Friday, July 21, 2017

The B6 (a journal)

When I finished my last journal, the Bunny Book, I moved into a B6 sized traveler's notebook made for me by Rosie Tian from R Atelier. Her work is gorgeous by the way.

I filled the TN with three notebooks by the School of Life which were themed after ancient wise men/philosophers and a B6 Maruman sketchbook.

Recently I filled up the first insert and I thought I would share some of its spreads with you. Not all of them, but just to give you an impression of yet another journal.

This is how the first insert looks out of the leather cover.

Although you can't see it in the book, I did use the sketchbook from time to time, just not for the journal. It's a bit of a separate entity really for some doodling and stuff when I'm away from home.

The journal itself is pretty straightforward as has been the case with my journals in general recently: lots of writing and some photographs, stickers and everyday ephemera. I did have to get used to the size and I must also admit that the quality of the paper in these books is not all that great. This was a bit annoying, because they were very pricey. Oh well, live and learn I guess, I won't be buying them again.

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my journal and I wish you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Zelhem Sketchbook

About a month ago I went to stay in my sisters house for a free vacation with a bonus dog. As a sort of travel journal I took three pocket moleskine cahiers with me. One to write in, one to put my photographs in and one for doodling and drawing. The writing one is basically just that, a lot of writing, and not very interesting to look at. The photography one is not done yet, because I still haven't printed the photographs, but you have seen my favorite photographs on this blog already. And the little doodle book is what I thought I'd show you today.

Now last time I went to sisters house (fall of 2016) I made a 'real' travel journal with actual sketches of real things I came across (you can find that journal here and here), but this vacation was of the lazy none exploring variety and I bascically just did patterns to pass the time and relax.

I was hoping to fill the entire little book, but I didn't even get close (me and my great expectations of myself, sigh). Still, some drawing is better than no drawing at all, right?

As you can see on the first and second spread, the paper bled through quite a lot, so after that first page I took some cardstock and pasted pieces of it on the left side so I could draw on that instead. It worked fine.

I have to admit that at the time I was a bit annoyed with myself for not drawing more, but in hindsight I am quite pleased with having filled 16 little pages with patterns. I have a tendency to be too hard on myself when it comes to productivity. Now I'm just glad I took the time to draw at all, after all it was supposed to be a laid back vacation.  ;-)

Hope you are doing well wherever you are and wishing you a wonderful and artsy day!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ferry Variations

Since I live on an island I travel quite a lot. Anything that I need to do outside of town pretty much involves going to the main land by ferry and often more travel by train or bus. It's one of the drawbacks of living in a beautiful and somewhat remote place: everything you do takes a ridiculous amount of time and travel.

Fortunately I don't mind it all that much and it comes with its own perks too. You get a lot of time for reading and ... arting! When I take the ferry I usually bring a sketchbook of some sort to pass the time. One of those little books is a moleskine cahier with squared (grid) paper and you know what that means: lots of pattterns and grid drawings.

Here are some pages from this book I did recently.

Now to be fair, I may call these ferry variations, but they were often also done just waiting for trains or in coffee shops or other places on the go. But I still consider it a ferry sketchbook mostly since I only use it away from home.

All drawings were coloured with felt tip pens. The paper in the cahier is not so great, so I only use one side of it, that way any bleed through is not in the way of another drawing.

It's nice to take my love of grids with me on the road, or the water as is mostly the case. ;-)

Wishing you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The next morning art project is about ..... portraits!

A little while ago I finished my last morning art project which was a small cahier style sketchbook filled with collages. I really enjoyed that project and for my next one I wanted to do something equally enjoyable but different. I have a whole list of possible projects to do for 30 minutes in the morning, so I probably won't run out of ideas anytime soon. My problem is one of the luxury of choice. What to do first?

After some back and forth I decided to do a book of portraits! Again I am using a Seawhite of Brighton Eco A5 sketchbook with 32 pages, so that means that over the coming weeks I have 32 portraits to draw/paint or whatever. The only rule is that it has to be a portrait, the medium or style is up to me.

Here are the first five I finished:

The first two were drawn with a Pentel Pocket Brush and filled in with watercolour. The other three were drawn with special multicoloured pencils made by Koh-i-noor. I really enjoy the simple style of those.

For models I used my trusted mailorder catalogue girls. I may look onto the internet or magazines for other sources, but it's really not that important to me. The practicing of portrait drawing is what's important.

Now as I have moved into this new sketchbook I have also decided to take a bit of different approach to my morning art. This is mostly done out of necessity. See when I want to do my morning art on workdays or when I have to catch the morning ferry I have to get up at five. So far I have done this for about two and a half years and it is starting to catch up with me. I am not a morning person in the first place and so far it has only been my love for this practice that has made it possible for me to keep it up. But frankly I'm getting a little tired (literally) of having to get up so early several days a week to do my art. So I have decided to only do it on the mornings when I have the time to at least get enough sleep before I get to arting. It's basically a self care thing.

So my productivity when it comes to morning art will be a bit less from now on, but I should still be able to do three to four portraits a week and that's fine with me. We'll just see how it goes.
I think it's important to evaluate your priorities and routines from time to time to see if it's all still working for you. Ultimately the welfare of my body is more important than productivity, no matter how much I like the latter.

Hope you will enjoy coming along with me for this new morning art project and wishing you all a wonderful and artsy day!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Backgrounds for a future journal

On and off for a while now I have been prepping an XL Moleskine Cahier with blank paper to become one of my future journals. I only work in it very sporadically so it may yet be a while before it gets used, but it's nice to have a book where the biggest thing you have to do is just make it ready for use, instead of working on a finished product or drawing or something.

Here are some of the spreads in this journal that I have prepped so far.

All the pages were first painted with gesso to get them a little sturdier, since the paper in the Moleskine cahiers is ... um... not all that great. After the gesso I used cheap pan gouache to add some colour. The technique is quite simple: just add wet paint in diffferent strokes and colours, close the pages so they print on each other, open them again and presto! If you want to know more about this technique (and others) I have several tutorials in my tutorial section on preparing journals and/or backgrounds, so you can take a look over there.

Now I don't always prep my journals, but I do like variety in my journals and it's nice to have some colour to work on sometimes and know that there will be book ready when inspiration strikes.

The preparation for this one isn't finished yet (I'm about halfway) and I have no idea when I will put this book to use, but that's okay, sooner or later it will get its turn.That's pretty much how I work with everything, I like to have options. ;-)

As soon as this journal is put to actual use as a journal I will of course share some of its finished spreads with you. Until then I wish you a wonderful and artsy day!

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