Archive | November, 2011

Art Journaling

16 Nov

Having put down all pens, pencils, brushes (and even my beloved gel medium) for months, I’ve felt a little rusty. As I get back into the flow of making art on a regular basis, I started looking for exercises that would kickstart my brain, and get me back in that art space that I’ve been missing. The solution? Art journals.

People have millions of reasons for art journals, and in the past my journals resembled more of a diary – writing about what was going on, sorting through feelings, etc. But this one holds a different purpose. It’s a quick and dirty way to test techniques, work through ideas that I’m having and generally brain dump in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing. Above all, it gets me back in the habit of making art, even pieces that are throw aways. It’s a project about process. Imperfections and mistakes are welcome guests (and you will see plenty of those).

I would like to get to a place where I am creating something every day, even if it is just a set of backgrounds. Hopefully, along the way I’ll be able to share with you some of my favorite techniques (old and new), my worst mistakes (I still haven’t learned to use masking fluid), and some new inspirations.

So, here are a few pages that I’ve been working on lately.

This is the very beginning of the first page. I am still fairly new to watercolors, so pages like this are a fantastic way for me to sort out how I want to use them. Everything was sketched in with pencil prior to painting.

And this is the final product, mistakes and all (you’ll find that I make lots of those). I don’t love the lettering, the white paint pen got the better of me in a few places, and the paint from the next page over bled through. But I’m okay with that. It’s so important not to let the fear of imperfection stop you from pushing forward – something I definitely struggle with!

And this is the offending page – the one that bled through. This is also one of my favorite techniques of all time – salting. It’s so easy and produces stunning results. Tomorrow I’ll have a short tutorial on how to produce this effect!


Vintage Beauty School Graphics

4 Nov

A while ago I happened upon this lovely vintage book in a thrift shop. The Successful Hairdresser was first published in 1923 and offers “a complete course in all branches of beauty culture.” It is an absolutely fascinating look back at both standards of beauty and the science of beauty. It covers everything from oddball skin conditions, scalp problems and make up application to facial musculature and basic anatomy lessons to assist the emerging massage therapist.

I scanned a few of the images – feel free to download them (click images for a larger version) and use them in your own art. And if you do use any of the images, I’d love to see what you’ve made! Shoot me an email with your work attached and I’ll post it here.