Monday, August 31, 2015

Win a Decopatch Papier Mache Mask #Decopatch #Zentangle #DayOfTheDead

There's still time to enter to win a papier mache mask from Decopatch with plenty of time to decorate it for Halloween or Day of the Dead.  Two decoupage papers are included, but the possibilities are endless.  Paint it, tangle it, decoupage it -- I did all three!  To enter and/or read my review and see the three ways I decorated my mask, head to my blog post here.

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

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Art Journal Every Day: Pages Without Journaling

Canadian Scrapbooker Web Show 71: Watercolour 
Journaling by 5's, part 1
Woven Grocery Bag Junk Journal

Win a Vintage Icons and New Baby Icons Xcut A5 Die Sets
Cloth Paper Scissors giveaway - set of 10 Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Pens
Win a Decopatch papier mache mask and decoupage papers

Pen & Ink
EXB Pen Wrap Review

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunlight through Petals #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 8 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal. Much better than my flowers from Day 4, though I have a bit of a 'floating' flower syndrome going on.

Recently, I bought some art supplies from Cheap Joes,  There was a promotion going on and I received a free 5 ml tube of Rembrandt Permanent Red Light (PR254/Py154).  I wanted to try it out. It makes a light salmony pink, and isn't very strong as reds go, so it's nice for making pink because it doesn't get too dark, too fast.

However, I needed something cooler for the shadows, and it went lavendery gray rather quickly when I added Ultramarine Blue.  So I used Quinacridone Rose for the very darkest areas.

As I've mentioned before Quin Rose is one of those powerful colors.  It also doens't move very well (which means it doesn't spread much even when mixed with lots of water).  This was a painting that lent itself to hard edges, so I used that characteristic, and was careful not to over-blend the edges of my other colors.

The two reds and Ultramarine Blue were mixed on the palette.  I used Cadmium Yellow Light, Phthalocyanine Green for the background, getting the varying tones by glazing -- putting down a wash of color, letting it dry completely, and adding up to 4 washes of varying strengths in different areas.

The reference photo I used came from the Morguefile free photo archive.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Journal52 Week 32 Prompt: Perspective #Journal52 #Watercolor #ArtJournal

This is a bit of a cheat.  I'm using it as my response to a Journal52 prompt, but it is also Day 7 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.

I saw that the latest Journal52 prompt was Perspective.  I've been wanting to do a winery landscape just for the purpose of practicing perspective (not one of my strong suits).  So in my 10 day watercolor journal, I chose to fullfill both purposes by painting this picture.

I used Quiller watercolors - Cadmium Yellow Light, Permanent Green, Phthalocyanine Green, Ultramarine Violet,Permanent Orange and Magenta.  The journal is filled with Strathmore 500 series Aquarius II watercolor paper.  I used Silver Black Velvet brushes -- 1 inch flat, 3/4 cat's eye and no. 6 round.

I was trying to stick with paintings that I could do in half an hour or so, but I'm finding that it is hard to do. I love Ultramarine Violet for shadows, but it is a weak color, and requires several glazes to get proper values. And every time I do a glaze (a wash of color over color(s) that have dried) I see something that needs a little fixing.  *sigh*  This painting, in particular, really did need fussing because of the complex perspective.  The sun is coming in from the back at an angle and the rows are sloping down to the back and to one side.  It took me a while to get it even close to right.

The reference photo was one I found at

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published 
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The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Tangle Patterns: How to draw WATUSEE
Paradox in a Heart
Ben Kwok template: Carousel Horse
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Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration
Journal52 2015 Week 35 Prompt: Plans

Knowing Watercolor Pigments
Using stencils with metal
Feature Friday- Snowflake Soaps Tutorial

Win a Decopatch Queen Mask & Decopauge Papers (Nine Winners!)
Giveaway: Ten Years of Pencil Blogging
Win $100 worth of ‪#‎ModPodge‬ goodies
Jetpens giveaway-Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush Pen set 

Pen & Ink

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tiger Passing #Watercolor #NegativePainting #KDAllegriClass

I started fall watercolor class with the wonderful teacher Kathy Delumpa Allegri.  We started off with Negative painting where you paint the spaces between objects, rather than painting the objects themselves.

The first painting we did was monochromatic - one color used in layers to build up to darker values.  I used Daniel Smith Quinacridone Burnt Orange for mine.

The challenge for the second was to use two colors.  I didn't like the way my Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Lt and Quinacridone Rose mixed together, so I decided to add a third color (I have done this kind of painting before, so I already had some idea of how to do it), and chose Phthalocyanine Green.

After I had done lots of spaces between, I decided to add shadows, and use the Green over ALL the colors.  I think if I sat high in a tree and watched a tiger stroll below, it would look something like this.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Owl Be Seeing You #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 6 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.  I decided to try something different.  This painting was NOT done in 1/2 an hour.  More like two hours.

My husband loves it when I do paintings of critturs, so I decided to do an owl.  And I ended up fussing with it.  Ah well.

This was painted with a limited palette -- Quiller Permanent Orange and Ultramarine Blue, Qor Quinacridone Gold and Winsor & Newton Raw Sienna.  Orange and Blue mixed together give you a range of umbers, so most of the bird was painted with those two colors.  I just used different concentrations of each to get varying tones.

Have you entered yet? #Decopatch #Exaclair #Decopatch

Have you entered my latest giveaway for the chance to win a Decopatch Papier Mache mask and decoupage papers?  Head here to read my review and enter the giveaway!

And to see how I made the creepy doll centerpiece for the crown, head over to the Amazing Casting Products blog.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sunset in Gold, Blue and Magenta #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 5 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.

My scanner insisted on picking up the Quinacridone Magenta even though the Ultramarine Violet in the shadows is more prominent in the real painting.  Like I said in an earlier post --magentas are powerful colors.  Even the spirits of the scanner machines bows down to it!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Creepy Doll and the Papier Mache Mask #AmazingMoldPutty #AmazingCastingResin #Halloween

If you read my review of Decopatch's Papier Mache Queen mask (and giveaway!), you probably noticed the creepy doll on the crown.  On today's Amazing Casting Products' blog, I show you how I this fugly creepy doll from an innocent and rosy-cheeked little porcelain baby.

And if you haven't already entered, don't forget to check out my Decopatch Papier Mache Queen Mask giveaway!

Giveaway and Review of Decopatch Queen Mask and Papers #Exaclair #Decopatch #Halloween #DayOfTheDead #Zentangle

Halloween and the Day of the Dead are coming up fast!  So when I chose the prize for my August giveaway  (hosted for Exaclair, Inc.,) I looked for something suitable to the occasion.

I saw this Decopatch Papier Mache Mask and a couple of Decopatch papers, and ...voilĂ !  The prize was chosen.  There will be nine winners! Giveaway information can be found at the end of this review.

Queen AC315 Papier Mache Mask

  • Size:10 x 2 3/ 8 x 8 ½ 
  • Made exclusively for Decopatch®
  • Hand-made from recycled paper
  • Each piece is solid, not hollow inside
  • No priming needed before applying paper

Decopatch papers C469 and C590
  • Sheet Size: 11 ¾ x 15 ¾
  • Very thin but strong and flexible
  • Smooth texture, allows invisible overlays
  • Real paint effect. Deep-dyed
  • Colorfast - colors never fade or run
  • Easy to tear off - no scissors needed

Look & Feel
The mask:  It's light. It looks like solid cardboard at first glance, but then you see layers of paper showing that it is Papier Mache.  The surface is fairly smooth.  There are few faint ridges, but I was able to draw on it with a Pigma Micron with no trouble. The crown is a separate piece that has been glued and taped to a Lone Ranger type mask.  It looks securely fastened, and I have no fear of it coming apart.

An elastic band is strung through holes at the side and tied.  It goes through both portions of the mask helping to further secure them together plus making it unlikely the paper will tear around the string.  The string fits me comfortably.  It might be loose on a child or too small for a man, but I think the string could be adjusted easily enough.

Even after I added stuff, the mask was light enough to wear comfortably.

The papers: They're opaque, so you can glue them over bright colors and hide them completely.  They do tear easily, and I could get fairly straight, even strips without cutting.  Once wet with glue or gel medium, the paper retains its integrity, and doesn't get mushy or fall apart.

Even though the paper is thin, I could fold it and puff it out by covering it with gel medium, to make 3D flowers.  Said flowers are very delicate and won't take much handling, but are solid enough as long as little hands don't crush them.

Now, I found myself in a bit of a conundrum.  Usually, when I do a review, I like to show more than one way that an item can be used.  But, I only had one mask!  Ah! But I'm a mixed media artist.  We are always creating art that ends up covered up in the final project.  It was just a matter of decorating the mask in one way, then layering over to create yet another decoration.

By doing this I discovered that many mediums work on the mask and I also found that it could take a lot of handling without wear, and that it could take some weight (more about that later).  I did get a slight crease at the top peak of the crown because I pressed too hard while holding it there to steady the mask for painting.   It wasn't noticeable by the time I finished.

For my first round, I used a Pigma Micron pen to draw tangles on the face, acrylic paint for the crown's background, and Sakura's Moonlight Gellyroll gel ink pens for the crown decorations.  Everything went on smoothly with no problems from the Papier Mache layering.

Note that I would normally add 3D elements at this point - beads, etc., but I didn't want anything lumpy to get in the way of the next layer.  And, no, the googly eyes are not included.  I just couldn't resist adding them to the photo!

Good-bye acrylic paint and pen work!  Using gel medium, I completely covered everything on the mask with strips of the two Decopatch papers I had.  To vary things a bit, I chose my strips carefully from different sections of the flowered paper.  I put darker areas at the bottom, with the paisley bits above the eyes.  I used the more flowery sections for the band of the crown.

Again, normally, I would do more at this point -- beads, glitter, something to add more definition between the crown and the face.  Instead, I covered most of it for the next layer!

I started by painting over most of the papers with acrylic paint. First I painted the crown with Ultramarine Blue (except for the band), and the face with a transparent Zinc White with more of the blue around the eyes.  Then I used alcohol to remove some of the paint.  This was a real test.  Both alcohol and scrubbing can cause papery things to buckle or tear, but I didn't have any problem whatsoever.  After everything dried, I painted over it all with an iridescent medium to give it a buffed look.

It doesn't show up well in my photo of the finished mask, but where I removed paint, the Decopatch papers show through, giving an interesting texture and aged feel.

I cut out some of the larger flowers from the floral paper, and cut along some of the outlines to separate a little bit without completely detaching the bits from each other.  Then, carefully holding the flowers apart, I added gel medium and bunched things up to give the flowers depth and make them 3D.  I made two of these and glued them to each side of the band.

Before I started this mask, I made a mold and resin cast of small porcelain doll.  I used Micaceous Iron Oxide acrylic paint to give it a creepy doll look, suitable for Halloween and Day of the Dead, and glued it to the crown.

The last step was to stick on those glittery, beady things I've been wanting to add since layer one, lol. I just wish the camera would pick the shiny better.

There! Now I'm ready to go trick or treating for candy.  Actually, now that I mention it, I want some candy.  Give me candy!

No offers?  Oh well, instead I'll give something away now.

Giveaway Info
What's the prize: Nine winners will each receive one Decopatch Mask and Decopatch papers like the ones reviewed here.
Who can win: I'm sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.
Starts: Sunday-Aug 23, 2015 06:00 AM PDT
Ends: Sunday-Sept 06  2015 11:59 PM PDT
How to Enter: Comment on this post, including an email address so I can reach you if you win.

I'll contact the winner by email as soon as possible on Monday, September 07, 2015 and will announce the winner once I hear back from them.

Exaclair, Inc. has a page that lists both brick & mortar and online stores, so you can check for resources where you might find the Queen mask and other Decopatch goodies.

Where to buy

Thank you to Exaclair, Inc.  I can't believe how generous they've been with these giveaways.

Disclaimer: I was given a Decopatch Queen Mask and two sheets of Decopatch paper for purposes of this review.  I did not receive any other compensation.  All opinions are mine and are as true as I can make them.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Desert Flowers #Watercolor #Strathmore #ArtJournal

Day 4 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal. I've realized that I don't really like the magentas.

Quinacridone Rose (more a cool red, but I still lump it in with the magentas because of the characteristics), Alizarin Crimson, Magenta -- that whole range of powerful, staining red to magenta colors.  They're beautiful colors, but mistakes are hard to fix, and it is so easy to go wrong with them.  I find myself avoiding them, which is probably a good reason to start using them more.  You never learn to use something by NOT using it!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Taraxacum #Strathmore #Watercolor #ArtJournal

Day 3 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.

I've realized 1/2 and hour won't work for some paintings just because I have to work at getting the darker values.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Moment's Reflection #Watercolor #Strathmore #MGraham

Day 2 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal. Well, this was quickly done and I set it down, but then I picked it up and fussed some more once the initial washes were dry.

The initial painting was done with Ultramarine Blue (some color lifted for clouds) for sky and the farthest trees.  Permanent Green/Quinacridone Nickel Gold mixes of different ratios were used for the trees and grass.  The shadows were done with Ultramarine Violet and Quinacridone Rose and mixes of the two.

Then I mixed some Permanent Green into the Violet/Blue mix and added a glaze of it to a few areas of the main tree, and to darken the background trees, as well as the shadow running across the ground.

Overall, I thinking I did what was needed without over-fussing. Score one for me!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Amazing Birthday Puffin #AmazingMoldRubber #AmazingCastingProducts, #AmazingCastingResin

My husband has been bugging me to make a resin puffin for quite a while.  To see how I made this one for his birthday present, visit the Amazing Casting Product blog.

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published 
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Weekly Zentangle Challenge 231
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Tangle Patterns: TanglePatterns String 170

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13 Acrylic Painting Techniques All Beginners Should Try
You asked for it, A DIY Planner Tutorial {on the cheap!}
Creative Kickstart: Spark Your Creative Fire

Pentel “Share Your Secrets” Giveaway
Win a Papermania Wedding Ever After Memory Book
Cloth Paper Scissors giveaway -- canvas messenger bag, three colors acrylic paint, fine-tip applicators, & issue of Cloth Paper Scissors 
Fountain Pen Revolution-Enter to win a set of 8 Serwex fountain pens

Pen & Ink

Sunday, August 16, 2015

In the Shadow of Trees #Watercolor #Strathmore #ArtJournal

Day 1 in my 10-day watercolor a day journal.

I don't plan to write in this journal, but I am writing about them in my blog, as you may have noticed.  So 'art' journal may be a misnomer, but I think I'm keeping to the spirit if not the exact meaning of the term.

This painting was mostly done with the wet-in-wet technique.  While I blocked the trees in with the initial washes, I did have to come back to build up the values.  I did a little lifting so I could warm up a few areas with some Hansa Yellow Medium.

Overall, I don't think I spent much more than 1/2 hour, which is the goal for this journal.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Watercolor Journal #Watercolor #Strathmore #ArtJournal

One of my biggest problems when I paint ... when I do art of any kind ... is that I like to fuss.  I find it hard to stop, and keep trying for some unknown goal.

Finding myself in the mood to bind a book, I decided to make a small watercolor journal that I would
devote to quick daily studies, trying to keep myself to 1/2 hour at the most, and less if possible. It's only 10 pages, but I felt that was a decently long commitment.

I had an 8 x 8 canvas covered bookcover meant for book binding, and some Strathmore Aquarius II watercolor paper that I could easily cut to that size.  The Aquarius II is a good choice for something like this, because it's a synthetic/cotton blend that doesn't buckle or dimple when you paint on it, so stretching or taping it down isn't necessary.

After painting the cover with yellow acrylic paint, I glued down a quick watercolor study I'd done in the past, and used a purple sharpie to add the title, frame the painting and the contrasting spine.  It's a bit crooked, but in the spirit of the quick, I did it all without measuring anything, so I'm happy with it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Journal52 Week 24-Silly Animal Zoo #StillmanAndBirn #Creapen #LineandWash

This one is a stretch of the imagination!

My experience with going to the zoo is that half the time the animals are all hiding, and you just get glimpses of eyes, tails and fur hidden in the grass and trees.

So I went with that.

I used a Creapen brush pen over a wash of Daniel Smith's Lunar Blue watercolor in a 7x7 Stillman and Birn sketchbook.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Shape of Spike Drabble Series OR What I was doing 10 years ago.

I got an email today, letting me that one of my old (10 year old!) fanfic drabbles has been nominated for a fan award.  Ah, the memories!

Way back when, before I got into and out of ATCs, and before I discovered the joy of Zentangle and studying watercolors, I used to write Buffy the Vampire slayer fanfic for kicks.  My favorite character was Spike, and my favorite form was the 100 word drabble.  That is a story written in 100 words -- no more, no less.  In particular, I did a series of drabbles I called 'The Shape of Spike'.  Often neither Spike nor any of the Buffy characters appeared in these stories--the stories were about people who had been affected by Spike (and many would apply equally to Angel).

For those Buffy fans among my readers, I share the two stories that were nominated under the heading of Villain.  (For the second one, it helps to remember the story that Spike told Dawn once upon a time).

Summary: Pre-Series-late 1800s. Angst. Evil Spike. 

I cautiously reiterate their falsehoods. I converse calmly. I encourage myself to seek dreamless sleep. I endeavor to remember their truths instead of my own. 
I comprehend the unlikelihood of my release. Where could I go when all my family is slain? But conceivably if I am tranquil enough they will suppose me capable of employment. The Workhouse - begging in the streets would be preferable to this bedlam. 
If only the good Doctor did not possess such compelling blue eyes. If only he did not smile so very sweetly and with such charm. Perhaps then I could stop dreaming...and screaming...and... 

I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy. I want my mommy...


Journal52 Week 23-Small Success #StillmanAndBirn #Sakura #ArtJournaling

I haven't done much art journaling lately.  I wasn't doing much art work at all for quite a while.  Various reasons, all to do with real life, yadda, yadda and lol.  I'm glad to be back at it, though I doubt I'll try to catch up with all the Journal52 posts I missed.  Just go through and pick out the ones that interest me most.

The colors in this scan are off true.  I used Sakura's Moonlight Gellyroll pens on a dark blue background in a Stillman And Birn 7x7 Delta sketchbook.  The fluorescence always throws off my scanner.

This was an easy peasy page to do, though it wasn't quick.  The ink in gel pens flows sl--ow--ly so I just did one area at a time over several days.  I alternated the same colors over and over in different shapes, getting a nice mosaic effect.

Friday, August 7, 2015

10 Minute Line and Wash Painting #Watercolor #StillmanAndBirn #Creapen

In one of my watercolor classes, I finished my project with about 15 minutes to spare.  I decided to use up some of the remaining paint on my palette and just started making swoops in the idealized style I've been playing with.  Then I looked at the swoops and decided the painting was an orchard. Added the background and then used a Creapen brush pen to do the linework.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tsuru Bridge Plein Air and the Right Side of the Brain #Watercolor #PleinAir #Gresham

I attended a Plein Air session with Kathy Delumpa Allegri, back in July.  We went to a local Gresham, Oregon park designed to resemble a Japanese Garden, complete with bridge and beautiful plants.  That bridge, though.  Bridges are hard to draw.  Mighty, mighty hard with all that perspective and all. Lol!

I've found that plein air is very difficult for me.  It's like I forget everything I know about drawing and painting, and my work is consistently clumsy.

In a seeming switch of topic, I've been rereading Betty Edwards 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'.

Line and wash seems to work better for me, and I wondered why.  Betty Edwards book may have the answer.  She talks about using the verbal/logical/step-by-step portion of the brain (the left side) versus using the non-verbal/intuitive/big picture right side of the brain.

Since I don't do much plein air, and one does view one's actual surroundings differently than one does a photograph, I believe I'm relying more on the left side of the brain.  I've always been someone who lets the art 'flow' without prior planning.  The left side of the brain isn't so good at that.

But I tend to draw more abstractly than I paint, thus I'm more likely to pull from the right side, which helps. The real solution, of course, would be to do more plein air and work on getting the left side of my brain to calm down and just butt out while I paint.

I was trying to do a idealized version of this scene, and it looked awful.  I did the line work afterwards, which gave it more cohesion, and helped me figure out how to pull everything together.

For the second painting, I did the drawing first.  The bridge was really giving me fits, especially with trying to decide how to weave it in and out of the tree.

Finally, I decided to go with a more abstract look, letting the bridge show through the tree.  That way I was able to concentrate on the perspective.  There are things I like about both.  I've decided to concentrate on those things rather than the many things I don't like.  That's also a right-brain way to look at things.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Watercolor on Claybord #Claybord #Watercolor #LifeImitatesDoodles

I meant for this painting to be done in the idealized style, but ... oops!

Surprise! This was my first time using Claybord. When you glaze over dry paint, said dry paint smears, or lifts off completely.  You've got to plan for that kind of thing, and I hadn't.  I had a vague idea in mind, and no reference photo (though I looked up a couple of waterfall pics after a few aborted tries).

After flailing around a bit, this was what I had.  I didn't totally hate it, but the style of the trees didn't match the style of the waterfall and the painting was bisected just too neatly.  I decided to see what would happen if I scrubbed with a magic eraser.


Turns out, you can almost entirely wipe away your painting on Claybord.  Blam!  I took part of a magic eraser to it, and those trees were gone!


My second try.  The composition was better, but I was turning green from all the green!  I scrubbed away the two front trees (sorry. I forgot to scan at that point), and the whiteness was good.  The idea of a snowball tree was born.


While I'm happier with my final attempt, much freshness was lost and perspective has suffered. Even Claybord shows wear and tear if you keep scrubbing at it.


I don't see this as an 'I hate everything I'm doing' sort of work, but rather a way of working out ideas and trying to find ways to make the composition better.

It was interesting to so completely repaint portions of the painting, though I don't think I would make a practice of it.  For one thing, Claybord's pretty spendy.  But it was fun to do, and I learned much about my own process, and what is important to me when I paint.

If I were planning a complex painting, I'd do a smaller Claybord first, where I could try different things before starting on a larger work.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Internet problems--but now I'm back!

I'm sorry I've been absent.  My WiFi went down on Tuesday, and I couldn't get a technician until this morning. Fortunately, I had several posts scheduled ahead of time, so you may not have even noticed I was gone, lol!

Obviously, there is no Monday link list, and probably there won't be one for Wednesday as I'll be trying to catch up.

My resource link lists should be back on schedule by Saturday.

It's good to be back!

Ginger Horse #ZentangleInspiredArt #FountainPen #PenAndInk

You know how sometimes a work just fights you while you're trying to draw it?  I had an idea tickling my brain, a desire to combine styl...