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New Korean Gouache-Hybrid Review!

Shinhan gouache swatches

I ordered some new gouache paints from an online art shop a few weeks ago, and I think I might be in love with them!

The brand is called Shinhan and is based in Korea. They usually make watercolours, but they have a “watercolour and gouache hybrid” paint called Shinhan Pass that is meant to result in really vivid colours. I chose a palette of pastel colours plus one darker green since I use green in pretty much every painting ever.

Now, bit of honest talk here, these were on sale for £1.80 online (minus the Cobalt Green, which was closer to £4 I think, but that’s still cheaper than the Winsor Newton brand) so I wasn’t confident that the quality would be very good. After swatching my colour choices though, I’m so happy with my purchase and am definitely going to be adding more to my collection!

Shinhan gouache tubes

The large, main swatches are just the paint out of the tube with water mixed in – I found you have to add a lot more water to this paint to get the right consistency. They are only one layer of paint. Seriously. In my experience bright, vivid coverage in the first layer doesn’t actually happen often. The only exception was the Hooker’s Green, which came out patchy, and would need an extra layer or two, but that’s pretty much the norm for similar colours in the Winsor Newton range too.

After testing out the colours on their own, I mixed a 50-50 tint using my usual WN Zinc White. I like to stock up on any of the big tubes of white gouache when they’re on sale, so right now I have WN and a Daler Rowney Zinc White as well. Any how, it plays just fine with other brands which is also a plus, and the tints are even better pastel colours if you want that nice soft effect they can have.

Shinhan gouache swatches with paint tubes

Have you tried these paints before? What colours did you try and what did you think of them?

If you haven’t, I highly recommend trying out this brand if you can get your hands on some! Especially if you’re just starting out with gouache and need a cheaper option. If you already have a good-sized collection I think some of the colours can make nice compliments to what you already have too.


*Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid by Shinhan to create this post, I bought these paints myself out of curiosity and thought I’d share my opinion of the brand with you :)

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April Favourites & Huxley’s Egg Rolling Adventure

So March got skipped over – I was so busy that I kind of forgot most of what I actually did that month… but April was great, so here are a few of my favourites from last month!

Illustration of favourite things in April

1. I made some more hand-blown Easter eggs! The one with the boxing hares is my favourite of the three I painted this year.

2. Egg rolling at Kelvingrove Park! It was my first time ever and Huxley made it the funniest experience! He loves eggs, so he ran after the first egg that went down the hill and immediately started eating his snack. Then he noticed more eggs tumbling down the hill around him and started going from one to another eating them as fast as he could, he probably thought he was the luckiest dog in the world. We ended up picking up as many as we could, but he still managed to eat 5 or 6, which really can’t be that good for a little dog… he seemed happy enough though.

3. New plant friends! I love being out in the forest or on a beach and since that isn’t always possible due to the weather here, it’s nice to have some of the outdoors inside too for those days I’m stuck at my desk. I ordered a few plants from Perfect Plants – highly recommend! They are really healthy, good quality plants and there was only one broken leaf. They also have a great selection, so I have a little wish list going now. I got a little maranta (aka prayer plant) from a shop around the corner too and I am in love with it. I’m still not bored of watching the leafs fold themselves up at night.

4. I brought my empty Lush containers back to one of the shops and the girls marvelled at the French on some of the labels! I’ve been collecting them for a while, so there are a few from Canada. Apparently there was at least product they actually don’t make anymore so I guess I need to bring the pots back more often… Anyways, I got a free face mask in return for this long-term recycling project and I chose the BB Seaweed. It smells like lavender and seems to be gentle enough for my sensitive skin.

5. Pierogis! It’s been years since I last made any and I made a batch of cheese and onion and another of bacon (which were kind of like if a baked potato was in a dumpling) and it took about a day and half from start to finish. Never again am I making dumplings on my own unless it’s a tiny batch, which I don’t seem to be able to do… I’m also pretty sure I managed to bruise my hands…

6. Wax melts from Candelle & Co! I met Danielle at the Pop Up Shop in Kirkintilloch back in March and have only just finally gotten around to trying out some of her wax melts. They are amazing – I’m currently in love with the Salted Caramel and Pistachio.

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Gouache Colour Swatches

Happy Wednesday!

Depending on how well we know each other you may already know this, but I hate crowded places. We left our holiday shopping until just a few days before Christmas and while it wasn’t the most awful thing in the world, I didn’t enjoy it either.

So when all the emails started rolling in advertising the holiday sales for my favourite shops, my first reaction was “Ooh!” and then “Uuuurrrghh… Nooooo…” when I remembered that meant going back into the madness that is the Boxing Week and also January Sales in the UK.

Luckily for myself and others like me who would rather be nice and cozy at home than out battling crowds, there is online shopping! So I ordered some new art supplies which arrived over the weekend – yay!

The most difficult part of the whole process was just figuring out which colours of gouache to order.

Winsor Newton gouache swatches

I know that sounds silly, but the little colour swatches on the shop page were completely different from the ones on the Winsor & Newton website, which made it that much more difficult to figure out which colours I would use the most. WN have little descriptions for some of the colours, which is sort of helpful, but after doing a search on Pinterest and Google trying to find other artists or illustrators that have used these paints, I didn’t come up with much.

Since my goal is to eventually try out every colour of the WN brand gouache, I made my decisions based on budget and the holes in my collection – I’ve been keeping track of which colours I have, which ones I use the most and which ones aren’t part of my collection yet. And I swatched these new ones, so that anyone else having the same problems can use them for reference. They still might not be 100% accurate due to the difference in monitor displays and such, but hopefully they’re helpful!

Here is the chart, with the left swatch being the colour right from the tube and the right being a roughly 50/50 mix with the same brand of Permanent White gouache:

Full size, finished swatches

As for the paints themselves, the Viridian is my favourite. It’s beautiful with some white added for a tint, but the colour on its own (with water for the right consistency) seems to be cracking even though the paint hasn’t been applied thickly. Honestly, I don’t know enough about it to know if it’s maybe due to age or the pigment is just fragile? But the lighter swatch is fine – no cracking to be found.

There are also a few colours that you need at least 3 coats to get a fairly solid result, such as the Primary Red, Ultramarine and Cerulean Blue. The tints had good coverage with just 1 layer of paint though.

I plan on making more swatches for all the other colours if anyone has any specific requests for the next chart – let me know in the comments!

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December Favourites

It’s been a while since I sketched my monthly favourites! In fact, the last ones were in September! It was much more time consuming, because I decided to try painting them instead of using the Promarkers this time. What do you think? Do you like the sketches or the paintings better?

Illustration of favourite things in December

Here are the descriptions:

1. Launching Hux loves Honey at the Etsy Made Local event in Glasgow! I know you guys are probably sick of hearing about it, but it really was amazing to me. The little illustration is of the outside of The Briggait – it used to be a fish mongers during the Victorian era when it was built ( hence being so, so cold inside! ) through to the 1970s I believe, before briefly being turned into a shopping centre and then more recently, a home to artist’s studios and the host to markets such as EML.

2. Mairi and Dave’s beautiful wedding! It was held at another historic site in Glasgow, Cottier’s Theatre – one of many churches here that have been converted into a pub/venue. Their service and reception were both held in what used to be the church hall. It’s still undergoing restoration, but it’s really a beautiful space and suited Mairi’s mass amounts of heather very well! She even had a crown made out of it for her hair and by the end of the night there were little buds all through it like confetti, which made the effect that much prettier. (And then apparently clogging up the hotel room bathtub afterwards too!) It was my first Scottish wedding, and they really know what they’re doing! The food was excellent – including a cake made out of different kinds of cheese! We all had a bit of a food coma to get over before the ceilidh started, which was also very fun, but very tiring. The Scottish guests were all really amazing and patient though, teaching everyone the dances since the majority of us were from overseas and had never done it before! Anyways, I could probably write many more paragraphs about the wedding, but I’ll stop here and just say thank you so much for inviting Chris and I to share the day with you Mairi and Dave, we had the best time and hope your days are filled with love!

3. All the holiday food! Chris and I had our first real Christmas together, so we got a little Christmas tree, which we waited until the week before Christmas to buy, so it was difficult to find something small enough to fit in our tiny flat. We succeeded though and made cinnamon-salt dough ornaments to decorate it with. We also made moose-shaped gingerbread cookies for ourselves and to give away as gifts. A lot of them broke (my fault, I stacked them while they were probably too warm) but we decorated the broken bits anyways – there really was a little moosey leg that said “leg” on it. On Christmas Eve I made my Great Grandma’s carrot pudding. She usually made it in jars, but I used a pudding basin and was super pleased with myself when I didn’t ruin it! We took it to Chris’ family’s place on Boxing Day and it was a hit all around. We also made a traditional dinner for Christmas day. It was the first turkey I’d dressed for quite a few years since you mostly do seafood for dinner in Australia. It was a success too! Chris said it was the better even than the one they do at a local restaurant called The Butterfly and The Pig, which is apparently the highest compliment.

4. Watching the entire first season of Dirk Gently on Netflix. It’s been a long time since I read the books, and I don’t think the show is the same as them at all from what I remember. They’ve essentially made a new story for Dirk but it’s in the same spirit as the books by Douglas Adams. I very much recommend it if you need something new to watch though. I’m hoping they make a second season soon!

What were your favourite things over the holidays? Are there any traditional foods you or your family make?

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Big Changes are Coming!

Remember a few weeks ago when I had to cancel the Kickstarter due to some unforeseen life events? 

Well, to try to keep a complicated story short, this is basically it: my partner’s workplace can’t guarantee his visa. We have the option to apply for Permanent Residency, but it’s an expensive risk. He is originally from Glasgow, and after some discussion about our options, we decided we’ll be re-locating there in a few months – not stressful at all! 

Once we’re there and settled in, I’ll relaunch the funding campaign – with some new designs and a surprise project of sorts for a stretch goal! Updates will continue to be posted here, I can’t wait to share the relaunch with you! 

Little Highland Coo painting with blue flowers

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All the Flowers

I’m finally – finally – nearly finished this first batch of greeting card designs! Currently, there is just a little bit of re-working a few designs and finishing up the lettering and I can digitize the lot! Cannot wait to show everyone what I’ve been working so hard on, but in the meantime here are some florals:

Blue Floral Painting

Mint Green Floral Painting

Lilac Floral Painting

Painting flowers was actually the most intimidating part of this process so far, but I’m always drawn to colourful floral designs so I wanted to give it my best shot to be able to include them in my own products. It’s great because flowers can be as colourful as you like, so it’s been fun to experiment with different colour combinations and it also feels good to push myself to do something out of my comfort zone. So even if no one else enjoys them, it doesn’t really matter since I enjoyed the process of creating. Although that being said, it’s hard not to have those days when you feel like everything you create sucks. Maybe it’s just a natural part of the creative process… the important thing is to just keep creating anyways :)

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Birthday Card Process

I’ve been terrible at keeping up with this ‘every Wednesday’ blog post thing… but, here is the mostly finished piñata lady. She’s just sans text still. I’m pretty happy with the colour scheme on this one. 

Pinata Card process

And here are some cakes I was working on today for another birthday card. 

Birthday Cakes painting process

The sponge cake got a little maimed… 

Next week should see this first batch of card designs getting wrapped up. Can’t wait to share some mock-ups of the finished designs!

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New Projects

Happy New Year!

This is the year I finally launch a big new project that’s been looming in the back of my mind for quite some time now. So, while things have been a bit quiet on the blog front these past few weeks, I have actually been busy painting and drawing and lettering away. There have been a few sneaky peeks on the Hux loves Honey Instagram account, but here are some more examples of what I’ve been working on:

Bird Party progress

Hello Parrot sketch and finished painting

Mermaid and Deep Sea Diver sketch

Genie Bottle process

These are all going to be turned into greeting cards and notebooks, with more in the works. I’m still looking for a place to get pencils printed, so if anyone happens to know of such a place, please share the love! 

In the meantime, there will be a free Valentine’s Day printable next week! 

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Pirate Painting

Here are some process shots and the finished painting before it was signed and framed for Chris. It’s been a long time since I’ve painted anything, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but I’m happy with all the little “imperfections” since it gives the finished painting a whole lot more character. Besides that, Chris loves it and that’s all that matters in the end. 

Pirate painting in progress

Pirate Painting with more details

Finished Pirate Painting

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