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

The Daily New Tangle Challenge
Pattern-Collections Daily Pattern Focus

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
Daily Tangle - Flowking
Zentangle® Pattern Tangelation: Hamadox (Hamsix / Paradox)

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

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

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review & Giveaway: 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.

The giveaway information can be found below the review (and I'm sorry, but the giveaway is U.S. only).

Pen NOT included

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  


What Is the Prize?   Five winners will each receive a Turquoise Rhodiarama Pad Holder with a No 12 dot grid notepad like the one reviewed here. Pen NOT Included.

How to Enter? Cut and paste these words: 'I want to win a 'Rhodiarama Pad Holder' 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)

When does the giveaway start and end? The giveaway starts on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 08:00 AM PST and ends Friday, February 24, 2017 at 11:59 PST.  I'll notify the winners on Saturday, February 25, 2017, by responding to the email they sent as entry.

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

Disclaimer:  I received this Rhodiarama Pad Holder from Exaclair Inc. for the purpose of this review and giveaway. I was allowed to choose the item from the line of Rhodia products.  I'm excited about hosting this giveaway, but tried not to let it influence my opinion, and all opinions are my own.  I received no other compensation.

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

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

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

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

TanglePatterns String 248

Drifts Tangle Pattern Lesson #146
Daily Tangle - Trelina
How to draw Knightspeek tangle pattern

New Patterns
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: Ma├▒ana
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

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