TUTORIAL: How to Draw a Chick with Zebra Pens


Can you scribble? Take that talent and draw this chick and other animals.

To learn how to draw my scribbly chick and more, read my tutorial at the Zebra Pen Z-Blog.

Big day for me today! Besides my tutorial, I have a review of REVIEW: Hahnemühle’s New Toned Watercolour Books coming up at Doodlewash sometime today.

REVIEW: The Art Toolkit by Expeditionary Art


When I saw the Art Toolkit from Expeditionary Art, it was a matter of love at first site. Now, one is mine. All mine.

Maria Coryell-Martin is an expeditionary artist. She has developed this kit and the included pocket palette, to stand up to the needs and extremes of polar conditions.

It’s so wonderful, I knew you’d want a review. You can find it here at Doodlewash.

Maria has also given me a code for 15% off purchases at her website (good until April 30th) and a demi-palette with five extra mini-pans for a giveaway (now closed).

I wish I had one of the Art Toolkits to give you, but the demi-palette is pretty nice, too! It’s half the size of a business card and holds 12 colors. Truly, an on-the-go palette you can fit in your pocket.

To Enter the Giveaway (closed – winner has been notified and has responded) :

Sorry, with all the COVID-19 dysfunction going on, I’m going to make this giveaway U.S. only.

Prize includes:

  • One Demi Palette with 12 mini pans
  • 5 extra mini pans
  • Drawstring bag for carrying palette
  • Expeditionary Art Button

Send me an email at LifeImitatesDoodles@gmail.com with:

  • I want to win a Demi-Palette‘ in the subject line
  • A sentence or two telling me what you would paint.

Giveaway ends on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 11:59 PM PDT. I’ll announce the winner sometime on Monday, April 6.

REVIEW: ‘More Tangle Starts’ by Alice Hendon


In 2017, Alice Hendon published ‘Tangle Starts’, a collection of beautiful mixed media background pages. She’s followed up with another book ‘More Tangle Starts’

Alice also offered a copy for a giveaway (now closed)

To see a video walk-through and learn more about this excellent book, read my review of Alice Hendon’s ‘More Tangle Starts’ at Doodlewash.

Giveaway has ended:

Send me an email at LifeImitatesDoodles@gmail.com with:

  • MORE TANGLE STARTS – I WANT TO WIN A COPY‘ in the subject line
  • A sentence or two telling me what you would do with the book.

Giveaway ends on Sunday, March 15 at 11:59 PM PDT. I’ll announce the winner sometime on Monday, March 16.

REVIEW: ‘Tangle All Around the World’ by Alice Hendon


Last year, Alice Hendon invited the members of her ‘Tangle All Around’ Facebook group to submit tangle patterns for a book. Fifty contributors and 453 patterns later, Alice has published one of the largest collections of tangle pattern step-by-steps in the world.

To find out more, read my review of Alice Hendon’s ‘Tangle All Around the World’ at Doodlewash.

Diggory Wombat Gets Lost


Last month, I did a review of the new Hahnemühle ZigZag Book.

I love writing stories in accordion-style book, so I also used the review to create an anniversary gift for my husband. I didn’t have time to finish the complete story before the review deadline however.

The story is complete, and I’ve made a video, plus an explanation of my process in conceiving, writing and illustrating the story. It’s all up on Doodlewash!

Be sure to check out Life Imitates Doodles Weekly Wednesday Giveaway #11, posted earlier this morning. It includes a 5 x 5 inch ZigZag book!

Book Review-‘Sketching Stuff: Stories Sketched From Life


‘Sketching Stuff: Stories Sketched from Life’ is a book with 282 pages of smiles!

It is available in hardbackpaperback and Kindle. and other ebook readers. I chose to purchase and review the paperback version because I have Charlie’s cookbook in that format and I like having them match.

As many of you know, for over three years Charlie has issued daily prompts at Doodlewash.com, and every day he’s published an illustration and essay based on the prompt.  No matter the prompt, Charlie weaves in stories of his life, his philosophies and the importance of staying young at heart. 

This book is a collection of those essays and illustrations, and there are some new ones, as well! All the essays are light-hearted, encouraging and intended to make you smile. In the section ‘Sketching All the Way’, he explains how he started sketching and the steps he took to make it a daily habit, as well as how he continues to show up every day with these ‘doodlewashes’ and essays.

If you’ve been reading Charlie’s daily essays, you know what to expect from the book.  His ‘rambles’ are laced with humor.  Although, I have several years on Charlie, when he reminisces about his childhood, much of it is nostalgic for me.  While many readers might not be familiar with a specific toy, or have celebrated the kind of event he describes, the feelings and emotions are universal.  

There are 180 illustrations.  While, the art is better viewed in full color, it translates well to black and white, and that keeps the price of the book down, which is always a good thing.  The ebook version does have full color so I may have to buy that version as well.

Many of the illustrations are very small, used to head or end an essay, but there are also half-page and full-page doodlewashes salted through the book.

The book is fairly thick at 282 pages, with a glued binding.  The paper is white and the text is clear and easy to read. 

The stories are organized into a series of themes: The Journey Begins; Days to Celebrate; Cabinet of Curiosities; Childhood Favorites; When the Music Plays; Those Furry Friends; Laughing When It Hurts; When We Were Kids; Little Life Lessons; Halloween Hijinks; Sketching All the Way; For the Love of Family; and Happy Holiday Moments. There are five to seven essays for each theme.

Sketching Stuff is the kind of book that you can poke at – start at the beginning and read to the end, or just pick up, open at random and start reading. If you don’t have much time to read, you can easily finish an essay while on break, riding the bus or during those rare times when you find yourself with nothing to do.  It would make a great coffee table book for a guest room.

I joined Doodlewash about a year and a half ago, and have long meant to read all of these essays.  It’s also part of my nightly ritual to read for about half an hour before going to bed, so I love having them collected in a book.  I can sign off from the electronics (highly recommended for helping you to sleep), read a ramble or two and head for bed, feeling relaxed and smiling.