Friday, 12 January 2018

Bullet Journal Doodles

For this week's tutorial I thought it would be fun to do some 'classic Shayda' stuff. When I started the YouTube channel almost three years ago, I did a lot of illustration and hand lettering tutorials with a focus on simple doodles, and that's what we're working on this week. We'll cover flags, banners, arrows, flowers and other 'bullet journal-y' type drawings such as geometric hearts and little succulents. Take a peak at the pics and then head over to my channel to watch the full tutorial!

Doodles like these act as decorative accents in your planner or bullet journal and they also help to create space and division on the page. So next time you're struggling to make a beautiful and organized monthly layout, think about how you might incorporate a flower, flag or similar doodle. 

In my own planner, I'm constantly going back to botanical illustrations. I find them very relaxing to draw, and I always like the way they look on the page. What's your go-to doodle?

Since the theme of my week seemed to be fun little doodles, I found myself spending last Sunday doodling away the afternoon at our favourite local cafe. The result of my doodling was this coffee shop 'shelfie' art, and now you can get it for yourself!

Both the printable and digital files are available on my Patreon site. Check it out and please consider supporting me! Also, fun side note, if you grab the digital illustration you'll get a zip file that includes the artwork plus a PNG of each individual doodle, so if you want to use a single graphic, say, just the succulent or the tea kettle, you can do that! 

Watch the full tutorial now:

Friday, 5 January 2018

January BuJo + Free Stickers

Happy New Year! We are shaking off the weirdness of 2017 and starting this year with a whole lotta good stuff! This Friday I seem to have gone a bit overboard (that's what happens when I take one whole week off, I suppose) we've got a Sakura give-away (details on my Instagram or in this week's video), free digital stickers (illustrated by moi) and yes, it's finally happened, my first bullet journal tutorial! Watch it on my channel, when you're done with this blog post, of course! 

Whatever 2018 may bring, it will always be the year that I started bullet journaling. And I really love journaling. Like, really really. It's funny, because for a long time I thought that I wouldn't enjoy it at all. I thought it would be tedious and self-involved and overly time consuming. But I was so wrong!

BuJo turned out to be all my favourite things hiding in one lovely, meditative hobby. It's all about organizing and list-making (and crossing off said lists-my fav!) and doodling and designing and lettering. All the best things in life! So needless to say I now have nothing but time for my new hobby and not only to I love spending time on my journal, but it's helping me to stay organized and stay motivated when it comes to my resolutions. Side note: is there anything MORE motivating than getting to put a little check mark beside an item? I don't think so.

So let me show you around my journal! Above is my January front page; I decided to do a very BuJo-y paper cranes illustration, as well as my month-at-a-glance calendar. Below the calendar I list important dates and my weekly YouTube videos. 

After my January layout I have a weekly spread that I'll do for each week of the month. The spread takes up two pages with lots of room for daily to-do lists, lots of negative space (very calming and always good design) and the bottom left corner gives me the perfect spot for a weekly doodle. 

I also used a few pages at the beginning of my notebook to do a 2018 yearly layout. I created a simple two page spread with the 12 monthly calendars, a 2018 botanical illustration title page, some pretty quote pages that incorporate collage, and one page was dedicated to my goals, words and resolutions for the coming year. 

Watch this week's YouTube tutorial for a full 'tour' of my journal, lots of tips and tricks for creating your own beautiful BuJo, and all the contest details (find them in the video description). 

And don't forget to check out my Patreon page! Patrons get access to an extra monthly tutorial and loads of printable original art by me! This week you can download two packs of digital stickers and use them however you like. It's all available on Patreon for a $2 monthly donation. Thank you for your support! And here's a little peak of what you can expect from my Patreon, I've released three of the nine junk food digital stickers for all my blog readers to enjoy. Just click here to download.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas Watercolors

I've been doing a lot of watercolor painting recently, and it's funny, I used to absolutely despise watercolors. I didn't like them because you can never cover up your mistakes. There's no painting over a bad spot with watercolors, they are light, translucent, and delicate. And I was a heavy handed perfectionist. I preferred acrylics, and painting over things about a million times until I was happy with the result, so naturally, watercolors just weren't for me.

But today I've made peace with watercolors. I've tried my best to rid myself of my perfectionist tendencies and to take joy in the process of painting, of making art. And once you get excited about the act of painting, and not just the making of some finished 'perfect' piece, watercolors seem like a whole lot more fun. They're wonderful to play with. You can splash them around the page, make puddles into abstracted flowers, brush strokes into leaves and vines.

And it seems like watercolors are having a bit of a moment. I've been getting many requests for painting tutorials on the channel lately, so with Christmas right around the corner, I've got a holiday watercolor tutorial to share.

This week we'll illustrate and paint a candle in the window. It's a warm and inviting motif that will always remind me of our first Christmas in the maritimes. We've just moved to Prince Edward Island (we spent the last three summers in Canada's smallest province, but this will be our first winter Christmas) and a candle in the window is a popular tradition here. I think the custom has something to do with guiding home those at sea. So a candle in the window is just what we're tackling this week on the channel. Watch the tutorial now:

Friday, 8 December 2017

Gift Tags + Pretty Printed Paper

I do a holiday gift wrapping post pretty much every single year. I can't help it, I love to wrap gifts! As each holiday season approaches I begin to think about what sort of 'gift wrapping style' I want to employ. Should I do white on white? Paper ornament gift tags? Classic kraft paper and fresh greenery? (This is usually the option I settle on). I love anything simple and clean and classic.

This year I've printed my own papers and bags, and I've put my whole process on YouTube for you to follow along with. I've made it simpler than ever, so don't think you can't do this! (or don't have time). I've also created some hand painted gift tags for you to download and print. They're simple and woodsy and whimsical. I love them and I hope you do to! 

To print my gift tag designs for yourself, just click the link below.
Shayda's Hand Painted Gift Tags 2017

Watch the printed gift wrap tutorial now:

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Wish List Coloring Page

Hi, guys! Today I have another holiday freebie to share. This week it's a wintery Christmas wish list that you can can print and color. Write out your list, hang it on the fridge and hope someone happens by to read your stylishly subtle gift hints.

Initially, I printed my wish-list on regular computer paper (and had fun filling it in with pencil crayons) but then I tried printing it on watercolor paper and the result was awesome! If you don't have a printer that can handle a thicker paper like watercolor, try taking a piece of speciality paper to Staples and have them print the file for you. That's what I did, it cost me less than a dollar and I loved 'coloring' with watercolor paints. 

Get your Wish List Coloring Page here.

If you're wondering how a watercolor coloring page comes together, you can join me as I paint this one in next week's video. The Tuesday December 12th tutorial will be all about the Koi Watercolor Field Set from Sakura, and we'll use the waterbrush + watercolor pans set to complete this coloring page. Print the page now and paint along with me on Tuesday!

And watch the video here:

What are you wishing for this Christmas? Chris and I aren't big on exchanging gifts, but that hasn't stopped me from dreaming of a pair of Glerups slipper booties (they are so cute!) 

And don't forget to download and print the winter botanical coloring pages that I released last week! It's so relaxing to sit down with a coloring page and listen to a podcast on a chilly winter evening. Happy Coloring!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Winter Botanicals Coloring Pages

I love December! It's the very best part of the winter season. The part with the first snow and all the twinkly lights and good-smelling evergreen trees. It's a special time of year. And I've only come to love it more over the past few years as our wedding anniversary falls in December. We were married on December 1st, 2012 and one of my favourite things about our winter wedding was incorporating all that lovely winter greenery (and sparkly lights) into our big day. And to spread my love of winter plants (does that sound odd?) I've prepared some seasonal colouring pages for you to download and print!

Every year I go just a tiny bit crazy over the seasonal cedars, pines and berries. Many of our neighbours have holly bushes and if it weren't for the cold, I'd be sneaking over in the night with a pair of clippers! I just love all the holiday boxwood and eucalyptus and luckily for me (and my neighbourhood), my florist has all of that in stock. 

So I've been busy smelling and illustrating all my fav seasonal sprigs. And this week our tutorial is centred around holiday greenery. As we complete our December calendar page, we'll illustrate different plants like holly and snowberries. Then we'll work those botanical illustrations into a wreath design and we'll finish our winter wreath with watercolours. If you don't want to illustrate your own wreath, no problem! This week you can paint along with me, just print out my wreath design on a piece of watercolour paper.  

You can also colour the winter greenery botanical illustration that I made, or print and colour your holiday cards this year using my greeting card design (from my 2017 holiday card tutorial). If you'd like to see the greeting card video, check it out on YouTube and paint along with me. 

Friday, 24 November 2017


Hey, guys! This is my 2017 holiday gift guide for the artist. These are products that I either use often or would absolutely love to get my hands on! In putting together this gift guide, I've tried to choose special products, items that you might not normally purchase for yourself, like an entire set of double tip Prismacolor art markers or a tin of 60 watercolor pencils from the elite art brand, Faber-Castell (anyone out there shopping for me this year?!) 

I've broken my list up into two categories, under $50 and over $50, so you can find something for every artist on your list. And of course, if you're the artist, you can discreetly send this page, complete with my gift guide video, to anyone who's shopping for you this Christmas. ;)

1. Koi Field Watercolor Set w/ Waterbrush
2. Large Hardcover Moleskin Sketchbook

Watch the gift guide video for product descriptions and to get in on a little amazon gift card giveaway- cuz we all have lots of holiday shopping to do! Thanks for reading and happy shopping.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Watercolor Tutorial

You don't have to be a master artist to paint something pretty. Follow along with this week's tutorial and try painting two different types of eucalyptus with two different watercolour techniques. In this video I've broken down the popular watercolour techniques, wet on wet (or wet into wet) and wet on dry. 

Now two painting styles and two types of greenery may sound like a lot, but this tutorial is very straightforward. In under ten minutes you'll have an understanding of wet on wet and wet on dry, and then you can attempt them for yourself. 

The Silver Dollar eucalyptus sprig on the left was painted using a wet on wet technique. The final look is varied colour and pretty feathering. I always think of wet on wet as giving that real 'watercolor' look. 

The Argyle Apple eucalyptus sprig on the right was done with wet on dry. This style allows you a little bit more control, as you paint an initial layer, wait for it to dry, and then add detail later with more paint. Give the two techniques a try for yourself and see which you prefer!

Remember, it's all about developing your own style. Don't worry about 'getting it right'. Perfectly imperfect, that's my motto. Watch the video and don't forget to show me your work! Post on my FB page or tag me on Instagram.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Watercolor Winter Birds Tutorial

If you haven't seen the latest YouTube tutorial, we're illustrating and painting winter birds. In this tutorial we go over initial sketching and then use a wet on wet (or wet into wet) watercolor technique to add some color. Robins, cardinals and chickadees make lovely subjects for holiday cards or seasonal calendars. So here's some of my work, followed by the video tutorial.

Happy Painting! Check the channel this week for a new watercolor tutorial.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cherry Blossom Mobile Wallpaper

We returned to Canada last Monday after a few weeks of glorious Australian sunshine, and much to our surprise and delight, spring had come early in our absence! Now, if you're Canadian, you know that this never happens. In fact, I think that most cold-weather-dwellers know a thing or two about tropical vacations: as a general rule, upon your return, the weather will be much, much colder than when you departed. It's just the way it goes. No one is going to escape the last few miserable moments of wicked winter with a quick getaway to Mexico. So when we stepped off our flight in flip-flops, in April, and it was actually warm-ish, it was just nothing short of delightful and amazing. 

And even more wonderful? The cherry blossoms are in bloom. We visited Toronto and had a chance to sit under the fluffy white and pink trees and marvel at springtime in Canada. What really got me was how many people come out just to look at the trees. It's something quite beautiful. All these people just visiting the flowers. Lovely. 

Of course, I couldn't help but take a zillion snaps of the blossoms. So to celebrate this early spring season, I'm releasing my favourite pics as mobile wallpaper. Download any (or all!) of the five images and use them as your new spring wallpaper on your phone. 

You can download the images by clicking the links below. Download the image on to your computer and then email the image to yourself, open the email on your phone and set as wallpaper. Or just visit on your phone and download the images direct to your device. 

So which one is your favourite? I can't pick, but I love number one and number three, and I think I'll use number three as my cell wallpaper, at least for now. Happy downloading! Here's hoping spring has sprung wherever you are!

Cherry Blossom Wallpaper Download

Click the link above to download your favourite wallpaper!