Art Carts

What’s inside MAY Red’s Art Cart?

VaseFlowers banner

Ever heard an artist say, “once you have painted with oils, you will never go back”. I heard it time and time again and when the timing was right I bought a few cheap oils to have a go and never looked back! I began buying good quality oils and brushes and had a love affair with oil painting for the next 4 years!

The MAY Red’s Art Cart is themed around water mixable oil paints and not having picked up a brush and done an oil painting for well over 5 years now, I frighteningly absolutely LOVED putting this Cart together! So much so I began looking at upcoming exhibitions and, in my mind, have already painted a large Still Life of teacups and cakes. There is just something about oils, the butter like consistency, the texture they give, the way you can take a break and not have your work dry on you and also the smell they give off along with the turps.


There are a handful of paint brands who are producing water mixable oils and included in the Art Cart this month is the Daler-Rowney Georgian water mixable oil paints. I chose to go with the 3 primary colours and a white so that the Art Carter’s can mix a rainbow of new colours. The Georgian brand is a perfect price for entry level oil paints. And I have to admit, apart from if you stick the tube right under your nose, there is no odor at all. When cleaning, you wash your brushes in a bucket of soapy water, however I didn’t feel this was enough. A brush cleaner would help as well. I didn’t try it, but I would be inclined in future to still use turps on final clean up. The brushes still felt oily after soapy water and when I wiped brushes on paper towel I got paint residue.

VaseFlowers lr

Also featured in the May Red’s Art Cart is a 6”x6” stretched canvas. These are fairly new to my supplier and a nice quality canvas for a nice price. You can purchase different sizes through Mrs Red by simply emailing the size you would like. Brushes by the supplier have also been added to the cart along with quite a handy palette. This palette folds into itself, making it quite compact for travel and although it served the purpose for the Cart I would be more inclined to use a traditional oil palette as it wasn’t easy to clean. It is made of stong thin plastic so for oil paints it really needs to be seen as a throw away palette.

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see the Vase of Flowers painting coming together and if you want to subscribe to the Art Carts then please follow the links on this website. PLUS, Mrs Red now holds two online art classes per 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 beautiful oil paintings.

Happy painting everyone!

Mrs Red

Art Carts

What’s inside FEBRUARY Red’s Art Cart?

Feb close up

And just like that, the first month of the new year is gone and we are well into February! We have gone for a paint/mixed media theme this month and one thing I can tell you, there will be more ‘sample pots’ to come!

Atelier Free Flow acrylics came onto the market approximately 2013 and has changed the way acrylic paint can be applied! Personally, I had to have my arm twisted to give it a go and also sell it in my then art shop, on the Gold Coast. Good job I caved because this paint can do so much more than be applied to a canvas! This is however, not a liquid acrylic as it is way too thick for that, however it can be mixed with pouring mediums, dispensed into squeezy bottles and even with a little extra water, into an aqua brush for a more water like consistency. The surface dries with a velvety matte finish and dense colour. It’s spreadability is that of gouache and water colour and with 36 colours available in different Series, the colour palette options are limitless!

The Liquitex Glass Beads which has been included in a 40ml sample pot would usually come in a 237ml tub. The Glass Beads are one of many painting mediums in the Liquitex range and can be applied over the top of dry paint and mix it into acrylic paint. I did a lot of experiments with the glass beads, both with the Free Flow and with heavy body acrylics and the examples of these experiments are shown in the ‘What’s Inside’ video, attached below. Check it out as I will save you time (and beads)!


It was exciting to be able to feature a sample pot of a medium and now that I know this is completely do-able, I will make up more pots of different mediums for the online art shop and in the Art Carts.

As always, make sure you check out the YouTube video’s below to see the still life jug artwork being created 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 show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart.

I look forward to seeing what everyone creates with the Free Flow and Glass Beads!

Mrs Red


What’s inside NOVEMBER Art Cart?


Is it true? Is the second last month of the year here already? I personally feel I have already missed out on the opportunity to create more for Christmas because it’s now only 7 weeks away. The response to the Art Carts has been fantastic and keeping me very busy. Another STUDENT Art Cart will be released next month as well, which all needs to be filmed creating the artworks etc – such a hard life I have!


The theme I chose for November was Gouache paints. It might be best to do a future post on what the paint is and can do but for now a brief description is that it sits between a watercolour and an acrylic paint. It is designed to be used as an opaque method of painting. Back in the day when I was a 20-year-old art student, wearing only black jeans, some un-ironed sloppy t-shirt, long ratty hair and my cherry red Docs, Gouache paint was our medium of choice. This was before computers were a household item and we had the subject once a week, on a Tuesday morning I believe. I studied Graphic Design and all our finished art pieces were drawn or painted and gouache was the paint we used. The smell of gouache still reminds me of those student times, the good old days!

I haven’t used the Maimeri brand of gouache before however because it came as a primary colour pack, it was a great option. It is an Italian brand and was probably a little softer from the tube than the Winsor & Newton gouache I have always used. The palette is perfect for this gouache set, brushes come in three different nib sizes for all your little painting needs and then of course the gorgeous little swede feel art journal! Gouache is not intended to be used in a large way so this compact little kit if perfect for the paint.

At time of this post my family and I are actually away at the Noosa Triathlon and this little kit amongst some other art supplies is what is coming with me.

Take a look at the YouTube video’s below to see the products in action and if you want to subscribe to the Art Carts then please follow the links on the website. The contents of each months cart is a big secret that only my suppliers and myself know about. For you, is 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 show us your artworks via Instagram or the Facebook page which is mentioned on your information card inside your cart.

I look forward to seeing gouache paints take over November!

Mrs Red


Should I use black paint for shadows?

When it comes to painting, no matter what your subject is, you need to take note of the area’s that are in full light and in shadow and choose your palette around these factors. The lighting in a painting is just as important as the composition.


Photo by Jeremy Bishop, Bali, Indonesia – Unsplash

Take a look at the image above and look closely at the area’s that are in shadow. There are a lot of them, it is a very busy photo but what you will notice is that the shadows are just darker hues of the colours already there. Now look at the area’s that the sunlight is hitting. Again, they become a lighter hue of the existing colour. This photo has been taken when the sun is high and the light is at its best. Let’s take a look at a photo taken when the sun is just rising.


Photo by Joshua Sortino, Big Sur, USA – Unsplash

Now take a look at the areas that are in shadow. The light is poor therefor the only way you can get depth and contrast when painting an image lit with poor light is by using black in your mix of paint.

In summary of the photos above, light is a main factor when it comes to choosing how dark shadows should be painted.


Let’s now explore how YOU can darken a colour, without any black paint in sight. I have painted the colour wheel using only the three primary colours and then added more colour to create the darkest hue possible for red and blue.


Colour wheel

We will start by having a look at the basic colour wheel.

Primary colours are RED, BLUE, YELLOW. Why are they called the primary colours? Because you cannot make these colours by mixing other colours together.

Secondary colours are PURPLE, ORANGE, GREEN. These colours are made by mixing two primary colours together.

Complimentary colours are the opposite colours facing each other on the colour wheel. RED & GREEN, BLUE & ORANGE, YELLOW & PURPLE.

Cool colours are BLUE, GREEN, PURPLE.

Warm colours are RED, ORANGE, YELLOW.

To darken a WARM colour, it is best to use a COOL. It does not have to be its complimentary colour.

Red dark hues
Green has been added to get a darker colour.

To darken a COOL colour you have to use another COOL colour.

Blue dark hues
Purple has been added to get a darker colour.


Compare the Pear

Black Shadow Pear

Here are two pears I have painted. Pear A has no black in it, the shadows have been created by darkening and mixing colours and it was very easy for colours to blend, mix and sit beside each other, using this process. Pear B uses only black to make shadows. Black is such a dominant colour and I have only used the tiniest amount and it was very hard to try and blend the shadow area in. I don’t think I did a very good job of it at all, I felt scared I was going to ruin the painting and therefore it is definitely the worse of the two.

Click here to watch the colour wheel and Compare the Pear video on YouTube.

It just so happened that I wrote this article after days of wet and overcast weather and looking outside trying to look at shadows was not easy because of the dull light. It’s your turn now, have a look at natural light casting shadows on objects and see what colour the shadows are. Why not have a go at Compare the Pear and see which way feels more comfortable, using colour to paint shadows or using black. You don’t have to paint a pear, a simple rock or ball will do but I do recommend you use more than one colour in your paintings.

Also worth noting, I painted the colour wheel and pears with Gouache paint, mainly because it is always close by however this article relates to all paint varieties, from water colour through to oils.

And finally, if you do give this exercise a go, please #mrsredsartroom so I can see your results as well.

Happy painting!

Mrs Red






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.

art classes gold coast, Uncategorized, Wine and art Gold Coast

Wine & Untangle – Sept/Oct!


Please come and join me for Wine & Untangle, now being held at the Burleigh Heads Surf Club! Book online via the Wine & Untangle tab on the Mrs Red website.

Cannot wait as the atmosphere will be wonderful!


All new…Wine & Untangle! Take a look!!


Wine & Untangle has changed! We now have two different painting events to choose from. You can chill out with a ‘watercolour’ session or party all night long with a ‘acrylics’ session. Book in before we book out!