The next page in the blue section of my Rainbow Art Journal was an almost blank slate. Apart from some small scrapings of leftover blue paint, all it contained was a wine label containing the word “Wonderful”. That label became my starting point for constructing a column comprising odds and ends of washi tape. The column then became the herma-esque body form for a female figure. Having painted the background a solid blue, I decided her hairstyle should take the shape of a simplified cloud. I think she has emerged with a bit of a silent screen actress look.
This next page in the blue section of my Rainbow Art Journal was actually created back in February. It was made with the contents of that month’s Art Snacks box. I received blue and green products so I decided to produce an illustration of an Air Sprite. The blue of her clothing is an acrylic ink and the colour of her hair was actually produced by diluting the pigment from a metallic green marker. That same marker has a nib that produces dots of varying sizes depending on the pressure placed on it. As you can see, I had a lot of fun creating those dots.
This was what I created with the contents of my March Art Snacks box. I am not a fan of coloured pencils. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation as I don’t know whether I am bad at using them because I don’t like them or whether my ineptitude with them has led me to dislike them. Despite the fact the pencil leads were buttery smooth, I still could not achieve a neat finish. I am as scribbly with the pencils now as I was when I was a wee girl. Still, sometimes it is as useful to be reminded of what media you don’t enjoy as which you do like to use. The squiggles in the background did not start out as purposeful mark making. The nib of the black marker was very flexible – the type that would lend itself to calligraphy – and I let it slip when I was attempting a straight line. I just had to lean into it and channel my inner Bob Ross and allow squiggles to be a feature in the background. Once I had added background squiggles, it seemed necessary to balance those out with blobs made with the paint pen.
In addition to my Post-It note drawings, the other art I have been trying to keep up with is the monthly challenge of creating an illustration using only the contents of that month’s Art Snacks box. Each box arriving in my mailbox was a useful prod to get me to set aside some time for art. It helped that most of the products in recent boxes have been portable so I have been able to create art on the go.
This was what I created with the contents of my January box. I really liked the grey fine liners. As you know, I use black ink pens a lot but I was glad to have grey pens to add to my case of drawing pens. The green has not photographed well but it is actually metallic with a pleasing shimmer. I didn’t find that ochre colour appealing at first glance and never would have chosen that colour in a store but, once I used it, I actually found I really quite liked it. Green and orange are both colours I overlook when I am drawing so it is sometimes useful to have a nudge to create with those neglected colours.
I have accidentally established a tradition in my Rainbow Art Journal whereby each colour section contains an illustration of some kind of sprite-like creature. For the blue section, I was thinking of water. I drew a figure who is drenched in water (or, as I would say in Scots, “drookit”), her body morphing into a puddle on the floor, her hair dripping across her face.
Another completed page in the blue section of my Rainbow Art Journal. This one was easy to finish up because I actually drew the original in March of 2020 – which feels like years ago now – in response to an Art Snacks challenge. I had drawn it in the blue section of the art journal thinking the media I had received were, well, much more blue than they turned out to be. They were far too green and it was annoying me that I had misjudged the colours and stuffed up the colour theme in the sketchbook. I had, therefore, walked away from it for a while – which turned out to be a long while – to come up with a solution. I was so annoyed with myself initially that I considered covering up the whole thing and starting over with essentially a new substrate but I loved that graphite watercolour and the way it had dried in puddles far too much to cover that up. My solution in the end was a quick and easy one so I could call this page “done” and move on: I simply layered some blue ink washes over some of the most green areas of the illustration to knock them back. It is definitely a blue-green piece but that’s acceptable to me.
I have not been creating any art for a month now which, for me, is quite a long time. Partly this was a consequence of needing a break after several months of near daily drawing and partly it was a symptom of just being burned out from everyday life in 2020. My creative mojo had temporarily departed. Not wanting rust to settle into my artistic joints, I decided to try the December Art Snacks challenge as a way to grease the machine.
In order to avoid overwhelm, I opted to work on one of those small, narrow samples of paper I have that I have been turning into bookmarks. When I looked through the media contained in my Art Snacks box and thought about the colours, I immediately thought of summer flowers. Summer flowers made me think of the May Queen from the horror movie ‘Midsommar’ and so that became the basis for my illustration. I did cheat a wee bit in that I used a micron pen for the outlines of the face and the very loose flower shapes.
Now that I have broken my creative drought with this small illustration, I hope to get back to at least pootling around in my art journals over winter break.
I desperately needed some art time but I was completely lacking in motivation and inspiration. I did, however, have my November Art Snacks box sitting untouched on my art table so I decided to tackle this month’s challenge as a way to jump start some creative time.
I did cheat a bit on the challenge because I used a black ink pen that did not come with the box. The bright pink of the marker, the citrus green of one of the pencils, and the neon yellow of the brush pen suggested a 1980s pop vibe so I sketched out a girl wearing 1980s fashions – based simply on my recollection rather than any references so probably not super accurate.
It’s certainly far from my best work but it felt therapeutic to create something in my art journal and, as I have written many times before, often the journey is more important than the destination.
Between completing my Star Wars illustration challenge and participating in Drawlloween, it took until mid-November for me to find the time and motivation to experiment with the supplies in my October Art Snacks box. Even when I did break them out, I kept things very small and manageable. This illustration is the scale of a bookmark. Indeed, I have a number of these skinny drawings now and I think I am going to laminate them so they can all become bookmarks.
I think this drawing ended up with a bit of a 1910s vibe to it. The combination of the lavender paint pen, which I watered down as well as using straight out of the barrel, and the bright sunshine yellow of the ink brush is quite a pleasing colour combination I think.
I have been neglecting my art journals these past several months because all of my art time has been focused on my Star Wars character challenge. I have especially been neglecting my Rainbow Art Journal, a project I really should have completed by now whereas in actuality I don’t think I am even half way through. This month’s Art Snacks box, however, contained a colour palette that was perfect for transitioning out of the green section of that journal and into the blue. On the theme of transitions, this weekend was really the first feeling of Autumn nipping at the heels of Summer. After a hot and humid Summer, we have had some misty, chilly mornings and I actually donned an extra layer of clothing. Maybe that was what inspired me to sketch out a figure being blown in the wind.