Saturday, February 28, 2015

Magical Moon Journal Cover

Hello Fellow Lovers of Paper Art!

I am so excited to share the project I made for the Design Team Kall over at the Kraaft Shaak. I am also a bit apprehensive because I have never submitted my work for a design team before. But this project was fun and creative, so no matter what happens it was worth it!
As those of you who follow me know...I have been doing A LOT of art journaling lately. I have pages and books strewn everywhere in my studio! But none of them have beautifully decorated covers! I think of all the color pages inside..then see the plain ickyness of the outside and say..nooooo! So I decided to decorate one :)

I started out with a mixed media spiral bound book from Canson that I purchased at Walmart. I have been using it to do my moon journaling pages in. I made a sketch right over the cover using a white Stabilo pencil so that I could see where to put my next layer. A black pencil would have blended into the graphics on the cover too much.

I wanted my journal cover to be really dimensional so next I added a product called Creative Paperclay. This is an air dry clay that is made from paper pulp mixed with some binder. It is easy to sculpt and can be softened and blended to a smooth edge with water. To make my sculpture I made 'snakes' of clay, rolling them between my hands, and then applying them to the cover. I blended the edges down to the cardboard with my finger dipped into water. Then I left the finished piece out to dry for a day.

Once it was dry...I started to paint it. I used Liquitex Basics acrylic paint in Burnt Umber for the tree and then I used Prima Heavy Gesso in white to cover over the blue & black background.

I really wanted my scene to seem as if the moon was shining over a magical forest of trees never seen I made the logical conclusion that I should use my Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals powders. I decided to blend these rich pigment powders into Liquitex Gloss Medium because I didn't want a matte binder to dull down the shimmery effect of the Magicals. Excited to try this out, I blended some Catttail Copper Brown from the Autumn Leaves set into the gloss medium and then dry brushed it over the texture on my tree. Then I did the same with a bit of the Red Hot Poker Orange from the same set. I LOVE the result!

Next I painted the background. I was going for a dreamy sunset look. I used a aquabrush dipped into my pallet of Liquitex Basics paint. The colors used were Cerulean Blue Hue, Medium Magenta, Cadmium Red Light Hue, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, and Deep Green Permanent. Using a aquabrush with acrylic paint gives almost a watercolor effect.

Now I wanted to deepen and blend my background more, so I went in with some similar colors of water soluble crayons over my acrylic and then blended them out with my Aquabrush and some Titanium White Liquitex Basics paint. The crayons I used...I don't love...but they are what I have. I HIGHLY recommend that if you buy water soluble crayons that you get Caran d'Ache Neocolor II. I have these in a few colors and they are very full of pigment and not waxy or crumbly like the ones I used on this project.

For the next step...I got so involved and excited...I forgot to take decent pictures! I blended more Magicals powders from my Autumn Leaves set into gloss medium and painted them over the top of my sunset to create this shimmery glow. It also deepened the colors some making it look even more like sunset in my magical forest! The colors I used were Ponderosa Pine Olive, Tibetian Poppy Teal, Red Hot Poker Orange, and Autumn Maple Crimson. One magical color I didn't have was a real yellow gold to go over the yellow area of my I substituted Pebeo Studio Acrylic Paint in Iridescent Precious Gold...then went over that with my gloss medium to make it as shiny as the rest.

I knew I wanted to create leaves for my tree as I tore some text from a book and used the extra mixed magicals on them. I dragged the color over the pages using a used up itunes card to make a shimmery translucent color.

Once everything was dry again. I folded my colored text paper into an accordion and cut out leaf shapes.I used tweezers to pick up each leaf and dip it in gloss medium before placing it on the cover. Then I used my finger dipped into the gloss medium to smooth down the leaves. Once I was happy with all my leaf placement...I used Tim Holtz Alterations die called Typeset to cut out some letters from my leftover colored text paper. I stuck these down with gloss medium for the title of my book.

I hope you have enjoyed the step out of my journal cover and are inspired to make your own! Here are some close ups of the magical dimension this process created :) 
<3 Shel

Products Used:
Creative Paperclay

Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint


Prima Art Basics Heavy Gesso

Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals in Autumn Leaves

Liquitex Gloss Medium

Pebeo Iridescent Gold

Water Soluble Crayons

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Favorite Favorites

Hi <3

I have completed my art journal page for Lifebook week #9 and would love to share it with you! This project was inspired by artist Lynn Whipple who is so fun to watch. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her create her version of the favorite favorites jar. She made me laugh several times with her antics...especially about not being able to spell.... as I have the same problem. She really seemed to almost glow with positivity. Here is the project she inspired :)

My process took a different turn from Lynn's although the idea is the same. I started with randomly blocking in acrylic colors on my 140 pound cold pressed paper. I used a wide flat dry brush and didn't clean it off in between switching colors. I didn't bother staying in either the warm or cool colors I just picked colors that are my FAVORITE :) 

Next I wanted to blend and smooth the colors a bit so I decided to use my brayer. I have some Pebeo Studio Acrylics that are infused with shimmer. I decided to cast a shimmery feel over my whole piece by using these with my 2 inch brayer. I hope you can see the shimmer in the photos.

Now I needed to define the jar shape. I used my soft graphite pencil to draw the line. I wanted a version of a small mouth canning jar like we used when I was a child. Next I went around the negative space with black gesso. I was going to use a light color like Lynn did to block out the negative space, but then I remembered a page I did with colorful silhouettes and black gesso and decided that would be much cooler! I touched up some of the black edges using my Sharpie poster paint pen after the gesso was dry.

Now I just wanted to add some highlights and shadows to make the jar more dimensional, so I used my white and black Posca paint pens and my black Stabilo pencil and aquabrush around the edges. I also drew in a label hanging from a string. I used white acrylic to block out the label before adding the words and shadows.

The final step was to add all my 'favorite favorites' I did this using a some stamped images as well as the stuff you see below in the photo. I randomly thought of things and wrote or drew them inside the jar. I tried to vary my size and styles of writing to add more interest. I highlighted some of the writing with colors or white. It was a fun exercise in GRATITUDE thinking about people, places, and things, that make me happy.

Here is a photo without flash that looks more flat...the other one is trying to show the shimmer. This one may show more detail though.

I hope you enjoyed this project and are inspired to make your own favorite favorites jar!
<3 Shel

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Repeating Patterns in Nature and Art - WOYWW #299

Hello Friends and Desk Hoppers,

Once again I am in the middle of trying to keep up with all the art journaling classes and prompts for the week. On my desk is the unfinished Lifebook 2015 project for this week. Also, the mess left over from my Documented Life Project for week eight. I am also working in between on a cool dimensional journal cover I will show in the future. The DLP page for this week was really fun so I am going to show the step out for that one. The challenge had to do with repeating elements and the prompt was 'it's worth repeating'. I decided to rely on what most inspires my art, and that is the repeating elements found in nature. I also found an interesting quote about just that subject in a art book. So here we go...

First my mess of a desk. I am linking up to the party over at Stamping Ground where you can snoop desks around the world today. Thanks to Julia Dunnit for the opportunity. Go check it out. My desk never really gets 'cleaned' per say...I just move one thing off for another. However the other day I did spill my diet coke all over it so I had to actually wipe it and change all the papers. There was some creative words that day!

And now for my Documented Life Project page week 8 :)

The first step was to lay down a background of mixed green colors using my gelatos.I used 4 colors of green and blended them with my finger dipped in water. Then I laid a leaf stencil over the top and used a baby wipe to remove some of the color and leave a pattern.

Next, I picked out a piece of deli paper from my painted paper pile (PPP for short?) These papers come about when I have left over acrylic paint from a painting. I usually just scrape that leftover onto a scrap or a deli paper sheet with a credit card. I cut out some leaf shapes and used both the positive and negative pieces on my page as collage. I used matte gel medium to attach the pieces.

When that was dry, I got my fingers messy and applied some acrylic paints in turquoise, yellow, and white to highlight areas and patterns. 

Then I got out some leaf stamps to add another layer. I used white acrylic paint with the smaller random shape and black archival ink for the more detailed leaf.

Now I decided I had enough of greens and wanted to add a pop of a contrasting color. I picked hot pink acrylic paint and added it with a smaller leaf stamp.

Next I went in with my obsessive contrasting doodling technique (OCD for short :) I used the same pink paint with a small brush and then my black and white Posca paint pens.

Now for the top layer of elements. I first printed out my quote on white printer paper, but I thought it looked too stark over the page. So I next taped a piece of deli paper to a sheet and printed it onto that. I applied it to my page using matte gel medium. I WISH I had laid down a translucent layer of paint with a brayer under it first...but it was already stuck..oh time. Then for the other side of the page I decided to make a vine. I had my leftover white paper quote, so I cut it into leaves for my vine and collaged those on. Never waste anything I say :)

My last thing to do was to add details to my leaves and stem with black Posca pen, and then to add watery shadows with my black Stabilo all pencil blended with a aquabrush.

I hope you enjoyed my page this Wednesday. Leave me a comment or a +1 if you did!
<3 Shel

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Aromatherapy with Vanilla - Journal52 Week 8

Hello Friends :)

Today I am sharing a simple page I made for the prompt 'aromatherapy' for my Journal52 art journal. I was thinking I not would post it here as I really just wanted to leave my previous post of the Elephant family up longer! That painting was such a joy to make and share. It was also a long and more involved process, full of layers and fully infused with my energy. But then, I  realized that not everything has to be complicated to be beautiful. This page about the scent of vanilla made me think about being relaxed and calm...which is what the scent of vanilla does to me... So here it is :)

For the first step..I created a background using Dylusions spray in Dirty that name! I sprayed the page with a little water as well and then rolled it around making drippy designs. I also managed to turn my fingers a lovely shade of green. Oh well..maybe I will become a leprechaun in time for St. Patrick's Day :)

Next I used a swirl stencil with acrylic paint applied with a stencil brush. I made a light yellowy/vanillaish color first. Then turned the stencil the opposite way and added a light brown.

Now I drew my sketch of a vanilla flower and some vanilla beans using a graphite pencil.

An painted it in using basics acrylic paint. (yes those are sweet tart hearts..yum)

Finally I finished off the page using my black Posca paint pen to write in the words. Yes, I know vanilla is misspelled..but hey it is my art journal and I AM a sketchy  I also added some highlights with my white Posca. And, I went around the edges with a saffron colored ink pad..just dragging it over the paper.

I hope you enjoyed my simple page. I am linking it with Journal52.
<3 Shel

Friday, February 20, 2015

Elephant Family - Lifebook Week 8

Hello My Beautiful People :)

Today I am really happy to share my week 8 Lifebook page. The lesson was with artist  Mati Rose McDonough. She is a abstract artist who makes colorful canvas paintings with whimsical embellishments. She was encouraging us to try out gold leafing in our projects. I am VERY pleased  with how my painting turned out. thought it is nothing like hers. I did use several of her practices and also picked my subject matter (the elephants) based on some of the things I saw in her gallery.

This project was really quite up my alley. I love to put color together in a random seeming...but yet intuitive way. I was happy to see another artist do this in a video. She didn't 'teach' at us but rather just showed what she does when she makes a canvas. I am sure some found that disappointing, but I felt very at home with her style so I wasn't constantly 'searching' for that thing I needed to learn. 
Here is my step out of what I did for this painting.
First I started with my 140 pd cold pressed watercolor paper in 12"X18" size. I squeezed out some acrylics onto my palette using colors I like and staying in cool tones. Then using a fat flat brush I just applied color in lines, squares, and marks as I felt like it. This is REALLY relaxing to me!

Next I got out some scraps of papers staying in the cool tones as well as some text and applied them in a collage using matte gel medium. 

Then I decided I wanted a dark purple with a harlequin pattern so I used a large stamp to apply that. Then I used a old credit card to scrap on some color and make marks here and there. Then I used titanium white and added some letters with another large stamp.

Next I tried for some drips using Heidi Swapp Colorshine sprays in gold, teal and green. I sprayed them across the top of the painting and then tipped it up and lets them drip down. 

White the drips were drying I was thinking about gold leafing... and what kept coming to mind was painted elephants for the festival of Jaipur in India which happens in late February/early March. It is something I would love to experience. So I decided I needed to draw some elephants but I did not want to do it directly over my layers (also the painting was taking forever to dry) I decided to draw them onto deli paper and collage them on later. 

Once the drippy bits finally dried...I decided to go in with my warmer colors. I wanted yellow and a orangey red for sure. I used my brayer to apply the colors and then went over some areas with the brayer with white gesso as well. Then I really got into finger painting... added marks and smears with the red, yellow, white and even some purple and blue. I also added more credit card marks with the bright green.

Then I applied my elephants using matte gel medium. I used my fingers to apply everything. 

I blended over the edges of the paper as well using the same colors of paint as in the backgrounds. Then I started to paint my elephants. I wanted to have the colors of the background show through the I used a very watered down combo of white and black to fill in their skin. I painted in the skin designs using the same acrylic colors and then went over the lines with black and white Posca pens.Finally I added gold with a sharpie gold poster pen. Then I painted and outlines a sketchy tree on the right edge.

The last step was to add gold leafing to the sun and the tree. It was a messy project but it looks pretty cool. I ordered the leafing kit from amazon as I just didn't have time to run to a store this week. My kit was faulty having 2 jars of sealer instead of one jar being adhesive size.... so I had to use tacky glue to apply the leaf :(

I hope you like my elephant family as much as I do. Leave me a comment or a +1 is you do :)
<3 Shel