In a recent post on art journaling I wrote about the satisfaction of using an art journal to preserve memorabilia from special occasions. Here are two more pages that feature birthdays. They include party napkins, decorations, and wrapping paper as well as some random stuff that I put in either for symbolic purposes or just because I felt like it. Art journaling is basically an intuitive thing. For me that is. If I put too much planning into it, it becomes work and not so much fun.
The portrait above is of my son. I was interested in trying to capture the effect of the light reflected onto his face from the computer screen. If I’d known it was going to turn out so well, I would have picked out a better piece of paper for it. These six drawings were all done in a tiny sketch book I bought because it was pocket/purse sized. I’m always looking for compact art supplies that can be carried with me when I’m out. This one was for doing small studies like the ones below. However, these types of sketchbooks tend to get beat up from carrying them around, so after I did the portrait of Wyatt I retired it early for fear that something would happen to that particular drawing.
The reason these are different colors is because I scanned some of them and photographed the others. The gray ones were scanned into the computer. The others were photographed in front of a window that brings in light reflected from a red brick wall outside. Thus the slight pink tinge.
I usually don’t record dreams but the little creature above was so interesting I didn’t want to forget it, so I drew it first thing in the morning. My version of Surrealism.
In a previous post about art journaling, I mentioned using the journal as a way to organize and display ephemera from special occasions. It can also be used to collect random visual bits that punctuate our days such as mail, stickers, photos, clippings, quotes, labels, ticket stubs, found lettering and, as seen in the page above, interesting trivia.
The brown clipping at the bottom is from Coffee News®. In case your screen is too small to read it, it’s about a man who has a hobby of collecting “wild and wacky” news from around the world. He puts them into recycled logbooks. I loved this particular story, because I collect that type of thing as well. Instead of logbooks, I fill art journals and altered books with interesting stories and anecdotes from all kinds of articles and news letters, etc.
As you can see in the page below, Coffee News® is one of my favorites sources for this kind of material.
I tried to integrate the clippings into the overall composition by overlapping them with the circular shapes. This was done with colored pencils. The cat on the bottom one was drawn in as well. Drawing into a random composition like this helps to unify it.
The house we used to live in had a kitchen window overlooking a big back yard with shade trees and grass. It was like a mini Peaceable Kingdom with all sorts of birds, squirrels, butterflies, and lizards going about their business. Ducks and rabbits also resided there from time to time. And a few stray cats who were mostly “peaceable” but had to be monitored to make sure they didn’t eat anyone else in the kingdom. Sometimes as we looked out the window, the animals would stare back at us. One day the cat in this drawing decided to hop up on the window sill and have a closer look. I took a picture of her with my Android camera and worked directly from the phone screen image to create this portrait.
As I mentioned in a previous post, smart phone cameras are wonderful resources for artists. You can keep a whole gallery of images to work from. You can crop awkward compositions to balance them and you can use the edit features to get creative effects. I used a color enhancement setting on the photo for Stray and tried to capture the effect with my colored pencils.I liked the result but think it would have looked better on smoother paper.
Below is a small painting of the same kitty. Or a close relative.
Special occasions have a way of generating ephemera that either gets thrown in the trash or stashed away in boxes never again to see daylight. Art journaling is good for people who like to keep things like that. If it’s in a journal, it’s organized into a display that will more likely be seen than if it were packed up in a box or a file folder. The page above is about my recent birthday. It contains scraps of wrapping paper, cards and envelopes, etc., all collaged together and decorated with colored markers.
The one below has some leftovers from Valentine’s Day mixed in with gift labels and decorations from a couple of other occasions. Someone apparently celebrated with breakfast at McDonald’s on at least one of them.
In a previous post I showed the steps involved in creating this interlaced pattern. Eon is the result of going off the grid with it, skewing the lines to create a kind of flowing rhythm. I tried out some variations in line and then picked this one to finish with colored pencils. There are numerous ways it could have been shaded and/or colored. So many doodles! So little time!
As I mentioned in a previous post on doodling, you can find patterns all around you and figure out how to draw them by breaking down the patterns into basic components. This yields a step by step drawing process called a doodle algorithm. I developed the algorithm for Interlaced Pattern from the faintly colored background on a paper check. Below are the steps:
I used a dot grid to help draw this but it’s doable without one. After creating these steps I drew the finished one at the top of this post. I used that one to practice pencil shading and try out a new set of colored pencils.
Sock Creature purists may think that Sock Nerd is not a true sock creature because his body is made of a pot holder. However since the pot holder was made out of loops cut from actual socks, Sock Nerdwould, in fact, be a true sock creature.
Furthermore, although some nit pickers may object to Sock Nerd being referred to as a sock creature instead of a sock person, in my opinion nerds are actually creatures. (from outer space.) My opinion is, of course, based on close encounters with arch nerds (single-minded experts in a particular field) including some software developers.
It is perfectly obvious, however, that Sock Alien is definitely an alien, (note the antennae) although not necessarily a nerd.
Whereas the sock creatures in the previous posts were more original in form, the kitties above and below, were made using conventional patterns. In order to get some originality into them I appliqued hand dyed scraps on to them and embellished with embroidery.
In the 1960’s Pop Artist Claes Oldenburg began creating sculptures out of non-rigid materials such as cloth, plastic, and foam rubber. Think giant plush hamburger. This became known as soft sculpture and has continued to be popular. Google soft sculpture and you will come up with a myriad of results including how-to instructions for practically any kind of object.
My mushrooms are not as big as Oldenburg’s hamburger but they don’t take up nearly as much space.