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!

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6 Responses to “Art Journaling”

  1. Sandy Ward - Pittsboro, North Carolina - I love Dobler! November 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    I started combing through art journal-making videos on YouTube several months ago, but did not get inspired. Now, several references related to the subject are popping up in the various websites and e-newsletters that come my way – there was one this morning about making a book from a cereal box – but again, nothing to make me take out that scary piece of blank white paper and do something. (You and Anne don’t seem to have that problem!) But I love this page you made, as well as the perfect words. I didn’t notice the bleed-through until you pointed it out and then I thought “heck, blue and orange are complementary colors! They just wanted to be together on the same page.”

    Can’t wait for more inspiration, Megan. Thanks, Sandy

    • Megan November 16, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      sandy, i DO have that problem! one of the goals of this journal is to help me get beyond that and just start doing *something* – even if all i churn out is crap. i’m finding that if i just start doing something, anything, more follows.

  2. Anne November 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    What a pleasure to see you back with brush and pen in hand! Love what you’re creating.

    • Megan November 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

      slow but steady, right? xo

  3. osozereposo November 20, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    These are lovely, even with the bleed through. I’ve always wanted to try incorporating watercolors into my journals as a daily practice for both writing and illustration, but worried about bleed through or too much warping of the page. Are you using an ordinary sketch book for this, or something more durable? I suppose a sheet of thin cardboard between the pages could help, though your photos show that even with a little bleed through, you can still create something beautiful.

    • Megan November 22, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

      thank you so much! i am just using a hard-bound strathmore sketchbook (sadly, it’s not my preferred spiral-bound style). the paper isn’t proper watercolor paper, and i suppose that’s part of the problem with the bleed. for now i am alternately living with it, and using the opposite site to do collage or acrylics.

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