Tutorial-How to Draw a Fun Hippo

This morning I posted a review of the Hahnemühle 1584 Notebook at Doodlewash. The dot grid paper is so fine for creating step-outs and I love working on the purple paper for my examples. The color does half my work!

This was done in the Lilac version. I can’t wait to try out the Peach and Sea Green notebooks with the peach and green blank paper.


Hahnemühle 1584 Notebook

REVIEW: Hahnemühle 1584 Notebook

Hahnemühle has entered the Stationery FineArt line and given us the 1584 Notebook.

Yes, it has dot grid paper, but it also has blank colored paper! What?

Coming in Lilac, Peach and Sea Green, this notebook has three sections:

  • 40 sheets of dot grid
  • 20 sheets of blank color coordinated paper
  • 40 sheets of dot grid

So you’ve got the dot grid for notes, bullet journaling, tangle patterns and more, plus a section of colored paper for lively doodling and drawing!

Please check out my full review of this lovely at Doodlewash.

Live Life Like the Gate was Left Open – Counting Sheep #7

Artwork – Daniel Smith Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook

You may have seen the meme ‘Live Life Like the Gate was Left Open’, which usually features a photo of a dog running madly and happily. Well, in this case it’s a sheep. Personally, I’m thinking that the gate was not left open, and this guy has lost his marbles.

So I’m claiming it for the Doodlewash prompt of ‘Marbles’.

I saw this photo reference by fsHH on Pixabay and knew I had to include it in my Counting Sheep watercolor sketchbook.

You can read my review of Mary Roff’s excellent handmade sketchbooks here.

Cactus In Cappuccino

Artwork – Daniel Smith watercolor in a Hahnemühle Cappuccino Book. Photo reference courtesy of ArtTower on Pixabay.

Doodlewash Prompt: Cactus

I love painting cactus and was eager to do this prompt, but I wanted to do something that didn’t scream ‘cactus’! ArtTower’s beautifully lighted reference photo fit the bill perfectly.

The Cappuccino book has lovely colored paper that creates a subtle glow when surrounded by darker colors (you can find my review here). I knew it would be perfect to capture the look I wanted. Even though it is more of a sketchbook and doesn’t have paper formulated for watercolor, it holds up to watercolor well.

If you use a lot of water, the paper dimples and gets that crunchy sound when you turn the page (I love that sound!) but flattens nicely. You notice the dimpling on the back of the page but not so much on the front. If you don’t use much water, the paper only dimples a little bit.

And the paper works beautifully with almost any medium!

Sitting Down – Counting Sheep #6

Artwork – Daniel Smith Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico on Fabriano Artistico in a Mary Roff handmade sketchbook

With Christmas gift cards burning up in the pockets of those looking for places to use it, I thought I should mention Mary Roff’s excellent handmade sketchbooks once again. You can read my review here.

This painting didn’t work the way I hoped. I used the color-lifting method again, but instead of using my regular brushes, I used a scrubber brush.

If you are unfamiliar, a scrubber brush is a hard-bristled with short fibers and it is designed to … lift color. I tried one years ago, but didn’t like it. However, I’m much better at watercolor these days, and decided I really should try it again.

Nope. Still don’t like it. When you lift color from a page, in essence, you are lifting fibers and damaging the paper. By doing so, lightly, you can get a softly textured look. If you scrub too hard, you can get a muddy mess and paper that won’t let you apply any more color.

In my opinion, the scrubber takes off too much fiber all at once and moves the color around to aggressively. Perhaps, it’s my lack of experience with this kind of brush, but I was using it with with very light pressure. At any rate, I couldn’t add more color in some places, so I couldn’t continue as planned. I’m not unhappy with the finished piece though.

The sheep in this reference photo from Pier52 seems to have a ‘I’ve just got to sit down for a minute’ feel that I was going for, and I think I captured it.

Sketchbook Revival – My Whimsical Buildings. Kind of

If you are looking for the Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #13 , you can find it here.

Zebra Zensations Technical Pen & Colored Pencil, with a touch of white & yellow gel pen, in a Hahnemühle Grey Book.

Tamara LaPorte shows how she creates fun and wonderful Whimsical Buildings in her session of Sketchbook Revival. I was immediately inspired – but there was this night scene of Cinque Terre, Italy from Free-Photos on Pixabay, that I’ve been wanting to do forever.

I wasn’t sure HOW to do it. Buildings and vehicles – things with fairly straight lines baffle me a bit. It isn’t the straightness, exactly.

There is an eye-hand coordination that happens when you draw or paint. What you see is NOT the same as what you draw, so your brain has to translate it into something your hand understands. Hands are quite stupid, and need a lot of translation.

My brain doesn’t speak buildings and vehicle very well, lol.

Tamara’s video gave me some new understanding, and my brain was finally able to direct my hands.

I decided colored pencil would give me the softness I wanted and the grey-tone of the paper would immediately give the night-time feel to the piece.

Sketchbook Revival is a FREE workshop running through May 5, 2019. There are two video sessions every day, designed to inspire your creativity.
AND there are free gifts along the way – exclusive lessons, videos and discounts!

Wanna buy some of these cool toys now?

Zensations Technical pens (you can find my review here)

Zensations Mechanical Colored Pencils 24Pk

Hahnemühle Grey Book


The Green Stallion & The Rainbow Lagoon

If you are looking for the Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #8, you can find it here. And you can find my review of the new Hahnemühle ZigZag book here.

This is a bleedthrumanade that I did in 2011. I created Rainbow Lagoon with Letraset Fineliner & Promarkers (alcohol markers) in a Paperblanks journal. Then I turned the page and used the color that had bled through to the back and created this Green Stallion.