Wednesday, December 31, 2014

An Amazing Bucketful of Brushes #AmazingCraftingProducts #PaintBrushHolder #AmazingCastingResin

A while ago, I came across a photo of a DIY paint brush holder.  I had to make one of my own, and so I did with a few changes here and there.  See how I created this brush holder in my design team post for Amazing Crafting Products!

Review Day Three- Clearprint Vellum Field Book #Clearprint #Vellum #FountainPen

Welcome to Day Three of my review of the Clearprint Vellum field book.  The bulk of the review can be found on Day One.  Each day the rest of this week, I'm reviewing a page done in the same book using a different medium.

Fountain pens on Clearprint Vellum
Today I'm sharing a piece that I drew using fountain pens, a medium notorious for bleeding through the page, smearing and feathering.


Clearprint vellum is definitely a fountain pen friendly paper, which surprised the heck out of me.  Even the wet inks dried relatively quickly (fountain pen ink is usually slow to dry), so I had no problem with smearing, either on the page or onto my hand.

There was no feathering.

You can see on the back that there is quite a bit of show-through, although it isn't as bad in real life as it is in the scan.  After I took this scan, I drew on the page.  You can see how it looks in yesterday's review.

There was a small amount of bleed-through, where I really saturated the paper, adding more ink into ink that was still wet on the page. 


This photo below is the exact same view as the first scan of the front (not the scan immediately above this one) except that I held the page up to the light.  

I didn't plan any of these pages to be layered because none of them would be viewed that way.  But sometime in the near future, I will do one that is planned.  Clearprint Vellum just calls out for it.


Tomorrow I'll share a page done with watercolor and decoupage! I hope you'll join me!

You can skip this part if you've already read it: Earlier this year, I participated in Clearprint's Cross-Country project.  It is a fantastic deal.  You let them know you want to join up, and they send you TWO of their Vellum field books.  In one, you do a work of art, using whatever medium you desire, and within a week you send that book back to them.  The second book is yours to keep! Forever!

Additionally, your artwork is uploaded to the Cross-Country gallery, and featured on the Clearprint Facebook page.  I've been told the project will continue as long as there are pages left in the Cross-Country book, so you still have time to sign up!


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

Zentangle
joey's weekly tangle challenge #41
How to draw KISS

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Art Prompt: Sketch a Box of Chocolates or Even Your Cookie Exchange Haul
 #1251 Visual Prompt of the Week – The Sunday Morning Choice

Tutorials
How to Paint Simple Figures
Creating Texture in your Art Journal the Easy Way
How to make an altered art Altoid tin ornament

Giveaways
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway 

Pen & Ink
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 7

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review Day Two- Clearprint Vellum Field Book #Clearprint #Vellum #Zentangle

Happy New Year!

Welcome to Day Two of my review of the Clearprint Vellum field book.  The bulk of the review can be found on Day One.  Each day the rest of this week, I'm reviewing a page done in the same book using a different medium.

Sketchplan pen on Clearprint Vellum
Today I'm sharing a piece that I did using a Sketchplan pen point-size .01.


For this drawing, I used a Sketchplan fabric-tipped pen .01 size.  It is similar to the Pigma Micron, but I had a little more effort getting my darks. As I explained yesterday, you don't get a sharp black and white contrast with this paper because of its tranluscent quality.  You do get a fantastic range of values though.

There is no bleeding, feathering or skipping.  The one dark blob towards the upper left was caused by the pen, not the paper.

This drawing was done on the back of a drawing I did with fountain pen inks.  The scan picked up some of the lines and color, but to the eye you see none of it. The paper itself seems a bit more gray-toned than if the back was blank.

Since this is a translucent paper, if you hold it up to the light, you quite a bit more of the back.  Note--this in not the back of the page.  It is the exact same as drawing above.  The only difference is the lighting.  This show-through is NOT a problem if you are viewing the page as you normally would. You just have the option of using a layered effect to get a stained glass or lantern style effect by shining a light through the paper.


Tomorrow I'll show you the other side of the page! I hope you'll join me!

You can skip this part if you've already read it: Earlier this year, I participated in Clearprint's Cross-Country project.  It is a fantastic deal.  You let them know you want to join up, and they send you TWO of their Vellum field books.  In one, you do a work of art, using whatever medium you desire, and within a week you send that book back to them.  The second book is yours to keep! Forever!

Additionally, your artwork is uploaded to the Cross-Country gallery, and featured on the Clearprint Facebook page.  I've been told the project will continue as long as there are pages left in the Cross-Country book, so you still have time to sign up!




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

Zentangle
Ben Kwok template - Happy New Year  (must be a member of Facebook Group Ornation Creation)
Tangle Patterns: How to draw KISS

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Visual Prompt - Fields of Gold 
Carnival of Creativity 12/28/2014

Tutorials
Step-by-Step Watercolor: Winter Farm Scene
Top 10 Mixed Media Articles for 2014
The Best Practices for Copic Marker Cleaning

Giveaways
Boxing Day Giveaway: Fiskars Tag Maker & Eyelet Setter
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway

Pen & Ink
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 6

Monday, December 29, 2014

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

Zentangle
Tangle Patterns: Tangle Refresher 93
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 137

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52: Week 52 prompt
No Excuses Art Journaling Weekly Sprout #37

Tutorials
Don't Throw Out that Used Giftwrap 
Secrets of the Crafting Trade ... How-To Decoupage Technique Tips
Brayered Backgrounds {Part 2}

Giveaways
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway 
Boxing Week Blow Out Day 1 
Boxing Week Blow Out Day 2
Boxing Week Blow Out Day 3

Pen & Ink
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 3
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 4
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 5

Review Day One - Clearprint Vellum Field Book #Clearprint #Vellum #Zentangle

Earlier this year, I participated in Clearprint's Cross-Country project.  It is a fantastic deal.  You let them know you want to join up, and they send you TWO of their Vellum field books. One already has artwork in it, from other participants.  You do a work of art using whatever medium you desire, and within a week you send that book back to them.  The second, brand new book is yours to keep! Forever!

Additionally, your artwork is uploaded to the Cross-Country gallery, and featured on the Clearprint Facebook page.  I've been told the project will continue as long as there are pages left in the Cross-Country book, so you still have time to sign up!



Specs
Size: 6" x 8" (also comes in 3"x 4", 4" x 6", and 8.5" x 11")
Format: Blank (also comes in grid)
Weight: 16 lb
No. sheets: 50 sheets (100 pages)
Covers: 2 covers on front-a 20 lb vellum and a flexible cardstock/3 covers in back-heavy cardboard,                flexible cardstock and 20 lb vellum
Paper: 100% Cotton and 1000H, Archival, and Translucent
Binding: Glue

Look and Feel
16 lb paper?! Wow.  That's thin. And it's translucent--almost like wax paper in look and feel, only a more solid white and not as crinkly. You can almost see through it! Won't stuff just bead up and slide around?  

Nope.  



Clearprint Vellum is good for oils, watercolor, gouache, acrylics, spray paint, encaustics, pastels, pigments, charcoal, chalk, colored pencils, markers, printing, and mixed media.  It says so right in the little pamphlet that comes with the book.  And while I didn't try every one of those mediums on the paper, I tried enough of them, that I believe the pamphlet absolutely.


Before I start on the qualities of the paper, I want to describe the field book itself.  The 'field' part of the title simply means the bound pages are easier to carry around than either the cut sheets or rolls that are also available.

The pages are not perforated but come out of the book easily.  Possibly too easily, if you want to keep the book whole.  Wonderfully easily if you like taking the pages out.  I did hold onto a corner and shake the book vigorously.  None of the pages came loose.  But once you get a corner loosened, the rest of the page sort of peels away from the book.

There are five cover pages in all.

The first cover on the front is a thicker vellum.  It's heavy enough for Pergamano, the art where you use a pointed object to deboss a design.  The pages, themselves are too thin for this.


The second page is actually meant to be removed.  It's a very slick, coated cardstock that you can put behind the page you are working on, to protect pages underneath from staining.


In the back, you have the same heavy vellum, slip sheet cardstock, and then a very thick cardboard. Although the cardboard is thick, it's light in weight.


This is a light book to carry, so it's a good choice for traveling.  I'd put it in something for protection though.  The sheets do pick up wrinkles easily. That's bad for carrying in a cluttered purse, but great if you want to crinkle up a page for texture, and then apply paint.

The vellums I've worked with in the past were extremely slick and hard to work on, so I was worried at first.  However, beyond the translucence and the thinness (is that word?) of the paper, the sheets in this book are quite different from those vellums.

It isn't a thin as onionskin, though it may remind you of it.  When you wobble it, it makes a bright metallic sound, but if you flip the pages rapidly, it makes almost no sound at all.

It feels smooth to the touch, but there is a slight drag that keeps from being slick.  Still, even after using several mediums on the paper, I don't understand how it works as well as it does with watercolor and colored pencil, that usually fare better with a toothy paper.

Let's get on to the performance, shall we?

Performance
I created seven examples for this review, which would make it a very long post indeed.  I decided that instead of including all the artwork now, that I'll post one a day over the course of the week, and discuss how that medium fared with the Clearprint Vellum paper.

Art Journal


I'd been trying to get to this review for a while, and I wanted to be thorough, so I decided to work small.  I tore out pages, folded them in half, and made a small pamphlet style journal.  This not only gave me a smaller size to work with, it also gave me some more information.

The paper folds and creases nicely.  I was afraid there might be some radiating lines from the crease, but it creases sharply and cleanly.  Afterwards, I was able to straighten the fold out.  You can still see it with the eye, but the scanner was unable to pick it up.

I bound the pages with a pamphlet stitch, using a bookbinding needle and waxed thread.  The paper was easy to pierce, with almost no radiating lines and no tearing.  Even though the paper is so thin, I was able to tighten the thread to the proper tension without the paper tearing or buckling.


The paper does curl and dimple a bit from the various mediums.  Weighting it down helps, but doesn't totally remove it.  That makes for a journal where the edges are not smooth.  That would probably disturb some, but not others.  

Other than the uneven edges, this paper makes for a good art journal.

Mixed Media-Acrylics, Pigma Micron and Gold Leaf Pen
Since I was using so many mediums, I decided to add a sense of unity to my art journal by outlining the edges of each page with a gold leaf marker pen.  The gold leaf ink went down easily.  It's a very wet medium that takes a while to dry.  However, it did dry as quickly as it ever does.  No beading up.

For my first page, I put down a layer of acrylic paint using Montana Markers.  I gave it about 1/2 an hour to dry and then did the line work with Pigma Micron pens.


The colors came out a bit muted. I think this is because there isn't the solid white or cream that you have with most papers.  To me, this gave the piece a quiet elegance.  I believe I could have made the colors brighter by adding layers (this proved true when I tried it with other mediums).  That means you have the choice to go with more subtle color or head towards brilliant.

The same thing was apparent with the Micron.  The lines were paler than usual, so it took more work to get really dark values.  If you like very stark black and white, this may not be the paper for you.  But if you like have a wide range of values, it very definitely is.

Since the paper is translucent, I've decided to show you the backs.  The gold leaf was applied to the back--what you see is NOT show-through for that.  The scanner picked up more than you can see with eye while the paper is lying on a surface, and a little less than you can see with the paper held up to the light.


Now, here is the same back held up to the light.  Please note, that to get this effect you have to deliberately place a light behind the page.  If you want to create a lantern or stained glass effect, this paper is absolutely fantastic for it.



I hope you'll come back tomorrow, where I review another work done with a Sketchplan art pen.

You can find Clearprint Vellum products in many art and office supply stores, both brick & mortar, and online, usually in the technical drawing area.

Disclaimer
I received this Clearprint Vellum field book from Chartpak, Inc. as part of their Clearprint Cross Country project.  This was an offer open to anyone who wanted to join, and Chartpak, Inc. did not ask me to review the book or know that I was going to so.  I received no compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fountain Pens and Making Marks #OnFountainPens #MarkMaking #Zentangle

Maybelline of the On Fountain Pen blog is running a 12 Days of Christmas series of guest posters, and I'm the guest today!  I'm discussing the reasons that I often use fountain pens for my art.  I hope you'll take a few moments, and check it out.

To learn more about this piece and others, head over to the On Fountain Pens blog.  Don't to forget to check daily to read what her other guest posters have to share!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Journal52 Prompts 50 & 51 #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

Journal52 Prompts 50 and 51 were 'Sparkle and Shine' and 'Sing a Song'.  For some reason, that I can't fathom, the prompt Sparkle and Shine gave me the idea of someone with a mandolin.  I went trawling through old paintings of people with mandolins to flesh out my idea, and ended up using Pierrot with a Mandolin, as a very loose idea for my painting.  Usually, the Pierrot clown has a white hat.  It's on the floor in the painting, and I just left it out.

'Sing a Song' easily segued into that, so I went looking for songs with lyrics about Pierrot.  I found this old french folk song At Pierrot's Door.  The lyrics also seem fitting since Journal52 2014 is almost at an end (never fear! There will be a Journal52 2015).  If you follow the link to the song, you can listen to it being sung.

As always I strove for simple. I used the largest brushes I could, kept my brush strokes broad, and didn't worry overmuch about making my painting look like the original or the rules of art.  The painting took about 30 minutes (40, if you count taking time to let paint dry).

As usual, it's hard to photograph or scan so that the Sparkle and Shine shows, so I've included some photos that show it a little better, in my write-up about my process below.


To start with, I lightly drew the Pierrot, with an eye to making sure (s)he fit on the page.


Then, using Titanium Buff for the face, and Iridescent Gold for the suit, I blocked in the shapes.  I used Golden Acrylics throughout this painting (with the exception of a Viva metallic purple) with a 4 inch round brush for the Pierrot, a liner brush for the face, and a 3/4 inch flat brush for the background.

I didn't worry about getting the shape exact or keeping the lines smooth or straight, at any point.  That would kind of defeat the purpose of keeping things simple.  For this painting, the idea was to suggest rather than define the Pierrot.


I blocked in the mandolin with Transparent Red Oxide.


Switching to the 3/4 inch flat brush, and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, I blocked in the background, making no effort to smooth out the lines or color.  Around the head, I made broad flat strokes to suggest a halo effect.  I left white showing where the hair would go and where I would be writing the words to the song.


Its a little difficult to explain, but sometimes, before you know exactly what you want to do, you have to get something down on the page.  I mixed Titanium Buff with a tiny brush tip's worth of Naphthol Red (a very powerful color) and some of the Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold to darken the face, and then used those colors to suggest the eyes, nose and mouth.  All this would get painted over entirely, but it helped me understand what my proportions might be and exactly how I wanted the face.


While I was thinking about what I wanted for the face, I moved on to the hair.  Using the side of the 4 inch round, I painted broad strokes of the metallic purple for the hair.  I made sure that some of the strokes went into the gold in the background.



Stayling with the metallic purple, I went through the whole painting and added the shadows.


Then I used Zinc White to add highlights.  Zinc White is more transparent than Titanium White, so the other colors show through.  I applied the Zinc White very heavily in areas that I wanted it to be more opaque.  


I applied some the Iridescent Gold (very shiny, sparkly paint) into the background.  Once dry, I used a purple brush tip Sharpie to write the words to my song.  I've found that a brush tip seems to work better over acrylic paint than the regular tip, though it's a bit harder to write with.


I added the ruff, with Zinc White, and then the darkest values with a mix of the metallic purple and Transparent Red Oxide.  I painted over the face with Titanium buff, and redid the features using the same colors as before.

Then I noodled for about 10 minutes.  That means I studied the painting and decided I didn't like this and that, and changed them.  Then I studied it again, and made more slight changes.  A little darker here, and a little lighter there.  I let myself do this for 10 or 15 minutes and called the painting finished.  I've found that I can noodle forever, but that's not a good thing.


Because of the iridescent and metallic paint, this painting looks quite a bit different depending on the light.  That's one of the reasons it was important to study before making changes, moving the painting around so the light caught it differently.  I had to decide what the primary lighting was going to be, and try to paint only in that lighting.


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

Zentangle 
joey's weekly tangle challenge #40

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Art Journaling Mixed Media: Imperfections - video

Tutorials
Greeting Card Art Journal
Let’s Paint Winter Branches in Pastel
Coiled Paper Coasters

Giveaways
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway 
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day 

Pen & Ink
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 2
Quo Vadis Friday Roundup of Pen & Ink reviews


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Strathmore Online Workshops #Strathmore #Watercolor #FreeWorkshops

Strathmore offers four workshops over the course of the year.  They cover many things - basic drawing, mixed media, art journaling, watercolor, and more.  You do have to register to access the classes, but they are all free.

I was trying out some new paints (Qor) and, out of curiosity, decided to follow Workshop #3 - Watercolor Sketching & Journaling by Gay Kraeger.  The workshop is meant for beginners and aimed at using watercolor in a journal or sketchbook.  This is a 2014 workshop, so it can only be accessed until December 31.

Note: I was using different colors than Gay, and doing some things meant to test the paint colors, rather than following her instructions directly.  Her work is much better than mine!

The classes for 2015 are already up, and the list for both 2014 and 2015 can be found here.



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

Zentangle
Overlaid tangles - a tutorial
Tangle Patterns: How to draw XMAS-RED
Ben Kwok template -  Barn Owl (must be a member of Facebook Group Ornation Creation)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt #1244 Visual Prompt of the Week – Giddyup!

Tutorials
Stencils and Watercolors… Who Knew?
Adding Detail and Character with Line Patterns
New Mixed Media Painting - DecoArt Media

Giveaways
Graphic45 Giveaway-$71 of Raining Cats & Dogs
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 18: Holiday Episode


Monday, December 22, 2014

Fountain Pen Drawing or Painting? #GraFIt #Zentangle #FountainPen

I sometimes wonder how I should refer to my fountain pen work.  Is it drawing or painting, when you use full color on the page.  Many of the inks flow very wetly, and rather than filling in a space, as I might with a crayon or colored pencil, I allow a bead of wet ink to form, and then push it across the page in a manner very similar to painting with a brush.

So maybe this is a drainting or painwing?  More drawing, coloring in than ink pushing this time.

Fountain Pen Ink on Clairefontaine GraF it dotgrid paper.


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

Zentangle
Tangle Patterns: How to draw FJORD
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 137
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #204 
Zentangle Newsletter
Christmas challenge #39

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52: Week 51 prompt-Sing a Song

Tutorials
Art Recipe Wednesday: New Life of the Old Brush
Dark Eyes Fairy in Watercolor
Wax On Wednesday - Five

Giveaways
12 Days of No Excuses Art Christmas Daily Giveaway
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day
Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas 2014 with Scrapbook Expo & Cricut 
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas Begins! Week 4

Pen & Ink
How to smooth a scratchy fountain pen nib

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The River Lethe, Above and Below #Strathmore #BrushPen #Pentel

Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen in a Strathmore Mixed Media Paper journal (with a little bit of color stain from a work elsewhere in the book).

Some of the brush strokes made me think of river, while the blue stains made me think of sky.  The silhouetted characters seemed a bit lost, and tired, the one lying down as though to sleep.  In all it made me think of the myth of the River Lethe, the river of forgetfulness.

But what's the horse got to do with it?  Perhaps it is memory galloping away?  Your interpretation is as good as mine--let me know if you have any ideas, lol.


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

Zentangle
joey's weekly tangle challenge #39
Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Traveling Art Journal Part 9 – Music

Tutorials
RED PANDA Watercolor ILLUSTRATION TUTORIAL
Fun in the Snow Center Step Card
More Fast Christmas Cards

Giveaways
Win a subscription to online class 'PURELY ACRYLLICS'
JetPens Pen Perks: Stabilo Point 88 Fineliner Pinterest Giveaway
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day thru 12/26/14
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas
The 12 Days of Sculpey - new prize given away on Facebook each day-12/25
Craft Warehouse's 12 Days of Giveaways-new chance to win each day on Facebook-12/23

Pen & Ink
Noteworthy: Guest Blogger Bob Miano Emmy Winning Director on How to Build a Time Machine
Cross Jot Zone Journal Review

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-17 #Exaclair #Schut #Watercolor

Each Wednesday for 22 weeks, I'll be sharing artwork that was done on paper from a Schut Papier sampler.  I'll be giving you a little information about each of the papers.
(Note: Because the next two Wednesdays are Christmas Eve,  and New Year's Eve, Watercolor Wednesday with Schut will be not be posted.  It will return on January 7th!)

Schut Artist Drawing Paper, 120 g/m2:82 lbs

Good erasability; light grain; extra white; acid-free; pH-neutral; for pen, pencil, charcoal, crayon, and pastel.

I've been impressed with this paper's ability to hold up to watercolor.  I thought for sure I'd see curling and buckling and dimpling at this weight, even though the heavier weights have done well.  And I did get more dimpling, but mostly along the edges.  The paper did not curl or buckle, even though I thoroughly saturated, lifted color and re-painted.  It did get over-worked quickly in those areas, but I've have actual watercolor paper that did worse.

You get three drawings this week, because I did a bleedthrumanade (got lemons, make lemonade; got marker bleed-through, make bleedthrumanade), where I color the front of the page with alcohol markers, then do linework of one kind, then I turn the page and do linework on the back, using the color that has bled through from the front.

For the most part, I've felt that these Schut Sample papers have been too rough or thick for alcohol markers.  Most watercolor papers are hard on a fabric tip because of the tooth on the page.  While there isn't a lot of tooth on this paper, there is some but I didn't see any evidence of fraying.

The outcome of my tests:
  • With watercolor--
    • colors bright
    • washes moved well
    • color lifted some, but paper became overworked easily
    • flecks of darker color remained in lifted areas
    • paper dimpled along the edges
    • no buckling
    • no curling
  • With alcohol markers
    • bleed-through was about 50% (I'd expected more)
    • Colors were bright (but not as bright as I had expected)
    • didn't seem to fray fabric tips
    • ink dried quickly
    • no feathering with ink used for linework over alcohol marker color
Earlier, in this series I previously reviewed the Schut Artist Drawing Paper, Light Grain, Extra White,180 gm2/83 lbs and the 225 gm2/152 lb version of the Schut Artist Drawing Paper, using other mediums.

This painting is my adaptation of an exercise from 'The Encylopedia of Watercolor Landscape Techniques' by Hazel Sloan


Front of Page--Marker color applied to this side.


Back of Page - Line work done to color that bled through from the front of the page

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

Zentangle
Ben Kwok Template-Lantern (must belong to Facebook group Ornation Creation)
CELTIC CHRISTMAS TREE Free downloadable template
Timelapse video of Ben Kwok inking the outlines of an Ornate French Bulldog illustration. 

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
12 days of Christmas No Excuses Style

Tutorials
Accordion Folded Ornaments
DIY Ninja Turtle Ornaments
Stamped Gift Bag Video Tutorial

Giveaways
Life Renover Notebook Giveaway
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas
The 12 Days of Sculpey - new prize given away on Facebook each day-12/25
Craft Warehouse's 12 Days of Giveaways-new chance to win each day on Facebook-12/23

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 17: KarasKustoms Ink fountain pen

Miscelleneous
Just Add Color: Folk Art-free downloadable coloring page

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In the Deep, Dark Wood #Pentel #PigmentInk #Fabriano

Another page in my hand-bound Fabriano Tiziano aqua paper art journal.  I'll have to buy another sheet of this is Michael's still has it.  It's a lovely colored paper to work on.


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

Zentangle
Tips for Tangling Lori Howe's SNOWZAGS
Tangle Patterns: How to draw HA-NUKA

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
DAILY GRATITUDE JOURNAL – “I AM GRATEFUL FOR” PROJECT
Prompt #1237 Visual Prompt of the Week – Curves Ahead

Tutorials
Monoprinting with Koi Watercolors
Sketchbook Saturday: 3 Tips That Will Make You a Better Artist Today
Go With the Flow: 4 Fluid Acrylic Painting Techniques to Try

Giveaways
Jetpens giveaway-Creative Lettering and Beyond + Jetpens Pen Sampler
Crafter's Companion 12 Days of Giveaway
12 Days of Blick Giveaway-a new prize every day
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily 
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas
The 12 Days of Sculpey - new prize given away on Facebook each day-12/25
Craft Warehouse's 12 Days of Giveaways-new chance to win each day on Facebook-12/23

Pen & Ink
Pentel Hybrid Technica Gel Ink Pen Review 

Miscellaneous
Faber-Castell Drawing book-Free Downloadable coloring pages

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wrong-Handed ATC Watercolor #Zentangle #Zendoodle

This has been a bad year for my art in some ways, and a fantastic year in others.

I developed a problem with my wrist, shortly before the year started, and it plagued me most of the year.  Now, I'm finally at the point where I can do my line-drawing without pain, as long as I pace myself.

While this was frustrating, it also had its benefits.  One of the ways I worked around the pain was to draw and paint with my non-dominant hand.  I've always had some control with this hand, but it's definitely not as steady, and I find it more difficult to draw lightly.  What I found though, was that it was a bit of reset, almost a starting over, making me think about the abilities that have been second-nature for me.

I'm very glad to be back to using my left hand, but I enjoyed the challenges of not using it.  

We often forget that unexpected challenges are not necessarily a hardship, but a chance to be thankful for what we have and to refresh our relationship with ourselves and the world around us. 

This is an ATC from earlier in the year done with a brush pen in my right hand.  I'm keeping it beside my computer, so I'll be sure to look at it often and remember to be thankful.


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

Zentangle
Weekly Zentangle Challenge #198
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #203
Tangle Patterns: Tangle Refresher 92
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 135

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52: Week 50-Sparkle and Shine
No Excuses Art Journaling Weekly Sprout #35
The Art of Journaling: Recording Holiday Traditions

Tutorials
Urban Christmas Greeting Card
Make your Own Faux Metal Embellishments
DIY Duct Tape Christmas Trees

Giveaways
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners + Giveaway
A Holiday Travel Art Bag Giveaway
Blick Art Materials 12 Days of Giveaway-a new prize every day
Crafter's Companion 12 Days of Giveaway
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas
The 12 Days of Sculpey - new prize given away on Facebook each day-12/25
Craft Warehouse's 12 Days of Giveaways-new chance to win each day on Facebook-12/23

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 16: Kaweco 14KT Gold
Carnival of Creativity 12/14/14




Friday, December 12, 2014

Sailing the Seven Seas...sort of #Clearprint #Vellum #PenAndInk

Earlier this year, I participated in Clearprint's Cross Country Project (I believe you can still join.  You are sent two Clearprint Vellum sketchbooks--one to create in and return, and one to keep for yourself!).

I discovered this week, that Clearprint also has a gallery for non-Cross Country artwork done on their vellum paper, and I was invited to submit more work.  This is the piece I entered.  To see other fabulous works, in sooo many different mediums, check out the Artist Gallery - Works on Clearprint.  There is some absolutely fantastic work there! You'll be amazed and inspired!


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

Due to the silly season, I've decided there will be no Daily List of Links for Saturday and Sunday until after the New Year.  See you on Monday!

Zentangle 
step-out for "NIURODA"
Tangle Patterns: How to draw LEALAD

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
50 Art Journal Prompts

Tutorials
Creating a Red Cardinal with Copic Markers
Tutorial | Fluffy Bow and Template
Fall - Art Journal Page #1

Giveaways
Her Peaceful Garden Christmas GIVEAWAY-Foiled Cardstock & Vellum stacks,Christmas tree embossing folder, clear stamp set,Textured Elements Flowers
HUGE Paint and Art Journaling E-Book Giveaway
Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas 2014 with Scrapbook Expo & Cricut 
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily thru 12/17/14
Creativity Unleashed-TWELVE {12} DAYS of holiday giveaways
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Craft, Paper, Scissors-12 Days of Christmas 2014: Win a Prize Every Single Day

Pen & Ink
Quo Vadis Friday Roundup of Pen & Ink reviews

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Journal52 Prompt 48: Build a Snowman #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

I'm getting ready for family to visit, but I managed to sneak in time for the Journal52 prompt 48.  It helps that I stuck to my guns and kept it simple.

I used an assortment of Acrylic paints, and a 1 inch flat and whipped this out in about 10 minutes.  It shows it, for good or bad!


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

Zentangle
joey's weekly tangle challenge #38
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern -Aunt Flower

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Comparing Other Color Mediums for Art Journaling

Tutorials
Japanese Department Style Gift Wrapping-video
Merry Christmas Home Decor Project
Drawing Simple Shapes in Your Art Journal

Giveaways
Baron Fig Three-Legged Juggler Journal Giveaway
@Notebook Stories:Review and Giveaway: Penroll
Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas 2014 with Scrapbook Expo & Cricut 
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily 
Creativity Unleashed-TWELVE {12} DAYS of holiday giveaways
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Craft, Paper, Scissors-12 Days of Christmas 2014: Win a Prize Every Single Day

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 14: OMAS Ogiva Alba

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-16 #Exaclair #Schut #Watercolor

Each Wednesday for 22 weeks, I'll be sharing artwork that was done on paper from a Schut Papier sampler.  I'll be giving you a little information about each of the papers.

Schut Aquarel Flamboyant, Extra Rough, 250 gm2/115 lbs

50% Cotton, acid-free.

When I saw the texture of this paper I feel in love, because I'm really into texture.  I discovered this was a case of tough love, because watercolor this rough is a challenge to work with.

My first painting was totally an exploration, and I ended up using Gellyroll and Micron pens to add some definition and restore color to areas I overworked.  I had a little better idea of what to do with the second painting, but I know I could do better yet.  Personally, I adore this kind of paper.  It is a challenge, learning how to use it, but the textural effects you can get once you do? Totally worth it!

However, I wouldn't recommend it for beginners or even intermediate painters unless they like a challenge or have experience with this type of paper.

The paper is thick, but very light for the thickness.

The outcome of my tests:


  • Paper folds well for its weight with some memory of the fold
  • When creased it does get multiple creases, but they don't radiate outward
  • Frisket and/or tape both cause some damage
  • Color doesn't lift easily; gets cottony if you try to add paint to lifted area
  • It's easy to overwork the paper
  • Paper is absorbant, washes don't move a lot
  • Paper tends to come off in chunks when you scrape it
  • Creates fantastic textural effects



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

Zentangle
Tangle Pattern ~ Star-igami

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
21 FREE Art Journaling Courses to Check Out Now

Tutorials
How to Crochet a Fluffy Alpaca Plushy from the book Cute Critter Crochet
Holiday Tags
Mixed Media Patchwork Collage Style Holiday Greeting Cards

Giveaways
Petaloo International Giveaway-$75.00 value Christmas Craft PRIZE
Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas 2014 with Scrapbook Expo & Cricut 
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily thru 12/17/14
Creativity Unleashed-TWELVE {12} DAYS of holiday giveaways
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Craft, Paper, Scissors-12 Days of Christmas 2014: Win a Prize Every Single Day (ends 12/12/14)




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Journal52 Prompt 47: Wise Words #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

The Year is Winding Down!  Only 5 more prompts to go for Journal52, 2014.  (Only three, actually, at this point.  I'm a bit behind in posting my prompt responses).

The good news is that there will be a Journal52, 2015.  I haven't decided if I'll join up again or not.


To start off this prompt, I did the background using the Tattered Angels Antique History kit, which has two sprays and two paints, meant to create the look of wood.


I had never used this kit on watercolor paper before.  Usually, it comes out gleaming and slick.  On this paper it was a bit more anemic and sick!  It made for an interesting background, anyway. 


Unfortunately, it was also a bit difficult to add color to.  I tried several pens and markers, finally having a degree of success with my Pentel Pigment Ink brush pen (the lyrics to 'Let It Be'), Sakura Gellyroll pens, white and Moonlight Pink, and then several colors of Sharpie Brush Pen.

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

Zentangle
Ben Kwok template -Violin  (must be a member of Facebook Group Ornation Creation)
Tangle Patterns: How to draw ON TARGET

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Traveling Art Journal Part 8 – Past & Present in a Page

Tutorials
Washi Tape Tuesday: Bubble Wrap Stamping on Washi Tape
One Altered Domino, Many Holiday Uses
Photo Ornaments

Giveaways
Win a Stipula Splash Fountain Pen
Stampendous and Core’dinations Giveaway
Celebrate 12 Days of Christmas 2014 with Scrapbook Expo & Cricut 
ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily thru 12/17/14
Creativity Unleashed-TWELVE {12} DAYS of holiday giveaways
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Craft, Paper, Scissors-12 Days of Christmas 2014: Win a Prize Every Single Day (ends 12/12/14)

Miscellaneous
Carnival of Creativity 12/7/14

Monday, December 8, 2014

Caves Measureless to Man #Watercolor #Zentangle #Zendoodle

You may have noticed that I'm posting a lot of drawings where I'm using up watercolor paint left on the palette.  I've been in a creative slump lately.  Recognizing this, I haven't pushed myself to do full on watercolor paintings.  I've been cleaning off my palettes bit by bit.  A little watercolor can go a long way, and I hate to just wipe off leftover paint.  Afterwards, I use a Pigma Micron, brush pen or fountain pen to draw lines and patterns.

I love doing this kind of work.  There's no expectation.  I just let the watercolor suggest shapes and patterns, It's mindless, but in a mindful kind of way.  I feel as though I'm drawing from within, moving past the controls and conscious awareness... tapping into the deep caves of my mind, measureless to man.


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

Zentangle
snow tangle challenge
Weekly Zentangle Challenge #197

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
No Excuses Art Journaling Weekly Sprout #34

Tutorials
Christmas Tree Piñata Ornaments {Holiday Tutorial} 
Faux-Fabric Paper Snowman Tutorial
Pinecone Elves

Giveaways
Just Jingle Giveaway- two Spellbinders® die sets 
Pre-Christmas review and giveaway: J. Herbin Scented Ink
Creativity Unleashed-TWELVE {12} DAYS of holiday giveaways
Pentel’s 25 Days of Giveaways-enter every day for a chance to win a different prize
Craft, Paper, Scissors-12 Days of Christmas 2014: Win a Prize Every Single Day
POLAR Pen Giveaway-A pen given away every day ArtistsNetwork Holiday Sweepstakes-New prize package daily
Pink Paislee Countdown 2 Christmas Begins! Week 2





Should I change the name of my 'Fantasy Landscapes/Step-Outs'?

A few people have asked if my Fantasy Landscape/Step-Outs will have dragons and fairies, and that isn't what I have in mind (at least fo...