Thursday, October 18, 2018

Art Starts with a Line Review & GIVEAWAY

Want to get better at drawing? Art Starts with a Line is a creative and interactive guide to the art of line drawing. It is written and illustrated by Erin McManness of the Paper Raven Co. Erin begins with an introduction on tools and techniques including adding color and working digitally. She shows how to draw using simple lines and basic shapes. Her book is divided into 5 main themes as listed in the table of contents below. Each theme contains a series of simple step-by-step practice lessons and valuable tips that lead up to a more advanced drawing exercise. You will need a pencil or pen to draw with and a sketchbook - though practice drawing space is often provided. This is a very approachable and enjoyable way to build your drawing confidence. This 128 page paperback was released July 3, 2018 from Walter Foster Publishing. Get your copy below!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
DRAWING TOOLS & MATERIALS
COLOR TOOLS & MATERIALS
BASIC DRAWING TECHNIQUES
ADDING COLOR
WORKING DIGITALLY

1.  BORDERS, BANNERS & LETTERS
Borders & Banners
Lettering
Creative Exercise: Lettered Quote & Banner

2.  BOTANICALS
Leaves & Flowers
Tropical Plants
Winter Plants
Succulents, Cacti & Desert Plants
Trees
Modern, Stylized Florals
Creative Exercise: Terrarium

3.  ARCHITECTURE & CITY LIFE
City Buildings
Distinctive Architecture & Iconic Landmarks
Creative Exercise: Storefront

4.  ANIMALS & INSECTS

5.  EVERYDAY LIFE

ABOUT THE ARTIST


Pages 28 & 29.

Pages 48 & 49.

Pages 104 & 105.



Art Starts with a Line is available worldwide at Walter Foster. Walter Foster is a division of the Quarto Publishing Group USA. Walter Foster is one of the most recognized names in art instruction. Check out their unique catalog at Walter Foster. Quarto has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until November 7, 2018. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!



Saturday, October 13, 2018

Audubon's Watercolors 2019 Wall Calendar Review & GIVEAWAY

This is my beautiful new 2019 wall calendar; Audubon's Watercolors Calendar - curated by The New York Historical Society Museum & Library. It features the exquisite avian watercolors of naturalist and painter John James Audubon. These lesser known illustrations are the precursor to his world famous prints The Birds of America (1827-38). These dazzling and elegant works include the Little Blue Heron on the cover. The 12-month format runs from January – December 2019. A sample month is shown below. The color and detail are remarkable. The pages are printed on durable, high-quality paper measuring 12 x 12" (30.5 x 30.5 cm). Andrews McMeel Publishing released this 24 page wall calendar July 17, 2018. I love it! Get your copy below!



CONTENTS

Norther Harrier
Hooded Warbler
White-breasted Nuthatch
White-throated Sparrow

Connecticut Warbler
Blue Grosbeak
American Redstart
Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Western Tanager
Osprey
Eastern Screech-Owl
Pine Grosbeak



September 2019 Western Tanager.




Back cover of my copy.





Audubon's Watercolors 2019 Wall Calendar is available at Andrews McMeel Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Andrew McMeel Publishing. AMP has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until November 2, 2018. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!

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Friday, September 28, 2018

Johanna Basford 16-Month Weekly Coloring Planner Review & GIVEAWAY

I just got the September 2018 - December 2019 Johanna Basford 16-Month Weekly Coloring Planner and I love it! It features intricate artwork selected from her six best-selling coloring books Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, Magical Jungle, Johanna's Christmas, Lost Ocean, Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden. This new, spiral bound, week-per-page planner is arranged Monday through Sunday. There's lots of room for filling in your activities. Organize your plans for the week on one side and color one of Johanna's delightful drawings on the other. Her trade mark black and white illustrations are printed on creamy vanilla paper. Color with your choice of pens, pencils or markers. Several lined pages for notes and a coloring test page are included at the back. There are many benefits to coloring including relaxation. This 156 page calendar was released June 5, 2018 from Andrews McMeel Publishing. Get your copy below!

Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm or 7.7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches



Illustrator Johanna Basford - 21 million sold!

September 2018 - December 2019.

The September 2018 - December 2019 Johanna Basford 16-Month Weekly Coloring Planner is available at Andrews McMeel Publishing. Check out their unique catalog at Andrew McMeel Publishing. AMP has generously offered to giveaway a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until October 19, 2018. Canada & the USA only. Good luck!

Front of my copy.






Friday, September 21, 2018

The Creature Garden Review & GIVEAWAY

The fantastic cover drew my attention. Inside is just as wonderful. WOW! Enter the world of Zanna and Harry Goldhawk, wife and husband. The Creature Garden: An Illustrator's Guide to Beautiful Beasts & Fictional Fauna. In several pages of introduction the authors open up about their artistic journey from students through starting their own business Papio Press. It includes discussion and valuable advice on topics such as drawing animals, tools, materials, progress, sketchbooks, tutorials and patterns. The bulk of their book features over 50 stunning tutorials showing how to draw and paint mammals, ocean life, birds, insects, mythical creatures and botanicals. I have included a sample below. Each lesson is similar in format. All begin with the armature - which I've learned is the use of basic shapes to draw the animal (circles, squares, triangles, rectangles). You will find plenty of illustration instruction, inspiration galore and tons of art bursting with life. Rock Point Publishing released this 160 page hardcover on May 29, 2018. Get your copy below!


Contents

ABOUT DRAWING ANIMALS
TOOLS
MATERIALS
PROGRESS
SKETCHBOOKS
TUTORIALS
PATTERNS

MAMMALS
OCEAN LIFE
BIRDS
INSECTS
MYTHICAL CREATURES
BOTANICALS

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHORS




H A R E S

WHITE HARE (Lepus Timidus)

Though some people think hares are rodents, they're not - hares and rabbits have their own genus, Leporidae. Although they may be considered common, hares are extraordinary animals. Their back legs can power them to speeds of up to 45 mph when they're in danger.


STEP 1. Create the hare's armature (see page 22), focusing on the haunches, where it stores the ability to quickly run and jump. A hare in motion is stretched and elongated, so make the rest of the body long and thin.


STEP 2. Using your base color, outline the hare. In a dark color fill i the hares tiny, dark eyes, whiskers, inner ear, and background limbs. Erase or paint over the shapes.


STEP 3 AND 4. Fill in the hare's body with the base color, using long, even brushstrokes. Once filled in, add a few simple accents with a darker color to the belly, limbs, and head.



Whenever I draw hares and rabbits, I always over-exaggerate the ears because they're such recognizable features, but you should also pay close attention to the back legs. Even though they appear to be similar to the shape of many mammals' back legs, a hare's back feet are longer.

Here we've drawn our hare in motion, with its ears and legs in play. As seen above, we used lighter strokes to outline the hare, and applied patterns that appear to fly backward on the body - all of which conveys the speed of a hare as it bounds off a the first sight of the family dog!

Page 90 & 91.













Back cover of my copy.




























The Creature Garden 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 a copy! One winner will be selected at random. Open until October 11, 2018. Canadian and USA addresses only. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

CUT PAPER PICTURES Review

In CUT PAPER PICTURES expert collage artist Clover Robin shows how to Turn Your Art and Photos into Personalized Collages. She says 'My collages aren't just a form of self-expression; they are a documentation, a record of things I've seen and done.' This personal element appeals to me very much. She begins with the basics of collage, the tools and materials, how to color and store your papers and inspiration. This includes a basic step-by-step collage exercise. Next Clover breaks down precisely how she composes her collages, layer by layer - from subject to methods and techniques. She includes lots of step-by-step collage exercises experimenting with color, composition, medium and theme. I like to glean all the tips I can, particularly from someone who does it so well. This is a wonderful art instruction book on collage. It's a very pretty book loaded with colorful collage throughout. And as a bonus it includes 12 collage papers featuring unique colors, patterns and styles. The pages measure 8.4 x 10.4 inches (21.3 x 26.4 cm) and are perforated for easy removal. Use for your own collage makingRock Point Publishing released this 184 page hardcover on August 21, 2018. Get your copy below!


CONTENTS

Introduction
About This Book

Collage Basics
Types of Paper
Coloring Papers
Storing Your Scraps
Finding Inspiration
Step-by-Step: Basic Collage

Collage Themes
Flowers and Plants
Bugs and Birds
Houses
People

Lettering and Patterns
Landscapes and Building a Theme
Creating Artwork From Photos
Closing Snips

About the Author
Acknowledgements
Paper Patterns

Collage artist Clover Robin.

Collage kit.






CUT PAPER PICTURES 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.

Back cover of my copy of book.











Seaside collage by Clover Robin


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Crafting with Wooden Crates & Pallets Review & GIVEAWAY

Want to get in on the trend of re-purposing wooden crates and pallets? In her new book Crafting with Wooden Crates & Pallets author Natalie Wright shows you how with 25 Simple Projects to Style Your Home. You will learn creative ways to turn ordinary wooden crates and pallets into useful, attractive and inexpensive home decor. Natalie guides you through building, painting and finishing a variety of clever do-it-yourself projects including making your own crate. Each design includes a list of the supplies you will need and step-by-step instructions accompanied by plenty of full-color photos. Most of the crate projects in this book use 12 1/2" x 18" x 9 1/2" crates. It's a standard size. Other projects use pallet wood or vintage crates. As discussed in the book's introduction, you will need to assemble some basic woodworking tools. These include things like a measuring tape, hammer, screwdriver, drill, saws, safety goggles, sandpaper, wood glue and more. I've included a few of my favorite pieces below. The 160 page paperback was released August 15, 2018 from Dover PublicationsGet your copy below!



CONTENTS

Introduction

How to Build a Crate
Crate Storage Shelves
Hanging Crate Nightstands
Crate Bookshelf
Crate Footstool

Crate Side Table
Crate Bench
Kids' Crate Storage
Crate Desk
Crate Pet Bed

Vintage Soda Crate Storage
Crate Plant Stand
Vintage Crate Fairy Garden
Crate Lemonade Stand
Crate Planter Box

Hanging Flowers Pallet
Pallet Wood Dominoes
Pallet Wood Sign
Pallet Wood Storage Box
Decoupage Crate

Roller Toy Box
Crate Doll Wardrobe
Crate Toolbox
Crate Pet Caddy
Crate Puppet Theater


Crate Storage Shelves page 8.

Crate Bookshelf page 20.

Crate Bench page 38.


Crafting with Wooden Crates & Pallets
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 16, 2018. Canada & USA. Good luck!


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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Geninne Zlatkis 2018 - 2019 On-the-Go Weekly Planner Review


I prefer a paper planner. I like to write things down. This one is so lovely that as soon as I saw it I had to have it! It's the Geninne Zlatkis 2018 - 2019 On-the-Go Weekly Planner. Every time I look at it I smile. It showcases the delightful avian artwork of Geninne D. Zlatkis. It has all of the desirable features I require - they are listed below. My favorite is it's handy size. The pages are printed on high quality paper. It begins August 1, 2018 so I'm already using it. There are many benefits to using a planner including saving time and making life easier. This 224 page calendar was released May 15, 2018 from Amber Lotus Publishing. Make everyday beautiful! Get your copy below!



Geninne Zlatkis 2018-2019 Planner










  • 5" x 7" weekly planner (10" x 7" open).
  • 17-month calendar — August 2018 through December 2019 — perfect for school and academic planning.
  • Uplifting graphics by Geninne D Zlatkis guide you through the weeks.
  • The perfect gift for creative inspiration.
  • Monthly 2-page-spread views facilitate big-picture planning.
  • Weekly spreads with ample writing space.
  • Extra lined pages to record notes and reminders.
  • Elastic band closure.
  • Inside pocket for storing receipts and mementos.
  • Wire-O binding offers lie-flat ease and convenience.
  • Printed on paper sourced from a combination of sustainably managed forests and recycled materials.
  • Published by Amber Lotus, an independent carbon-negative US company that has planted more than half a million trees since 2008.
  • This calendar features US and Canadian legal holidays, phases of the moon, and important observances of the world's major religions.




The Geninne Zlatkis 2018 - 2019 On-the-Go Weekly Planner is available worldwide at Amber Lotus Publishing. Based in Portland, Oregon, Amber Lotus Publishing is a carbon-negative independent publisher of mind-body-spirit themed calendars, coloring books, greeting cards, and journals. Check out their unique catalog at Amber Lotus Publishing.

Back cover of my copy of this gorgeous planner.