9/26/15 Making an Art Journal Page: My Daily Art Journal Practice

It’s Saturday and I have lots of studying to do… so my art journaling time is shorter than I would like. I am still working on the exercise from the online class I am taking: Lisa Congdon’s More Sketchbook Explorations. Lisa showed us how to draw some vines and leafy things. I was able to start but didn’t get very far. I used a micro point pen initially but changed out to a thicker lined pen. Since the background is so bright and saturated with color, a thicker black line makes seeing the design easier (if I had been able to make a lighter, less saturated background, I am sure the micro tip would have been fine.) I went over the first vine toward the bottom but didn’t have time to finish up going back over the top with a thicker line… maybe tomorrow.

This is very much NOT my normal art journal style. But I am glad I decided to try out what I learned from class. The background is an interesting technique that I could vary a lot of ways… and its super simple. And I am always ready to learn more graphic designs to doodle on a page!

Happy Saturday all!

 

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9/25/15 How to Make an Art Journal Page: My Art Journaling Practice

I have started taking a class on Creativebug.com. It is Lisa Congdon’s new class More Sketchbook Exploration. I just love Lisa’s classes and this one is no exception. She makes graphic art look effortless and fun. Today’s page is inspired by More Sketchbook Exploration part one. I start by making a background with crayola markers. In her class, Lisa Congdon used Koi watercolor brush pens. I know they would have made the background look more painterly and flow together more easily… but sadly I didn’t have any. So I pulled out the only markers I had. While Lisa picked a nice palette of light blues, corals, grays and oranges… I ended up using what I had. My colors were much brighter being standard Crayola colors. Still, I did my best to make a cool, colorful background.

What do you think? Hope you have a great Friday!

 

9/16/15 Making an Art Journal Page, The Process

Today, I only did a little bit. This page was already painted pink, I sometimes go through my journals and add a background so when it is time to work on that page I won’t be faced with that dreaded blank page. I tore out some rose shreds, that went nicely with the pink, for the background and glued them down. I liked how it tied in to the red on the facing page. In the same magazine that I found the grapes, I found this really cool wreath. I cut it out, carefully cut out the center and plan to use this as a frame for whatever focal image I decide to add to this page.

That’s all I had time for. So for now I have a loose cut out wreath. It is all good!

 

Sojourn #7

So, how did Sojourn #6 go?  Did you have some fun?  Did you decorate your page with wild abandon and make something that made you blissfully happy?  Did you add bits of journaling from your scratch paper to remind you what was going on with you on that day?Yay!  My hope is for you to have a weeks worth of pages that you find joy just flipping through!  Spilling your life can be all sorts of things for you… but one of my favorites is ending up with a creative page that reflects you!  What you like.  What makes you happy.  If you are going to be spilling your life on the page, you are allowed to make pages that make you smile. Of course, you can do other things with your pages, experiment, work out emotions, things that might not be so pleasing to look at but you always have that option.  It is amazing how adding a few bits of colorful paper and a picture of something you find beautiful or a doodle can change your entire outlook…

This is also true before you ever start out.  If you start will a decorated background page, instead of an imposing blank page, it can make all the difference.  The “mind dump” you do on plain white page can look like a scribbled mess.  While the same “mind dump” looks a whole lot nicer when it has a background behind it.  Starting a creative page can be so much easier if there is a bit of color on the page already.

So this week we are going to be decorating our pages before we do anything else.  You can choose to decorate your background pages each day before you write or create.  Or you can do a week’s worth at once.  But I want you to put paint, collage, color… backgrounds on your pages.  My favorite technique for making backgrounds that I can use for written journaling and art/creative journaling is “Acrylic Paint Scrubbing”.  Now, that’s a mouthful!  It is a very simple technique that gives you a rich beautiful background page that isn’t too distracting if you will be adding writing only but is also a lovely start for any creative journaling you want to do.  If you decide to try this technique, you will need a few colors of acrylic paint.  They can be any kind of acrylic paint.  The cheap craft paint probably works better because it is a little more liquidy… but any kind will do.  You will also need baby wipes.  Again I use the least expensive brand.  My YouTube video will go through this process step by step:

If you don’t have any acrylic paints on hand.  Not to worry.  Use anything you have.  Crayons really do work great!  Collage! Doodle! Experiment with what you have.

Then pick whatever practice you want to use for the week.  Do you want to continue doing written journaling “mind dump” style?  Would you rather just write one sentence… or even just one word… everyday?  Or do you want to forget about written journaling completely and just make interesting journal pages?  Whatever you decide… do it.  Do it on the backgrounds that you have made.  And next week tell me how it went!!

 

Sojourn 6: My Examples

So how did your week go? Did you actually try journaling, then decorating your page afterwards, even just once?

How did you feel about the journaling? Do you feel anything after doing this process? Relieved? Productive? Cleared?

What color pen/s did you use? How did you like using your pen choice? Was it easy to write with? If not, did it affect how you were able to spill your ideas onto the page? The first pen I picked to use was what I thought was a light purple color… but it turned out darker than I thought. I wasn’t sure how the darker ink would work out with writing on top of it. The second pen, a thin, lime green, crayola marker… turned out to be dried out as you can see below. It got lighter and lighter as I spilled down the page. I am not too hip on using a marker. I think I have been spoiled by some of the smooth writing ball points and gel pens… but the experience still was fine.

When it came to jotting down notes about what I wrote, I have to admit that the lighter the pen the harder it was for me to read and pick out what I wanted to focus on. So as the week went on, I actually would put a star beside a line or section I wanted to note as I wrote it. Starring the section didn’t seem to take away from the flow of the journaling but helped me locate what I wanted to note after I was done will the journal spillage. So, I think I will continue to do that.

Next came decorating. On this page I chose to tear out collage elements that I liked and glued them on the page with a cheapie glue stick. Not a whole lot of thought. Just grabbed a handful of magazine images, picked a few out that seemed to go, than arranged them on the page. Glued them down. It took maybe 15 minutes at the most.

The main image… the girl in the left corner… seemed to blend in a bit more than I wanted. I grabbed a red water soluble crayon, outlined some of the collage pieces, including my girl image… then smudged it really well with my fingers. And it made it pop out of the page a bit more. Then I took my black waterproof pen and my white uniball ink pen and doodled, did my lettering and added the things I decided to write down on my scrap paper. And of course HAD FUN!

 

To be honest, my loudmouth inner critic, tells me this is a really lousy page… the lettering is just terrible, it is too busy… on and on. Again, your inner critic will probably often tell you that any artsy endeavour you do is not good enough! The truth is it doesn’t matter. I will alway like looking at the pictures I chose to add to my collage… that’s why I chose them. The rest was all fun! It really is okay to have fun… And you have a memory of your fun to boot! Looking at the page makes me smile. I journaled and have a fun, funky, interesting page. A page that will remind me of the important things that I journaled about. A page that is so much more than a page filled with written journaling.

 

This is my doodle page. I took my black brush marker and started to doodle some flowers, quick. Not much thought. I even added the my Hibiscus Happiness zen doodle design in the middle (I made it up myself).

Again, I grabbed my scrap sheet and added the items I wanted to remember on to me doodle page.

It could have been done. But I decided I wanted to take a little more time to unwind, so I got out the crayons and…

 

I hope you tried Sojourn 6… and if not… maybe decide now to give it a try! Please, I would love to hear from you! Make a comment below and let me know how it went!

Tune in tomorrow for Sojourn 7!

 

Sojourn #6 Time for Fun!

You spent a week journaling and adding bits. Did you enjoy the week’s practice? Did you have any special insights? Did you feel like the pages had any value? Did you go into your daily practice wanting something special out of it? Or did you work more intuitively? I would love to know?

One of the things I found with the “brain dump” method of journaling is that the pages and pages of generated journaling often aren’t very satisfying if you want something pretty, interesting, funky?

This week we will change the practice up just a bit in order for you to continue the “brain dump” practice but to give more flexibility to make the page into something more interesting.

What you will need is a lighter colored pen. I actually picked up a small set of pens at my local drug store that had orange, pink, light blue and purple ball point pens for a few bucks. {( wouldn’t use the purple color for this week’s exercises, it’s a bit too dark but any of the others will work well). You could use Flair markers, Gel pens, even Crayola markers as long as you pick a lighter shade… one you can read but not too dark. You want the pen after it covers the page to shade the page but not be so pronounced that it can be easily read. You will also need a dark pen with a medium point. It can be any type of pen you like to write with or to do lettering. You will also need a magazine or a stack of images/photos/scrapbook paper/…. your choice, and glue and/or tape (or anything that will affix any images you would like to add onto the page). Any other art supplies you might feel like using.

Your mission is to do a brain dump, this time on both side of your page, each morning. Again the size of the page doesn’t matter, just remember to journal on both front and back. Use your light-colored pen. Keep a scrap sheet of paper handy so if you journaled about something you wish to keep a record of or explore further you can jot it down after (and only after) your brain dump is all done.

So, you have completed your journaling. The next step is to decorate the page. You can cover it… or not. Put down some interesting magazine pictures, photos, paper, bits and bobs… anything in any way that pleases you. Decorate both sides of the paper. The journaled paper is your background. Use it as the first layer of whatever you want to create. Maybe you just want to put down some pictures that strike your fancy. GREAT! Maybe you want to doodle a bit! TERRIFIC! Maybe you want to do both! DO IT! Whatever you want… if you have paints and want to paint. DO THAT! But that isn’t necessary. I think you will find the less different types of supplies you have a choice of, the easier getting something down will be. BUT IT’S YOUR CALL ALL THE WAY!

Keep in mind what you may have noted on your scrap paper. Was it a few words? A few ideas? A few important decision, discoveries, or conclusions? Was it an important paragraph? I want you to use your dark black pen to document these notes on your page… Maybe you want to doodle them, write them in fancy lettering, or just write them again, over the top of the collaged material or the light written background in a way that you can see them.

Fill the page, front and back, until you are satisfied… or until you don’t know what else to do. YOU ARE DONE!

Continue this for the week. It is my hope as you are adding your pictures, papers, ephemera, photos… that you add things that make you happy. What is nice about this week’s practice is that you are doing triple duty. You are clearing you brain, getting it down on paper, (then when you are done) making quick notes of anything of particular value that you wrote. Then you get to use your creativity to make the page into something that you enjoy… Turn the blob of words into a page filled with things that make you grin! Journaler satisfaction is key!! We have been journaling and adding bits but the focus hasn’t been specifically to create happiness on the page. The practice itself was what was important. Now we are bringing in the fun, the creativity, the joy of pleasing yourself on the page but keeping one of the most powerful of journaling practices, the “Morning Page” style of brain spill.

I hope you really have fun this week! At the end of the week I want you to be able to flip through you pages and SMILE. I want you to feel like there is something to journaling!

Please leave me a comment about how this week’s exercise went! I would love, love, love to hear how it is going! Happy Journaling and I will see you next week!