Showing posts from January, 2016

Review: Rhodiarama Large Notebook & New Pattern Nagapushpam #Exaclair #Zentangle #Giveaway

Rhodiarama Blank Notebook
Exaclair, Inc. has sent me a large, turquoise Rhodiarama for review, and offered to give away five (5!) of them to my readers.  The giveaway is now closed.  Many thanks to Exaclair, Inc. for their generosity.

Look & Feel

Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 in / 14 x 21 mm / A5
Format: Blank (also comes in squared, lined and dot)
Paper: Clairefontaine Brushed Vellum, 90 gsm, ivory, acid-free 
Extras: Interior back pocket; Sewn in cloth bookmark; Sewn Binding, Elastic Closure, Rounded corners
Comes in 15 colors: Black, Chocolate, Taupe, Beige, Anise, Turquoise, Sapphire, Iris, Purple, Lilac, Raspberry, Poppy, Tangerine, Orange & Yellow.  

Rhodia Notebooks come in several varieties, yet have many features in common.  Clairefontaine fountain-pen-friendly paper, Sturdy bindings. Hard-back leatherette covers.  Rounded corners.  Color-coordinated ribbon and binding.

So what is different about the Rhodiarama?  Traditionally, Rhodia notebooks have come in black or orange.  The …

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Color Theory Goes to the Birds - #Watercolor #Shizen #ColorTheory

Nope. This time the birds aren't for the '52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds' event.  They were done in my watercolor class.

Color theory is a main focus in Kathy Delumpa Allegri's Winter 2016 Watercolor session. In the second class, we practiced Color Harmony and Color Mixing.

I was so proud of myself.  The night before class, I mixed all my secondary colors (Orange, Violet & Green) using three primaries (Aureolin Yellow, Cobalt Blue & Quinacridone Rose).  I made the mixes nice and juicy, figuring they would solidify overnight.  Except they didn't.

No problem, I thought.  I'll just lay them flat in the case and be careful.  Only I forgot and when I got to the studio, I pulled my case out of the car by one corner, and started heaving it into class.  I remembered a moment later, but....  well, you can see what happened.

So the class plan was to do three paintings of the same bird, using three different color schemes of our choice.  
My plan was to use up some…

Wood Pigeon - 52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds #Watercolor #WatercolorBirds #ArtJournal

There! All caught up with '52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds'.  I'm not sure what Mitsib's schedule is for posting the new birds, but I'm ready for the next one.
For some reason, my scanner really picks up the Magenta color.  Far more so than it looks in the actual painting.  I'm also finding that the Fluid Watercolor paper in my journal doesn't always let you blend as much as the paper I'm used to.  That's to the good--practice makes perfect and the more kinds of paper I use, the more versatile I'll be!

I used a mix of Qor and Quiller colors: Qor Indigo, Venetian Red, Naples Yellow.  Quiller Magenta, Phthalo Turquoise, and Phthalo Green.  I used Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Light as a glaze to unify some areas.
I'm painting my birds in a 7" x 10" Hand*Book Field Watercolor Journal made with Fluid Watercolor Paper.

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Goldfinch - 52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds #Watercolor #WatercolorBirds #ArtJournal

I started my birds for the FREE year-long event, '52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds' a bit late.  Three birds had already been done.  I've got the jay and now the goldfinch done, and hope to have the wood pigeon finished before the next bird is up (which will have happened by the time I have posted this painting).

Would you help me out? After I painted this and let the paint dry, I felt it was done and scanned it, but was unhappy with the flow of the pine needles and clouds.  Being me, I started fussing, and was happy with some changes, but felt I messed up other areas.   Would you tell me which of these three you prefer? It would be helpful to know if I was fighting phantoms or actually seeing flaws and addressing them, lol.

I'm painting my birds in a 7" x 10" Hand*Book Field Watercolor Journal made with Fluid Watercolor Paper that I received for Christmas (yes! Santa and friends were very kind to me!).  However, as I mentioned with my first bird, in order to ge…

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Blue Jay - 52 Weeks of Watercolor Birds #Acrylic #WatercolorBirds

I decided I'd take the challenge to paint a watercolor bird each week.

Mitsib has created a FREE year-long event, 52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds. Each week she paints a species of bird, posting reference photos and a video of her process.  Members are challenged to paint the same species.

You know me, I immediately have to deviate.  For the first week the bird chosen was a European Jay.  But I already had a photo reference of a blue jay that I wanted to paint, and so I did.

The biggest change, though, is that my watercolor bird was done in acrylic, lol!  I decided to do my birds in a 7 x 11 inch Global watercolor book.  It only has 48 pages though, so I have to use the outside cover as well as the front and back inside to fit all 52 birds.  Going with acrylic for the outside cover just seemed practical.  The remaining 51 birds will be done with watercolor.

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Roses in a Vase Monoprint #Monoprinting #Watercolor #Grafix

I decided to try monoprinting on Grafix Impress Monoprint Plates, a thick acetate of the type you use for overheads, etc (for those who remember back in the days where we used such things).  I wanted to see how they differed from plexiglass.

Not a whole lot. They are much lighter and you can impress designs into them which you can't with the plexi (such impressions are permanent).  But Plexiglass is cheaper, and easier to find.  Both work better if lightly sanded.  I'd favor these plates if I wanted to do the impressions (I'm going to try one) or if I were going to be carrying them around.

Anyhoo, I did my watercolor painting.  This was before I sanded, just to see, so the paint beaded up in places.

I've since learned a trick - spreading a small amount of dishwashing liquid or gum arabic on the surface to make it easier to lift the paint.  I wish I had done that here, but the results weren't too bad. The first pull was on Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook paper…

I Can See Clearly Now - Journal52 Week 3: Favorite Song Lyrics #Journal52, #ArtJournaling #Gellyrols

The two prompts for Journal52 this week were “Favourite David Bowie song/lyric” OR “Favourite Song/Lyric”.

My OLP this year was Protuberance - as in the opposite of depression.  I can't think of any David Bowie song that fits with that.  In fact, for me, the whole idea of a favorite song or lyrics is fairly meaningless.  I love so many kinds of music and what I like at any given time is totally down to my mood.

However, there is one song that often pops up in my head.  It's rather relentlessly cheery, but it always makes me smile, so I decided to go with the lyrics, 'I Can See Clearly Now'.

Since lyrics were the main challenge I decided to just focus on the words and let them dominate the page.  I may go ahead and do the David Bowie version of the challenge too.  I always liked Ziggy Stardust.

I used fluorescent Gellyroll pens in a Midnight Sketch Pentalic Traveler, 8 x 6 inches.

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Tangled Yarn on a Red-brick Wall #Zentangle #Gellyroll #Pentalic

Recently, Margaret Bremner, CZT, posted some examples of a 'string' she uses for her tangles. (see the post: "Rope" string idea).  I love her work.  Her linework is so good, and she has such an excellent sense of negative and positive space, so her Zentangle always seem so balanced.

I loved her idea, but at the time I saw the post I was enamored with Gellyroll pen on black paper, and I immediately wanted to draw ropes of color.  I can't call this a Zentangle by any means, and I didn't quite follow Margaret's idea.  This was definitely a result of her inspiration, though.

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

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
joey's weekly tangle challenge #97
Ben Kwok Template

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Craft Barn Weekly Challenge

How to Paint Rocks
How to Draw a Crowd of People in 3 Easy Steps
6 Ways to Use Your Old Brushes


Pen & Ink
Pen Review: Delta Dolcevita Federico Stantuffo

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The Silence of Paintings #Clairefontaine #Sennelier #ArtJournaling

Shortly before the end of the year, I received an Ultramarine Blue sample of Sennelier's new abstract acrylic paint.  Abstract as in a new foil packaging.  Otherwise, it's just good acrylic paint.  I didn't care for the packaging of the sample--for one thing, there was no way to seal it, so it pretty much needed to be used all at once.

It was a generous sample so I created several backgrounds in my art journals.  Note, that the new packaging does have a lid, so I'm sure it's better than the sample. The paint itself was smooth and creamy with a deep, rich color.  I'll buy at least one, so I can better judge the packaging.

This double spread was done in my handmade Clairefontaine Kalligraphie journal.  Unfortunately, as I was scrabbling through my art journals for blank pages to paint, this one got knocked shut.  I didn't see it, and by the time I opened it, the paint had dried enough to be tacky, and several areas had stuck. The snow and clouds on this page…

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Shaping the Page #SakuraOfAmerica #Gellyrolls #StillmanAndBirn

Yesterday, I mentioned the art journal background pages that I did using a sample of Sennelier's new abstract acrylic paint.  That deep, rich Ultramarine Blue you see here is the result of that.

The dark paint seemed perfect for fluorescent Moonlight Gellyroll pen (which you might rightly believe that I am in love with), and one evening, while (semi) watching TV with my hubby, I decided I wanted to do some practice with circles.

Circles don't have to be a perfect round or exactly the same on both sides.  It's nice if the beginning and end meet exactly, though and there is a rhythm to drawing them.  I know many people avoid them, and that's a shame.  Practice makes perfect enough, after all!

The next page was a bit lighter since I hadn't applied the paint as heavily, but it still worked nicely with the Moonlight Gellyrolls, so I played with triangles, squares and rectangles.

Things shaped up nicely, lol!

Journal52 2016 Week 2-Saying Yes; Saying No #Journal52 #Pentalic #Gellyrolls

This year, under Effy Wild's management, there are two Journal52 prompts each week.  Both are related, but different, because people are different and different things appeal to each.

This week was to examine what we are 'Saying Yes to in 2016' or alternatively what we are 'Saying No to in 2016.  I decided to go with both, lol, because while the two aren't totally inverse to one another, doing one can definitely help with the other.

So I'm saying 'No!' to winter blues and 'Yes!' to unlocking the sunshine within.

Sakura of America's Gellyroll pens in a Pentalic Traveler Midnight sketchbook.  It's getting harder and harder to get a good photograph in this book because it doesn't lie flat and the pages curl after you've used the pens on them.  There is so much curve in different directions I end up with strange angles.  Oh well.  The book is great to actually work in with these pens.  It's just photographing later that's a p…

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Amazing 3D Postcard Painting #AmazingCastingProducts #AmazingClearCast #3DResinPainting

I've really been into the 3D resin painting lately, and I decided to try it for a more traditional landscape painting for my latest Amazing Casting Products project.

For more information, see my post at the Amazing Casting Products blog.

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'USE'd for monoprinting #Monoprinting #Watercolor #Zentangle

I've been playing around with the technique of watercolor monoprinting--that's where you paint a watercolor picture on acrylic plexiglass (or glass or any smooth glossy surface) and let it dry, then press a wet sheet of paper over top of the painting.  In essence, you 'print' the watercolor onto the sheet of paper.  Why? Well, the texture of the 'printed' piece is different, varying considerably according to the paper used, and the way you painted onto the plexiglass.

This was the print I pulled using a piece of Canson Montval watercolor paper.  It's interesting, but the cold-press paper is a bit toothy, and I don't think I had the paper wet enough.  That's why I'm playing around, so I can better predict what I might get.  And what does Zentangle have to do with this?

Those of you who saw my USE painting a few weeks ago, will recognize my non-traditional tangle pattern, the Use (ewes) for drawing my sheep.  And, yep, this one is just as ba-a-a-…

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Feeling Foxy with Gellyrolls #SakuraOfAmerica #Pentalic #Gellyrolls

Not sure what got me onto foxes, especially ones in flourescent colors, but this is a pages I did while watching TV with Hubby.

And while taking the photo, my arm slipped and I got this blurred version, which I think is cooler than the actual drawing.  Probably wouldn't have been able to do this on purpose!

Journal52 Prompt #1 - Strange Word: Protuberance #Journal52 #Gellyroll #Pentalic

Those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time may have already figured out that I'm a bit of a left-handed monkey wrench when it comes to humor.  You never know what will tickle my fancy.

There were two choices for first Journal52 prompt for 2016 - 'One Little Word' or 'Strange Word'.  I love weird, obsolete or seldom used words so I immediately knew I'd go with Strange Word.

During the winter, as so many do, I tend to get a bit depressed from the lack of light, with insomnia and lethargy and lack of creativity.  I always work through it, but it took the joy out of art journaling in particular, in 2015, and I kept mostly to my watercolors.  So I thought for 2016, I'd choose to focus on the opposite of depression (even when I'm not).  I went looking for strange antonyms to the word depression.

I was thinking of the mental variety of depression -- not the physical version meaning a dent in something.  However, I saw the word 'Protuber…

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The Girl With Blue Hair #Pentalic #SakuraOfAmerica #Gellyroll

One of the gifts that I received for Christmas was a Pentallic Traveler notebook with black paper, so I've been going mad with my flourescent Moonlight Gellyroll pens.

I happened to be looking through a book by Lee Hammond 'Drawing Realistic Clothing and People' and thought it might be fun to try and adapt one of the lessons into a drawing with these gel ink pens.  I like the result (though Lee Hammond's pencil drawings are far superior.  The book is part of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, so if you belong you can read the book without buying it).

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Layse - a New Tangle Pattern for 2016 #Zentangle #TanglePatterns #SakuraOfAmerica

I was looking at some lace, and was inspired to create a pattern with a lacy look.  The piece I was looking at was far more intricate.  A bit too much so for Zentangle-Inspired Art, so I tried to keep to the spirit, but come up with something simpler that's my own.

This pattern works better as a grid, but I did one as a single with more steps, so it would be easier to see what is happening.

As always, if I've come up with something that's already been done, please let me know so I can give credit.

There are a lot of other variations that you could use, especially if you give yourself plenty of space.

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