Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Painting Faces.

This is an absolute first for me. I've always considered myself to be rather hopeless at painting. I've never been very good with colour, so when it came to art for me, I always chose to draw in pencil (or pen) and invest my time on shading and detail. I wouldn't even consider myself the greatest drawer either, especially if I compare my work to some of the other artists I've seen. But that's not what art, and in particular, what my art is about. At least it isn't anymore. Before I discovered art journaling, I was always very critical of my own work. I believed it wasn't good enough and that I was doing it all wrong. I was always comparing it to someone's work which was better than mine. I've now realised that this is the wrong attitude to have and that art (and craft) is something I love to do, with a passion. I do it for my own personal satisfaction, and I do it the way I want to do it. There are no rules in art. Which brings me to my very first attempt at painting a face...

I recently purchased a copy of Craft-A-Doodle by Jenny Doh. One of the first prompts in the book is to draw faces. Initially, I doodled a couple of faces using the guidelines, but kept venturing off to draw the faces you see lots of art journal folks do. They kinda turned out alright! After I had drawn a few of them, I decided I would have a go at painting one.

So, I drew this lovely lady as a practice piece in my doodle book, with the intention of drawing a larger version on water colour paper to paint. Yesterday, we had no electricity for a large portion of the day, so I took advantage of having no internet, no tv and furthermore, no distractions, to do a practice painting. I got my pan water colour paints out and the water brush I had purchased months ago and never used. I also got out my Derwent Inktense pencils, and settled in for the day.

In hindsight, next time I won't outline her features in pigment pen and I will just draw her lightly with pencil and then paint in more detail.

Prior to having my daughter, drawing was always a passion of mine. I would lose myself for hours drawing and shading my images, so I particularly enjoyed doing my lovely lady's hair while painting her. Blending the colours together was my favourite part of this painting. Once I had done her hair, I was very hesitant to paint her face. Flesh tones can be so hard to get right! Keeping in mind, that this was my very first painting, and that it is ok to break the rules, I figured that if it all went pear shaped, I could always turn her into an alien and paint her green! My pan water colours had a fleshy colour, so I just jumped in and did it. Gradually, I built up darker areas. I now have to add here that I am officially in love with water brushes. I don't think I could have ever pulled this off with a regular brush. At least not with any of the brushes I have on hand. With such a fine brush tip, I was able to focus on the smallest areas and really blend in colours with the same sort of articulation as I use in my drawings. Once the painting was done, I got my Inktense pencils out and shaded in more complimentary colours to enhance and highlight areas. I used a cotton bud to blend these in, rather than add water to them.

And so here is my Lovely Lady. I haven't given her a name, so she'll just remain my 'lovely lady'. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my first attempt. I'm quite excited to start another one, a bigger one and be a little more daring with my colours and add a bit of a mixed media background. I really didn't think I was capable of doing something like this, and I might sound a little like I'm tooting my own horn, but I really think that if I had the same attitude towards my art as I did before discovering art journaling, then no, I couldn't have done it. I think that knowing that there are no rules, and realising that there is no right or wrong, it has given me the courage and the confidence to just let go and do it anyway.

Once again my wonderful readers, I hope you have enjoyed my post today, and thank you all so much for stopping by.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cereal Box Journal: Part 2

Earlier on in the year, I wrote a blog post about a Cereal Box Journal I had made (see post HERE). I was quite happy with the results and was determined to make another one. So for a few months now, I have been slowly working on another journal and I have to say that I am REALLY happy with how this one has turned out. For months I collected as many different papers, envelopes, and paper bags as I could find. I even used the Resin Paper technique (see post HERE on how to make Resin Paper) on a few papers to include in the journal. Finally, I had enough paper to make enough signatures to go into the journal. By this time, my muse had taken a leave of absence, and I was left with a blank journal cover, so I put it aside to work on at another time, and found other projects to work on.

One day, as I was tidying up my workspace, inspiration struck! Don't you always find that happens when you're tidying up a creative space? I fossicked through various bits of ephemera, found some cute Washi tape, grabbed my Dymo label maker and some gesso. Everything just seemed to fall into place and within a couple of hours, I was so happy with the journal cover that sat before me.

At this point, I stitched a button onto the cover with the intention of having a nice wrap-around tie that would secure at the button, but as I worked on this, I feared that constant wrapping around the button would cause the button to fall off, so I came up with an alternative.

Finally, I began to sew the signatures in, using a Long Stitch method. I think the previous journal was just put together with a basic Pamphlet Stitch. I love using Long Stitch and I'm really keen to make a journal with some gorgeous watercolour paper and a suede cover, using this stitch. 

Overall, I'm super happy with how this journal turned out, and again, I'm absolutely keen to make another one. This journal was made using quite a small cereal box, and is probably in between an A6 and A5 size, so I think I will be daring and make a full sized cereal box journal for my next effort. I'm not sure how I'm going to fill the pages of this one, but I am looking forward to doing so. I might turn it into a sort of Smash book and have a collection of bits and pieces to adorn the pages. We shall have to wait and see. For now, I shall just admire it for the beautiful journal that it is. Inspiration will strike, and I will know the right time to fill its pages.

I really hope you have enjoyed my post today, and as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fun At The Fair!

Today was the beginning of the Royal Adelaide Show. My husband and I took our daughter along and enjoyed a really good, fun day out.

I just adore owls. I was so happy to be able to take a photo of this gorgeous creature. And of course, we couldn't resist a wander down sideshow alley. My days of going on the scary rides are over, however!

I hope you enjoyed my blog post today, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Return Of The Muse

Over the last few months, life has been a little busy. I've had other priorities, it's been winter here in Australia  and it's been too cold to venture into my workroom to work on anything. As a result, my muse took a leave of absence. But now that Spring is here, my muse has come back and she's brought many wonderful ideas with her!

I've been going through some of my reference books and doodling flowers. I've been looking through my Zentangles and Doodles board on Pinterest and getting very inspired. I've also ordered copies of  Craft A Doodle  (by Jenny Doh, and a collaboration of 18 other artists) and Art Doodle Love (by Dawn DeVries Sokol), which I am totally excited to get!

So, as you can see, I've been quite busy with my doodles and I've also started working on a couple of book binding orders too. I will post photos soon. Right now the covers are still drying in the book press.

I hope you enjoyed my post today and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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