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Archive for the ‘Doodles’ Category

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Today a review of; Yoga for the Brain Zentangle cards original Edition. I liked the relaxation mentioned about Zentangle but the book I had just wasn’t fun, nor inspiring. I’d seen these cards on TV so thought I’d try them instead. If you want to learn to Zentangle but don’t have a lot of time and space, these cards might be for you. Here is how I got on with them.

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Yoga for your brain, Zentangle cards

Product Details

  • Yoga for your Brain Original Edition Tangle Cards
  • Manufacturer/Brand; Design Originals
  • Item number: No 3479. ISBN: 978-1-57421-356-0
  • RRP at time of writing: £7.99

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Compact and portable.
  • I like the size; 6.3 cm W x 8.8 H
  • Self storing within the box
  • I like each design has its own card
  • There is space for you to add a number or letter to the design so you can organize them in a way to suit your needs
  • The design desire is a personal thing, but I really liked the designs on these cards

Cons

  • Haven’t really got any, a niggle perhaps; see Build quality below

Build Quality

The box is superb, sturdy card and glossy. It would last well if you were carrying it around with your or giving it to younger members of the family for them to try Zentangle. The cards are also printed on a sturdy cardstock, I’d have liked rounded corners to be kinder on hands but that’s being picky.

As has been mentioned in reviews on Amazon the cards are not laminated or glazed. This reduces eye strain but given they are a deck of cards, they don’t easily slide over each other like decks of cards usually do. Making them a little tricky to get hold of, but my dexterity isn’t great.

Value for Money

Good. You get 40 designs to copy around the same as in books, there is a book of the same title but I haven’t seen it to say if the content is the same or different. There are about 9 cards at the front with some tips for basic steps for how to Zentangle but nothing too heavy that would put you off.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I really like the card deck layout for patterns and would favour collecting designs this way rather than a book.

Summing up

These really worked for me. They are catchy, addictive, portable and the sort of size you could have next to you as you copied the design. I liked them a lot. After my experience with another Zentangle book, I had thought it wasn’t for me, yes the creation of the patterns was very relaxing but I wasn’t in love with any of the designs in the OTHER book and it put me off a bit.

The patterns in this deck I liked, which got me hooked and I can see why people get so excited about it. It IS very relaxing and meditative to create the patterns. If you don’t enjoy the whole ‘card has to be x size, draw dots in each corner, doodle a line then fill in with a different pattern in each section’ rules n regulations that Zentangle has around it, then these cards liberate you from that.

Life’s too short for too many rules, just grab a notebook and copy the patterns on these cards, in a comfy chair with some relaxing music on and you will be a chilled happy bunny in no time. Its engaging enough to stop your mind being distracted by stress and worry and repetitive enough that you quickly get in to the swing of the pattern and just draw. Several of these designs would make great boarders or for bookmarks not just all over page designs.

I highly recommend these cards, even and especially if other Zentangle products haven’t done it for you. Great for long car journeys or while waiting in a waiting room etc or on holiday when  you don’t want to be carrying too much stuff but want to create.

The only other thing you need is a 0.1 micron pen and some decent paper, but if you haven’t got that a decent fine-liner and a notebook and you are away. For younger kids I’d use a regular pen as the 0.1 pen is so fine they are likely to snap it off with too much hand pressure. If you get into it, add a soft lead pencil and paper stump to add more dimension to your designs with shading.

Links

Yoga for your Brain Amazon UK great price as ever.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Staedtler Triplus Pens

Staedtler Triplus Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Staedtler/ Triplus
  • Item number: 323 SB20
  • RRP at time of writing: £24.50 but cheaper on Amazon ;)

Reason For Buying

I wanted some colours to use with Doodling and struggling with my dexterity I wondered if the triangle-shaped barrels of these pens would help.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Good selection of colours
  • Triangle shaped barrel comfortable in the hand
  • The caps fit very well but are easy to remove
  • The plastic case is robust and folds back on itself to act as a stand as you use the pens
  • Case stays closed for travelling with your pens
  • 1.0 mm fibre tip pens, work well on cartridge paper and cover well

Cons

  • The option of more colours would have been nice, but the range is still good for general doodle style of art

Build Quality

Excellent! The nibs are robust and seem to last well. The firm fitting caps mean if you travel with these pens there is much less risk of the caps dropping off. The case being able to be used as a stand is a nice feature and like the lids is a secure closure but still easy to open.

Value for Money

TBH I would be a bit tight and not want to pay £25 but these were a bargain at just over £11 on Amazon and at that price I am very happy. They are quality and are worth their higher price, I’m just on a tight budget at the moment.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, they have a finer nibbed version of these pens and I’m looking to get a set of those for working in smaller areas and for lettering.

Summing up

Superb pens, love them a lot. Great for bold lettering or doodling. Bear in mind they are water based so not ideal for mixed media if you plan to use wet media over the top but that a niggle. Great pens, try them see if you love them too.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I”d like to share a bird themed doodle I drew, inspired by Flora Chang’s designs.

Bird doodle page, inspired by Flora Chang

Bird doodle page, inspired by Flora Chang

Items used

  • Daler Rowney Basic A6 Sketchbook
  • Faber-Castell Pit Artist Pen
  • Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils

First I drew a few birds, then I wrote the word. Gave me the idea that looking up a word and doodling from that or the thoughts/ideas that you associate with that word might be fun ;)

What inspires you to draw & doodle?

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Stabilo Point 88 pens.

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Stabilo Point 88 Pens

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Stabilo
  • Item number: 8825-1
  • RRP at time of writing: RRP £30.60 but £16 on Amazon

Reason For Buying

Having decided to give doodling a go, I wanted a set of quality fine nibbed colored pens, these looked a good set of colours to allow

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Excellent fine nib 0.4 mm (see graphic on case)
  • Smooth to draw or write with
  • Good selection of colours, suitable for a range of subjects
  • Case is lightweight but plastic so will last a while if you like your pens lined up by colour
  • These pens are water-soluble so if you want to bleed out the colour for projects you can
  • Pens are also available singly from Art supply stores if you wish to replace colours over time

Cons

  • The only colour ID is on the pen cap and base, not the barrel of the pen. So you’ll want to clip caps to base while in use or risk getting colours in a muddle
  • With my dexterity issues I found the narrow barrels and caps a little awkward to get hold of. Not a problem if you hands work tho ;)
  • Given the high rrp, the case quality is a bit of a let down. It works well but looks like it would rip quite easily, not that sturdy

Build Quality

The pen itself is excellent, the material of the nib gives a smooth writing or drawing surface on different papers/card. The caps fit well, the only quality issue is the case they come in. Not a deal breaker if you are intending to store them in other containers.

Value for Money

TBH I’m not sure I would have paid full rrp, but I got mine from Amazon for around £13 delivered and for that I am very satisfied. They are excellent and if you like to use fine liners in your art, these are excellent quality.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve used these pens on cheap paper as well as good quality cartridge paper, they perform well and give excellent results. The colour range is good and the glide of the nib on the paper is a joy.

Personally, I would have liked a coloured barrel to help ID the colours and due to difficulties with fine motor skills, I struggle with the small caps and fine barrels. The barrels are approximately the same diameter as Bic biros for reference.

Be aware of the water-soluble nature of these pens when choosing a project to use them on. So if you are using them with mixed media and use anything waterbased over the top, bear in mind the colours will reactivate and move. If you want a water colour look from the pens, scribble some colour onto an acrylic block or non porous surface and use a waterbrush to pick up the colour. This does make for a versatile pen that will have many uses. Single pens and smaller sets are available if you want to try them out before investing in a bigger set.

The other use for these pens, they are great for pattern drafting (dressmaking) due to their fine line. Careful of where you store your patterns though due to the water-soluble ink!

These pens have become a favorite for me for doodle art. Do try them out, the colours and ink flow are a joy.

Links

Here are some places where you can find Stablio pens. They are also available in larger sets with a thicker nib known as Stabilo 68. If you want something more compact to take out and about there were also some pocket-size pens in Staples.

Whats your favorite pen for doodling? Would love to see projects you have created with these pens, do leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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This was definitely one of those; let your brain wander kind of moments. I have seen this quote on rubber stamps and one of my fave things to doodle is flowers. This page was just waiting to happen. I think it would make a good card, what do you think?

Doodle your fave quote

Doodle your fave quote

Items used

All the usual suspects ;)

  • Faber Castell Pitt artist pen
  • Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils
  • Daler Rowney Basic Sketch book

I’m getting to think a page listing my kit would be helpful and then I could point you all to it ;)

What inspires you to doodle, random thoughts, images you see, quotes that roll round your head for days!!!! I have the kind of brain that is very literal which means I don’t always ‘get’ what was originally meant by phrases. I blame my late Mother whose often used phrase of ‘Don’t come running to me when you break your leg falling off that’. My brain would think, well you couldn’t run with a broken leg so huh??

I often get doodle ideas from such misinterpretations. Wanting to draw the literal result of what people say. Makes me laugh, the same is true of what I read, being dyslexic it often takes me several read throughs to understand what is meant, if not in a hurry I can also laugh when I get the wrong word for things, it may start with the same letter, or sound the same as the word I’m going for but be completely wrong. Mmm Maybe I should write the ‘wrong word and doodle the image of the thing I was going for.’ Its annoying as hell when you are in a rush, but as long as it’s not important it can cause much hilarity and creates the game of ‘guess the word I really meant!’

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Faber-Castell; 4 Pitt artist Pens

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen
  • Item number: 167100
  • RRP at time of writing: £9.49

Contents

The four pen set contains: S, F, M, B which I later found out equates too;

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen

Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen. XS not in the set, purchased separately.

Reason For Buying

Originally I bought these some years ago for ink sketching, but I haven’t got round to using them much for that yet. Instead I’ve used them for doodling.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Comfortable in the hand
  • Lightweight
  • Very black ink
  • Good on cartridge paper
  • Excellent range of nib sizes
  • Pens are available individually to replace them as needed.

Cons

  • Some issues with a few sizes, see Build Quality

Build Quality

The caps fit well, the pen is comfortable in the hand but I have found the nibs are a bit scratchy in the XS and S size. The M tip has had a tendency to not cover on the first stroke, so I wasn’t pleased with that for doodling. That may not be an issue for sketching where I may want a softer line. Depends on what you are wanting to use these for.

Value for Money

Good, F/C products are well made and well worth the investment. I’m not going to write off these pens, as the niggles I have may reduce with use. The nibs may well wear in and work better. I am comparing them to very old pens of a similar kind.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes

Summing up

I’ve enjoyed using these pens but they haven’t performed as well as some of the others that I’ve had in the past. I also have their Artline drawing system pens which I found worked slightly better, that said as I mentioned earlier I am comparing them to very old pens and perhaps the old ones were like this when new.  A fantastic quality of ink, so well worth trying. No problems with the brush tip and the fact the ink is a true black black and doesn’t reactivate with water makes them very useful for sketching and doodling especially if you want to add paint or other ink over the top.

The more hit n miss effect on the thicker nibs might work better for sketching it was just I wanted a reliable thick line for the doodling style I was working on at the time of writing this review. I’ll add a note at the end of the review when I’ve tried them for sketching to report on how well they work for that.

Links

Here’s where you can find these pens online.

  • Set of 4 Faber-Castel pens on Amazon UK also available as a set of 6 which include the XS and a chisel tip
  • Artline Drawing System pens on Amazon UK This set contains 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 which are my perfect sizes for sketching and doodling.
  • Edding 1800 Profipen another favorite and worth comparing with these pens. Smaller choice of nibs at 0.1,0.3, 0.5 but these would be most used for sketching and doodling.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Inspired by Flora Chang’s doodle in Craft-a-doodle book I drew this for Valentines Day. Turns out I really like this folk arty style, who knew hehe. Just goes to show, it’s always worth exploring new areas with your art and creativity, you never know where it will lead you.

Valentine's Doodle

Valentine’s Doodle

This was created using

  • Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens
  • Faber-Castell PolyChromos pencils.
  • Daler Rowney Basic sketchbook

Some interesting points came up during these doodle experiments, apart from try what you have in your stash before buying new stuff. I had in my stash some Polychromos pencils that a dear friend gave me some years back when they were all the rage for using with a solvent for coloring in. Nice as they were, at the time I didn’t enjoy the overly waxy finish and glossy result they gave when you layered colours. However, I tried them again with the Daler Rowney sketchbook, which has a little more tooth than cartridge paper and this time enjoyed their almost crayon like result.

Using Polychromos pencils almost feels like colouring with Galaxy chocolate. They are super smooth and silky but they do have a high wax content so unless you have them super sharp they can look like wax crayon. Although I find this difficult for sketch work, for doodling and more folk arty projects they are great. Amazon had a set of 36 in their sales at Christmas so now I’d fallen in love with them I treated myself to a set to increase my colour options. If you haven’t tried them before, I’d highly recommend you get a two or three of the individual pencils and try them on your favorite drawing surfaces and see if you enjoy them before purchasing bigger sets. It took me a while but now I appreciate their texture. Just depends on you style and skill level I guess. They do need more work to blend than other pencils, which I struggled with, thanks to poor dexterity so for me they don’t win over my Inktense for sketching and more realistic style of art.

Moral of the tale, if you have art materials that you don’t think you like, try them for a different style of art or on different surfaces. Some things just have a learning curve and it’s getting to know how to charm your materials to get the best from them. Check out Pintrest and the like to see how others use them and then look for tutorials. It could be down to learning the right techniques.

Have fun experimenting, and your sketch book is a great place to try out new materials and new ideas.

Links

To find the supplies used in this doodle, check out my Art Supplies page.

Review of Inktense Pencils

There will be a review of the Polychromos pencils coming soon to this blog :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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