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.

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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

 

Expecto Patronum

My kids and I are Harry Potter fans so, finding time to work in my art journal this weekend, I decided to illustrate wee me at Hogwarts School.  I am pretty sure I would have hated boarding school had I attended but I think I could have been persuaded to enrol in Hogwarts, even though the students appear to be in perpetual danger.  It’s just a quick ink and watercolour illustration of wee me in my Hufflepuff uniform practicing the Expecto Patronum charm.  My patronus is a seal so that is what is emerging from my wand.

37 - Expecto Patronum

Vampire Lady

One of the interesting side effects of the way in which I create art these days – always short on time, often in multiple stages, often while multi-tasking – is that it has become clear what my automatic go-to art supplies are.  The fact that I almost always reach for ink and watercolour tells me that that is my creative “home”.  I, therefore, think that I should focus my skills development on those media.  However, I still intend to dabble in other media because I don’t like being hemmed in or stuck in a creative rut.  However, it is probably good to know that ink and watercolour are my comfort zone.

I grabbed some time this weekend to play in my art journal.  I used last week’s Art Journal Adventure prompt which was the letter V.  I never really need much prodding to illustrate mythology and monsters so as soon as I saw V I thought Vampire.  I resisted my automatic impulse, which was to draw Nosferatu (my favourite vampire) yet again and to instead try something different so I decided to draw a glamorous, fin de siecle lady vampire.   I not only kept things simple with just ink and watercolour but I also simplified things by using just black and red.  I like that combination and notice it crops up a lot in my ink work.

36 - Vampire Lady Illustration- Art Journal Page

Elemental Sprites

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.

33 - Four Elements Sprites - Art Journal Page

Rainbow Art Journal – Flame Sprite

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.

 

24 Flame Sprite