Thursday, August 18, 2016

24 Epic Art Journaling Playdates: I'm teaching with 21 Secrets!

Join Martice in 21 Secrets! Her workshop is called 'Metallic Mandalas + Expressive Journaling'
Scene from one of my videos in 21 Secrets.My workshop is called 'Metallic Mandalas + Expressive Journaling'

A few months ago, Connie, from Dirty Footprints Studio, invited me to be one of the teachers for her annual, collaborative workshop called 21 Secrets.

She's one of the biggest sweetheart ladies I know. She kinda reminds me of you: a generous, caring soul who gifts hugs like there's no tomorrow + likes to get wild, smooshing thick acrylic paints around in her art journals with her fingers. 

Our workshop theme is COLOR!  

Obviously, my answer to her invitation was, YEESSSS!!!

If you've seen my work, you'll see just how much I like adore color. Trust me, chica...I'm a lost case when it comes to slangin' color around. There - another secret, out.

::looks away, innocently::

Hey! Lookie here...

Martice Smith is a teacher in 21 Secrets!

I know how much you LOVE sneak peeks, so, here ya go!

Sneak peek into Martice Smith's workshop: 'Metallic Mandalas + Expressive Journaling'

Sneak peek into Martice Smith's workshop: 'Metallic Mandalas + Expressive Journaling'

Just imagine:
  • Creating journal page after journal page, armed with the confidence + skill to create the art of your most colorful dreams
  • Kicking 'blank page' overwhelm to the curb + learning how to explore + document inspiration, like a pro
  • Basking in the sense of accomplishment you feel after finishing a journal spread, worthy of sharing with your family...even friends online!

This could be your new reality, once you dive into...

21 Secrets Fall 2016 with Martice Smith II JOIN US HERE:

I had a blast making + filming this workshop for you!
There are 4 videos in my workshop BUT there's so much more! If you decide to join us, you'll receive 23 additional workshops on all things COLOR!

My goodness!
24 different teachers pouring out their hearts onto colorful palettes + sharing mixed media techniques to enhance your art journaling experience. 

There's a sale happenin' right now!*

21 Secrets Fall 2016 with Martice Smith II JOIN US HERE:

Use this code at checkout to save $10: COLOR 
(Remember, this code is good from Aug 17th - 19th.)

The regular price of the workshop is a super steal - it's ONLY $98 (USD) YES! For the entire workshop!

A downloadable PDF will be sent to all participants on Monday, September 26th.
  • Pick and choose which workshop to start with first
  • It's all self-paced, no deadlines!
  • There's a private Facebook community waiting to 'oooh + ahhh' all over your precious creations

Wanna know who the other 23 teachers are + what their workshops are about?

*When you click over to 21 SECRETS from a link at my site, you are using an affiliate code. That just means I receive support from your purchase, at no extra cost to you, should you choose to join us. Your support means the world to me + it helps me create more of the classes you LOVE.
Thank you, from my heart to yours.

Showering you with confetti,
COLOR, take me awayyy...... 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DecoArt Under the Sea Challenge!

Hi everyone!
DecoArt has a really cool challenge going on + I don't want you to miss out. There will be prizes! Yayy!

Challenge theme:

The Mixed Media Design Team has been very busy creating some great inspiration pieces that are being featuring throughout the challenge. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

The challenge opened for entries on July 11th + it closes on Friday, August 12th.

The winner of this challenge will be chosen by the DecoArt Media Design Team on August 15th and announced on DecoArt's social media channels August 19th.

The winner will receive a $100 DecoArt Gift Card for use in the DecoArt online store. Multiple entries are welcomed!

Enter your awesome projects right HERE:

Marine life makes my heart skip with joy because it's bursting with natural wonder! Seahorses - so I knew I wanted to create a project featuring one + of course a hand lettered quote.

DecoArt Americana® Decor Stencils:
  • Quatrefoil
  • Dandelion
DecoArt Media® Fluid Acrylics: 
  • Diarylide Yellow
  • Phthalo Turquoise
  • Phthalo Green-Yellow
  • Quinacridone Gold
  • Translucent White

DecoArt Media® Specialty Products:
Matte Medium

Texture Sand Paste
Metallic Lustre (Gold Rush + Blue)

Other Supplies:
transfer paper (black)
angled + round paint brushes
watercolor paper
palette knife
scissors / craft knife
jar of water + paper towels


NOTE: Let dry completely between painting steps.

Creating the Seahorses
Step 1:: Draw image of seahorse on watercolor paper

I slide a piece of black carbon paper under my drawing to transfer it onto watercolor paper.

Step 2:: Cut out two seahorses

I cut around the seahorse with a larger pair of scissors, then, with a sharp craft knife, I cut out those pesky little corners + squiggly shapes that frame the seahorse.

Step 3:: Brush on Texture Sand Paste

Let's bring this little guy to life! Grab some texture sand paste + three fluid acrylics. 

Fluid acrylics are super saturated - which I LOVELiterally, just TWO drops of each color was more than enough to paint the entire seahorse.

Squeeze out Quin. Gold, Phthalo Turquoise, Diarylide Yellow onto a painting palette. These colors will be watered down, painted in layers + will give our seahorse a nice, warm color.

Brush on a thin layers of texture sand paste to build dimension + texture on the seahorse. (I found that using an angled paint brush was helpful in pushing the medium into smaller areas.)

Step 4:: Paint seahorses
While the texture sand paste is still wet, use a soft paint brush to apply watered down Quin. Gold. Notice that the edges are darker (less diluted) than the middle of the seahorse's body.

Next up is Diarylide Yellow! Such a bright, intense color. I think it makes a perfect flesh tone.

Ooops! Obviously, I was a lil' bit impatient...see how Phthalo Turquoise looks green?? Well, that's because some areas on the seahorse were still damp.  ::sigh::

No worries! This actually looks more realistic than flat layers of color, don't ya think?

Step 5:: Apply highlights with Metallic Lustres!

Oh, the things I could say about these mediums! They're soft + creamy, they have rich colors + the shimmer is irresistible. I don't know how I managed to not cover my entire seahorse with gold!

To apply, I just used the tip of my finger + smeared the medium over the surface of the seahorse.

Gold for the head, belly + top of the tail. Blue for the edges and inside of the tail.

Oooh! Smearing this over the texture sand paste tickles my fingertip! You should know by now that I geek out when I'm around so much texture... Here's a detail shot:

Prepping the Background

Step 1:: Create a monoprint

Here, I used a Gelli plate to create a simple monoprint. This will serve as a background scene for our seahorse.
(Color used: Soft Jade)

Phthalo Turquoise applied to the gelli plate with a brayer + Quatrefoil Stencil on top.

Deli paper was laid on top of the stencil, rubbed with my hands, then removed from the stencil. This is what we have:

Remove the stencil from the gelli plate. By now, the fluid acrylic on the plate is DRY. To lift the color, we'll need to add more paint. 

Step 2:: Remove leftover paint from gelli plate.

Squeeze out your choice of 2 acrylics, directly onto the gelli plate. 

Use a brayer to blend + cover the plate.
(Colors used: Soft Jade + Bahama Blue)

Place a sheet of watercolor paper on top of the gelli plate, rub + pull from one corner to release your monoprint.

Admire your print! (I felt that my background was darker than I wanted. I toned it down with a layer of Soft Jade on the gelli plate, then pulled another print - using the same paper.

Step 3:: Add stenciling to background

Using a palette knife, I scraped white gesso into small sections of the Dandelion stencil. 

Step 4:: Add Interference paint, splatters + darker color

Interference Blue gives the effect of a shimmering sunbeams, flickering through the water! Splatters of white paint represent bubbles + Phthalo Turquoise helps give a sense of depth.

Step 5:: Stamp all sides of the monoprint with a leaf stamp.

(Colors used: Phthalo Green-Yellow + Phthalo Turquoise) 

Step 6:: Glue down seahorses with Matte Medium

Add dimension with 3 pieces of matboard. Glue in place.

Place the second seahorse right on top of the matboard pieces.

Step 7:: Write quote with pens + markers

"The Sea...Once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever".

Step 8:: Mount onto matboard

Remember, your chance of winning is much higher if you ENTER! Click HERE to submit your project

I've got my fingers crossed for ya!

P.S. Don't forget to share with your friends + post on social media using #UnderTheSeaChallenge so everyone can join in the fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Getting Creative with Cases and Stencils

Hellooo art sistahs! 

Have you ever purchased a plain protective case for your cell phone or iPad with the intention of decorating it yourself, only to realize months have flown by + you're still carrying around that plain ol' tablet public?! ::gasp::

Now, you know betta than that, my friend.

You are an ARTIST!

Use this "blank canvas" as an opportunity to let your gift of creativity shine!

Yes, the color is in your favorite shade of violet but wouldn't you LOVE it even more if yours was customized, making you wanna break dance every time you took it out of your bag to check your email?

I was commissioned to design this special tablet case + documented my entire process, with step-by-step photos.

You will learn how to transform a solid-colored tablet case into a wildly colorful one you won't wanna put down! 

Customized Tablet Case | by Martice Smith II

Customized Tablet Case; StencilGirl stencils, acrylics + paintbrushes

Stencils used in this tutorial: 

Scribble Scratch Handwriting by Carolyn Dube,
Deconstructed Floral Bouquet by Traci Bautista,
Rose Window and Border by Lizzie Mayne

You should've seen how nervous I was to get started...

I didn't want to "ruin" it for my client. BUT she gave me so much encouragement to do my thing + she reassured me that I shouldn't worry because there was no way I could mess it up. 

So, my first marks looked like this...

Customized Tablet Case; first layer of paint

CLICK HERE to see the full tutorial, over on the StencilGirl Talk blog!

Oh! Please be sure to leave a comment letting me know your favorite thing to customize.

Thank you lovelies!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Whimsical Watercolor Gift Tags and Boxes

Thank you to DecoArt for sponsoring this post!

I designed this project to be super quick, fun + easy to make with just a few special products. DecoArt has a new mixed media line that includes everything you need (Guess what? These little boxes came with my order! Ha! Dont'cha just love re-purposing?)

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics:
  • Diarylide Yellow 
  • Primary Magenta 
  • Pyrrole Orange 
  • Titan Buff 
  • Titanium White
DecoArt Media Products:
  • DecoArt white gesso 
  • Metallic Lustre- Gold Rush 
  • paintbrushes (Filbert + 2" flat) 
  • palette knife
other supplies + tools:
  • 140-lb Watercolor paper (I like the textured look of cold-press)
  • container of water 
  • paper towels 
  • hair dryer
  • Kraft boxes 
  • markers + pens to decorate boxes 
  • embroidery thread 
  • scissors or decorative punch to create tags 
  • eyelets 

STEPS 1 and 2: Apply clean water to paper with 2 inch flat brush.

Saturate the paper with water but don't allow it to puddle.

(Loose brushstrokes will help the paint flow more spontaneously, in the following steps.)

Select a base color - lightest color
Titan Buff is my first layer of color. Immediately add water to the paint. Paint most of the paper but leave the white of the paper untouched in a few areas. Let dry.

--> Quick tip: A hair dryer speeds up the drying process! 

STEP 3: Continue layering paints (light to dark) 

Gently push the paint around with a filbert paintbrush. Spritz water onto paper surface to force paints to blend without leaving hard edges. This technique creates our beautiful watercolor effect!

Here's the order:  Diarylide Yellow, Pyrrole Orange, Primary Magenta, Titanium White.
(Titanium White was added last, to keep the surrounding colors bright. Remember to allow paints to blend with each other for a variegated wash.)

I love bold, eye catching colors so it's no surprise that DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics are my absolute essentials! They are highly concentrated, pigmented acrylics that will not fade. ONE drop goes a loooong way.

Bonuses...they are professional grade, intermixable + affordable so you can get a whole range of colors to play with.

Did you know DecoArt Media products can now be found at or at your local JoAnn Fabric and Craft store?

Ooooo! I love how this looks! I hesitated on the thought of cutting this beauty up so I decided to scan it so that I could use it as many times as I wanted. Brilliant idea, right?! ;-)

Once you are satisfied with how the watercolor effect looks, dry the front and back of the paper with a hair dryer or heat gun. (This method ensures that all paper fibers are thoroughly dry.)

STEP 4: Decorate kraft boxes

Use markers or pens to draw whimsical botanicals, scalloped edges + doodles.

A white china marker is great for creating a hazy, cloud-like effect!

Sharpie markers are my favorite because of their opaque, creamy look on most surfaces.

STEP 5: Make round tags, then embellish!

Use a decorative punch or scissors to create your gift tags.

Or, lightly trace around a circular object with a pencil to create perfect circles.

Cut circles out with scissors or a circle punch, if you have one.

Next, scrape a very small amount of white gesso through a letter stencil with a palette knife.

Give your tags a punch of shimmer by rubbing Metallic Lustre in Gold Rush onto the letter with your finger.

--> Quick tip: The Metallic Lustre is water-soluble so if you accidentally get some of it in an area you don't want, you can go in with a paintbrush + water to clean it up.

STEP 6: Punch eyelets onto kraft boxes + attach gift tags

Punch one hole on the front of your kraft boxes, then another hole at the top of your round tag.

String embroidery floss through the eyelet + gift tag, then tie into a bow.

Here are my finished whimsical watercolor gift tags + gift boxes...

What do you think? Do you like creating handmade gifts? How often do you make them?

Thanks for visiting me today!

For more info on each product, visit

Indulge in more creativity! DecoArt Mixed Media blog is a great place to find inspiration, tips + the latest design team creations. 

We LOVE hearing from you, too! 

Share your projects with us by using these hashtags: #decoartmedia #decoartprojects #mixedmedia

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Graffiti Backdrop Tutorial for DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team

Whoa! I have been invited to join the phenomenal design team at DecoArt! My first project as their NEW DESIGN TEAM MEMBER is already up on their blog. 

Say what, say what?!!!

One of things I love about being a photographer is that I get to style photo shoots. Bringing "life" to  various products, clothing, accessories, home decor + artwork in fun ways to help potential customers "see" how it would look in their own space.

Backdrops are essential because they help accentuate the personality/characteristics of the subject that's being photographed. The one I made for you brings an instant surge of excitement + energy!

Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II
Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II

My style is bold, cultural, urban + feminine (but, you already knew that!) This graffiti canvas backdrop complements that + it's very chic for parties or your studio wall inspiration.

Graffiti Statement Backdrop TUTORIAL by Martice Smith II

Don't miss out: Visit the DecoArt Media Blog to see the full tutorial!

DecoArt Mixed Media Art Blog

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Artsy Tote Bag - Guest Designer on Artistcellar

Hi friends!
How do you like to carry your artwork? Do you have special box or bags you haul your work in? 

I am thrilled to have been invited as Guest Designer on the Artistcellar blog!

I am sharing a fun tutorial on how to create your very own artsy tote bag(Thanks to Lisa for providing Artistcellar's most popular stencils!)

Stencil Metallic Tote Bag, TUTORIAL  | Guest post on the Artistcellar blog

Not many of you know this but ya girl can get down on a sewing machine!

Sewing is another one of my passions. (No worries if you're not machine savvy - this tutorial is great for beginners and/or those who don't sew often.)

Stencil Metallic Tote Bag, TUTORIAL
I'll see you in the comments over on the Artistcellar blog!

Enjoy :)

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