Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Making An Art Journal

Art Journal experiment

Art journaling.   Where have you been all these years???   Such a simple way to stay creative and I am so excited to start one!  I’ve done some basic research a lot of which has involved Pinterest which in turn has pointed me in the direction of some amazing blogs.  My favorite videos to watch have been by Christy Tomlinson for collaging but I think my favorite art journaling blog right now has to be Junelle Jacobsen’s Blog called  Yes and AmenShe is so generous in what she shares and she also offers workshops and tutorials.  And on top of that her website and blog are absolutely charming with the way she sprinkles in photos of the sheep and baby lambs that I am guessing her family raises.   Adorable!  And her creativity will amaze you…it did me.

Art journaling is a way to create, express, practice, and experiment in one place. Not everything needs to be placed on a canvas!  Sometimes you just want to try out a new idea or play around with a new combination of colors or experiment with some new papers or stamps.   I like the idea of having a book that I can do anything I want in.   In it I can draw, sketch, paint, doodle, decoupage, play with watercolors, papercraft, stamp, add photographs or make smaller versions of my favorite right now….collage.  I’ve even started a Mixed Media Board on Pinterest if you would like to take a peek. 

How to make an art journal     Art Journal Book     Art Journal

So just the other night I found another website called Art Journalist which has all kinds of advice, ideas and how-tos for art journaling.  I followed their advice and found myself in a Goodwill looking for a suitable book that I could convert into and art journal.  And for a $1.25 I found what I think might make the perfect book.   (Click on the photo above “How to Prepare An Old Book to be used for Art Journaling” and be taken directly to that post.)

Art Journal with Gesso

It’s an Office XP Basics Manual that someone donated and the great thing about it is it’s spiral bound, nice and big but not too big and I don’t feel guilty for gluing it’s pages together, gesso-ing the heck out of it and drawing and painting in it among other things.  Here it is with a coat of gesso.  I’ll add more gesso if needed when I use that page for a project.  It just depends on what I am going to do with the page.  I glued three pages together and then added a coat of white gesso.  The nice thing I  have learned is that the gesso is like a primer and makes the paper suitable for even watercolor painting.  It gives it something for your medium to hang on to and absorbs the water from watercolor paints as well.


Art Journal Water color Chart

Here is my first page. I picked up a set of new watercolors the other day and really wanted to see what the colors would look like on paper I made a watercolor chart and turned it into a journal page that I can reference anytime I want to help me select the right colors when I am painting with themNot sure what I am going to do on the opposite side just yet.


Water Colors Chart

Love these colors!!  Something about a fresh new pallet of paints!

Art Journal Girl

And here is my 2nd art journal page.  Ha!  Believe me when I say I am cringing about showing you this page.

Let’s just say I learned a lot from this little piece of what I want to do in the future and what I don’t! 

Here are a few things I learned from this today: 

1.  I like her hair.  It’s a bit spiky and a also a bit more modern.

2. I like her dress.  I cut it out of some scrap paper. 

3.  Hate her arms!  Ha!  And the heart hands were poorly executed!  Ha again!  And don’t outline legs with a hot pink felt marker. 

4.  Not too happy with the use of the color brown for the honeycomb background pattern.   I need to establish a color palette before I begin and stick to it!!

5.  The flowers were paper punched out of some brown and black paper.  Talk about a color clash.   So I then painted them over with the aqua blue and added the white center.         That saved them but I am still not wild about them. 

6.  I tried a new face with a heart mouth.  It’s okay…but not crazy about it either. 

7.  I love the technique of using regular Scotch Tape and lifting text out of magazines and then decoupage-ing the bits of text to the piece.

8.  I used my Gelatos by Faber-Castell  for the first time and did the pink and yellow vertical border with them.  They are fun to use.  Like a soft creamy crayon that I then activated with a paint brush and water.  I can see myself playing around with these a lot more. 

9.  I like the idea of using the pages from my old French dictionary.  I just tore a snippet and glued it on. 

10.  I like my new butterfly stamp.  Not so sure about the hot pink ink though. 

11.  My doodles need help.  Serious help.

12.  Wilma Flintstone wants her necklace back.  : ) 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

She Art With A Face!

She Art 1

So my self education via youtube videos and the She Art 2 Workshop with Christy Tomlinson continues.  Here is my first collage with a face.  Please don’t laugh.  She is very bold!  I realize this.  And it’s so funny to me as I keep drawing and painting…I never know what they are going to look like until I am completely finished.  They seem to have a personality of their own.  I re-did her eyes twice because the first set seemed like they were staring at me…kind of creepy like!  These eyes seem softer but still they are so big and bold.  Big lips too.  : ) I have lots of learning and more practicing to do but overall I am making progress.  Onward and Upward!

Friday, January 23, 2015

She Art Class with Christy Tomlinson

She Art Girl

I am so enjoying experimenting with this Mixed Media thing!   I love being creative and have really taken to learning all I can about this fun way to express and create art.  Christy Tomlinson has an awesome blog and is so generous in teaching the rest of us how she creates the kind of art that she does.  There are oodles of videos available on Youtube that I have been watching in my pursuit of an education in creativity.  : )   

And she offers online workshops and this is the first time I’ve done an online workshop of any kind.  I was blown away!    I signed up for her She Art 2 class and was so happy with the video instruction and all the amazing content she offers with her class.  It was fun, I learned a ton, and the value was incredible.  Lot’s of workshops to pick from.  

So basically last Sunday I spent the majority of the day watching all the videos offered in the She Art 2 class.  And yesterday I got serious and created my first “piece”.  I love being able to use that word.  Ha!  And to be able to show it off somewhere.  I thought “Hey, you have a blog remember?!”  Post it there and share the fun.   The creative juices are flowing!    Happy Friday Everyone!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Turning A Photo Into A Watercolor Painting

Farmer's Market Final

Well this was just plain fun!  I have been dabbling with watercolors lately.  Found a basic set while out shopping for Christmas gifts and decided to pick it up for Santa to leave under the tree for me.  And now that it’s January and I’m pretty much trapped indoors for way much more time than I would like, I broke them them out and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with them.  Between working on some Mixed Media Collages, the watercolors have been keeping me entertained too.

So this morning as I was quietly sipping my coffee and digging through Pinterest when I came across a photo with a link to the blog Eclectically Vintage where Kelly had a blog post called How to Turn Any Photo Into a Watercolor. 


I am all over this idea like white on rice!! In her post she talks about a sketching app that is only available to users of an Apple phone.  But alas, I am user and  I might add, of the Android platform.  I sound really techy don’t I ?  : )  Anyway, light bulb!  I have an app on my phone called Pencil Sketch that I play around with all the time turning my regular phone photos into sketch drawings. 

Famer's Market Photo

One of my favorite place to go in the summertime is the Piedmont Farmer’s Market here in Greensboro.  I usually stop by there once a week when the weather is warm just to see what is in season and what I can find.  I often take my camera with me to take photos. So I dug into my gallery for a fun test photo to try this technique out on and pulled up this photo from one of my many visits to the Farmer’s Market last summer.


So the first thing I did was to take that photo, turn it into a pencil sketch drawing using the Pencil Sketch App on my phone and then I sent the sketch drawing to my email where I was able to then send the sketch image to my printer.    I removed all the regular paper from the printer and took a piece of water color paper and cut it to the same size as the regular printer paper and then carefully inserted it into my printer so that the image would print on the painting side of the watercolor paper. And….VOILA!! It worked.

Watercolors 8

Then it was just a mater of painting in the sketch image with my watercolor paints.

Famer's Market Photo          Watercolors3     WaterColors 2 - Copy

       Before                During               After    


Farmer's Market 1

Here is the sketch after painting with the water colors and then defining the signs with a pencil and writing the name Farmer’s Market on it.

Farmer's Market Final

Then I went back over the lettering with a ultrafine tip black Sharpie pen and defined the letters. 

And this is the final resulting masterpiece!  So much fun to do this and incredibly easy.  I’m sure I will be posting more of these! 

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you have some fun things planned for this weekend.  I’ll be painting.  : )

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mixed Media Art Collages

Collage with Outline

Finding ways to keep myself entertained this winter has led me to the world of Mixed Media Collage!  I had a brief exposure to Mixed Media a few years back when I was in Ottawa Canada for a Girl’s Weekend spent with my college girl friends.  One of the days we were there we took a field trip to a small art studio and we each painted and embellished a canvas and created our own unique works of art.  I still have mine hanging in my laundry room.  That’s it there hanging on the wall in the photo below.    It was very simple and I still love it.  So after getting all my art and craft supplies and a trip or to to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s for even more supplies, I sat down and started working on my first canvas.

Laundry Room 006

And now I have learned that there is a whole world of Mixed Media Art out there and lots of people willing to share their ideas, expertise, and talent on blogs, Pinterest, and Youtube. I have been Youtube binging on videos by Christy Tomlinson!  I love her work!  Her videos are so inspiring and informative and she shows you from start to finish how she creates her mixed media pieces.   I have seen so many really cool pieces of work elsewhere online and it has made me want to give it a try myself. I have become mini-obsessed with the artform.  You absolutely cannot do it wrong!  It’s such a fun and relaxing form of expression and it’s easy to loose yourself in it.  And that’s why I like it! 


Mixed Media Collage 006

I think what appeals to me most is the layering of media, objects, and color. For the piece I did, I started with a blank canvas that I applied a single coat of Gesso.  This helps everything else you add to your canvas really hold on tight!   At first I really didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted to do.  The only thing I had that I knew I wanted to use was the flower I sketched and painted with watercolors that I painted on a page from an old dictionary that I picked up at Goodwill for 75 cents.  I am starting to become addicted to painting on those dictionary pages but that is a blog post for another day. 

Mixed Media Collage 003

Anyway…I also had a little bottle of the prettiest aqua blue paint that I knew I wanted to use.  My photos don’t do that color justice but it’s a rich beautiful color on the finished piece.  After covering the canvas in the aqua paint and letting it dry, I started deciding what I wanted to include.  The dictionary flower was a given and from there I cut out the large heart out of some scrapbook paper. The butterflys have been sitting in a craft drawer while waiting for a home.  More scrap book paper was cut for the tall border on the side, a few letter stickers that look like typewriter keys spelling the word “Grow”and some randomly place trios of white paint dots and I was on my way.

Mixed Media Collage 004

My favorite find were the flowers.  I found them at Hobby Lobby.  They were in the embellishment section of the store and the box had 65 petal pieces in it for $4.99. and I used my 40% off coupon on that.  I also picked up a package of mini brads that I used to assemble the flowers and they couldn’t be any cuter.  I randomly glued them on my canvas, and use a large script stamp to add some randomly placed script for interest.  Then it was time for the words I wanted to use.  In the past I have been frustrated when trying to decoupage images and photos I have printed myself with my inkjet printer.  After some investigation with the help of Google, I found a solution that I decided to give a try and it worked!  I printed out the words in the size and shape I wanted to use and then I took some regular clear packing tape and I covered all of my words with the tape.  I cut them out and then Mod Podged them to my canvas and darn it worked!  No smearing of the ink!  The tape also gave the words some weight and made them really easy to work with.  Next time I might also use the tape on the back side…I was so worried that even though they didn’t run or smear from the backside they might have if they sat in the wet Modge Podge long enough.  Better safe than sorry. 

 Mixed Media Collage 002  Collage with Outline

And look here how much the small touch of outlining the works in a black Sharpie makes a before and after difference. 

Mixed Media Collage 002

So if you want to try something new, why not check out the world of Mixed Media?  There is an abundance of inspiration on Pinterest.  Just do a search on Mixed Media Art and enjoy the art show!