Danita - Fluffy bunny, mixed media artist & art doll maker.

Coloring with Frida!

A Frida Kahlo inspired coloring book page, created by international mixed media artist and doll maker Danita Art

Hi there!

Lately my family and me have started collecting coloring books. We find pulling our crayolas and colored pencils while we fill in one of the book pages with colors very relaxing and a great family activity to bond with the kids.

In the beginning I was a little reluctant to color in them. After all, my artist's soul was not very comfortable with the fact that someone else was going to dictate what I created, that I had to conform to following the lines and that my end product was not really mine.

But then I started after I saw my daughter totally absorbed with one of her books and I joined in. Picking up the crayolas and smelling them brought me back to my childhood days, I felt happy, relaxed and ended up having a great afternoon bonding with her.

The next day my son joined us for another session with color pencils, and he had a blast! Seeing him put color on every frame, concentrated on choosing the perfect hue free of any inhibition that held him back made me realize that it's still a very creative activity, and a very meditative one too.

You just start moving the pencil to fill an area and every other thought goes away, and then you finish the space, contemplate for a moment the next color to use and then move on. Now I understand why the like doing it so much.

So, I decided to give creating coloring pages a go. I took a marker and started doodling on a piece of paper, with no particular intention on mind, just like I usually do when I want to warm up for painting, and Frida appeared. and then another, and another and another until I filled the page.

Now it's yours to color! Want to give it try? Just click on the image and save it to your computer. It's free to use and share as many times as you want as long as you don't modify it or try to gain any profit from it.

Enjoy! And remember to share with me what you did on My Facebook Page and on instagram with #coloringwithdanita

 

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New art dolls come to life!

It had been some time since I made dolls, my art exhibition had me very busy painting and then summer vacation and looking after my kids came along, so I go on a pause during the summer months.

But then the urge to create is very strong, and I really can't stay too long without creating so once I got back from my mother's place I cleared my work table and started creating.

Fresh from the fairy tale theme, I created two beautiful dolls, Alice and Red riding Hood, along with a Frida doll and two more girls.

Little Red riding hood is a handmade art doll created by the fantastic and talented hands of Danita

Little red riding hood is another doll part of my obsession with this beautiful fairy tale. I did a couple of paintings for my latest art exhibition, and then I set to make a doll with her as well, being one of my favorite fairy tales, she turned out really beautiful.

Maggie, a paper clay and fabric art doll created by Danita Art

Maggie is a girl that loves reading, and will be incredibly happy if she could live on a library for the rest of her life.

Every doll I create is unique and inspired by true events and emotions in my life. Take her for instance, inspired by my daughter's love for books, and how much she enjoys visiting a library, getting lost on her own world when she picks up a book to read.

She is wearing a black and white outfit with a black choker necklace and lace sleeves In her dress.

Paola is a country girl with beautiful green eyes and a long mane of black hair, who love to take long walks in the meadow and talk to her animal friends.

She is wearing a handmade simple dress with blue and green colored patterns, red striped sleeves and a red rose in her hair.

Her hand sculpted face is made with paper clay, with the most beautiful green eyes in a sweet, sweet face to gaze upon. Everything is soft and sweet in her, she will be the perfect companion for that sweet soul in your life.

Frida Kahlo comes to life on this interpretation of a powerful icon by Danita Art, An Art Doll created with Paper Clay, Fabric and hand poured ceramics.

This is another of my very special, hand sculpted, handmade fabric Frida Dolls by Danita. This time, my favorite muse has a very beautiful pouty mouth, the loveliest melancholic eyes and a very colorful dress.

Her face is sculpted with paper clay to give her my famous sad eyes, big and full of expression. All you will want to do is cuddle her in your arms when you see her little face!

Alice in wonderland tumbles once again down the rabbit hole on this beautiful handmade art doll created by the talented hands of Danita Art

Alice in Wonderland is another of my most favorite stories in the whole world. The nonsensical world she lives in, and the colorful and lovely characters she interacts with on the books make up for a rich and beautiful landscape for stories to unfold while I play this doll.

Yes! I play with all the dolls I make! The need to create and bring my creations to life make me create these beautiful dolls that come to like with their handmade clothes, hand sculpted hands and faces and the most beautiful eyes that have a soul within them.

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Among princesses and wolves

On June 8th, 2016, I had the honor to have my second solo exhibit at Gameros Manor, in my hometown, Chihuahua, Mexico.

The museum I showed is a beautiful Art Noveau mansion built in 1910 that now serves as the regional art museum of Chihuahua.

I was lucky enough to show my art on one of the main rooms in the second floor, just in front of impressive stairs and a massive stained window, and I felt just like the high society ladies that lived there during the times of the Mexican revolution, with fluffy dresses and elegant jewelry.

This exhibit was called "Among wolves and princesses", I got inspired by the original fairy tale stories from the Grimm brothers and many others.

I did extensive research and I learned a lot about the original stories, which have a much darker tone that the sugar coated versions that have been passed to us over time, and god forbid, the saccharine Disney versions.

I also had the opportunity to work on large format paintings, something I don't do very often, but it was super fun letting my darker side lurk around in the canvas, with new interpretations of the fairy tales I had read since I was a child.

Opening night came and I got to give a short and emotional speech that made me shed emotional tears, I was very happy to see all my family and friends gathered for such an special occasion.

My parents helped cut the ribbon for the official opening and everyone came in to enjoy my art... I was so nervous because I did not know how many people was going to attend outside my friends and what were they going to think.

It turned out to be a packed night! There was lots and lots of people and a queue formed outside to let people trough, and everyone was taking selfies with my paintings and me... It's such an unusual experience having complete strangers asking to get a picture with you!

My super sister decorated the pace and turned the food table into a little handmade forest with cupcakes, candy and moody lighting and decorations, she made sure everyone had an amazing experience there.

I really had a wonderful time, and I treasure the memories I made, the friends I met and the comments I got about my work. It really made me feel proud of being an artist and doing my part to make the world a better place.

The paintings will return to me soon and I will share the ones that have not been sold at the museum in case you are interested, they are a twist of my usual work with moodier colors and more mature themes, but I am sure you are going to love them.

Just take a look at the main piece, sleeping beauty, and you will know what I mean,  bound by thorns, naked and vulnerable as she holds a rose in her hands, but her body hides a secret that only once you look you understand.

I'll let you know when they are back and prints and the originals are available for you to enjoy.

Many special thanks to my friend Marcela for getting me the show, and to the University of Chihuahua for providing the venue for my second show.

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Art Doll Tutorial

I've been using acrylics to paint my dolls for a long time and I love them for covering the entire surface. But when I want to make a soft doll I want a paint that stays soft as well. That's when I discovered DecoArt SoSoft Fabric Paint.  It's permanent, washable and really, so soft.  So I thought I'd give it a try and see how well it worked. I also used some other products like Photo transfer medium and some stencils.  Want to see the process and learn to make your own? Just follow these easy steps:
 
1. First, gather your materials.  You'll need:
2.  Laser print or photocopy the face you're using and trim it.  Using the Decoupage Transfer Medium apply a layer to the muslin and other to the printed paper. Place image face down to the fabric and apply another layer on top making sure to smooth it out, working from the center to the sides. Remove excess medium with a damp cloth. Let it dry.
 
3. When It's completely dry, apply water and let it soak a bit. Slowly remove the paper with your fingers, rubbing the paper until it comes off.
4.  Your fabric will be wet when you're done removing the paper. You can let it air dry meanwhile you work on the body.   I started by applying Yellow Ochre to the muslin with a stencil.
5. Then I mixed some Blue and Green to make a beautiful Aqua and use the same stencil in a different position. I also use some deep brown and red.
6. Then I used another stencil and used it in the center of what would be my doll's dress and painted around the head with the aqua color I just mixed.
 
7. Then I painted the face using yellow for her hair, aqua for the eyes and some red mixed with white for the cheeks and lips.
8.  When everything was dry I sew freely around the doll's head and the body of the doll, attaching them together. 
9. Then I used my writer to add more details. 
10.  Use a piece of fabric as the back of the doll and add a thin layer of cotton batting and the doll's front. 
11. Sew around everything and cut the excess.
12. Your doll is ready! You can further embellish it with some buttons or ribbons.  You can use your kid's or grand kids faces to make them personalized dolls. It's so much fun!
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New paintings for my art class!

I have been very busy lately getting the last details of my online watercolor class ready to start on June 6th. I created a lot of paintings to teach you different watercolor techniques and styles and now I am ready to show you the paintings I used on the class. This time, everything is centered in Frida, one of my inspirations and one of the subjects I love to paint every time I have a chance, and working with this class was a lot of fun!

If you were on the fence about enrolling to the class because you were not sure what you could learn, keep scrolling! I’m sure that after you see all the paintings I made, you will sign up right away! ?

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
12 x 9 Inches

Frida is another very strong influence in my artistic life, and I never miss a chance to paint her whenever inspiration strikes me to channel her strong ways into my paintings. Now that I am into watercolors a lot, I decided it was time for yet another Frida portrait.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

 
Watercolor on unmounted paper
12 x 9 Inches

This is one of the times when I just wanted to see what I could do with the least amount of paint, and I tried to paint with water first, then saturate it with paint and see what happened.

The result is a beautiful and dreamy watercolor painting on paper by me, Danita.

I love the free flowing lines of this painting, and how I created an expressive face with very little brushstrokes.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
6 x 8 Inches

This is a very dreamy portrait of my favorite artist, Frida, painted by me, Danita.

She is holding her burning heart in her hands and she is dressed in a blue dress on this watercolor painting. Instead of using very sharp and defined lines like other watercolors I have painted, I went for a washed down look and the result is a very surreal, ghostly image.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
6 x 8 Inches

While I was preparing paintings for my online class “In love with Frida: A watercolor affair” I played with a lot of color and shapes to teach my students how magical watercolor paintings are.

I had a lot of fun with this painting, free flowing brushstrokes where color and shape are more important than details made a dreamy portrait of Frida by me, Danita.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
8 x 8 Inches

This is one of the kind of paintings I create just for the joy of painting. I did not know where I was going with this, and then suddenly from all the colors, a flower vase and Frida appeared.

All I did was follow the will of the watercolor, and I’m so happy I did, because the painting that came from it really makes me smile with it’s simple color palette and bright looks.

She will look perfect on your favorite frame, looking at you hanging from your favorite wall.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Pies, para que los quiero?

Watercolor on unmounted paper

9 x 12 Inches

If there is someone who could overcome pain and turn it into art, is my favorite artist: Frida.

I love painting her on my own style, because I admire her spirit and resolution to make the best of circumstances, no matter how difficult or hard.

You will find her a lot of times visiting Danita Land, where we can be together, paint and love.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
6 x 8 Inches

I have been practicing a lot for my upcoming online class, “In love with Frida: A Watercolor Affair” and I created a lot of watercolor paintings while I filmed the class.

Now, you can enjoy this beautiful watercolor with Frida in delicate hues of red and blue, flowers in her head and an intricate textured dress.

She will look beautiful when you place it on a frame, or maybe just propping her on your favorite shelf, looking after you with her sweet face.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

Watercolor on unmounted paper
7 x 10 Inches

I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return.

This painting came after darkness loomed over me, and I felt the awful dread and despair that deep depression paint into my life.

Even tough she is Frida, she is also me. After all, every artist paints itself.

File May 07, 4 55 30 PM

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Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections Review


And now the review of my favorites of all: Watercolor Confections.
 Prima Marketing Watercolor
They come in 3 different sets and it's so hard to choose a favorite. First, the Classics, which would be my weapon of choice if I had to pick between the three of them. 
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
The tropicals are so pretty too, and they have my favorite color: Turquoise.  The pans are numbered instead of having names and they run from 1 to 36, with 12 on each set.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
And the third set is the Decadent Pies.  Perfect for when you need more subtle colors and shimmer.
I'm going to be testing all the products in the Prima Watercolor paper and using the Watercolor brushes.  Whenever I get a new set of watercolor paintings I do the same thing: I unpack them slowly, like they were chocolate and enjoy each of the colors as if I was eating a new different flavor with each one.
My favorite thing about these sets are the packaging.  I love watercolor pans more than tubes because they're so much easier to carry around, specially since I usually work small, so the small palette and the small pans don't bother me at all.   The metal tin is sturdy and it reminds me of the Shmincke Watercolor sets, which are very expensive.  I think just because of the tin they're totally worth it.
I also love the fact that it has a ring so you can use it as a palette in your hand without the need to put it in a flat surface.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
So first I take out the part in which the pans are inserted and take the pans out.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
I remove all the colors and unwrap them. I write the number with a permanent marker on the plastic pan and position them in place again.  Some people find unpractical this kind of palette because the pans move around if you don't place them correctly.  This is very easily fixed.  Just push the tabs inwards and then reinsert the pan.  If it still moves take it out and push it more until it locks firmly in place.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
I take a piece of watercolor paper, write the names or numbers in the same order that they are going to be placed in the palette and make a swatch of each color.
I also love the fact that it has a ring so you can use it as a palette in your hand without the need to put it in a flat surface.  Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
I started with the classics.  I apply more pigment to one side of the swatch and then add water and make it run to see its transparency.  These colors are very highly saturated, they almost look like gouache so you can play with both and I bet they will last for a loooooong time.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections the classics
Then it was the turn of the Tropicals.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections the tropicals
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections the tropicals
And the Decadent Pies. Can you see the shimmer?
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections Decadent Pies.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections Decadent Pies
Of course I couldn't stop there. I had to make something with them. I took one of the Watercolor Pencils and quickly sketched a girl.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils
And as usual... I got so engaged in the process that I forgot to take pics of the process between the sketch and the girl!  By the time I remembered I was already in this step.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections decadent pies
I added a few more details and this was the result.
Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections
Can you see the shimmer?
I'm really in love with these watercolors!  So in love in fact that that I decided to give them to my students in my upcoming workshop. I picked "The classics" as the set that will be included when you sign up for the class. 
Yes! You're going to get a brand new set of watercolors that you can take anywhere with you anywhere, a refillable watercolor brush and a small watercolor pad that will help you make your swatches and favorite color combinations.  This gift will be available only to the first 50 students that join the online workshop. So hurry up and join me learning and playing with watercolors in "In Love with Frida: A Watercolor Affair"
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New jewelry available on my store!

I have been occupied with a lot of projects lately, and they are  taking a good deal of time and energy from me, but that does not mean that I cannot get creative and work on some fun stuff like making jewelry for a bit, you can see the results of my impromptu jewelry making session on my store, under the handmade jewelry section.

I find the process very therapeutic and I get to create many beautiful works of original work in the process.... Because art is not just for walls.

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Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils Review

prima watercolor pencils
The second product I got for review is the Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils.
They come in 6 sets of 12 pencils.  I got the Earth Tones, Hair and Skin Tones and the Basics.  After making a quick search on google for an official color chart I think I'll have to get the Scenic Route too... Those colors are my faves!
prima watercolor pencils
When you open the boxes they look like this.
prima watercolor pencils
I like the fact that they have the color on top, it's easier to spot them when you're using them. I've used other brands and they all look the same and you have to be checking the name or the point and that sometimes can be a pain.
prima watercolor pencils
The first that I tried out is the Classics set. 
They're pretty intense when dry and the colors are beautiful.
prima watercolor pencils
But again, it's when you add the water when the magic happens.
prima watercolor pencils
And the more water you add the more they dissolve and spread out.
prima watercolor pencils
The earth tones are a little bit less soluble than the classics, and when they were wet were so much stronger than when they dried (typical in watercolors). But I didn't see as much change in the classics in vibrance.  Maybe because they are more vibrant?
Here's the scanned swatches. They're as closed as the original as possible, but you know how things look different in different monitors?
prima watercolor pencils
prima watercolor pencils
And here are the Hair and Skin Tones. 
prima watercolor pencils
I like this set because it has a variety of colors to make any skin color you'd like and you can make them as saturated or as light as you'd like by just adding less or more water.
prima watercolor pencils
I used them to sketch a girl on the watercolor paper before painting it to have a foundation on which to paint my girl without the harsh lines of the pencil to show through.  You can also use them before the acrylic on your canvas and they will blend beautifully.
Using watercolor pencils to sketch a girl before painting it by Danita

Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils

Click on your favorite Prima Marketing Watercolor Pencils to get them delivered to you by Amazon.com

Pros: Easy to use, the tin package can be used as a blending palette, beautiful colors, last a long time, easy to transport.
Cons: Have numbers instead of names (I wish they have both), You get repeated colors if you get all sets (which can also be a pro if you use those colors a lot), a bit of color shift when dry, don't specify lightfastness.
Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation
In conclusion, I think they will be great in my mixed media projects, specially for outlining before painting with watercolors or acrylics.  I will definitely go and get the Scenic Route set!

 

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Thank you for adopting Frida!

Early this week I gave you a preview of my next Frida doll, it was a very simple pic of my work in progress, but you loved her! As soon as I posted her online, I got lots and lots of requests to adopt her.... Thank you!
She just had her formal photo shoot, and she looks even more pretty than on my original pics. She is very happy to know she was so loved, and blushed a lot when I told her about all the adoption requests she had.
I will be making more dolls for all of you who are interested in one original Danita art doll just for yourself, and if you really want to adopt one, I will be open for doll commissions very soon. Just send me an email to danita@danitaart.com for more information.
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Prima Marketing Watercolor Products. Watersoluble Oil Pastels Review

The other day I was thinking about sharing reviews of many of my art supplies with you, specially the watercolor ones because I usually go through a process every time that I get new stuff which consists on taking everything out and make color swatches on a journal.
I like to do that, specially with watercolor products because they tend to look very differently in the palette than they do on paper and it's super useful to have that info on hand and try them out so you can make better and informed choices when you are going to make an art piece.
Also because there are so many products out there is so hard to choose which ones to get and how and when to use them.
I think the guys at Prima Marketing were reading my mind because I got an email from a very kind lady (that's you Sharon!), asking me if I'd like to get some samples of their new watercolor line for me to try out.  And of course I said yes!  I had seen the products at the CHA show but I didn't have the chance to play with them. 

 

When the products arrived I was super excited.  They sent me Watersoluble Oil Pastels, Watercolor pencils, Watercolor pan sets, Watercolor Brush pens, watercolor pads and canvas. I also got a Mixed Media Essentials set and some brushes.  It felt like Christmas!  

I immediately started unpacking everything.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels
Prima watercolor pencils
Prima marketing watercolor brushes
Prima marketing watercolor paper
Prima marketing watercolor confections
primal gels
The product that first got my attention was the Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
What?  Water Soluble Oils? Yes. That was exactly my reaction.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
This set contains 24 yummy colors.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I took one of the Watercolor pads and the brush pens and got to work. I had to try them out.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
The colors, as I said, are yummy.  The consistency is very creamy and they're very saturated.  They're very easy to apply, they have a buttery consistency.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I loved them even before I added water.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
But when you add water the magic begins.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
And you can also blend them directly on the paper and just add water.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I think they can also be used as watercolor pans, taking the pigment right out of the crayon and paint with it. But applying them to the paper is so nice I wouldn't like to miss that sensation.
Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
There are some colors that are easier to dissolve than others, but it only adds to the charm.  I think I'll have to stay a little bit late today to keep playing with them.
prima watersoluble oil pastels
One word of caution. These contain oil, so you have to use a thick and resistant watercolor paper or they will bleed.
I used the Prima Watercolor Paper which I'm guessing is 90 lb. and it bled right through it.  When I used them on a 140 lb paper they did not bleed. I didn't have that problem with any other of the products so I'm assuming this happened because they are oil pastels.
back of the paper bleeding
So, if you're using a paper pad it will be best for you to remove the sheet of watercolor paper from the pad when you work so the next page won't get stained.
Scanned water soluble oil pastels by prima
Here's my color chart after it dried. I scanned to look as close as possible to the original.
 
Prima Marketing Water Soluble Oil Pastels Box

Pros
Highly pigmented, easy to apply, smooth consistency, easy to blend, very affordable, a little bit goes a long way, portable.
Cons
I can't find info about their lightfastness. As much as my kids begged me to let them play with them, they have a warning saying they're not for kids under 14, which may or may not be an issue for you if you're keeping them all to yourself (like I am!).
(Lightfastness is a property of a pigment or paint that describes how resistant to fading it is when exposed to light. Light striking a painted surface can alter or break the chemical bonds of the pigment, causing the colors to bleach or change, in a process known as photodegradation.)
In conclusion...  I love them! I would definitely be using them a lot on my art journal and personal pieces as soon as I find out how lightfast they are.
And if they're are they will definitely be part of my art pieces for sale!
I'll be reviewing the rest of the watercolor sets in the future. Stay tuned!
Purchase them here:
Purchased the Prima Water Soluble Oil Pastels reviewed by Danita Art at Amazon.com
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