Life Book 2017 Sneak Preview

Life Book Sneak Preview

Life Book 2017 has started!!! I checked out the first two lessons and it promises to be a good, very good year!!!

I’m teaching two lessons in this wonderful year-long art journaling course…the bonus lesson I’ll keep secret for now, but my main lesson is really, really cool…it’s a wonderful watercolor & mixed media technique like you can see in the page above. I’ve decided to give you a sneak preview; in the latest newsletter you’ll find a step-by-step photo series of a painting like the one that will feature in my Life Book lesson.

If you’re not getting my newsletter yet, you can still sign up. When you do, I’ll make sure this step-by-step Sneak Preview lands in your mail box! To sign up, go here!


Oh, and before I forget…there are only 5 days left to grab the 20% discount which makes this already affordable course extreme value for money! You can find the coupon code in the newsletter!

What resolutions did you make?

I never took New Year’s resolutions seriously. But this year I have one.

new year's resolutions art journal page

Racing cars and hyper-focus

You see, I’m kind of a formula-1 racing car. I carefully engineer my plans and then I take off in a dash, leaving people amazed at the speed and noise with which I go. This kind of productivity is made possible by a hyper-focus mode which deepens and intensifies my concentration and pushes away any needs in favor of that focus. Those are the days that my daughter’s return from school catches me by surprise  because only then do I realize I lost track of the clock and totally forgot about lunch or any other needs. Days like that can easily string into periods of weeks at a time in which I get a lot done.

Pit stops and gravel traps

But, as with most racing cars, I need to make a lot of pit stops to repair damage and refuel. And, quite to my embarrassment, I often land in the gravel traps. Worn out to the bone, the ultra-productive weeks take their toll with one or two weeks of physical misery. Then a fatigue knocks at my door so deep that I sometimes fear it will drag me under the pavement in the back yard. Then stray viruses bite themselves a way into my flesh, periods refuse to wait for their time and weaknesses blow themselves up into undeniable proportion because my body won’t resist anyway.

The amount of energy it takes to get back on a roll after crashing is unspeakable. Starting up costs way more energy than driving.

Steam trains

I met quite a few steam trains over the years. People who are the perfect opposite of me in life and work. They take time to do things and have no trouble resolving to do something ‘some time’. Or the week after. And they have the audacity to take time for family, friends, hobbies, long baths, days out and such luxuries. Stuck inside my own frame of reference I used to think that such a laid back way of working wouldn’t get them far. But now, a few years later, studies have been finished, new career paths have been trodden and new companies are up and running. In other words, the steam trains got as far as I did. But with one big difference: they took things easy, enjoyed life more, stayed in the race with a pit stop or two and managed all of that without crashing. So in the end, they didn’t spend half the amount of energy I did to get just as far.

Lesson learned, resolution made

So, being a steam train isn’t that bad after all, it seems. It’s impossible to change one’s character, but I’ve seen enough gravel the past years. So this year I’m going to try and say bye-bye to my inner racing car and embrace my inner steam train instead!

I’m curious; what new-year’s resolutions did you make?

Best wishes and Life Book update

christmas card mandy van goeije

Hello from the cocoon, dear people…I’ve already retreated from the dark and cold outside into my warm nest, filling it up with lights and love, to celebrate the return of the sun…the longest night is already behind us on the Northern hemisphere…

How are you celebrating the holidays?

After this roller coaster year we nearly have behind us, we’re planning on some serious cocooning…that is to say, our cocoon includes long walks with the dog and of course family and friends. Not too much hassle, though, this year. We’re taking the time to do things slowly and enjoy our time together. My entire Christmas planning fitted on one side of a 5x5″piece of paper a quarter of which was still empty…no stress this year! And I must say…it’s fantastic! Soup’s cooking and some final laundry is tumbling in the drier, so I had time for a little blog post. Mainly, I want to wish everybody very happy holidays…whether you celebrate Christmas, or not…if anything, I wish you a lot of warmth and light in your life. Not just for Christmas, but for keeps…

Life Book Love

Speaking of light and warmth…it is double worth checking out Life Book 2017 this holiday season! Until 14 January you get 20% off at checkout if you fill in the code: FIREWORKS2017
I’m not just saying that because I’m a teacher next year, because leaving myself out of the equasion, I think that if you’re looking for a huge amount of input and a great diversity in techniques, Life Book 2017 really does have a lot to offer…and the 20% off makes it the best priced program in the field for what you’re getting by far.

(com)mission accomplished!

2016 has been a mad year for me and my family. I remember so well that on New Year’s eve last year, I said out loud that 2016 would finally be a calm year. Well, as you know, it wasn’t. And still, it was a beautiful year that made us treasure what we have more deeply. It was the year in which I produced 5 online courses (of which two will run next year) and a lot of review videos and many journal pages and also the year in which I did this illustration for a health care organisation. It became their Christmas card to all their relations…

Itching fingers

And now, after a year of hard work, it’s time to retreat, to be with the ones we love and if we can’t be with them, to reach out to them, call them, write them, be with them in mind, remember them.
It’s time to find light in the darkness and to nurture our light and keep it burning to help light the world.
And it’s time to stretch and massage our fingers and whisper sweet little somethings to them for they carry our voices onto paper to share our ideas with the world. Grant them a little rest or finally let them go rampant on our sheets of paper and canvases…my last Color-my-page Art challenge got lost in the end-of-year humdrum and my fingers are itching to dig it up and finally work with the lovely greens the challenge turned out for me.

Well, dear people…this will be all for now…I’m retreating back deep into my cocoon for the coming weeks. I wish you all very warm and light weeks and am looking forward to seeing you back again next year!

Love, Mandy

Color-my-page Art Journal Challenge #4, Daniel Smith Watercolor Sticks, Giveaway and Discount

Another generous offer

A few weeks back I received a message from Gina offering me a wonderful set of Daniel Smith watercolor sticks to try for a demo video and look what she’s sent me! An amazing set of Daniel Smith watercolor sticks for another amazing art challenge plus some more gorgeous art supplies I can’t wait to try. But first, this Color-My-Page art challenge that you can take part in too if you like. And this week there is an Art Giveaway. More info in this post!

Gina's parcel, bringing me Daniel Smith watercolor sticks, M. Graham watercolor paints (yay) and Prismacolor markers

Smart thinking: from sticks to pans

Gina wrote how she loved the Daniel Smith watercolor sticks. They seem a bit cheaper than the tubes and also, she figured out that if you cut the sticks into chunks, you can fill pans with it and thus create your own paint box. This way she makes these sticks incredibly versatile! I’m not an easy one to convince to buy crayons or paint sticks because it’s so different to the way I normally work. But Gina came up with a wonderful application that made these sticks very interesting to me! I tried a green one that I got from Caroline in the last Color-My-Page art challenge and was pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the paint and how easily a wet brush picks up paint from it! The fact that Gina put them into these pans makes them so much easier to work with when working with a lot of colors at the same time. So my fingers are itching to go!

Daniel Smith watercolor sticks in pans

So…now vote my colors and win the demo painting!!!

Right below you will find the color chart and the poll where you can vote for your 5 favorite colors. The top 3 will be used for the Color-my-Page demo video. If you would like to take part in the giveaway of the original demo painting, then please leave a comment below this blog post so that I can contact you should your name pop up…♥

Daniel Smith watercolor stick color chart
Which Daniel Smith watercolor Sticks would you like to see me use in my next demo and review video? You can pick 5. The top 3 will be used! Don't forget to leave a comment below this blog post for the giveaway of this painting!!!
  • Bloodstone Genuine (oh my, what a pretty influencing you guys at all...neh-eh... 😉 ) 14%, 51 vote
    51 vote 14%
    51 vote - 14% of all votes
  • NIckel Azo Yellow (please, choose this one...please...not trying to influence the poll....not at all.... 😉 ) 10%, 37 votes
    37 votes 10%
    37 votes - 10% of all votes
  • Undersea Green 9%, 32 votes
    32 votes 9%
    32 votes - 9% of all votes
  • Quinacrione Coral 8%, 28 votes
    28 votes 8%
    28 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Quinacridone Violet 7%, 27 votes
    27 votes 7%
    27 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Phtalo Turquoise 7%, 26 votes
    26 votes 7%
    26 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Quinacridone Gold 6%, 23 votes
    23 votes 6%
    23 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Piemontite Genuine 4%, 16 votes
    16 votes 4%
    16 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Sodalite 4%, 15 votes
    15 votes 4%
    15 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Indanthrone 4%, 14 votes
    14 votes 4%
    14 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Buff Titanium 3%, 12 votes
    12 votes 3%
    12 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Quinacridone Burnt Orange 3%, 12 votes
    12 votes 3%
    12 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Blue Apatite 3%, 11 votes
    11 votes 3%
    11 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Hansa Yellow Deep 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Quinacridone Red 2%, 7 votes
    7 votes 2%
    7 votes - 2% of all votes
  • French Ultramarine 2%, 7 votes
    7 votes 2%
    7 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Ben heel benieuwd en loot graag mee voor de watercolor sticks* 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Quinacridone Scarlet 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Lunar Black 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Crimson 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • New Gamboge 1%, 4 votes
    4 votes 1%
    4 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Phtalo Blue Red Shade 1%, 4 votes
    4 votes 1%
    4 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Aureolin 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Burnt Sienna 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Phtalo Blue Green Shade 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Burnt Yellow Ochre 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Hansa Yellow Light 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Permanent Red 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Hansa Yellow Medium 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Raw Sienna 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Yellow Ochre 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 370
Voters: 84
November 28, 2016 - December 2, 2016
Voting is closed
© Kama

Watercolor Workshops ahead and 20% discount on LifeBook 2017!

Before the end of this year I will launch a lovely watercolor workshop. So keep an eye on my blog or sign up for my newsletter so you’re sure not to miss out on the opening sale! I’m also a guest teacher in Life Book 2017 for which I’m doing an adventurous watercolor workshop! There is now a 20% discount to be had by using the coupon code FIREWORKS2017 before 14 January 2017 at checkout. See you there?

More Daniel Smith watercolor paint videos by my hand

A little while ago, I did four Daniel Smith videos after I’d received a Daniel Smith dot sampler color chart to review. You can find the Yellows and Reds here, the  Blues and Greens here, the Browns and earth tones here and the Blacks, whites and effect paints here.

Color my Page #3: Daniel Smith watercolors – the Caroline edition

Daniel Smith watercolors…would they be as great as they are made out to be? I tried the dot color sampler, as you can see in my demo videos of it. And I was impressed. Only, some viewers said: Hey, Mandy, some of that paint is much more easily lifted from the tube and is much more vibrant from the tube! So I got curious…

…and then Caroline generously sent me set of seven vials of this wonderful Daniel Smith watercolors to play with. I let you decide which three colors to use and here is what I made!

Color mixing chart

First I did a color mixing chart of the three colors I was given through the poll. This is a wonderful tool to see what colors can be made by mixing or expected when used wet in wet.

The colors that came from these three colors were wonderful and very warm. Moonglow proved to be a color that altered the warm red and yellow so well, creating a range from purple to bronze to orange to yellow.

The Painting

Then it was time to sit down for the painting. I had no idea what to paint. Sometimes I have a fixed idea in my head due to previous ideas I had. Sometimes it’s a dream that conjurs up an image that sticks in my head all day, waiting to be painted. Sometimes it’s the folds in a towel that ended up in the corner of our bathroom that transformed into a character in my gaze. Sometimes it’s a feeling I have that is very strong and that asks for a character to let it out. Today there was none of the above.

So I started with a watercolor stain, which I trust to bring me a character to paint…and indeed, it did!

La Vieille Dame painting in Daniel Smith watercolors by mandy van goeije

Demo / review Video

Color My Page Challenges and Online Watercolor Workshops ahead!

I’d love to know what you’d like to see me demo and/or review next. I can’t promise I can fulfill every request, but I have a lot of art supplies here and I might just be able to make you happy! Let me know in the Color My Page facebook group!

Want to be kept up-to-date about every Color My Page challenge and perhaps even join yourself? Sign up for the closed Facebook page here.

I’m teaching a new online watercolor course this fall. If you want to be notified as soon as it launches, sign up for my newsletter here.

Life Book 2017 Discount Code for 20% off

If you like to see me as a (watercolor) guest teacher among many fantastic and inspiring teachers, visit LifeBook 2017…it may be just the thing for you! Now get 20% off until 14 January 2017…fill out the discount code: FIREWORKS2017

Color my Page #2: QoR watercolors demo and review

Ahhhh…finally I’ve been able to sit down and film the Color My Page demo and review of QoR watercolor paints! You chose colors that offered a bit of a challenge, but the paint was so fine it worked out nicely! Check out the photos and video below!
QoR watercolor by Golden art journal page by mandy van goeije

What is the Color my Page Challenge?

The Color My Page challenge is a challengeing way for me to demo and review art supplies. The way it works, is that I pick a type and brand of art supply and give you a color chart. Then you can vote for your favorite colors. The top three of your favorites will be used in the demo and review video! This week you voted for QoR Cobalt Teal, Transparent Pyrrole Orange and Quinacridone Magenta.

In return you can also take the challenge! If you like, you can join me in the challenge by using the same colors – or colors that are close – in an art journal page. Our work can be posted in the facebook group, which you can find here.

QoR watercolor art journal page by Mandy van Goeije

How did I like QoR?

In one sentence: QoR watercolor paint is fantastic! I love it! I’m not getting paid by Golden to say this. My experience with this paint is just great! Check out the video why.

This paint falls in the same quality range as Daniel Smith, Rembrandt, Winsor & Newton Artist’s, Sennelier fine watercolor and Schmincke Horadam. So far I’ve had no luck acquaring Holbein and M Graham yet, so I can’t compare this paint to those brands yet. QoR comes closest to the Sennelier watercolor in vibrancy and transparency and how well it layers.

QoR watercolor art journal page by Mandy van Goeije

QoR Demo and Review

In the video below I demonstrate how I painted my art journal page with the QoR watercolor paint and I also share my experiences with you. If you are only interested in the review, you can skip to 7:45 for the QoR review.

QoR watercolor art journal page by Mandy van Goeije

Color My Page Challenges and Online Watercolor Workshops ahead!

Do you want to vote for Color My Page #3 Daniel Smith watercolors? Visit this blogpost of mine before 5 November and let me know which colors you want to see me demonstrate and review!

Want to be kept up-to-date about every Color My Page challenge and perhaps even join yourself? Sign up for the closed Facebook page here.

I’m teaching a new online watercolor course this fall. If you want to be notified as soon as it launches, sign up for my newsletter here.

If you like to see me as a (watercolor) guest teacher among many fantastic and inspiring teachers, visit LifeBook 2017…it may be just the thing for you!

FAQ about my watercolor paint reviews on YouTube

frequently asked questions

With a growing YouTube audience, I get asked certain questions A LOT! Thus far I’ve been trying to answer everybody individually, but it’s becoming a rather time-consuming job, so I figured it would be a good idea to answer the most frequently asked questions in FAQ vlogs. I filmed the first three today. You can find them below.

FAQ #1: Can you review this or that paint for me?

I get a lot of requests for paint reviews. There are so many gorgeous paint brands out there and yet I cannot review them all – much to my regret. Here is why…

FAQ #2: Why don’t you do details on pigments?

I sometimes get questions or complaints about not discussing watercolorpigments and chemical specifics in my paint reviews. I choose not to do that. And here is the reason why…

FAQ #3: Which paint should I buy?

Undoubtedly THE most asked question on my channel and in my mailbox…”Mandy, what paint do you think I should buy?” There is no straight and easy answer to this question. In this video I explain why not and  hope to give some information that is helpful to you in choosing your watercolor paint…

Watercolor workshops ahead!

I’m currently filming a new watercolor workshop that will appear this fall. It was the drying time of a project that I used to film these first three FAQ vlogs in! If you’re interested in my next course and want to be among the firs to find out about the launch and the early bird sale, then sign up for my newsletter here.

If you’re intersted in a lot of artistic variety in online workshops, you might like to know I’m teaching a watercolor workshop (and a really, really great bonus!!!! ssssshhhhttt….) in the year-long art journaling course Life Book 2017. You can find more about it behind the link!

Thanks for visiting my site. Welcome!

I'm Mandy van Goeije, a Dutch artist/illustrator/teacher. With a head full of inspiration I relentlessly try to find ways of expressing myself in imagery and language, helping others to do the same.

If you have any questions, you can e-mail me here.

My online workshops:

I'm a guest teacher at: