Monday, August 18, 2014

Fledgling

On a walk the other day I came across the cutest little birdie. A fledgling fresh out of the nest, not sure about how to fly yet and too innocent to be afraid of a huge passing woman with a smartphone pointing at it. That's how I could take this picture of it:



When I was home I was still all 'oooh' and 'aaaah', so I just had to draw it in my journal to confirm to myself I had really seen this little sweetie up close:


I hope the little fellow is doing okay and that it will grow up to be a strong and brave bird. I felt a bit sorry for it sitting there all by itself, but then again, that's nature. We're all fledglings at one point or another.

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The last of the Book of Luck

It's hard to believe but true: I finished another journal! The Book of Luck is all filled up.



Last year I pretty much only worked in one journal, the White Book and boy was that book a struggle sometimes. But his year so far I have already finished four! And that's without counting the Fake Journal, which was more of an experiment (and not really finished in any traditional sense of the word).

Anyway, it seems this year I have a preference for journals I can actually end within two months. The Book of Luck took me about six weeks and here are some of its last pages:











This really was a fantastic journal to work in, strangely enough because it was actually not suitable for art at all. The paper was only good for writing. But the size was wonderful and portable and I liked adding pieces of sketching paper for the actual art and just sticking in all kinds of random stuff. It also reaquainted me with my love for collage.

If you are new to journaling I think it would be a really good idea to get a book like this, one that is not so pristine and perfect, but just a regular notebook. It takes a lot of pressure off the whole thing.

Meanwhile I have of course already started yet another journal (a very different one again, since I thrive on variety), but that's for another post. For now I am just happy to add another favorite to my stash of finished journals.


Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Covering the Real Journal

I finished the Real Journal last June, that is to say I finished the insides. On the outside it was still an ordinary black sketchbook. I had been working on a cover for it for a while already, but after I filled it, it was like the incentive to work on it was gone. This is a good lesson for the future: make sure the journal is completely finished on the outside before you start working in it!;-)

Anyway, all I still had to do was add some beads to the cover piece of cloth, so last weekend I kicked myself in the butt, got my little bowl of supplies together and set up shop on the couch.


These plastic bowls that I once bought and used for painting small pieces of fabric and paper towels are actually also quite handy to transport some supplies for a small fabric project!

In the end it didn't even take all that long to attach the beads to the surface. It was just a matter of finally doing it. When the piece was ready it looked like this:


The fabric already has that patchwork/quilty print, so I didn't do that, but I did add the yarn stiches to the squares and then attached the leather circles with more yarn. The leather was a gift from a friend and this was a nice way to use some of it. The beads are simple plastic children's beads that I got at a discount store, nothing fancy there.

Now it was time to put the whole cover together under the sewing machine. The outside fabric has a pink backing which you can't really see, but it does make the whole cover look nicer (no open edges). And on the inside cover I used a matching flower fabric:


And here's how the Real Journal looks now:






I'm very happy with how it turned out! What I like most about things like this is how I work out an idea in theory in a sketchbook and then sort of make it a reality by putting it together. Most of my art is more of the let's see what happens kind, but with this I really have to think ahead. I like how I actually designed this and then made it happen. :-)

Oh...and one more thing: Am I crazy or is the backside of the outside cover kind of cool all by itself?



I just had to take a picture of it, before it was covered by the backing fabric. I like how you can see the work that went into this piece.

I will definitely be making more handstitched covers or maybe just separate fabric pieces. I'm just having way too much fun with them.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Coloured pencil portrait

If there is one medium that I find both beautiful and extremely challenging it's coloured pencil. From time to time I dabble in mastering them a little more. While working on the collages in the previous posts I used some coloured pencil for the background and it reminded me how much I like the feel of them in my hand.

I think when it comes to actual coloured pencil art what is most intimidating to me is the type of artist that does coloured pencil paintings, where he or she uses layer upon layer, and often solvents too, to achieve a very realistic result. Obviously that is not my thing. It just takes way to much time (and way to much skill too, haha) and in the end I'm more the kind of person who likes to colour in stuff. Stuff like my own line drawings.

That doesn't mean I don't want a little depth in those drawings. And that requires practice, especially in a medium like this. In the past weekend I decided to practice by doing a portrait after a photograph in a magazine. I made a line drawing first. It started with a mechanical pencil and when I was happy I redid the thing with a black felt tip pen.


In the above picture I had already started on the first colour layer on the face, but it gives you a bit of an impression of how the drawing looked before I coloured it in. I actually really liked it. That of course made it even more scary to colour it in, one migh after all totally ruin it, haha.

But with a bit of patience I think I did okay... see:





I should say that the contrast in these pictures is a bit higher than in real life. The actual drawing is a bit more subtle, which I like better, but I still think it looks pretty good. I really liked the process of this portrait, taking my time with things and really working at it to get it right enough to my liking.

Here's the portrait next to the original photo:


I really like how I managed to get the light in the hair by using an eraser on some parts of it. For a very realistic drawing I would have to add about a gazillion more layers, but I must say I kind of like the fact that you can still see it's coloured pencil and not paint or anything. I like that you can see the lines.

I think I must do more of these to really get a bit of skill with coloured pencils. I'd like to be more confident with them and the only way is (as always) practice, practice, practice! ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy week!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Collages in the Book of Luck

Lately I have been fascinated by glue books. Glue books are basically what the word says, books in which stuff is glued down. I guess collage books would be another good word for them.

Looking at pics all over the internet inspired me to do some collages in my journal. Of course me being me, just sticking things down wasn't enough for me, I had to embellish and decorate and make it look good. I just cannot leave stuff alone until I feel it looks good. Good enough for me anyway.

Here's what I did:








I don't know if you can tell, but I first needed to warm up a little. The first two are simpler and less full of stuff, but soon my need to fill everything to the brim took over and things really got going.

I especially like the last two with the pastel coloured background. I like how it contrasts with the more colourful imagery.

It was so much fun to do these! I missed doing 'real' collage and it was fun to get back to it and combine it with penwork, coloured pencils and stencils. I will definitely do more of these!

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Catnap

My personal assistant has one big hobby and that's sleeping. I sometimes envy him for his guiltfree sleepfull existence and I love to watch the different positions he takes while relaxing. And sometimes I just have to take a picture of him for the sheer cuteness of it, for posterity and of course for you all to see!









I have this suspicion we could all learn something from this. I'm not sure what exactly, but I am sure it's something relaxing and calming and altogether pleasurable!

Have a good day all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

From the Book of Luck

My current notebook journal, the Book of Luck,  is in full use. I am loving it to bits. Here are some spreads to show you that a journal need not have any rhyme or reason. It can just be whatever you want and even be something different in every spread or page you fill.






















You can draw, you can write, you can do pretty collages or just paste in random stuff, you can write on the lines or ignore them, you can go sideways or upside down, you can put in your photographs or photographs of others you find pretty, you can stick in everyday ephemera and litte keepsakes from special trips, you can attach things that flip open or attach things with paperclicps, you can test new art supplies or finally again use old ones, you can do portraits after mail order catalogues or just the ones that are in your head, you can stick in information leaflets and articles from websites or even steal a poem.

It's a journal, it's a free zone and anything goes. Don't you just love that?

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