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Plan With Me: January 2018

Plan With Me: January 2018

Can you believe it’s January already because I definitely can’t??? 2018???? Where did 2017 go??? How is this happening??? Make it stop???

Anyway, so here’s my January 2018 setup, several days late, of course. Not much has changed from December to January, still in my undyed medium Gillio Compagna (and the patina is coming along so nicely!) but I’ve got some new inserts I wanted to show you guys so off we go!

For 2018, all my monthly inserts have come from SewMuchCrafting on Etsy! I love these inserts because I accidentally bought the wrong pack when I was buying my weekly inserts, so I just needed a monthly that wasn’t printed front and back and SewMuchCrafting delivered in a spectacular way! These are the Printed Personal Sized Single-Sided Month-On-Two-Pages Monday-Sunday inserts, because Monday-start is just how my brain works these days. They are printed on super high-quality paper that I love and are just super simple and functional and I highly recommend them!

As an aside, I had previously bought a glitter clip from OliBlock and just wasn’t impressed with it. It didn’t seem to hold anything well and was constantly falling off. After I had commented something to that effect on an Instagram post, the OliBlock team reached out to me to offer an exchange or a refund, since they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I opted for an exchange and got the purple metallic clip featured above and am SO GLAD that I did, because it is 100 times better than the sparkle clip. Apparently, there is something going on with the sparkle clips’ ability to actually keep a magnetic hold, because I wasn’t the only person with that complaint, but the metallic clip is out of this world.

Anyway, carrying on:

My weekly inserts for this year are from Crossbow Printables. I had actually intended to get her full 2018 set of inserts (monthly, weekly, goal-setting, etc. etc. etc.) but I got in a hurry when I was purchasing and ended up buying just the weekly inserts instead. That’s okay, though, because they are still super lovely and functional and beautifully printed on high-quality paper and I am obsessed with them. When it’s time to buy 2019 inserts I am going to pay more attention and actually get her full set for 2019!

The adorable pug stickers are from LoveOfFilo, and if you hurry you may be able to snag 45% off with the code SEEYOULATER before her shop-going-on-vacation-for-an-undetermined-amount-of-time-sale ends!

Daily pages haven’t changed a bit. Still doing bullet-journal-style rapid-logging, still working on Tomoe River personal-size ring paper from PaperPenguinCo. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this part of my system certainly ain’t broke.

I’m still doing a daily gratitude log and habit tracker. Nothing has changed there, and my monthly tasks log is moving right along, as well.

My friend Kadee made me a new set of dividers for my non-monthly sections, so now I have some adorable top-tab dividers for Dailies, Work Notes, Personal Notes, Collections, Health and Wellness, and Recipes. I’ll have to do a separate post just to show those because they are freaking adorable and I don’t have any photos of them right now. Team Top Tabs for Life!

So that’s basically my 2018 Gillio setup. I may not do another Plan With Me post unless something drastically changes between now and then, but I have no reason to suspect it will at this moment.

I’ve also got some other notebooks I’m using for non-planning related purposes, and I’ll do a separate post to detail all of those later, too!

Let me know if you’ve got any questions! All shops are linked. 🙂

Happy New Year!



2017: The Year of the Planner

2017: The Year of the Planner

2017, as I’m sure has been seen, was undoubtedly the Year of the Planner here at Bibliophilotherian. I spent a lot of time (and money, unfortunately) trying to find the ever-elusive *~*~*~planner peace~*~*~*, and find it, I finally did.

BUT, just for funsies, here’s a run down of all the different types of planning styles I tried this year.

Style #1: Traditional Bullet Journal

This is what worked for me throughout most of 2016, and for solidly half of 2017. I was working out of a single notebook, an A5 Leuchtturm 1917. It was everything you expected a traditional bullet journal to be. I drew out my monthly, weekly, and daily spreads, I had collections, I used markers and colored pencils and attempted (key word) to make it look attractive for the Internet. And yet, I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I hated (and I mean hated) having to draw out my monthly and weekly spreads. I am not a creative person, and so I always felt like I was falling short of the fantastic Instagram bullet journal spreads. I know this was not the purpose of the bullet journal, but still. I didn’t like that I had to spend an hour or more every week just trying to make it so I could start to plan for the week. I try to be more about function over form, and that just wasn’t very functional for me. (Important to note at this point that I had already starting doing the two-column style daily planning, and that has been consistent across all these different styles I’ve tried). Enter planning style #2, stage left, please.

Style #2: Bullet Journal in an A5 Traveler’s Notebook

Sometime in June, Foxy Fix held one of their fabulous Mystery Sales. I had been doing some research in the bullet-journal-in-a-traveler’s-notebook community for a while, and I was really thinking that this was going to solve all my planner problems. After all, the TN style gave me the ability to have an insert for dailies, an insert for collections (solving that pesky your-notebook-is-filled-but-your-collections-aren’t-complete-so-you-have-to-redraw-everything-in-a-new-notebook-every-six-months problem), and pre-printed inserts for weekly and monthly calendars, which is like the key for me.

So I managed to snag a No. 8 Foxy Fix in the Mystery Sale and I anxiously awaited its delivery to my door. Now, I’ve seen some very poor attitudes towards the Mystery Sale in the My Foxy Fix group on Facebook and in general on Instagram – everybody wants to pay half price for a FN, nobody wants to get a single-strap FN. People would legitimately be bitching about getting a crazy good discount and *~*~*~only~*~*~* getting a single. Like #1, be happy you got anything at all. #2, sell that shit if you don’t like it. #3, stop bitching that is such a first-world problem omfg.

Anyway, I digress. I got a No. 8 Sugar Cotton Candy single-strap with no stitching in the Mystery Sale and I was stoked. After all, this was just an easy and inexpensive way for me to try out the bullet-journal-in-a-TN method. I loaded up the single (managed to fit six or so inserts in it at one point) and carried it around for about a month. Once I decided this system would definitely work for me (oh, how young and naïve I was), I went ahead and invested the money into a custom-made Foxy Notebook – a No. 8 Sugar Cookie, wide fitting, with black stitching and elastics, left card slots, right secretarial pocket with pen loop, and with my initials embossed on the spine in black.

A peek at my daily in the No. 8 – not much has changed about this particular part
I really wanted to love the Sugar Cookie.

The Sugar Cookie took 28 whole business days to complete and ship, and an additional 3 days to arrive at my house, but that was fine by me. For those not familiar, Foxy Fix’s wide fitting has six strings, which means it can hold anywhere from six to twelve inserts, depending on how stuffed you like them to be. I carried the Sugar Cookie wide for about a month before I gave it up as a lost cause – I just don’t stuff them enough to make a wide fitting worth it. After I had a miscarriage in July, I went on a pity-me-spending-spree and spent way more money than I should have in a (failed) attempt to make myself feel better. That’s how I wound up with a No. 8 Boss Babe Kate, compact fitting, left and right secretarial pockets, with grey stitching, grey elastic, and my initials embossed in silver on the spine. The compact fitting has 4 strings and can hold 4 to 8 inserts, again depending on how stuffed you like them to be.

Loved the Boss Babe leather – so lush
Still keeping the two-column dailies running

The problem that I quickly realized I had with the No. 8 size was just that – it’s size! It was so big, and so heavy, and didn’t fit in all of my bags (which I hated). It was a lot to tote around and was not easy to reference when I was out and about. My solution? Planning Style #3.

Style #3: Dual Traveler’s Notebook System – No. 4 and No. 8

No. 4 Boss Babe Madison Ave

This was a very short-lived planning style. I attempted to make my No. 8 Kate my stay-at-home planner, and my No. 4 Madison my on-the-go planner. I quickly realized I cannot make a dual-planning-system work. There were things in my No. 8 that I needed at work but couldn’t reference because it was at home, and I was just not a fan of the No. 4 personal size (funny because it circles back to this eventually). While I was attempting to sell my No. 8 Sugar Cookie, someone offered to trade me their No. 5 (B6 size) Bay Blackout – a vintage Foxy Fix notebook that I had been trying to get my hands on in the No. 8 size for a while. I jumped at the opportunity, and thus we begin planning style #4.

Style #4: Bullet Journal in a B6 Traveler’s Notebook

No. 5 Bay Blackout
Still at it with the two-column dailies

I stayed in this stage for quite a while, albeit with multiple different No. 5/B6 traveler’s notebooks. I loved the B6 size – it was the perfect mix of portability and space. Dimensionally, it was the same as A5 so I didn’t feel like I was losing valuable writing space, but it was much easier to throw in my bag and go. I had the Bay Blackout, a Chic Sparrow Outlander Verona (which I loved – such a lush, thick, delicious full-grain leather. Full Disclosure: that line is now discontinued 🙁 sad), and eventually a small collection of No. 5 single-straps.

My small collection of No. 5 Foxy Fix TNs – from left to right, Wanderlust Butterscotch, Sugar Coconut, Autumn Rose, Southwestern Santa Fe, plus No. 0 Sugar Icing and No. 0 Wanderlust Licorice

I thought I was done when I had the Bay Blackout and the Outlander Verona, but then Foxy Fix released their limited-edition Autumn Rose single-strap, and my husband acquiesced to my purchasing it (I had promised time and again that I was done buying planners – the lie detector test determined THAT was a lie!). As soon as it delivered, I was a single-strap convert. I loved the compact size, I loved how everything sat, I loved that it didn’t have pockets (as it turned out, I wasn’t much of a pocket girl after all), I loved that it didn’t require the reinforced spine (aesthetically, it’s lovely but functionally, the reinforced spine sucked ball sacks). I quickly sold the Bay Blackout and the Outlander Verona and purchased three more single-strap Foxy Notebooks (much to my husband’s never-ending chagrin).

As it turned out, this, also, was not going to work. While I loved the ability to use pre-printed inserts, to have an insert for dailies, to have an insert for collections, etc. etc. etc. I hated that the only insert that would lay flat was the middle one and that the rest of them had humped pages when I was trying to write. At this point I had discovered the ring-planner community, and thought that might be the solution to all my planner problems (spoiler alert: I was right).  And so, we arrive at Planning Style #5.

Stye #5: Bullet Journal in a Filofax Saffiano Personal Ring Binder

Worked out of rings and strings for a couple weeks while I waited on my new personal ring inserts to be delivered
Waddup two-column dailies again

I joined all the ring-binder Facebook groups I could find and managed to snag an aquamarine Filofax Saffiano personal ring binder for $10! That was the perfect way for me to test whether or not the ring binder system would even work for me – after all, I had already tried a personal-sized TN and didn’t like it one bit!

As it turned out, ring binders were my thang. I was obsessed. I loved that I could still use my pre-printed weekly and monthly calendars, that I could still have my two-column daily pages, that I could have separate collections, that everything was separated by dividers, that the pages lay flat no matter where I was in the binder, and that I could move individual pages around at my leisure! This was a luxury I never knew I needed in a planning system and now I can’t picture my life without it. I started my personal-ring-binder journey in October and haven’t looked back since then! The only change I’ve made is to upgrade my ring binder – while the Saffiano was great, it just felt cheaply made (and I mean, for $10….. come on).  This brings us to the final planning style of 2017.

Style #6: Bullet Journal in a Gillio Firenze Medium Compagna Ring Binder

My Gillio Compagna undyed, the day I received it
The one consistent part of my planner style – two-column dailies all the way

You can’t venture into the ring-binder world without stumbling across Gillio Firenze. Gillio has been making high-end luxury binders for decades, and while I won’t go into the specifics (you can find details in this post specifically about my Gillio) I will say that it is 100% worth every dime you’ll spend on it. Gillio announced its release of the undyed line at PlannerCon Europe in October, and I knew as soon as it was announced that I had to have one. I marked the release date on my calendar and happily managed to snag one the day they came out. My undyed delivered in the second week of November and I have used it every single day since then. I have no desire whatsoever to purchase another planner. I love the way the undyed leather ages with use. I love the ring mechanism. I love the customizability. I love the large back pocket. I love literally everything about this binder. I will never turn back. I have truly found planner peace (and for that, my husband is incredibly thankful – shout out to you for being so awesome about the amount of money I’ve spent on planner stuff this year!).

The undyed Compagna as of December 23, 2017 – it is aging beautifully!

So, there’s my rundown of 2017: The Year of the Planner. I am grateful to have finally found planner peace and hopeful that you all find it, as well! 🙂



Christmas Gifts for the Papyrophile in Your Life: A Guide

Christmas Gifts for the Papyrophile in Your Life: A Guide

Somehow, someway, it’s already the Christmas season! I can’t believe it, but I hear time goes faster the older you get and it seems to be ringing true.

Since the Christmas season is, indeed, upon us, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a gift guide that can be passed along to husbands, parents, siblings, friends, and miscellaneous family that is appropriate for any papyrophile (a person who loves paper, notebooks, stationery, etc.) regardless of their budget! Enjoy!

***Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. I am not getting paid or reimbursed or any product for anything I say here. I just love recommending shit to people, especially when it’s shit that I love! Carry on.

A Ring-Bound Planner:

Given my new-found love for ring-bound planners, of course this was going to be the first thing on my list. I’m going to offer you three options of varying price, depending on your budget!

  1. Webster’s Pages Personal Binder: regularly priced $24.99, ON SALE AT THE TIME OF WRITING FOR $12.50!!!!! (binder only) or binder and inserts, regularly priced $34.99 but on sale right now for $17.50! These are a super fun option because they are incredibly affordable, come in lots of cute colors and designs, are relatively durable for the price, and (BONUS) can be bought online or at your local craft store (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s I believe all carry this line). The website states they come with a 1″-1.25″ ring mechanism, which is 25mm-30mm, but I’m not sure how it varies? You don’t get an option to pick 25mm or 30mm that I can see, but whatever. This is a great option for someone on a limited budget, especially if you snatch up the sale prices and get the whole kit with all your inserts already (although the company inserts may not work for everyone), or for someone who wants to try out ring binders to see if it’s the right planning style for them before they drop the money for a more expensive ring binder.
  2. Filofax USA Personal Ring Binder: Filofax is kind of the OG of ring planners, and TBH they have a ton of options for any price range, going from $38 on the low end for a personal Filofax Domino to $220 on the high end for a personal Filofax Classic Croc. Probably your best bet for middle-of-the-line personal ring binders will be either the Filofax Saffiano ($59) or the Filofax Original ($101). The Saffiano is a faux leather binder that comes in fun pop colors, has one pen loop, card pockets and a secretarial pocket on the left and a flap for inserting a notepad on the right. The Original (pictured) is made of real leather (though the site doesn’t specify what type), also comes in fun pop colors or more traditional ones, and features two card pockets, one slip pocket, two elastic pen loops, and one multifunctional elastic holder. Bonus with Filofax is that all binders automatically come with inserts – the Saffiano will come with your choice of a 2017 set or a 2018 set, while the Original comes with an undated perpetual year set. Both come with 23mm Filofax ring mechanisms, as well.
  3. Gillio Firenze Medium Compagna: This is (IMHO) the god of all ring binders. I cannot say enough good things about the Compagna. Vegetable-tanned full-grain Italian calfskin leather (aka the highest-quality leather money can buy), plenty of pockets and card slots, a zippered pocket on the left for change, a flexible pen loop, a leather flyleaf, plus that large document pocket on the back, 25mm Krause rings (the gold standard of ring mechanisms), and a lifetime guarantee. It really doesn’t get better than this, and for a whopping starting price of $286 + $25 shipping to the US you had better feel like you’re getting your money’s worth (trust me – you are!). Pictured is the Yale Blue Compagna, but they come in a variety of colors, plus printed croco, bicolor, printed ostrich, and real ostrich leather (which will run you upwards of $800!). You can also add-on Gillio’s medium inserts and a ton of other stuff, and each of their organizers comes with a free Gillio ballpoint pen in the color of your choice.

BONUS OPTION: Van Der Spek Touch Me Standard: These are EXTREMELY similar to the Compagnas, but come with a slightly lower price point. The VDS TM is a good option that falls in between the Filo Original and the Gillio. You’ve got a choice of five colors of French buffalo leather, plus the same inside features as the Gillio. VDS gives you the option of 25mm OR 30mm Krause rings depending on how much you like to stuff your planner, and will run you approximately $170 total (including taxes and shipping).

A Traveler’s Notebook:

Traveler’s notebooks are a great option as a gift for the stationery-lover in your life because they can be used for about a million different purposes. They can be actual traveler’s notebooks, used to document travels. They can be planners. They can be wallets. They can be journals, memory keepers, literally practically anything you may imagine. Here’s three options of varying price:

  1. May Designs for Target Planner Folio: At $19.99, this is probably the cheapest you’ll be able to find a TN, and it comes with inserts already! This would be considered a cahier-sized TN, and would fit Moleskine Cahier notebooks and other 5×8 notebooks. This is a great value option for someone just testing out the system. They’ve got two secretarial pockets, a pen loop, and come in a handful of different cover styles.
  2. Mystics Little Gifts B6 TN Cover: At the time of this writing, this particular leather (linked) was the only style she still had in-stock, BUT there are usually lots of other options, as well, including full-grain, top-grain, and milled leathers. $40 gets you the classic TN with four elastics and nothing else, but she offers a-la-carte options to customize each TN, which include adding a stitched cover, interior and exterior pockets, reinforced spine, a pen loop, additional elastics, and a larger spine (to hold more inserts). The a-la-carte options range in price from $1 to $13, so it’s totally feasible that you can get a B6 TN (the largest size she offers currently) for under $60.
  3. Foxy Fix Foxy Notebook Cover: Foxy offers ten different leather styles currently, with both full-grain and top-grain leathers available, in probably over 100 different colors! They truly are able to offer a style, color, and texture for almost any person in the market. A fully-loaded compact (four string) No. 7 (cahier-sized) Foxy complete with interior pockets, pen loop, and foiled front cover and spine embossing will run you $121 + shipping in their original styles; a Lush or Spice fully-loaded No. 7 compact (these have a different interior pocket configuration and a large back pocket, similar to the Compagna ring binders) will cost you $137 + shipping. Add $7 to each if you want to upgrade to a wide fitting (six strings). You can also opt for a FN without pockets, pen loop, embossing, etc., and they offer FN singles, as well, which run significantly less than their couture options but also are far less customizable. Pictured is a wide Spice Thyme.

BONUS OPTION: Chic Sparrow Traveler’s Notebooks: Chic Sparrow falls (price-range wise) somewhere between MLG and FF. A Wide (cahier-sized) Deluxe TN, which comes with stitching, internal pockets, four strings, and a pen loop will run you about $113. Chic Sparrow also offers a Classic option, which is just the TN cover with four strings for $87.99 in the Wide size, and has a handful of options you can add at an additional cost from there. Chic Sparrow TNs are all full-grain leather and are very high-quality. Pictured is a Deluxe Mr. Darcy Carie Harling Violet TN.

Bound Notebooks:

Maybe a customizable insert-based system isn’t what works for the papyrophile in your life. In that case, here are three options for bound notebooks that will work beautifully for bullet journaling, regular journaling, note taking… basically anything you could want to use a bound notebook for!

  1. Essentials Dot-Matrix A5 Notebook: Featuring an inside back cover pocket, elastic band to keep the journal closed, ribbon bookmark, hardcover binding, and 192 pages of 100 gsm acid-free archival dot-grid paper for $9.92 on Amazon, this is a really great entry-level bullet journal-style notebook.
  2. Rhodia A5 Webnotebook: This hardbound dot-grid notebook comes with 96 sheets of 90g ivory Clairefontaine paper, an Italian leatherette hardcover, an elastic closure band, inner pocket, and ribbon bookmark, and will cost you $19.95 on the Goulet Pens website! The Clairefontaine paper is fantastic, super-smooth, fountain pen friendly paper, and the notebook itself comes in a handful of colors.
  3. The Official Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal A5 Notebook: Currently offered in emerald or black, this *~*~official~*~* bullet journal is blind embossed on the front with Ryder Carroll’s Bullet Journal logo and features pre-printed key and index pages, 240 numbered  (front and back) dot-grid pages, an elastic closure band, and three (not one, not two, but THREE) ribbon bookmarks. At the low, low price of $24.95 on the Goulet Pens website, this notebook is sure to please any die-hard bullet journalist in your life!

BONUS OPTION: Zequenz Classic 360 Soft-Bound A5 Grid journal: I own this notebook in the B6 size and feel honor-bound to list it here because I just think it’s a super handy notebook. It’s soft bound but lays flat and rolls up easily, it’s got 200 pages (400 total, front and back) of 70 GSM premium acid-free fountain-pen-friendly grid paper (which I prefer to dot paper, to be totally honest), and comes with a nifty magnetic bookmark, as well. For $21.95 on Amazon, you really can’t beat the price for the quality and sheer number of pages you’re getting, and I love my B6 size (which is slightly cheaper, clocking in at $18.95 on Amazon).

Fountain Pens:

I exclusively write with fountain pens. I am obsessed with them and think they are just the greatest things. Here are three of my favorites on the low-end of the fountain pen price range (cause this shit gets expensive quick):

  1. Caliarts Ego Transparent Piston-Filled Fountain Pen: These can be found on eBay for anywhere from $10 to $12. They are a Chinese kind of a knock-off pen, but I own one and it’s honestly one of my favorite pens. It has a huge ink capacity, the piston-filling mechanism is super smooth, and the steel F nib is buttery and lush. It’s a clear demonstrator pen, which is also super fun when you’re using colored ink.
  2. Pilot Metropolitan: The Metro was my first-ever fountain pen, and so I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for it. Offered in F or M nibs and had for $15 at the Goulet Pens website, these are super nifty little pens that make for a great starter pen if you’re first getting into the FP world. They take proprietary Pilot ink cartridges or a squeeze converter (both included), or you can purchase a twist converter separately – both converters would allow you to use bottled ink with your pen. These are just super fun!
  3. TWSBI 580AL: These come in a myriad of colors and nib sizes, and are the original version of the Caliarts Ego dupe mentioned above. Running you anywhere from $50 to $60 at Goulet Pens, depending on the style and color you choose, TWSBIs are super fun and super smooth-writing piston-filled fountain pens with an awesome reputation for quality.

BONUS OPTION: Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo: Included here because this is my workhorse EDC fountain pen that goes everywhere I go. You can’t beat the rhodium-plated 18k gold retractable nib for taking quick notes and not having to worry about screwing off a cap. They have a relatively good ink capacity and take both proprietary Pilot cartridges and converters. They come in a variety of colors and nib sizes, and are just an awesome pen to have in your collection. Tipping the scales at $140 from Goulet Pens, this is the most expensive fountain pen that I’ll recommend, but it has been 100% worth the money since I bought it as a Christmas gift for myself in December 2015. 10/10 would recommend again and again.

Other accessories and recommendations, in no particular order:


So there you have it! A fairly thorough gift-giving-guide for the stationery lover in your life. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional recommendations! 🙂





Cora’s 4th and Rory’s 1st Birthday Party!

Cora’s 4th and Rory’s 1st Birthday Party!

This weekend, a sweet friend of mine let me come out to her babies’ birthday parties and take all the photos my heart desired. I ended up snapping about 1,500 photos that I gave to her on a jump drive (two jump drives, actually) as David’s and my birthday gift to her and the babies.

Probably my favorite part about this whole day was being able to watch Courtney and Alexx interact with their babies and just be able to be in the moment, rather than trying to capture the moment themselves. None of these photos have been edited by me in any way, shape, or form, but I think so many of them still turned out so well!

Here are some of my absolute favorites from this weekend:



South River Gun Club USPSA Match – 3 September 2017

South River Gun Club USPSA Match – 3 September 2017

I went with David a few weeks ago to a USPSA match and managed to snap some cool photos!

Two casings in the air – cool!
Stage run-through
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Meat Pony
Probably my favorite picture ever
Camera did a good job with the action shots!
All that smoke!
Sheathed in a blanket of freedom
More casings in the air
Maybe my favorite photo from the day – check out that bullet flying out of the gun!

More stage run-throughs
Ghost Holster

So official all he needs is a whistle

CZ Shadow 2

Kind of into the action shots

Last stage of the day!

Painting – With a Twist!

Painting – With a Twist!

This past weekend, I went to a pet portraiture class with a dear friend of mine. While I certainly did not miss my calling in the world of art (see previous post – I am not artistic!), I had a lot of fun in the class and came home with a decent painting of my sweet little Dot nugget, who passed back in December 2016. We had to submit in photos of the pets we wanted to paint beforehand, and when we got to the studio, they had set out charcoal sketches of all our pups (which, of course, I didn’t snap a good photo of).

The first step we were given was to paint in the background and the paint the shadows on the pets – the teacher called this the “underpainting.” I have another painting of our pup, Mac, who passed in June 2016, that was given to me by the same sweet friend I went to the class with, and it has the green-red-yellow-blue primary colors thing going on. It’s on display in our living room, so I was trying to match this color scheme to that one, although the green ended up being waaaay darker and my colors are all patchy and the yellow/orange/blanket wrinkles thing is questionable.

See my reference photo down at the bottom on the table?

After we finished up the shadows, we added in the highlights and the base color. It was tough mixing the right color for Dot’s fur – it was made even tougher when you consider the fact that I’m colorblind! My friend, bless her, was helping me determine which colors on my palette were the correct ones to use.

“I’m ready to go out on patrol, sergeant – I’ve got my camo face paint on and everything!”

At this point, Dot had started looking a little like she was in the military – she had a camo face paint thing going on, so the sweet teachers came over to hep me correct the color and lighten her up a little bit.

Ahhhh that’s better.

I got to start adding in her fluffy puppy fur on her sweet little head and ears, and that was super fun and turned out really cute.

Eyes before highlighting

Once we started adding the eyes and nose, it all really started to come together and look like my sweet little Dot Dot.

Eyes after highlighting!

This is the finished product that I brought home, and I’m pretty proud of it given my considerable lack of artistic talent! The teacher said, “For a single color dog, she definitely has a lot of colors!” The photo I had brought for reference had a lot of play of shadow and light, and even though at first glance, Dot was predominately the lighter tan color, when you really started to look you could see the black and darker brown places, especially on her face and ears. To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize she had a little ‘stache until I was painting this picture.

But, here it is! The whole class was a ton of fun. They do pet portraiture classes on the last Sunday of each month, so we’re going back again in September!