October Wallpaper Free Downloads - For Computer and Phones

I cannot believe it's already October. Somehow September was a complete blur, filled with lots of driving all over the place, creating for custom orders, being sick, visits with friends, and trying to survive the end of summer. And it felt like it was only a week ago that we were sitting on the beach, swimming under the summer sun of labour day weekend. Where did all the weeks between then and now go? Is it possible to get them back?

In all the lamenting of summer days gone, I've started to gear up for fall. A pumpkin (white!) has been purchased, butternut squash soup has been made, coats and boots have come out of the closet and the leaves are starting to change. The air smells so good outside, and so do the candles that have been lit. I hardly see my husband, as most of his days in the fall are spent chasing the waves and surfing his little heart out when he's not at work. But I've been cranking out work, living on tea and Law and Order: SVU. 

Somedays I think about blogging again, but until I get some better sunshine streaming in these windows, blogging (well, taking photos) is the last thing I want to do with my day. So instead, I'll leave you with some free wallpapers for your phone and computers. Pumpkins and hydrangeas, and a little Lucy Maud. Click the images to take you to Flickr for your free downloads, or just save the images to your device! I'll be back soon, but in the meantime, have an excellent weekend. I'm spending mine with my best friends for our annual Friendsgiving. I encourage you to be with those you love too, 'cause these days are just going by too fast, and you don't want to miss out.

**This image is for personal use only, as a wallpaper for phone or computer. Exclusive rights belong to Reva Madryga of Daughter Zion Designs. This download may not be reproduced, altered, or sold. If you would like to use it in any other way other than intended, please email me at reva@daughterziondesigns.com to discuss.**

Watercolour Paints - Palette and Swatches

I wanted to share with you my new watercolour palette, and talk a little bit about how I organized my paints, which ones I like to use, and where you can find them if you wanted to pick some up!

Winsor Newton Professional Watercolours

 Many years ago, when I purchased my first couple tubes of watercolour, I went the more economical route, and picked up the Winsor Newton Cotman Series watercolour paints. They have a nice range of colours, but I found that the pigments in these paints weren't as good, and it was hard to build up nice deep colours. The Cotman series were very transluscent, which for some needs is totally fine, but I wanted more depth in my paintings. Once I had saved up a little more money to get new supplies, I decided to go to Curry's for the Professional series. For not too much more money, I could see a great difference between the Pro and Cotman series. These still come in a tube, but the colour is richer, silkier and more vibrant. Below is the colour swatches directly from Winsor Newton's basic Pro line (they have more limited edition colours too!)

Currently in my Palette

Here's the list of colours I currently have in my watercolour palette. Not all my colours are the Professional series (yet!) because I wanted to finish up some old tubes of Cotman, and, well, $10 or so a tube quickly adds up! Right now I have 2 folding palettes, separated into two halves of the rainbow. 

Palette One

Hansa Yellow Medium (QoR brand)
Hansa Yellow Light (QoR brand)
Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue (Cotman)
Winsor Orange (Pro)
Scarlet Lake (Pro)
Cadmium Red Light (Cotman)
Alizarin Crimson (Pro)
Permanent Rose (Pro)
Rose Madder Hue (Cotman)
Permanent Magents (Pro)
Cobalt Violet (Cotman)
Permanent Mauve (Pro)
Winsor Violet Dioxazine (Pro)
Ultramarine (Cotman)
Intense Blue Phthalo Blue (Cotman)
Turquoise (Cotman)

Palette Two

Naples Yellow (Pro)
Yellow Titanate (Pro)
Yellow Ochre (Cotman)
Raw Sienna (Pro)
Brown Ochre (Pro)
Gold Brown (Pro)
Burnt Sienna (Pro)
Burnt Umber (Cotman)
Indian Red (Cotman)
Sepia (Pro)
Payne's Gray (Cotman)
Lamp Black (Cotman)
Chinese White (Cotman)
Permanent Green Light (QoR brand)
Terre Verte (Pro)
Hooker's Green (Cotman)
Permanent Sap Green (Pro)
Olive Green (Pro)
Green Gold (Pro

I also have some Winsor Newton Designer's Gouache on hand for my silver and gold needs, as well as black, when I need it to be totally opaque. You could say I have a little bit of brand loyalty when it comes to Winsor Newton. I tried another silver gouache, and did not like it one bit! I also go to Winsor Newton for most of my acrylic and all of my oil paint needs.

Colour Swatch Card

I decided this time around to make a colour swatch card for my files, matching how I laid out the colours in my palette. I found this to be super helpful, especially since there's some new colours on my palette that I've never used before. This gives me a good idea what they are going to look like when dry on the paper. It's definitely helpful when I have custom orders requesting a specific colour palette for their piece. As you can see in the photo below, I've left room on my palette for new colours. Next on my shopping wish list is to expand my blue collection, and to get a richer black. After that, I'm leaning toward a softer grey, softer pink, and a deep purple and brown. It's tough to not want all 96 of the colours available! If I had that many colours though, I'd have to get a mega palette. Right now, I'm using this folding palette, which has 24 small wells for your colours, plus ample mixing wells. My dream palette, to go along with the 96 colours, would be this giant round palette, which on its own can hold 85 colours! It's the only palette I've found that can hold so many colours...plus, if you choose, you can purchase your paints in half pans instead of tubes, and they will fit right into this palette!

If you have any questions about watercolour, feel free to ask in the comments! I'll try my best to answer them, or at least lead you in the right direction! If you have any suggestions for any watercolour paints you've loved, please let me know! I'd love to know what other people use, and love.

Have you signed up for the mailing list?

You can get a free print download in the first email! Sign up by clicking the button below, and filling out the very short form!

Open for Change - Customizing Pre-Existing Designs

Recently, I got a little note from a client asking about changing the colours on some of my pre-existing prints that I have listed in my shop. I have had other clients ask about removing a border, or changing the words, but keeping the style and design the same, but this was the first time I had been asked about changing the colours of a specific print. The client loved the design of my Be Still piece, but was wondering if it was possible to make it have the writing in black, and the leaves in yellow. At first I thought to myself, Oh, I'm going to have to repaint this piece exactly like the first one, but with the new colours, thinking about how much time that would have to take, and trying to estimate the pricing for her. But then I had a duh moment, and remembered the beauty of Photoshop. I could keep the costs down for my client, and maintain the exact style of the original piece. Keeping the look of watercolour painting and variation in the leaves was important to me. With a little playing around, I managed to come up with the colours that she loved and was happy with.

This whole process got me thinking though. How many others of you out there have ever thought about asking for a colour change of a print you love? Not even one of my prints, necessarily. I thought it was pretty brave of my client to reach out and ask, as typically that's not something that I would have ever done. I usually look at what a shop has to offer, and think that I'm limited the variations that they list as being available, and believe that's all that I have to choose from. Having the opportunity to ask, especially with the non confrontational ease of email, makes it quick, easy, and harmless. I will have to reconsider doing it more often in the future.

So now you know that all it takes is a little bit of typing, and you can hopefully change a piece to fit you and your style perfectly. Ask away, I won't mind! And if it's possible, I will change a piece to meet your needs!

Serve the Lord - New Custom Work and Prints

When an old friend Kelly, whom I’ve known since she was born, messaged me with an idea for a custom piece for her home, I was pretty excited to see what she wanted. As newlyweds, Kelly and her husband Cody, wanted a piece to remind them of their wedding day. She sent me some inspiration photos, and the selected verse, and I got to work.

Kelly sent me a photo of her beautiful wedding bouquet, and requested a floral  garland to be included underneath the verse that they had picked out. I pulled the white gerber daisies (with intense black centres), as well as the purple and blue hydrangeas. She was very specific in requesting that no pastels be included in her piece, and they preferred rich, bright, and bold colours. 

It was a pleasure to also be able to letter a verse that is a favourite in our home as well. This verse from Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my household we will serve the Lord” means a lot to my husband and me too. Kelly wanted a thicker script, and I added a slight emphasis on the last two words of the verse, making a mental note to those who read this piece that ‘the Lord’ is the central idea. It is He who is the centre, the truth, and the grounding force in our homes.

I enjoyed making this piece, and loved how it turned out so much, that I thought that I would make it available to all of you as well! You can pick up this piece in the shop, now available in three different sizes. A declaration of faith to hang in your home! Get it HERE, or by clicking the image immediately above!

*          *          *

If you are interested in a custom piece of your own, don't hesitate to ask! I love to work with clients on creating a custom piece of art for their home that they are going to love. Send me an email HERE through the contact form, and we can start chatting about the design process!

I Don't Dance Custom Work

Along with the various prints I have in my shop, I also really enjoy doing custom designs for clients.  This was a custom piece for a wedding gift, and I really enjoyed creating it.  I loved the rope border that was requested, and the lovely landscape and sunset.  I believe that the lake that is pictured is special to the couple, so it was so kind of my client to think of using that in this piece.  Feel free to contact me if you want anything custom done!