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Showing posts from January, 2017

Extra Fiddling with Fiddlehead Ferns #Watercolor #AquariusII #FiddleheadFerns

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I had already chosen the Fiddlehead Fern reference photos I wanted to use for my January '52 Weeks of Watercolor Paintings' but one of my friends, Margaret Meara, showed me a photograph she'd taken and gave me permission to paint it.  I decided to paint one more, using my go-to Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper.

I used a 1 inch Connoisseur Mop brush to lay down my initial wash of color.  It's been a while since I've used a Mop brush, and I realized I like it much better than using a flat.  I think the softer bristles make for less brush strokes.  Of course, on the Aquarius II my brush strokes don't show the way they do on the Stillman & Birn Beta paper.  That's good in some ways, but I sort of miss the drama I get on the Beta.

Once my initial wash dried, I switched to my Silver Black Velvet size 6 round and used that for the rest of the painting.

Colors used were Qor Green Gold, Winsor Newton Sap Green, and various mixes of Ultramarine Blue and Bu…

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52 Weeks of Watercolor Painting 2017 No. 4 #Watercolor #52WeeksOfWatercolorPainting @StillmanAndBirn

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This week's painting is the other side of the half-page paintings I'm doing so I'll be able to get all 52 weeks in my  Stillman and Birn 9x12 Beta series wirebound sketchbook

As with last week, this is a 20 minute study with acheiving a bokeh effect being my main goal.  I think I came closer to what I wanted this week, having learned a few things last week.  I upped the contrast in values and kept to fewer strokes.  I still lifted some color, but not as much, so that kept things looking fresher.

My reference photo came from Pixabay.


Pigments used were Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Qor's Green Gold.  Brushes used were a Silver Black Velvet 3/4 inch cat's tongue, and a Fabart Dagger Brush (size unidentified but probably size 6).

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An Exercise in Futility #Gellyroll #Zentangle #Zentangle-InspiredArt

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I was working on this drawing while watching TV, and one of the actors said what they were doing was an exercise in futility.  'What a cool title', I says to myself, and decided my tangle did look a bit like a brain twisting itself in futile endeavor.

Thus the title for this tile was born.

Sharpie Marker, Pigma Micron pen, Pentel Tradio pen, Sakura Fluorescent & Metallic Gellyroll Pen on Strathmore Gray-tone Tile.


Rubber Ducky Blues #Watercolor #WorldWatercolorGroup #StillmanAndBirn

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The World Watercolor Group has a challenge prompt for each day.  I don't usually join in on those, but for some reason, the Rubber Ducky prompt took my fancy.  The prompts are supposed to be based on childhood memories, and honestly I don't have any that involve rubber duckies.  I'm a bit too old for the Sesame Street version, and I don't think we ever had any at home.

Still. How can you resist rubber duckies?

I used a dagger brush (1/4 inch) for most of this painting.  It worked well for the words, and the duckies.  Not so well for the water.  That didn't surprise me.  A larger brush would have been better, but I wanted to get a better feel for the boundary.  I really like this brush, and wanted to know when it became more hindrance than help.

You have to really watch which edge you're using (one side is longer than the other).  It's really great for curves once you get the hang of it, and you can get very fine detail.  But this size and brand (Fabart) do…

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Robin with Bokeh Background #LegionPaper #Watercolor #Bokeh

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I've been eager to try out the new Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor Paper that I've included in my Legion Paper Sampler journal. I decided to use the hot press version first.

Info from the website says that the paper is: 100% Cotton, Neutral pH, Acid Free, Chlorine Free, sized for watercolor, and that it is good for: Calligraphy, Inkjet, Intaglio, Letterpress, Offset, Pen & Ink, Pastel & Charcoal, Silkscreen, Watercolor.

To me, all those possible applications made the paper sound more like mixed media paper than a watercolor paper, so I was very curious to see how well it handled really wet media.

Hot press paper usually has more of soft thickness and smooth surface, and that is the case here.  One of the above mentioned uses is 'intaglio' which is the art of engraving.  I did notice that it was easy to make lines or indentations in this paper.  

I quickly discovered that you should NOT use tape or anything sticky on this paper.  I started to put masking tape around…

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52 Weeks of Watercolor Painting 2017 No. 3 #Watercolor #52WeeksOfWatercolorPainting @StillmanAndBirn

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I decided to do a quick study and keep it very abstract this week for two reasons.  Time was an issue and because there are only 50 pages in my Stillman and Birn 9x12 Beta series wirebound sketchbook,  I have to do four 1/2 page paintings.  I thought I'd do two in this first month, and the other 1/2 pages will be done for December.

My reference photo was of a very simple fern and a bokeh (that unfocused lights look) background.  I've been wanting to play around with the bokeh effect, and made that my main goal.  I gave myself about 20 minutes to play.

I didn't get quite the look I wanted, but did get some interesting textures, partly from the dagger brush I was using, and partly by lifting color.





My reference photo came from Pixabay.

Pigments used were Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Qor's Green Gold.  Brushes used were a Silver Black Velvet 3/4 inch cat's tongue, and a Fabart Dagger Brush (size unidentified but probably size 6).

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Agate Wall Distressed #DistressInk #Stillman&Birn #ZentangleInspiredArt

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A few days ago, Facebook sent me a reminder of a drawing I'd posted a few years ago.  It was done using Distress Ink Pads and markers.

Seeing it reminded of the cool effects you can get with those products, so I promptly set down and did a similar page in my Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook.



I started with Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Wild Honey, Tea Dye, Spiced Marmalade, Broken China and Shabby Shutters and some foam blenders that I have.  I dragged the ink pad directly on the page, and then used the foam blenders to smooth out some of the color, while leaving other areas with some of the paper color showing through.



Afterwards, I drew and colored my patterns with Distress markers in the same colors, adding Aged Mahogany and Weathered Wood.    I think Aged Mahogany and Spiced Marmalade together make a cool tortoise-shell look, and the Weathered Wood is great for subtle shading.

I finished with a metallic Gold Gellyroll pen to color the jewelry settings, and used a white Sh…

Goldie #Watercolor #LegionPaper #Goldfish

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This is my first painting in the watercolor journal I made using the Legion Watercolor sampler sheets I bought.  (I apologize to those who already saw this post.  I accidentally posted it when I first wrote it up).

Oddly enough, this particular paper wasn't listed in the samples and the tag simply said 'India Smooth 270 gsm'.  There is more info at the Legion site though, so I discovered about this paper:

Handmade in India100% CottonNeutral pH 4 natural decklesInternally & externally sized The page goes on to say: "...totally produced with a composition comprised of actual cotton rags that are either remnants from the garment industry or medical supply sectors."

India is a handmade paper so 'smooth' isn't all that smooth.  The paper is soft, absorbent and has knots and texture.  It's a fun paper to use, but you'll be disappointed if you expect it to behave like Arches or Fabriano.  Color is a more opaque because of the absorbency, and you m…

And the winner is....

The winner of the Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook is....

                            Kathy Rock

Thank you all for entering.  I wish I could give prizes to you all.  One of these days when I win several million dollars from the lottery, I will!

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Legion Paper Sampler Painting Pad #Legion #Paper #Watercolor

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IF you are here for the Stillman & Birn Delta Softcover giveaway, which ends tonight, go here.

I had a Christmas gift card to spend and when I discovered that Legion Paper offers samplers (not free, alas), I decided to spend some of it on their watercolor paper.


There are all sorts of paper to choose from (you can find the list here).  Besides Individual Sheets, the paper can be ordered as a Mill Book or Legion Book.  I'm not sure what those are (though I have an idea), and I'm not sure the binding would make for good painting, so I ordered the 22 individual sheets of 8x10 watercolor paper.  Adding in S&H, the price is decent, though not fantastic.

The allure is that you get sheets of: Acquerello by Magnani, Arches Watercolor, Artistico, Bockingford, Coventry Rag, Drawing Bristol, Folio, Lanaquarelle, Multimedia Aquarelle, Saunders Waterford, Indian, and Yupo.  The sheets range in weight from 140 lb to 300 lb.  I had already received samples of the new Stonehenge Aqua…

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52 Weeks of Watercolor Painting 2017 No. 2 #Watercolor #52WeeksOfWatercolorPainting @StillmanAndBirn

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IF you are here for the Stillman & Birn Delta Softcover giveaway, go here.

Whoa! This week's painting was more of a challenge than I expected.  My reference photo didn't have a strong mid-ground.  I didn't think this would be a problem, but I didn't have a clear idea for what I wanted and just started painting.  Sometimes, ideas come as I paint, but it didn't this time.

And I decided to use pre-mixed greens: Sennelier Phthalo Green Light, and Sap Green.  After starting the painting, I realized that I didn't really like these greens.

The addition of Green Gold and my Ultramarine Blue & Burnt Sienna mixes helped a bit, but I that mid-ground never resolved itself.  I fussed and fussed and never quite got the effect I wanted.

In the end, I did a lot of lifting color and went with a more abstract look. I think I captured a good sense of drama in the brush strokes.  I learned a lot about greens and lifting color on Stillman & Birn Beta series paper.

I di…

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Review: Stillman & Birn Gamma Series Softcover 3.5 x 5.5 inch @StillmanAndBirn #Sketchbook #GammaSeries

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IF you are here for the Stillman & Birn Delta Softcover giveaway, go here.

Just before the end of the year, I received a 3.5 x 5.5 ( 8.9 x 14.0 cm) Gamma series softcover from Stillman & Birn as well as a couple of Delta series softcovers.


Specs
Cover: Cardstock. Brown exterior, ivory interior
Paper Color: Ivory
Paper Weight: Heavyweight 150 gsm
Paper Surface: Medium Grain Cold Press
Size:  3.5 x 5.5 ( 8.9 x 14.0 cm)
No Pages: 26 Sheets - 92 Pages
Rated for: Dry Media, Light Wash, Ink,
Withstands multiple erasures,
Sheffield roughness metric 350 SU
Complies with international standards of responsible forestry
Alpha cellulose content 8%
pH Neutral, lignin & chloride free
Bound in the U.S.

Look & Feel
Much of what I wrote in my Delta Series review last Sunday holds true for the Gamma series softcover sketchbook:

The cover color is brown instead of black.The 3.5 x 5.5 size is only available in the softcover version. There are other sizes that are only available in softcover…

Camouflaged Animals Coloring Page #StillmanAndBirn #ColoringPage #ZentangleInspiredArt

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IF you are here for the Stillman & Birn Delta Softcover giveaway, go here.

I do love working in my new Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook.

A Stabilio 68 allowed me to get a nice bold Black & White drawing, so I scanned it in before coloring, in case anyone wants to right click and save the page to print and color.  If you do, I'd love to see what you do with it.

There's a Badger, two Foxes, a Hedgehog and a Skunk.


Since the Stabilio is not waterproof, I used colored pencil to color my page with a Sharpie white acrylic paint pen to add some highlighted detail.


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Review: Stillman & Birn Delta Series Softcover 8x10 inch @StillmanAndBirn #Sketchbook #DeltaSeries

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I was thrilled to receive some of the new softcover editions from Stillman & Birn to try out.  I was sent two of the Delta Series softcovers, an 8 x 10 inch (20.3 x 25.4 cm) and an  5.5 x 8.5 (14.0 x 21.6 cm) as well as a 3.5 x 5.5 ( 8.9 x 14.0 cm) Gamma series softcover.

Today's review is on the 8 x 10 Delta, and I'm giving away the 8.5 x 5.5 version.  Giveaway has ended.


Specs
Cover: Cardstock. Green exterior, ivory interior
Paper Color: Ivory
Paper Weight: Extraheavyweight 270 gsm
Paper Surface: Cold Press
Size: 8 x 10 inch (20.3 x 25.4 cm)
No Pages: 26 Sheets - 52 Pages
Rated for: Dry & Wet Media, Watercolor, Ink,
Withstands multiple erasures,
Sheffield roughness metric 360 SU
Caliper Min 420-Max 455 microns
Complies with international standards of responsible forestry
Alpha cellulose content 8%
pH Neutral, lignin & chloride free
Bound in the U.S.

Look & Feel
I will admit up front that the Delta paper in the Stillman & Birn line is one of my favorites.  T…

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