I had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve with this winter inspired art journal page. Unfortunately, as I was still recovering from illness and was very fatigued, my execution did not meet up with that vision. There are layers of patterned origami paper that I wanted to show through more, to suggest the patterns frost makes on surfaces. I was, however, too heavy handed with the paint and a lot of that pattern detail has been lost. I do, however, think that the figure I painted clearly personifies frost and ice and cold. I could have kept fussing with this page a bit but I was out of energy even more than I was out of time. Maybe I will return to it at some point when I feel better. Probably not. In the meantime, I will say that taking some time for creativity while I was flopped on a sofa was beneficial.
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.
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.
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.
In my Art Snacks box this month, among the items I received were phthalo green watercolour paint and a red watercolour pencil. I was utterly stumped for a couple of days because the colour combination was just so horribly Christmassy. All I could think of was Christmas trees and magical elves. Aside from the fact it is only September, it is also utterly sweltering here. It is so hot here that my kids were sent home early on their second and third days of the school year. Am was, therefore, definitely and absolutely not feeling the Christmas vibe. I then remembered that I had a bunch of Art Journal Adventure prompts I hadn’t used and one of those was P. P for Poppies. Poppies are red and their stems and leaves are green. I had an idea! But, as long term readers will know, I do not do botanical illustrations. I suck big time at drawing flowers. Not my thing at all. My solution was an obvious one because it’s a subject I resort to all the time in my art journal: throw a female figure in there.
I went way too heavy with my first layer of phthalo green watercolour which meant the subsequent layers just got darker and darker. The clothed portion of the figure is way too dark and opaque. I dislike it. Also, that arm is way too long. She would have orangutan proportioned arms if that arm was straighter. I think, however, that I just about get away with it. Maybe. I chose to stylise the poppies because I knew I would never be able to pull off more realistic poppies. I quite like those. So I feel rather meh about this art journal page but I am glad I did the Art Snacks box challenge because it was the shove I needed in a hectic, busy, difficult week to eke out some much-needed art time. The value of that can never be underestimated.
Last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt was “4” with an additional challenge to use three or more media in the creation of the page. The obvious subject was the Four Elements and initially I resisted because it was so glaringly obvious. However, having just depicted a Flame Sprite in my Rainbow Art Journal, I liked the idea of creating an image of other elemental sprites so I decided to go with my first thought and see what developed on the page. I used micron pens, watercolour, and Inktense pencils in creating the illustration so I fulfilled the side challenge too. Time and other life limitations meant this page was a much quicker and simpler illustration than the Flame Sprite and the figures are simplified as a result. However, there is a germ of something in each of them that I might return to and nurture into a more detailed illustration at a later date.
In addition to being a place for creative play and experimentation, I am aiming for my Rainbow Art Journal to be a record of what I can do with the various art materials and media I own. This page, therefore, is a record of how three of the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers interact with each other. Consequently, I knew that I wanted to produce an illustration that was splotchy and liquidy and involved puddles and blossoms of pigment. I decided that flame would be the perfect subject for such an experiment in the orange section of the journal so I chose to draw a flame sprite. The page got very wrinkled from all the liquid media but I am happy with the final outcome. I think she is a pleasing wee character and I got some lovely interactions between the different watercolour markers.
If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you will have seen this illustration as my response to this month’s Art Snacks challenge. I received two red products in the box this month and that immediately inspired me to draw a Ladybug Woman. I drew it on a sample pack of watercolour paper, also in the box, which means it is in that narrow format that I used recently for my Frankenstein’s Monster. I am enjoying working in this restrictive space as it really forces me to be creative with my composition.