I have been trying to get into the habit of illustrating a bible verse each day since the start of the New Year. On average I think I am hitting a 40-50% hit rate, which isn’t too bad with everything else that’s happening. Here are the results of some of those bible journaling episodes. I think a typography style is developing nicely, but I’m also very fond of the illustrated ‘Immanuel’ page spread.
Over the last ten days or so, I’ve been playing with cast plaster panels. I used all the techniques I learnt at college to mould, soap, build clay dams, pour and pull a plaster of paris piece. Unfortunately, despite all that work, I completely forgot about overhangs. I ruined both the plaster mould and the panel as I attempted to separate the two with a screwdriver.
Undaunted, though slightly miffed, I went back to the drawing board and tried again. This time I pressed items into a clay slab and took a direct cast from that.
It was wrap up day on Creative Chemistry 103 some time over the weekend, and I finally got to watch the final video from Tim Holtz. The challenge was to use some of the techniques we’d covered during the week on a different surface. I had bought some of the District Market French Burlap Panels in a sale some time ago, and decided these would be perfect to decorate up for the occasion.
So this is what happens after applying texture paste, embossing powder, Distress Crayons, Distress Stains, clear matte texture paste, stencils, water, baby wipes, gesso, matte multi medium, Distress Reinkers, Distress Glaze and a whole lot of patience and drying time! I love the texture play between the burlap and the scroll work, opacity versus transparency and still amazed at the versatility of the Distress Crayons.
As promised in my previous post, I used spray inks and copious amounts of water on my test journals. I’m delighted to say that all three passed with flying colours. I wanted to check that the paper didn’t become saturated, there was minimal bleed through of colour to the reverse of the page, and that generally the journals behaved themselves when wet. Here are the results, the journals I used and any notes I made:
Frisk layflat Sketch Pad
This is an absolutely perfect journal – it is 300gsm, pretty much A5 in size, with a laminated cover and 20 pages. The pages really do lay absolutely flat with no gutter in the middle fold – it looks like Frisk have managed to fuse flat sheets of cartridge paper together to make the pages. There was no more buckle than I would expect from wetting any paper and no bleed through. A cracking journal!
Frisk Sketch Book
This is a 140gsm, 40 page, A5 landscape format journal with staple binding. It has a laminated black cover, though kraft covers are available as are other sizes. The pages are definitely a lighter weight than the layflat sketch pad, but are no less flimsy when wet. Again, no bleed through to the back of the page. An excellent everyday journal.
Hahnemuhle Travel Booklets
I used the small A6 size which makes for a dinky journal, but handy for very quick pages, or journaling on the go. At 140gsm with 20 pages, the twin pack of booklets features stitched binding. The paper was a little more absorbent, with the wet ink soaking in to the page faster than the other two. Even so, there was no bleed through the page and thus it passed the test. It also comes in various sizes.
As a result of my tests, I was happy to recommend all of them to Hochanda buyers in preparation for my art journaling shows on 16th June 🙂
So you have grand plans to start art journaling, and you’re wondering what your first step should be? It’s important to find a journal that will take all that you throw at it. It has to be able to take wet media without the pages getting flimsy or buckling. It has to be able to lie flat so that you can work in it. You don’t want pages easily detaching, nor a wire-o spine stopping you getting to the middle of the spread. Pages shouldn’t be too absorbent, or too smooth – or be able to take a layer of gesso if they are. Hardback or soft cover – well that’s down to personal preference. Here’s a couple of pages I’ve done this afternoon whilst testing a new journal. Above – Dylusions Paints. Below – Distress Sprays/Inks and pigment inks.
I took the opportunity to play with oil pastel resist in my art journal yesterday. The text and line border were written straight to page with white oil pastel, with the colour (distress stain spray) added over and blotted off. I ironed over the oil pastel, soaking it into newsprint paper to remove most of the pastel. I then doodled the border over the dried colour and tried to darken it after.
What I should have done… is darken the border area and then doodle over. Having said that, I found that using PanPastel over the top and then wiping over with a baby wipe revealed the white ink again. I’ll also iron off the oil pastel last, as that’s most likely to keep the contrast better, particularly on the edging where I did some more messing about with colour.
Anyhoo, now I’ve had a play, and learnt from my ‘ah well’ moments I’ll be setting it as next month’s art journal session technique. Continue reading
Day 3 of my online card class, and they’ve introduced a fab idea – a ‘design break’. A chance to use what we’ve learnt in class to make cards. I didn’t have chance yesterday as I was prepping for a large workshop (news of this released next week…), so I’ve been making the cards this morning before today’s class is released. Here are my makes:
The text is all self-designed and cut from 300gsm card on my Silhouette Cameo. Colour added with distress inks, direct to paper. I love the results of some of these – not styles I would have immediately gone for, but very effective cards. Now to go and see what Day 4 has in store!