Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Art of Painting in Pastel Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm reading a brand new copy of The Art of Painting in Pastel by Leonard Richmond and J. Littlejohns. This art instruction book was first published over 100 years ago and is still sought after today. It's about the fundamentals of painting in pastel. This new 9 x 11",  118 page paperback was released May 17, 2017 from Dover Publications. It contains the following bibliographical note, "This Dover edition, first published in 2017, is a slightly altered unabridged republication of the work originally published as Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons Ltd., London c 1917." Leonard Richmond (1889 - 1965), a British artist and author, wrote a series of very popular art instruction books with co-author J. Littlejohns. The frontispiece titled "Bricklayers" and introduction are by distinguished muralist Frank Brangwyn (1867 –1956), an Anglo-Welsh artist. He states "... there is, as Messrs. Richmond and Littlejohns so ably point out in the following pages, practically no limit to its powers as a means of artistic expression." Like the 1930 edition it includes 15 black and white illustrations and 39 tipped-in color illustrations. This book is suitable for students of art and artists. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS
Introduction

CHAPTERS
The Three Methods
Still Life
Flowers
Landscape
Landscape (continued)
Landscape (concluded)
Figure
The Preservation of Pastels
Materials

BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS
Trees
Trees
Hilly Districts
Flat Districts
Hints of Arrangement
Hints of Arrangement
Further Suggestion on Composition

COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS
"Bricklayers" by Frank Brangwyn, A.R.A. -  Frontispiece

STILL LIFE
Blue China Pot, Shell, Etc.
Jug, Glass and Apples 
Dolls, Monkey, and Golliwog
Books, Bowl, and Flowers

FLOWERS
White Marguerites
Blue Cornflowers
Scarlet Poppies 
Hydrangeas (Plain Background)
Hydrangeas (Ornate Background)

LANDSCAPE
An Elm
Cottages
Shadow Cast on White Wall 1
Shadow Cast on White Wall 2 
Shadow Cast on White Wall 3

COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS
Elm Trees 1
Elm Trees 2
Trees and Water 1
Trees and Water 2
Sunshine 1
Sunshine 2
A White Canal Bridge
Old Houses, Folkestone
Study of Straw in Sunlight and Shadow, with Farm Buildings
A Breezy Day at Watchet, Somerset
Chalk Cliffs on South Coast
Canal Barges at Brentford
The Quarry

FIGURE
Her Ladyship
E. J. H.
The Jovial Philosopher
The Volendam Fisherman
"Eighty"
The Professor
Abscent
Matilda
Maisie
The Green Shawl
The Dutch Baby
The Vermillion God


Excerpt from pages 20 and 21, image and accompanying text.
Chapter 3. Flowers. 
Scarlet Poppies.
J. Littlejohns Pastel 1927.

     "The main purpose of this example is to indicate the importance of the toned paper as a modifying factor.
     The strongest crimsons and vermilions were used unsparingly but the result is not garish, because of the counteracting influence of the dull, dark paper left between most of the strokes  less in the brighter parts than in the shadows.
     Note that, while the general contour of each petal is curved, the strokes are frankly straight, serving to give that crispness which is so characteristic of this flower."


Out of print no more!

The Art of Painting in Pastel is available worldwide at Dover Publications. Dover, Great Books, Variety & Value Since 1941. Check out their catalog at Dover Publications. Dover has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until September 25, 2017. Canada & USA. Good luck!


Friday, September 01, 2017

Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings Review & GIVEAWAY

Scottish artist Wil Freeborn has created a complete course on how to watercolor in his new book Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings: Pick Up the Skills, Put On the Paint, Hang Up Your Art. It's a 144 page Flexibound – released February 1, 2017 from Publisher: Quarry Books. Following an overview of the basics Wil leads 50 painting exercises incorporating the fundamentals of watercolor painting. His book is centered around the idea of painting what is in your environment. The exercises are cleanly laid out by objective, material, color palette and demo. Wil shares his creative process with step-by-step commentary and photographs. The subject matter includes simple still lifes, landscapes, cityscapes, animals and figures, portraits, people. Wil favors a 2B pencil, size 6, 8 and 12 round brushes, a 14" x 10" watercolor block and watercolor pans though he encourages you to find what works best for you. This how-to art book is packed with material that will help newer painters discover the unique properties of painting with watercolor. Get your copy below!

Contents
Welcome to my world

Chapter 1: Getting started
Basic Kit
Choosing your colors
Color mixing
Paper
Washes
Color, light, and atmosphere
How to keep a sketch book
Hints and tips

Chapter 2: Simple still lifes
Lively washes
Backgrounds for still lifes
Working with a minimal palette
Arranging a simple still life
Basic drawing for watercolor
Classic subjects, new approaches
Compose as you go
Watercolor with pen and ink
Sight sizing
Quick watercolor sketch
Hard edges

Chapter 3: Landscapes
Creating dynamic contrast
Washes for atmosphere
Simple wash with gradation
Creating a sense of distance
Masking areas of white paper
Bright colors in landscapes
Ideas for composition
Bold shapes
Finding interesting shapes
Pure texture and subtle washes
Working with one color
Reserving colors
Telling stories
Abstract patterns

Chapter 4: Cityscapes
Simplifying what you see
Exploring granulation
Sparkling sunlight
Symmetry and proportion
Painting multiple buildings
Perspective for beginners
Building up a complex scene
Finding your interpretation
Introducing a sense of scale

Chapter 5: Animals
Grouping subjects
Editing out
Expressive brushwork
Painting a museum specimen
Painting live animals
Working from photos
Three-color washes
Painting a marine subject
Landscapes with wildlife

Chapter 6: Figures, portraits, people
Adding figures to landscapes
Simplifying people
Painting quickly in situ
Grisaille 
Capturing movement 
Mixing media

Stretching paper
Glossary
Index

Credits

Excerpt from Chapter 5: Animals. Bunnies - Grouping subjects

Materials
Watercolour block, 355 x 254mm (14 x 10in) 
2B pencil
Size 8 and 6 round brushes
6mm (1⁄4in) flat brush

Colour palette
Yellow Ochre
Cerulean Blue
Alizarin Crimson
Quinacridone Magenta
Burnt Umber
Indigo

When you group a few subjects together, they can make interesting and dynamic compositions. Observe how animals relate to each other when they’re resting or at ease, whether it’s dogs, cats or even – as in this case – bunnies. The opposing curves of the animals’ bodies in this composition reminded me of a traditional Chinese yin-yang symbol.

1. Draw the pair of rabbits, keeping your lines light as always. Remember that the rabbits are three-dimensional objects, and think about where their forms curve away from you. This can be difficult, but it might help to check the shape of your own hand or arm for reference.


2. Use the larger brush to apply the main wash, a diluted mix of Yellow Ochre with a touch of Cerulean Blue and Alizarin Crimson. Cover the whole paper with this wash, except for the parts where the sunlight hits the rabbits’ bodies – leave these parts white.


3. When light passes through a thin part of your body, such as your ears (or your fingers if you hold them up to the sun), it glows with a bright pink radiance. This effect is called subsurface scattering, and it’s one of my favourite light effects. You can see it here in these rabbits’ ears. For their ears, use the smaller brush to apply a wash of Quinacridone Magenta. While it is still wet, drop a deeper Magenta mixture into it and it will spread really nicely.

  

4. Now start painting the rabbits’ bodies, using a flat brush and the same wash as in step 2, remembering to leave the highlighted parts unpainted. A flat brush can change the appearance of your washes. For example, if you want to accentuate flat areas of colour a flat brush can help. Apply the colour in layers to add more depth and slowly build up the forms. Deepen the tones as you work by adding touches of Cerulean Blue, Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Umber to your original wash. Paint the eyes with a wash of Indigo and Burnt Umber, leaving a tiny spot for the highlights.


5. Keep adding depth to the washes to increase the sense of three-dimensional form. For the shadows under the rabbits, use a wash of Indigo with a touch of Alizarin Crimson. Don’t try to control your application of the paint too much – allow it to pool and form edges naturally. This will contribute to the character of your painting and create a lovely, loose effect.

Learn to Paint in Watercolor with 50 Paintings is available worldwide at Quarry Books, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Quarry Books. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until September 17, 2017. Prize includes shipping. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!



Photo I took of Wil's watercolor painting travel kit on page 13.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Busy Family Calendar 2018 Review & GIVEAWAY x 2

Planning your family's time? Juggling schedules? This engaging calendar allows you to effectively stay on top of a busy family schedule. Plus, every month you get to uncover a delightful new scene featuring the seasonal art work of artist and illustrator Allison Cole! The calendar spans 17 months - August 2017 through December 2018 - just in time for back-to-school! The large monthly format makes it easy to see at-a-glance. The Sunday-to-Saturday grids allow you to organize and keep track of up to 5 family members. Over 300 colorful stickers make it fun and easy. The handy storage pocket holds stuff like invitations, forms, appointment cards and notices. A grommet-reinforced hole ensures tear-free hanging. It's never too early to simplify and coordinate your family's schedule. Get your copy below!



Busy Family Calendar 2018 by Allison Cole 
Adorable Stickers and Big Grids to keep track of your Busy Family! 

Format: Calendar, 24 Pages
ISBN: 9781631063411
Publisher: Rock Point Gift & Stationery
Wal edition (August 1, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 0.6 x 32.1 cm
Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.2 x 12.6 inches


My copy of this sweet calendar. August 2017. Notice how vibrant the colors are!


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The Busy Family Calendar 2018 is available worldwide at Rock Point Gift & Stationery. Check our their unique catalog at Rock Point Gift & Stationery. Rock Point Gift & Stationery is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway 2 copies of the Busy Family Calendar 2018! Two winners will be selected at random. Open until September 7, 2017. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!







Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Art of Drawing Dangles Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm learning how to dangle with this gorgeous new workbook – The Art of Drawing Dangles by Olivia A. Kneibler. It's a 144 page paperback from Race Point Publishing. The authors smashing book cover shows what's possible with dangle art! Inside she shares how to do it with over 50 dangle exercises. The exercises include a traceable guideline to get you started and room on quality paper to practice. Begin with the alphabet, put the letters together to form words, then add charms and/or mandalas, and you're dangling! Whether you like to doodle, draw, design or craft, dangles are a unique way to add flair to your letters and artwork. Get your copy below!

Contents

What is a Dangle?
Dangle Letters
Dangle Words
Dangle Shapes and Mandalas
Everyday Dangles
Charming Projects 
Charm Directory
Color Gallery: Letters and Words

About the Author 
Acknowledgements

The Art of Drawing Dangles is available worldwide at Race Point Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Race Point Publishing. Race Point Publishing is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy of The Art of Drawing Dangles! One winner will be selected at random. Open until August 31, 2017. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Alice in Wonderland Designs Coloring Book Review & GIVEAWAY

Alice in Wonderland Designs Coloring Book by Marty Noble is a 64 page Paperback released May 17, 2017 from Dover Publications. This detailed adult coloring book is inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland written by English mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll and illustrated by John Tenniel. The 1865 novel tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world. It is still popular today 152 years later. Creative Haven® - a bestselling series of coloring books for adults from Dover Publications - has teamed up with Marty Noble a New York Times bestselling coloring book artist to create this coloring book. This issue contains 31 original illustrations for you to color using your own colored pencils and/or fine markers. The pages are on good quality 8" x 11" paper, single-sided and perforated so you can easily tear out, share, display and even frame your works-of-art. Excellent value. Get your copy below!


Alice and the Cheshire Cat

The Mad Hatter and friends.

Sitting down to color Alice. I find it very relaxing.

Alice in Wonderland Designs Coloring Book is available worldwide at Dover Publications. Dover, Great Books, Variety & Value Since 1941. Check out their catalog at Dover Publications. Dover has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until August 23, 2017. Canada & USA. Good luck!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Blippo Surprise Stationery Bag Review & GIVEAWAY WORLDWIDE

A surprise arrives! What could it be?

It's a Surprise Stationery Bag from the Blippo Kawaii Shop! It's 1 of 6 Fukubukuro Lucky Bags available worldwide. Fukubukuro, meaning "lucky bag" or "mystery bag", is popular in Japan. It's a grab-bag of goodies sold for a substantial discount. The Surprise Stationery Bag has a retail value of $35 US but sells for just $16.90 US including shipping. It's filled with an assortment of 15 cute and practical stationery items  perfect for back-to-school. The fukubukuro concept is spreading and evolving.





My exclusive pink blippo bag is filled with hundreds of stickers, 3 magnetic bookmarks, 9 decorative tapes, 8 pencils, 2 sharpeners, 4 erasers, 6 highlighters, sticky notes, a pen, note pad, and 3D Panda Card. All are licensed merchandise. I love mystery surprises! Get yours below!

All 6 Fukubukuro Lucky Bag's are available worldwide at the Blippo Kawaii Shop. Blippo has generously offered to giveaway a Surprise Stationery Bag. One winner will be selected at random. Open until August 16, 2017. WORLDWIDE. Good luck!

Handmade by Deb Blippo Giveaway
http://www.blippo.com/other/gift-ideas/fukubukuro-lucky-bags.html

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cut & Create Paper Mosaics KIT Review & GIVEAWAY

Cut & Create Paper Mosaics: Craft MOSAIC-BY-NUMBER Artworks with Paper Tiles, Scissors, and Glue by Chiharu Rosenberg is a 32 page Paperback – released May 15, 2017 from Race Point Publishing. The author, a skilled mosaic artist, guides you through 9 stunning paper mosaic-by-number projects. You just add scissors and glue. The beautifully assembled kit includes: 9 pre-printed project templates on card stock, 35 sheets of paper - solid colored and patterned, and a 32 page instruction book. Book and supplies are neatly housed in a folder type kit with a Velcro pocket. You cut and glue the clearly marked paper tiles as per the instructions. The projects graduate in difficulty from beginner to intermediate and advanced, culminating in the gorgeous Cherry Blossoms cover! With this mosaic activity book you can explore mosaic craft without the tools of traditional mosaic artists. Some may find an X-ACTO knife, standard hole punch, tweezers and envelopes handy.  Get your copy below!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Zoom Loom Review


Look I'm weaving! It's fun and easy with the Zoom Loom. The Zoom Loom is a new and improved version of the 4" x 4" pin loom. It is made by the Schacht Spindle Company of Boulder, Colorado. Inside it's handy carrying case is a sturdy 4" x 4" Zoom Loom, 6" weaving needle, 3" tapestry needle and an instruction booklet. The instruction booklet includes patterns for a scarf, place mat and tablet/e-reader case. However the possibilities are endless. Like crochet you may simply join the squares together. The Zoom Loom is ideal for beginners like me. My first squares are below. Free Zoom Loom patterns and ideas are available at Schacht. There is also a pin loom book. With the Zoom Loom you can weave anywhere, anytime. It only weighs 3.2 oz. Updates include sloping interior edges, extended sides, molded-in instructions and a yarn slot. It's an efficient and comfortable little loom to weave on. I love it. Get yours below!


This is my work on the Zoom Loom. I used alpaca wool because it's what I had left over from my knitting days. 



This is the Schacht instructional video. I especially like the Zoom Loom e-reader case.

The Zoom Loom is available worldwide at the Schacht Spindle Company. Established in 1969, by husband and wife team Barry Schacht and Jane Patrick, Schacht makes quality tools for spinners and weavers. Check out their catalog at the Schacht Spindle Company. The Zoom Loom is also available at your local yarn store.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Origami Garden KIT Review & GIVEAWAY

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden by Mark Bolitho (Author) and Brent Darby (Photographer) is a 128 page Paperback released – April 20, 2017 by Publisher: Jacqui Small. Inside you will find 30 sheets of 7" x 7" square origami paper and over 25 garden themed paper folding projects. Each project has a difficulty rating of easy, intermediate or more challenging, though most are intermediate. The paper comes in a colorful and attractive variety of solids and patterns. The larger 7" size paper is a treat! I warmed up by folding the Easy Rose design. Then I moved on to the Bird (pictured below), Pear and Nut folds. There is a lot of folding, but it's satisfying folding. I found the diagram and text instructions very clear. The Perfectly Mindful Origami series also includes Origami Paper Boxes, Origami Zodiac and Geometric Origami. There are many benefits to doing origami – including boosting mindfulness. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
Mindful Origami
Getting Started
Easy Rose

SEEDS AND PLANTS
Seeds
Nuts in a Bowl
Seedlings in a Pot
Plants in Pots
Flowers
Hydrangea
Four-petal Blossom
Four-petal Balloon Flower
Pentangle Variation
Five-petal Blossom
Five-petal Balloon Flower
Palm Leaf
Cactus in a Pot
Pine Tree

FLOWERS
Classic Lily & Iris
Calla Lily
Rose
Tulip
Water Lily
Fuchsia
Bunch of Flowers

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Strawberry
Mushroom
Pear
Tomato
Chili Pepper

GARDEN LIFE
Butterfly
Frog
Bird
Snail

Resources & Acknowledgements

Origami Bird
The origami bird design is from the Garden Life chapter. It has a difficulty rating of intermediate. You may notice that I left out a couple of creases – personal preference. 

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden is available worldwide at Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Check out their unique catalog at Jacqui Small. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 28, 2017. Prize includes cost of shipping. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Origami Heart Bracelets Giveaway WORLDWIDE

Origami Heart Bracelet
Win a set of 3 handmade Origami Heart Bracelets. These one-of-a-kind bracelets are made out of exquisite handmade Japanese paper. One winner will be selected at random. Good luck! WORLDWIDE. Open until July 26, 2016.

Origami Heart Bracelet Tutorial.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden KIT Review & GIVEAWAY

Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden by Mark Bolitho (Author) and Brent Darby (Photographer) is a 128 page Paperback released – April 20, 2017 by Publisher: Jacqui Small. Inside you will find 30 sheets of 7" x 7" square origami paper and over 25 garden themed paper folding projects. Each project has a difficulty rating of easy, intermediate or more challenging, though most are intermediate. The paper comes in a colorful and attractive variety of solids and patterns. The larger 7" size paper is a treat! I warmed up by folding the Easy Rose design. Then I moved on to the Bird (pictured below), Pear and Nut folds. There is a lot of folding, but it's satisfying folding. I found the diagram and text instructions very clear. The Perfectly Mindful Origami series also includes Origami Paper Boxes, Origami Zodiac and Geometric Origami. There are many benefits to doing origami – including boosting mindfulness. Get your copy below!

CONTENTS
Mindful Origami
Getting Started
Easy Rose

SEEDS AND PLANTS
Seeds
Nuts in a Bowl
Seedlings in a Pot
Plants in Pots
Flowers
Hydrangea
Four-petal Blossom
Four-petal Balloon Flower
Pentangle Variation
Five-petal Blossom
Five-petal Balloon Flower
Palm Leaf
Cactus in a Pot
Pine Tree

FLOWERS
Classic Lily & Iris
Calla Lily
Rose
Tulip
Water Lily
Fuchsia
Bunch of Flowers

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Strawberry
Mushroom
Pear
Tomato
Chili Pepper

GARDEN LIFE
Butterfly
Frog
Bird
Snail

Resources & Acknowledgements


The Origami Garden book and paper pack. The bird design is from the Garden Life chapter. It has a difficulty rating of intermediate. You may notice that I unfolded a couple of creases –  personal preference. I used pink paper from the pack that comes with the book. The folded bird measures about 5" beak to tail.




A look inside. 


Perfectly Mindful Origami – The Origami Garden is available worldwide at Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Check out their unique catalog at Jacqui Small. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until July 28, 2017. Prize includes cost of shipping. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

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