Welcome Bienvenidos!

Beginners Colored Pencil Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 6 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Colored pencil class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 20 5:30 - 7:30

Beginners Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
March 27 5:30 - 7:30

Mixed Media Watercolor Class at Kirk Bear Canyon Library
April 3 5:30 - 7:30

* Individual and group tutoring is available too :) Contact me here or Facebook or my website SueBetanzos.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Great Pyrenees Dog Portrait

Finished! This Great Pyrenees original dog portrait painting is for Big Fluffy Dog Rescue. It was commissioned by a passionate dog and animal lover who adopted sibling 'Pyrs' from this rescue. Wonderful companions - her babies :) Many heartfelt thank you's from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue and all the sweet dogs it will help as they wait for their forever home. All are fostered with lovely people.

I also sent a fluffy dog print of Australian Shepherd 'Risa Belly Rubs along with it '. Hope it raises the maximum for your wonderful rescue. Best wishes with your art auction!

Great Pyrenees original dog portrait painting. 8x10" acrylic on canvas. Artist: Sue Betanzos.com

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Rescue Dog Portrait

In progress, almost finished!
8"x10" acrylic on canvas for a rescue site.
I love painting and drawing our furry canine companions :)
Can you guess what breed?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Watercolor Practice I

One of the most important things to know when starting something new is that at first it's going to be awkward, uncomfortable, even frustrating at times.
That's expected and o.k.

Eventually, as you become more comfortable with the new venture, your confidence will grow.
Watercolor is a medium I am using more this year, enjoying the new feel of the luminous watery media and it's challenges.

Here is one of many practice sheets using the paper that came with an inexpensive kit. The repetitive brush strokes are part of the learning.
Even though I have been painting most of my life, practice is part of my routine. It's relaxing too.

Watercolor classes 1 & II at the Kirk Bear Canyon Library:
• March 27 - 5:50 pm - 7:30 pm
• April 3  5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Now get back to work and practice :)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Materials for Coloring & Watercolor Classes

Supply List Of Materials for the Kirk Bear Canyon Library Classes:

These are some of the art supplies I used to create the demo examples for the class.

Some supplies will be provided by the library.

You may prefer to use supplies you already have, and that’s perfectly fine. Your results may

be different ... and that’s fine too.

If the suggested brands are not available, feel free to substitute.

Please avoid anything labeled “student” or “academy” grade regarding paints and pencils,

which tend to be lesser quality and can be difficult to work with. For the same reason, never

buy the generic or store brand of pencils or paints (such as Artist’s Loft or Master’s Touch) sold by

 Michaels and Hobby Lobby.


• HB drawing pencil

• Kneaded eraser

• Pencil sharpner ( the hand held KUM brand is good)

• Watercolor:140lb cold pressed watercolor paper, 9”x12” (Strathmore, Arches, Fabriano)

• Colored Pencil: Strathmore Bristol Vellum 9x12” pad

• 3 watercolor brushes: #1 round, #4 round, 1⁄2” chisel, #1 round ( I love the yellow nylon

“golden taklon”, Simply Simmon, and Coteman synthetic brushes, which are inexpensive

and durable and perform very well. Sometimes they are called “synthetic sable.”

• Something roomy upon which to mix your watercolors: a white palette or an old china

plate or white Styrofoam plate.

• A beginners watercolor tube set of the Royal & Langnickle which has a variety of colors at

a good value to start out. Coteman small pan set of watercolors is also nice and affordable.

• White gouache, any brand (an opaque watercolor) or FW white liquid acrylic.

• Prismacolor, Koh-I-Noor, or other Artist Quality colored pencils. Info HERE on brands.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Colored Pencils for Coloring Classes

Colored Pencil Classes at the Kirk Bear Canyon Library March 6 & 20, 5:30 - 7:30.

Ready for some creative coloring but confused about what to get, where to start?

There are a lot of options out there and it can be a little overwhelming for the beginner, if you don't know what you're looking for. In the many years of drawing, I have tried a lot of brands, types of pencils, products.

Colored pencils have so many possibilities. It's a slow enjoyable medium with a zen like quality as layers of shading are applied. That's why coloring is recommended for stress relief - Slow, creative unwinding. The continued popularity of coloring books is evidence - they are Everywhere.

The following is a list of colored pencil brands I have tried and own. I often mix the brands to get the results I want.
I have featured the current popular brands with some prices and quality info.
Links enclosed are to:
 Michaels (online coupon), Sarnoffs of Tucson, Walmart (Prismacolors, best deal),  Amazon.

    Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils
$$   Pros: Artist Quality. Rich buttery pigments, blends and layers beautifully.  Large color selection. Online color charts available on their site for download. Available at many places, even at Walmart.
       Cons:  Soft core lead breaks easily. Not all colors are lightfast.
        Wax Binder. Can develop a waxy haze on top of layers.

   Prismacolor Verithin Colored Pencils
$$  Pros: Artist Quality. Rich pigments, Large color selection. Hard lead core does not break easily            and keeps a sharp point. Good for fine details.
      Cons: The harder lead makes blending a bit more difficult.
      Wax binder.

   Koh-I-Noor Polychromos Colored Pencils
$$  Pros: Artist Quality. Nice pigments, blends and layers easily. Hard lead core does not break easily      and keeps a sharp point. Up to 72 color selection. Michaels carries this brand. Blends nicely with         Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils and Faber-Castell pencils. Get the ones Encased In Wood.
     Cons: Only found in select stores. The wood cased ones only found online.
      Oil binder. No wax haze, clean finish.

      Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils
$$$ Pros: Artist Quality. Rich pigments that blend and layer beautifully. Large color selection. Online        color charts available on their site for download. Most colors are lightfast. Lead is harder, keeps a        sharp point longer, doesn't break easily.
       Cons: A bit more expensive.
       Oil Binder. No wax haze, clean finish.

Sarnoffs of Tucson and Michaels offer the artist quality pencils individually to purchase. Another reason to buy artist quality - they are usually available individually in case you run out of your favorite colors.
Or would like to try a new brand but don't want to buy a whole set of the higher end products.
* Bottom line (no pun intended): get the best materials your budget can afford.

So don't wait - just start!
Stay tuned for paper suggestions. Art results depend not only on the pencil choice, but more importantly, the paper choice.

There are additional media combos for colored pencils like inks and mirco pens, watercolors for later posts. Mixed media is my very favorite method of creating.

Happy coloring!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Colored Pencil Classes!

Time to learn new colored pencil techniques.
If you are a beginner or already have experience with colored pencils, then Colored Pencils I and II are being offered this March at the Kirk Bear Canyon Library.

Free to the public and sponsored by Friends of the Kirk Bear Canyon Library. Limited seating, registration is required.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Happy St. Francis Collectors

Happy collectors of the very special St. Francis series.
They make my heart glow with their personal stories :)

The best part is the lovely people I have met and collaborated with. I am continually humbled that they have selected me to honor the memories of their beloved furry companions.

"It's incredible!!! Wow!!!! My parents LOVE Thank you, again!!!!"

"It brought them both to tears! I would love to definitely keep in touch and support! ... I feel connected to you and your art. Thank you again, Sue!"

Hours of research go into designing each painting to include many tiny details.
The paintings invite repeated viewings as more is discovered. I learn so much about the area, the flora and fauna so that each painting is meaningful, personal.
Each commissioned portrait comes with a certificate of authenticity and a digital print of the artwork. Sometimes even bookmarks  :)  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

St. Francis in Texas

St. Francis love is universal and here he is in Texas.
Instead of the glass painting, this is an acrylic on a 9x12" cradled board.

St. Francis main companions are two loving brindle boxers, a clever Amazon green napped parrot and a sweet Angus cow. Whimsical accents of regional flora and fauna surround them.
The rest is my imagination to add a bit of magic in a place of love, trust and peace.

Some of the flora and fauna include: Vermilion flycatcher, Scissor tailed flycatcher, Meadow lark, Green Jay, Red winged Blackbird, Armadillo, Jackrabbit, Rat, Gopher, cactus, flowers. The white iris and house in the trees on the horizon are part of their ranch.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Risa's SoulShine Mosaic Grout Tutorial

A little grouting demonstration for the SoulShine mosaic paper weight memorial of Risa's lovely spirit. Colorful glass bead 'rays', chain, clear glass beads, red iridescent glass adhered onto a small black stone. A fun little student project!

• After glass and beads have been glued, the adhesive has to completely dry. In our dry climate it's about a day for Weldbond, a couple of days for cement. Weldbond PVC glue was used for this mosaic.

• Painters tape is used to mask around the edge for a nice clean grout line. Small cut pieces overlaid go around the curved shape. The tape also prevents grout from getting on the rest of the stone.

• Black Mapei grout was used with Mapei grout additive in place of water. An eye dropper is used for small work to add liquid because it is more controlled and easier. Walmart has them very cheap.

• As you can see I recycle my paint palettes! The grout is mixed a little thinner than peanut butter to get into all areas easily. Grout is gently smoothed over the mosaic and over the edges of the beads, making sure not to go beyond masked tape.  Then the grout is left to set up about 10 minutes or less.

• A small bit of sponge, container of water and patience is all that's needed to wipe off excess grout to reveal the pretty beads, glass, mirror.
Video link shows how I wipe the grout off carefully, not using too much water. A small towel to blot off the excess water is handy now.

•  Once all of the excess grout has been wiped clean, carefully peel off the masking tape around the edges.

Finished! The grout will continue to harden and set up for a few hours.

Soulshine Mosaic stone

A little Risa's SoulShine mosaic inspiration on stone with glittering beads and red iridescent glass, at the bottom. Came across a dog show today with tri-Aussies. Thought of Risa and this little mosaic came to mind :)

Dogface Butterfly and Monarch Butterfly mosaic stones are colorful companions. Mirror is a favorite material usually included in my mosaics.
The decorative stones make excellent paper weights and doorstops. They also decorate nicely in a landscape design.

Up next, Horned Toad Lizard below. Here is part of the layout and stone. The Horned Toad was supposed to go on a large jewelry box, but I like it on this Large, interesting natural stone below with it's mirror and chain accents.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Wildlife Painting - Mixed Media Class

For artists who like to dabble in a variety of media I'm offering classes in mixed media painting. Colored pencils with an underpainting.

It's my favorite method to work in, whether mosaics or painting because I like the effects of a variety of media and most of my work has a foundational underpainting.

The Barn Owl below was painted with an under painting of watercolor, then refined with colored pencils. White feather dots are gel pen.

Interested in advancing your art skills? Contact me for class information via this blog in the comment section below or my Facebook page Sue Betanzos Design where you can message me and post your questions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mosaic Rocks! Mosaic Classes

Well mosaics do rock Haha! In this case, on rocks that will go in the garden. The paisley is in progress with glass beads and mirror.  Dog faced Butterfly almost finished.

Easy versions of garden art on tile will be offered in mosaic classes this month.
Interested in advancing your mosaic skills? Contact me for class information via this blog in the comments section below or on my Facebook page Sue Betanzos Designs where you can message me and post your questions.

Winter is when Tucson shines as a destination area full of activities and fun. Choose something creative to do!