A Pig for 2019

Keeping my promise to myself to conserve art time, I created this art journal page in two 15 minute shifts over two days: the first used to collage the background and the second to add the paint layer.  I painted the negative space so that the pig emerged in the collage layer while the background got knocked back a bit by using diluted acrylic.  The pig is the subject of my first art journal page of the year because 2019 is the year of the pig according to the Chinese zodiac.  I love pigs and love drawing them so any excuse to create a pig is all right by me.

*Edited to add* Many thanks to bcparkinson for pointing out my error. Oops! Can you tell I created this late at night? Oh dear. I’ll have to do the art version of white out and collage over the 8 and turn it into a 9. Lesson learned, people: best not to commit thinks to ink or paint when you are bone tired.

1 Year of the Pig

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Black, Blue, and Red

A fortnight into 2019 and I finally created my first illustrations of the new year.  I received my Art Snacks box in the mail which prompted me to create something with the new materials it contained.  The box included a sample of paper (the heaviest I have worked with in quite some time) that had very small dimensions, just a few inches square.  That made embarking on an art project seem more accessible in the time I had available.  This was my first time using Golden fluid acrylics.  I focused on how they worked at different levels of dilution and was pretty impressed with how they worked with a lot of water.  I think I actually managed them better when diluted than I did when using it at its regular opacity.  I rather like that I achieved a watercolour-like effect with this paint and that’s probably how I will use it in future.

Art Snacks - Jan 2019 - 2

I am committed to more dedicated self-care this year and that includes preserving my art time instead of letting it get gobbled up my other things.  Taking two weeks before even drawing a thing isn’t the best start but fingers crossed I can keep to a more regular schedule going forward.

Scarlet Leaves

I desperately needed the therapeutic, decompressing assistance of some art time yesterday so I made some time and cracked open the pages of my neglected art journal.  I had not experimented with any of the items in my December Art Snacks box so I reached for that and decided to see what emerged on the page.  As is so often the case, what I drew was a female figure.  I gave her completely unrealistic anatomy as far as the arms are concerned (I have literally no idea why) and, thanks to the nature of the media in the box, I kept the figure monochromatic.  The pop of colour came from a bold red, chunky paint pen.  The nib was much larger than I am used to working with so attempting leaves was probably – definitely – a challenge too far.  However, leaves aside, I am pleased with how the page turned out and am definitely pleased that I was able to benefit from some time at my art table.

Scarlet Leaves

Liberty

I was off work today while my kids were in school for the morning so, with some bonus free time, I grabbed the opportunity to do some art.  I had not found time to play with the supplies in my November Art Snacks box so I got those and my art journal and set to work.  The Liquitex acrylic gouache I received was in a deep turquoise colour, one of my favourite colours, and I let that inform the subject matter as I thought the colour would suit an illustration of the Statue of Liberty.  I didn’t want to try and draw the actual sculpture, however, so I drew my version of the iconic figure, changing her pose, hair, and face, but leaving enough elements for the subject to be obvious.  I have not used gouache much generally and have never used acrylic gouache so this piece was a big experiment in media for me.  I liked that I could use it thick on the crown but that diluted down it behaved a bit more like watercolour, which is how I used it on the body of the figure.  I even managed to get some watercolour-like pigment blooms going.  Gouache and I never got on well in the past, which is why I have barely used it, but I may have to give it another go.

Liberty

Rainbow Art Journal – Rust and Bone

I had to redeem myself and my art journal after the hideous beetle page so I returned to what for me is apparently a favourite subject – skeleton women.  I have no idea what in my psyche or imagination keeps compelling me to illustrate these skeletal ladies.  I just go with it.  This one was an experiment with a colour palette of orange, rusty red, and teal.  I like the combination and can see me using it again.  While the orange and red suggest rust, the teal suggests verdigris so they all work together quite well thematically as well as in terms of colour.

26 - Rust and Bone

I probably won’t return to either of my art journals for the rest of this month because I am going to be consumed with other art projects.  I am still filling my Brooklyn Art Library sketchbook with zombies and I am also participating in Drawlloween.  I have joined in with Inktober the past couple of years but this year I decided to push myself out of the habit of just doing ink linework illustrations by joining in with Drawlloween.  I am working bigger than in previous years and I am adding colour.  That’s the plan anyway.  You can follow the results of both of these projects on my other blog, Pict Ink, or on Instagram.

Utensils Abstract

I used an Art Journal Adventure prompt for this art journal page.  The idea had been to use household objects for mark-making.  I decided, however, to make an abstract piece by drawing around various kitchen utensils, overlapping the silhouettes, and then (very roughly) filling the resulting shapes in with acrylic paint.  It was just the type of quick dose of art I needed on a busy day.  My art table is in the kitchen so I was able to create this page while cooking and cleaning in the same space.  It’s rough and ready but it was a fun stress-buster to just throw some paint around on paper.

38 - Utensils Abstract

 

 

 

Rainbow Art Journal – Beetle

Peaks and valleys.  Rough and smooth.  Successes and failures.  Not every experiment in my art journal is going to be a success.  Indeed, most are probably lacking in some way but that’s acceptable to me because they are just experiments and my art journals are for relaxation and play.  Some pages, however, are just abject failures.  This is one such page.  I almost didn’t blog about it because it is so bad but every failure is a learning opportunity so here it is.

My Rainbow Art Journal is a work in progress, evolving all the time.  Some pages I complete from start to finish but others are more dynamic and shifting, emerging from leftover paint smooshed here, scraps of collage pasted there, until ultimately I decide what to do with that page.  This page had had lots of red, yellow, and orange paint scraped onto it.  I had also had to slap on some washi tape to reinforce the perforations.  It was a pretty ugly base layer but it was something to work on.  Incidentally, the background colour is much more orange than it appears in the photo.  I think the metallics throw the camera off.  Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t manage to lose the ugly.  I painted on a beetle in a pearlescent yellow.  The shimmer was nice but the whole thing looked washed out in comparison to the background colours.  I, therefore, smudged on some gold to make the beetle a bit warmer in hue and add yet more shimmer.  The idiom “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear” came to mind.  I added some ink and some paint pen for detailing.  Nope.  Still ugly.  That’s when I decided that I hated this page and that I was investing no more time in it.  Time to abandon it and call it quits.  On to new and hopefully better pages.

25 - Beetle