Monday, March 31, 2014

Some tricks to using Scribbler Too #ScribblerToo #LifeImitatesDoodles

I draw my Scribbler Too creations using my mouse.  Many people mention the trouble they have controlling the lines this way.  There are some tricks.

1. Keep your lines short.  The tendency is to draw a line from one point to another in what feels like a section.  For example, take the arm in the first two drawings here.  In a pen/pencil drawing, for the forearm, I would draw a line from elbow to wrist.  But with a mouse you have a limited sweep, so I drew about half-way, released the button, immediately held it down again and finished the arm.

It all depends on your set-up and the size of your picture.  Try to get a feel for how far you can go before your lines go wobbly, and try to stop your lines before then.  You might be able to get longer lines with practice, but probably not--it's the mouse, not you.

Pause a second to evaluate before continuing.  You can only erase one line, so give yourself the chance to realize that you don't like that line before you've created another.

2. You can kind-of erase.  Set Color to FFFFFF, which is white, and go over the areas you don't like.  Your lines will start spiking, so open Brush Settings and set your Radius to somewhere around 7-10 (50 is default).  To go back to black, set Color to 000000 (black).  You'll get the spiking wherever you've used white, so I usually wait until I'm almost done to do this kind of erasing.

You can get cool effects by alternating between FFFFFF and 000000.  The snakeskin in the last drawing was done using this method.

3. You can save your drawing and then reload it to continue.  If you aren't finished, but really like what you've done so far, save it.  Then if you mess up, you can re-start at a point before you did.
To upload a saved drawing (or photo),  click on images and then upload:

A thumbnail will appear under Upload.  Click on it and the image will appear.  Be sure to also tick the box 'Include in Saved Image'.

You can move the image around where you want it, then click the word 'Scribble' and the image will be stationary and you can start drawing again.  'Scribble' will change to 'Arrange'.  If you click on arrange you can move your image again.

4. And the most important trick is to be flexible.  If your drawing isn't turning into what you want be willing to change it into something else.  The drawings below were all an attempt to draw a Medusa.  I had an idea in my head of a fairly standard mythological Medusa dressed in robes, with snakes in her hair.

My first attempt changed almost immediately.  I had left my Radius setting at 50, which was too dark for snaky hair.  I like the effect I had though, and decided to do a model instead.

I was trying to get a curled up snake in the hair, and it reminded me more of a balloon, so this Medusa became a young woman from an earlier age walking in the park.  Notice the similarity in pose to the drawing above.  I knew the pose I wanted, but details such as the folding of the hands and sleeve (or lack thereof) were decided on as I drew my lines.  In other words, I didn't try to over-control Scribbler Too--I just went along with it.

Strolling Through the Park

I got close with my last drawing, though she's not the typical Medusa.  I think she's more interesting for that.  I did have trouble with my values though.  Scribbler Too doesn't do solid darks well.  This drawing pushes the limit for complexity with only black and white.  This really would have worked better if I had used Color and added in some grays.
Modern Day Medusa
I didn't find this at all frustrating even though I still haven't created the Medusa that I was imagining.  I think I've come up with more interesting figures in the long run, and it was fun to see what ended up on the screen.

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

Pre-scheduled link list of sites that post regularly.  After April 10 or 11th, things should resume to their usual link list.  Meanwhile, I’ll be around off and on, mostly on Facebook because it works the best on my tablet.


Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration


Graphic 45 Blog
Pen Chalet-Enter to win gift cards

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Weekly Zentangle Roundup (afternoon post)


What did I do? I was going to do something super!

A while back I was playing around with some paper.  A deadline loomed and I set this aside meaning to add to it later.  I was going to do something super.

Haven't a clue what it was.  Just that it was super.

Meanwhile, I forget exactly what I already did (are you sensing a theme here?).  I know there is some black gesso here, and probably acrylic paint.  One of these days, maybe I'll remember what I wanted to do or I'll just decide to do something else.  But I don't want to be hasty, because I know what I had in mind was super.  Be a shame not to do it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Pre-scheduled link list of sites that post regularly.  After April 10 or 11th, things should resume to their usual link list.  Meanwhile, I’ll be around off and on, mostly on Facebook because it works the best on my tablet.


Crafter’s Companion Information Blog
The Odd Girl

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Scribbler Too Fuzzies #ScribblerToo #LifeImitatesDoodles

You get a different look when you start alternating black (000000) and white (FFFFFF) in Scribbler Too--sort of fuzzy marbling.  The lines get quite spiky, so you might want to dial down your radius somewhere around 15-20, or even less if you want actual detail.

I do most of my black first with the radius set around 30, dialing down to 7-10 for eyes or other detail.  Then I switch to white and sort of blast the color around.  In other words, instead of drawing steady lines, I center the pointer where I want the most white to be, and tap the mouse button.  The I move to another spot, tap and keep doing this until I'm happy.

If I get too much white, I switch to black and do the tap, move process again.  I may switch back and forth several times, adjusting my radius as I feel it is needed.

To get rid of solid lines around the edges, I set the color to white, move the mouse a little way from the edge and tap.  I move the mouse all along the outside tapping whereever I want a less solid line.

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

Pre-scheduled link list of sites that post regularly.  After April 10 or 11th, things should resume to their usual link list.  Meanwhile, I’ll be around off and on, mostly on Facebook because it works the best on my tablet.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Pre-scheduled link list of sites that post regularly.  After April 10 or 11th, things should resume to their usual link list.  Meanwhile, I’ll be around off and on, mostly on Facebook because it works the best on my tablet.

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration


Copic Markers blog

Simon Says Stamp - they have a Giveaway several times a week but the days differ.  Scroll down and look for 'Blog Candy Alert'.

Without the Night, We'd Never See the Stars #ArtJournal #Squirkling #Clairefontaine #Exaclair

I'm not a fan of the Twilight saga, but I do like this quote.

I've been playing around with squirkling again.  The more I use this method of scribbling the more I appreciate what can be done with it.  I decided to expand on the 15-minute art journal page I did last week and put a little more planning into a page.  Not much.  This page still only took about 20 minutes and most of that was because I thought a little more about where I wanted the various colors.  If you are interested I put my thoughts and process below (with some photos this time).

Sharpies-blue, purple, red, yellow  (any permanent ink pen will do, but a smaller pen tip will take longer to fill in the background, and a larger pen tip might not leave enough white space)
Art Journal (this is made with Clairefontain Japon Calligraphy paper.  Any paper will do, but remember, if you use Sharpies, the ink will bleed through to the back, and may stain anything beneath).
Liquitex Interference Violet Acrylic Paint (Interference paint is translucent allowing detail to show through from layers beneath.  It also has mica so it add a glimmer.  Any paint that is translucent will do--watered down metallic acrylic or even watercolor like Twinkling H20s.  Test before using if you are sure how opaque your paint is)
Sakura Gellyroll pens-Classic White, Moonlight Yellow (any white/yellow gel pen that will show over dark.)

Definition-White Space.  If you deliberately leave the color of the paper showing so that it becomes part of the drawing/painting, this is called 'white space', even if the paper isn't white.

This really is a scribbling process.  I bordered the pages with the blue and purple Sharpies so don't have to scribble right up to the edge.  This also helps make the finished piece look more complete.

I knew I wanted the city in the middle so I scribbled some yellow in a half-circle towards the center of the spread.  Then I scribbled with the blue Sharpie.  I covered the whole spread but left lots of white.

Next, I scribbled some more.  I filled lots more of the white space around the outer edges of the page with the purple Sharpie.  I did scribble in the center area as well, but didn't fill in as much.

I switched to the red sharpie and used it at the top, and at the sides to establish a horizon line. There is still lots of the paper showing, but it's now scattered and in small bits except in the center.

Hopefully, you can see the pencil line here.  I drew the outline of the buildings.  It doesn't show up well, but is enough to help guide.  If the color was just too dark, I could outline them with a gel pen, but I prefer not too as it will leave a more definite line, which I don't want.  Others might though.

Alternating between the blue and the purple Sharpie, I scribbled some more using a lighter tighter scribbles until the buildings and the hill they are on were roughly filled in.

I meant to take a picture of the next step but got too involved with what I doing.

I didn't feel there was enough 'glow'.  The art journal paper is an off-white, which may be the reason.  Anyway, I decided to fill it in further with the yellow Sharpie.  There is still some white space, but not too much.

The light source for this drawing is from behind, so I took the red sharpie and scribbled a small stripe of red about three quarters of the way up each building, then darkened about a quarter of the bottom for each.  I scribbled shadows on the ground.

Starting at the horizon line, I painted around the buildings with the interference paint.  Once it was dry, I added the tower windows with yellow gellyroll pen.  Using the same gellyroll, I scribbled a thin line of light between the buildings and at the bottom of the shadows and along the top of the hill.

I used the white gel pen to write the quote.

It really does take longer to write about it than to do it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review of the Paperblanks Shiraz Accordion Box #Paperblanks #AccordionBox #LifeImitatesDoodles

Did you know that Paperblanks has more than journals, sketchbooks and planners?  They also do a line of accordion file boxes.  Boy Howdy! Do they ever!

Let me introduce you to the Shiraz Accordion Box.

These things are works of art!

So I'll mention the downside right off--they run close to $40, which is a lot for a file folder.  However, besides being beautiful, you do get sturdy. 

 The construction is exquisite and it's solid throughout.  The dividers are heavy, but flexible. It looks as though they are cardboard or some kind of paperboard, while the folder box itself is a more rigid, heavier version of the same board.  Don't let the word 'cardboard' throw you, though.  This is a heavy-duty item meant to last a life-time.  It is built to be used, though not abused.

The illustrations are raised giving them a slight texture, pleasant to the fingers.

Even the sides are decorated.

The size is 13" x 9.5".  It has the standard twelve built-in dividers and label tabs are included.  I do think these could be a little nicer.  I suppose decoration might interfere with readability, but this is an item where beauty supersedes function.

The dividers are even, with cutouts so you can see the label for the divider behind it.  I would have  preferred raised tabs, but that's a personal preference.  

I also think there could be more room for expansion, though these are called 'boxes' not file folders.  My monthly bills would easily fit into the sections, but if I decide to store artwork, things might get tight. 

Still, I find these minor points.  I'd buy these for the beauty.  They have enough function that I could find ways to use them with little effort, and that would be enough.

There are four styles-Shiraz, Black Morrocan, Safavid, and Hand-tooled.  You can see them all at the Paperblanks website, along with their other beautiful products.

It's a luxury item, for sure.  But it would a perfect gift for the person who has everything, or a guilty pleasure for someone who likes elegance, even in their office or filing area.  

Disclaimer: I did receive this product from Paperblanks, but they did not ask me to review it.  I wrote this review because I wanted to share it with my readers. All opinions are my own.

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

The next two weeks are going to be busy ones for me, and I’ll be on my tablet much of the time.  Blogger and my tablet don’t like one another!  What to do?

I've scheduled some art work, Scribbler Too how-tos and reviews during this time. But, I’ve also looked for sites that post regularly, and Monday thru Friday I’ll have links to a few sites. It won’t be many, and you won’t know what you’ll find, but it should be something interesting. 

After April 10 or 11th, things should resume to their usual pattern.  Meanwhile, I’ll be around off and on, mostly on Facebook because it works the best on my tablet.


Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration



Friday, March 21, 2014

How can you see the night and not believe? #ArtJournaling #PilotUSA #Hi-Tec-C

This is my page for the third round of the Art Journal swap I'm in.  It didn't work out as well as I hoped.  I used Pilot Hi-Tec-C Maica gel pens for the watercolor look.  Inka Gold is a wax-based creme in different colors and I planned on putting a very thin coat to seal the watercolor and add a bit of shimmer.  But the Inka gold doesn't spread that well, so I got more color from it than anticipated.  It still works.  It just isn't what I was planning.

I'll be missing in action for awhile--kind of

I'm going to be in and out and abouting for the next three weeks and will mostly be on my Tablet, which does not like Blogger, Twitter or Flickr!

So, I've done some pre-planned posts, some artwork, some reviews and, in lieu of my daily link list, I've posted links to sites that post regularly and usually have great content (I won't be posting on Saturday and Sunday until things are back to normal).  I hope you'll check back often.

Meanwhile, I'll check in on Facebook, which my tablet hasn't argued with yet, and say hello ever so often.

Friday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

There won't be any link lists this weekend because I'll be on my tablet and not able to post.

Welcome Back GD: Ellen Vargo - Art Journal Video - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Lots of tutorials-Decorative Papers, Doodling, Art journaling, Mixed Media and more
Technique Today: Colored Pencils

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 11-Stars #Journal52 #ArtJournaling #LifeImitatesDoodles

I only had about 15 minutes to spare for this weeks Journal52 prompt, and my wrist was bothering me mightily, so it needed to be something I could do with my non-dominant hand.
There is a method of drawing called squirkling, which is essentially scribbling.   It's often used for shading, but I knew it could also make a nice textured background.  This method is quick (if you are using a big-tipped pen).  It's fun--a lot like returning to finger-painting without the mess and it took me less than 15 minutes to do the page.  A lot less time than it took me to write up this process, lol!  (I won't go into the method of squirkling here, because there is a much better write-up than I could do, at Drawspace.)
Unfortunately,  I could not get the glimmer of the interference paint to scan or photograph, so this looks rather flat on screen, while it is almost holographic in real life.
Journal52 Prompt 11-Stars
You can maybe see a touch of it in this photo.
My tools:
Strathmore Aquarius II 140lb watercolor paper
Sharpie Brush Tip Pens-purple, green, red, yellow, blue
Liquitex Interference Violet
Faber-Castell White Big Brush Pen
(see below process for the reasons I chose these particular products and what you might use instead)
My Process:
1. I colored a thin border along the edges with the blue Sharpie so I wouldn't have to squirkle right up to the edge.
2. I squirkled with blue Sharpie.  In essence, I drew huge scribbly circles over and over covering most of the page, but leaving lots of white space. Really stay loose with this--no need to be neat or worry about good circles--you are scribbling!   Really!  This is a different drawing because I didn't have a camera handy for this step for this drawing, but this is how I start out.

3. I repeated this squirkling with purple, making sure that there was still lots of the paper showing through. I'm  keeping one area slightly off-center where I scribble lightest.  I want to end up with the most white here.
4. I repeated with red, but just in a few places, at random.  Still white paper showing through, especially in my whitest area.
5. I repeated with yellow in a few places.  This time, instead of placing randomly, I squirkle it underneath the whitest areas to increase the sense of a glow. I still some white paper showing through, but by now it's scattered about and there are only small spots of white.
6. I traced my hands with pencil.  The pencil isn't super easy to see, but is enough to guide me.
7. I painted around the drawn hands with the interference violet paint.
8. I let dry, and wrote the word stars with a white big brush pen, and shadowed it with the purple sharpie.

Why did I choose the products I did?
The Strathmore Aquarius II--that's the paper I used to make my journal.  It's part synthetic and part cotton so it doesn't curl too much when you use watercolor.  I knew my Sharpies wouldn't bleed through to the back with this paper.
What could you use instead? You could use almost any paper for this method--however, if you use Sharpies or other alcohol markers (Copics, Spectrum Noirs) they will probably bleed through and leave color on the back of the page.
Sharpies--they have a large tip so I could squirkle both pages of the spread in a only a few minutes.  They are alcohol markers that dry quickly and won't smear when painted over.
What could you use instead?  Any alcohol marker (Copics, Spectrum Noirs, etc) but if you don't want bleed through and don't have the right paper, you might prefer to use Faber-Castell Big Brush pens, which are India Ink and won't bleed through.
You could use other markers, but you should look for something that is water-proof.  If your marker is water-based (Distress Markers, Tombows) the ink will probably smear when you paint over it with the acrylic paint.
If you aren't sure what type of marker you have, google the brand name and look for words like dye-based, water-reactive or water-based, alcohol or solvent based, permanent, or india ink.  These are all terms you should become familiar with if you want to work with mixed media or art journaling.  Most of your sprays, inkpads, pens, and markers will be one or the other, and knowing what they are will help you know how to use the product.
(Note: I used brush tipped Sharpies because I just got some and wanted to try them out.  Regular old Sharpies would work.)
Liquitex Interference Violet Paint--Interference acrylic paints have very little color and lots of mica flakes.  This makes them extremely translucent.  If you paint them over white or very light colors, almost no color will show, but you see a faint glow of color that changes according to the light.  If you paint them over dark colors, the interference color is more apparent and the color shift less, but you still get a translucent glow that still allows you to see detail from layers beneath.  I wanted to keep the detail of all the squirkling I did, so I used the Interference Violet to achieve that, making the darker hands stand out, yet still seem part of the sky.
What could you use instead?  A very thin coating of most metallic acrylic paints would probably work and give you a similar effect.  Metallic paints are more opaque, so if you don't thin them enough you'll cover up the bottom layers.
Faber-Castell Big Brush Pen-White--I discussed these above a little bit.  They are the same kind of ink that you find in the Faber-Castell Pitt Pens (used a lot in drawing Manga).  In this case though, I wanted a translucent white.  While most Big Brush pens are opaque (you can't see through the color), the white is translucent, so you get a lighter version of the color beneath it.
What could you use instead? You could use a thin layer of white acrylic paint or white gesso.  Thin layers! Or they'll be opaque.  You could also use the White Picket fence Distress Marker.  If you don't care about translucent, a white gel pen will do.

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

Tangle Patterns: How to draw TRIVET
How to draw tanglepattern Rixty

Art Journal Prompts & Inspiration
I Had a Plan But I Didn’t Follow It

A great little trick... (for layering papers and ephemera)
Fly Art Journal Page
Make Yarn Wrapped Easter Eggs in Under a Minute
Coloring tulle with Spectrum Noir markers
Dry Embossed / Painted Backgrounds
Let’s draw a panda

Favecrafts Month long giveaway-new project and giveaway every day in March
Faber-Castell March Giveaways - giveaways throughout this week & next
Simon Says Stamps April 2014 Card Kit GIVEAWAY

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dribblin' and Scribbler Too #ScribblerToo #LifeImitatesDoodles

I've had a cold all week-end and my nose is still dribblin', so this seemed appropriate for the day!

Tuesday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #Lifeimitatesdoodles

Tangle patterns Trinit & Cupol
Tangle pattern Leafing

Art Journal Prompts & Inspiration
No Excuses Art Weekly Sprout #5

Even if you haven't started from the beginning don't hesitate to join in on weekly prompts.  You can start with the current prompt or go back and start from the beginning.  There are Facebook groups you can join and share your work, or you can just enjoy doing the prompts for yourself.  No pressure to keep up.

Edge Intimidation | Two Tools to Overcome the Fear of Painting Edges
Terrific Tags & Two Tutorials {on marker blending!}
Making Your Values Really Stand Out 
Alternative Method for Chinese Brush Painting
Tutorial - Mixed media canvas
Spring Kids Crafts - Watercolor and Salt Butterflies

March Craftness | Storage Week Giveaway
Review and Giveaway – Manu Propria fountain pen

A Free emag by Catherine Scanlon Designsand Mandy Collins
Stars SPARKLE in the Sky for Week Three of Anything But a Card Challenges No. 33 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The winner of my Paperblanks Blush Pink Guestbook giveaway has been notified by email

The winner of my giveaway has been contacted and has responded!

Each entry was assigned a number, and True Random Generator was used to pick the winner.

The winning entry, no. 56

Hello Sandra!
Saw your Paperblanks giveaway!!! I love it!
Thanks for including my entry.

Thank you to every one who entered!.  I've got another giveaway coming up in April, a cool Travel Album Logbook from Clairefontaine's new Maritime Collection, so be sure to watch for it!

Review of J. Herbin's Bouton D'or Fountain Pen Ink #J_Herbin #Exclair #FountainPens

Today I'm here to talk a little bit about color theory and to review J. Herbin's Bouton D'or Fountain pen ink
I debated about whether to review this ink or not.  Obviously, a bright yellow ink has limited use because it won't show up well on many papers.  You might be able to highlight with it, but most fountain pen inks are going to show through the back of the page in a book.  So why would you buy J. Herbin's Bouton D'or to write with?   If you really like yellow, you might find a paper that is just right for it, or just use it for contrast.  If you wanted to write when others were around, it would limit their ability to snoop.  You might use it for art journaling where you don't always need to read what is written.  
My reason for buying it?  Let's talk about color theory. 
One aspect of color theory claims there are three primary colors from which all other colors can be mixed.  When talking about pigment, the traditional primary colors are blue, red and yellow.  When talking about light (or printers) the three primary colors are cyan, magenta...and yellow. 
Do you see where I'm going here?  I use my fountain pen inks primarily for drawing.  Even if I'm not mixing my colors,  I need yellow to really do what I want to do.  And Bouton D'or is a beautiful buttercup yellow. 
Another part of color theory talks about the temperature of a color.  Colors are warm or cold according to whether they remind you of fire or ice.  Even a warm color, such as yellow, has degrees of warm or cold.  A yellow that leans toward orange is warmer than a yellow than leans toward green.  To my eye, Bouton D'or is about midway, tending a little to the warm. 
Let's look at the ink for writing. 
On my screen, this scan is readable.  It is more readable in real life, but you wouldn't be able to read it in sunlight or other bright light.   
This was written on a somewhat slick Clairefontaine paper that is fountain pen friendly.  The ink dried fairly quickly, considering the nature of the paper and the 'wetness' of the ink.  I did find that temperature (as in how warm the room is) seemed to matter more than with some ink,s when it came to drying time. 
My scanner doesn't like yellow, turning it white or green.  However, what I see here is very close to the true color (your screen may show if differently).  The areas where I saturated it, show up the best, so if you want to write with it, I'd use a larger nib.  The ink flowed easily even though I was using a Kaweco Sport, which I find a bit scratchy.
So, now on to drawing.  As might be expected, Bouton D'or shows up best when next to other primary colors.  J. Herbin advises that you not mix their ink colors, and I don't in the bottle.  However, I do go over one color with another on the paper.  Since the inks are not water-proof, coloring over reactivates the first color somewhat, and you'll get a mix.  Yellow, usually changes more than red or blue, and that was the case here. 
But you don't see much green or orange or purple in this drawing--just hints.  If you let the first color sit a bit, the color doesn't change too much.  This will vary with the ink and the paper.  Here I used J. Herbin's 1670 Ocean Bleu and Rouge Hematite.  The paper was hard and smooth in texture.  Not quite cardstock, but tending that way. 
For my second drawing I used a mixed-media paper that was softer in texture with more tooth, though it would still be considered fairly smooth.  I used hatching method (drawing lines next to each other) and squirkling (a kind of scribbling), both techniques that allows some of the paper white and other layers of color to show through.   On this paper, the colors did not reactivate as much.  More color blending is visual rather than actual color change on the page.
Bouton D'or is readable, as long as your lighting isn't too bright, but it wouldn't be a color you would probably use too often, unless you really like yellow. 
If you're going to use it for drawing, it will bring life and brightness to your work.  While it's too light to stand on it's own, it's a perfect supporting color, taking on new life when surrounded by other color, and making the other colors  perform at their best! I wish I'd bought it much sooner.  
I'll tell you outright that few fountain pen inks are lightfast or archival.  This doesn't bother me.  The inks are gorgeous, and produce beautiful works.  I'll save them by scanning them, photographing them or having prints made if I really want something to hang on the wall.  That said, I've yet to see any fading on the work I've done over the past couple of years, but I'm sure they will fade eventually.   
I'm not the only person who uses fountain pen inks for their art.  While looking for other reviews, I found this this page: Painting with ink – Part 2.  Her work is beautiful, and I sure there are many others.  I'll have to spend some time looking for them when I get the chance.
 And some other reviews:
Disclaimer: I bought this ink because I lusted after a bright yellow ink.  Jetpens and Exaclair, Inc. do send me items for review and giveways but not this item.  All opinions are my own.

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

Weekly Challenge #159
Zentangle Newsletter

Art Journal Prompts & Inspiration
Art Journal Prompt: Word Collage

Coloring a Goose with Copic Markers  Part 1Part 2
Art Journaling with Tusia
Stretch Your Stencil with a Turn
Stamping Watercolor Poppies
Quick and Easy Butterfly Card

A Cocoa Daisy kit giveaway
Jetpens Pen Perks: St. Patrick's Day Green Giveaway
Quo Vadis St Patrick’s Day ink giveaway

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Journal52: Prompt 10-Art for a Cause #Journal52 #Art_Journal, #ArtJournaling

Journal52 is a FREE year-long online workshop.  Each week a new prompt is given, and hostess Chelle Stein presents the steps she took to create her vision of the prompt.  You can opt to have the prompts sent via email, join a (very active) Facebook group or Flickr group.  It's all under your control-no pressue.  You can join in at any time, and share with the groups or simply enjoy working with the prompts.

I found this week's prompt to be a challenge.  Usually, I start getting visuals and ideas immediately, but nothing popped up this time.  That's why I love this technique that I learned from Pam Carriker's 'Creating Art at the Speed of Life'.

You just write words in different ways, different colors, and different directions.  You draw boxes around them (or shade to give a brick effect as I did with this one) and VoilĂ !   The words become elements of art.  You don't have to worry about drawing or need a lot of fancy products.  You just need a theme (Art for a Cause, in this case) and lots of words that are related to the theme.

This is a great technique to use when you aren't feeling especially creative or need a jump start or just want something different.

For those interested, I've written out my process for the background below.

I used Distress inkpads for the color in my background.  There are different kinds of  stamp pads.  I used water-based dye inks.  That's the important thing for the techniques I used.  This means that if you get the ink wet after you use it, it will smear and the color will lift away.  (Note: if you DON'T want this kind of effect, you want Solvent stamp pads or Permanent Dye stamp pads).

I almost hesitate to show you these first steps because they get almost obliterated by the time the pages were done, and yet they add to the overall sense of texture.  The important thing is not to invest to much time or get too attached to anything you do for this kind of background.

You want texture and color.  Detail isn't important, but some can add interest to the finished piece.  The paper you are using will affect the result.  My art journal is made from a cold-press watercolor paper.  It's smoother than most cold-press but not as smooth as hot-press.

So, I chose four stamps and stamped at random.  I used Faded Jeans - any medium dark blue would do.  Any stamps will do.  Don't worry about how well the image is stamped.

Then I dragged Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry around covering most of the page.  I knew I was going for a 'brick' look, so used lots of the Spiced Marmalade and a little of the Picked Raspberry.  Any 'earthy' orange and bright pink color would work.  Avoid neon colors, think 'brick', if you want to go this route.

I didn't worry about covering the entire page, or about any streaks that appeared.

Next, I laid down a stencil and moistened the tip of a paper towel.  I dabbed at the stenciled areas to remove color (you can keep the towel and tear of bits of it to use as collage in other pieces).

What I wanted were lighter areas here and there.  I could have just dabbed at areas in random without using the stencil.  But I wasn't sure if I had enough words to cover the page, and having the butterfly shapes gave me the option of outlining and creating butterflies on my brick wall.  I ended up not using that option.  But it was there.

Next, I wet a brush and spread the ink, removing some, but not all of the streaks, until the entire page was well-covered.

I forgot to take a photograph of the next step.  I took the Faded Jeans stamp pad and ran it around the edges of the page to make them darker.

Then I started writing my words with a Pigma Micron pen in the .08 size.  Two important things here:  I used the Micron because the ink is permanent, and wouldn't smear if I decided to use more water.  Also, paper as rough as I'm using will cause the Micron's fabric tip to fray and shorten it's life.  I used the .08 size because it's larger and sturdier.  I also used an older pen that won't last much longer anyway.  I wouldn't use a new pen on watercolor paper.

I used Wink of Stella Markers to color the words, except for the white, where I used a Gellyroll pen.  I also used a brown Wink of Stella to shadow around the words and give a brick effect.

The Wink of Stella are a fabric-tipped marker.  The tip isn't much larger than the .08 Micron, but the ink flows more quickly and you can color faster than you can with Sakura's Gellyroll pens.  The same problem exists as with the Microns.  The tip can be frayed because of the rough paper.  The effect they give is subtly different from the Gellyroll Stardust pens, and I think they are easier to scan.  They aren't quite as glittery.  (I did a review on these markers, if you want to know more. )

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