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, April 27, 2017

Bee Flower Wreath Coloring Book Art

Sometimes, when I have a lot going on or just freeze, I go to a super simple project to kickstart myself.
Last year a friend gave me a coloring book that I had admired and I finally took a couple of the designs to color, adding more line work.  Art without much planning, just doing.  I tucked in more flowers and embellished the painting with gold and silver (wings, seed heads).
 I loved getting lost in painting the extra flowers, playing with metallics, using my vintage flower book from my days in the UK.  Watercolor painting on Strathmore Vellum Bristol paper. Image was copied onto heavier paper.

Bee Wreath watercolor. Adapted from Eleri Fowler's charming Joyous Blooms to Color
When I think back, I can still smell the sweet pea flowers I added along with colorful poppies, leaves.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

St. Francis Of Assisi, The Original Environmentalist

Happy Earth Day!

St. Francis of Assisi was speaking of the love and importance of the natural world long before the word Environmentalist.

May the love of the natural world bring harmony and peace to all in the spirit of St. Francis. A person who acknowledged the importance of every twig, bird, life, the wind and this beautiful place we call Earth!

St. Francis and Friends. Prints of St. Francis at Art Of Sue
In case you haven't read this lovely poem prayer, here you go, The Prayer of St. Francis.
(no religious message intentions, just some good old fashioned advice on kindness, which this world could use right about now).

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal live.

As most of of you know, I work in two different styles; realistic and whimsical. The St. Francis collection is my whimsical side and prints of these are found in my Etsy shop. Cheerful, happy, colorful art to brighten any animal and dog lover's space.

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  :)