Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Look into My Journal

I never really used art journals until 2007, a year after my first child was born.  At the time, it was a way to try to bring art back in my life.  An entire year had passed without me doing anything more creative than paint my baby's bedroom. I used it to sketch and practice, tape inspirational work, write (vent), and keep track of ideas I wanted to try but didn't have time to focus on immediately.  I'm now on to my second journal.  The biggest benefit for me is that I can use the journal to brainstorm projects before I get to them--especially since I have limited time.  I will usually draw a box to represent the "canvas" and create the layout or a quick thumbnail sketch of what I want to do.  I've included a page from my current journal, along with a current work in progress so that you can see how I use it. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drawing Exercise

Many months ago I purchased Carla Sonheim's  Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing FunIt's filled with some excellent ideas for improving your drawing skills and useful if you need to get past a creative block.  It's organized as a series of exercises, many of them fairly short in duration.  I started one of the exercises when I purchased the book, but never got around to finishing it.  Today I went ahead and finished the painting/drawing because I wanted to use some new watercolor pencils I purchased last weekend.  Here is the result.  I like that the exercise freed up the movement in my drawing, as I have a tendency to draw animals in the same position.  What I don't like is that it's obviously off as far as perspective--part of the nature of the exercise, as I tried to stay as close to the watercolor washes as possible.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finished Watercolor Butterflies

So here are the finished butterflies.  On the right side are two of the original watercolors prior to adding water pencil.  The images on the left are the finished butterflies with the pencilwork complete.  I used water soluable pencils and then lightly went over the lines with a wet brush.

While I can certainly use more practice, I am happy with how these images turned out.  Now I need to figure out how I will use them in my collage work.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saving My Progress

This is just a quick post so I can share my current work in progress.  My first art love was pen and ink; my second, watercolor, mostly because I wanted to color in my pen and ink.  I have enough love to go around for anything creative, but, when I painted these, I realized just how relaxing it was to come back to watercolors.  I am doing something different.  Instead of inking it, I plan on using a combination of watercolor pencil and regular colored pencil to finish these butterflies off.

Because there's always the chance I might ruin my art at a stage where I like it, especially when changing mediums, I try to take a scan of my project before I proceed.  I may mess up the original, but scanning at least gives me a chance to have a partial do over since I can print just about anything out on my large format printer.  This mentally frees me to experiment and reduces the number of half finished projects I have laying around.  Plus, its a good way to document my progress.

I'll post the finished art if it turns out successfully.