Dreams of Butterflies watercolor doodle by katcanpaint.com

Watercolor Stains and butterfly doodles.

Experimenting with a doodle technique in my art journal that I might demo here on the blog:

watercolor and pencil doodle by katcanpaint.com

Practicing a doodle and watercolors experiment. Fuscha pencil + pink and orange paint. And butterflies, of course.


I sponge painted watery orange and magenta paint onto my paper, then found butterfly wing shapes in the paint and defined them with purple pencil.  Hair and face came next and I have this pretty little sketch.


Dreams of Butterflies watercolor doodle by katcanpaint.com


The same process was used here: watery paint was sponge painted onto paper, then I defined shapes with pencil.  I really wanted the hair to cover the entire painted shape, and now it looks like an entire flock of butterflies is inhabiting her curls.


I love doodling because it is a very loose and intuitive process, no pressure to make a perfect face or likeness… no pressure to create.  I don’t even think while I am making work like this, it just flows onto the page.  It was a great breather exercise inbetween tutorials.

Speaking of – How to Draw the Easiest Nose and Lips Ever tomorrow!

Same Kat time, same Kat channel.

Too much?

Ah well, I’m a goof ball!


<3 Kat


Want to see more? You may be interested in:

Using the Macro Setting on my cell phone for great painting detail photographs.

My cell phone camera’s macro setting isn’t bad at all.  Look at that canvas texture!  You can see all the little brush strokes in there!

I’m exciting, I feel like I cracked the code to getting nice photographs of my paintings with my cellphone.

Also, I love this painting of overlapping butterfly patterns! Teal, green, cobalt, and violet with gold leaf details. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

I’m pretty excited about all the photographs I can take with my cell phone now: I can only get better at


I added this painting and all my other art from my Butterfly Summer series to my Etsy. Kabam!

It looks so pretty and full of art.


<3 Kat


Challenging my photography skills : hurricane + cell phone + bathroom + painting

The lighting in my master bath is perfect for photographing paintings. Too bad it is all the way across the house.

I really think these photographs came out great! I took these photos in my bathroom, because there is a huge frosted window so I get beautiful diffused lighting.  Start where you are, right?

I’m really pushing myself to take decent cell phone camera photographs until I can get a camera of my own.

I use my cell phone camera for everything.  Instagram aside, I use it to take photos of my finished and in progress works.  But I take them in the darkish corner of my space, where my desk and painting studio are set up.  Darkish space + camera phone = not the greatest of photographs.  Even with all the photoediting in the world, my grainy / blurry / orange / shadowed CRAP photos cannot be redeemed.

But, would you look at these lovelies:


Collage of my original painting, taken with my cell phone camera.

Hilariously, I took these during the Hurricane (I live in Florida) so I know that I can get a good shot in questionable weather and lighting, with my cellphone, in the bathroom of all places.

Even the detail shots look really nice, my phone has a macro setting that I’ve never used before… but you can see all the brush strokes and layers of paint.

I’m working on a huge project right now and getting nice photos is really important to me. I’ll share more later this week!

<3 Kat


Super Rainbow Carousel girl

Super Rainbow Carousel Girls and Cute Party Dolls * candy colored paintings

Carousel Girl


I’m in a super kawaii children’s art mode.  I love drawing, painting, and illustrating candy colored kid’s art.  These pieces are from last year, so I think the super saturated cutesy bug is a once a year thing. Maybe?


Super Rainbow Carousel girl


Super Rainbow Carousel Girls and cute party doll girls.  I’d love to decorate a cute little girl’s room, but I have a little boy.



I drew two cute little girls that fit into the little girl’s wall decor theme, they are very fairy tale and Blythe doll -esque to me.


They are too cute!

It is silly to classify them as children’s art only… because I’m loving this style but I have a little boy, who loves fish and pirates not carousels and dolls.  I would hang all this art in my room instead, and I’m a grown up.  ;)

I don’t think it matters at all: if you love super girly kawaii art and dolls, then rejoice! Cute girly art makes my heart sing right now, so candy colored glamour it is.

Plus, I’m no stranger to story book paintings and children’s art themes:

Waiting – Carousel Girl Acrylic Painting

From the Archives! Protecting: a painting from the Enchanted Forest

<3 Kat

Lavender Chevron original painting

Lavender’s Chevron Sweater : original acrylic painting by Kat McBride

Lavender Chevron original paintingLavender Chevron painting by Kat McBride


Lavender’s Chevron Sweater is an original acrylic and pencil painting / illustration by me. I was imagining back to school portraits, cute sweaters, and lavender braids.

Painting details:
*Acrylics on acid free, 140# heavy weight paper.
*Artist quality paper with a lovely smooth texture


She is listed in my Etsy shop.


<3 Kat

I’m obsessed with painting butterfly wings but I don’t care.

I’ve taken over a lot of the available surfaces in my house with these paintings of butterfly wings.  I’m obsessed with the colors and patterns of real wings and with the ones I swirl and create with paint.



There are little groupings on the walls, on book shelves, and on the mantle.   But I can’t decide on the arrangement so I keep changing where I display the finished art.

There are a lot of posts this summer about all the paintings that I’ve incorporated butterfly patterns into, everything I paint ends up with butterflies.

Sleeps With Butterflies

Butterfly Summer

and the beautiful Rosaline


A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies : acrylic on 8×10 canvas

There are two new butterfly painting pieces I haven’t shared until now.  A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies is an 8 x 10 canvas painted with all my favorite colors: green apple, pink, peach, turquoise and aqua.  It is a perfect splash of color anywhere I hang or display it. (You can visit my etsy for pricing and availability.) I really like this technique and I want to try outlining my wings with white next: I think it will have a lace effect.  I’m really excited about using a pattern of wings like this in a portrait, it would be so pretty. I get so lost in the details of colors and pattern.

So far I have only worked small, 6″ x 12″ + 8″x10″  + 11″ x 14″ I have a couple 16″ x 20″ canvas ready for something so I’m planning a giant butterfly painting too.  (Yup, obsessed.)


A Kaleidoscope of neon butterflies

A Kaleidoscope of Neon Butterflies : acrylic on canvas 11×14

And this is the second one I haven’t shared, its a  neon riot kaleidoscope of butterfly wings, not as defined in a pattern like the other ones.  I named it… wait for it: A Kaleidoscope of Neon Butterflies. This painting is listed on my etsy if you’d like to own it.

Did you know a group of butterflies is called a Kaleidoscope? There are so many hilarious collective nouns, but a kaleidoscope of butterflies is poetic and beautiful.

In this painting I started abstracting the wings and patterns more, suggesting forms instead of outlining them heavily with black.  I want to create a bouquet of butterfly wings and about eight thousand other paintings to add to my menagerie of rainbow butterfly wing paintings.


So. Many. Ideas.

I think paintings of butterfly wings just became my thing.


<3 Kat

Blue Alice, after Wonderland : 6″ x 6″ Alice Liddell portrait

Does she look familiar?  I painted this blue haired Alice but she felt so incomplete.



I had a plan to make a rainbow of Alice’s, and a pink haired lovely lives in my sketchbook waiting to be painted.  But this Alice, she felt so incomplete and a rainbow armada of Alice’s wouldn’t change that…. so I set her aside and thought about her while painting other pieces.  Should I change the background?  I added the white bow head band and now she’s perfect!



She’s a 6 x 6 cradled wood panel painted with acrylics.  I am in love with her hair! She’s part of the 20 piece’s I’ve listed on my Etsy.  I really enjoy working this size, she’s small enough that you can display her on a shelf (or mantle like in the top photo) but she’s bold enough that she won’t get lost in a collection of larger pieces.


<3 Kat


I named her Rosaline!

Rosaline is a new painting, and I love this girl.  Dreamy portrait, pink mermaid hair, layers of rainbow sherbet butterfly wings.  This painting came so easy too!




This cute girly is acrylic on paper, 9×12, which is nice but small.


So now I’m itching to paint her on 16 x 20 canvas I have that is waiting for something beautiful. I wonder if she will translate well to canvas from paper in almost double sized? Only one way to find out!

I’ll let you know when shes available for purchase. For now there are a bunch of beautiful paintings and prints listed in my Etsy, hop on over and pick yourself up something nice.

Paintings and Prints in my Etsy

I listed 20 new paintings / prints in my Etsy shop : katcanpaint.etsy.com

Holy Art, Batman! Those 20 lovelies are in addition to the custom portrait paintings you can commission.

<3 Kat

True Story (What its like to paint with a 3 year old)

So, I’m working on this painting, and Keian works next to me, usually painting a pirate ship or birdhouse.

(My son and I paint together a lot.  He’s three. He really likes to do whatever I like to do, and I really like to paint.)


I work on several paintings at once, because I am impatient, so while one layer is drying I move onto something else.

I leave the table to grab the next painting but I can’t decide on just one.  I spend maybe 30 seconds deciding, and Keian says, “Mommy!”

He has a paint brush loaded with green paint in his hand.

 “One minute baby,” I tell him, trying to pick another painting.

“Mommy!” He insists.

I’m trying to be quick, so I grab all the paintings, but 45 seconds is too long.




“I paint a dinosaur.  High five?”

High five, little man.

*I put the stack of paintings down, away from the green paint brush.

Hey Pretty! Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration

Hey Pretty!  Cupcake Baker portrait + color palette inspiration.

This has been a crazy productive week for painting.  So many ideas, so much inspiration that all came after I got out of my own way.   All my scarcity thinking led me to hoarding canvas and paper and paint like it was precious, like there would never be more.  I held back a lot of ideas and creativity because I wasn’t sure which painting was ‘perfect’ for which canvas. 

Its a map!

Its a map… that probably only makes sense to me. Pretty painted girls and how they influenced other paintings of pretty girls.

Too many ideas = unused canvas? That doesn’t even make sense.

I wasn’t even aware of how I was keeping myself so small, until I started to plan out a new body of work for my Etsy.  These lessons cycle for me, this isn’t the first time I’ve blocked myself by trying to be perfect. A lot of my ideas are confined to my tiny sketchbook, precious canvas empty and unused, waiting for my best ideas. But, derp, I don’t have enough canvas for all my ideas!  So my canvas is blank and unused?  That doesn’t even make sense. I have to start somewhere.  Inside my sketchbook now is a road map of paintings I want to do to guide me, complete with the exact colors I want to use and even alternate ideas if I get bored with something.

So hello, messy desk. 

Part of the productivity this week was thanks to abundant unblocking.  I chose a set of acrylics to serve as my color inspiration for a crazy color experiment: three shades of pink, blue, aqua, and turquoise, yellow, vanilla, orange sherbet, and purple. Tired of seeing blank canvas so I base coated everything with pastel pink. Pink! Now I have pink palms, pink arms, pink elbows… And 9 pink canvases.

I have a variety of sizes and shapes to us… but more importantly, I gave myself the space to make mistakes.  I feel free.

Hey Pretty Cupcake by Kat Can Paint

Cupcakes and pink hair and tattoos, oh my!

Yes! This pretty sh0oting-star-tattooed cupcake baker portrait represents the delicious color palette I chose and the space I gave myself to be free.

+ crazy art math

She isn’t perfect, but if I painted with perfection in mind I would never have finished.  This week was all about little wins and big lessons.  I have to get the ideas out because I figure out a lot of things while I am painting.  Sketching and sketching and refining a sketch then using that sketch like a paint by number doesn’t always work for me.  I like having a map (the sketch) but the magic happens when I start painting.

Abundant unblocking = free = pink = magic = painting.  This will be a great weekend.

<3 Kat

Come say hi! I hang out on Twitter +  Etsy + Pinterest.