Thursday, January 26, 2012

New pieces of art.

I haven't been able to post very often lately but I have managed to get some work done while my visitors are here. They are moving out today so I hope to catch up with all my classes over the next week or two.

Today I finished the next page for the Lifebook project. It was about duality but as I believe we are made up of many parts I chose to do the page a little differently. The background was softly marbled with shaving cream and distress inks. The women drawn with pencil and coloured with watercolour tints. I like the soft look of the page.

I also done some new art journal pages for the I heart drawing course I am doing with Jane Davenport. The first one was to learn the seated pose.

 The second piece was about drawing a fashion face. I am really learning so much about drawing people with this course. This one is a little messier than I usually do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I have family staying with me at the moment and it is very difficult to get half the art done that I usually like to do each day.
Last week on Book of Days the prompt was: something that challenges you and the technique was mosaics.

As I thought about what challenges me I thought of my relatives staying and how hard it is when we have been empty nesters for about 6 years. I am not used to having children and dogs around. I was flicking through a magazine thinking how lovely all the pictures were and it would be a shame to throw them away. Then I came up with the idea to use them for my mosaics.The other techniques I chose to use from Effy's work was the stencilling she did and the big writing. I am quite happy with the finished page. I did journal under the mosaics but had to cover it up. The quote reminds me it is about my nephew.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A blended face

When I first realised we were supposed to do 2 spreads or more a week for Book of days, and then looked at the book I had already prepared with only 54 spreads, I changed my journal to a book of weeks. I am going to do one spread a week but will wait until the end of the week so I can use the prompt and technique provided, as well as any techniques Effy uses in her day to day spreads that I find appealing. That way I don't feel like I am missing anything. 

 The start of my page has gesso applied a little thickly at the bottom.

 I then heated it with a heat gun while still wet to make the gesso bubble.

I have been asked how I got my face so smooth on my Lifebook page.This is the basic technique even though this one is not as blended.

 First I start with a sketch using a brown pencil becuase it will blend into the picture more than a graphite would. I then paint the face with peach coloured acrylic and use a little pink paint in the shadow areas. If I am using pencil on top I don't worry about blending the edge of the paint.

Next I add some pink pencil to darken the shadow areas. Sometime I use a flesh colour to put in more highlights. 

Next I use terracotta brown pencil to darken the shading. Sometimes I also darken it more with a purple pencil. If I want it really smooth I will use the blender pencil but I didn't do that here. The first layer of acrylic paint was not smooth this time so the brush marks show up when you add pencil. To make it smooth at the start you need to add a little more water with the paint.

 I added the hair colour with distress stain and painted in the eyes and lips.

More detail was added with pencils and the face was done.

The finished page. The prompt was looking forward and the challenge was to add a tag.
I have done a couple of days journalling underneath those tags. The ideas I got from Effy Wild were the face, flowers, stenciling, tags and writing. I think this way of doing the journal is going to work for me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book of days

I found a link to the Book of days project that has been set up by Effy Wild and decided to sign up.  I thought her art looked great and it would be another year long project that will force me to make art journal pages on a regular basis.  I watched a whole weeks worth of videos and realised it may be a little more involved than I thought. I am still going to do the book but instead of a book of days, mine will be a book of weeks. That way I only need to get one spread done per week, maybe two spreads when I have extra time.

I was going to put Book of Days on the cover but after watching the video just put the word ART on there instead. The cover was painted with lumieres, collaged, more lumieres, texture paste applied through a flower stencil and then the whole thing was sprayed with various Moonglow brand Starburst sprays for colour. I went over the word with Smooch Ink because it didn't stand out enough.

My inside cover page has a pocket like Effy showed us. I used my word for the year, Learn. It was painted with Golden fluid acrylics applied randomly. I then used copper coloured Brilliance ink to stamp the compasses. They didn't stand out enough so I overstamped them with brown Stazon. I stamped the large butterflies and words with Stazon too. I used Tim Holtz tape that I coloured with a little vintage paper distress ink because it looked too bright.

The next page I did was the first one for the year. I painted a large face on the first page. My altered book is an old gymnastics book I have. I didn't want the text to show through the acrylic paint too much so I gave the face two coats of paint but kept it light enough to allow me to see the sketch underneath.

I painted the background with a mixture of gesso and green paint. The leaves and dragonflies were added with stencils and paint dabbers, then I went over them with water for a washed look.

Finally I spritzed on some glimmer mist for colour and finished off the face with coloured pencils. I used watercolour markers for the numbers so I could spray them with water to make the colour run. The quote was glued in.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A little snap of my studio

I have taken this photo in my studio. It's not really a studio: more like a tiny little room that is full of stuff, all really important stuff of course lol. While doing the Supplies Me course with Jane Davenport she suggested getting your art supplies out of the cupboard and putting them on display. I found these acrylic glasses to hold my pencils. I put quilt batting on the bottom topped with a little craft foam so when the pencils go in they don't hit the hard bottom and break the leads. When I was doing food shopping the other day I saw the bright coloured acrylic milkshake glasses  for only $2 and just had to buy some. As they are so narrow at the base they are a great holder for my paint brushes that are also narrow at the end. Since I did this with my pencils a couple of months ago I use them all the time for sketching, shading and experimenting. Great idea Jane!

I am currently doing the Lifebook course at Willowing where we are making one or two loose journal pages a month for a year. Tam, the organiser, suggested we decorate a box to hold all the pages until the end of the year when we will bind them into a book.

I decided to use some of the foam core I had sitting around to make a box. I cut out the base, then cut the sides and lid to fit.  I glued and taped the box together with fabric tape. I used fabric tape instead of masking tape so it would take paint better. I glued a little frame on the top with the two rectangles, all cut out of the foam core. I then glued on tissue paper to make the whole thing a little sturdier.

Next I painted the box with Lumiere pearlescent blue paint. It was a little brighter than I wanted so I sprayed it Moonshadow's Starburst sprays, blue, green and red. On the sides of the box I let the sprays drip down.  I liked the way it came out.

 I thought the sprayed blue background looked like water so I got out some photos of waterlilies that I took a couple of months ago and used them to sketch on the lid. I used metallic paints for the flowers with some alcohol markers on top for shading. The leaves were lightly painted with flat acrylics and then detail was added with coloured pencils.

 I was going to decorate the sides of the box too but after I had finished the lid I decided to keep the sides plain. I put the box on display in my living room so it gives me more space in my little studio.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One course ends and another begins..

I finished off my final paintings for the Magical, mythical makings course that I have been doing at Willowing. It was fairy and unicorn week, the inspiration was Brian Froud. I have one book by him called Lady Cottington's pressed fairy book. It is full of wonderful watercolour and pencil illustrations.

My journal page where I tried to achieve a dark looking forest setting. I used glimmer mist sprays on the background. Some of the goblins look like ET, lol.

The final piece was painted on canvas. It will be my calendar picture for this year. I used a photo of waterlilies that I took a couple of months ago for the setting of my fairies. The fairies were a bit too small for me to put in all the detail I would have liked but I am very happy with the way the waterlilies turned out.

After I finished that course the new, year long, course called Lifebook started. The first page was to do a goddess. I like to use quotes in my art journals because they usually say what I mean in a much better way than I can.

The background for this page was done using paint dabbers and glimmer mist sprays. The goddess is acrylics, pencils and watercolour crayons for the hair. I am happy with the first page of my Lifebook even though, as usual, the eyes seem to be very large. You know what they to the soul and all that.