Take Heart

The Art Journal Adventure prompt this week was “heart” but, of course, I did not go all sweet and whimsical with my take on that prompt.  Rather than the typical “love” heart, I decided to create an illustration inspired by an anatomical heart.  Don’t expect it to be medical-textbook-accurate, however, because realism isn’t my thing either.  What I came up with was a female figure with an exposed heart.  I used her hair as a sort of curtain being pulled back to reveal some abstracted ribs and that bright red heart.  My first impulse was to show her peeling her skin back to reveal the internal organs so I am glad I came up with the more aesthetically pleasing option of the long, dark hair.  I do enjoy working with a limited palette so I kept this illustration to just the monochrome and splashes of red.

14 - Take Heart

 

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Rainbow Art Journal – Yellow and Purple

Since I was in the yellow section of my Rainbow Art Journal, I wanted to include a page that was about complementary colours.  In this case, that meant yellow and purple.  I have also been using this art journal to record the art materials I use so this page was created using three Daler Rowney Aquafine watercolours: cadmium yellow, gamboge, and purple lake.  I got the illustration to the point that the figure was complete and the background was entirely yellow.  Thinking that the yellow background was too bland and that the figure was floating in too much empty space, I added the purple plant forms.  I think perhaps I went a bit overboard and now the background is too busy – and the purple a bit too dominant in a page that is supposed to be predominantly yellow.  Nevermind that I strayed from my intentions because I quite like the illustration regardless.

33 - Yellow and Purple - Art Journal Page

 

Scarlet and Ice Blue

This Art Journal illustration is my response to this month’s Art Snacks challenge.  The idea is to create something using only the supplies in that month’s box.  Among the goodies, I received a paint pen in a strong red colour and a pencil in what was described as “light cobalt” but which I think of as an ice blue.  Trying to make something coherent out of a palette so tonally at odds was, therefore, the real challenge.  I used the paint pen at full strength and diluted with water.  It is honestly probably a bit glossy for my taste.  I continue with my lifelong inability to use coloured pencils in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.  There is no discernible difference between the way I colour in and the way my 9 year old colours in.  I think, however, that I have managed to create an illustration that makes those two very different colours work well together.

Scarlet and Ice Blue - Art Journal Page

Rainbow Art Journal – Golden Sun

I had this idea that I should create an illustration of a sun goddess in the yellow section of my art journal.  Once I got started, however, the figure evolved into a pseudo ancient Egyptian woman and the yellow sun ended up golden.  I basically cannot be trusted around metallic paints as I almost always go overboard with them.  There’s so much gold and bronze all over this piece that there is barely any yellow left beyond the background.  Oops. I guess I was still in a Klimty mode after the piece I did a few weeks ago because I ended up creating all sorts of Klimt-esque patterns all over the figure to.  If this is the type of thing that happens when I go with the flow without having a clear plan in mind, I definitely need to leave my control freakery be and let it come up with a vision to work towards.

32 - Golden Sun

Raven Black

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use black.  I know a lot of artists who avoid black, including some who think black should never form part of an artist’s palette, but I am not one of them.  You may have noted that I use black a lot.  In fact, I have no doubt that black and grey probably feature more in my artwork than any other colours (and, yes, I know black isn’t technically a colour but whatever).  I like to use it along with a pop of colour.  It’s kind of one of my jams.  I am quite comfortable working in monochrome.  It may be partly laziness and partly down to limitations of time but I like working with a very limited palette.  All of which is to say that for me to use black was not much of a challenge really.  My challenge, therefore, was to create visual interest and texture while only using black and grey.  I used the Ecoline liquid watercolour used in my previous art journal page for the background.  Once I added the black, I realised what a warm grey it is but I opted to use it because I liked the way it pooled to create blossoms and blooms for a bit of soft visual texture.  To create the visual texture on the figure’s clothing, I did the old sprinkle salt onto wet watercolour trick.  I went entirely overboard with the salt, however, as I was rushing to get out the door to my youngest son’s Open House night at school.  Better than ingesting that quantity of salt I suppose but it was definitely too much.  No time to even attempt to rectify my action, of course, so I let it be.  It definitely resulted in visual texture, that’s for sure.

9 - Raven Black - Art Journal

Rainbow Art Journal – Orange and Grey

The materials that arrived in my March Art Snacks box happened to be grey and orange so I thought I would use them to create another page in the orange section of my Rainbow Art Journal.  I love working with grey because it goes with everything and I like the way it works with the orange in this illustration.  I am still playing around with these female figures with the disconnected arms so I drew another one.  Previous versions have had very angular torsos, I think because I was initially inspired by classical herma.  This time, I decided to try the idea of the floating forearms along with a more twisted torso shape.  I don’t know whether this whole detached limb thing is aesthetically pleasing or successful but I am enjoying being liberated from proportions so I will probably experiment with it for a wee while longer.

29 - Orange and Grey

Matchstick

On Friday – thanks to another dose of snow because this Winter is apparently never going to end – the school district gifted my kids with a delayed arrival and an early dismissal.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Both ends of the day were curtailed meaning they were in school for a whopping two hours and twenty minutes.  My four kids attend three different schools, each of which operates on a different schedule.  This staggering meant that my youngest had not long since gone to school before my oldest arrived home again.  Meanwhile, I still had to go to work on my regular schedule but with extra Dr Seuss party fun thrown into the mix which meant I was dressed as the Cat in the Hat all day.  I got some very peculiar looks and a few chuckles from the other parents at pick up time at my youngest’s school.  So, yes, Friday was a bit of a stressful day and that meant that, when I got home that afternoon, I decided to sit at my art table to decompress – and fortunately my late afternoon schedule was flexible since all my kids were home by that point.

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “Flame”.  Fire and ashes have been recurring themes in my art journal.  This time I thought about a figure representing a matchstick.  I used orange and yellow ink for the background, letting the ink do its thing in wet paper to create random forms and puddles of pigment and hopefully suggest flames.  My Daniel Smith Lunar Black was the perfect paint for the torso of the figure since the way it granulates and separates was so reminiscent of a struck, burned out match.

 

8 - Matchstick Girl - Flame - Art Journal