Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fantasy Landscape Step-by-Step: Portrait Orientation #FantasyLandscapeStepOut #FantasyLandscape #FantasyLandscapeStepByStep

Even though I'm posting this on a Tuesday, my plan is to post a Fantasy Landscape step-out or a step-by-step every Sunday, until I get tired of doing them, or all of you get tired of seeing them.

Starting out, I want to stress that I'm keeping it as simple as I can. I'll be sharing tips, techniques and ideas, but these are fantasy landscapes, so I'm making up the rules.  My rules will be influenced by the rules of drawing-composition, pattern, and perspective, but sometimes I'll break those rules. Gravity and science just aren't the same in a fantasy world - they are much kinder in mine.  Nobody ever grows old, either,  so you can keep on playing like a kid while you are drawing Fantasy Landscapes, lol.

Today, I'm starting with something very basic - the orientation of your piece of paper.  You probably know the two orientations, Portrait and Landscape.

Aha! You might think - and rightly - that the landscape orientation is better for landscapes.  It is. Except when it isn't.

So when would a portrait orientation be better for a landscape? In my fantasy world, there are two reasons for using a Portrait orientation.  I'll save one reason for another step-by-step.  Today, we are using Portrait because we want the viewer to think "How tall that xxxx is!"

As you see in the example below, there are short objects too, and there might be tall objects in a landscape orientation.  But you would choose portrait, if those trees (or other tall objects) are the focus of your drawing.

To draw a similar fantasy landscape, follow the step-by-step below.  Note, that I say similar.  It is slightly different.  I did that on purpose.  I'm drawing my fantasy world, and you should draw yours.  Don't try to make any two drawings exactly the same.

Good rule of thumb.  Read all the instructions before you start drawing!

Are you surprised that I chose the Tall Tree step-out to start with? 

This first tree will seem to be the closest, and all the other trees should be drawn behind it.

Notice that I didn't worry about getting my lines straight.  Trees in a fantasy landscape are wobbly (and most in real life too).  I also had an OOPs! about half way down.  I'm not going to edit out my oops.  I won't worry about them and you shouldn't worry about yours.  No one will notice in the finished piece.

Look at the bottoms of the trees.  The first tree is closest so none of the other trees should start lower than the first one.  These are wild trees, not orchard or nursery trees, so they don't grow in a straight row.  Stagger them.

Now look at the tops of the trees.  Even though the second and third trees started higher on the page, they are shorter than the first tree.  

Rule: In a landscape, something that sits higher is farther away in the distance, and may or may no be taller than closer objects.  The lowest point of the object is more important than the highest point in conveying distance.

Continue drawing more Tall Trees until you have 5-8 trees, depending on the size of your paper.

Now add some Grass Tufts.  Establish the horizon line, where the earth meets the sky.  This will be the highest line of grass tufts behind the trees and the furthest point away from the viewer (unless you add clouds or the sun).  Don't draw the line all the way across though.  You'll be adding some trees that are closer than the horizon line, but cross over it because they are so tall.

To the right, I added three Who-lee Trees, using the same steps as I did with the tall trees.  These two set of trees have a relationship of balance.  Each type of tree dominates one side of the page. But only one type should dominate the whole drawing, even if only a little. Therefore, when you draw the Who-lee Trees, you should think about the way they will relate to the Tall Trees.

One or the other should be dominate to the other.  I wanted the Tall Trees to dominate, so I drew fewer trees, and made all of them shorter than the tallest Tall Tree.  You might choose to let the Who-lee trees dominate.

I also made sure that the closest Who-lee Tree was further back than the closest Tall Tree, and the farthest was closer than the farthest Tall Tree.  I felt this gave a good sense of balance between the two types.  It isn't the only valid choice though.  You might want to try changing that relationship and see how it changes the feeling of the drawing.

The darkness of the 'wholes' still gives more dominance, but I'll take care of that a little later.

Next, add some Big Rocks.  The size of your rocks and the number you draw can make a big difference in the finished drawing.  Your rocks could become a wall, or you could have only a few big rocks that might rival the trees for attention.  I chose to use them as embellishment, adding a little interest, but not drawing the eye.  I also had another reason for keeping them fairly small.

Do you see him? I added a Bunny, who looks a bit like the Big Rocks and is about the same size.  If the rocks were bigger, the bunny would stand out more.  By keeping them about the same size, the bunny is partially hidden.  People might miss him, but those who find him will think he's a nice surprise.

I also decided to make my horizon line uneven and create a ridge 

I added to the ridge, by drawing a wobbly dividing line.  It definitely shouldn't be straight.  Are you familiar with the saying that 'Nature abhors a straight line'.  In most cases, you should avoid them in a landscape.

Then I added a line of dashes to indicate the edge of the ridge.  Now it looks like the bunny is hopping from one side to the other.

I drew the ridge hoping to add to the dominance of the Tall Trees, but  I actually like the first version of this drawing, without the ridge, better.  I believe if this were a landscape orientation rather than a portrait that the ridge would have worked because of the wider range of space.  And that's why landscape orientation is more often used - more room to explore the possibilities.  

I added a Petal Plant and Grass Tufts.  I made it the closest object to the viewer, so that the viewer measures more distance between the lowest object and the farthest object.  This tricks the eye into feeling there is more depth in the drawing.

I talked briefly about balance and dominance between the trees earlier, and I wanted my next addition to work toward that issue. This time I was looking at values - the degree of light and dark.  Those 'holes' in the Who-lee Trees are the darkest thing in the drawing, which gives them more weight than I want them to have.

I decided to add Starbushes, behind the Tall Trees.  They add more interest to the background, plus they have darker values, increasing the dominance of the Tall Trees.

Two Starbushes were enough in this case, though I used three in the first example.  The difference had to do with the size of the bushes, and the amount of darkness added to them.

And that brings me to another point.  Starbush has a pattern  inside of it, and it's a little difficult to draw that pattern while weaving it around the Tall Tree trunks (say that 9 times real fast, lol) .  But, in this case, the Starbushes are the farthest thing away from the eye.  And things in the distance are always more blurry, less detailed and less attention is paid to them.  The moral being - don't worry about getting the pattern right.  The dark values are more important, If the Starbush was up front and closer, then you should spend more time getting the pattern just right.

And I feel that gives you enough to think about.  I hope this was helpful.  On Sunday, I'll tackle the other kind of Portrait Landscape.

Monday, May 22, 2017

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 for now).

I just intend for the series to help people create landscapes from their imaginations, that they can then use to color or tangle patterns in. The 'fantasy' is that the landscapes aren't meant to look real, just fun. I'm wondering if I should change the name of the series to 'Simple, fun landscape/step-outs' or something else to help avoid confusion.

So I'm asking you. And a poll is born.

Should I change the name of my 'Fantasy Landscape/Step-Out' series?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fat Pony and the Greenhouse Effect Bleedthrumanade #Bleedthrumanade #Zentangle #Clairefontaine

For those of you new to my blog, I have a saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  When color bleeds through the page, make bleedthrumanade!"

When you use alcohol markers or other very wet media, the color often ends up soaking through the paper and coloring the back of the page as well as the front.  I decided this was an opportunity rather than a problem.

I colored a page, in this case with Spectrum Noir Illustrator alcohol markers.  As expected, there was almost as much color on the back of the paper as on the front.  Then I took a Fudenosuke brush pen and made Zentangle-Inspired art on the front...

...then turned the page over, and did an entirely different drawing on the back, using the color that had bled through.  Bleedthrumanade!  No sour lemons here!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Practice Pages #Rhodiarama #Dot-Grid #Ballpoint

Practice makes perfect,
or so they say.
I doubt it does,
but I practice anyway.

I don't share these very often, but almost all my art journals have what I think of as practice pages. In essence, when I screw up a drawing, I start using it for practice.  And I layer one kind of practice over another.

For instance, this page was meant to be a step-out for my pattern Plain-Chain.  I messed up the steps and had to redo them on another page.  So when I received some Tombow pens, I used the page to practice my calligraphy, just writing right on over the pattern steps.  Then I bought some Zebra Z-grip colored ball point pens and used the page to try blending the different colors, and to practice my line work with them.

Then later, on hold on the phone, I practiced drawing circles with my Tombow Fudenosuke flexible-tip brush pen.

I kind of like the way this looks at the moment, so I may stop working on this page and move on to another mistake page (yeah.  there's always more than one in any given journal, lol).  Or I may decide to do more with it.  Sometimes, I keep adding to a page for years.  They don't always end up looking so great, but it's interesting to watch them change.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Space Bunny #Clairefontaine #Zentangle #PenAndInk

...Weird space goggles
...Designer bunny ears
...Rockin' space helmet
...Sharp, tiny killer teeth

Yep.  It's a space bunny!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays


The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
joey's weekly tangle challenge #165
Zentangle All Around-Taking it to the Next Level 
"It's a String Thing" #195

Pattern Videos
Asamblea - "assembly"
8 'n wings - with a bit of color
Daily Tangle - Shadow / Schatten
Daily Tangle - Nipa + Schattierung
Ricks Paradox in the Round Tangle Lesson # 183
How to Draw Tangle Pattern Petal-panes - Lesson 31

New Patterns
Fantasy Patterns and How-Tos
Tall Tree

"It's a String Thing" #194 Tiles
Barrel and Double Barrel Technique
Dragonfly and Moon Flower - Station Identification and ramblings (Speed painting #17)

Journal 52 – Week 20 – Connect
How to paint flowers with baby wipes
Tom Lynch-Dramatic Skies Workshop Demo
Tips for Coloring on Black Cardstock & More
How to Paint Blubells in Watercolour using a Splattering Technique 
Fluid Acrylic Technique - Finger Swiping & No Brush Lavender Flowers

Artful Adult Coloring Pack Giveaway
Marvy Uchida Brush Lettering Markers Giveaway
Graphic 45 Giveaway- Olde Curiosity Shoppe Collection
Win an Original Winsor & Newton water colour box plus brushes and pans 

Derwent Graphik Line Maker Pens (Sepia)
LIFEStationery Pistachio A5 Notebook 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Challenge #94: Tangle with S-T-U
"It's a String Thing" # 194

GoTo Week 7 String 1
GoTo Week 7 String 2
GoTo Week 7 String 3
Pattern-Collections Weekly String #33

Pattern Videos
Daily Tangle - Fern
Daily Tangle - Ruby
Daily Tangle - Cat-Kin
Daily Tangle - Flowerly
Daily Tangle - mit der "falschen" Hand

New Patterns
Ping Pong
How to Draw Zari
How to draw SoDeceivng

Fantasy Patterns
Grass Tufts

Go-To pattern library – Part 7
Artist Focus: Alexandria Diaz
Gold Veining (gold cracks) in your Gemstones

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Flip book tutorial
Journal52 – Week Nineteen – See
Paper Cactus Step by Step Tutorial
The Black and White World of Notan
How to Loosen up Your Watercolor Painting

Spellbinders Scrapbooking Day Sweepstakes
The Postman's Knock Giveaway-three bottles of inks
A Cherry On Top Giveaway- Echo Park Paper's New Perfect Princess collection
Fountain Pen Revolution-Win a pen, pouch, and ink for you AND Mom (ends tonight 5/12)

Lamy Safari 2017 Petrol Fountain Pen 
Maruai Basic Notebook Mini Review

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tangle Pattern HiRise #Zentangle #TanglePatterns #StepOuts

This isn't one of my Fantasy patterns, nor is it a new tangle pattern.  Back in 2010, Sandy Steen Bartholomew published 'Totally Tangled' and HiRise was one of the patterns in the book.  I've never posted it online before.  Recently, I had someone asking where they could find it, so I decided it was time to put it on the net.

Here 'tis....

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 315

Pattern-Collections Weekly String #33
The Alphabet Tangle Lesson # 179

Pattern Videos
Space Jam
Daily Tangle - Lair
Daily Tangle - Fun Cycle

New Patterns
Dark Drops

HiRise (previously published in 'Totally Tangled', first time posted online)

Go-To pattern library – Part 6
Artist Focus: Liz Drake

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Tom Lynch Workshop Lesson #5-Winter
DIY Metallic Paper Camellias
Lucky Elephants Mixed Media Art Journal

The 2017 Richeson Product Sweepstakes-a new prize every day
Bible Journaling and Faith Adult Coloring Books Giveaway
FrugalCrafter & ColorIt Giveaway-Coloring book, Markers, Pens & Colored Pencils
We R Memory Keepers Giveaway-Planner Punch Board with three sets of insert
American Girl Craft Kits Giveaway
Go sketch Drawing Day Challenge

Ink Shot Review: @RobertOsterInk Hippo Purple
Review: Daniel Smith Watercolors Primary & Secondary Sets

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Night Lilies #Watercolor #LineAndWash #Tombow

Sometimes, when you are creating it can feel as though you are wrestling alligators.

That's how it was with Night Lilies.  I had two goals in mind - discovering whether Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen ink was waterproof, and trying out Saunders Hot Press watercolor paper.

I started by doing this line drawing. using the Fudenosuke brush pens.  No problem there.

However, when I started painting over the ink, using Mijello Mission Gold Lemon Yellow, my flowers turned a horrible yellow green.

The ink didn't smear.  It was just dark enough to create a visual combination unpleasant to the eyes. Lesson learned.  When you mix colors, you have to be careful to choose the right colors - whether you mix the paint in the palette or paint one color over another.  Same thing when painting over ink.

I continued painting, hoping I could reduce the mud, and finally decided the answer was to add more ink.  I think I did improve things, but the result is very dark.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
"It's a String Thing" # 193
Shading Zentangle May Challenge
Weekly Challenge #93: Tangle with P-Q-R

Pattern-Collections Weekly String #32

Pattern Videos
Side Eye
Daily Tangle - Morgen
Daily Tangle - Oolong
Zentangle® Pattern Tangleflake with variation
How to draw tangle pattern Kandy Ribnz - Lesson 30

New Patterns
How to Draw Floose
The Shawa

Fantasy Patterns
Whol-ee Tree
Walnutt 2

TanglePatterns Website is Seven Years Old
Tangle Refresher 153 – A random string plus how to draw tangles Keeko, Sand, Plop, Puchong & Oybay

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
How to Paint Snowdrops in Watercolour
Frosted Paper California Poppies
How to Develop a Daily Journal

The 2017 Richeson Product Sweepstakes-a new prize every day
Tangle Wood Collector's Edition Adult Coloring Bundle Giveaway
Amazing Metal Bracelet Bending Kit Giveaway
Copic Markers Fashion illustration contest 
Studio Katia  First Birthday Bash Blog Hop & Giveaway-Gift certificate, brush pens & more
The Postman's Knock Giveaway-Finetec Golds palette 

Review: Hippo Noto Tomoe River Notebook on @Kickstarter
Review: Jane Davenport Butterfly Effect Book AKA Travelers Notebook

Friday, May 5, 2017

Dancing on Gesso

In last weeks watercolor class, we did quick studies on gesso.  Gesso has a very slick surface, so the watercolor beaded up, and bled wildly, and color could easily be lifted away.  The idea was to let if flow, and just work with the wild.  So I did...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Who-lee Tree Fantasy Step-out #FantasyStep-out #FantasyPattern #TanglePatterns

As you can see from the example, the shape of the tree foliage and the placement, number and shape of the 'holes' is entirely up to you.  All of my fantasy step-outs are meant to be a starting place.  If you're looking something easy and relaxing, you can follow the steps exactly and create something nice.

If you are feeling creative, you can embellish and change to your heart's content and end up with something that is totally yours.

I call these fantasy patterns, not because I'm thinking of fairies and unicorns and strange mythical places, but because I hope they'll help you meld what's real and what lurks in your mind so you can draw worlds found only in the imagination.

Other Fantasy Step-Outs
Popcorn Tree and Popcorn Leaves
Chick and Bunny
Sun Arrows
Petal Plant

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sun Arrows Fantasy Step-Outs and Fantasy Shading #FantasyStepOut #FantasyPattern #Zentangle

Shading is such a complex subject.  Since I'm planning on fantasy landscapes -- that is a landscape that looks relatively real, but is entirely imaginary with plants, trees and animals that are simplified and funky.

So I thought the shading should also be simplified and funky.  If the landscape in question has the sun in it, why have the sun point out the actual direction of the light.  I wouldn't recommend this for a truly realistic drawing, but it's actually not far off.

Here's a little more info on the way this would work.  So far, I'm still playing with ideas and trying to decide exactly how make my fantasy landscapes easiest for you.  Any questions? Suggestions?

Other Fantasy Patterns
Popcorn Tree and Popcorn Leaves
Chick and Bunny
Petal Plant

Monday, May 1, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 313
Zentangle All Around Challenge-Taking it to the Next Level

Pattern Videos
Daily Tangle - Seaz
Daily Tangle - Echoing
Daily Tangle - Prasima
Ketti - a beautiful daily tangle
Zentangle® Muster: Tangleflake
Paradox in the round and other odd shapes

New Patterns
Petal Plant
Tangle Pattern: Pub Carpet #2

Easy TIP to add dimension to your Zentangle Zen Gems
Tangling and Gemstone Practice with a Dragonfly in Watercolor, Ink, and Colored Pencil
Go-To pattern library – Part 5

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Get Killer Effects with Watercolor Painting
How to Pick & Prep Rocks for Painting
Crepe Paper Magnolia Branch
Scratchmade Journal Sketches: Trees
Love of Watercoloring and Free Geometric Pineapple Print Downloads

DeNami Design Rubber Stamps Spring Fling Blog Hop Giveaway-Win a $25 gift certificate
Echo Park Paper Giveaway-"Go. See. Explore." collection kit

Ghost Paper Notebook Review
Quick Product Highlight: Sharpie Art Marker Pen Set of 16 colors with Hard Case

Fantasy Landscape Step-by-Step: Portrait Orientation #FantasyLandscapeStepOut #FantasyLandscape #FantasyLandscapeStepByStep

Even though I'm posting this on a Tuesday, my plan is to post a Fantasy Landscape step-out or a step-by-step every Sunday, until I get t...