Tuesday, May 23, 2017

drawing calm Review & GIVEAWAY

drawing calm: RELAX. REFRESH. REFOCUS with 20 drawing, painting, and collage workshops inspired by Klimt, Klee, Monet, and more by Susan Evenson. This 144 page Paperback – released April 1, 2017 by Publisher: Quarry Books, is a collection of mixed media projects to promote creative practice. The author begins by taking you through the following steps: finding time, setting up your work space, and gathering the tools and materials necessary to collage, paint, draw and pastel. Next are 5 simple warm up exercises to choose from. They quiet the mind, activate the right brain and help to improve the creative experience. Then using the works of great masters for inspiration, Susan guides you step-by-step through the process of making art, with a variety of techniques such as torn-paper collage, blended pastels and wet-on-wet watercolor, in colors and moods that suggest calm. Creative Healing Educator Mary Rockwood Lane provides commentary on the arts and it's benefits to the body, mind and soul. Below is an example of how each project is presented – Chapter Three's Silent Beach. A beautiful and thoughtfully assembled book. Get your copy below! 





Chapter 2 DELIGHT
Chapter 3 QUIET
Chapter 4 WARMTH
Chapter 5 HARMONY
Chapter 6 CALM
 Chapter 7 LIGHT
 Chapter 8 RHYTHM


About the Author

Page 49 Silent Beach Chapter 3 QUIET, Project 3

A beach offers a still point where we can let go of our busy schedules, clear our minds, and tune into nature. This Degas drawing has a wonderfully peaceful feel to it. What I love about it is that Degas created such a deep vista of sand, sea, and sky simply with horizontal bands of color. I’ve played with this idea, using torn strips of paper colored with watercolor and gouache, but you could try it with pastel. Allow for some ambiguity, as getting specific or busy can change the feel of the work entirely. Let your colors remain flowing and soft.


• 8″ x 10″ (20.5 x 25.5 cm) or 9″ x 12″ (23 x 30.5 cm) Bristol board or watercolor paper
• three pieces of watercolor paper, 8″ x 10″ (20.5 x 25.5 cm)
• watercolors and gouache
• paintbrushes, in a variety of sizes
• water
• matte medium

Imagine a seascape, using the Degas painting as a reference. Paint the Bristol board with a sand color. It can be an off-white or light brown, or lighter in some areas and darker in others. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Paint the three pieces of watercolor paper, one in varying shades of blues, another with whites, and the third with soft yellow tones. Orient each of these horizontally on your workspace.

Tear the painted sheets from step 2 into irregular horizontal strips. The paper can still be a little wet. There may be rough spots and crooked lines, which is okay. Enjoy the imperfections.

Imagine a band of deep water at the bottom of the page, a brighter horizon line toward the middle, and a vast sky above. Overlap the pieces of torn paper on the background, brushing water over them to hold them together. Notice how you can add piece after piece to construct the three areas of color. The brightest band is in the center of the page.

Attach the strips to the surface with matte medium. Starting at the bottom, attach the darkest section. Move up to the brightest area and then to the sky. Don’t worry if the colors aren’t coming together the way you want them quite yet. Let the matte medium dry.

How do the bands of collaged color look? Do you have beautiful torn edges that are adding to the depth of the landscape? Add a few more torn pieces of painted paper, if you like. Now focus on how the color is lying on the page. Do you need to add anything? Does it feel hazy and beautiful, or do you want richer color? You can go back in with paint now and work on any areas that need a little something more. Start with a watery paint and let the subtle colors and torn paper textures remain important elements on the page. Enjoy the subtlety of the sea, sky, and the beautiful textures you’ve created.

drawing calm 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 June 6, 2017. Prize includes free shipping Canada & the USA. Good luck!
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Monday, May 08, 2017

Creative Sprint Review & GIVEAWAY

I've begun my first Creative Sprint! Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges to Jumpstart Your Creativity by Noah Scalin and Mica Scalin. It's a 224 page Flexibound:  Released – Apr 1 2017 by Voyageur Press. A Creative Sprint is doing something creative, everyday for 30 days. Why? To develop a habit of being creative and to get better at being creative. 30 days because it's a reasonably, manageable, time frame. Anyone can do a Creative Sprint – no experience is necessary. Use the Creative Sprint interactive workbook and follow the prompts. There are six 30-day Creative Sprints inside. Each sprint has it's own theme. Interpret as you like, it's meant to be loosely structured. There are no wrong results. Use any creative medium or style. There are only 3 rules - create daily, share and reflect. Join an online community and share your experience. Use hashtag #creativesprint. Celebrate at the end of each challenge. There are ideas in the book. I find that I look forward to doing the hands-on exercises each day. My creative confidence and skills are growing. AND I'm having FUN! The first 6 pages of my journal are below. Get your copy below!

Sprint 1:  DREAM SMALL
My Story:  Emma Gordon:  Actor, Artist, Educator and Mother
My Story:  Margarita Korol:  Social Innovation Designer

My Story:  Julian Cook:  Metal Artist

My Story:  Wendy Umanoff:  Lighting Fixture Designer
My Story: K ate McGhee:  Marketing Strategy Consultant

My Story:  Archie Miller:  Interaction Design Team Manager

My Story:  Constance Del Nero:  Director of Museum Community Programs
My Story:  Steve Zmijewski:  Ad Operations Manager

My Story:  Unicia R Buster:  Artist and Art Specialist

Thank You
About The Authors

Image result for Creative Sprint: Six 30-Day Challenges to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Creative Sprint is available worldwide at Voyageur Press, a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Check out their unique catalog at Voyaguer Press. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until May 22, 2017. Prize includes free shipping to Canada & the USA. Good luck! It is also available at Amazon Canada and Amazon USA.

Pages from my Creative Sprint.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Cosmic and Eternal Love Coloring Book Review

I love my new coloring book – Cosmic and Eternal Love, An Everlasting Love Story & Coloring Book – by Amrita Sen, released on January 16, 2017 by Galison. It's a 96 page softcover book inspired by Hindu mythology. The original artwork is stunning, you will not find these illustrations anywhere else. They are exotic and intricate, perfect for exploring the vibrant colors of India. I'm using good quality pencil crayons to color. All of the black and white drawings are printed on both sides of thick, 10" x 10" durable paper. The story's main characters are Radha and Krishna. Specially marked coloring books come with the accompanying CD, composed and produced by Sen. An accomplished musician, she's worked with Pitbull, Weezer and Justin Timberlake, just to name a few. Music can be a great way to set the mood – listen to the 12 song soundtrack while you color. The Cosmic and Eternal Love Coloring Book and CD are part of a gorgeous home and gift collection. Get yours below!

Pages from coloring book.

The Cosmic and Eternal Love Coloring Book & CD are available worldwide at Galison. Galison publishes fine art and contemporary stationery and paper gifts. Check out their catalog at Galison. The Coloring Book and CD are also available at Amazon Canada and Amazon USA.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

About Sketching Review & GIVEAWAY

About Sketching: The Art and Practice of Capturing the Moment by Jasper Salwey, is a 176 page Paperback – released Apr 19 2017 from Dover Publications. This Dover edition, first published in 2017, is an unabridged republication of the work originally published as The Art and Practice of Sketching: It's History and Technique in All Media, by B. T. Batsford, Ltd., London, in 1930. Jasper Salwey (1884–1956), a British artist and architect, wrote several sought after books on drawing. In his forward, Leonard Squirrell, says "This is not a volume of dull and passionless information, ... but an illuminating and understanding survey of an immense subject..." In his preface Salwey says that the main object of this book is to encourage the practice of sketching. He then goes on to discuss the relevance and importance of sketching. 66 plates are included as examples. These illustrations are in black and white except for those on the book cover. This book is suitable for students of art and artists. Get your copy below!


Foreword by Leonard Squirrell, R.E.

I. The Art of Sketching

II. Media and Methods
Lead Pencil
Carbon Pencil and Crayon
Red Chalk
Coloured Chalks
Charcoal and Colour
Direct Oil-Colour
Pen and Ink

III. The Practice of Sketching
Interior Subjects
Figure Sketching
Landscape Sketching
Sketching Seascape
Sketching Architecture

Index to Text and Illustrations

Out of print no more!

About Sketching 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 April 26, 2017. Prize includes free shipping Canada & USA. Good luck!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

How to Color Like an Artist Review & GIVEAWAY

How to Color Like an Artist: Colored Pencil Techniques including Blending & Shading by Veronica Winters is a 96 page Paperback released (April 19 2017) from Dover Publications. It includes 8 coloring pages from Dover's bestselling Creative Haven® series of coloring books. The pages are single-sided and perforated. Artist and teacher Veronica of Veronica's Art leads a practical course in coloring with pencil crayons. You will learn, then apply, the core techniques artists use to perfect their coloring. Veronica uses Prismacolor Premier and Caran d'Ache Pablo colored pencils. Each demo includes the exact pencil she uses, brand and color. You are free to use whatever brand and color you like, as I am. It is the technique practice that is fundamental. The author stresses using quality products for best results. As a beginner, I am finding the demos very helpful. It's nice to know some art terminology and color theory too. Would you like to develop your coloring skills, build your confidence, and enjoy yourself along the way? Get your copy below!

Table of Contents
Basic Materials

Chapter 1
Pencil Stroke Types

Chapter 2
Shading Techniques

Chapter 3
Highlights on White and Colored Papers

Chapter 4

Chapter 5
Blending Colors with Solvents

Chapter 6
Blending with Light-Colored Pencils

Chapter 7
Basics of Color Theory

Chapter 8
Color Harmony

Chapter 9
Using Gray Color to Create Selective Focus

Chapter 10
Combining Mediums

About the Author

8 Coloring Pages
Mehndi Design
Sea Life Mandala

Page 67  Combining Mediums / Poppies Coloring Page

Page 2  Pencil Stroke Types

Page 42  Basics of Color Theory

How to Color Like an Artist 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 April 18, 2017. Prize includes free shipping Canada & USA. Good luck!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Paper Home Review

Paper Home: Beautifully Unique Origami Projects by Esther Thorpe is a 144 page hardcover released Feb. 7, 2017 from – Publisher: Pavilion Books. Whether every day or special occasion these paper folding projects will help you add a unique personal touch to your home. For example, my new favorite origami fold, the Triangular Basket – photo below. It may look difficult to make but it's actually very easy. A dab or two of glue and it's quite sturdy. With Easter approaching I'm going to use my basket as an Easter table favor. One for each place setting. By adding some crinkle paper and Easter eggs it's an eye-catching geometric nest. It's just 1 of the 15 home decor paper folding projects in Ester's book. I've folded several of the designs and found the instructions, both photo and text, very clear. The projects vary in degree of difficulty. Paper, scissors, glue and other easy to find craft supplies required. A sheet of paper is full of possibilities. By applying origami techniques Ester shows how you can dress up any party or room. Get your copy below!


The Importance of Paper
How to Fold

Party Diamonds
Christmas Stars
Geometric Mobile

Triangular Basket
Photo Holder
Feltigami Box

Star Garland
Crane Mobile
Pyramid Fairy Lights
Wall Art

Project Papers
About the author

Triangular Origami Basket
This is my Triangular Origami Basket. I folded it with three 5" squares, each with a different, yet coordinating pattern.

A Look Inside...

Star Garland, Crane Mobile, Wall Art, page 4.

Lampshade, page 22.

Vase, page 82.

Paper Home is available worldwide at Pavilion Publications. The Pavilion Books Group is a thriving UK based publisher. Check out their catalogue at Pavilion Books. It is also available at Amazon Canada and Amazon USA.

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Saturday Evening Post Adult Coloring Books Review & GIVEAWAY

Nostalgic for the past? Look at these charming Saturday Evening Post covers I'm coloring. The Post is an American publication very popular during the 1920s to the 1960s. The magazine's famous covers, by well-known illustrators, depict scenes of everyday, middle-class American life, from a much simpler time. These 2 coloring books, Norman Rockwell Classics and Americana are by Creative Haven® - a best-selling series from Dover Publications. Each issue contains 31 covers for you to color as you please 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 copies below!

Norman Rockwell Classics from The Saturday Evening Post Coloring Book, compiled by Sara Jackson. Illustrated by Norman Rockwell. Paperback – released March 17, 2017 by Dover Publishing.

 Plate 4
 Happy Birthday, Miss Jones
Norman Rockwell
March 17, 1956

The Saturday Evening Post Americana Coloring Book compiled by Marty Noble. Illustrators include John Falter, Stevan Dohanos, George Hughes, Richard Sargent, and others. Paperback – Released March 17, 2017 by Dover Publishing.

Plate 24
Doggy Buffet
Richard Sargent
January 5, 1957

My coloring, in progress. I find it fun and relaxing. Page from Norman Rockwell Classics. Plate 24. Cover Girl. Norman Rockwell. The Saturday Evening Post cover, March 1, 1941. 

Creative Haven® Adult Coloring Books are 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 of each coloring book! One winner will be selected at random. Open until March 20, 2017. Prize includes free shipping Canada & USA. Good luck!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Art of Stone Painting Review

The Art of Stone Painting: 30 Designs to Spark Your Creativity – by F. Sehnaz Bac, released January 18, 2017 by Dover Publications. Expert stone painter and archaeologist Sehnaz shows you how to turn ordinary stones into gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, art pieces. Presented with large, full-color photographs and text, her 96 page paperback has instructions for 30 handmade projects– simple to advanced. Use stones decoratively, as keepsakes, paper weights, and door stops. You can even turn pebbles into jewelry! Her detailed designs are very appealing. She favors bold colors and vivid designs. Tools and materials include brushes, acrylic paints, paint pens, acrylic inks and varnish. Sehnaz shares her process from beginning to end. You will learn how to find, choose and prepare stones for painting, stone painting and design techniques, sealing and protecting painted stones. Finished stones are water resistant. To clean, just wipe with a soft cloth. Sehnaz sells her work on Etsy. Inspired to paint your own collection? Get your copy below.
Table of Contents


Flourishing Tree
Leaf Collection
Simple Flowers
Blooming Botanicals
Sea Themes

Friendly Fish
Elegant Feathers
Cool Cacti
A Frog's Pad
Cheerful Hearts

Simple Mandalas
Geometric Art
Simple Birds
Simple Butterflies & Dragonflies
Structured Doodles

Sun Stone, Moon Stone 
Detailed Flowers
Multi-Stone Mandala
Simple Owls

Detailed Mandalas 
Colorful Peacock
Detailed Butterflies & Dragonflies
Folk Abstract
Festive Themes

Fanciful Birds
Eye-Catching Elephants
Monochrome Mandalas
Pebble Pendants
Detailed Owls
About the Author


Birds, Owls, and Flowers

Pebble Pendants

The Art of Stone Painting is available worldwide at Dover Publications. Dover, Great Books, Variety & Value Since 1941. Check out their catalog at Dover Publications.