half an hour later, I promise.

Join in on a challenge. Contradicting myself a little bit here, because this always seems to be a social media game but there are many #challenges you can join, particularly on Instagram. In the Red’s Art Cart, I include an Artist Trading Card (ATC) in every cart and the challenge if you wish, is to create a little artwork on that ATC and send it back to me and I then put it into someone else’s cart in the future. Joining a challenge also makes you accountable.

Work small. Big isn’t always better! Sometimes a big sketchbook or large canvas can just seem overwhelming. An A6 sketchbook, ATC, or postcard size canvas – all these make a little artwork more achievable and then you feel like you have achieved.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Art is the best therapy! Studies have revealed that people who doodle on a constant basis are at less risk of losing their mind, as in dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s not hard to understand that a simple little creative session does sooth the mind, relaxes you and if it is going to help your mind stay strong and healthy in your golden years then what other reason do you want!

Take a course. This could be one in your local community or online based. It is hard to know the good from the bad and not all art teachers are on the same wave length as yourself but my advice is to start a course that is in your budget and find out from that if you are getting value for money.


Purchase an Art Cart! The best thing about Red’s Art Cart is that you can create something from the contents solely from that cart. Most carts even include paper. They arrive on your door and you don’t know what is inside until you open the box and then you can watch Mrs Red on YouTube creating an artwork with the materials from that cart, to give you a little more inspiration.


Create a studio space. There is nothing worse, when you have to wipe down the kitchen table of leftover food so that you don’t get grease stains on your paper. And then you have to pack your artwork up because it’s time for dinner! Create a nook, something that invites you to sit down to be creative. Those small square card tables are perfect as a starting point.

Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

In summary, if you can adapt just one of these 9 ways to find more ART time, then you are on your way! Let me know how you go and if you have any other ideas, please share with us all by commenting below.


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