Sunday, June 25, 2017

Basic Shapes Fantasy Landscape Step-wisely #FantasyLandscape #DrawingTutorial #Step-wisely

In drawing and painting, shapes are important, even in the most non-objective and abstract of art.

In my fantasy landscape drawings, they are crazy like mad important!

So for this week, I'm exploring shapes and the many, many, many landscape objects that you can make from them.

Today I'm showing you ways to use the most basic shapes:
  • roundish-circles, ovals, etc.
  • squarish-squares, rectangles, etc.
  • triangularish-triangles 

For each type of shape I drew some very, very basic shapes, and then I drew some that were a bit more complex.  As time goes on I'll do step-outs for some of these, but chances are you can figure out most of them yourself.  If you want a step-out for any one in particular, let me know and I'll do it up.


Building on roundish shapes


Building on Squarish shapes


Building on Triangularish shapes

Play with sizes, widths and lengths.  Stack 'em up, place them side by side. Go from large to small and small to large.  Alternate the size and shapes.  Mix 'em up so you don't know what's coming next. Make 'em lean over like they're going to fall.  Suck in the sides or make 'em bulge.

For a full list of Fantasy Landscape Step-outs, Step-by-steps, Step-wiselys and guide rules go here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Challenge #99: Tangle with K-L-M
Zentangle All Around Challenge

Pattern-Collections Weekly String
"It's a String Thing" #199 Tiles

Pattern Videos
Daily Tangle - Queasy
Rest - today's daily tangle
Ringz - a fun organic tangle
Daily Tangle - 4-Bol
Today's tangle - Round Wedge
How to Draw Tangle Pattern Stitch #33
Knase Tangle Pattern Lesson # 194

New Patterns
How to Draw Camreap
How to Draw Olluan
Tangle Pattern: Pub Carpet #5

Oldie but Goodie tangle pattern-Flormeoba Rose
Week 13 of the Go-To Pattern Library
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #323
Review-The Great Zentangle® Book by Beate Winkler
Tangle Refresher 157
Do you ever wonder "Is this piece done?"

Fantasy Landscape Resources
Cave Pony Step-out

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Paper Wisteria Plant
5 Tips on How to Find a Lost Pen
How to Paint a Watercolor Floral Still Life Step-by-Step
How to Use a Red Under Drawing To Draw Realistic Landscape Greens with Colored Pencil

ColorIt's Summer Kickoff Giveaway: enter every day until June 30
Colored Pencil Magazine -24pc tin set of AquaBlend watercolor pencils
PSA Essentials Hand Stamp Essentials Giveaway
Summer Jam Giveaway-Enter to win one of two huge notebook/pen collections
The Postman's Knock-Finetec Pearl Colors palette
Jetpens Giveaway-Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Gel Pens

**Get a free summer issue of Rubber Stamp Madness.  Details here.

BENU Fountain Pen (Silver Galaxy)
Cuaderno Notebook by Notebooks and Journals

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cave Pony Fantasy Landscape Step-out #FantasyLandscape #Step-out #DrawingTutorial

I was looking at a friend's photos on Flickr and came across a horse with odd coloring.  As often happens these days, I was immediately overcome with the desire to create a fantasy horse step-out.

The problem, of course, is that horses are hard.  How to simplify enough for this series?

And then I thought of the cave paintings of Lascaux.  Animals reduced to their bare essence, yet clearly recognizable.  So I googled the cave painting of a pony, and here's what I came up with.

For a full list of Fantasy Landscape Step-outs, Step-by-steps, Step-wiselys and guide rules go here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review-The Great Zentangle® Book #Zentangle #BookReview #LearnToTangle

The Great Zentangle Book by Beate Winkler, CZT® is now available in English!  Previously, it was only available in German (Das Grosse Zentangle®-Buch).  There are 101 patterns with original artwork from 47 CZTs and other artists.

I did review the German version, so this review will be very similar, but more accurate because I had to guess what was being said in the first version.  I'm sadly lacking in the ability to speak more than one language.  

Look & Feel

144 pages
8 x 0.5 x 10 inches
Glued Binding
Soft bound Cover
101 tangle step-outs

The paper is high quality and thick, so the book is fairly heavy.  This is a mixed blessing.  The book should withstand lots of use but the weight might make it uncomfortable to carry.  

Although the binding is glued, you can fold the book backwards and if you do this (gently) the pages will lie almost flat, even in the middle.  

There are many illustrations throughout, not just for the tangle step-outs.  While the examples are done by various people, the step-outs are done by the same person, so there is a cohesive look.  The illustrations are beautiful and well-done.

The tangles are broken out into three kinds - beginner, exciting, and master class.

Many of the tangles included can be found in other books and on the internet.  I'm not sure if any of them were created just for this book.  However, even if you are familiar with most of the tangles this is a very nice and comprehensive collection of tangle patterns, presented in a clear and accessible fashion. 

The format of the book is straight-forward and traditional with introductions to the Zentangle Method at the beginning, the tangle patterns presented one-by-one, and ending with a glossary of terms, answers to common questions, link resources, gallery, acknowledgments, about the author and a list of all the tangles contained in the book.

The List of Contents:
  • Foreword
  • Welcome!
  • What is Zentangle?
  • What Materials Do I Need?
  • How Do I Start?
  • Curtains Up! 
  • Great Tangles for Getting Started
  • Exciting Tangles from A to Z
  • Tangles for the Master Class
  • Good to Know
    • Questions and Answers
    • Good Reasons to Zentangle
    • Technical Terms
    • Opportunities for Continuing Tanglers
    • Links
    • Who Are the Friends
    • Gallery
    • Acknowledgements
    • About the Author
    • All Tangles from A to Z

Tangle Patterns included

Angle Fish
Poke Leaf
Birds on a Wire
Blooming Butter
Henna Drum
Bubble Bobble Bloop
Bumpety Bump
Impossible Triangle
Cool ‘Sista
Crescent Moon
MI2  1 & 2
Moving Day
Zenplosion Folds
Dutch Hourglass
Nzeppel Random




Tangles used: Rubenesque, Sweda, Octonet, Printemps, Gryst, Twenty-One, Kaleido and Fiore.

Tangles Used: Quib, Casella, Birds On a Wire, and Dutch Hourglass.

This is a great book for newbies to Zentangle.  It has all the information needed to get started and  with 101 patterns, they have inspiration to last a long time.  

For more advanced tanglers, it is still a good buy because of the number of patterns collected together.  The book itself is sturdy and well-made.  It is a bit heavy for carry, but will stand up to a lot of abuse.  A good overall reference book that will last for years.

I know I'll be referring to it often!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Get a free RubberStampMadness Magazine! @RubberStampMadness

RubberStampMadness Magazine sent me this fantastic offer- the first 100 people who email them can get a free copy of their Summer Issue!

Do this-

  • email with the following:
    • put Free RubberStampMadness in the subject line
    • mention my blogsite 'Life Imitates Doodles'
    • include your mailing information 
    • send the email!
If yours is one of the first 100 emails to be received, you'll get a free copy!

Here's information about the issue: ATCs are the main focus, with six-pages inside, an ATC-filled cover. Down on the Farm stamp art incorporates cows, chickens, barns and over-sized potatoes in pastoral scenes. Judy and Bobby Duke of B & J's Art Stamps share the story of their home-grown business and samples of Judy's fabulous artwork. A how-to feature explains steps for making Simple "Step Cards," perfect for sharing through the mail. Three terrific tags are showcased in The Tag Shoppe. An album of "Not-Feeling-So-Blue" artwork and more are in this issue.

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
Weekly Challenge #100: Tangle with K-L-M
joey's weekly tangle challenge #170

"It's a String Thing" # 200

Pattern Videos
Daily Tangle - CDJoy
Daily tangle - Railwayz
Daily Tangle - Yincut

New Patterns
How to Draw Beebug

The Practice of Zentangle & Aura Tips
"It's a String Thing" #198 Tiles
Getting Sketchy - June Continues

Fantasy Landscape Resources
I Dare You Fantasy Landscape Challenge with Zentangle®

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Painting with Perspective | Techniques Used to Accentuate Depth
Fluid Acrylic Painting with Balloons Technique -Phlox Flower Card Fast and Easy
Tropical Papercut Pineapple Lantern
Journal52-Week 25

ColorIt's Summer Kickoff Giveaway: enter every day until June 30
ArtistNetwork Days of Summer Giveaway-new prize every day until June 22
Review and Giveaway: Stillman & Birn Softcover Sketchbooks
Win a bundle of 7 lettering and mixed media online classes
World Watercolor Month Giveaway-paint, paper, brushes and more

Diamine Flowers Gerbera
Baron Fig Metamorphosis Confidant

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Dare You Fantasy Landscape Challenge with Zentangle® step-by-step #FantasyLandscape #Zentangle #StepByStep

I was asked to provide a challenge for this week's 'I Dare You' challenge at the Zentangle All Around Facebook Group, using one of my Fantasy Landscapes.

The challenge is posted every Wednesday, and I went a little crazy and decided to do a Fantasy Landscape step-by-step that covered everything from drawing to shading through coloring.  Hah! Real Life laughted at me, and I ended up with two finished pieces, a step-by-step for one, and a partial step-by-step of the second.

Zentangle is all about relaxing, not worrying over choices and going with the flow.  Fantasy Landscapes are about discussing why one might make the decisions they do, and what to look for if you are unhappy with your finished work.  If you are more into the Zentangle aspect, just scroll past the explanations, and learn from the artwork.  If you are more into the Fantasy Landscape, read the explanations and learn from the artwork too.

A tangled artwork where the patterns are the focus of the piece
The focus of the step-by-steps are the two ways of approaching a Zentangle-Inspired Art and Fantasy Landscapes.  The finished work can be tangled art with landscape motifs or it can be a landscape with tangle patterns added.

Pattern Motif: A motif  is an element of the artistic work. It can be a single image or, the important emphasis for this discussion, a  motif may be an image that is repeated in order to create a pattern.  If you draw a circle several times, it is a motif for a pattern of circles.  If you draw a circle, a square and a banana grouped together, and then repeat that grouped image again in the same work, the whole group is a motif. In essence, you can make a pattern from almost anything, if you repeat it.

A Fantasy Landscape where the landscape elements are the focus rather than the tangle patterns 

Paper: Clairefontaine  Habana Journal Paper.  I used this paper because I knew it work well with pens and markers I intended to use.
Line work: Pigma Micron pen.  I used this pen because the ink is waterproof and I could use my coloring pens over it.
Coloring: Tombow Dual Brush pens (Glacier Blue, Orchid, Tan, Peach, Pale Yellow) and Sakura Koi Watercolor Brush Pens (Lime Green, Green, Yellow).  I used the pens dry, without adding water.
Fixing Mistakes: Yeah *sighs*  I make those.  I use a Sharpie White Acrylic marker to lighten (it won't cover the color completely) the area.  I let it dry and then re-color.  You can see where it was used, so I only use it for very small mistakes or very large mistakes.

FANTASY LANDSCAPE STEP-OUTS USED: Who-lee Tree, Shaggy Plant, Use.
For a full list of Fantasy Landscape Step-outs, Step-by-steps, Step-wiselys, glossary and guide rules go here.

Guide rule: If you are going to fill your Fantasy Landscape with tangle patterns, keep your landscape elements simple.  

TANGLE PATTERNS USED:  Tootsie MoonTweetyHeartFlow,  Sand-Swirl.

Step-by-step ONE

In Zentangle, you have strings - lines drawn to separate the art into sections.  When combining tangles with a landscape the division of the landscape becomes your strings.  I chose three hills and the sky for my sections.  You might have a pond or lake surrounded by land and the sky, or the land with mountains and the sky for your sections.  The variety is endless, but try to keep it simple.

Since I want the focus to be on the patterns for this drawing, I kept my landscape elements smaller, used as I would patterns, and centered everything, which I wouldn't do in a landscape.

Things to notice about the above step:

  • The landscape elements are drawn first.
  • The three hills are a pattern motiff as well as a landscape element as well as strings.
  • The trees (Who-lee Tree) are pattern motifs as well as a landscape element.  
    • The 'holes' in the tree are part of the tree pattern.
  • The sheep (Use) and the bush (Shaggy Plant) echo each other, but aren't really a pattern.  
    • If I had done two sheep, each alike, then the sheep would be a pattern motif.
  • The sheep, the shaggy plant and the who-lee trees all echo one another being similar in size, having similar contrast values (light and dark) and being about the same distance.  This gives each area the same amount of weight. 

When you add patterns to your landscape, the whole piece gets busy and can easily confuse the eye.  In past step-by-steps, I've talked about the importance of weight and interest and leading the eye with direction and values.  With tangles, it is equally important to watch the direction of your patterns, because the viewer will follow them as much or more as the values.

In the step above, I chose Tweety, because:

  • I felt the 'wavy' movement had the feel of a rocky or tiered hillside.
  • I could wrap it around the hill, leading the eye toward the center of the drawing - which is where I'm hoping to direct the viewer.
  • It provides a medium value to the light of the bush's foliage, and the dark of the trunk.

Note that the motif in Tweety is two circles inside hourglass shaped lines.

In the step above, I chose Tootsie Moon, because:
  • I felt the 'wavy' movement had the feel of a rocky or tiered hillside.
  • It is similar to Tweety but different enough to add interest
  • It creates a darker value than the other patterns I chose, making the center of the drawing the overall darkest, which is something that will draw the viewer's eye.
  • I could wrap it around the hill, leading the eye toward the center of the drawing - which is where I'm hoping to direct the viewer.
Note that the motif in Tootsie Moon is two half-moons bisected by a line and surrounded by wavy lines.

I left the top of the hill blank, because I want light reflecting there.

In the step above, I chose HeartFlow, because:
  • It is different enough from Tweety and Tootsie Moon, but has a similar flow
  • It looks like foliage
  • I can choose how dark it gets by how I shade or color the different parts of the motif.
  • It provides a medium value to the light of the sheep's wool, and the dark of the face and legs.
Note that the motif in Heartflow is two circles joined by a crescent shape with one or two heart shapes on each side of the crescent.

As I started to draw the Sand-Swirl pattern, I realized I want a different structure than the pattern creates, and started using it by alternating between the top and bottom as one would when drawing the pattern Paradox.  I felt this framed the center more.

For the above step, I chose a Sand-Swirl variation, because:

  • It is psychedelic and I like that, lol.
  • The loop and line are similar to the 'gust' lines often used in pen and ink drawings to illustrate the clouds, sky and wind
  • The straight lines are a complete contrast to the other patterns used
  • The overall value of the pattern is lighter than the other three patterns
Note that the motif in Sand-swirl is a line that ends by curling into a loop.

Step-by-step TWO

I was running out of time (it's 03:30 am Monday morning as I write this) so I only have two steps for this drawing.  My choices for the patterns are pretty much the same, so I think you'll get the gist.

Things to notice about the above step:

  • The landscape elements are drawn first.
  • Because I want the landscape to dominate over the patterns, I drew more, larger elements and placed them in a more natural order for a landscape.
  • I used two variations of the Shaggy Plant. Even though this means the Shaggy plant is repeated, it is not a pattern motif because they are not the same shape.
  • The elements still echo each other in approximate size, contrast and values.
    • The exception is the second group of trees which are smaller to give a sense of distance.
  • By using the second group of trees, which is grouped in the same way as the first, the group of trees becomes a pattern motif as well as landscape elements.  
    • Each tree within both groups is also a motif.

Things to notice about the above step:

  • Because I didn't center this drawing, and because I want the sheep to be the focal point, I changed the direction of the patterns.  
    • Tootsie Moon flows toward the sheep
    • I changed the placement of Tweety and Heartflow so that both would flow toward the sheep.
  • I used the original version of sand-swirl this time to imply wind rather than emphasize pattern.
  • I haven't filled in any of the darker values - the face, legs, tree trunk, holes or any of the pattern elements.  I knew this would be a busy landscape, and I wanted to get a sense of the finished piece before I decided where the darkest values would go.
At the black and white stage of these drawings, shading is sorely needed to give some separation to the sections and help the eye decide where to go.  I chose to shade with color, but it could be done with pencil, pen or gray marker.

Critique Discussion
I'm pretty happy with both of these drawings in the finished color stage.  In the first version, I played with fairly realistic light and shadows to give a sense of drama to the patterns.  The only thing I would change would be to have two sheep instead of a sheep and a tree.  I did do the sheep and tree on purpose though, in order to further explain the idea of the pattern motif.

With the second drawing my Orchid Tombow ran out of color so I had to mix blue and peach and I don't like the color as well.  I got the shaggy plants too dark, so the contrast values didn't work with the sheep.  That I fixed using the white sharpie.

However, in looking at it, the squared Shaggy plants seem to lead the eye to the outside of the page instead of the sheep, as I intended.  Next time, I would move them to the right and make them parallelograms leaning toward the sheep.

I hope you've found something of interest in all this jibber-jabber.  If you want to explore more of my Fantasy Landscape series, you can find links to everything here.

Basic Shapes Fantasy Landscape Step-wisely #FantasyLandscape #DrawingTutorial #Step-wisely

In drawing and painting, shapes are important, even in the most non-objective and abstract of art. In my fantasy landscape drawings, they ...