Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's a Tag! It's a Tangle! It's an Amazing Mold Putty Piece! #AnythingButACard #AmazingMoldPutty

It's a Tag! It's a Tangle! It's an Amazing Mold Putty Piece! Yes!  It's all those things and more!

I'm going to be a guest designer at the Anything But a Card challenge blog for August (mark your calendars for August 10th!).

Their theme for the August Challenge is "REPEATING Motifs" a.k.a. PATTERNS.  This can be any craft or work of art that uses a repeat design.  Anything from a Zentangle® tile to a patterned clay tile; a journal page with repeated designs to a piece of cast resin.  Anything with patterns---as long as it isn't a card.

I used the Zentangle pattern, Hibred, Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Mold Resin to create this unique tag--it looks completely different when viewed indoors and when viewed with the light behind it.   Head over to the Amazing Mold Putty blog to find out how I did it!

Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Pattern Leafheart & Found Poetry
How to draw tanglepattern Zaturn

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt #1098 Visual Prompt of the Week – Bubbles

Easy origami elephant tutorial - video
Creative Fuel for Visual Art Journaling
Color Pencil Shading

DecoArt Grand Prize Giveaway
Chance to win a goodie bag of Maya Road products (must link up a photo or project)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Journal52 Week 30: Positive Words #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

Not much to write up on process with this one.

1. Pencil in words and squares for drawings.
2. Outline everything in pen.
3. Use watercolor - Phthalo Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Rhodonite Genuine--and mixes of these to color.
4. Outline with Classic Black Sakura Gellyroll pen.

Oddly, seeing the process was so simple, this took me longer than usual.  It was the time it took painting around the words.  With acrylic I could have painted them over the background.  With watercolors, I couldn't.

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tangle Patterns: STORIES: Undaunted by recent loss of vision in one eye...
Patterns for Meditative Drawing

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Documented Life Project - 7/26 (Week 31)...Add an Instagram or other tiny photo to your page

Media Interference & DG3 - video
Making Beads with those “not so great” watercolors
A Matter of Perspective: How to Add Dimension to Your Art

Win a seat in online class Painting Wildlife: Acrylic & Mixed Media (Facebook)
PanPastel and Stencil Giveaway
Rhodia Ice And A Giveaway

I often review items that are distributed by Exaclair Inc. If you are looking for one of the items and can't find it, please check out the Paper Bistro.  This is where Exaclair, Inc sells items that can't be found easily in the U.S.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Idealized Design and a Golden Forest #ZoltanSzabo #Watercolor #WatercolorTechnique

I was playing with the Idealized Design technique from 'Zoltan Szabo's 70 Favorite Watercolor Techniques'.  His version is much more simplified and abstract.  This was my first try and I didn't get it quite right, so I kept adding things to try and make it look better.

I like it.  For a first try, anyway. I like the technique too, though I don't think I'd aim to be quite as abstract as Zoltan's painting.  You never know, though.  Tastes change.

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tangle Patterns: How to draw KITL
Ben Kwok Template--Raccoon (must belong to Facebook group Ornation Creation)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Art Journal Tangents & Tactics: The Series

Painting a House Portrait Using Simple Sketching Techniques
Let’s Paint a Pretty Peony
Art Journal: Natural Green Dots

​​Win a $100.00 Shopping Spree at JFF Rubber Stamps
Stretch Your Stamps 2 Class Giveaway
Artist's Club Grab Bag Giveaway (Facebook)
Ink samples (5x) GIVEAWAY
Winsor & Newton live Twitter Q&A next Tuesday, 29th July from 4-5pm BST - one lucky fan will have the chance to win a water colour prize bundle! Tweet your question @winsorandnewton with the hashtag ?#?WNliveQA? prior or during the event to enter

A FREE printable project planning worksheet for all your creative endeavours

Monday, July 28, 2014

Journal52 Prompt Week 29: Fashion ‪#‎Journal52‬, ‪#‎ArtJournaling‬, ‪#LifeImitatesDoodles

At first, I thought this week's work would be difficult.  I am not into fashion.  My idea of fashion is that an item of clothing is comfortable, covers all the important bits, and I won't cry if I get paint or other artsy stains on it.  And it shouldn't cost much--my money is for food and art supplies, after all.

But then I decided that fashion shouldn't only be for people!  I picked up one of my mother's Blair catalogs and found a blouse that had a pretty pattern and fit on the page.  For those who are interested, I've written up my process below.

After cutting my fashionable blouse from the catalog, I glued it down with Decoupage medium.  Once that dried I looked up some photos of foxes for reference, and lightly drew my lady fox.

Then I took a Pigma Micron pen and drew my fox.

Kuretake makes these sets of dual-tipped markers called Brushables.  All the colors are coordinated, and each marker has a lighter and darker version of the same color.  I used Butter and True Orange to color my fox.

It seemed to me that a fashionable fox would probably be wearing glitter and sparkles.  I used Daler & Rowney's Graduate Pearl White Acrylic paint for the fur.  Then I used a light blue Wink of Stella glitter marker to add some shadows (although I have the black Wink of Stella marker showing in the photo), and I used a red Wink of Stella brush tip marker for the nails.  I used the black marker to add the necklace & belt.

Although the tips were a bit large to get in the small spaced between the foxes sleeves and around the tail, I used Montana Marker in Shock Yellow & Shock Orange for the background. 'Cause they cover the area fast, and I was done!

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Weekly Zentangle Challenge # 178

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
No Excuses Art Weekly Sprout #24

The Three Surfaces of Watercolor Paper Explained
Colored Pencil Techniques 101-free download
Composition notebooks made into journals tutorial

$25 gift certificate from Paper Smooches
Winsor & Newton live Twitter Q&A next Tuesday, 29th July from 4-5pm BST - one lucky fan will have the chance to win a water colour prize bundle! Tweet your question @winsorandnewton with the hashtag ?#?WNliveQA? prior or during the event to enter

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Journal52 Prompt Week 28: Technology ‪#‎Journal52‬, ‪#‎ArtJournaling‬, ‪#LifeImitatesDoodles

I really came up empty on the week 28 prompt--Technology.  After a week of wracking my brain, I flipped through my journal and noticed it had been about 8 weeks since I did a word-based page.  Curious, I counted back and saw that there was 7 weeks between the last two word-based pages.  Obviously, it was time for a word-based page!

A couple of things are different from my previous word-based pages, so I've pasted a little about my process below.

Technology is big news, so I decided to start with a layer of newspaper, pulled from the business section, on articles about some new technology.  It's hard to see in the scan, but the text is more noticeable in real-life.

I used Decoupage medium because it's fairly easy to write over.  I glued down strips and placed them with the text going in different directions so it would be more of a design element than actual text.  In the long run, this didn't matter too much, because so much was covered.  I hadn't decided what I would do at this point though, so I was keeping my options open.

I used a thin wash of Martha Stewart's Canteloupe acrylic paint to cover everything, and applied dabs of Artichoke, just to break things up.

I used Sharpie Brush Tip pens to get started.  Because there is a layer of newspaper and glue medium, the Sharpies don't bleed through to the back of the page as they normally would.  Notice that I blacked out one area. Later, I write my word using a Sakura Moonlight Gellyroll pen.

The second type of pen I used were Kuretake's Clean Color.  It doesn't really matter what type of pen or marker you use, but you want to be careful about interaction and whether a pen will write over the glue or medium you used.  For instance, I used the Sharpies first, because the Clean Colors are water-soluble.  That means anything wet would make them smear (and the Sharpies are wet).  It also means that while they write on the gel medium surface, they take a while to dry.  After this step I let the page sit overnight.  Even then I had to be careful not to rub against the Clean Color areas.

It's always wise to test in a small area if you aren't familiar with how your pen or marker will work on a surface. Remember, that the addition of acrylic paint, glue or gel medium of any kind changes the surface of your paper.

I finished up using Sakura's Moonlight Gellyroll pens, and as usual forgot to photograph that part. Ah well, you get the gist.  

Wednesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Prestwood variation
Win a Zentangle tile! 

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Making Art Papers with Citra Solv and National Geographic Magazines

Simple Koi-Alcohol Ink on Yupo - Video
how to create fake calligraphy
Mixed Media Monday: Paint a Waterfall With This Fun Step-By-Step Tutorial

UmWowStudio and Susan K. Weckesser Inc. Summer Blog Hop & Giveaway-enter daily all week
Jerry's Artist Appreciation End  Of July Event Giveaways
Jetpens Pen Perks Giveaway: Field Notes County Fair Edition - 5 Winners

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another Reductive Pear #ReductivePainting, #RobertBurridge #LifeImitatesDoodles

Yesterday, I posted the latest page in my Journal52 art journal, explaining how Robert Burridge's video of reductive pear painting changed my work.  I had so much fun painting reductive pears that I wanted to do more (it's addictive, lol).

 I was given a sheet of Schut's Pigment Oil Painting paper to try out.  It's a canvas paper.  I don't paint with oils anymore, so I decided to see how it fared with watercolor and acrylics.

Using Manganese Blue Hue, Raw Sienna, Hansa Yellow Medium, and  Quinacridone Magenta, squirting each in turn directly on the page and used a small house painting hogbrush to spread the paint.  Then I used an Interference Violet to carve out the pear.
I love the way the paper kept the brush strokes, giving the piece a wiry texture.  It's more pronounced in real life than in the scan.  The interference color was more opaque than usual.  Normally, it's so transparent you can barely see it, but I think the sizing kept it from being absorbed and so more color showed.  The 'glow' at the bottom of the pear appeared where the interference paint was added thickly.  Instead of spreading it out, I applied more thick paint on the other side to get the glow there as well.

The watercolor...well, it didn't work so well.  Fair enough.  I suspected that a paper meant for oil paint wouldn't handle the wet media well.  The paper started pilling after the first wash, limiting the amount of glazing I could do.  The watercolor did lift, but even gentle scrubbing increased the pilling.

All in all, I'd defnitely buy the paper to use for acrylics, though I wouldn't expect them to handle as usual.  I'd try different brushes to see what effects I could get.

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tangle Patterns: How to draw Sprigs
Tangle Pattern Muzulü
Tangle Pattern Zilla and Mosey
Ben Kwok template (must belong to Facebook group Ornation Creation)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Writing Wednesday: 15 Thought-Provoking Prompts for a New Journal
Summer printables for Project Life

Kids Craft: Tissue Painted Canvas
DIY lined envelopes
A Happy Accident: Dirty Stencil/Modeling Paste Technique   

Huge Favorite Craft Supplies Giveaway
Easy Halloween Home Decor with your Cricut Explore...and TWO Giveaways
UmWowStudio and Susan K. Weckesser Inc. Summer Blog Hop & Giveaway-enter daily all week long

Monday, July 21, 2014

Journal52 Prompt Week 27: Nostalgia #Journal52, #ArtJournaling, #RobertBurridge

So, I'm still busy with several projects that have an end of month deadline.  Not wanting to put much exploration or energy into this page, because I need both for my other projects.  I hesitated to go with negative painting because I've been doing that so much lately.

But, then, I was passing by the pears in the grocery store, and I suddenly thought--why not work with a nostalgia based specifically around negative painting!

Years ago, I saw this video of Robert Burridge painting pears.  This was before I had ever heard of negative (aka reductive) painting, and his 1 minute video wowed me.  It comes to mind every time I see pears, and I still think 'wow' whenever I watch it.  It makes me feel nostalgic to think about it, because that one minute had a great impact on my work going forward.

Because the technique is so simple, but so effective.  Literally, you can do a painting like this in minutes.

I'm not even going to write up my process, because if you watch the video, you'll see it.  I will tell that I used Raw Sienna, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Magenta and Manganese Blue Hue acrylic paints for my background, squirting the paint directly on the paper and then using a paper towel to spread them out.  I used Titanium Buff to carve out my pears.

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #177

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
No Excuses Art Weekly Sprout #23: Octopus
Art Journal Prompt: Where did you go?

Gelli plate and stencils and art journal pages
Mountain Cottage in Watercolor
Designer DIY: Creating A Colorful Flower Paper Lantern

2,500 YouTube Subscribers-$100 GFC to Pen Store of your choice
Walnut Hallow Giveaway-chance to win 6 Medium Basswood Country Planks® (facebook)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Once in a Blue Moon... #watercolor #ATC

With this ATC-size painting,  I had a little extra paint to use up and I was playing with wet-in-wet and admiring how smoothly the color flows off the new brushes I  recently bought.  Cheap Joe's had 40% off on their Legend series Kolinsky Sable brushes--how could I resist?  I just wish I could have afforded to buy a complete set.  I settled for one round (size 6) and one flat (1/2 inch).  Just those two ran $40 at 40% off!  Not cheap, but I've been saving my pennies for a while just for such an occasion.

But let me tell you--the brush does matter.  It's much easier to control your backruns, and your brush keeps it's point.  You can paint much longer without picking up more paint or water.

I suspect the Legend series isn't top of the line.  But they are leaps and bounds over the synthetics I have.  Now I just need to get one or two of the better synthetics so I can compare.  Maybe a Da Vinci or Escoda.  Maybe for Christmas, lol!  Maybe.

At any rate, I wasn't trying to paint anything--just dropping color into color and making shapes.  Afterward, the shapes made me think of an alien landscape.  Maybe a Martian Vacation Spot?  I used a Pigma Micron to add a few patterns and heighten the tiki look.

Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tangle Patterns: How to draw MARYHILL
Extra Ben Kwok Template-Nautilus

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Summer of Color: Week Six . . 
The Precinct: July 15th 2014

Beginner's Guide to the World of Watercolor-Downloadable PDF
Start Drawing: Drawing Basics for the Beginning Artist
Capturing AMAZING Detail in #Cre8time!!! Casting Variations in Amazing Mold Rubber - videos

Giveaway!! Rhodia Ice Notebook
Goldspot Pens-Enter Our July Pen Giveaway
May Arts Ribbon / Xyron / Simple Stories Week long Blog Hop {and a giveaway!}

Monday, July 14, 2014

Journal52 Prompt 26: Under the Sea #Journal52 #ArtJournaling #Daler-Rowney

I had a difficult time with this prompt, because I was working on three other projects, two with deadlines, and I didn't really want to stretch my creative attention any further.  So I just went with layers and negative shapes, which I've been using a lot of late, and sort of let it happen as it would.  If anyone is interested, I did take some photos of my process which I've posted below.

I squirkled some color onto the page with Sharpie Brush Tips.  The orange was placed for a sense of flow, but wasn't necessarily meant to indicate the placement of fish.

I glazed over the page with a thin layer of Metallic Green Acrylic Paint.

I added strips of washi tape at random around the page.  At this point, I'm adding layers of texture, but still not planning where my fish will go.  I put very little thought into this piece--I just used techniques I'm familiar with and let it happen.  (However, I later found that I had been following a certain flow--thats the result of experience.  You start doing things with your composition, automatically.)

I tore off strips from this scraps of string paper that I had, making sure I got a dangling string with each piece.  These strips made me think of Manta Rays, so this I placed them as fish.  Without planning it, I had been placing my orange and washi tape in a backwards 'S' flow, so I followed that flow in gluing down the fish.

Once dry, I coated everything with a layer of Decoupatch-sort of a cross between transparent gesso and gel medium.  Either of those two would also have worked. I wanted a medium that would even out the different textures and make a surface that can be drawn on, and more layers added.  (Sorry for the rotation.  The photo is in the correct direction but blogger insists on turning it sideways!)

I drew my fish.  With some, I roughly followed that backward 'S' flow and with others I went in the opposite direction.  I used a Pigma Micron pen because it is waterproof--though you do need to let it dry thoroughly.  Not just to the touch.  I usually let at least 45 minutes to an hour pass before I add wet medium over the ink.

While drawing my fish I discovered that the pink with leopard spots Washi tape had reacted badly to the Decoupatch and bits of it cracked and peeled off.  I've never had that happen before--with Decoupatch or any similar medium, so I believe it is the Washi tape at fault.  It was something cheap I picked up off a bargain table, so there you go.  It still looks kind of cool.

I glazed the page with Metallic Blue, but not over the fish, except for an occasional stripe.  Glazing simply means applying a thin, transparent layer of color over other colors.  The layer should be so thin that the layers below show through, but are subtly changed, not just in color, but also in intensity.  In this case, I added a touch more blue to the overall green, and darkened it just a bit.  This made the fish, by comparison, brighter and greener.  The stripes I added here and there, gave the impression that the fish were 'in' the water, not 'on' the water.   The layers of the more transparent washi tape (the red &blue dotted type)  also helped with this impression.

If you look closely, you'll also notice that with this layer of glazing, I left fish shapes that I had not drawn with pen.  I made the shapes rough and not always complete.  This gives the impression that there are fish deeper and farther away, adding more depth.  (Not all the shape show up well in the scan).

For the last step, I used a white Sakura Gellyroll pen to add the foam, eyes, fins and bubbles.  The pen then rolled off the table, and I couldn't find it for a few days, so I don't have a photo for that, lol--you can see it in the finished piece though.

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #176
Tangle Patterns: STORIES: Zentangle improves hand control and more after series of mini-strokes

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
No Excuses Art Weekly Sprout #22

Chrysanthemum Watercolor Art Lesson
Having Fun With Ink Wash: Tips & Techniques to Try
Designer DIY: Quick, Colorful Coasters—Copic-style

GIVE AWAY and My All Time 6 Favorite Scrapbooking Items
An Scrapbook & Cards Today giveaway ... and a special treat

Friday, July 11, 2014

Still Life with Glass Jar & Letter Opener #Zentangle #ZentangleInspiredArt

My life as a Zentanglist has been severely curtailed by my wrist problems.  The motion of drawing lines is what seems to hurt most, and all those tangles I've cranked out over the last few years is probably a big contribution to the problem (see what happens when you are an overachiever? Moderation is ALL things).

Nonetheless, once in a while, I just HAVE to tangle.  It's in my blood now, lol.  I try to keep it small and, alas, not as dense as I love to do.

This was done with Faber-Castell Big Brush, and gellyrolls on Aqua Fabriano Tiziano.

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tips for Tangling Juliet Herring's Pippin

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Documented Life Project - Week 28 - Add an Instagram or other tiny photo to your page

Mixed Media Layout tutorial - video
Let’s Paint Beach Roses - video
Creating a Realistic Red-Eyed Tree frog with Copic Markers

Spellbinders Shapeabilities Expandable Patterns Die Fancy Lattice Blog Hop & Giveaway
Quill Ease Slotted Motorized Quilling Tool Review and Giveaway
Polyform Great Clay Giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sortalas-my Book of Mandalas-sort of: Day 1

I've mentioned in the past, my strange reluctance to create mandalas.  I don't quite understand it, because I love looking at them, and truly admire those who draw and paint them.  Perhaps, I'm just not ready, and will someday have the sudden urge to paint nothing but mandalas.

Meanwhile, I wanted to make a gift for someone that loves mandalas.  I decided to go against my own inclinations and do up a book of them for her.  As you might expect, me being me, my mandalas sort of aren't mandalas.  so I'm calling them 'Sortalas'.

I created three small booklets, using a faux leather technique for the covers.

Then I sewed the three booklets together.

Since the book has three sets of covers, it doesn't really have a beginning or an end.  The sewn binding is loose enough that you can have any one of the booklets at the top, and there really isn't a top or bottom.  That makes the whole thing kind of circular.

I used a plethora of techniques and mediums, heavy on the watercolor, for my Sortalas.  I didn't keep track of what I was doing though, so no tutorials this time round.

Instead of showing you all of the Sortalas at once, I'm going to show you a booklet at a time, stretching it out over the next three days.  The better to see you wi....uh...I mean the better for you to see them.

Tune in tomorrow for set two!

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 112
Tangle Patterns: How to draw BALLACE
Ben Kwok template mandala template (must belong to Facebook group Ornation Creation)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Journal Project 2014 – Week 26 – Art Camp for Women

Art Journal Pages: Video Demonstration
Watercolor Tip - Spray Bottles
Travel Journal Part 1: Hand painted Papers

Tando Crafting Goods (Facebook)
Smudged Textiles giveaway-a copy of 'Marked', a set of stencils and strips of hand-printed fabric
Design Memory Craft giveaway (Facebook)
Graphic 45 Monday Giveaway

Smart Journals

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quick Watercolor Studies

I didn't have much time for painting while I was at the Oregon Coast.  Unwisely, I had brought my good watercolor brushes with me, so I didn't want to let the children use them and could only paint while they were out.  That was okay though.  The gray whales were particularly active and we had a spectacular view, so instead of painting I was whale watching.

I did manage to get three quick pieces done.  These took about 15-20 minutes, if that, including the time for drying and techniques.

I used salt to get the foamy, misty look in this seascape study.

For this second one, I was showing my niece how to do some wet-in-wet techniques, deciding what I was doing after I'd let colors mingle on the page.

This last one was a lesson in how much difference the paper makes.  I used Arches 300 lb for the first two, and this last was done on Strathmore Aquarius II, a much softer, less rough surface than the Arches.  The color is less brilliant, and tends to blend more on the paper.  I got a far different look than I first intended.  One paper isn't necessarily better than the other--you just need to use different techniques.  My study would have been better if I'd taken a different approach.  As it was, it was good practice in knowing your paper.

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #175
WaterSlide Tangle
Geschluckt step-out
Botanical Zentangle inking and color . Zia art

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52 Prompt Week 27: Nostalgia
No Excuses Art Weekly Sprout #21: Style and Inspiration

 Art Journal Every Day: Gelli Printed Journals
An Ugly Canvas is a Gift
Snow Tutorial using Copic Opaque White

Renaissance Art leather bag giveaway (Facebook)
Stillman & Birn Summer Sketchbook Set Giveaway

The Value of Your Product Reviews

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Zentangle Challenges The Daily New Tangle Challenge Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus Zentangle All Around-Taking it to the Next L...