Friday 30 December 2016

Rebelle Software: An Initial Review

And it's the time of year again...To play, gleefully, with new software gifts! In this case, The Computer Man gave me a copy of Rebelle software, from EscapeMotions for Christmas.

The pros

So far, I've only explored the watercolour function of this program, but am *in love* with just how well it mimics the effect of "real" watercolours. So well in fact, that I've found myself learning in much more detail about traditional watercolour techniques (from the wonderful "Yasmina Creates" on in order to be able to use the watercolouring software better.

As you can see from my first attempts, on the left with this watermelon slice, and the doughnut, below...It's *really* like watercolour, right down to being unpredictable in how the colours will mix and run.

Mostly, this is positive and creates deeper and richer colours than any other digital painting software I've used. Which would make it absolutely ideal if you are already a traditional watercolourist and looking to transfer to digital painting for the first time.

The paint also moves across the virtual page reasonably fast, (on a 64-bit Windows PC, anyway) and allows real "wet-on-wet" mixing in a way I've envied from YouTube videos of traditional watercolourists, but never quite been able to replicate before.

In addition, the background"watercolour paper" effect is more convincing (to my eye at least) than in other comparable software I've tried.

If, like me, you started in digital art first, there is a learning curve. But it's fun, and the experience of producing art that feels so authentic is tremendous.

As it was a gift from my hubby, am not certain about the price. But he assures me it was somewhere around the $50 mark (and will vary according to sales tax etc, of course).

The cons

The biggest and only real issue I can find so far is that in order for the paint to move reasonably fast across the page, the document size can really be no more than A5 at 300 dpi (on my PC at least).

This should be large enough for most projects, especially as the export of files is easy. But ideally, I'd like to see it coping well with a standard-size A4 printer page at printable 300dpi resolution.


So I'll be experimenting a lot more with Rebelle in the coming months. Whether it will ever replace ArtRage 4 for me is probably a topic for a separate review and post (as the "pen" function in ArtRage works so very, very well, and ArtRage has no problem with the A4 size).

But for sheer joy, fun, deep colours, and a real sense of "play", right now,  I'm certainly loving Rebelle.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

A Surprise, An Honour, and Something to Showcase...

Isn't it amazing, when, out of the blue, you get an unexpected, positive message from someone that changes your whole perspective?

I had that experience this week, when the talented Kristen Bellotti got in touch.

The Red Dragonfly fabric in this Kristen Bellotti infinity scarf was designed by Clare Walker, Photo by Kristen Bellotti
Photo: Kristen Bellotti
She's using my Red Dragonfly design to make beautiful infinity scarves, for sale in her Etsy shop, KBellottiDesigns, here. (The photos in this post are also some of those in the her shop-thank you Kristen for permission to use them).

As soon as I looked at them,  I was more than happy to showcase Kristen's luxurious and versatile scarves.

Red Dragonfly infinity scarf by Kristen Bellotti, alternatively styled.
Photo: Kristen Bellotti
Red Dragonfly infinity scarf by Kristen Bellotti, alternatively styled in a third way
Photo: Kristen Bellotti

 Sadness, too...

But there was something else in the message. Something so poignant and sad that actually, I can only feel honored that she wanted to use my design on these scarves.

40%  from each sale of these scarves ($12) is going to benefit the Evan T. Mandeville DIPG Research Fund. Like many of us, I hadn't heard of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma  before. But it turns out that this is a type of childhood cancer, which tragically killed a young boy, Evan Mandeville, when he was only 11 years old. And as a result, Evan's parents and their friends, (including Kristen) are raising funds for research into the condition, in the hope that children's lives can be saved in the future.

You can find out much more about the project at:

The way in which Evan's family and friends have taken a great tragedy and given it, and Evan, a positive legacy, is humbling and heart-warming at the same time.

So now it's over to you...

So if you've taken a shine to Kristen's scarves and want to help a good cause, do get along to Kristen's shop (there are other designs being sold to support the cause too-you don't have to like red dragonflies!).

As I type, there would still be time to buy one of these as a Christmas gift (though please check dates with Kristen if you need your scarf shipped outside the USA). And in any event, these are items that look lovely and would be well-received -or a great treat for yourself- at any time of year.

Red Dragonfly scarf by Kristen Bellotti (Fabric design, Clare Walker) ready to send to a happy buyer. It could be you!
Photo: Kristen Bellotti

Finally,  if you know someone who might be interested in Kristen's scarves and/or Evan's story, please do share this post with them.

Many thanks and more soon.

Friday 2 December 2016

New: "Mistletoe Mischief for a Whimsical Christmas...

Cushion, card, phone case and pouch with the "mistletoe mischief" design: fun mistletoe berries with faces and hearts,,,

Click here to get some " Mistletoe Mischief "

It's the time of year...for a *new* Christmas design. "Mistletoe Mischief," features cheeky mistletoe berry faces, winking and smiling each other amongst mistletoe sprigs, holly berries and love hearts.

It's Christmassy, subtle *and* fun. And it includes, not just gift items like Iphone 7 cases and cushions/throw pillows, but pouches to put them in so cute that they're like a gift too. There's even a matching greeting card.

It's a busy time of year. Enough said. Go and find everything here...and enjoy!

P.S. Update: This design is now also available on giftwrap and fabric, here.