Rainbow Art Journal – Snow White

Perhaps it was because the adjacent page was inspired by the fictional, dreamy world of Oz, or perhaps it was all the shiny red apples in the fruit bowl, but when I sat down at my art journal and looked at the blank page I decided that it should be a fairy tale and that tale should be Snow White.

I had fun experimenting with lots of different mixed media techniques on this journal page.  I collaged tissue paper, painted with gesso, and lifted paint to create texture.  I also forced myself to draw hands in a particular gesture.

9 Snow White

Rainbow Art Journal – Lady Death

Continuing with the monochrome black and white theme in my Rainbow themed art journal, I decided to challenge myself to work in white on top of black.  I did not have a subject in mind as I loaded the black acrylic on to the pages and actually cannot remember if anything in particular sparked the idea but I decided to draw an illustration of a female Death figure.  I opted against using pencil to sketch anything in so I worked directly in paint pen and gel pen to build up the figure, shape by shape, piece by piece.  The lack of pencil scaffolding meant that some of my proportions went skew-wiff (the arm on the right is too long) but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom and spontaneity of working directly in pen and piecing all of the fragments together into one whole.  I did, however, completely use up my broader tipped paint pen so I really put the tools through a work out.  It took me a few sessions of drawing to complete it but it was a relaxing activity.

7a Lady Death

Rainbow Art Journal – Night and Day

I rarely ever work across two art journal pages.  The fact that I use a spiral bound journal does not lend itself to double spreads.  I thought, however, that I might attempt a sort of diptych, two pieces on two different pages but somehow visually linked.  I am glad I tried something new but the results didn’t leave me feeling I had accomplished much.  There is a strong visual connection between the two pages, which could be regarded as a success.  I introduced colour in order to differentiate between the two pages.  One of my kids suggested the idea of blue and yellow to represent night and day so I opted for those colours but otherwise did not pursue the idea of different lighting conditions.  I wanted to maintain the monochromatic theme and to connect the figures through use of silhouette.  Not being overly keen on the outcome of this pair of paintings, I kept circling back to these pages in my art journal, adding a tiny bit more here and there.  But I have now reached a point where I no longer feel inspired to tinker with the pages and want to call these pages done and set them by.  So done they are.

6a Night & Day

6b Night & Day

6c Night & Day

 

 

Cup of Tea

Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was to use a subtle colour palette.  I like limited colour palettes so I thought it would be fun to try one that was muted and subdued.  I had some free time on Saturday afternoon which was a cold and dull day, the sort of day when I drink copious mugs of hot tea, and that became my inspiration for the art journal page – a figure holding a cup of steaming tea and a background the same colour as milky black tea.  I worked on it in stages during the course of the afternoon and it was really pretty simple and straightforward.

5 Cup of Tea - subtle-muted palette

Rainbow Art Journal – Faun Among Vines

I go along to an art journaling group once a month where we all work in our art journals while chatting and relaxing.  The coffee shop setting, however, is a little restrictive in terms of what sort of art dabbling can happen.  I am limited to things that dry quickly and don’t make a mess.  I, therefore, often resort to just drawing with pencils and pens.  This page was the result of one such meet up.  I had passed a deer as I drove to the coffee shop so I guess that was the germ of the idea that turned into a faun as I sketched on the page.  I added the vine frame to fill more of the page.

4 Fawn among Vines

Rainbow Art Journal – Honey Bee

This is the second completed page in my “rainbow art journal”.  Right now, of course, it isn’t very colourful since I decided to start with absence of colour in the form of black.  This page was inspired by my friend Krisje over at her blog, Art is my Favorite Color.  She recently blogged about an art journal page where she painted over collage which reminded me that I have not attempted that sort of approach – using a collaged figure as scaffolding – in ages.  I, therefore, decided that would be the technique used on this page and I actually remembered to take progress photos.  First I laid down a pretty random collage comprising the interior of a security envelope, washi tape, text pages, a figure clipped from a magazine advert, and the labels from a bottle of wine I had consumed that week.

2a Honey Bee

What became evident fairly quickly was that the collage elements became all but lost beneath the black paint, even when it was thinly applied.  I just went with it and made a mental note to revisit this technique when using a lighter colour of paint.  Perhaps because of the nature of the material, the Honey Beast wine labels were the one collage element that really came through the collage.  I was glad because I loved that honey bee design and that then provided me with a theme for my art journal page.  I picked out the bee design a bit more by filling it with white gel pen.  This was definitely the “ugly stage”.

2b Honey Bee

Once the base layer of acrylic paint was dry, I used other media to layer, refine, and add detail.  An art friend had passed me a collection of little stamps on an insect theme and among them was a bee.  I stamped this throughout the hair of the figure to tie her to the honey bee and then I used white Posca paint pen to give her bee-like wings.  While the technique was not wholly successful, it was fun to do something I had not done in a while and useful to learn that painting over collage does not work so well with very dark colours.  That is what my art journal is all about after all – experimentation through fun.

2c Honey Bee

2d Honey Bee

Rainbow Art Journal – Monochrome Beret Girl

This year I wanted to try working in an art journal dedicated to one theme.  I have worked in themes before, of course, as with my Greek Mythology drawings and my altered book that was full of monsters.  Even my first time participating in Inktober became thematic.  The difference with those, however, was that I was utilising the same techniques and deploying the same media over and over.  What I wanted to do was practice using a wide variety of media, combine them to revisit and practice the mixed media techniques I have been learning over the past few years, and challenge myself to create a coherent journal full of connected pages.  I decided to work on a really loose theme which was colour.  Easy peasy.  I bought a new journal (I like the spiral bound Cansons for their flexibility) and worked out how I would divide it between all the colours of the rainbow plus a few additional colours and black and white.  I do not have a timetable for working on this journal or a deadline for its completion.  No pressure.  I will work in it as and when time allows, maybe adding bits here and there while working on other projects as a good way to use up excess paint or bits of collage paper.  I will share each page as it is completed.

I am starting with black.  My first page was pretty simple because I grabbed the journal and worked on it while watching a movie with my kids one afternoon.  I just tucked up on the sofa with my fountain pen and drew the figure and didn’t worry about perfect proportions or angles.  It is an art journal so it is just for fun.  I added the wash of ink later that evening just to eradicate more of the white paper.  Simple.  And relaxing because it was simple.  Maybe this particular art journal will become a useful tool for decompression for me this year.

1 Monochrome - Beret Girl