Friday, January 30, 2015

Sneak Peek for Monday's Review and Giveaway! #Rhodia #Exaclair #Giveaway

Be sure to check my blog on Monday for a review and GIVEAWAY!  Just a couple of sneak peeks to help you remember!

An example done for the review...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bleedthrumanades in Rubber Stamp Madness Magazine #Zentangle #RubberStampMadness #VivaLasVegaStamps!

The Spring Edition of Rubber Stamp Madness magazine is due to hit stores on February 10 or so.

You might remember that a couple of years ago, I was a team member of the Viva Las VegaStamps! design team.  During that time, I submitted some of my *Bleedthrumanades that I'd done using their rubber stamps and Zentangle patterns.  The magazine liked my examples and decided to write a whole article about them!

I'm so excited.  The magazine plans their issues two years in advance, so I've been waiting a long time!

These Bleedthrumanades were done with Copic Markers, Viva Las VegaStamps! rubber stamps, and Pigma Microns on paper in a Rhodia 6 x 8 R-pad.

(*Got lemons, make lemonade.  Got marker bleed-through, make bleedthrumanade.  Color the page on one side with markers that will bleed color through to the back.  Draw and/or stamp on the side of the page.  When done, turn the page over and draw and/or stamp a totally different piece using the same color base.)

The Front of the Page

The Back of the Page

 The Front of the Page

 The Back of the Page

 The Front of the Page

The Back of the Page

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-21 #Exaclair #Schut #Zentangle

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 Vel Acryl, 360 g/m2:165 lbs

This is a very stiff thick paper and it screamed mixed media to me.  I was getting a bit tired of working at the half sheet size and decided I would do the whole sheet as a collage.  I tore up scraps of magazine paper, and decoupaged it down with gel medium.  I layered on some textured pumice gel as well.

Then I painted the page with a very transparent metallic green acrylic paint, leaving the negative shapes of the pears.

It would also be a very good paper to use for art journal covers.

The outcome of my tests:
  • Not a good paper for folding
    • the backside creases cleanly
    • the inside radiates so that you get several creases
    • I was afraid the paper would crack so I didn't press as hard as I normally would
  • Good paper for collage
    • despite several layers of paper, gel medium and pumice gel
      • no buckling
      • no dimpling
      • no curling
  • A little stiff for art journaling
    • hard to fold
    • could be punched and wire-bound
    • would make good cover stock

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

joey's weekly tangle challenge #45
Tangle Patterns: How to draw ARCODOS
Ben Kwok Template: Deer Profile

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt #1279 Visual Prompt of the Week – Scootin’ Along
Prompt60 #21

TECHNIQUE: Enhance Watercolor Paintings with PanPastels
Mixed Media collage technique
All About Neocolor II Wax Crayons

tanglebucket studio giveaway-Irotjen colored Pencils (Facebook)
Derwent Giveaway-Traveller Pencil Pouch

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 21: Pilot Parallel 
Classic Pens LB5 Sailor King Profit Review

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Journal52 2015 Week 4-Silhouettes #Journal52 #ArtJournal #Acrylics

I cheated a little bit on the prompt this week--maybe.  I looked up the definition of silhouette and Google's first offering was 'the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background, especially in dim light.'

The definition didn't specify that the shape had to be a solid color, so I went with my preference, and added a little sharing.

This took about 20 minutes, and at that, I fiddled with it a bit longer than I should.  I didn't take pictures, but for those interested, there is a write-up of my process and reasoing below.

Stillman & Birn Wirebound Alpha 7 x 10 inches
Golden Fluid Acrylics: Ultarmarine Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Hansa Yellow Medium, Gold Iridescent
Foam brush
1/2 inch flat
Paper mask of man with umbrella

Reasons for my choice of colors:  I wanted to stick mainly with the primaries of red, blue and yellow.  I also wanted colors that would pop and I love how vibrant Golden's Ultramarine is. I knew I'd get an almost neon glow from it.  That seemed to set the tone for a rainy urban scene.  While rain is often portrayed with cool, grayed colors in an urban setting you are more likely to have garish lights reflecting in the water.  

I chose my blue and red (magenta) because they go well together.  A different yellow might have been better, but it's what I happened to have on hand, lol.  After thinking about, I decided to add in the Gold iridescent because it gleams, and would help give that feeling of wet sparkling in the light.

To get my paper mask, I went to the Morguefile Free Photos to find a good reference photo, and drew the outline of a man with an umbrella onto a piece of copy paper.  Then I cut it out.

Using the foam brush, I covered the entire page with a thin layer of Ultramarine Blue, not worrying about streaks.

I placed the paper cut-out mask where I wanted my silhouette to be, and, using the brush, I painted everything with a thin layer of the Gold Iridescent.  I didn't worry about streaks--in fact, I encouraged them.  I wanted the strokes to give an impression of rain pelting down, so my strokes were all slanted. I started each stroke on the mask and then painted towards an edge of the page.  I covered the entire page, but some of the blue showed through some of the gold.

At this point, I was done with the mask and tossed it.  

I painted areas around the silhouette with the yellow, still allowing streaks so some of the gold and blue could still be seen.  Then I painted the magenta shadows with a heavy coat of paint.  Using a much thinner amount, I also added magenta in the upper corner and off to the left side, blending it into the yellow.

I mixed some of the blue and magenta together, and added some shadows on the silhouette, and into the reflections.

Then I covered everything, except the silhouette, with another thin coat of Gold Iridescent.

That was it.  It took longer to write it up, than to do it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laundry Day #Fabriano #Zentangle #Tiziano

This is the last of the drawings that I did in my aqua Fabriano Tiziano art journal.  My New Year's resolution is to focus on using the paper and journals I already have, rather than creating new ones so I probably won't buy any more of this for a while.  I'll miss it.

This piece made me think of those shots you see of laundry hung outside of apartment buildings, underwear flying like banners over the city scape.  Maybe that's what I should have named it--Underwear Flying Like Banners!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-20 #Exaclair #Schut #Zentangle

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 Artist Drawing Paper, 160 g/m2:82 lbs

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

I continue to be impressed with this paper's ability to hold up to watercolor.  I did a lot of blotting, color lifting and scrubbing with a lot of re-applied heavy washes--really punished the paper, so you can see areas of pilling and rippling.  Given the deliberate overworking, I'd have expected most drawing papers to tear or refuse to take new color.  I've had watercolor paper that performed worse.

I messed up a bit with my drawing.  I dutifully took notes on the back, but forgot to write down which pen I was using!  I'm pretty sure it was a Pilot Fude-Makase Color Brush Pen in Sepia, but I can't be sure.

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
    • doesn't blossom easily
    • does form hard lines easily
  • With hard-tip brush pen, water-based dye
    • drying times above standard
    • no feathering
    • minimal show-through
    • no bleed-through

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

Jumu Pattern
20 Ways to Inspire – Week 6: Zentangle
joey's weekly challenge #44
Tangle Patterns: How to draw SUTYGAL
Ben Kwok's Ornation Creation template - Quail

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Prompt60 #14
Prompt60 #15
No Excuses Art Sprout 36:RABBIT RABBIT RABBIT

sandra l strohschein watercolor rose demonstration
Valentines Multi-Fold Card Tutorial
TUTORIAL TUESDAY - Imagine Girl - Using Modeling Paste

Pencil Revolution Giveaway - Pencil Sharpener 
Artist Interview with Carla Sonheim and a Fabulous Giveaway-seat in online class & books

Pen & Ink
Serious Nibbage Part 20: OMAS 360 (Vintage) @sbrebrown
The Fountain Pen Inks Infographic – A Categorization of Fountain Pen Inks (waterproof, permanent, etc.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Journal52 2015: Prompt 3 - Conversation Starters #Journalt52 #ArtJournaling #Stillman&Birn

I did something a little different for this week's prompt, and yet it almost the same as last weeks. Ain't I a scamp?

Quite often, sketchbooks and journals come with a paper band that contains information about the book and the paper inside.  I like to keep these, with the journal if possible, or in an envelope if not.

Meanwhile, I had already decided I wanted to decorate the inside covers of my art journal. You see how these two things go together? No? Well, Stillman & Birn journals don't have a back pocket, but they do come with an informational paper band.

 Many of my online conversations have started because someone asked a question about a page I've done...'how did you do that?' What size is this?', and so forth.  Many of those questions are answered by the information on the band (which is why I like to keep them.  They're great reference for later).

I decided both covers would have similar backgrounds.  On the front, I'd write my conversational starters, and on the back, I'd tape down the paper band (cut into two pieces).

My technique--pretty much the same as the one I used for the background last week.  Watercolor markers blended with a waterbrush.  Instead of continuing on with colored pencil, I used an Ohto Graphic Liner to write my words, Sakura Gellyroll pens to color them, and two-sided Miracle tape to adhere the paper band.

I've written up my process, and the reasons for some of my choices, down below.

1. Why water-soluble markers again?

They're so easy and quick to use.  I used Tim Holtz Distress markers because I know and like the colors.  Any water-soluble markers would work.

When doing these, I painted the front background first and then did the back.  I want to show how my choices made a difference though, so I'm comparing front and back with each step.

The process:

Pick three marker colors.  Color some shapes of different size for each.  Choose one color to be the most dominant (I chose the lightest-Scattered Straw).  Choose one to be the least dominant (I chose the darkest-Peeled Paint).  For the color used in-between, I chose Crushed Olives.

Front Inside Cover: I wanted a floral design so I made circle and half-circle shapes with spiky edges.

Back Inside Cover: I wanted more of a funky, industrial look, so I went with circles, squares and fence like shapes.  Actually, I knew that most of this page would be covered up, so I mostly wanted to show you how the shapes you choose here, can totally change the look of the page.

Next step is to blend the colors with a wet brush.  I used a waterbrush, but any brush and water would work.

Front Inside Cover: I worked in areas as I blended starting at a corner and blending a little of this color and that, letting the colors run together.  In some areas I kept blending until the spikiness was gone.  In some areas, I let some of the spikiness remain.

Back Inside Cover: For the back, I started with the lightest color and blended it all around, staying away from the other two colors.  Then I did the second lightest, and only then did I blend the darkest color.

This made some differences in how the piece came together.  Out of the three colors, Scattered Straw, the yellow, scans least well.  Where I had colored it, the scan picked it up.  Where I blended out the color, the white of the paper shows through.

On the other hand, in real life, all three colors are more vibrant.

Overall, I get a smaller range of colors.  Where I blended them together on the front cover, colors melted into different shades of green and yellow.  Here each color is more distinct.

You can see some pilling (those little grain like bits) where the paper started coming up because I scrubbed too hard trying to get the yellow color to cover a larger area.  Bad me!  I should have added more color instead of scrubbing.  But I knew it would get covered up and was too lazy to do it.

I think this is a painting of a dinner with radioactive melons and bananas!

The next step was layout and prepare for the finishing steps.

Front Inside Cover: I wrote out the conversation starters with an Ohto Graphic Liner pen.  That's a soft fabric-tipped pen.  Pretty much any fabric tipped art or technical pen would do.  Or any other black ink pen.  If you know you'll be using more water or gel medium or anything wet, you'll need a water-proof pen, such as a Pigma Micron, though.

Back Inside Cover: I decided to use a two-sided tape to adhere my informational pieces.  Why tape over glue or gel medium? It's less messy. Pure and simple.  Again--if you'll be using a wet medium over top, some two-sided tapes have adhesive that might dissolve.  Better to use glue or gel medium in that case, messy or not.

I cut the information paper band down into two pieces that would fit and added tape all around the edges, along the middle length-wise, and then two more strips width-wise.

The last steps were to color in my phrases (I used Sakura Gellyroll pens-Metallic Purple, Metallic Sepia, Metallic Burgundy, Red Star and Marine Star) and to stick down my informational pieces.

Both inside covers done in about 205 minutes.  It probably would have only been 20 if I hadn't been stopping to take photos.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jaws on Aqua #Fabriano #Zentangle #Tiziano

I wonder what kind of animal those teeth belong to! You'd think I'd know, considering I drew them, but nope.  There they are, fresh from the brain of yours truly, and I don't have a clue. Lol! I crack myself up sometimes.

This was done on aqua Fabriano Tiziano.  I almost didn't share it, because it got stained when I dropped another piece with wet paint on it.  I can also tell that my wrist was bothering me when I drew this, because I didn't fill in my colors solidly.

Then, I decided what the heck.  The point isn't to share my perfection with you--I'd never be sharing in that case.  The point is in the sharing itself.  I think my jaws are funny, because I'm really not sure why I decided to draw them.  Fun is much more interesting to share than perfection!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Journal52 2015 Prompt 2: Just Be #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ColoredPencil

The second prompt for Journal52 2015 was 'Just Be'.

I've mentioned, often, that I seldom plan my work.  However, after musing on this prompt for a bit I had the idea of someone lazing against a tree, just being.

I wanted to keep my process simple, and I wanted the process to 'just happen' as well.  So how to bring my vision about while still letting my finished piece be a surprise?

For those interested, I've written up my solution below.

Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook
Tim Holtz Distress Markers: Rusty Hinge, Worn Lipstick, Tumbled Glass
American Craft Stamp Marker: Aqua
Coloursoft Colored Pencils: Electric Blue, Lime Green, Mid Green, Deep Fuschia, Bright Orange
Blending Stump/Tortillon

Starting in the corners, and then more or less at random, I colored portions of the page using water-soluable markers.  Then I blended all the colors together with a water brush.

My choices were important here, but not critical.  Most of this watercolor was just a base and would be covered up.  But what I wanted to keep in mind was that some of the color would show through and would affect the colored pencil colors.  

I needed a similar range of watercolors as I'd be using with the colored pencils, or things could get muddy.

But I didn't know exactly what colors I'd be using!  So, I thought, hmmm. My vision was of someone in the woods.  I needed colors that might suggest fleshtones, and trees and grass and shrubbery. 

I went through my watercolor markers and pulled out a few colors that knew I liked and that were close enough to the above choices. 

Note: Having used these watercolor markers and colored pencils before, I have a good idea how they will work together.  If you aren't sure then try using them together on a piece of paper.  Write notes so you'll remember what colors you used.  Try to stay with the blends you like--don't worry if it is muddy or not. Your criteria should be--do I like it or not.    Keep your experiments in a book or box, so you can go back later and see what worked.

Note: When I say that I'm adding my colors at random, I am--sort of.  After a while, you just sort of know how you want things to go.  Practice is the best teacher, but I thought about it, and this is roughly what I do.  Most of the time.  Some of the time.
  1. Pick three colors
    • Choose one color to be most dominant (it doesn't matter which one)
      • make five rough shapes of different sizes-leave lots of white space
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the top
        • make sure to have some of the shapes in the middle
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the bottom
    • Choose another color to be less dominant (it doesn't matter which one)
      • make four rough shapes of different sizes-leave lots of white space
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the top
        • make sure to have some of the shapes in the middle
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the bottom
    • Take the remaining color
      • make three rough shapes of different sizes-leave white space
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the top
        • make sure to have some of the shapes in the middle
        • make sure to have some of the shapes towards the bottom
  2. Blend the colors
    • Blend like color to like in most places
    • In at least 3 or 4 areas overlap and blend two different colors together
    • Cover the whole page, but leave some areas almost the color of the paper

This is the page I came up with, more or less following my advice above. (The white streaks were caused from glue that was spilled on the page when I was working on another page).

And, now comes the element of making my finished piece a surprise, even to myself.

I looked at this, and said 'Where's a girl in here?'  Can you see her?  Once I found the wild, bushy, green hair surrounding a face, I had it.  Her legs seemed chopped off though.  Oh well, I thought. I'm never afraid to suggest rather than make things perfectly clear.  I'm not sure my scan picked it up, but I used color in the shadowed areas to suggest her legs were bent back at the knee. Possibly, she's holding a foot in the hand that is behind her.

I apologize, because I had intended to take more photos, so this would be a step by step, showing how I picked out the form of the girl, but I got caught up.

In essence, I used the colored pencils around the shape of the girl first.  I did the same for the words 'just be'.

Then I used the colored pencil to darken the areas between -- the gap between arm and body and between her legs. Looking at the watercolor base, you wouldn't think there was much flesh color there, but once I had color pencil all around it, the fleshtones were more apparent.

I left the girl altogether for a while, and concentrated on the background.  I let the watercolor underneath suggest where light and shadow might fall.  Mostly, I squirkled, but in some areas I drew lines meant to suggest grass or larger ovals to suggest leaves.

After one layer of pencil on the background, I went back to the girl and started working on details.  

For her outfit, I used directional lines to suggest folds and shape.  I used the tortillon stump to blend the shadowed areas so they'd be more blended and darker.  In the areas, where I wanted to suggest sunlight touching, I squirkled very loosely, letting lots of the watercolor show through.

I shadowed the areas to emphasize the contours of her face and arms.  With a sharp pencil, I added her eyes.

Once satisfied with the girl, I went back to the background and her hair, adding 3 or 4 more layers of color.  After blending the shadows underneath and behind the girl, I added another layer of the same colors I had used on her earlier, bringing the values more in line with the background.

That was it.  I had a drawing that satisfied my starting vision, without knowing exactly what I was going to get.  I could follow this procedure and come up with a different work every time. I feel this keeps me fresh, and keeps my interest.

All told, it took about 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-19 #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 Sketchpad Paper, medium fine grain, 90 gm2/61 lbs

PH Neutral, Acid-free, ISO 9706.

I've reviewed the Schut Sketchpad paper in other weights.  This is the lightest weight and I used both fountain pen and metal-tipped pen (Pentel Slicci & Energels).  As I've found in the past, the paper performs far better than might be expected given its weight, with no feathering or skipping, minimal show-through and very little bleed-through.

The Pentel Slicci have a very fine point, and I've even had them tear through paper in the past, when I've worked heavily in one spot.  The tend to deboss (leave indented lines) in some paper, so I was curious to see how they worked on this paper.

The outcome of my tests:

  • The Paper:
    • can be folded almost edge to edge without crease or cracking, and it retains little memory of the fold
    • fairly stiff--warbles brightly when you flap the paper
    • has enough tooth to feel slightly gritty to the touch
  • Pentel Slicci & Pentel Energel (both metal-tipped gel ink pens):
    • slight debossing from nib pressure, where I worked heavily
    • slight show-through
    • no bleed-through
    • drying times were about standard
  • Fountain Pen friendly--
    • pinpoints of bleed-through where I saturated
    • no  feathering
    • slight debossing from nib pressure, where I worked heavily.  
    • Show-through only if held up to light.

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

Schnails tangle pattern
joey's weekly tangle challenge #43
Tangle Patterns: How to draw WAAX

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Daisy Yellow Prompt60 #10
Prompt #1265 Visual Prompt of the Week – Go Slow

Strathmore Paper Selector Guide
Video: Watercolored Valentines Day card
Paper Mache Bowls with Gelli™ Prints
Get it Together: 18 DIY Desk Organizers
TIP: Cleaning Sofft Sponges

Irreversibly Moi giveaway-Seats to Online Art Journaling Class 'Transform Your Heart Through Art'
Zatchels giveaway - Tannery Collection Micro Saddle bags to five lucky winners
Blitsy Giveaway - Bee Creative Marker Storage
Fairy Tangle Giveaway-Chance to win digi-images from Norma J Burnell

Pen & Ink

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Notes! Notes! I Need Notes! #Fabriano #Zentangle #Pentel

I was sooo bad about keeping track of what I was using while I was working on this aqua Fabriano Tiziano.  I suppose that is good in one way.  It means I'm more into the moment, creating, not thinking about what this is and that is.  But usually, I can do that and then remember what I used (and let me note, that often, I'm posting something that I drew months ago--I finished this handmade art journal back in September, but I'm just now posting some of the pages).

I'm not sure why I struggle so much with the remembering on this paper.  Possibly it's the aqua color.  It changes the colors somewhat, perhaps enough to confuse what few wits I have left, lol.

My best guess is that this was done with Pentel Sliccis.  I have the fine points, which I like, but as with most metal-tipped pens this size, they tend to deboss--leave indentations in the paper.  This can also happen with fountain pens, and that's a possibility here, but the lines seem too fine for any of my fountain pens.

Why do I worry so much about remembering what tools I use?  Beyond the obvious, that is, that my memory isn't as good as it used to be?  I prefer not to plan my work.

And yet, if I know my tools, in a way, I am planning.  If I know my tools, I'll know what effects I can expect if I move the pen a certain way, hold the pen a certain way.  If I know my tools then my mind and hand can communicate without my brain getting in the way.

If I can't remember what tool does what, then my whole process has to change.

That's life, though.  You learn how to do something, and eventually, you have to re-learn how to do it, because everything changes.  I've always taken notes when working on a project with lots of steps. Now, I'll have to take notes on smaller projects.  And life goes on.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What did I use? #Fabriano #Yasutomo #Zentangle

Of late, when I scan a piece in, I try to include the info regarding both the paper and the medium(s) I used.  I didn't with this one.  I know I was using the aqua Fabriano Tiziano but I have to guess what pen I used.

My suspicion is that it was a Yasutomo Y&C Gel Stylist Gel Ink Pen - 0.5 mm with Burgundy ink.  Its a metal-tipped needle point pen of small size that fits nicely in my small hand.  I like the flow of the ink and love the burgundy color.  Every time I use it, I wonder why I don't use it more often.  I suppose it's because metal-tipped pens are my least favorite type.  Which isn't to say I don't like them.  I just like fabric-tip, brush tip and fountain pen better, as a rule.

I've always tended to use both sides of the page in my journals, in order to get the most from them, but maybe I should start using one side only and write down the info about the mediums I used and any notes about thoughts I want to remember.  I may have to do that.

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

My husband and I have decided to start doing some heavy house remodeling, and I'm thinking about volunteering to teach crafts at my mother's Assisted Living home.  Between the two, it's going to use up time I normally use searching for link lists.  So, for a while at least, I'm going to cut down the number of days that I post my links.  

For now, I'm going to post my link list on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  Hopefully, I'll be able to go back to a daily within a couple of months.

Weekly Zentangle Challenge 200 (with giveaway!)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
How to Create More Often

Cracked Glass Bobbles
Tooled Aluminum Fish
Violet Window Box

Daycraft Giveaway-win a Karen Mok Official signed MyTravel notebook (Facebook)
DoCraft giveaway-chance to win crafting goodies (Facebook)
Review: Nock Co DotDash Pocket Notebook (and Giveaway)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Power Outage = No Link list of Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways today!

Sorry!  For some reason we were without power a good part of the day, so I wasn't able to look up good sites for today.  There should be a list tomorrow, provided the power stays on now.

Follow Your Dreams #Fabriano #Tiziano #PenAndInk

I still have a few pages to share from the small art journal I made using sheets of aqua Fabriano Tiziano.  It's similar to the paper used for the official Zentangle® tiles (which I believe is Fabriano Tiepolo).

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

How to draw tanglepattern XYP
How to draw tanglepattern Violeta

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
The Power of Positive Self-Criticism in Art

Improve Your Painting: 5 Key Tips for Painting Water in Acrylics
Some Tips for Using Micron Pens 
How to Add Fabric to a Book - video
Downloadable freebies from Cloth, Paper, Scissors

Bloom Trueapalooza! Three Weeks of Giveaways - chance to win seat in 5 week ecourse

Pen & Ink
Ink Tasting Tuesday Review: @Kaweco Pearl Black Ink @JetPens

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday with Schut-18 #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 Noblesse, Cold-pressed, medium fine , 300 gm2/140 lbs
Both of the paintings I'm sharing today were done quickly, with a large brush and washes.  On the second painting I used a Pigma Micron for detail.  Many cold-pressed watercolor papers are too rough for a fabric-tipped pen, making it hard to get crisp lines and wearing down the pen tip.  I think the tooth of this paper would wear a fabric tip down so I used an older pen.  While  I couldn't get a truly sharp, crisp line, I could come close, and I was able to get a variety of textures depending on how I held the pen and the amount of pressure.

The outcome of my tests:
  • The Noblesse paper is smoother than many cold-pressed papers I've worked with, but not so smooth as to seem like hot-press.
  • The paper is about average for lifting color, and re-applying paint.  It will pill if you aren't careful when lifting.
  • Washes move well, though not as far as I expected.
  • Paint dries fairly quickly and hard lines form easily.
  • There no chunks or pills if scraping is done with reasonable care
  • Some dimpling does occur with very wet washes, though they disappear when the paper dries
  • Does well with both masking fluid and masking tape
  • Pencil blur but don't disappear entirely.
  • A variety of line textures are possible when using a fabric-tipped pen such as the Pigma Micron.

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

Tangle Patterns: How to draw JESTERZ
joey's weekly tangle challenge #42

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
January Journaling

Trash to Artsy Treasure
Glazing With Acrylic Matte Medium: It’s Easy to Do
DIY Stitching Templates Tutorial

Review and Giveaway: Letternote Notebooks
Hazel and Ruby Giveaway - DIY Decor Tape

Pen & Ink
Review: Conway Stewart Winston Marbled Green Fountain Pen - Broad

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Journal52 Week 1: Pathways #Journal52 #ArtJournal #Stillman&Birns

Yes! The Journal52 workshop continues on into 2015 and it's still free!  If you are new, and want to join in, check out the newbie page.  If you've been journaling along, check out the What's New page.  If you just want to start journaling--the first prompt for 2015 is Pathways.

While I'm going to stay with a theme of 'Keep It Simple, Stupid', I am doing things a little differently this year.  Instead of making a journal or buying one specifically for this year's journal, I'm going to finish up some of the journals I've already been working in.  The main one will be a Stillman & Birn's Delta sketchbook.  I reviewed one of these a while back if you are interested in learning more about them.

For this weeks prompt--Pathways--I decided to paint the cover of my journal.  Although last year was the first year I joined up with a challenge group, I've been creating art in journals since 2010, so I decided my pathways would be symbolic of my artful journey.

I didn't have a camera on hand while I was painting this, but I've explained some of the reasons for my choices below, for those who are interested.

The first thing I wanted to discuss was my composition--the layout of my painting.  It would have been stronger if I had moved either the ground higher or started the sky lower.  Convention would have had me move the sun off-center.   Since I had chosen a symbolic theme though--the passing of the years--I decided I wanted to imply a duality dominated by sunlight.  These years have been half-grounded, half pie-in-the-sky filled with both shadow and light.  

That's what art journaling is about, right?  Making artistic choices based on what you feel even if it doesn't agree with what you 'know' about the rules of artistic composition.

The second thing I want to discuss is why I chose this Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook. I know  that at this time of the year, many people are wondering what they should use for an art journal, so I thought I'd summarize why I like this one.  My choice is subjective--based on experience about what I personally like in a sketchbook or journal.

I like the 7x7 square size-it's great for my Zentangle-Inspired art. The 180 lb paper is capable of taking a lot of weight and doesn't buckle easily, so it's fantastic for mixed media.  The paper is also an ivory color.  That would be a plus for some and a negative for others who might prefer a bright white.  I really like the way colors appear on this paper, feeling that it gives them a richness and an elegance,  

For an experienced art journalist, the choice is whether to go with a sketchbook/journal that you know you'll like or to pick one that will provide a new experience.  I did the new experience in making my own book last year, and this year I chose a tried and true friend.  

For someone new to art journaling, I'd recommend reading a few reviews and choosing something that sounds interesting to you.  Consider things like:
  • What kind of art do you think you'll do? Look at the information on the book and see if it is formulated for the tools you'll use.  Books good for pen and markers might be too slick for pencil, colored pencil and paints.  Books good for pencil, colored pencil or paints might be too rough for fabric-tipped pens and markers.  Mixed media is a good choice if you use lots of different mediums.  It may not be the best for any given tool, but should work with most of them.  Paper with a mixed media label is usually heavy enough to take lots of glue and glued on items.
  • How much time will you have? A smaller book limits how much you can do with each prompt, but a larger book will have pages that take longer to fill up.  I've found something around a 5 x 7 works well for me when I'm keeping things simple.  A 9 x 12 is fantastic to work in, but is too large for me to use on a regular basis (unless I'm painting with watercolors).  If I intended to spend more time planning out my work, and going for lots of detail, I'd choose 9 x 12 or larger.
  • What kind of subject do you like?  Portraits? Animals?  Landscapes?  I chose a square 7x7 sketchbook, but square might not be best for everyone.  It's good for abstracts and non-objective art like Zentangle, but harder for portraits and landscapes.  Portraits work best in books that are taller than wide (portrait orientation), while landscape work best with the opposite (landscape orientation).  Choosing a book with the right shape for your preference gets overlooked, but it can make your life easier.
  • Do you intend to glue things in your book, or use texture pastes? A wirebound book might be best for you.  It lies very flat, the pages can be folded back and best of all--it has room to expand as you add those items without worrying that the spine will crack.  On the other hand, you can only use one page because the wire coil gets in the way, and for some, lefties especially, that wire coil is an annoyance.  With a hardbound book, you can choose to do a two-page spread.  This gives you choice.  When you have time for a larger piece you do two pages.  When time is less, you go for a one-page piece.  Do make sure, though, if you choose a hardbound, that the pages lie fairly flat even when it opens in the middle.

The only other choice I made was in choosing my acrylic paints.  I went with Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin acrylic paints for the landscape, and Golden Liquid Acrylics for the dates, title and pathways.

I wanted the texture of the sketchbook cover to show through, and I knew this would give me a chalky sort of look with the right paints.  Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin acrylic paints are a good choice for non-paper surfaces.  They're opaque, tending towards a pastel appearance.  I knew they would cover adequately, even when thin enough to show the texture.  Where I actually wanted some of the book's black color to show a bit, I used a damp brush with just a little paint and dabbed.

Golden Liquid Acrylics, especially the colors I chose, are highly pigmented but transparent.  Almost an exact opposite of the Martha Stewart acrylics.  I knew they would make a dark contrast to the landscape while still allowing some of the landscape color to show through.  Very much like shadows do.

The colors I used:
Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin--Canteloupe, Jacarand, Artichoke, Ballet Slippers, Canteloupe, Green Olive, Summer Haze.
Golden Liquid Acrylics--Phthalo Blue (GS), Quinacridone Magenta, Zinc White

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

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #199
"That's New to Me!" Weekly Challenge-Letter T
Ben Kwok template -  Cow Head (must be a member of Facebook Group Ornation Creation)

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Facing Your Fears Through Art Journaling

Practical techniques for using masking fluid
Mixed Media Background with texture paste and stamping
Gradient Pattern Background Tutorial for Art Journaling

Winsor & Newton water colour set - Facebook
Graphic45 giveaway-4 chances to WIN IT BEFORE YOU CAN BUY IT
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge-$50 Gift Certificate to Simon Says Stamp

Pen & Ink
Ink Tasting Tuesday Review

Monday, January 5, 2015

Journal52 Last prompt of 2014 #Journal52 #ArtJournal #ArtJournaling

The last Journal52 prompt for 2014 was Circles (fear not--the Journal52 workshop continues on into 2015 and it's still free!  If you are new, and want to join in, check out the newbie page.  If you've been journaling along, check out the What's New page.  If you just want to start journaling--the first prompt for 2015 is Pathways).

There was a bit of synchronicity for me.  A friend, who was in the process of closing her wineshop forever, gave me a sackful of foil winecaps.  I had been debating ways to use the caps when I saw Prompt 52--foil winecaps are round!

The theme for my 2014 Journal52 prompt has been 'simple', as in KISS, 'Keep it Simple, Stupid' (and I intend to carry through with the for 2015).  So my plan was to flatten the foil caps, glue them down and add something for more texture.  The steps to my process are below, for those who are interested.

1.  I dug through my bag of foil caps, looking shiny, one-color ones to provide the base of my page, and more interesting two-color caps for the ones on top.

2.  I cut around the edge of each cap 10-12 times, so that I could flatten them out easily.  It gave them a rather steampunk floral look.

3. I used a Shock Dark Blue Montana Acrylic Paint Marker to color the background.  Any dark blue acrylic paint would have done--but the Montana Marker is super quick to use, and provides nice, even coverage with little texture or slickness, making it easy to glue and mark on.

4. I lay down bottlecaps, moving them around until I had a general idea of the layout I wanted.

5. Using, Alene's Tacky Glue, I glue down the bottom layer of foil caps, using the shiny one-color ones.  A good portion of this layer gets covered up, so I mainly wanted shine and texture to show through, and didn't want to waste more interesting caps in this layer.

6.  Golden's Clear Tar Gel is a medium similar to gel medium (Mod Podge, Decoupage mediums, etc.).  Like most decoupage mediums it comes out of the bottle white, but dries clear.  The Clear Tar Gel has a different texture than most decoupage medium.  You can dribble it onto the page in thin lines--strings--to get a ropy look to your texture.  It's also very tacky, so it's like adding an additional layer of glue.

I dribbled ropes of the Clear Tar Gel over a good portion of the page,

7.  At first, I considered switching to a different mediums for my last step, but decided to stay with the Clear Tar Gel.  What I did, though, was mix it with some Acrylic paint to add color.  Since I had a dark blue background, I went with Claudine Helmouth's Alternate Orange.  The tar gel dilutes the color somewhat turning it more into a salmon-color, but still--orange against blue.  That's always going to POP!

8. I used a popsicle stick (see the pun there? Hmmm?  Popsicle stick to add paint that will pop? Oh, okay, so it's not that funny.  But it tickled my funny bone, anyway) to drizzle the colored tar gel onto the page.

9.  I got too enthusiastic, and added too much tar gel, so that it was running together and losing its textured look.  I took the popsicle stick and drew swirls, lifting away some of the gel.  In other areas, I blotted with a paper towel to give it a different texture.  It was New Year's Eve, so there may have been Tequila involved in my decision making.

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

禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern - 1.2(ONE.TWO) & I.S
禪繞畫圖案設計Zentangle pattern - TLEAF

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Let's Kick off the Year With Some Journaling...
Prompt #1258 Visual Prompt of the Week – The Artist at His Easel

DIY Brush Drying System
Making a Rope Texture Tool for Gelli Printing
Techniques & Tutorials, Mixed Media Purse

Stampin' Up! Inspiration Saturday...and a giveaway-Celebrate Today Bundle
Polyform Products Giveaway-Entertaining at home with Sculpey Souffle-Facebook

Pen & Ink
Days of Christmas Guest Posts at the On Fountain Pens blog-Day 12

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...