Thursday, 31 January 2013

Stormy Weather

I've just realised I haven't photo'd & posted my Project Life for last week, even though I completed it on Monday! It's thundering & raining here so there isn't enough light for a photo but I promise I'll post as soon as I get a chance. I've also outlined my process & hope to document that here too. It might not be for a couple of weeks though as I want to make sure I've covered everything.

In the mean time, here's something completely different I've worked on this week. It's made me start thinking about improving my handwriting too. But that's for another post...

What have you been working on this week? Trying something new or improving an existing technique? Either way, I'd love to hear!

Monday, 28 January 2013

She Was a Showgirl

I am currently practicing turned faces. Here are some pictures so you can see my journey over the last week. 

I draw/paint every day. I'm finding it makes a huge difference when I'm learning new skills like this.  I take my sketchbook with me in my bag & draw for 5 minutes, 10 minutes whenever I can.

These are my first attempts, all with Prismacolor pencils. Check out number 2, I mean where is that eye going?! But watch me getting better as I draw more. Number 3 looks like the living dead (because she doesn't have that glint in her eye) but at least her eyes are on the same plane. And number 4 is starting to come together. I am struggling with noses though...

Then I had a couple of night's sleep & a day when I went back to drawing straight on faces & so 2 days after the sketches above I came up with this. Which looks quite different from them.  And the nose looks better (although I struggled still & nearly tore the paper putting down so many layers). This piece is in my cheap papered art journal & is Prismacolor pencils and Ranger Distress Stains. The background is left overs from other stencils & paints and it's all done on Golden matte medium.

So today I decided I wanted to do a more complicated pose. What about if she was looking back over her shoulder? And I come up with this.

This is in my glorious new Strathmore 500 series journal. Her face & body is acrylic paint (Ranger's Dabbers) with Prismacolor pencils, hair in Ranger's Distress Stains Aged Mahogany & background is Liquitex clear gesso over a Crafter's Workshop harlequin stencil, dried and then sprayed with Tattered Angel's Glimmermist.

I had a heap of problems with the jawline & the hairline but I just kept working through it and it all came together in the end. And her nose is looking pretty good too.

Practice is the key it would seem, and the passage of time.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Slide - Art Journal Every Day

Somehow, somewhere, I've started making art journal pages I like. This is a new experience for me and one I'm really enjoying.

This is from my Frolicaholic journal that I'm doing as part of the Jane Davenport course of the same name. She showed us how to draw little totem animals with simple bodies & expressive faces and I absolutely adore them. I can imagine they will be showing up in my work fairly often.

This page is about relaxing into your journalling and just enjoying it without worrying about outcomes. I think that's the way cats live their lives and that's why one appears on this page.

You can see more of my work in this journal here. I am having so much fun with it and I think it shows.

Do you like all the journal pages you make or are there some you don't? Why do you think that is?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Week 3 2013 Project Life

Here's this weeks layout. Photos & backgrounds are digital & put together in Photoshop, journalling is Sharpie pen and the days of the week are washi tape (can't find the link to this brand anywhere but there are heaps of others you could use). Cute eh?

Next time I might post my process. It takes me an hour or two to get the whole spread done on a Monday and I've pretty much got it down to an art so it's probably worth sharing.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Turn Up - Art Journal Every Day

I made this art journal from scraps of watercolour & drawing paper I had lying around, using a simple 5 hole pamphlet stitch (some good visual instructions here) to bind it together. There are 6 sheets of various sized paper in it, making 11 double pages + the cover. I've also shaped some pages and folded edges in too making flaps for interest.  It's the first journal I've ever made, was surprisingly easy and I'm pretty chuffed with it.

The journal is for Jane Davenport's new online self study course, Frolicaholic which I think is really well priced and would be a great stepping stone to some of her other workshops, especially if you have already done Draw Happy. I love her work & style (teaching and art) so much I think I should be an ambassador or something. Not that she needs one.

I used distress stains & distress markers, pitt pens, different sharpies and prismacolor pencils. The quote says, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so," and is from Shakespeare.

#The page is about feeling good about making art. I wrote all the negative things I feel about my art in distress markers on the right hand page then spritzed it with water and left it to spread/melt/dissipate into the paper and dry before writing good things over the top in permanent marker. I like the technique and will definitely use it again when I need to get stuff down to work it out.

Have you ever made your own journal? What did you use? How did you bind it together?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Week 2 2013 Project Life

Not much to say about this week except for the fact there's lots of art. I like that.

Everything on this layout is digital except the dates & journaling. Backgrounds, photos (some with drop shadows). It makes it quick to put together on the weeks you don't have time to play about.  And using themed background papers makes that process even easier & the finished page still look pretty good.

Friday, 11 January 2013

2013-01-06 Art Journal Every Day

This picture is from the journal I  write in every day. I tend to keep backgrounds & additions pretty simple in this one and do more drawing/painting/mixed media in one of my other journals. I have a lot.

The background is Ranger Distress Stains & Tattered Angels Glimmermist on gesso. Yummy. I like how they move around so freely on the prepared surface, it makes them really organic & they mix really well.

The girl is practice for my 'Supplies Me' homework. She's waiting for the winds of change to catch her up. I had to paint her face & used acrylic by mistake which doesn't take coloured pencil at all well so she's ended up looking very geisha. But that's OK.

I bordered the page using sumi ink and a brush, held very loosely just doing random curly swirly patterns. I've used it on a couple of other pages I've been working on, it seems to go well with lots of styles.

Do you have lots of journals for different things? How do you decide which one to use when?

Sketchbook Project In The Mail

This is my entry for The Sketchbook Project. As I type it's winging its way to Brooklyn NYC in the U S of A.

The cover is probably the best bit. It's modelling paste through an Artist Cellar old world map stencil, then coloured with Aquamarkers. I might try the same thing with alcohol markers next time because I like the effect.

I'm glad I entered.

I won't be doing it in 2013, but maybe in 2014 when I am a more coherent artist with a more distinct style perhaps?

Truth is the execution of this idea (on my part) just didn't live up to my expectations. I didn't have enough of a plan so the book is now full of bits and pieces. Which is fine. But not what I'd expected. (And the paper is pretty awful to do anything other than sketching on.)

Did you enter? How did you find the process? Will you be doing it again?

Monday, 7 January 2013

Week 1 2013 Project Life

This is where I get back in line with everyone else's numbering of Project Life. I think.

When I was a party going lady about town NYE was the highlight of the festive season for me. Here in Sydney we always had the best fireworks and the best partaaays/festivals that went on into the next day and beyond. Celebrating NYE in this city was always the main event.

Now not so much. We had friends over for dinner, they left before they turned into pumpkins & my husband & I cuddled on the sofa watching the fireworks on our plasma TV. Times have changed.

My word for 2013 is grow. I would like to grow fitter, wiser & more in tune with the universe and my surroundings. I would like my business ventures & my creativity to grow. I would like to be more than what I am now by the end of the year. It's a big ask. But one I am committed to.

By the way... that picture at the bottom in the middle... my 3 year old knocked the tree over by throwing a Lightning McQueen car into it then trying to get it out without me knowing. I wanted to laugh so much but I had to be serious. He was terribly upset.

Do you have a word for 2013? What does it mean to you?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Week 15 & 16 (51 & 52) Project Life

Playing catch up here... those holidays do get in the way of my regular Project Life time.

This one's a little fuzzy, but you get the picture. Lots of Christmas stuff happening. I've also started themeing (I know, that's not a word - but it should be!) a little more using the heaps & heaps of 6x6 paper pads I have lying around. Sometimes I scan the papers then layer them with the photos in Photoshop. Other times I print out the photos & stick them onto the trimmed down papers. I'm liking the effect so far.

I went crazy on the papers for Christmas week and used washi tape & heaps of stickers as well. Not my usual style as I like the pictures to be the main pull but it does make the page stand out in my album & that's what I was trying to achieve. The papers & embellishments are from My Minds Eye - Merry & Bright.

Just a quick note to paper manufacturers... those of us in the Southern Hemisphere (and there are a few) don't need anything with frost or ice or snow or snowmen or snowflakes for Christmas themed stuff. We don't have that stuff as Christmas is in our summer. I found it so hard to find anything that didn't have those motifs on them somewhere.  Just saying.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Don't Wait For the Perfect Moment - Art Journal Every Day

Sometimes (well this time for the first time of many I hope) a journal page just comes together like magic.

I look at this and can hardly believe I created it. It was done for the Jane Davenport course I'm doing. I could have gone further with it but it felt right to stop here.

Coloured pencil with watercolour & artists cellar stencils.

How do you know when to stop with your pages?