Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: The ColoringNotebook #ColoringNotebook #AdultColoringBook #DotGrid

I received a copy of the The ColoringNotebook, Dot Grid version for review, and I can't resist doing the Superman-type spiel, "It's a Notebook!  It's a Coloring Book!  It's The Coloring Notebook!"

In a nutshell, it is a hardbound adult coloring book with 176 pages, 52 with illustrations to color, and a dot grid format for writing or drawing on the remaining pages.


Specs
Size: 5.38 x 8.27 in/148 x 210 mm/ ISO 216/ A5
No. Pages: 176 pages total - 52 Coloring Pages, 124 dot grid pages
Cover: Hardbound, synthetic leather treated with high-quality aniline dye
Paper: 100 g/m2, archival, acid-free
Binding: Thread-bound
Format: Dot Grid.  Also available in Lined or Blank.
Extras: Elastic closure, Bookmark ribbon, Back Pocket page, Rounded Corners

Before I go into my usual patter, I think this product needs an answer to a question.  What are the pros and cons of combining a hard-bound notebook with a coloring book.  Only you will know what your pros and cons might be, but these are mine.

Pros:

  • It will last longer so good for keeping after it's full
  • The illustrations can help inspire your own drawing  
  • The illustrations could be used as story subjects for writing practice
  • It would make a good bullet journal
  • Nice for those places where you don't want everyone to know it's a coloring book
  • It has all the benefits of a coloring book 
  • It has all the benefits of a notebook

Cons:

  • It's heavier than the traditional coloring book
  • More expensive than a traditional coloring book of similar quality
  • May not be interested in the dot grid pages
  • Some people might feel more of a 'blank page' syndrome, intimidated by working in a more permanent style book.


Look and Feel
The Coloring Notebook has a leather-like cover that's smooth, both to see and to feel.  I showed it above with the informational band still wrapped around it.  Without the band, the cover is a plain black with no markings except for a debossed logo on the lower back.

The corners are rounded, and the cover is slightly larger than the pages, so this will appeal to those who like a slight overhang.

The frontispiece has the same logo printed at the bottom, with lines on the opposite side for a title page


On the inside of the back there is a pocket for holding bits and pieces.

The pages have a dot grid format  The paper is white with a brownish gray dots.  The dots may be too light for some, but for most will provide a guide for writing and drawing that will not be obvious once the page has been used.

The paper is thin, and the printed illustrations show through on the blank pages.  For those using this as a notebook, the show-through might be a problem, especially once the illustrations have been colored.  My plan is to color the illustrations first, then use the show-through as part of whatever I write or draw.



The binding is sewn, and the edging has a pattern created by the illustrations printed throughout the book.  I like the effect.

The book has an elastic closure.  It's looser than I'm used to, but keeps the book closed.


The book does lie flat, but, as with all books with this kind of binding and this many pages, you need to gently fold the book back to accomplish this.  It will be necessary to do this 4 or 5 times at different parts of the book.

Because there are so many pages, even lying flat, there is a slope to the pages that makes it difficult to color all the way to the inside edge.  This shouldn't cause a problem except on the five two-page spread illustrations.

The illustrations are drawn by a number of graphic artists from Australia, Canada, France, Italy, US, Ukraine and Japan.  The styles range from simple cartoon-like subjects to intricate patterned landscapes.

Performance
Colored Pencil

The paper in The Coloring Notebook is smooth but my colored pencils worked well on it.  I managed to get 3-5 layers of color with no waxy build-up and good coverage.  The show-through on the back actually was less noticeable because the color evened out, and the whole page was slightly darker than before.


Watercolor
Watercolor flows well on the paper.  The water does cause some dimpling, and some color bleeds through to the back of the page.  I used a waterbrush, one of those brushes that carries water in the barrel, and it delivers just about the right amount of water for this kind of paper.


Marker Pen
I used watercolor markers to color this illustration, but used them dry.  I liked this medium best for the book, but it did cause the most show-through to the back.


Drawing
Even more than coloring, I find myself wanting to draw in this book.  Here I used the illustration on the right to inspire me for the drawing I did on the left.  Later, I'll color both of them in.



Writing
I used to do this kind of writing with my nieces when they were very young.  Back then I'd let them make up the story.  I still like to do it just for my own amusement.



Overall
The Coloring Notebook is full of whimsical illustrations from various artists.  It combines the best features of both coloring books and notebooks, and can be used to spur your own creativity.

The paper is thin and allows substantial show-through.  This will be a problem for some and a basis for creativity with others.

You can find out more about the ColoringNotebook at their website.

Other Reviews:
Notebookstories
COLOURING IN THE MIDST OF MADNESS
Coloring Queen

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of The Coloring Notebook in return for a frank opinion of the product.  I've done my best to give one here.  I received no other compensation.

Monday, February 27, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 305

Strings/Templates
TanglePatterns String 250
Tangle It! Pattern Club Weekly String

Videos
Falme Tangle Lesson Pattern #152
Roll Over
Daily Tangle - Lobella
Daily Tangle - Adeline

New Patterns
Pattern-Collections New: Seaz
Pattern-Collections New: Curlycrown
Pattern-Collections New: Mupfein
Pattern-Collections New: Florastella

Other
Pattern-Collections Tangle Game Vol. 1 now available for purchase

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
An Easy, Breezy Daisy Painting for Beginning Watercolorists — Only 6 Steps
Art Journal Inspiration: Pieces of Me
Making a re-usable paper plate palette
Tips you should know about the ballpoint pen
Free Online 15-Week Art Workshop-A Thing Called Love

Giveaways
Goodreads Giveaway-Mandala Love Coloring Book: Enchanting Heart Mandalas
Goodreads Giveaway-Exploring Labyrinths: A Mini-Tour and Coloring Experience  
Scrapbook Adhesives BY 3L - Enter to Win #FaveCrafts giveaway of our adhesives
6-Color Watercolor Palette & Sketchbook Giveaway
Pigma Manga Contest

Reviews

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quick Drawing in the Waiting Room #Clairefontaine #Rhodia #Creapen

While in the waiting room at the dentist's, I started what I intended to be a Zentangle-Inspired Art. But then I suddenly saw a woman's braid, and strange fastening at her back, and I was off in an entirely different direction.

Drawn with a J. Herbin Creapen brush pen in a Rhodia Soft Cover dot grid webnotebook.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
3DTANGLE SHADING CHALLENGE #082-Focus Tangle: Yew-Dee

Videos
Daily Tangle - Spoolies
Zentangle *8 ( Ditto, Chicken Feet, Balo, Flowking, Rubenesque )
Daily Tangle - Peasley
Zentangle with Color
ShardsTangle Pattern Lesson #151
Daily Tangle - VLace
Daily Tangle - Shattuck

New Patterns
TanglePatterns: How to Draw Clamz
Pattern-Collections New: Lemma
Pattern-Collections New: Hoppel
Dutch Tangle
Pod Box Tangle
Cave In Tangle
Cain Tangle
Pod Box Tangle

Other
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #311
But Wait, There’s More

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts

Watercolor Northern Lights in Winter Painting Demonstration
Making your own Stencils for printmaking
How to Draw Gems with Markers and Colored Pencils
Bullet Journaling in the Quo Vadis Plan & Note planner
A simple pen and Super EASY watercolor wash urban sketching

Giveaways
Goodreads Giveaway- Coloring Inside the Dreams: Coloring Pages and Haiku
Goodreads Giveaway- Birds in Beards Coloring Book: A love story
The Postman's Knock Giveaway - Kuretake "Starry Colors" palette
Echo Park Paper Giveaway-""Just Be You" Scrapbook Collection Kit
Art Impressions Rubber Stamps Giveaway-NEW 2017 Ai Watercolor releases 
Crafter's Companion USA Giveaway-Win an Ultimate Tool 
Jillibean Soup Day 2 Day Planner giveaway

Reviews

Friday, February 24, 2017

Review and Giveaway of Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press Watercolor Paper #Watercolor #Stonehenge @LegionPaper

Recently, I received a 10-pack of  Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press #140 lb watercolor paper from Legion Paper to try out.


I'm giving away one of these 22 x 30 sheets.  I'm sorry, but this will be U.S. only.  It would cost more to send internationally than it would to buy a 10 pack of the paper, lol.  Giveaway information can be found at the end of the review.  (Edited: Just today, I also received a 10-pack of Stonehenge Aqua 300# Cold Press, and 140# Hot Press, so I'm increasing the prize to include a 22 x 30 inch sheet of these two papers as well).

This painting was done on Stonehenge Aqua 140# Cold Press paper like the sheet that is reviewed here.  See more below.
Specs
100% Cotton
Neutral pH
Acid Free
Chlorine Free
2 deckles, 2 cut edges (sheets)
Sized for watercolor

Applications: Calligraphy, Inkjet, Intaglio, Letterpress, Offset, Pen & Ink, Pastel & Charcoal, Silkscreen

Look & Feel
Hopefully you can see the scan below.  I punched up the shadows to show you the texture of the paper, which makes it look more blue and more textured than it is in real life.


It also feels rather smooth to the touch, almost like a hot press.  If you compare it to the Stonehenge hot press though, you'll find it is quite different.



Performance
Running up a couple of test sheets, I found:
  • Color flows well
  • Color lifts easily
  • Paper holds up well to scrubbing
  • Paint dries quickly enough that it is easy to get hard edges & back runs
  • Masking tape does little to no damage
  • Masking tape does little to no damage
  • Erasing does little to no damage
  • Sponging does little to no damage
  • Scraping does cause some fuzzing
  • Paper tears easily, but the edges fuzz somewhat
  • Paper curls when thoroughly wet, but flattens well once dry


The best test is painting pictures of course, so I set out to do that.

I used the hard edge effect for those orange streaks in the sky, yet I was able to get a smooth wash for the blue,  I achieved the slight clouds by picking up some color by dabbing with a kleenex.  This did no damage so I was able to easily paint the tree afterward.  I did the ground and grasses last, letting backruns form to suggest texture and some sense of depth.



For my water lily I used salt in the background to get texture.  While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled on the salt. I was fairly aggressive in wiping it off once the paint dried, and then I glazed over it with more color.  I left the salt on longer than I normally would, and I did find that some crystals stuck to the paper.  It's kind of cool looking, adding some extra sparkle, but I'm not sure how good that would be over time.  Scraping lightly with a fingernail removed the stubborn crystals.


I  don't use masking fluid very often, but I wanted to capture those white eyelashes and the wispy bits of wool, and it was a good test for this paper.  The masking fluid peeled away with no problem.  I painted over some of the masked area to blend, and soften edges in other places with no sign of damage to the paper.


For this last piece, I painted a quick study, with a wet-into-wet background.  I used a size 6 round, a small brush for the area to be covered and invites backruns, which can add interest for a background.

Overall
Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb paper is smoother than many cold press papers. It is absorbent enough that you can get hard edges and/or back runs. It does curl a bit when thoroughly wetted but doesn't ripple, and the curl tends to flatten once the paper is dry.  It is sturdy enough to hold upwell to lifting, scrubbing, erasing, masking tapes and fluids.

At the time I wrote this, a 10-pack of 22 x 30 Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140# at JerrysArtarama is is priced at $39.90 while a 10 pack of the same size Arches paper is $58.41.

Other Reviews of Stonehenge Aqua 
Artist Marketing Resources
Cathy Johnson

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION  

What Is the Prize?   One winner will each receive a 22 x 30 inch sheet of  140# Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press paper like the paper reviewed here, AND a 22 x 30 inch sheet of 300# Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press, and a 22 x 30 inch sheet of  140# Stonehenge Aqua Hot Press paper like the one reviewed here.

When does the Giveaway Start and End?  It starts Friday, February 24, 2017 at 08:00 AM PST and ends Friday, March 03, 2017 at 11:59 PST.  I'll notify the winner on Saturday, March 04, 2017, by responding to the email they sent as entry.

Who Can Enter? Sorry. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only

How to Enter? Cut and paste these words: 'I want to win Stonehenge Aqua Paper' into the subject line of an email, and send it to me at  LifeImitatesDoodles [at] gmail [dot] com. (replace the words enclosed in [ ] with an @ and a . and make sure there are no spaces) 

Disclaimer:  I received this Stonehenge Aqua Paper from Legion Paper for the purpose of  feedback.  I offered to review it and give some away. I'm excited about having this giveaway, but tried not to let it influence my opinion, and all opinions are my own.  I received no other compensation.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Doodles Drawings for my Husband's Lunch #Rhodiarama #Exaclair #PenAndInk

I've been using my Rhodiarama Pad Holder to draw little doodles to put in my husband's lunch, so he'll have a reason to smile on stressful days.  

Have you entered my giveaway, for a chance to win a pad holder of your own?  The giveaway ends tomorrow night.










Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

If you are looking for my Rhodiarama Pad Holder giveaway, go here.

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
joey's weekly tangle challenge #153
"It's a String Thing" #184 Tiles
"It's a String Thing" #185

Videos
Daily Tangle - Chicken Feet
Sanibelle Tangle Lesson Pattern #150
Floral Waves

New Patterns
TanglePatterns: How to Draw Trifle

Other
Zenbossing Part 2

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Watercolor Northern Lights in Winter Painting Demonstration
How to Draw the Northern Lights and Howling Wolf with soft pastels
Making your own Stencils for printmaking
How to Draw Gems with Markers and Colored Pencils
Dragons Breath Galaxy Mexican Fire Opal Doodle Gem ep 47
FUN WITH FLOURISHING: FREE HAND LETTERING EBOOK
Journal52: Prompt 8-Stillness (now moved to Wednesdays)

Giveaways
Goodreads Giveaway-Coloring Book for Teens or Adults 
Goodreads Giveaway- The Tufa Coloring Book
Win a Sheaffer 300 pen set with The Pen Company
Brush Set Giveaway & Easy Golden Sunset Tutorial
GIVEAWAY: 10 FONT + GRAPHIC DESIGN BUNDLES
Studio Calico Giveaway-Choose between three different prizes

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trout No Doubt #Stonehenge #Watercolor #LegionPaper

If you are looking for my Rhodiarama Pad Holder giveaway, go here.

This was done on Stonehenge Aqua Cold Press 140 lb watercolor paper.  I'll be giving away a 22 x 30 sheet of this paper in the near future.  I haven't decided exactly when the giveaway will be but it will be within the week or two, so keep an eye out on my blog!

I used Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Lunar Blue and lots of salt for this painting.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Alice's Cat #Clairefontaine #Rhodia #Zebra

If you are looking for my Rhodiarama Pad Holder giveaway, go here.

For today's drawing, I used the lovely Clairefontaine dotgrid paper in my Rhodia soft cover webnotebook and a Zebra ZGrip.  It has the same kind of paper that you find in the Rhodiarama Pad Holder, except that it is ivory rather than white.

It's with more than a bit of nostalgia that I've noticed the interest in ballpoint pen drawings, lately.

At the risk of starting what sounds like one of those "...and when I was child, I had to walk ten miles in the snow..." stories - when I was a child, we pretty much had to draw with ballpoint pens.  Stores didn't carry much else, and even if they had my parents wouldn't have spent the money on them.  They weren't poor, but the very idea! Good money for a fancy pen, when a ballpoint would do the job!

Mind you, I only used the lined notebook paper that I had for school back then, as well.

Even though this cat isn't smiling, the drawing makes me think of the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, which explains the title.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
3DTANGLE SHADING CHALLENGE #081-Focus Tangle: Trio

Videos
Zentangle * 7 (Nulink, Pepper, Trelina, Dragonair, Zenplosion, Laceflower)
How to Draw Tangle Pattern String Rose Lesson 16
Candor Tangle Pattern Lesson #148
Daily Tangle - Balo
Leafing
Daily Tangle - Flowking
Zentangle® Pattern Tangelation: Hamadox (Hamsix / Paradox)
Intwine

New Patterns
TriLinangle Pattern
TanglePatterns: How to draw Ten-Shun

Other
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #310

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts

Tropical Landscape Demonstration in Watercolor
How to Make Foil Embossed Flowers: Part 1 of 2
Packing & Shipping Watercolor Paintings
How to Draw + Color Emoji Stickers Easy Quick Beginner Art
Drawing the female figure for fashion
Journal52 Week 7: Dawn

Giveaways
Review & Giveaway: Rhodiarama Pad Holder with No. 12 Dot Grid pad 
Reviews

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Rhodiarama Pad Holder with No. 12 Dot Grid pad #Rhodia #Giveaway #DotGrid

For the last five years, I've been hosting giveaways for Exaclair, Inc's line of products, and it's time to start on the sixth year!  I've been so blessed to be receive these samples for review, and to be able to share some of the products with you.  I want to thank Exaclair, Inc., and especially Karen, who is one of the nicest people I've ever corresponded with.  I hope I can meet her in person someday.

I'm really excited about the product I'm giving away this time.  It's small, but handy (literally - it's about the size of my hand, lol).  It's a Rhodiarama Pad Holder with No. 12 Dot Grid pad.
(I'm sorry, but the giveaway is now closed).

Pen NOT included

Specs
Pad Size: 33 x 5 1/4 inches
Paper Size: 3.3 x 4.7 inches / 8.5 x 12.0 cm (No 12 dot grid orange Rhodia pad)
Paper: 90 g Clairefontaine ivory paper, acid-free, pH neutral
No. of Pages: 80 sheets/160 pages
Format: Dot Grid
Cover: Sewn Italian leatherette in Turquoise with contrasting orange thread and orange lining.
Other: Embossed Rhodia logo on front cover, pen loop,Inner pocket (business card size.
NOTE: Pen NOT Included

Look and Feel-The Pad Holder
The Pad Holder has the soft leather-like feel of the Rhodia webnotebooks, but it's thin so most of the weight comes from the paper.   I know from experience with other Rhodia products that these covers hold up well, but will pick up scuffs and dings if carried in a purse like mine (since I carry everything but the proverbial kitchen sink).  Carried in a pocket, they stay pretty nice.

As I mentioned above, it is about the size of my hand, making it an easy carry.



It's turquoise on the outside and orange on the inside, and there is a nice sewn trim with orange thread. The only marking is the Rhodia logo embossed on the front.

There is slit in the inside bottom that can be used as a pocket for business cards or receipts.  It does open out a bit, but you wouldn't be able to keep too much in it - maybe up to 5 business cards.



There is a pen loop on the side.  It's sized for a slim pen, like a Bic ballpoint.  It isn't large enough for a Pigma Micron, so that's about the only thing I believe could be improved.  I can understand it though.  Most users probably use stick pens and with a larger loop, the smaller pens would fall out.

A No. 12 Rhodia Notepad comes with the pad holder.  It easily slides in and out of a slit in the cover.





Look and Feel-The Rhodia No. 12 Notepad

The No. 12 Rhodia notepad, that comes with the Rhodiarama notepad, has the traditional orange cover.  It's a light but sturdy card stock.  The pad is stapled.



The pad cover is scored so it can easily be folded back, out of the way while you write or draw.


Normally, the Pad Holders come with the lined pad, but Karen very kindly replaced them with dot grid pads for this giveaway, knowing how useful they are to my tangle-happy readers.  The dots are a light purply/brown/gray that can be used as a guide but tends to fade away from notice when you are looking at what is written or drawn.  

The paper is perforated for tearing off.  I held a sheet by one corner and bounced it up and down with no tears or separation, but could easily tear off a sheet when I pulled with pressure at the corner of the perforation.

Some people find the dots too light, so if you have fading eyesight, this might not be a good format for you.  It's one of my favorites, so I hope my own eyesight continues strong for long time!


The paper is Clairefontaine.  All the Rhodia notebooks and notepads come with this paper, so I've had plenty of experience with it.  It's very smooth, and fountain-pen friendly, which means most inks won't bleed through to the back.  It's formulated for pen ink, but I've used it for watercolor, colored pencil, and mixed media.  While the paper is a bit slick for those mediums, it handles them decently.

I enjoy writing on it and drawing on it.  Most of my tangle patterns, and tangle drawing are done on this paper these days.


Performance
Normally, I try to do several kinds of examples, but this is the kind of item that people tend to have in their pockets and purses for using on the go, so I decided to use it that way myself for a few days and keep my examples simple.

Lists, Quick Notes and Reminders (duh)
Of course, this notebook would be perfect for shopping lists, notes, and reminders.  I do have a planner, but I prefer to keep that for noting actual dates and times. For reminders, I like having paper I can detach and toss once I'm done.



Zentangle®
At 3.3 x 4.7 inches, the Rhodia No. 12 pad isn't quite the size for the traditional method, but it's close enough if you don't have any Zentangle tiles with you.  The light grid is nice if you are practicing a new tangle, but it is light enough that it won't distract if you don't need it.


Tangle Pattern Step-outs
The Rhodiarama No. 12 is a bit small for drawing step-outs, but it works for simpler patterns.  If you are like me, inspiration hits and if you don't write it down im-MED-iately, you forget.  I saw this pattern on a rug, and was glad I had my Rhodiarama pad.




Doodling
Again, the size isn't going to allow you to draw anything too complex, but it's a great size for doodles or simpler drawing.  Every day I put a small doodle drawing of one of Earth's strange creatures into my husband's lunch bag.  I know - he's almost 60 years old, but he still appreciates the effort, lol.



Overall
The Rhodiarama Pad Holder with the No. 12 Dot Grid Pad is a handy size for carry, elegant looking and sturdy.  It would grace any pocket or purse and be great for tangling, doodling or writing.

If I could have anything changed, I would like a larger pen loop (though many would not).

Personally, I fell in love with these the moment I saw them and am tickled pink to have on in my purse. Even though I have a planner, for shopping lists, quick reminders and notes, I prefer something I can throw away afterwards.  

I know my pad holder will be drawing attention when I use it.  


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Anna Mason Pear #AnnaMasonArt #Watercolor #Tutorial

I recently came across a free watercolor tutorial from Anna Mason, and I was intrigued because of the highly realistic botanical style.

I decided to give the tutorial a try even though I didn't have the right brushes, the right paper or the right pigments, lol.  I tend to take that kind of thing as a challenge, and the whole point of a free tutorial is to see if you like the style enough to invest in further classes and/or the correct materials.

Alas.  Half way through the tutorial the videos stopped working.  I believe that is a problem on my end because I've had wi-fi problems lately.  I felt I had seen enough to finish on my own, though.

I do find Anna's style interesting, and the brushes and a few new colors are on my wish list.  I won't buy them though until I've fixed my wi-fi problem.


This painting was done on Fabriano Artistico, 140# Cold Press Traditional White.  Information about the paper from the Legion Paper website:

Specifications:                                                   Applications:
Mouldmade in Italy                                        Calligraphy
100% Cotton                                                       Intaglio
Neutral pH                                                          Letterpress
Acid Free                                                             Offset
4 deckles (sheets)                                           Pen & Ink
Internally & externally sized                      Pastel & Charcoal
Specialty Paper                                                Silkscreen
                                                                                Watercolor

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Caught in the Coral #LegionPaper #Watercolor #Artistico

This painting was done on another paper from my Legion Paper Sampler, Fabriano Artistico 90# rough, Tradional White.

I've used Fabriano's 140# cold pressed traditional white in the past, but this was my first try using the rough. Many 'rough' papers are challenging, being highly absorbant with uneven surfaces, and Artistico is one of the more popular 'go-to' professional papers.

I didn't notice too much difference in flow, granulation, or brightness.  Overall, the paper is just a bit more textured than the cold pressed. This would be a good paper for those who want something that would give you a wider range of possible effects, but wouldn't be exceptionally challenging.

Besides testing out the paper, I was playing with negative painting.  I couldn't resist adding some detail to the seahorse, but I tried to keep my shapes simple and otherwise stick to the negative painting scheme.

I only used two colors, Daniel Smith's Lunar Blue and M Graham's Maroon Perylene.  Lunar Blue is basically black, but it has particles of bright blue that can pop out given enough water and the right tooth.  I didn't get quite as much of the blue as I hoped, but you can see it here and there.  Maroon Perylene is a low intensity color, but next to the Lunar blue it almost glows (though it doesn't show as much in the scan).


Information from Legion Paper's Fabriano Artistico Page:

Specifications                                  Applications
Mouldmade in Italy                         Calligraphy
100% Cotton                                    Intaglio
Neutral pH                                       Letterpress
Acid Free                                         Offset                    
Internally & externally sized   Pen & Ink
Specialty Paper                                Pastel & Charcoal
                                                         Silkscreen
                                                         Watercolor

If you've used Fabriano Artistico before, and have noticed that the paper seems a bit different from what you are used to, the Legion Company has a note explaining changes that have been made to the paper.

"This range of 100% cotton watercolor papers has experienced changes over the last 10 years, creating some confusion we hope to clarify here: The cold-pressed surface textures have been modified, surface qualities such as soft-pressed have been discontinued, the sheet is no longer 4 deckled edges (2 natural & 2 cut edges) and the range is no longer watermarked.

It is also important to note that the paper has a "running watermark" along the long dimension - it is not localized like most sheets."











Monday, February 13, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
Weekly Zentangle Challenge 303

Strings/Templates
TanglePatterns String 248

Videos
Smokey-V2
Drifts Tangle Pattern Lesson #146
Daily Tangle - Trelina
How to draw Knightspeek tangle pattern
Laflor

New Patterns
HEART2HEART - PATTERN
New Pattern - Sweetheart Slide
Pattern-Collections New: Peggee
Pattern-Collections New: Morgen
Pattern-Collections New: Hex-Spire
Pattern-Collections New: Baskz
Pattern-Collections New: Double Cross
Pattern-Collections New: Culaz
Pattern-Collections New: Mañana
Pattern-Collections New: Coy Fish
Pattern-Collections New: ChriMi

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts
Paint a Betta fish in watercolour
Beginner Face Sketching Tutorial with Tri-Tone pencils
Rhodia bullet journaling post 4: Monthly Migration = Month Review

Giveaways
Win a Dream Stamp & Scrapbook Expo weekend
LoveNoteBooks Giveaway-  Paperblanks Journal and a 10-Design Pen
Book Giveaway-Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists 
Book Giveaway-Cute Sweets Coloring Book by Queenie Law 
Book Giveaway-Tangled Circles & Mandalas: 52 Drawings to Finish & Color, 30 Patterns
Enter to Win a FPR Leather Pouch AND a FPR Indus Fountain Pen

Reviews

Sunday, February 12, 2017

52 Weeks of Watercolor Painting 2017 No. 7 #Watercolor #52WeeksOfWatercolorPainting #StillmanAndBirn

Well, this weeks painting was a fight.  I was trying out yet another new brush - a Winsor Newton Sceptre Gold II.  Immediately, I didn't like the feel of it.  The ferrule (the metal band that keeps the bristles in) seemed like it was moving with each stroke.

Then I noticed a hair in the painting - and another - and yeah, I sent that puppy back.

Meanwhile, though, I managed to smear what I'd done while trying to remove the hairs.  While trying to repair the damage,  I managed to lose some of my glowing color, so I decided it just go with an end of summer fading look.  Sunshine fading away before we even get any.  *sigh*

I'm not totally unhappy with the finished painting, but it is a lot muddier than I'd planned.  Fingers crossed for next week.



My reference Photo came from Pixabay.

I'm using a Stillman and Birn 9x12 Beta series wirebound sketchbook for all my '52 Weeks of Watercolor Paintings 2017'.

Dynasty Gold 3/8 inch Dagger brush and Fabart Deersfoot stippler after the failure with a Winsor Newton Sceptre Gold II.  Mijello Mission Gold watercolors.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays

Zentangle
Challenges
The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus
3DTANGLE SHADING CHALLENGE #080-Focus Tangle: Kandy Ribnz

Videos
Drawing TriRose tangle pattern
Drawing SpiralFlower pattern
Embrace Joy
Tripoli Tangle Pattern Lesson #145
Daily Tangle - Laceflower
Firework

New Patterns
TanglePatterns: How to Draw Siri
Pattern-Collections New: Quincy
Pattern-Collections New: Ol-Birdee
Pattern-Collections New: Kali
Pattern-Collections New: A-way

Other
Weekly Zentangle Roundup #309
Zenbossing
Tips for Tangling Zenith
Tangle Refresher 147 – Featuring the Zen of Zentangle®
How to make Jane Davenport inspired Zentangle Girls

Tutorials & Art Journaling Prompts

Painting a Pineapple with watercolor markers
Happy Chinese New Year-- How to Draw and Color a Rooster in Colored Pencil
Gold Leaf Antiquing Technique
The 5 most common blocks to learning to paint - and how to overcome them
Rhodia bullet journaling post 5: Tracking medical conditions in your bullet journal
Free printable project sheets from Graphic45
Journal52 Week 6: Long Held Dream

Giveaways

Friday, February 10, 2017

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sunbathing in the Fields #Watercolor #Bockingford #LegionPaper

With today's painting I found a not-match.  I used my Mijello Mission Gold Pure Pigment paints on Bockingford watercolor paper.  Whereas I like the way the Mission Gold performed on Stillman & Birn Beta paper, using it on this Bockingford was a bit tricky.


I quite like the texture of the paper and the way the paint flows.  Usually, the Mission Gold paints don't flow easily, but on this paper they do very well.  So the two should be a good match, right?

The problem stems from the fact that the Bockingford paper is noted for allowing paint to be lifted easily.  And the Mission Gold paints are also noted for allowing paint to be lifted easily.  So what happens when you mix the two?  Ouch.

Glazing (applying a layer(s) of paint over a layer of already dried paint) is almost impossible.  Fortunately the paints are strong enough that you can get dark values the first time around, because everytime I tried to add more color, I either smeared or lifted some of the color that was already present.

As with all products, the trick is using the tools in a way that uses the strengths to advantage.

My new mantra:

(the strengths and weaknesses being the same, 
technique is totally to praise or blame)

I only have the one sheet of Bockingford, but it's on my wish list for more.  I'd love to try it with a different brand of paint but also continue to use it with the Mission Gold.  I'm sure if I altered my technique I could really create something fantastic.

Information from Legion Paper's Bockingford Page

Bockingford is a beautiful English watercolor paper, traditionally made on a cylinder mould machine at the centuries-old St Cuthbert's Mill. 

This is an extremely forgiving watercolour paper valued by professional and amateur artists around the world. Its unique surface is created by using natural woollen felts that give it a distinctive random texture to the finished sheet. 

The paper is appreciated for its excellent color lifting abilities which enables you to make corrections and get back to the white base paper without issue. This paper can also take heavy washes without displaying any distortion or cockling. 

In addition to the standard white, Bockingford is available in five other hues. This family of colors is known as Bockingford Tints.

Specifications:                                                   Applications:
Mouldmade in England                                 Calligraphy
100% High alpha cellulose                           Inkjet
Neutral pH                                                        Intaglio
Acid Free                                                          Intaglio
Chlorine Free                                                  Letterpress
Buffered with calcium carbonate                 Offffset*
Internally sized                                                Pen & Ink
No OBA's                                                         Pastel & Charcoal
Specialty Paper                                              Silkscreen

                                                                           Watercolor

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

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays IF YOU are interested in my Fantasy Landscap...