There are certain questions that we are asked again and again- and we love answering them! In fact, talking about watercolor is just about our favorite thing to do. But we are laying out some of our most frequently asked questions here for your convenience.
I heard something happened to Jess, is she okay? What is going on? Are you still open?
Jess was hospitalized in early April 2016 for a stroke and artery damage as the result of an exceptionally unfortunate visit to the chiropractor. She is recovering well so far, but we have been taking things slowly. We are still open, but we do not have as much available as usual, and our communications are very delayed. We love answering your questions, but our response times are running long - we apologize for any inconvenience! So many of you have been so lovely and supportive. We really appreciate your kind words and wishes! ♡
When is your next shop update?
In addition, we also drop items unannounced into the shop, when available. Feel free to take a peek at any time!
I don’t see anything available. How do I place an order?
We unfortunately are not currently accepting orders or reservations. Our shop is first-come, first-served. We often sell out of our products promptly after listing them. So, if you go to our shop and don’t see anything for sale, don’t worry, we’re just sold out for the moment. Please check back later or take a look at our Shop tab here, our Instagram, or our Facebook Page for updates. If you miss out on a certain set or a color, fear not! We are always hard at work in the studio making more.
How do I purchase one of your items?
You can buy our products in one of two ways:
The easiest way is to visit our Shop. Everything we have available for sale is listed there. Due to the fact that we are usually sold out of our Handmade Watercolors and Hand-Carved Paintbrushes, our Paint Shop often appears empty. However, the Digital Shop is always open. Keep an eye on our Instagram to find out when the next shop update will be or sign up for our monthly email newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page) for even more details and info.
Also, if you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, our Handmade Watercolors are available at Dakota Art Store in Seattle and Bellingham, Washington. Dakota Art Store is a small, independent retailer with some of the most knowledgeable and friendliest staff you will ever meet. Give them a call to see what they have in stock!
I would really like a certain set/color/brush. Do you accept reservations?
We unfortunately cannot accept reservations. Our shop is first-come, first-served. We do our very best to make a wide variety of products available and preview one-of-a-kind or out-of-the-ordinary products ahead of time so that everyone can plan ahead. Because of the nature of our products, there is a limit to what we can produce and we try to provide equal opportunities to everyone interested in purchasing.
Do you accept custom orders?
We are not currently accepting custom orders. When we are able to accept custom orders, we will publish it through the same avenues as our shop update notices, detailed above. We very much wish there was time to take on every single request!
I just need a few specific colors. Do you ever have individual pans available?
Yes! After taking a break (while Jess has been in recovery) from offering our colors individually, we will be starting to offer one monthly shop update of individual Half-Pans, Full Pans, Limited Edition colors (when available), and Shells. We will make details about exact shop update time and inventory available in our monthly email newsletter. Sign up here - just scroll to the bottom!
I looked for the 28 Color Travel Altoid Watercolor Set in your shop and couldn’t find it! Do you still make them?!
This is one of the very first sets that we offered years ago and we do not make them very often anymore. When we first offered this set, there was nothing of the kind on the handmade market. This set is also, in fact, the only set we have offered that does not contain our handmade watercolors. Instead, it contains a hand-picked selection of artist-grade colors from other manufacturers, such as Daniel Smith, Winsor & Newton, M. Graham, etc. In addition, it is a very time consuming and labor intensive to produce, so the availability of this set is very sensitive to the amount of spare time we have. On the rare occasions this set is available, we make announcements via the same channels as our shop updates (see above). Your interest in this set is very much appreciated!
I wrote you an email/message/comment/conversation and haven’t heard back!
Due to the volume of messages we receive and Jess’s recovery needs, our response times are running very long. If you wrote to ask a question that we address here in our FAQs section, there is a chance you will not hear back. We really appreciate both your interest and patience!
Do you ship internationally?
Absolutely! Just enter your current shipping address at checking out. Send us a message if you need assistance. Please be aware that customs can cause delays. We do our very best to package things safely and send them efficiently. We unfortunately cannot be responsible for customs delays or extra charges (like import taxes).
Oh my goodness! I forgot to update my address before I checked out! Can I send you my current address so that the package goes to the right place?!
Please send us your current shipping address as soon as you realize your error. The sooner you send it, the more likely it is that we can enter the correct address on your shipping label. Please note that we ship as promptly as we can. Even if you send a message with your updated shipping address, we cannot guarantee that it will get update, and can therefore not be held responsible for a misdirected package if you entered an incorrect shipping address at checkout. However, we will always do our very best to accommodate this kind of error.
Is tracking included with my order?
For domestic customers with a shipping address inside the United States, tracking is automatically included with your order. For all international addresses, tracking is unfortunately not guaranteed. We ship internationally via USPS First Class International Mail which usually includes tracking within the US as a courtesy. Once the package has left the US, it just depends on the countries through which it travels whether or not additional tracking information will be available. We have unfortunately not found an affordable international shipping option that includes guaranteed tracking.
Are your Handmade Watercolors lightfast?
Yes! Our line of watercolors is a professional grade, lightfast, quality artists’ material. For a variety of reasons, we have made a point of only using natural Earth, Ochre, Mayan, and Mineral artist’s pigments. One of these reasons is the proven lightfastness. These are the same pigments that were used in cave paintings tens of thousands of years ago and throughout Art History. They have stood the test of time. We believe that artists deserve to have complete confidence in their materials.
Are your Handmade Watercolors Non-Toxic?
Yes and no. They have not been rated 'non-toxic' by any outside entity. Our colors are absolutely not intended for children and should be used only as intended. If used as intended, for the purpose of watercolor painting, our colors are perfectly safe. We make a point to only work with pigments that are rated either non-toxic or with very low toxicity. This is only of many reasons why we choose to work with Earths, Ochres, Minerals, and natural pigments in general (as opposed to modern synthetics, such as Cadmiums). This is also why you do not see the beautiful, yet toxic color Cinnabar among our offerings. As artists and craftspeople, we have no wish to expose ourselves to hazardous substances. If we were ever to sell a color or product that required special handling or labeling, we would label and describe accordingly.
Are your Handmade Watercolors Vegan?
That really depends on your own personal definition of veganism. Our binder does contain local organic honey. It is the only "animal product" (again, depending on your definition) that we use.
I have a technical question / question about the handling characteristics about a specific color?
Please consult our 'Meet the Colors' page under our Handmade Watercolors tab on the main navigation bar or browse through the other pages listed under the Handmade Watercolors tab. Information about color density, pigment behavior, opacity vs. transparency, tinting strength, value range, etc. is all listed in detail in those areas.
I would like to order one of your Limited Edition colors. When will it be available again?
Our Limited Edition colors are not produced or offered on any set schedule. Like our other colors, they are made in small batches. Unlike our other colors, we only make different Limited Edition colors "sometimes". We might fall in love with a color, for example: Azurite, and make it over and over again. There are other colors we might offer only a few times before we move on. As with the rest of our products, we will announce via our usual channels: Instagram, our website, and Facebook, when these colors will become available.
But what about Turquoise?! When will [insert specific Limited Edition Color name here] be available??
Please see above :)
When will you have individual colors available again?
We have our individual pans of color available once a month in an update that we announce through out monthly email newsletter. You can sign up to receive it through our home page, just scroll to the bottom!
What are Mayan colors?
Mayan colors are made in the same way that Mayan Blue was historically made. Mayan Blue was made and used by the ancient Mayan Civilizations on murals still visible today. They discovered a way to bind the fugitive natural dye Indigo to a mineral and therefore created a lightfast blue pigment. Lightfast blue pigments were historically highly prized because they were extremely rare - Lapis Lazuli being the brightest and most sought after (and as expensive as gold, as it still is today). Mayan colors are made in the same way as Mayan Blue, through a process by which a natural dye is bound to a mineral base forming a permanent pigment.
Why are you paints so expensive? Sheesh!
While we realize that our price tags may seem steep to some, we have taken great pains to price every single item fairly and accurately. We not only create our paints by hand using labor-intensive traditional methods, but we also use the highest quality ingredients.
Do you still sell your hand-carved paintbrushes?
Jess is at last carving again after taking a break while in recovery. Keep an eye on our Instagram or sign up for our monthly newsletter for sneak peaks and info!
I would like to purchase one of your carved paintbrushes. How do I place an order?
Our brushes are only available when ready. We will post updates through our Instagram account and monthly email newsletter and other social media outlets ahead of time with details and pictures of which brushes will be available and when.
I am interested in placing a custom brush order/ I would like to commission a specific brush design. How do I do that?
While I very much appreciate your interest, I unfortunately cannot accept custom orders or commissions at this time.
How long do your brushes take to complete?
Many, many hours. Each brush design varies and takes a different amount of time. A single brush can be in the works for several weeks.
How long have you been carving?
I started carving over 20 years ago. I have worked in a variety of different carving mediums, but enjoy wood the most. I began carving brushes as a way to channel my deep appreciation for tools. Well-worn tools that have been cared for can become cherished objects. When I began carving paintbrushes years ago, I was surprise that despite my extensive research I was unable to locate anyone else engaging in the activity. At first, many people did not understand the point of what I was doing - no matter. My practice, my love of the intricacies of nature, and my wish to honor my tools inform my designs. Each one is original, developed by me over hours, days, and years.
I enjoy carving too! I would like to start carving my own paintbrushes. Would it be alright if I use your brush designs?
I'm sorry, but no. All of my designs are protected by copyright. I am honored if you have been inspired by my work. And if you have been inspired to pick up the carving knife and try your hand at it, that is awesome! Just make sure not to stray from inspiration and cross over to infringement. I have developed my designs over many years. What no one sees when looking at a finished piece of art is the blood, sweat, and tears that got the artist to the place where they were able to create that specific piece. If you are interested in trying to recreate one of my designs for your own personal use, you may send me a written request and we will go from there. Under no circumstances is anyone authorized to reproduce my designs and sell them. Do not deny yourself the opportunity of finding your own style and your own artistic voice.
What is a Paintable?
A Paintable is a printable project for you to paint yourself! In other words, a Paint-It-Yourself (PIY) project! You will get to create a watercolor painting in the tradition of natural history depictions. A detailed rendering is provided (you get to skip right over that step!) in a printable version, along with instructions for completing your painting. All you need to do is print and paint in the color!
What is the Paintable Series?
The Greenleaf & Blueberry Paintable Series is a set of digital download projects that guide you through painting a piece of watercolor artwork. These projects are released one at a time, available individually for a limited time only. Within this Paintable Series, the same subject may be offered in various forms: these are categorized in Suites. For example: our first offering is the Butterfly Suite, the first project of which is The Monarch Butterfly.
Do I need to be experienced in watercolor to do one of these projects?
Not at all! These projects are designed for artists of any skill level. Beginners will likely find these projects challenging, but they include tons of info and step-by-step instructions. Just remember to be patient with yourself! Relax, go slowly, and enjoy the process. These are intended to be enjoyed in bits and pieces or over a long day or afternoon.
How do I buy it/ download it?
Our Paintable Projects are available for purchase and download through our Digital Shop, when available
What exactly do I receive when I purchase a Paintable?
After purchasing a Paintable, you will be able to download up to five different files, depending on which project you purchase:
Tutorial & Info Packet
(Bonus Warm-Up Exercises) ~depending on project~
(Bonus Warm-UP Exercises Info Packet) ~depending on project~
Each file will be in either a PDF or JPEG format.
Do I have to use the exact colors you recommend?
Not at all! You are encouraged to use your own creativity! The instructions that accompany each Paintable Project are really just guidelines to help you along completing your painting.
How long does it take to complete a project?
How long it takes you to complete a painting project depends on a number of variables, such as your level of experience, how much you take your time, whether or not you restart, etc. In all likelihood, these project will take several hours to complete. I urge you to approach them with patience and with enjoyment of the process being your overall goal. Try to relax, savor, and take your time!
I would like to work on this with a friend. Can I just give her a copy?
I’m sorry, but no. These Printables are for personal use only. A tremendous amount of time, work, and energy has gone into creating these for you. We are attempting to offer them at a very reasonable price. Please have your friends purchase their own copy so that we may continue to offer these. Just think of it as a nice cup of coffee!
Can I sell the paintings I create from your Paintables?
No. These are projects for you to enjoy and even gain experience from! Feel free to give them as thoughtful gifts to friends and family, but under no circumstances are you allowed to sell them or offer your finished paintings as your own work. Do not deprive yourself of discovering your own unique style!
Can I share my painting and/or works in progress on social media?
Absolutely! We would love to see your work! Just tag it with #GBPIY so that we can find it.
I changed my mind about this project / I don’t have the time to work on this after all, can I return it?
I’m sorry, but no. Once you have purchased, the downloads are immediately available to you. We unfortunately cannot offer refunds for digital items.
I meant to purchase a different project / may I exchange this project for a different project or digital item?
Unfortunately, no. Paintables are only available individually for a limited time and cannot be swapped for past or other projects.
I wrote you an email/message and haven’t heard back!
Because of the volume of messages we receive, it is difficult to respond to each and every one of them. Please read through our FAQS. We will try to respond to you as quickly as we can, but it may take a few weeks. We really appreciate your patience!
What exactly are the Terms and Conditions for use of your Paintables?
You can view our full Terms and Conditions for our Paintables here.