I’ve recently bought a new Bible specifically to journal in – actually I’ve purchased two (NIV & NLT). There are probably some people who think that drawing in a Bible is sacrilegious, but I see it as creative worship, and an extension of my sermon sketchnotes. As a pastime, it seems to have become very popular and perhaps a spin off from the adult colouring trend. Some journaling bibles even have illustrations waiting to be coloured. I christened my new NLT bible this evening:
It’s no secret that time flies when you’re busy! Lots of prep going on behind the scenes ready for my TV return next week, and a weekend away in the Lakes wasn’t exactly a rest, but it was a lovely break with lovely friends. But back to the here and now, and I’ve rustled up another art journal page. It’s been a while, but I have to make an example for Monday night’s art journal session in The Studio!
The highlights of this page are: brayer layers, and the newly available Molotow Liquid Chrome pens. These are alcohol based markers in various nib widths, and on a smooth surface, they really are impressively flat and mirror like when dry. I’ll let you know if they perform better than Krylon leafing pens after a couple of weeks of non-use. And I’ll let you know when and where you can get them – I’ve been sent samples to play with 🙂
One of the great things about my job is that I get to play with new products. Yesterday I had a go with a sample of coarse Decor Concrete from Pentart. It resembles sand when dry, and once the bonding agent is mixed in it moves like the magic sand stuff you can get in toy shops. It needs to be packed in a mould, and doesn’t mould round something such as a balloon as it doesn’t particularly stick to itself. A quick whizz in the microwave sets the bonding agent, and once it’s cooled, it can be removed from the mould. It becomes waterproof when baked at 200°C for five minutes. There is quite a lot of weight to the finished objects, and I’m amazed at how resilient the thin edges are. The finished surface looks like a light sandstone.
360° product shots are so much easier now I have a foldio360 to fit in my Foldio 2 photo booth. They still have some kinks to work out (such as coordinating with DSLR remotely), but so far, so good! All I need to do now is practice getting items in the middle of the turntable…
This disc was moulded in the inside of a finished roll of tape, and then imprinted with a stamp image [That’s Crafty! ‘Beck’] and filled after baking with a water-based black outliner paste. I also added the metallic gold to the edge. Both items required a felt base to be added to avoid scratching any surface they were placed on.
As promised in my previous post, I used spray inks and copious amounts of water on my test journals. I’m delighted to say that all three passed with flying colours. I wanted to check that the paper didn’t become saturated, there was minimal bleed through of colour to the reverse of the page, and that generally the journals behaved themselves when wet. Here are the results, the journals I used and any notes I made:
Frisk layflat Sketch Pad
This is an absolutely perfect journal – it is 300gsm, pretty much A5 in size, with a laminated cover and 20 pages. The pages really do lay absolutely flat with no gutter in the middle fold – it looks like Frisk have managed to fuse flat sheets of cartridge paper together to make the pages. There was no more buckle than I would expect from wetting any paper and no bleed through. A cracking journal!
Frisk Sketch Book
This is a 140gsm, 40 page, A5 landscape format journal with staple binding. It has a laminated black cover, though kraft covers are available as are other sizes. The pages are definitely a lighter weight than the layflat sketch pad, but are no less flimsy when wet. Again, no bleed through to the back of the page. An excellent everyday journal.
Hahnemuhle Travel Booklets
I used the small A6 size which makes for a dinky journal, but handy for very quick pages, or journaling on the go. At 140gsm with 20 pages, the twin pack of booklets features stitched binding. The paper was a little more absorbent, with the wet ink soaking in to the page faster than the other two. Even so, there was no bleed through the page and thus it passed the test. It also comes in various sizes.
As a result of my tests, I was happy to recommend all of them to Hochanda buyers in preparation for my art journaling shows on 16th June 🙂
I’ve been asked to review this book by the publishers, Design Originals, and have been provided with a preview copy. Other than that, this review is independent and I haven’t been paid for it.
Florabunda Style is billed as the next generation of zentangle, and the author should know, as she has written more than 200 craft and hobby books including the popular Zentangle series. With the rapid rise in popularity of colouring books for adults, this book seems ideal for those that are looking to create their own illustrations to colour and benefit from the relaxation that that affords.
The FloraBunda aesthetic is based on simple nature inspired doodles. The book is printed on high quality artist paper, and readers are actively encouraged to draw in the book with plenty of white space to practice in around the examples. The paper is of a sufficient quality to decorate with markers, pens, coloured pencils, watercolours and more. As well as providing more than 200 different designs the book also includes a selection of craft projects with step-by-step instructions. The reader is actively encouraged to experiment, have some fun, be eclectic, be whimsical and above all have some fun.
The book opens with a chapter on the various tools that you can use to draw the elements as well as colour them in. The following chapters follow a similar pattern, opening with a preview of all the designs, step-by-step instructions to draw them and examples of finished artwork by other zentangling experts. There’s a basic guide to plant anatomy, and every element of a typical plant is included, including stems, vines, tendrils, flowers and seed heads. There are tips and tricks scattered throughout the text, as well as snippets of encouragement to develop your own style and creativity. The book finishes with both a visual and written index of all the designs and projects. The author has a chatty style of writing, and even if you don’t dare draw in it, the book is well worth the read in it’s own right.
This is a shockingly late, shameless promotion for all that is Ken Oliver. We’ve been Facebook buddies [like him here] for a little while (after all there aren’t that many gentleman crafters at shows and we need to stick together), and I have had the pleasure of saying hi a couple of times in person at trade shows. This February he was here in the UK promoting his new ‘own brand’ crafting goodies, and he was kind enough to do the whole selfie thing with me, demonstrate his new Color Burst watercolours and give me a promo pack of 12×12″ Studio series of papers and a 6×6″ sampler pack of his other papers.
I thought I’d use the 4×6″ journal cards sheet from his Studio collection to start off my new Project Life scrapbook, and they worked perfectly. The papers are printed on a satin finish light cardstock which feels smooth to the touch. There’s no bleed through from the Sharpies I used for some of the handwritten text, which is a bonus when working on double sided papers. As one might expect from an artist that’s been in the trade for years, the designs and colours used all work together beautifully. One slight hitch I noted when gluing things down – the satin finish does resist water-based liquids a little, as I found when I was using Zig Memory Systems two way acrylic glue. Something to be aware of, though that didn’t turn out to be too restrictive in practice – it might be more of an issue if spritzing with water/Color Burst (something I’ll test out).
Ken was also demonstrating his Color Burst watercolours. These are fine crystalline colours, conveniently dispensed from fine nozzle bottles. They appear to be similar to Brusho crystals (becoming very popular in the UK) in their reaction with water, both to make a watercolour paint, and in spritzing on the page to make vivid backgrounds. Where Color Burst beats Brusho, in my opinion, is the finer, more even crystal size and the fine nozzle capped bottle. I’ve knocked over a holed Brusho pot into my distress ink pad storage box, and the turquoise crystals continue to find their way into projects, much to the annoyance of my Tuesday night ladies… The reverse of my Project Life page shows a couple of samples from Ken’s beautiful Watercolored Memories 6×6″ papers (top left, bottom right), and the rest are Ken’s own demo sheets showing the vivid colours and dynamic reactions of the crystals with water on watercolour paper.
Thanks to Ken for having a chat, demoing his fabulous products, and especially for the goodie pack. Sorry it’s taken me so long to fulfil my promise to post about our chat!
But the purpose of the colouring in was to trial and review the deluxe set of Chameleon Pens I recently purchased. There have been a fair number of reviews online, both good and bad, and a fair number of my Facebook friends had indicated they hadn’t got on with them at all and had returned them. I watched all the available videos I could find, as well as the shows on Create & Craft, found a good offer and went for the full set.
For the uninitiated, the pens are a basic dual tip alcohol ink pen – there is a bullet point and a brush-like nib. In addition is a reservoir of the solvent attached to each pen with its own brush nib. In use, you put coloured tip to solvent tip, keep solvent on top and the pen upright for a defined period, and then start colouring – the solvent dilutes the colour, resulting in a tint which develops the fuller colour as the ink flows back into the nib. Thus from one pen, you can get all the shades. The ink on the page is also translucent, and along with other alcohol ink pens, blends whilst wet and overlays once dried. The deluxe pen set includes all 20 colours, a blending pen and a detail black pen, along with some spare nibs and an instruction sheet. They are in a handy holder which also presents the pens for use when open.
For my full review, read on… but in the meantime here’s the executive summary. I think in terms of colour intensity, blending, bleed and application, these pens are pretty much like-for-like alongside Letraset’s ProMarkers. Their USP is the many shades, one pen however:
PROS> no swapping pens constantly, no need for several pens or layers to shade light to dark, mix time allows for planning next area (i.e. time isn’t wasted). CONS>Getting large areas the same shade is very difficult unless keeping to undiluted pen colour; may need to use a different colouring method.
CONCLUSION: These are a great addition to my alcohol pens, and best suited to detailed images needing obvious shading. I’d not recommend them for large areas of same shade colouring – I’d stick with several ProMarkers. I certainly don’t regret buying them and definitely won’t be sending them back!