Saturday, April 28, 2012

Art Journal Fun!

The last couple of weeks I've been having some fun in my various art journals! Sometimes these pages turn into works of art but most of the time, the pages are an excuse to play and experiment with different mediums and colors. I'm currently enjoying two workshops with Jane Davenport who I just adore! She gave us some advice and I quote "Be more attached to experimenting than you are to your drawing." It's advice to play, to be messy, to be creative and just let go! Yea, that's really hard for that little perfectionist that lives inside of me but I'm definitely learning to mix things up a bit. I still could get a bit more wild and free with the paint but I was really happy with the pages that showed up in my art journal this week and I'd like to share a few of them with you! (okay, it's more than a few so be prepared!)
I'm including a list of supplies that I used to create each page so you can tackle your own pages!

Shanghai Orchid
Mixed Media
For the background texture I used bits of paper with Japanese writing, tinfoil (yes! tinfoil! Be sure if you use it to crunch it up first as it sticks much better!), masking tape and tissue paper. All applied with Gesso. I then wiped the Gesso off parts of the paper so the characters would show through. Color was added with Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels. I then added my drawing on top when dried. Her hair and kimono are 100% watercolor where as her face is a mixture of watercolor, pen, colored pencil and pan pastels. The flower in her hair was done in acrylic and applied using a sea sponge. Finally, the title was stamped in and the birds were added in Photoshop. Truly mixed media!

Mixed Media
I did this piece during a rained-out Creative Saturday with Lita. We had made plans to go to the zoo but a big storm system put the kibosh on photography, so we stayed in and did art! The colors and the spring theme was inspired by a Mood Board I did for Jane's workshop. The background was created using paper doilies, masking tape and tissue paper all applied with Gesso (a few coats to cover the doilies). The background color was once again made using the Neocolor II. It's an easy way to get color in..just crayon up your page, take a wet brush and move the color around! So easy! I then added additional tissue paper that was patterned with birds and the word "dream" using Matte Medium (Gesso is opaque, Matte Medium is translucent) and a paper flower using Gesso and wiping part of it off. I drew the girl and did her face in colored pencil and pan pastels. Her hair was done with watercolor.

Follow Your Heart
Mixed Media
These pages are done in my Moleskine sketchbook. I've been practicing faces (see below for my practice page) and I started a new Moleskine just for that (one can never have enough journals!). The girl was done with watercolor over ink & colored pencil. The background is watercolor and gouache, the hearts and words done with markers and pens. Another tip from Jane...decorative tape is put down over the binding to stop paint from leaking through to other pages. Brilliant idea!
Here is another page from my Moleskine:

I Dream of birds and butterflies, faeries and wanderings.
The girl is done in colored pencil and the background in watercolor and gouche. Rub-on transfers added the final touch. The night I finished this I had a horrible nightmare about zombies! 

Time Marches On
Mixed media on canvas board
The background was a piece I had done during the Art & Soul that I wasn't happy with. I decided to use it to practice my faces and when I drew a face upon the work, it suddenly transformed into a piece I loved. It was inspired by my friend Nichole, who reminded me of those fun days I had in high school during band class. She is done in ink and watercolor.

Faces, faces, faces!
Practicing my proportions! Everytime you draw a face, it's never the same...a new little person emerges to greet you every time! Such fun! I also practiced figure drawing in a couple of my journals, incorporating the sketches into mixed media pages:

The Fashion Figure
Mixed Media
The background on this one was done by using Gesso and Matte Medium to layer in vintage patterns and tissue paper. Neocolor II was once again used to lay in the color. The figures were drawn on top in pencil and colored in with watercolor pencil and ink. A stamp was used at the top to add a design element.

Here's one I did for my creative soul sisters Phoebe and Nichole:

I've also been participating in the 21 Secrets Art Journal Playground and these pages were results of some of the fun challenges:

Mixed Media

Lost on top of Great Gable
Colored pencil and watercolor

That House

And finally, I finished up two projects for Arthouse Coop, The Note Swap and The Map Project.
For the Note Swap, I did another image of my "Lost on Great Gable" and wrote the note about being lost on top. Some stranger, somewhere in the world will get this little bit of nostalgia from me! How cool is that?

I'm not very good at drawing maps, but I decided to do my Butterfly Garden for The Map Project. What made it even more difficult is that it could only be 4x6. I did it on a watercolor postcard:

I also managed to find the time to get all my colored pencils into a reference journal so I could see how each brand reacts to different types of paper and mediums such as Gesso. It's time-consuming to do this with your art supplies but so worth it in the end as it's a great reference tool!

And continuing with that idea, I prepared my Lukas watercolor set in anticipation of Gina Rossi Armfield's upcoming watercolor workshop Creativity in Flight: 

And there you have it! Two weeks of art journaling fun! I've not caught you all up with what's been going on. This week I will be hosting my own art challenge so be sure to check back mid-week for details! Now, have a fabulous weekend and remember to take time for Creativity!


Samuli said...

Heya Laura!

This was (once again) a really cool, informative and educational read. Before this I had no idea how much work went into your mixed media art - sounds like a lot of work! But I bet it's very rewarding, too!

And I really like the "Be more attached to experimenting than you are to your drawing" -advice. I'm sure it applies to all arts, as well - It's always good to step outside your comfort zone every now and again!

Thanks for the fun read and warm greetings from Finland!

Nichole Renee said...

Oh, Laura!!!!

I keep a small diary with a nightly prompt. Last night's prompt who'd I'd like to trade places with for a day, and I chose you...

...and now I know for certain that I made the right decision!

These are wonderful! Wonderful!

I'm off to email you a gushing email over their wonder!!

phoebe said...

You have been busy! I loved reading, and seeing, everything that you've been up to in your journals. Fantastic!
And your art house projects turned out wonderfully :) I have to finish my note swap today to have it postmarked tomorrow. Yikes, time flies!
And of course I love the creative sisters piece very, very much :)

Laura said...

Thank you my friends! So glad you all enjoyed the post and seeing what I've been up to lately. Samuli: Agreed! It's so important to step outside the comfort zone. It's the only way to learn! Nichole: All I can say is Awwww! xo Phoebe: I hope you'll share your Arthouse Projects with us!

O. Joy said...

Laura - what an amazingly wonderful blog! It's so nice to see all you have been doing & this :other side" of you! :)

Laura said...

Thanks so much Joy for stopping by!

Alex said...

I'm exhausted just reading about all of these projects. I really liked creative sisters.

I agree with Nicole. It would be fantastic to trade places with you for a day. Maybe not even trade places but just catch a ride like a "friendly possession."

Laura said...

haha! A "friendly possession"! I like that!