Tips & Tricks With the Canon T5i

Here’s the second part of my True Originals campaign with Canon where I’ll be going over some tips for the T5i. You can take a look at their brand new facebook app here: I do want to preface this post by saying that I genuinely like the Canon T5i and wouldn’t have gone ahead with this campaign if I hadn’t!

Using this camera to document my process was great. Some of the features that I found useful are the AI auto focus, the swivel screen, and the zoom tool. I stayed on manual mode for all of my shots and was really pleased with how the photos turned out.

The AI Focus feature makes one handed photography a lot easier. I’ll admit I was lazy and didn’t want to bring out the tripod and then have to use the camera’s timer to take photos of myself painting. Instead, I used AI focus, which did a good job of keeping my brush and hand in focus when I took the shots. It will even adjust to whatever objects are moving, which will be a big benefit for when I want to film a painting demonstration.

The swivel screen helped when I was trying to take photos of my art from directly above.  Instead of standing on a chair and craning my neck to see what I’m shooting, I used the swivel screen to easily show me. This will be especially handy for taking videos, as you can face the screen toward you to see exactly what you’re filming. (And not have your content go off screen, which has happened to me before.)

The zoom tool is such a great feature of this camera. You can tap directly on the icon since the T5i has a touch screen, and it will magnify 5x and then 10x. This allows you to more accurately focus on an object, removing the guess work from whether you’ve properly focused on something or not.

Overall, I really loved this camera and will definitely keep using it to take photos for future posts!

Again, for more information about the True Originals campaign, please visit Canon’s Facebook app, For details about the Canon T5i, you can go here: This post was created in partnership with Canon. #TrueOriginals

Creative Process & The Canon T5i

Recently I was approached by Canon to be a part of their True Originals campaign, a project showcasing various Canadian artists’ creative processes. I immediately jumped on board! I think it’s great that they want to feature the work of artists on their various outlets, and to top it off, I was given a Canon T5i to aid in documenting the way in which I create art.

One of the features of the camera that I’m particularly excited to try out is the HDR video recording. I’ve been wanting to make some high quality footage of how I paint, and now I’ll be able to give it a go. However, because of time constraints and the fact that I need to figure out video editing, I decided to document my creative process through the photos below.

The Process

Lately I’ve been inspired by old lithographs of birds like the kind you see in the famous Audubon books, and that’s what influenced me to create the subject matter of this painting. Typically, I like to start off with a detailed sketch; usually drawn digitally with my Cintiq in Photoshop. As you can see in the photo above on my second moniter, I have plenty of great references for my little warblers.

Once I’m happy with the sketch, I reduce the opacity of the line work to about 20% and then I print it directly on to watercolor paper. (I like to use hot pressed Fabriano paper.)

My painting medium of choice is gouache. It’s a water-based paint similar to watercolor, but more opaque. I find it can produce beautiful and vibrant colors!

I begin with the background elements like the branches and then the leaves.

Then I move on to painting the foreground objects, which are the birds.

To finish off the piece, I like to use pencil crayons to help define some of the edges.

And here’s the finished piece!

In terms of what fuels my creativity and passion for creating art, I’d have to say it’s as simple as wanting to make something memorable and beautiful. I think back to other artists’ work that have made a big impact on me, and I strive to make that same kind of affect on others with my art. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into how I paint.

This post was created in partnership with Canon. For details about the Canon T5i, you can check out this link: #TrueOriginals

Liquid Gilding A Mirror

I love the look of Louis Philippe-style mirrors with their rounded top corners and gilded finish. I’d been looking for one of these mirror to go on the mantle of our living room for a long time, but nothing was the right size or price. I finally came across this mirror, which is actually meant for a dresser, but I still really liked its shape. It happened to be the perfect size and came at a very decent price tag, the only problem was I didn’t like the color. Luckily, there are so many options available for painting these kinds of things now!

At first I decided to gold leaf the mirror…but that didn’t turn out since I’m terrible at it and it would have taken me forever to finish. So I decided to try out Martha Stewart’s Liquid Gilding, which turned out great! It’s incredibly easy to use and the end results were all that I wanted.

Here’s what the mirror originally looked like. (It’s 35″ x 37.8″)

I used Martha Stewart’s Liquid Gilding in the Brass color and 2 ratty paintbrushes. Don’t use your nice brushes with this stuff, it’s really hard to wash off!

It was a nice sunny day so I brought the mirror on to the deck to paint it. I didn’t want any gilding fumes in the house..

At first I used the gilding too sparingly as you can see in the picture above. This is 1 coat.

This is also just 1 coat, but I learned it was better to use a generous amount of it. The little bottle of Liquid Gilding goes a long way, I still have over half of it after this mirror.

This is with the 2nd (and final) coat.

I let the mirror dry for around 4 hours.

And it was ready to go on the mantle! Overall, I love how the Liquid Gilding worked out. It’s not as reflective as real gold leaf, but it still has a very nice sheen. There are some blotchy parts that you can see, but I like how those look. A 3rd coat would definitely even it out if that’s what you’re going for.

Makeup Pouch Winner: Kat U.

I’m excited to announce that the winner of the makeup pouch giveaway is: Kat U. ! I hope you love it as much as I do!

Thank you so much to all those who participated in my first giveaway <3

My Favorite Makeup Pouch + Giveaway

If you’ve known me at all, then you’ve probably seen my cat makeup pouch that I take with me everywhere. It’s the perfect size to fit all of my essential makeup (eyeliner, concealer, foundation, lip gloss) without being too bulky or too small; and best of all, it’s in the shape of a little cat face.

I bought this pouch at Aberdeen mall in Vancouver 12 years ago, which means I was only in grade 11 at the time! It’s actually held up remarkably well for how much use it gets, but sadly, it’s gotten really worn down with holes and a zipper that splits open with the slightest bit of tension. You can see in the image above what a difference there is between the new and old case! Because I love this pouch so much, I’d been searching for a new one on and off the last few years, but couldn’t find it anywhere…until it popped up on ebay recently. Ensuring that I’ll have these for the next 60 or so years, I bought 6 of them, and I want to give one of them away here on the blog. Just enter below!

I will never forget you, old friend.