Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays


The Daily New Tangle Challenge

Weekly Zentangle Challenge 270

TanglePatterns String 211

Festune Tangle Pattern Video

Pattern-Collections Oldie: Charris

Pattern-Collections Oldie: Maddie

Pattern-Collection New: HeartStar

Pattern-Collection New: Ur-Chen

Pattern-Collections New: Heart-Bead

Pattern-Collections New: U-Four

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration

Journal Spilling: Layering


Watercolor Painting on Yupo

What Are The Best Colored Pencils?

Stabilo Woody 3 in 1 Review


Giveaway and Review – Ten J. Herbin Fountain Pens & Blue Pervenche Ink Cartridges

Rhodia Giveaway-My.essential paginated notebook & leather cover

DeNami Design Rubber Stamps – Giveaways all week

Pen & Ink

Review: Gama Hawk Fountain Pen – Flex

Giveaway & Review of the J. Herbin Fountain Pen #Exaclair #Fountain Pen #Giveaway

Yes! Another review and giveaway!

Exaclair, Inc. has sent me a J. Herbin Fountain Pen for review, and is allowing me to host another giveaway.  Ten winners will receive one of these fountain pens AND a tin of 6 Blue Pervench ink cartridges! To enter the giveaway, please visit my other blog here (sorry, the giveaway is U.S. only).

This is an entry level fountain pen with a clear plastic body and a medium point nib.  The ink cartridges come in a cute round tin, and the ink is a beautiful periwinkle blue.

Thank you to Exaclair, Inc.  They are so generous.


J. Herbin Fountain Pen

Body: Clear Plastic

Grip: 9.5 mm// 3.5 inches

Length: Capped-11.2 cm / 4.4 inches; Posted-14.9 cm / 5.9 inches; Uncapped-9.7 cm / 3.8 inches

Filling Mechanism: J. Herbin Cartridge, Standard International & some Converters

Nib Size: Medium

Blue Pervenche Ink Cartridge

Cartridge Size: Short International Standard

Diameter: 7 mm

Ink Color: Periwinkle Blue

Length: 3.8 cm / 1.5 inches

Water Resistant: No

Characteristics: Non-toxic, pH neutral, Lightfast, All-natural dyes

Look & feel

The J. Herbin fountain pen is an entry-level fountain running about $15.  It’s made of clear plastic, which allows you to see how much ink you have in the pen.  The clip, the nib, and cap point are metal.  It’s extremely light, but small.  I have small hands, and find it just right but do need to post the cap on the other end of the pen while writing.

If you are familiar with the J. Herbin roller ball pen, this is very similar.  The main difference being the fountain pen nib.

The J. Herbin marketing calls the nib a medium point, but it seems more like a fine point to me.  There is no standard on nib sizes so let’s say it’s a fine-sized medium.  The nib is steel, but not stainless steel or anything fancy.  About what you might expect at the price.

The pen takes the standard international cartridges, as well as the J. Herbin cartridges.  If you wish to use it with bottled ink, there are converters that will fit.

The clear plastic body allows you to see how much ink you have in the pen, which is very handy.  It’s light, but also fragile.  This is not a pen to carry or store anywhere that it might encounter rough handling because that plastic will crack.

The pen has a fairly standard mechanism for adding ink cartridges.  It does have a metal ring between the barrel and nib holding portion of the pen.  It comes off when you unscrew the barrel, so you must take care not to lose it (if you do, the pen will still work.)  To insert the cartridge, you take off the cap, unscrew the barrel …

… and insert the proper end of the cartridge into the pen, pressing gently until you hear a pop! Pretty simple even for me, and I confuse easily.

I love the little tins that the cartridges come in.  They’re metal, and a nice size to store.  After, you can use them for buttons, or paper clips, or other crafty things.

The ink is a periwinkle blue, one of my favorites.  It leans toward the drier end of the scale.


Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the pen.  At first, the pen was scratchy and the ink stopped after a few moments.  I remembered having this problem with the roller ball pen at one point, and pulled the ink cartridge off (carefully, so I didn’t get ink on myself) and pushed it back on).  After that the ink flowed just fine, until I was almost out of ink.  I did have problems getting that last bit of ink to flow.


The nib seems fine point to me, which is fine with me, because I can get finer lines for drawing.  For writing, it means it is best not to write large.  It’s not a flex point or wide enough to get the variation of line needed for the swoops and swirls of calligraphy lettering, but it is a fountain pen, not a calligraphy pen.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ‘draw’ your fancy alphabets with it though.


I really like both the pen and this ink for drawing.  I can get fine lines for detail, variations of darkness for shading, and an easy flow for coverage.

I’ll just let you look at the examples (I call them my Shy Ladies, because their eyes are hidden), as I think they make my point.  I used three different papers in this order: one smooth, one just a little rougher, and one with a little tooth.


The pen is short, and those with large hands may find it uncomfortable.  Even with small hands, you’ll probably need to post the cap (stick it on the other end of the pen) while writing.

This is an entry level pen, and you won’t get the Wow! factor that you might with more expensive pens.  It works well for what it is.

While I did have some problem with ink flow, initially, I was able to fix the problem and the pen worked fine after that.  The plastic body is a mixed blessing, as it’s very light and easy on the hand, but also fragile.

The ink cartridges are easily loaded into the pen, and the ink is a fairly dry one.

Saturday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays


The Daily New Tangle Challenge

Weekly Challenge #58: Tangle with G-L-J

Pattern Collections Grid Journey Lesson 6

Pattern Collections Author Focus: Melinda Barlow

How to Tangle a Corset with Alpha-Doodles

How to Tangle Using the Alphabet

“It’s a String Thing” #146

Pattern Collections String 13

TanglePatterns Refresher 129

Ben Kwok Template: Anemonefish

Draw With Me: Cadent and Paradox video

Fasset Pattern Video

TanglePatterns: How to Draw Lenche

Pattern Collections Oldie: X

Pattern Collections Oldie: Glace

Pattern Collections Oldie: Oh! Well

Pattern Collections Oldie: Nymph

Pattern Collections New: Carry

Pattern Collections New: Carry Flower

Pattern Collections New: Carry Leaf

Weekly Zentangle Roundup #274

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration

Journal52 Prompt #22: New Beginnings OR Old Traditions

Gratitude52 Weekly Prompt #21:Those Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice 


How to use photos for painting

5+ Cool Coloring Techniques to Help You Spice Up Your Coloring

 Make mixed media bottles with an Alice In Wonderland theme


Petaloo International Giveaway- 12 x 12 Paper & Flower PRIZE

Steampunk Stamps Giveaway! (& a Stamp School Video!)

Throw Back Thursday Blog Hop and Stencil Giveaway

The Postman’s Knock Facebook Exclusive Weekend Giveaway-Finetec Pearl Colors palette

BoBunny Giveaway-Firecracker 6×6 paper pad

Pen & Ink

Habana notebook and J Herbin ink reviews

Lazuli Bunting and the Oregon Coast #52WeeksofWatercolourBirds #Watercolor #LazuliBunting

There were a couple of days at the Coast with bad weather, and I managed to paint three birds in my ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’.  I’m now actually a week ahead.  No matter – I know there will be a week between now and the end of the year where I won’t be able to paint, so I’m good.

Watercolor class, this session, has a theme of the Pacific Northwest, so all three of my birds are native to Oregon, I think.  At least, part of the year.  I enjoyed painting them anyway, whether they are or not!

I’ll show you the third bird next week.  This upcoming Sunday, the 29th,  I have a fountain pen giveaway starting, so be sure to check it out.

This bird was painted using Lukas watercolors in the Global Art Materials Field Watercolor Artist Journal Hand Book, 7 by 10-Inch that I’m using for the ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’.

Review of the Cuttlelola Dotspen World’s First Electric Drawing pen #Cuttlelola #Dotspen #ElectricDrawingPen

Once upon a time, I used to stipple my drawings from start to finish.  If you are unfamiliar with the technique, it’s done by applying dots, dot by dot, onto the paper.  It’s time-consuming, eventually painful, and quite beautiful.  After a year or two, I could no longer use the technique without considerable pain in my wrist and shoulder.

So I was ecstatic when I received a Cuttlelola Dotspen World’s First Electric Drawing pen as a birthday present from my brother and his wife, .  After using it for a while, I knew I had to review it because, if you are like me, you are very curious about this pen, but hesitate to buy it without knowing more.

Look & Feel

The Cuttlelola Dotspen Electric Drawing Pen is 6.6 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches (16.764 x 1.524 x 1.524 cm), which is a bit large in my small hand.  Nonetheless, it isn’t very heavy so I don’t find it uncomfortable.  It is an electric, chargeable pen that uses gel-based ink cartridges.

You probably wonder what it’s like to use it.  My first thought when I started was that I felt like I was tattooing the paper.  No sooner did I think this, then my husband said, “It looks like you are tattooing!”  I’ve never been tattooed or tattooed anyone, so the real experience is probably quite different, but I suspect it has similarities.

I had no problem getting the hang of using the pen.

I want to get the biggest problem (at least if you are in the U.S.) out there from the beginning, which is the cost of shipping & handling.  The pen is $58.00 USD and comes with 20 cartridges.  The S&H is $7.50 USD. A refill pack of ink cartridges is $3.50 for a 5 pack of cartridges.  The S&H is also $7.50.  I know I won’t be able to use the pen very often with refills at that price. I’ve written and asked whether that cost would be combined if you ordered several packs, and I’m hopeful that will be the case.

Edited to add Cuttlelola’s response about S&H: We are actually working on with new distributor in US, so that in the near future you can buy easier from US directly, if you buy serveral packs on our Amazon the postage for at once of $7.5 I think. We much appreciated your supporting

Looking at the tip, you’d think the pen was just a ballpoint, and in many ways it works the same.  The ink is advertised as waterproof, but only after it sits for quite a while. If you wet it too soon, it will run a little.

You hold the pen tip slightly above the paper (actually having the tip on the paper can damage the pen).  When you push the red button at the top, the tip begins moving up and down about as fast as a person could go.  If you push the red button again, two times, the tip speeds up considerably.  This second speed is the main one used to fill in large areas and draw lines.  The slower speed is for detail.

The pen does make a slight whirring sound and thump as it dots the paper. The surface you are working on makes a difference.  It’s not very loud, but might be annoying for some.

The Cuttlelola is electric, and you plug the USB cable into a slot at the top of the pen. You charge the DotsPen by connecting it to your laptop, mobile device or any 5V DC power supply.  Once charged, you can use the unconnected pen for 15-30 minutes, depending on the speed you are using.  You can also use the pen while it is connected to the power supply.  The cord is about 3 feet long (91.44 cm).

The pen is easily unscrewed, and you just push the ink cartridge into the pen gently until it connects.  I’m pretty clueless about that sort of thing, but I had no problem with it.

The instructions included are sparse, but adequate.

The cap does not fit on the end of the pen, which I dislike, because it means I will probably lose it eventually.

The packaging is worth noting.  The pen comes in a tin with a cardboard sheath.  You don’t need to keep the cardboard, but it’s pretty, so I will.   The tin is decorated with a cuttlefish illustration.

The pen fits nicely inside, and it has foam padding to keep the pen secure.

The USB cable fits in a corner, or you could put a spare cartridge in there for travel.

I’ve had no problems so far, but the company warns outright that rough handling can cause damage, so it is obviously fairly delicate.  They also caution that the pen is not for use by people with cardiac pacemakers.

I do have arthritis, and while using the pen causes far less pain than stippling by hand, I do feel the size and jarring after about 1/2 hour.  It’s easy enough for me to just set it down for a little bit before continuing and I’ve had no significant pain.  Still, it’s something to consider if have any kind of hand or arm problems.


All three of my examples were done in a Laws Sketchbook, which has a smooth cardstock like paper.  It is 7.1 x 9 inches (18 x 23 cm).  After these three, and some random testing and light shading on a couple of watercolor painting of similar size I had run the first cartridge out of ink.

I found that it’s a little difficult to get a strongly defined, straight line, so you get a soft, diffused look overall.  On the first example, I used a Pigma Micron for the basic linework, and did all the shading and fill (even the darkest areas) with the Cuttlelola.

On this second example, everything was done with the Cuttlelola, so it has a softer look.  It takes a little time to get those darker areas, and of course, uses up those precious ink cartridges.  I think it is worth it though.

I wanted to try something that would force me to work at the values and textures, so I did this cat.  It was done entirely with the Cuttlelola.


The Cuttlelola is the coolest toy I’ve had in quite a while.  While the initial price is reasonable, the refills may be expensive, depending on where you live.

It definitely beats stippling by hand, but there is still some wear and tear on the arm.  If you can take the size, weight and motion, you’re able to create some fantastic works.  Even if you only use it for shading, it will give your work a beautifully finished look.

The pen is delicate, so not for young children, or the irresponsible.  It should not be used around people with cardiac pacemakers.

Video Ad for the Cuttlelola

Another review of the pen at the FrugalCrafter

Disclaimer: I received this pen as a birthday present.  Cuttlelola did not ask for this review, and probably won’t even notice it.  All opinions are my own.

Snow Bunting & the Oregon Coast #52WeeksofWatercolourBirds #Watercolor #SnowBunting

Last week I was at the Coast, but I brought along enough art supplies to keep up with the ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’.

For my watercolor class, we were supposed to paint wildlife that was native to the Pacific Northwest, so I decided to combine the two.  I was in a bit of a hurry, trying to find out which birds were native to Oregon, and I came across the Snow Bunting.  I’m still not sure if this bird is considered native or just a common visitor, but… close enough.  It looked like an easy bird to fit in during a busy week, and it was!

This bird was painted using Lukas watercolors in the Global Art Materials Field Watercolor Artist Journal Hand Book, 7 by 10-Inch that I’m using for the ’52 Weeks of Watercolour Birds’.

Monday Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways #zentangle #Giveaways #ArtJournal

Links to Tangles, Tutorials and Giveaways is published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Saturdays


Weekly Zentangle Roundup – all the Challenges, Strings and Patterns from last week

The Daily New Tangle Challenge

Weekly Zentangle Challenge 269

Zentangle Newsletter with New Tangle Pattern Ellish

Ellish Pattern Video

TanglePatterns String 210

Pattern-Collections String 13

Pattern-Collections Oldie: Korrimal

Pattern-Collections Oldie: Bellamy

Pattern-Collections New: Satine

Pattern-Collections New: Ytterbium

Pattern-Collections New: Windmill

Pattern-Collections New: Preston

tangle pattern – 1+1

Faces & New Patterns: SLOS and KAULA

How to draw tanglepattern Skye

Art Journaling Prompts & Inspiration

Art Journal Every Day: Five Ideas to Jazz Up Your Journal


Painting Shadows on Snow with Watercolor

Fixing Your Gel Prints



Giveaway: Clairefontaine Roadbook

Colored Pencil Color Me Spring Giveaway

Little Yellow Bicycle giveaway: UltraChalk paints & other goodies 

Gelli Arts giveaway -(1) 8×10 Gelli Printing Plate, brayer & much more 

Pen & Ink

Chartwell Watershed waterproof notebook