Sunday, 31 July 2011

More of Using Backgrounds for Art Journal Every Day

I am now onto a sketch book with ready to use watercolour wash backgrounds that I did some time ago.
I am doing a swap on on  Everybody Loves A Parade so I thought the wide format of this book was ideal for getting some ideas down. I like the idea of doing more of these to march across more of the pages.
This year's Britain's Got Talent  had a wonderful act called The Circus of Horrors - I love them! - so this was the starting point for my own Circus of Shudders...

I used the Inktense pencils.

I have now got to decide which ones to use to make articulated dolls to send off, or whether to make some more acts first.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Moleskin Journal - using backgrounds for Art Journal Every Day

This is a return to my moleskin journal of ambiguity (in an earlier post) using pre-prepared backgrounds...

I have used image transfers, collage and stamping for this page, which is an introduction to some pages about  mazes and labyrinths.
I am also interested in the "green man" - a figure of a head emerging from greenery which appears in churches and is suspected to hark back to the imagery of pre-Christian/pagan times

Mixed Media Techniques Journal - Image Transfers

I am still using the ready made backgrounds I made for Art Journal Every Day

This one is in my ongoing journal of mixed media techniques.
I made a page as an aide memoir for one kind of image transfer,showing how the end product appears,

This is the packing tape/bookfilm technique. I hope to demonstrate some other techniques in future posts...

New Pencils!

Mixed Media Techniques Journal

We were in the Lake District last weekend,to climb up above the Honister Pass to see the rare butterfly the Mountain Ringlet.

En route we stopped at the Keswick Pencil Museum shop. It is like an Aladdin's cave of different art pencils and sketch books. With a birthday this month I did go a bit crazy... but there were lots of  discounts!

I used my journal of techniques to record the colours and effects of the pencils.

Inktense pencils have a waterproof outliner pencil, and then numerous colour pencils which create an intense ink/paint effect when they are wet.Once dry, the pencils are waterproof so you can add extra layers...

There are some drawing pencils which turn into a monochrome wash when dampened and then Graphitint pencils which have a subtle tint to them,again when water is added.
Aquatone are watercolour crayons,which work like watercolour paints when water is added, and are good for controllable washes.

Then I bought a set of  tinted charcoal pencils, again blendable and water soluble.

I also have a box of metallic pencils - these work well on dark paper and again, they are water soluble... I am making articulated dolls for a swap so I played with one of those on one of my ready made backgrounds.

And finally I bought a panoramic sketch book, with 12" x 5.5" pages - it is quite a different scale to work with, so I am looking for some ideas now....

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Art Journal Every Day - using my backgrounds

This is the second little journal using my backgrounds I prepared earlier - this journal is for recording mixed media art techniques, where I found them, and what I did with the idea... and also for keeping a record of instructions, paint colours etc. 

It should be a very useful reference book when it is full and it will encourage me to try out techniques I have not used before...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Journal of Journal Prompts

More ~ Using Backgrounds for Art Journal Every Day; A Journal of Journal Prompts
I have a series of lovely little journals that I received as part of swaps on and I have been making  backgrounds for them.

This is my "Journal of Prompts".
I have used one of a pack of Tim Holtz journaling tickets for the title page.

The first prompt page is for my journal of emotions, "Emotionally Challenged".

I have used a label for  listing some ideas and collaged lots of 'emotional' words

Prompts 2, 3 and 4 are "Openings"


I used cloakroom tickets, a wages envelope and some collaged and  stamped details

I might add something to take out of the envelope...

And the final spread I have completed - so far -  is a spread for prompt 5 which is about my ongoing interest in Medieval imagery and text .

I am planning to do my own "Book Of Hours" in an altered book I have prepared....

 I shall be adding more prompts, including some lists of prompts off the journalling thread on, courtesy of the inspirational smokeysmom!!
As I want to keep a record of all the prompts I have seen -  and this little journal will be the perfect place to store them.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

More of Using Backgrounds for Art Journal Every Day

I am still trying to "use up"  backgrounds for Art Journal Every Day - I was planning on doing an ATC swap on on the subject of "mermaids and friends" so I did some backgrounds on watercolour paper and in my Strathmore watercolour Journal to be nicely watery with an under the sea feel.

I wet the paper with a mister spray and added watercolours directly from the tube then splodged them around with a big brush and I also tilted the paper so the colours ran into one another...

In the end I did not use the paper for the swap as I drew my mermaids directly on to my atc size paper instead - but I did have a nice double page spread in my journal all ready to go.

I had a prompt I liked from the art journalling thread on atcsforall - "mermaid tales", thanks to smokeysmom!  Plus I had a head full of mermaid imagery and I also had a poem I wrote about Dahud, a Celtic mythological figure, which gave me my story.

I used some ready made stick on lettering for the title and some Dover alphabet letters for the Dahud name; these were black and white so I coloured them with water colour crayons.

I did an image transfer of the hippocamp sea horse, then I used the top of one mermaid and a tail from another in a book of Dover medieval images which again I tinted. I found the black and white musical merpeople from a copy of an old engraving and added them, and then I drew Dahud and gave her a pretty (but maybe a bit spiteful) face.

The poem is covered in layers of organza cut in wave patterns, while the text of the story is tinted with watercolour crayons.  Then there is some journalling in black pen and last of all a key sticker.

I have called it Mermaid Tales Number 1 - because that way I have to do some more!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Art Journal Every Day - using my backgrounds

 I have been in London for a few days as it was our  grand-daughter's  7th birthday party - which involved a trip across from Dulwich to Islington to visit the Sylvanian's shop and then a party for 15 children at a leisure centre - hectic!!

And I have been making her a scrap book since we got back home with montage photos I put together of the shop trip and the party with backgrounds of wrapping paper and Sylvanian' catalogue pictures so I have been buried in glue and gift wrap...

However, I have started using my backgrounds for my month's challenge I set for myself in the last post.

I have used the Moleskin journal with the ready made background.

I was looking through a book catalogue and found a picture of an ambigram by John Langdon called ambiguity - they read the same either way up (and my daughter has one about sunshine  in her bathroom, so this is something I have been taken by for some time).

And this has given me the subject for this journal - ambiguity and opposites

I did a title page with some self adhesive lettering and a crimson wash

And for the first spread  I have used the ambigram of ambiguity, with a definition and some details about ambigrams.

Then I have drawn and tinted Janus, the god who looks both ways into the past and future, with some image transfers of his name and properties.

I think this subject has lots of potential!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Time-saving Art Journalling - Making Multiple Backgrounds

Are you full of ideas for your art journal but you somehow lose the plot by the time you have made and dried your background? Daunted by those plain white pages? Cannot find anything to inspire you?

Then here are 2 time saving tips to get you going...

1. use up your left over materials.

In Pam Carriker's great book, "Art At The Speed of Life", she suggests using any bits of left over paint to make background to journals in a kind of production line.

With the Moleskin Journal - a lovely but hitherto unused gift, I dabbed left over acrylics onto double page spreads so I no longer have an intimidating white space...

In the brown page on the right I used a baby wipe to  rub dilute acrylic onto the empty page 

and with the final one I used a baby wipe again to dab thicker acrylic all over the page.
 2. Watercolour washes

This involves making a series of wet water colour washes and literally letting them drip, spread and otherwise make their own way across damp watercolour pages.

You can hold the page up and let
the wash run down the pages...
and you can rotate the pages to get a horizontal or vertical effect

You can choose a colour palette for the whole journal or for each double page spread.

You can also drip paint  into the wet page so it makes a kind of ink blot pattern or a more "puddled" effect.

You can also use this on sheets of water colour paper or water colour blocks (better as they do not cockle) and you have ready made background for art projects like atcs, chunky pages, gothic arches and so on...

The resulting pages from both techniques give a great jumping off point for collaging, painting, adding effects and written journalling... and get over the twin deterrents of scary white pages and/or having great ideas but having to wait until you have made and dried a background.

And the randomness of the end results could also be quite inspirational too!!

So for my art journal every day in July,  I will show some of the ways these background pages evolve into journal pages...

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A Journaling Garden


I cannot take credit for this idea as this was for a great prompt in the Art Journal-ers Discussions, Tips and Prompts thread on, by smokeysmom...

"Open your journal to a full spread (two blank pages facing you), now sweep any color blue along the first third of each page (for sky), then sweep a line of yellow across the pages-ok to blend the colors - next green paint across the horizon and last, brown paint (or ink) for the ground. If you're feeling adventurous, create a hill or take a marker (any kind, any color) and make vertical lines from the brown and green painted areas - up. Cut out small circles from old text sheets or music sheets and glue the circles to the top of the vertical lines-the flower heads. Add leaves to the stems if you wish. If you have spaced the flowers out a bit across the double spread, journal around them; journal up one side, around the flower head and down the other side and keep on going. You've created a journaling garden!  "

I used acrylic paint washes for the background, then Marvy Uchida Liquid Applique pens, which are for fabric and paper. I used these for the stems and leaves. They work like an ordinary marker pen, but when you heat the lines they puff up into a 3D effect.

The journalling is in sepia pen; it is a poem I wrote years ago about my childhood neighbourhood  and looking back on it as an adult as I am keen to use more of my poetry in my journalling. The "flowers" are circles cut from old poems of mine in poetry books (like most poets I have a lot of copies of books I have been published in!).

Saturday, 2 July 2011

ART JOURNAL EVERY DAY - a month of faces complete


The final 4 slots are full - 
On the left, 2 Egyptian heads inspired by pictures of tomb paintings; they are on cream water colour paper using water colour crayons and water.

The 29th June is from a photo on my mobile phone - on 28th I went to my last pottery session until September and I was desperate to finish this head  so it can dry out and be fired - I cannot list the number of decapitations, crackings and downright falling downs she has endured over the last few weeks so I think she has earned her spot!

And finally there is an ink head with lots of gloating written in it along the lines of yay I did it!

This is how the whole right hand page looks - in retrospect maybe I should have used new blank pages and worked straight into the journal instead of using the page grids I did for Strathmore Workshop2 as the dark background has been such a pain that I have frequently ignored it and stuck things over it - so I have totally cheated I suppose!

However, I am really pleased with the final spread four pages, see above - it has been a really interesting exercise and I am so pleased that  Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Balzer Designs was such an inspiration!!

now - what to do for JULY's Art Journal Every Day!