Showing posts from November, 2015

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

Review: Majestic Mandalas Adult Coloring Book by Orna Ben-Shoshan #ColoringBooks #Mandalas #OrnaBen-Shoshan

Recently, Orna Ben-Shoshan sent me a copy of her jumbo-sized adult coloring book for review (I received no other compensation for this review, and all opinions are my own).

The coloring book is jumbo-sized! It's too large to fit my scanner, so I apologize that the photos might be a bit fuzzy in areas.  My photography skills are not as advanced as my scanning skills.

Look and Feel Specs Size: Approx 12 x 12 inches No. of Pages: 30 Binding: Wire Coil, Top-bound Covers:  Front Cover-Light flexible cardboard; Back Cover-Heavy rigid cardboard. Sold: Kabbalah Insights Etsy shop Price: $21.50 USD
The pages in the Majestic Mandalas coloring book only have illustrations on one side. With 30 illustrations, you have plenty of pages to color, but you can use a wider variety of mediums without the worry that you'll ruin something on the back.  It also means you can tear out a page and frame it without losing something on the back. 
I've already mentioned that the book is jumbo-sized.  That mea…

Saturday 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
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #250
Ben Kwok Template: Leopard Gecko
Tangle Patterns: How to draw FLEAVY
Spats flower tangle
Point the way tangle

I've noticed there is a trend recently to add gems to one's tangles.  Back in 2011, I wrote up a couple of tutorials on Translucence and Semi-Transparency for, that you might find helpful in drawing your gems, so I've added the links here.
Translucence Tutorial
Semi-Transparency Tutorial

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52 2015 Week 48 Prompt: Grid Inspired

Let’s Paint a Goldfinch in Acrylic
How to Make an Origami Elephant
{Project} Wednesday: How to do a Masking Fluid Resist

ArtistsNetwork 6th Annual Holiday Sweepstakes-a new prize every day thru Dec. 20
Gentleman Crafter Birthday Weekend Give-Away
Rhodia Thanksgiving Raffle-Enter to win one of 40 Rhodia Memo Books

Three Little Pigs #Watercolor #DanielSmith #Fabriano

I hope all of you who celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving had a wonderful day, fun with family, and a delightful dinner.  I hope all of you who don't celebrate the occasion had exactly the same thing!

Earlier this summer, my brother took a photo of three pigs that visited his campground.  I liked the colors and decided to try painting it.  I used the plastic wrap technique for the ground.  Brushes used were Silver Black Velvet 1 inch flat and rounds size 6 and 16.  The paints used were Daniel Smith Lunar Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange, M. Graham Phthalocyanine Blue, and Qor Indian Yellow.

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

Visit to M Graham Paint Factory #Watercolor #Strathmore #MGraham

Instead of the usual watercolor class last week, we went on a tour to the local M. Graham paint factory.  Though small, M. Graham sells their paints internationally and they are considered one of the best quality paints around.  Notably, their watercolors are made with honey, rather than the glucose that most vendors use.  This keeps the paint moist, so you can squeeze out the color onto your palette and it will stay almost as fresh as if just squeezed from the tube (note: some colors dry out more than others).  They are also noted for the amount of pigment they use per tube, resulting in beautiful bright color.

Unfortunately, photography wasn't really feasible because the rooms were small and with 18 of us, I couldn't really get into position for clear shots. Otherwise, I'd have had a few photos for you.

I was impressed at how small the complex was.  There are nine employees total, one building with three rooms.  Two milling machines, a labeling machine, and a mixer are p…

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

Potted Cacti #FZentangle #JHerbin #Stillman&Birn

One day while walking through the store, I saw a display of potted cacti, and realized it would make an interesting string for a Zentangle-Inspired Artwork.  I didn't have the pen or paper to draw it up at the store,, but as soon as I got home, I drew the basic string sections and set it aside to finish later. I forgot about it and later turned out to be several months along.  I came across the string while leafing through the sketchbook and finally tangled it.

Done using an assortment of Fountain Pens and J. Herbin inks in a Stillman & Birn Alpha.

NOTE: If you don't know what a 'string' is in zentangle parlance, there's a good definition at

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

Goats in a Tree #Watercolor #PenAndInk #Stillman&Birn

For some reason, my husband decided he wanted a painting of a goat in a tree.  Usually, I love painting goats or sheep, but for some reason I just wasn't feeling it -- we're getting awfully gray weather here in Portland and it's gumming up the creative works.

I ended up doing two versions for him.  The watercolor was done using a reference photo that I got from the Morguefile archives.  It was painted on Arches using M. Graham Cerulean Blue & Quinacridone Violet and Qor Indean Yellow.

Then I did a pen and ink using Pigma Microns, size .02 and .005, in my Stillman & Birn Alpha.  I prefer the pen and ink, but hubby chose the watercolor to take to work.

A Pearl Among Lines #Zentangle #Copic #Stillman&Birn

I used Copic alcohol markers for my background and then did the line work with Ohto Graphicliner and Golden's Titanium White Acrylic to add highlights (which makes this a Mixed Media piece, I think).  Done in a 7 x 7 in. Stillman & Birn Delta.

Sorry that it's so blurry at the bottom.  I do a lot of mixed media in this sketchbook and I can't get the pages to lie flat for scanning.

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

Alloro Vineyard Water Lily #AlloroVineyard #Watercolor #WaterLily

In early September, I went to a Plein Air session at the Alloro Vineyard in Sherwood, Oregon.  It was a rainy day, so painting was a challenge but we had fun anyway.  In the patio outside the restaurant area, there was a cement pond with a beautiful water lily (there was also a purple one that blossomed during the time we were there!).   I took a photo but didn't try painting it until last week.

I wasn't totally happy with my first attempt...

... so I tried again.  This time, I lied a bit.  The actual pond had dark, still water and a profusion of lily pads that were confusing for the eye to follow.  I decided to simplify and choose colors based on what might seem pleasing rather than following the reality of the pond.
I used the plastic wrap technique to create movement in the water, decreased the number of lily pads and the rocks beneath.  I'll probably paint this again in the near future because I'm still not getting quite what I want.  Practice makes perfect -- that…

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

Ringlets #Stillma&Birn #Ohto #Zentangle

Line and Wash, Ohto Graphicliner over watercolor in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook.  Tanglepatterns Wallbucket, Lotzadotz, Kaziest, Envy, and one I'm still working out.

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

Standing Water #Watercolor #Strathmore #Aquarius II

Since the theme for my Wednesday Watercolor class this session is water, I decided to play around on my own, and try to get the look of standing water.

Painted on an eighth size sheet of Strathmore Aquarius II using Silver Black Velvet Brushes, 1 inch flat, and size 6 & 16 rounds.  Colors used were Daniel Smith Lunar Blue (sky and water), and Qor Green Gold, and just a touch of Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange.

I used a reference photo that I found at the Morguefile archive.

Lower Multnomah Falls in Green, Violet and Blue #Strathmore, #MGratham #Watercolor

This week we painted waterfalls!  I used a photograph I'd taken of the lower Multnomah Falls.  I used the plastic wrap technique to get some texture, but ended up smoothing a lot of it out.

Painted on an eighth size sheet of Strathmore Imperial with Silver Black Velvet Brushes, 1 inch flat, and size 6 round.  Colors used were M. Graham Ultramarine Blue & Quinacridone Violet, and Qor Green Gold.  My first time using this paper, which is one of Strathmore's other professional grade watercolor papers, and the first time I tried using this particular mix of colors.  I don't quite like the mix, but I think it's close to a triad I would like, so I'll have to play around to find a better blend of colors.

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

Bridges Burning #LineAndWash #ArtJournals #StillmanAndBirn

This started out to be a Zentangle-Inspired piece of art.  In my watercolor class, we'd been playing around with the plastic wrap technique - laying down the wet paint, then scrunching up plastic wrap in it, and letting it dry.

I thought that might make a cool background for a zentangle-themed piece in one of my art journals - in particular one of my Stillman and Birn Alpha sketchbooks.

Using Daniel Smith Perinone Orange, M. Graham Manganese Blue Hue, and Qor Indian Yellow, I laid down thick washes of color and put on the plastic wrap.  I'd waited a bit too long for the orange, and didn't get too much effect there, but I did get a little.

As soon as I removed the wrap, I got the impression of Fire on the Water, and I thought of using that for the title.  But my whole concept had changed, and the title 'Bridges Burning' flashed through my mind.  That theme settled, I went more for an abstract line and wash, trying to suggest bits of concrete and structure collapsing…

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

Painting Cannon Beach with Plastic Wrap #KDAllegri #Watercolor #Strathmore

Last week in Wednesday's Watercolor class, we played with the plastic wrap technique, laying on our paint thickly and putting crumpled up plastic wrap, then letting it dry.  It's a matter of the thickness of paint, putting on the wrap at the right time, and letting the paint dry thoroughly.

Daniel Smith's Lunar Blue and Lunar Red Rock are excellent paints for this because they granulate so well, adding that much more texture.  I did add some Phthalo Blue and Quinacridone Burnt Orange as well.

Before we actually did our painting, we practiced, creating small reference paintings for later reference.

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

Journal52 Prompt 44: Hauntingly Beautiful #Watercolor #Strathmore #Journal52

I love the look of a pathway going through the trees, slightly beautiful and slightly scary, so this week's Journal52 prompt was just right for me!

This was pretty much just done up out of my head without a reference, and I was going for an idealized style, and a triad of colors.  I used Qor watercolors - Phthalo Blue (GS), Transparent Pyrrole Orange, and Indian Yellow, Silver Black Velvet brushes 1 inch flat and size 6 round on Strathmore Aquarius II paper.

Journal52 Prompt 43: Focus - My Take #Watercolor #Journal52 #StillmanAndBirn

Inspired by last week's watercolor class in Line and Wash, I decided to go for a different take on the latest Journal52 prompt: Focus.

I started drawing my lines, and focused on the result until I saw something forming.  Okay.  I'll admit it.  That's not so different for me, lol!  Half my stuff starts out that way.

It didn't take long before I saw the wings of Phoenix appearing.  I decided to give him something to focus on and mixed up my mythology a bit.  So my Phoenix is after the Golden Apple of the Norse Gods.  Now in that mythology, the golden apples are the source of the gods' immortality.  Perhaps, the Phoenix is looking to extend his current life a little longer before he burns and is reborn.  Or maybe he focused on the apple because he was just hungry.

I used a J. Herbin Creapen Brush Pen for the linework, and Quiller Permanent Orange, Cadmium Yellow Light, Phthalocyanine Turquoise and M Graham Ultramarine Violet in a Stillman & Birn Beta sketchbook.

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

Review - Kikkerland Writersblok New York Notebook & a New Tangle Pattern-XSalad #Kikkerland #Writersblok #Zentangle

Back in September, there was a review and giveaway of Kikkerland's Writersblok notebooks at the Notebook Stories blog.  I entered and won! Yay! It's been well over a year since I won something.  My fault, since I haven't been entering giveaways as much as I used to.

Edited: You know, my mother did raise me better -- I completely forgot to thank either Kikkerland or Nifty at Notebook Stories for the giveaway and the chance to win a cool notebook.  I would have appreciated it even if I hadn't won.  And having won, I'm ecstatic. Thank you both!

Anyhoo - on with the review!

Look & Feel
No. Of Pages: 192 pages
Cover: Bonded Leather, Soft cover
Paper: White, Acid-free, white (I received the blank format, but it does come in other formats)
Size:  8.2 by 5.9 .6-inches
Binding: Thread-bound, opens flat
Extras: Black ribbon; Inside Back Pocket; 16 perforated-detachable plan half pages; IPad Mini fits in back pocket

In the photo above, I show the notebook with the promotion…

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

The Winners of the Rhodia N°18 dotPad giveaway have been emailed

The Winners of the Rhodia N°18 dotPad giveaway have been emailed!  Thank you to everyone who entered.

The winners are:
Susan - Am I the first to respond to this generous offer? Please count this "tangler" in. I can always use another notebook to fill and i love the idea of having the dots to guide me.

Kellie May - Oh how I would love to win this Rhodia dotted notebook! I've had my eye on this specific notebook since I started tangling, yet never could afford the price. It seems winning one will be my only option. Thank you for the chance to win, Sandra Strait. This is exciting!

Fran Katz - What a wonderful prize to add to my artist supplies. Thank you.

Pat Mathes - I love this paper. I would be so happy to receive one of the pads. I am trying to learn calligraphy. 

Gayle - Would love to try this. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

Cathy - This looks like an interesting book! I would love to win!

Sue K - Wonderful prize, thank you for the giveaway.

Scott W Fischer - Want a chanc…

Watercolor Class Has Started and I Taught! #Watercolor #LineAndWash #Strathmore

My latest round of Wednesday Watercolor classes have started.  But this week, I was the teacher.

It's hard to paint while you're teaching!  Fortunately, I took the class again on Saturday and had more time to sit and paint at leisure.  I continued at home adding quite a bit of line work, punching up the values and making the painting much more dramatic.

My usual teacher, Kathy Delumpa Allegri, needed to go in for some treatments, so I was her stand in--she was missed!
The lesson was in Line and Wash (i.e. drawing with a pigment ink pen either before or after laying down washes of watercolor).  We all brought in leaves and chose three to use for a still life.  Or at least the students did.  I found myself walking around and showing how strokes were made, and the differences between a regular pen and a brush pen, so most of the time, I was just making my leaves up in my head.
These are the examples I did in class, using a brush pen for the lines (I used a Pigma Micron .03 for th…