Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Garden in All-Purpose Inks

Oh, you know me!  I can't resist a new product!  I came across this Tsukineko All-Purpose Ink Workstation on sale, and immediately bought it. 

The inks come in bottles and you dip the Fantastix blending tools into them, and use the blending tools as though they were pens.  I decided to use the inks alone without any added line work.  

No dripping.  You do have to dip your Fanastix fairly often, but not so often as to be annoying, though I believe I'll work smaller in the future.  I think these would be good for coloring rubber stamps or zentangle tiles.


Friday, March 29, 2013

European Paper Company announces new affiliate program

European Paper Company announces new affiliate Program. Details can be found here-http://europeanpaper.com/blog/europeanpaper-affiliate-program-details/#affiliate-

I've signed up!


Link to Inspiration Week Day 5

Viva Las VegaStamps! and Clearsnap have teamed up for Inspiration Week-Day 5. My piece is one of the featured works today!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday links to tangles, tutorials and giveaways

Thursday links
THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2013

Weben tangle pattern -- http://zentangle.blogspot.com/2013/03/weben.html

Quiet Places – Altered Book Spread -- http://www.rainbowelephant.com/quiet-places-altered-book-spread/

Review: J. Herbin Pearlescent Ink Sampler Set -- http://www.gourmetpens.com/2013/03/review-j-herbin-pearlescent-ink-sampler.html

FUN GIVEAWAY! Colored Pencil Display & Carry Case --http://coloredpencilmagazine.blogspot.com/2013/03/fun-giveaway-colored-pencil-display.html

Letraset Easter Egg Competition 2013 -- http://letrasetblog.com/latest-competitions/letraset-easter-egg-competition-2013/

A Ladies Diary & Retro Cafe Art + A Give-Away -- http://cain81art.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-ladies-diary-retro-cafe-art-give-away.html

Of Fountain Pens and Dinosaurs -- http://earnestward.blogspot.com/2013/03/of-fountain-pens-and-dinosaurs.html

My giveaway: Review & Giveaway of the Clairefontaine Large Vintage 1951 Notebook -- http://lifeimitatesdoodles.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-giveaway-of-clairefontaine-large.html

Link to Inspiration Week Day 4

Viva Las VegaStamps! and Clearsnap have teamed up for Inspiration Week-Day 4

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday links to tangles, tutorials and giveaways

Wednesday's links
NEW! TanglePatterns.com BEGINNER’S GUIDE To Zentangle® (US $12) -- http://tanglepatterns.com/store/e-books

Yamit Fridman's tangle pattern Z-trik has been posted at tangleptterns.com -- http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/03/how-to-draw-z-trik.html

Zipclurve pattern step out from Cindy Angiel. http://www.flickr.com/photos/paintchip_61/8593818782/in/pool-freehandpatterns/

Grilled tangle pattern from Linda Rea. http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasdoxiemama/8586982292/in/pool-freehandpatterns/

Family Portrait tutorial -- http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/2013/03/family-portrait.html

My giveaway: Review & Giveaway of the Clairefontaine Large Vintage 1951 Notebook -- http://lifeimitatesdoodles.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-giveaway-of-clairefontaine-large.html

Link to Inspiration Week Day 3

Viva Las VegaStamps! and Clearsnap have teamed up for Inspiration Week-Day 3

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday's links

Tuesday's links
Graphic 45 blog -- http://g45papers.typepad.com/graphic45/2013/03/how-to-create-flawless-altered-art.html

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #111 -- http://iamthedivaczt.blogspot.com/2013/03/weekly-challenge-111.html (sorry I didn't get this in yesterday's links)

Craftaholics Anonymous: Silhouette Sketch Pens Discount + GIVEAWAY -- http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/silhouette-sketch-pens-discount-giveaway
3/27

Free PanPastel Marathon Class with Johannes Vloothuis -- http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Online-PanPastel-Painting-Class-with-Johannes-Vloothuis---Free-Event-.html?soid=1101736443274&aid=e-cLZHkzX5I

My giveaway: Review & Giveaway of the Clairefontaine Large Vintage 1951 Notebook -- http://lifeimitatesdoodles.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-giveaway-of-clairefontaine-large.html

Link to Inspiration Week Day 2

Viva Las VegaStamps! and Clearsnap have teamed up for Inspiration Week-Day 2

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday links

How to draw CORNERZ -- http://tanglepatterns.com/2013/03/how-to-draw-cornerz.html


Dion Dior's Review of the new Zeta sketchbook -- http://www.diondior.com/2013/03/surprise.html

Clearsnap giveaway: Creating with Viva las Vegas Stamps! DAY ONE
-- http://clearsnap.blogspot.com/2013/03/hopping-with-viva-las-vegas-stamps.html

Viva las VegaStamps! Giveaway: Clearsnap + VLVS! Day #1- http://vivalas.blogspot.com/2013/03/clearsnap-vlvs-day-1.html


My giveaway: Review & Giveaway of the Clairefontaine Large Vintage 1951 Notebook -- http://lifeimitatesdoodles.blogspot.com/2013/03/review-giveaway-of-clairefontaine-large.html


Link to Inspiration Week Day 1

Viva Las VegaStamps! and Clearsnap have teamed up for Inspiration Week-Day 1

Review & Giveaway of the Clairefontaine Large Vintage 1951 Notebook



The 1951 is a portable sized, staple-bound notebook with the snazzy vintage look of the original Clairefontaine notebook.  Last week, I received two of them from Exaclair.  I'm keeping one for myself and giving the other away to one of my readers.  Giveaway information is at the end of the page.

Specs:
Size: 5.75 by 8.25 in/14,8 x 21 cm (also comes in a 3.5 x 5.5 in size)
Cover: textured cardboard
No. Pages: 48 sheets/96 pages
Paper: Clairefontaine
Paper weight: 90 gsm
Format: Lined
Binding: Stapled
Colors available: black, blue, green, pink, purple, red, turquoise


Look and feel:
The paper in the 1951 is satiny smooth.  The lines are a purplish-gray that guides the eye but won't compete with your writing.  

From photos I'd seen, I thought the 1951 was cloth-bound, so I was a little surprised to find the covers are cardboard.  The design is a classic hatched diamond pattern, with a cream-colored box that has plenty of room for labeling with names, dates or themes.

The binding is stapled.  You have to look closely to notice that because the notebook is squared off as though it were sewn.  You can easily fold it backwards, and the pages are securely fastened even towards the center of the book.






Performance:
Clairefontaine is noted for being fountain pen friendly, and the 1951 is no exception.  The pen glides across the paper.  No ink bled through to the back when I tested it, and there was little show through. 
Drying time is slow, so lefties such as myself have to be extra careful not to smudge.





Fountain pen drawing
I decided to really lay down the fountain pen ink, and used my Preppy and Lamy Safari to color portions of a zentangle®-inspired piece.   I used a gray Fabrico marker pen for the shading and a Micron pen for the line work.

Do you see the ruled lines?  You probably do now, but had you noticed them before I asked?

This is the back of the page.  There was a little bleed-through where I really saturated the paper with the Diamine Chocolate Brown. I wouldn't hesitate to draw or write over it.


Water-soluble markers
I had started writing on a previous page, and then realized my pen was almost out of ink.  I decided to color over the writing with Distress markers.  These markers can be blended with water, but are fairly 'wet' even if you don't.   I've found the colors with these markers are quite different according to the paper used.  In the 1951, they are bright but not brilliant.  With the first layer of color, you do get overlapping lines.  These can be avoided by using circular motions, or by applying a second layer of color.

White gel pen was used for the highlights.  

Below, you can see that there was almost no show-through and only a few tiny points of bleed-through.



Gel Roller Ball pen

This was done while sitting while I was waiting for my mother at the dentist's.  I used Pentel Energel X Roller Ball pens.  I was holding two coats and two purses in my lap, while holding a baggie full of pens, and balancing the 1951 on top of the purses.  Proof that this notebook is light and flexible enough for on the go work in less than excellent conditions.  

Overall:
The 1951 notebook is heavier and sturdier than it looks (to my eye, anyway).  I like the heft and feel of it, and find myself holding and flexing it absent-mindedly.  The motion makes a flapping noise when you do that, so my husband has given me the evil eye for doing it, lol!   Am I the only one who is drawn to a notebook because of the way it feels in hand?

The ink-drying time is a bit slow, and I'd recommend choosing a pen with quick drying ink if you intend to write quickly, as in taking notes.  

There is no drag or jittering as you write or draw, which means less work for the hand.  

The cover is elegant without flash, and would look equally at home in the office, on a school desk, or in the art room.

Giveaway:


First off, an apology.  Due to the recent increase in postage rates, this giveaway is U.S. only.  I'm really sorry about that, but international postage costs more than the giveaway items!

I'm giving away one of the 1951 notebooks that I received from Exaclair, Inc.  I'm adding a Rhodia Uni-blank top-stapled sketchbook and a set of three Micron pens.


Giveaway starts midnight PDT 3/25/13 and end midnight PDT 4/1/13.  Winner will be announced on 4/2/13.
To enter, just leave a comment below, that includes a method of contact.


You can find a list of Clarefontaine Retailers at the Exaclair website.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Giveaway Links

3rd day of the Faber-Castell giveaway week!  Winners announced daily!


Mark Montano's WACKY BOX WEDNESDAY! (Facebook only)

4000 "Likes" for Clear Scraps GIVEAWAY! (Facebook only)

Link to Fiber Paste & Acrylic Tutorial

Urban Layer Cake Tutorial from Tammy Garcia!  Fiber paste and acrylics, oh my!

Backgrounds in a Creative Journal

Yesterday I posted a finished drawing that I did in my Dyan Reaveley's Creative Journal.  I soon found though that 'wet' mediums had a tendency to soak through at the seam.  After my accidental elephant picked up a streak of washed out color, I decided to do all the backgrounds in the book before finishing anything else.


I decided to share these with you a couple at a time.

Most of these backgrounds take about 10-15 minutes to do.  In some cases I go back 2 or 3 times to lift off a bit more color or add some more--so these may or may not be the completed background.

What's nice about doing the art this way, is that I can break away from less pleasant work for just a few minutes, throw, spray, dab, pound and muck about with paints and sprays and then go back to what I was doing.  It makes me think a little bit of hand-painting back in my early school days.  It's very freeing and relaxing.

What will I do with these backgrounds?  No idea.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Elephant Art Journal

Warning! This project is grungy.  Perfection need not apply.  It took about 45 minutes of actual crafting time (not counting letting ink sprays dry overnight) and most of that was taken up drawing the patterns. All that beautiful color took about 10 minutes!


Viva Las VegaStamps! used: Elephant And Mountain 2 x 4 1/4 and Elephant On Bike 2 3/4 x 5Elephant And Mountain 2 x 4 1/4 Elephant On Bike 2 3/4 x 5

Dylusions Creative Blank Journal
Dylusions Ink Sprays-Lemon Zest, Pure Sunshine, Squeezed Orange, Melted Chocolate
 CraftersWorkshop 6x6 Stencils- Mini Cubist and Mini Harlequin
StazOn Inkpad-Jet black
Pentel White Gel pen
Pilot FriXion Color-Pencil-Like Gel Pen-Sky Blue, Rose Pink, Gray
Micron Pigma Pen .05-Black, Sepia
Roll of Paper Towels
Water Mister
Heat gun (optional)
Wet Coffee Cup (optional)


The Dylusions journal has a mix of white and manila cardstock pages and I wanted to test both so I did a two-page spread where the left side was the white paper and the right was the manila (the results were about the same on both sides).

The ink sprays:
1. I sprayed both pages with the ink, using these techniques: 
  • inks were sprayed lightest to darkest 
  • the distance from which I sprayed was varied
  • the length of time of time I sprayed was varied--I did short, barely there bursts of color and long saturated close ups of color.

--all common sense techniques, but you do get different effects by doing them.

2. The paper towel (the whole roll) was swiped across the page to soak up excess. I keep the paper towels to use in other projects because they are so pretty.
3. I let it dry overnight:. The pages were thoroughly drenched, so I wanted to make sure they were completely dry.

The Stencils:
4. I laid my stencils down randomly on the page and used one or more of these techniques each time:
  • Misted with water, rolled paper towels over stencil to pick up color.
  • Sprayed through stencil with ink spray; flipped stencil over and rubbed off color somewhere else on page

I didn't worry about using the entire stencil.  It's cooler if you just get bits of them.

I happened to be drinking coffee and the bottom of my cup had a little condensation on it--I stamped it on the page to get a few coffee ring shapes!

5. I let the pages dry for a few hours, but I could have used a heat gun.

I'd seen the outline of the elephant, and that determined what I wanted to stamp and draw.

The Pens and stamps:
6. I drew the elephant's eye and colored it with the Microns.  This is the only place where I used the sepia Micron.
7. I outlined the elephant's shape.
8. I stamped the Elephant images-- the interior cover of the sketchbook flexed when I stamped the Elephant & Mountain, and the elephant's head was lost!  I just scribbled a tree, so now the image is an elephant standing behind a tree and mountain! It don't matter when you're having fun!


9. I added zentangle-ispired patterns in some places and just picked out shapes that the ink and water had made in others.  My choices throughout were driven by the shapes of the color.
11. Color-Pencil-Like Gel pens were used to color the stamped images, and to add a bit of pink and gray here and there around the page where I thought an area needed to be brightened or dulled down.
12. The white gel pen was used to add highlights and make the stamped images pop.

I borrowed heavily from Dyan Reavely's ink spray and stenciling techniques for this project.  You can find many of her video tutorials online.

Check out the VLVS! Store for all your stamping needs and the  VLVS! Blog for new projects and news every day. Follow VLVS! as the VLVS! Forum - VLVS! FB - VLVS! Pinterest - VLVS! Twitter.

Link to winner of Laura Harms contest

Laura Harms announces the winner of her technique naming contest!

Link to tangle pattern Flowevine

The step out to Susan Pundt's tangle pattern Flowervine has been posted at Tanglepatterns.com.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #110

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #110

Castles in the Waiting Room

I started this while my mother was taking a hearing test, and finished it bit by bit over the past week.  Pentel needs to put out a yellow ink Energel pen.  Just sayin'.


Giveaway links for Monday



Giveaway links:


The Stamp Addict  on Facebook for a chance to win a Tombow Craft Storage Bag.

DesignMemCraftOur biggest giveaway of the year is up on our blog! 

BlitsyCraftsRT & Follow @BlitsyCrafts to win A Compendium of Curiosities by Tim Holtz! At 1K followers we'll pick a random winner.

Pentel of America: Celebrate the birthday of our very own Pentel Sign Pen:  You could win 1 for free! #SignPen50


Quo Vadis Blog: Contest of the Month: St. Patrick’s Day giveaway.  Chance to win a Rhodia #12 and cartridges of green ink!


 Check back because this list may grow throughout the day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Link to New patterns Ying & Yang, Ragged Rays, Pods and Peeps

Judy West has posted the distructions to her patterns: Ying & Yang, Ragged Rays, Pods and Peeps.

New plates available for pre-order at Viva Las VegaStamps!



Check out the details on the blog--you can enter to win one of the plates of your choice!

Link to tangle pattern Snorr

CZT Sandy Hunter has posted the steps to her tangle pattern Snorr.

Link to Derwent Coloursoft Pencil Giveaway

Derwent Coloursoft Pencil Giveaway

Link to Sweet Serenity Collection giveaway

Like and Share! Four lucky crafters will win the entire Sweet Serenity Collection (die, stamps and papers) valued at $135. Enter the random drawing now: http://www.heartfeltcreations.us/contest.php?contestID=11.

Link to tangle pattern Sammon

Donna Lacey has posted the step out to her tangle pattern Sammon!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Zendala Dare #48

Zendala Dare #48--http://thebrightowl.blogspot.com/2013/03/zendala-dare-48.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thebrightowl+%28The+Bright+Owl%29

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Link to Mindful Creations-New Zentangle challenge

CZT Roy Stauffer has posted the first of a series of Zentangle challenges.

Tangling while the car gets fixed

I drive my mother's car--it's the proverbial little old lady's car.  A 1993 Dodge Spirit with about 75,000 miles on it.  Most of which I put on after she stopped driving.  She kept it maintenanced meticulously, but still--it's feeling its age.

Which is why a routine checkup has resulted in a two-day stay and over $1000 dollars worth of fixin' up.  Ah well.  It's a lot cheaper than buying a new car!

I was given a drive home once it was determined that the visit would be more than just a check-up, but I had to wait a while.

Oh my, what could I do while waiting???

Heh.  You know the answer to that one.  I'd gone in prepared with paper and pen(s).

I did two B&W with a .005 Micron pigma on Croquis paper.



And in my Rhodia Swap Journal, I used some colored Pentel Energel pens I received as part of my last Shoplet review package.



Sale on Genevieve Crabe's Tangle Organizers


20% off  Genevieve Crabe's Tangle Organizers and Journals for #Zentangle artists. Use code SPARK. bit.ly/gclulushop

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review of the Pentel Energel X Roller Ball Retractable Gel Pen #shopletreviews

Shoplet and Pentel sent me a package for review last week.  It included a:



Overall the pens are the same except for point size.  I found them to be comfortable in the hand. I have a small hand but I suspect they will be comfortable for most.

Having a selection of point sizes is nice because sometimes I like to write large, and other times (more usually) I like to write small.  And, as Goldilocks would say--the middle size is just right.



The ink glides nicely across the page, without feathering or bleeding. They will smear, but I had to practically do it two-handed, really laying down the ink while writing with one hand and smearing as the pen moved.  The amount of smearing was minimal, as you can see from the scan.

The week's been a busy one, and as I waited at the garage while my car went through its 65,000 mile check up (it's a 1993 and only has about 75,000 miles-the proverbial little old lady car) and waited for Mom at the dentist, and stood in line at Costco, I drew.  My examples were done with little to no supporting surface, sometimes while standing--just the way I normally use this kind of pen.

I chose to do one set of examples on a very rough, handmade kind of paper with inclusions of leaf and other matter.  The other set was done on a smooth, higher quality paper.  And, of course I did some writing.

The rough paper is one that I've known to cause bleeding and feathering in the past.  The texture isn't heavy on tooth, but it has an uneven weave that can also make writing jagged and cause skipping.  These Energel X Roller ball pens slid across the surface, smooth as butter.  In fact the scans look rougher than the originals, because some of the paper texture was captured.


 I was able to get heavy, bold coverage without being heavy-handed.  


















I expected show-through because this paper is almost translucent in places, but it wasn't bad.  Again, it looks worse in the scan than in real life.


















The 1.0 mm and .07 mm point sizes are difficult for me to shade in my normal manner, which is to use very fast, light strokes.  Gel ink flows more slowly so the ink just doesn't go down until I slow down.  This doesn't affect my writing or my drawing--just my shading.  I found the .05 to flow a little better, but I'm not sure if this is a matter of point size or if the formulation for blue ink is slightly different from black.


I drew this double-page spread using the 1.0 mm on the left and the .07 on the right.   (I also used the Energize pencil for some shading on the left, but more about that later.)  You get the same bold coverage, but the smaller point size does allow for smaller detail.


While these pens did well on the rough paper, they really smoked on the smoother paper!  It was easier to get tonal values, and I could draw faster (though not as fast as I would have liked!)

Overall, there wasn't anything about these pens to make me sit up and exclaim in wonder that they are something different or innovative.  But they're strong workhorses that you can write with on cheap and pricey alike without strain on the hand.  You can do some cool doodling, too.

And I haven't forgotten the Pentel EnerGize X Mechanical Pencil. The lead advances easily.  In fact, I advanced it until it was almost out of the pencil and then broke it off so I'd only have a little bit.  Often, I've found that towards the end a lead will get wobbly and just fall out.  This one did fall out, but it didn't get the wobblies.  It was easy to load the lead back in.


It erases well--not back to 100% if the coverage was heavy, but close. And you can see the wear?  Many erasers would be black and unusable at this point.

I'm allergic to graphite (or something in pencil lead anyway), and my eyes were soon watering, so all I did was shade this section of one of my drawings. Many mechanical pencils are unsuitable for shading because they'll streak or are too hard to blend.    With the allergies, I don't use pencil often--but when I do, it will probably be an Energize.

I want to thank both Pentel and Shoplet for the chance to review this product!

Need Office Supplies?  Shoplet has what you need!  And be sure to check out the Shoplet Promotional Products if you're looking for promotional items.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Link to tangle pattern N-Meshed

The step out to Linda Rainsford's tangle pattern N-Meshed has been posted at Tanglepatterns.com.

Chance to win a seat in '21 Secrets' workshop

Enter to win a seat in the '21 Secrets' workshop giveway. Head over to Dion Dior's blog for the details!

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #108

Weekly Zentangle Challenge #108

Review of Stillman & Birn's Zeta Paper

Sometime this month, Stillman & Birn will be releasing the Zeta  multi-media sketchbook, the latest in their series of fine quality art journals.  I was sent a few of the unbound sheets to try out.

The Zeta has a multi-media paper that is about the weight you'd expect of good photo paper, without the slick glossy surface. While the surface is smooth, it accepts most mediums well.

I'm going to write this review differently than I have in the past.  I've found that every medium has its problems.  A multi-media paper must be formulated to deal with as many mediums as possible.  So I'm going to list problems I've encountered in the past, and then tell how you the Zeta does.

I used ink sprays, stamp pads, fabric markers, granular gel medium, watercolor, acrylics, art pen, water-soluble wax pastels, decoupaged napkins, and shaving cream on this paper and was happy with the results in all cases. 

Mine is a tale of woe--comprised of family reunions, dead computers, and luggage left behind.  I won't go into detail (except to say, despite these problems, I had a blast while I was there!), but as a result some of my examples are works in progress, and not shown are the decoupaged napkins and a colored version of a pen and ink. 


Fabric tipped Pen & Ink colored with Ink Sprays and then covered with gesso.  Unfinished piece.

Possible problems:
     Pen & Ink: Pen snagging, feathering, bleed-through, show-through. Slow drying time causing smudges.  Fraying of the pen fabric.
     Water-reactive Ink Sprays: Paper dimpling, curling, bowing.  Ink spray beading up or uneven saturation.
      Gesso: Paper dimpling, curling, bowing because the paper can't support the weight of the gesso.

Zeta Performance:
No snagging, feathering, bleed-through, or show-through.  The pen glides across the paper, and the ink dries immediately.  
The ink sprays went on evenly, drying quickly without blotches.  The Zeta paper did curl and dimple, but weighting it down overnight removed all the curl and most of the dimples.
The gesso caused more curl, but weighting the paper removed it again.  Some dimpling remains but it is slight.



Pen & Ink.  Unfinished piece

Water-soluble Fabric Markers

Possible problems: Pilling, feathering, streaking, bleed-through, show-through.

Zeta Performance:
No pilling, feathering, bleed-through, or show-through.  The ink dries immediately, which causes streaking with these pens.  There are techniques for avoiding it, which I used in some areas, but it can also be used to advantage.  There is no 'line' drawing in this piece. I used the streaking to create all my lines and shadows.  I found it easy to avoid the streaking when desired by using circular motions, applying 2nd layers of color and using the side of tip for broader strokes.


Fabric Markers (non-Water-soluble)

Possible problems: Pilling, feathering, streaking, bleed-through, show-through.

Zeta Performance:
No pilling, feathering, streaking, bleed-through, or show-through. 




Watercolor Crayon (wax pastels)
Possible problems: Pilling, lack of color, difficulty blending colors

Zeta Performance:
No pilling, the color was strong and there was no difficulty blending.  I did need to apply more crayon than usual and would recommend using higher end watercolor crayons.  Student-grade pastels don't have as much pigment, and require more tooth to pull out the color.



Pigment Inkpads/Brush tip pens
Possible problems: 
Inkpads: Blotchy color, difficulty blending color
Brushtip pens: Pen snagging, feathering, bleed-through, show-through. Slow drying time causing smudges.  Fraying of the pen fabric.

Zeta Performance:
I was able to spread the color directly from the inkpad.  There were a few darker streaks that I blended out with a babywipe.  The trees and bird were added with a sepia pen and then black with no problems at all.  This whole picture took about 15 minutes to do.


Watercolor washes - unfinished piece
Possible problems: 
Watercolor: Paper dimpling, curling.  Lack of color.

Zeta Performance:
I used the cling wrap technique for this background, placing bits of cling around the page, and inserting the brush at the edge to let a watery concentration of paint to run through the tunnels created by the wrap.  When the paint dries, the wrap is moved and the process repeated.  

The paper was wetted thoroughly in the process, and there was some curl and dimpling.  The curl was weighted out completely and the dimpling is minimal. The color is pale, but my mixes were pale.  


Shaving cream with liquid ink-unfinished 
Possible problems: Paper curling.  Lack of color.

Zeta Performance:
For this technique, you fill a plate with shaving cream, squeeze in some drops of liquid pigment ink (I used stamping pad re-inkers) and mix them together.  You spread the mix on your paper, then wipe it off with a paper towel.  What remains is the marbling of color.  

I had lots of shaving cream, so I applied it to both sides of the paper.  The paper curled a bit and you can see how the marbling came out.  I was able to weight the curl out.



Granular gel mediums/Acrylic paint with mica-unfinished piece

Possible problems: 
Gel Medium: Paper bowing from the weight of the granules.  Granules not sticking.
Acrylic paint: Paper dimpling, curling, streaky color.

Zeta Performance:
The granular gel that I used is sort of like a Mod Podge mixed with Kosher salt crystals.  The directions suggested sanding the paper lightly if smooth.  I didn't, because I wanted to see what would happen.  

I did lose a few granules where I spread the gel too thin.  It was surprisingly few, and probably wouldn't have happened if I had sanded.  

The acrylic paint did show brush marks in some places.  It isn't an easy paint to photograph, because the mica makes it shiny, but it's beautiful.

This is the painting that I decoupaged with napkins, to make it look like a map, and the finished piece was fairly heavy.  The paper held up well, curling just a bit at the corners.  I wasn't able to weight the curl out completely, but that's to be expected.  The gel mediums don't stretch once dry, so the paper is pretty much frozen into place.  


Fabric tipped Pen & Ink colored with Ink Sprays/Drywall tape stencils-unfinished piece

Possible problems: 
Drywall tape: Paper tears when tape is removed

These are the same pens and ink sprays that I wrote about in my first example, so I'll concentrate on the drywall tape.  This is a low tack tape with plastic woven fibers that is used to support drywall repairs.  I cut it into shapes and use it as a stencil.  Even though it is low tack (not very sticky) if you remove the tape when the paper is wet, the paper surface can tear.  

As a test I removed the tape immediately after spraying (not recommended) and there was NO tearing.  I still recommend waiting until the paper dries, lol.



Rubber Stamping-unfinished piece

Possible problems: Slow-drying-smuding; broken image

There are many different stamp pad inks and the problems can differ by how 'wet' or thick they are.  I had intended to stamp using different inks and stamps.  As it is, I only had the chance to test with a fairly 'wet' pigment inkpad.  The image looks broken, but the stamp is a 'grungy' one and in fact the image is almost perfect.  I inked up once and stamped 5 times without re-inking.  Although the color fades the image is still clear and unsmudged.  This technique is called ghosting, and it doesn't always work well on some papers.  

Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the Zeta paper.  The slightly rougher surface of the Beta and Delta series might be better for someone working primarily with heavy washes of watercolor, but for a wide range of mediums, the Zeta is an excellent choice. 

I want to thank Stillman & Birn for giving me the opportunity to review this paper.

There have been other reviews from several fantastic artists.  I recommend reading them, not just for the review, but for the wonderful artwork!


Other Zeta Reviews:                                   My Reviews of other Stillman & Birn Series
Dion Dior                                                     Alpha Series Review
Hudson Valley Sketches                                 Beta Series Review
fine art by... Jeanne Forsyth                           Gamma Series Review
Pen, Pencil and Paper                                    Delta Series Review
The Fountain Pen Network                            Epsilon Series Review
Earnest Ward: Drawn to Life                          Comparison of the different series
The Comic Art of Jorge Santiago Jr

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

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