30 April 2015

My Favorite Tools and Supplies: Colored Pencil Work

Lately I've been asked a lot about my favorite tools and supplies for my colored pencil work.
When I started drawing and painting, I was looking for the 'perfect' pencil or sharpener or eraser, I've found I need more than one, each of them for a specific purpose... I use all what I've listed here!

You'll find here some photos and a list with all my favorites, their names and brands.

(top left)
Fabriano Classico 5 HP 300gsm/140lb
This is watercolor paper, 50% cotton rag and 50% wood pulp, acid free.
For colored pencils should be used on the 'wrong' side

 Faber-Castell Polychromos are my absolute favorites!
I buy them in open stock the colors I like or I need rather than sets. (top right and bottom left)
Prismacolor Verithin in Black, Grey and Brown (top right)
Prismacolor Premier just five or six colors I can't find in other brands. (not pictured)

(bottom right)
Botanical Drawing In Color by Wendy Hollender
Botanical Painting with Coloured Pencils by Ann Swan 
There are other books about colored pencils out there but my interest is Botanical Art.

(top left)
Staedtler Mars Lumograph 2B and H
Tombow Homo-graph Mono H
Pentel GraphGear 1000 0.3 mm HB
Pentel P203 0.3 mm H
Pentel P205 0.5mm H

(top right)
Q-Connect Desktop Pencil Sharpener for a long sharp point
Alvin DUX Glass Inkwell Sharpener for regular sharp point 
Mobius & Ruppert Wedge Brass Pencil Sharpener for regular sharp point
Refer to the pencils picture with the sharpeners to see the type of point you get with each one.

(bottom left) 
Sakura SE2000 Electric Eraser
Faber-Castell Grey Kneadable Art Eraser 
Pilot Foam Eraser
Tombow Mono Knock 3.8 Eraser 
Tombow Mono Zero 2.3 mm Eraser

(bottom right)
Pencil Extenders Creative Mark and Lyra
Alvin 450 7.5 in. Proportional Dividers
15cm/6in Steel Ruler
5X Handheld Magnifying Glass
Faber-Castell Erasing Shield

These are just my most used and favorite tools and supplies. For others there would be other preferences. If you have any suggestion they are most welcome!

If you have any particular question please contact me through the comments or using the contact form on the right hand side.

01 March 2015

Mandala Tutorial Well Used

Some weeks ago, a very lovely and polite lady wrote me via the contact form on this blog, to ask if she could use my Mehndi Inspired Mandala Tutorial.

She was planing a class mainly for kids at a shop near were she lives. She said she always wanted to draw a mandala but didn't know how to do it and my tutorial had helped her getting started.

I immediately reply saying yes, first of all because she asked for my permission and second because I like to share what I do. I feel extremely sad when people use thing I've made just because "I found it on internet", with total disregard of what Copyright means.

Yesterday I got another email from Rebecca, the lovely and polite lady, telling me about the crafty afternoon mandala workshop she had done. This is what she wrote:

"We had the crafty afternoon today. I had mostly kids come by and I gave them a print-out of your different elements/shapes.
I told them all to look your website up and watch your rock-painting tutorial! 

I was amazed at the mandala results these children could achieve very quickly (see pic attached - the blue mandala is mine).
In that first pic - the orange and red mandala was done by quite a young girl - she really got it! Even a boy had a go.

I personally benefit from drawing the mandalas using your tutorial in a number of ways.
It took me a few goes to get the hang of balancing white space, not being too busy & fussy, making good colour choices! etc.

This is a really clear and easy to use tutorial. Thanks again for letting us use it."
Foto by Rebecca M.
Foto by Rebecca M.

She also says: "The tutorial really empowers people to have a go at Mandalas." "Me and my daughter have literally continued doing them tonight (see pic below)."
Foto by Rebecca M.

Rebecca and her workshop had made me extremely happy!!!
Thank you Rebecca from the bottom of my heart, you've made my day!

By the way, she has a beautiful business with her husband making reusable greeting cards, make sure you visit her at www.merrygoround.com.au
This blog post was written with Rebecca's permission to share her story and use her photos.

18 January 2015

Art Supplies and Ten-Fold Rosette Mandala

I've been ask a lot about the paints and brushes I use, specially about metallic paints. 

Here they are:

The watercolor box is DANIEL SMITH 24 Half Pan Empty Watercolor Travel Box. I bought it some eight years ago. I modified it and now it holds 39 colors instead of 24. I'm not sure if it is still available, the link has disappeared from their shop...

The watercolors are from tubes that I had squeezed in to the empty half pans, most of them are Winsor and Newton Artists' Watercolors, some Daniel Smith and a couple of Holbein.

The metallic paints are in a little mints tin from Walgreens. They are Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache Gold and Silver, Daniel Smith Iridescent Antique Watercolors Gold, Silver, Copper and Bronze.

The brushes are Spotters no. 4, 2, 0 and 3/0 from Rosemary & Co.

The Process Step-By-Step

 First, I constructed the pattern using geometry then I transferred it onto watercolor paper

Daniel Smith Iridescent Antique Gold

Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue PB60

Winsor and Newton Cobalt Turquoise PB36

Winsor and Newton Green Gold PY129

I hope this is helpful.
Please contact me or leave me a comment if you have any question.

14 January 2015

The Beauty and The Beast: A Mandala Journal Tale

This is the story of my new sketchbook for my self-exploration mandala journey.

I ordered a very nice Stillman and Birn Zeta Series A4 Hardbound Sketchbook which I decided I wanted to personalized as I've done before.

This morning a drew a mandala on its cover, using my usual technique of dip pen and acrylic ink.

I was very happy with the result and I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram

Normally, after drawing on a book cover, I apply a layer or two of Acrylic Matte Medium to protect my mandala. I was very impatient to finish so I used a hair dryer to speed up the process. It wasn't enough, it wasn't completely dry, I should have waited...


When I applied the acrylic medium the white ink went all over the place.
I ruined it...

After many failed attempts to fix it, including covering it with white acrylic paint, then black acrylic paint, I started to remove all the layers with sand paper.

Slowly, my mandala started to appear like a lost buried ancient treasure.

It reminded me of the process I'm embarking on, my journey of self discovery through The Great Round of the Mandala
The process is the same, its excavating what is hidden in my unconscious, like removing layers I've been applying through out my life, may be to protect myself...
There will be beautiful things, not so beautiful things and ugly things. They are all part of me, they are the whole, they are MY SELF... They are the treasure...

With much love and care I cleaned it and drew the lines and dots again.

I embrace my journal as it is now, as I embrace my self, I embrace the beauty and the beast.

06 January 2015

Womandala Bag - Mandala Pouch

Almost two years ago I embroidered this Mandala.
As many of the thing I make, it didn't have any other purpose than making me happy while working on it. I store these "purposeless" things I make and makes me happy to look at them from time to time.

Two days ago, I was reading Stage One of the Grand Round of the Mandala in the Mandala Workbook I talked about on my previous post and in an instant, I knew what to do with my embroidered mandala.

I pulled my mandala out, cut it out along with another piece of linen to use as a lining and piece them together with blanket stitch.

Then I worked out a crochet border with holes following instructions from an old book. I had never done crochet before! Took me all day to do this.
I made two twisted cords to open/close my littke pouch , added two beautiful big glass beads I had 
 and voila!

My gorgeous Womandala Bag is ready to store little treasures and secrets.

It was challenging, I learned a little crochet and also somethings about myself.
It was a very rewarding exercise and I feel very proud of myself!

Now of to my journal to write about it, as part of my 2015 self-exploration journey.