Thursday, August 29, 2013

Students share their Map a Day pages

A sampling of stories from our Map a Day class last week. If others from the class have one to share, just email a photo to me, I'll put it up. It would be fun to post them all!
By Karelia Stetz-Waters

By Pauline Conn

By Denise Zipp

By Chris Fegles

By Emily Lawton

Journal page by Robin Havenick. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Minimalist

Sometimes every ounce matters and you need to downsize your travel journal even more. For the 3 day backpacking trip to South Sisters, I chose to bring a very thin, small 3"x5" notebook, one pen and a few colored pencils in a ziplock bag. 

I choose to only use the 'Map a Day' style of journaling as stopping to sketch was unrealistic atop a mountain in the chilly wind. I waited to illustrate my story when I was snuggled warm in my tent. 

I admit, the challenge for me was to be drawing cartoon style images out of my head. But the end result is so playful and quite humorous. And it certainly tells my story! Like anything new, practice will make it easier. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Self Portraits

This week's challenge-do a self portrait. Use either a mirror or even an old photograph pulled up on the computer. High five to anyone who does it!

Map a Day

A fun and easy way to capture the day's events. Keep the sketches simple, spontaneous, and small (the size of a half dollar). Make it easy to follow by using words, arrows or lines between the images. 

I plan to post some of the 'Map a Day' pages from students in this evening's class when we gather next week. However I did a mini page myself (3"x5") after I finished packing for a backpacking trip to South Sisters, Oregon. 
Fun or what! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pen and Ink continued

Notice 2 different pen sizes used (.5, .7). Also study the use of cross-hatching to create form and contrast.

This is how one learns to make consistent lines. Fill a page! Extra credit to those who take it on! (Ok, extra cookie perhaps)


Edward Gorey technique inspired. 

More playing with line (and pen sizes). 

And another page of line play! Some days you just have to explore the pen and how you use it. 

Pen and Ink

As promised I am posting a handful of black/ white pen and ink sketches from one of my notebooks. Use them to learn various ways of playing with pen and ink. It also allows me to learn how to use my blogging app while I'm traveling!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Travel Journaling

It's summer, finally, and for me that means it's Travel Journal time. I put away the multitude of supplies that I use for the Art journaling, and simplify, simplify, simplify. I also move the studio outside and work in the sun as well as the shade of the back deck and trees.

The summer term for Travel Journaling at Linn-Benton Community College, Benton Center has begun! We meet on Wednesday evenings to sketch. I line up students willing to open their backyards and gardens to the class and we gather at a different yard every week to work-I mean play! If you've ever wanted to learn simple techniques for sketching when on the road, this is a great class to take.

Week #1 and #2 we learned about supplies to travel with, the ins and outs of journals, learning how to sketch on the fly, and colored pencils. Whew, that was a lot of information in only 2 classes. But hang in there, we get the rest of the summer to make it all work together.

This was week #3 and we worked with watercolors, the last of the 3 basic supplies used for traveling (the others being good pens and colored pencils-and a journal of course).  I'm posting photos of an exercise we did to explore the relationship between the brush, the pigment, the paper, ink pens and colored pencils. The end goal was to have 4 variations of one picture; pen and ink on white, pen/ink w/watercolor, pen/ink over wash with watercolor, and finally, pen/ink, wash, watercolor and colored pencil.
Using a piece of watercolor paper (this is Fabriano, #140 lb hot press-It's smooooth to the touch and lovely to sketch on), I sketched 2 similar images side by side using semi-blind contour method. Be sure each sketch has some overlapping images. My goal is to have multiple sections to paint in. And yes, you see a sewing stitch down the middle. I attached two pieces left over from tearing up a larger 20"x30" sheet of paper. It's a thing I do... 
Leave the image on the left side as a black and white pen ink drawing. There is power in simplicity and sometimes a sketch looks the best leaving it just as is. In the sketch on the right side I'm using Caran d'Ache water color crayons.  I start applying pigment to each section. The brush I'm using has a water reservoir (wow, say that 10 times quickly). Great for traveling. I don't take the crayons out of the box, I just load up the brush directly. 
Layer color in lightly, allow to dry, then reapply with other colors to create depth and contrast.  My basic rule: Change colors at every line. Depending on the pen, the paper, drying time and the position of the planets, you may find that the ink line bleeds. Let it. Embrace it. Or change the pen you're using. I love mine (Pilot Precise, 1, .07, .05). Sometimes they bleed, sometimes they don't. It's the only pen that can keep up with the speed in which I sketch and not 'skip'.

Turn the paper over. I'm now using a large Sumi brush and my travel watercolor kit. With plenty of water on the brush and only 2-3 colors, quickly brush on a light layer of  color. This should be done quickly with LOTS of water as the paper is absorbing it almost faster than you can apply it and you don't want to have unsightly, over-worked brush marks. It should look loose, varied and light. Splatter it with remaining pigment in your brush by hitting it on the back of your knuckles for a bit of texture. Allow to dry completely. 

Now, again, sketch 2 designs side by side. Go ahead and add another leaf or flower  to add complexity to the  composition. Careful not to have too many tiny little sections (You're going to need to get your paint brush in them) I had students draw their images much bigger if they were new at painting. My drawings are a bit small-but that's how I sketch. 

Starting with the image on the left side of your paper, fill in the sections with color. Treat every section as a separate form to paint. Try arbitrary colors. The undercoat is the magical effect, blending and mixing with the colors painted over them. It integrates the picture. Don't overwork the sections. Practice laying down a line of color. USE the brush as how it's intended. Ask if you have questions!

Now the image on the right. Paint it. Try new color combinations. Try to lay down the color with one stroke. Find the balance of water and pigment. The pigment sits on the tip of the brush, the top 1/4 of it.  Use the side of the brush to draw the water out and disperse the pigment. It's such a lovely process. If you're struggling with it, take another sheet of watercolor paper and just practice 'laying down a line' of color. Know your supplies and how to use them.

On that last quadrant, after it is dried, apply colored pencil. Play with a variety of  colors. Find ones that make the picture 'pop'. Often it will be a complementary color. Or use dark areas to help shade and darken certain areas. More on that next week...
now stop reading and get out and PLAY!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Here is one of my favorite techniques for making borders. I start with a page in my journal that I've painted with a variety of layers.

Then I make color copies of a few pages from another journal. Use pages that have a lot of detail and color. Cut or tear long 1" strips from these copies.

I glued the strips around the edge of my page. At this point you wouldn't need to add anything else, the colored strips look as though you have tediously painted all the detail and color!

 However, I did want more contrast and added the black collage paper.

And to finish it off, I used a white Sharpie marker to draw a frame within the border.

Now it feels done.

Simple and amazingly quick!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Telling your story...

Know that words, writing, in your journal does 2 things  - One, it tells your story, and two, it's a graphic element to the design. Variety is the key! Switch it up. Change colors, technique, and style as you go.  Experiment and play.

Put the 'brain' aside and try a variety of things. on. every. page.
The following examples are about writing, lettering and creating lines to write on.

Here are some things to try:

Pre-draw lines with a straight edge.

While drawing the lines, interchange pens with pencils and use a variety of colors.

Let the lines go over the existing images/collage. It's now ready for you to write on.

Try large stencils, place letters diagonally.

Stencil using make-up sponge with either ink or liquid acrylics.

Move the stencil slightly and fill using a small amount of liquid acrylics. Think dry brushing.

Outline with a pen or two.

Free hand letters with a white pen following the shape of your image.

Thicken the letters with the white pen.

Outline with black (or another color)

Over lap writing lines, lettering and stencils to create variety.
 Allow letters to flow over images to integrate the layers.
 Not very pretty I realize, but it's a good sampler to make-

Take a letter and see how many ways you can create it. Starting at the top left (I used Staz-On permanent ink pad):

- Stamp letter and 'smear' diagonally as you lift it. I love the energy this creates!
- Stamp, then without re-inking it, shift it slightly and re-stamp.
- Stamp, let dry, then outline creating 3-d appearance.
- Draw over stamped letter with colored pencil (I draw outside the lines)
Top right column:
- outline letter with colored marker
- Fill stamped letter with colored pencils or markers
- Cross hatch with marker over entire area of letter
- This is pretty cool. I used White Dr. Martins ink to 'sketch' around the letter. This can get messy as the ink is thick! But worth it.
Stamp without worrying about aligning the letters evenly!
 A simple word hand written in white creates a strong contrast to the darker image.
 Staz-on inks on a manipulated photo.
 Another example of free hand writing with white, outlined in black.
 Lightly stenciled large letters, outlined with white.

Then use different rubber stamps for smaller words spelled out in an opposite direction over the larger letters.
Free hand writing following the image design. Outlined with black.
Another favorite look of mine.

This was a fairly small page, so I allowed the stenciled letter go off the page, yet you still get the essence of what it says.

I used paint instead of ink for the stencil, so the color integrates well with the bird image.

Outline is with white pen.

A lot of samples, I know, and they seem so simplistic, but use it as a reference and try all of them yourselves. Then come up with variations of your own!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's about time...

It's about time...with the end of another term of Art Journaling, I realize that I'm just not DONE yet! So many ideas, techniques, sharing, and playing has yet to happen. So...a blog...yes, for you, for me...beginner or 'expert experimenter'!
"Let the wild rumpus begin!"
For students, ask questions, I'll post samples as I can. Like the journal we do our demos in, we can use the blog as a reference to techniques learned. I'll also post pages that I'm playing with-the good, the bad, the ugly...

Tonight we played with Caran d'Ache Watercolor crayons and colored pencils. Play with them, they are like coloring with butter!

another demo of the same. Remember that these are water soluble, so get this brilliant color, they are used as a top layer.