Thursday, August 29, 2013

A background idea for a journal page.

I was asked how I did the water on the Life book page in the previous post so I am sharing my technique along with the way I stencil a background. 

I am using an altered book for this demo so I have already put tape down the spine. It stops the paint leaking onto other pages. I then coated the page with gesso and a light layer of blue acrylic paint.

 Step 1: I used a stencil and two dylusions ink sprays to colour the background. The aqua dylusions was a little strong so I put some into an old spray bottle and added a lot of water for a softer colour.
 When I lift up the stencil some of the colour has run underneath but I don't mind that look so I leave it to dry.  The page becomes a bit paler as it dries. 

Step 2: I start the water by drawing a few swirls across the page. Some of them go off the edge to make it look more natural. I have used a dark pencil here so you can see it better but normally I would use a light pencil or even a blue one to do the sketching.

 I add tails onto the swirls, connecting them up to the one next to them.

 I add more lines from the curled part of the swirl to the next one. I also fill in areas that are a bit blank with extra lines like the one at the top of the drawing.

 Step 3 : I use a flat brush (the one on the right) to paint the swirls with acrylic paint. I used blue paint that I added some green to. Some of the lead pencil will smudge. I also found that the dylusions tinted some of the waves a little green in areas.

 Step 4: I added a little white paint to the blue to make it lighter and painted it with the round brush over the swirls again. I try to paint along the top of each wave so that is keeps the bottom darker for shading.

 Step 5: I used more white to go over the waves again sticking to the top of each wave. I used a dryish brush for these highlights. I wiped it on a paper towel after I put the paint on the brush then used that on the page. It makes a softer look.

 Step 6: I used clean white to add a few more highlights to the waves. I started to shade the bottom of the swirls with a blue coloured pencil but I decided the white didn't look smooth enough.

I repeated step 5 with the pale blue mix and went over the waves again.

 I then repeated step 6 with the white paint for highlights but kept it a little softer this time. I should have done it like that the first time.
I then used the coloured pencil to outline the waves roughly. I did this by going over the pencil a couple of times. I finally added some white pen highlights on the top of the waves and randomly in other areas (see close up picture below). Now the background is finished and waiting for inspiration. 

In this closeup of the original painting you can see I used blue and green pencil in different areas to outline the waves.  The boat is a piece of paper that I cut to fit around the waves. It is lower than the top edge of the water. I also added some of the pink colours from the boat onto the waves. This helps to unify the painting and I will do the same to the new page when I add the images later.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A few more Life Book pages.

 We had a lesson with Willowing that was a whimsy girl. I used some stencils and dylusions for the background. The painting is acrylics and some pencil work.  The boat is collaged from papers I printed. I used a piece of scrapbook paper for the sail. I really like how this page turned out.

Another whimsy girl for this lesson with Danita. It is watercolour apart from a little bit of acrylics applied through a stencil. I thought the background looked too plain so I used the stencils to add interest. 

A fun quick lesson with Dina Wakely.  We collaged a few papers and painted around a silhouette then did some more stencilling on top. I was trying to stay loose for this one. I think the technique would suit a lot of other types of silhouettes.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Confession Time

Ever since I signed up for that first online art class back in 2011 I have become a little, no... a lot addicted to them. Obsessed might even be more true.

I think it was because I have been wanting to learn to draw for such a long time. I didn't think I was talented enough to be an artist. I signed up for a drawing class many years ago but it was cancelled because I was the only one who signed up. As it was the second term I thought that if no one from 1st term resigned the teacher mustn't have been very good so I let go of the idea at the time. It probably wasn't true about the teacher but I obviously wasn't ready at the time to pursue it.

 The first online class was with Jane Davenport and it was wonderful to learn to draw faces and all the supplies to use. She is an entertaining teacher as well. I think the best part of online classes is the ability to create without the fear of the teacher looking over your shoulder.  You can draw 100 sketches if you need to because no one can see you. After that first class I found there was a whole world of online classes I could try. Most of the classes I have done have been because I liked the look of the artist's work and wanted to learn from them. The ones I have gotten the most from are Life Book and 21 Secrets because they both have lessons from many different artists. It is a great way to get to know their teaching style.

A couple of projects from the Artsy Ornaments 2012 class at Christy Tomlinson's website.

I have to say not all artists make good online teachers. One class I did had the camera set up too far away to really see what was happening. Another class was only PDFs and no video. That was very disappointing because I could have just bought a book with the same information in it. The bad part of getting carried away with online classes is trying to get all the work done and videos watched. I feel like I am wasting money if I don't do it all. Of course that is not true. As long as you learn something new I think you get value from the class.

Recently I did the ICAD challenge and it changed the way I think about online classes. I had to use my own abilities and ideas to come up with mini artworks and I loved it. I have been completing so many assignments for classes that I haven't been doing very many of my own art journal pages. Art journalling was the reason I started this online craze in the first place.

Right now I am completing classes that I signed up for last year. When I have finished those I am going back to just the two year long classes (Life Book and 21 Secrets) and then next year will do very few classes, if any at all. I want to start doing my own thing more often. I have loads of books and magazines with all sorts of things I want to try but haven't got around to. I am going to allow myself to play and create. It will mean I get to share more of my techniques as they are not part of a class so you can play along with me too. I look forward to our continued journey together.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wild Art Summer wrap up.

This week is the end of the Wild Art Summer class. The last few lessons I did are:

This lesson was a watercolor of sunhats on stands. I wasn't inspired by them so I did one of the summer photos I took earlier in the class. I love Iced Chocolates in summer. 

This page is almost entirely paper pieced with a little shading added with pencils. It was a bit different for me but I really like it. 

Sandcastles for me have to have a little sea weed and shells decoration.  I used tissue paper and fiber paste on different towers to add variety to the textures. Painted with acrylics. 

A garden angel project. The brown wall is a new feature in my front garden so I included that on my page.  I really love the way this page turned out. 

A quick paper and acrylics page inspired by the teacher's sketches. 

The final lesson where I so of went along with the class. The birdbath is done in pen and watercolor. 

I had some extra pages in my journal so I filled them my ideas of summer. This one is watercolor.

 I didn't like the final class project called bloomers so I did beach shacks instead. It is paper pieced, shaded with pencil and an acrylic background.

I don't think you can have a summer themed journal and not put ice creams in there. 

My final page for my summer journal. I used some home made paper to do the hammock with a strip of funky wool along the side for a fringe. The background is the ink sprays and acrylics. 

It was during this class and another one I was taking with Jane Davenport that I realised that it is fine to do the classes in your own style. Sometimes I struggled with getting pages done because I was trying to do the same as the teacher.  When I let that go and did things that inspired me I had no problems at all. 

I also noticed that after doing several classes with the same teacher I sort of feel like the classes become very similar. Eventually you are not learning anything new and it is time to seek other things to do. I have reached that point with a lot of the classes I am in now. I will finish them because I don't like to have unfinished work nagging my brain but I am not signing up for more lessons at the moment.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A few questions and answers about the Index Card a Day challenge 2013

 1. Have you tried new techniques, themes, mediums, materials, palettes, pens?
Yes I have tried a lot of different ideas. I was inspired by the prompts and then that led me to try a variety of techniques, a different one each week.
2. Do you look forward to your creative time each day?
It is a big part of what makes me happy and I can't wait to start each morning.
3. Have you made a little time each day for the past two months for a bit of art?
Almost every day...
4. How did you feel when you skipped a day?
I tried not to skip by doing a lot of the sketching while watching tv with my hubby.
5. What was it like to make an extra card?
I made a couple of extra cards to demonstrate techniques on my blog. I will give those ones away.
6. Do you carry art materials in your backpack or purse for those little gaps in your day?
No. I don't have children at home anymore so I don't spend a lot of time waiting around.
7. Have your creative ideas bloomed or faded?
Definitely bloomed. I want to try a lot of the ideas that were posted by others.
8. Are there any techniques or cards that you would like to create in a larger format?
I have already used 1 card layout for a journal page and will do things with some of the others. I am even going to try a large zebra picture.
9. What did you learn about yourself?
I am able to come up with ideas and use techniques that I thought I had forgotten. I can draw almost anything.
10. Will you continue your theme or series?
Probably not right now because my head is spinning with ideas of new things to try out (see question 7).
11. Are you ready for something fresh and new?
I am completing a few other online classes so that will be fresh and new for me.
12. Do you love flipping through your cards?
Yes, I have put them in a mini photo album and they get me inspired.
13. Did you underestimate the impact of this simple challenge?
YES. I didn't expect to even finish or post cards online but it was such an interactive group I couldn't help myself.
14. Did this inexpensive, flimsy canvas surprise you?
Yes, yes, yes.  I was completely surprised by what they would handle without any bother at all. Even better than a lot of journal pages can take.
15. Do you adore that pile of blank cards, that stack of potential?
Yes, I have a pile of them on my desk now and will reach for them often.
16. Did you surprise yourself? Did you stick to the challenge?
I did stick to the challenge which was a big surprise to me. I thought I would do a few and give up because it was only a challenge but it was more inspiring than I expected.
17. Did you have fun posting to the Flickr group or the FB group? 
Yes. I have really enjoyed the interaction with other artists from across the globe. It was such a friendly, inspiring place to connect with others.
18. How many cards did you complete?
I have done 63 cards in total so far...