Art Journaling at the Speed of Life

Art Journaling at the Speed of Life

I just wanted to share some art journaling goodness with you all:-) I was thrilled to get my contributor copy of Art Journaling magazine and find me work on the cove! It totally caught me by surprise. As most of you know, I love art journaling and it’s my go to vehicle to teach workshops. They are such a valuable tool for any artist.

 

 

 

 

Cover Art September 2017

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Here’s the full page spread. I love this color palette of Nightfall, Celedon, and Rain from my line of paints with Derivan Matisse. The stencils used here are my designs with Stencil Girl Products.

I hope you are finding time to explore your own journals~

Seth Apter Stamps!!!

When my friend Seth Apter asked if he could send me a couple of stamps from his new stamp line with Impression Obsession  to try out I of course said YES!!!

They do not disappoint! The thing that I love about Seth’s stamps and stencils are that they can be used ‘in’ work. They don’t have to be the final image but can be incorporated mixed media style right into your journal page or artwork. They add structure, line and shape, building blocks for creating.

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Here is a journal spread I did using two of his new stamps, “Net Work’ and “Inter Net”. Love those names too!!

 

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Be sure to visit Seth’s BLOG for even more details and to see the whole line of stamps! And check out the links below to see more creations using his new stamps!!
Mary Beth Shaw
Marjie Kemper
Linda Cain 
Brian Kasstle
Kim Henkel 

DVD’s are Now Available!!!

I’m thrilled to announce that my new North Light DVD’s are available!!! So much fun to finally see them ‘out there’. It’s been several months since I was shooting them in cold Cincinnati last February. The whole experience has been a joyful ride and I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the sneak peeks for the videos on the North Light shop (just click the video images below)

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And there’s also a value pack available with the stencils I used in the Color Wheel Journal!!

Color Shaper Journal Painting

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I was messing around in my journal a couple of days ago and wanting to play a little differently I grabbed my Colour Shaper tools to paint this portrait without using brushes. Several people have asked about both the Colour Shapers and the method so I did another quick journal page in my Extra Large Moleskine Sketchbook (11.5 x 16.75″) and took some step out pictures to show the process.

Most important I think to using the Colour Shapers in this way is not to get bogged down by details, stay loose and go with the marks that they make!

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The Colour Shapers are some of my favorite art tools and I keep them handy by my work table on my Raskog cart from IKEA.

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Here are the sizes I like, and note that they come in both firm and soft tips and it’s good to have both as they will work differently with the paint.

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I’m using my Fluid Matt Sheer Acrylics in Mustard Seed, Barely Black and White Washed. You can see that these are very fluid and also carry a high pigment load. You can try any acrylic paint and you will get various results depending on the viscosity of the paint.

I love this color palette as the Mustard Seed and Barely Black mixed together make a really warm gray color.

FullSizeRender_3My model is my Asaro’s Head. This is such a wonderful tool for seeing how light hits on the different planes of the face. Here I just sketched the actual head, but you can use it to also sketch a more realistic face and get some great references to where shading and highlights should go.

FullSizeRender_2Using the larger 1″ and 2″  Colour Shapers, I start to block in the dark areas. Note all of the cool marks the tools leave in the paint-I don’t try to avoid them, this adds to the overall look.

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As I work I wipe off the tool onto the background to start that off. By adding small amounts of White Washed to the gray mix I get various tones of color that I add the planes of the head. Switch to smaller tools as needed.

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You can also wipe a bit of each of the tones you mix on the page somewhere to help document them. I do this a lot in my journal work.

(and yes, that’s a glass of wine in the background-keeps you loose while you paint😉

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Remember to stop! I am not at all going for some finely detailed painting, I want it raw, so remembering to stop is important. In all this took less than hour from sketch to finished painting. Now I’m going to let it dry and then add some journaling to the page. This is a fun journal exercise to help you loosen up and play with shading and tonal values.

 

 

Analogous Colors at Play

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Today I had time to play with lesson 3 from my book. Analogous colors are so fun to play with in a messy way because you can’t make mud with them! They just keep blending and making beautiful color.

 

photo 1I first spritzed my page spread with water so I could work wet on wet. (Check out my messy table from yesterday’s print making session!)

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Then I used Mini Misters (Ranger) to spray some of my acrylic inks onto the page. These will be available soon at Jerrys Artarama! They are great for backgrounds because they’re acrylic and when dry, permanent!! No bleed through. I’m using a non stick teflon sheet to mask off most of the page.

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These pics show the progression as I work my way up the page from the bottom. I chose to use 6 colors. Remember analogous colors are side by side on the color wheel.

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Next I laid a stencil on top (Stencil Girl Products) and then used paper towels to blot off the excess ink. I used 3 different stencils to create an interesting background.

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I added a color wheel using one of my stencils (Stencil Girl Products) to show the colors I used on the background. Then using a Copying Pencil (these have indelible ink in them and turn a lovely turquoise color when you wet them) and sketched a face. I used the Copying Pencil to stay with my color palette and not overwhelm the page.

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I activated the pencil with a wet brush.

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Next I used white and black China Markers to add a little pop to the face with highlights and shadows.

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I used the Copying Pencil to add some journaling and my page spread is complete. I really like that the image doesn’t overwhelm the page, or cover the background. I may work a bit more on this but I’m done for now.

 

Printmaking Unleashed

Traci Bautista’s new book, Printmaking Unleashed is FULL of unique ideas for printing and mark making.

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I was excited to have a couple of hours to sit down and try some of the techniques in her book today. It really delivers as it definitely unleashed the printmaking beast in me!

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She sent me a box full of awesome tools to try out and the thing that grabbed my attention right away is how many things you can use in printmaking that are just ordinary items. I’m getting ready to bind these backgrounds into a new journal so I can continue printing and journaling on top of them. Love having pages ready to develop in my journals, much more inspiring than blank pages!

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Making the Journal…BIGGER

So as I said in my post yesterday, one way I want to make this journal different is by making it bigger. This is the standard journal size that I like to make. It’s big enough to have lots of room to play, but not overwhelmingly large.

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Original Journal from my book Creating Art at the speed of Life

 

 

 

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The journal size I usually make

I used 90lb Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. This is still my favorite for journal making because it’s not too heavy but the pages hold up very well to all sorts of media. It’s also easy to fold, tear and punch through. I get asked about this choice often and I’d like to insert that any paper that you like to use for mixed media art can be substituted. Your journal is a personal place for you to make art and the substrate you choose to work on is a personal choice. I just share what my favorite is:-)

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To make the 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal that I made, tear four 22″ x 30″ sheets of paper into fourths, you’ll use 15 of these torn down pieces of paper. I used a tear bar but you can fold and score with a bone folder tool, wet the fold with a sponge and tear. Remember that this journal can be made in any size you want so if you already have a pad of paper you like you may just want to tear out pages and fold them in half.

 

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Fold each piece of torn paper in half and score fold with the bone folder tool to create 15 folios. Nest three folios inside of each other to create 5 signatures of three sheets each.

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Punch a center hole and one hole from each end for three holes total in the spine. (You can find complete instructions on stitching this in my book. Use waxed linen thread to bind each signature with a pamphlet stitch, tying the not on the inside of the signatures.

I like to store my awl and binding needle in a cork to keep them together and myself safe from being poked.

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I get my waxed linen thread from the jewelry section of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

 

Because this is a larger journal and the stitches on the outside are a bit larger than my 2″ cloth tape, I’m going to use two pieces of tape in each stitch for a total of 4 pieces.

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I find it helpful to use a piece of 2″ by 8″ piece of chipboard to act as a threader for the tape. Simply stick the edge of the tape to the chipboard and thread it through the stitches on the outside of the stack of signatures. Remove the tape from the chipboard and stick one side to the outside of the signature on one side of the stack. Then compress the stack of signatures and stick the rest of the tape to the other side of the stack. If needed use a second piece of tape beside the first one. Repeat for second outside stitch.

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For the covers I like to use mat board or the heavy boards from the back of drawing pads. Just cut to the size of your journal. For the larger journals like this I like to have a nice sturdy cover so I wouldn’t recommend using just canvas as in the smaller journal in my book.

 

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Use Yes glue or other good strong paper glue to attach the cardboard covers to the front and back of the signature stack.

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To cover the spine I like to use Gaffers tape but any cloth tape including the one you used for the binding will work. Duct tape will even work. Just cut two pieces the length of your journal. Place one piece sticky side up on your worktable and then tear about a 1″ strip from the second piece of tape. Place this sticky side down, down the center of the piece on your worktable.

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Set your journal, bound side down on top of the tape, it should be resting on the non sticky middle strip. Carefully stick the tape to the front and back of the journal.

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Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between the signatures when you ope your book.

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To fix this I just add a strip of the cloth tape I used for the binding.

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Let the glue set up overnight if possible, I like to weigh the journal down with a book or two on top of it. Then you’re good to go!

You can decorate your cover or leave it plain. For complete journal making instructions remember to check out my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life