Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Leafy Sea Dancer Art Journal Page

In July, I had the privilege to create a page in Sharon Roger's Seahorses and Mermaids themed journal. This journal is travelling around Australia and each time we all work in a book, we blog about it so everyone can see how each book is going. Its wonderful to see all the beautiful artwork, then one day our own book finds it's way back home and seeing it all in real life is something else.

You can see all the incredible art journals here... Australian Art Journal Swap Blog.
The best Facebook art community is here... Australian Art Swap Group.

While I've already blogged about this page in the group's blog, I wanted to add info on where to find Mum's beautiful book and where buy supplies in case you'd like to have a go (I just happen to have a shop filled with arty treasure).

Seahorses and Mermaids is a brilliant theme :) I love creating with the gorgeous colours of the ocean. My clever Dad used to cut out amazing shapes by hand on his scrollsaw and his leafy seadragon is perfect for this occasion.

Searching for a quote, I remembered Mum had published her book in black and white as well as colour... and given that we'd coloured in part of this book, I didn't feel bad using one of its pages to take advantage of its swirly writing style. I don't like cutting up books!


The Leafy Sea Dancer was written, illustrated and published by my Mum. I have clever parents :D

Link to Mum's Lulu storeElizaJay's Bookshop
There are two versions published - one black and white (black cover, shown above) and one full colour (blue cover).


The page in Sharon's journal has a flap. At this point, I didn't know what I was going to do, apart from use my fave colours and leafy seadragons!

This book has been made using watercolour paper and the inks blended so well. If you don't have watercolour paper (as a pad, sheets or a journal), ensure you prime the surface with gesso before you begin (and let it dry). Gesso allows the inks to blend rather than just soaking into the surface.


I sprayed the page in the 3 Distress inks and splattered it with water. I thought I took a pic of that but its not there... It was such a gorgeous mermaid blue green mix of splatters!


I smeared the whole page with Ranger's Texture Paste in Translucent Gloss, thinking of making it swirly wavy textures. But it ended up smooshed like this instead.
I'm learning to let the art do what it wants, usually its right. The times I "argue" and keep trying to do what I want, it turns into a disaster! lol :)


While the texture paste was wet, I pressed bubblewrap over it all... then used the bottom of a reinker bottle and pressed out those bigger bubbles.


Then I dropped on Distress Dry Glitter in tiny mounds and light sprinkles... can't really see it in the photos, but its super sparkly and shiny!


The splatters of limey yellow and dark blue are from dripping Distress Oxide Ink from the Reinkers. I started this one drip at a time, then shook the bottle like a salt shaker :) Amazing effects took place, depending whether it touched wet texture paste or dry glitter.


Waiting for art to dry isn't easy sometimes... but thankfully the seadragons needed some attention!
Here they are after being splattered with Distress Oxide Reinkers in Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean, then misted with water to encourage the ink to blend.
The scrap paper they're lying on was going to become seaweed but didn't end up being used.


Dried seadragons were edged with Ground Espresso Distress Ink (ink pad and blending tool) then added highlights using watercolour markers (Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers in Beach and Pirate's Gold - peach and yellow). I used white and black Sharpies for the spots and eyes.


Closeup photo of the groovy texture paste after it dried. When the Ranger Gloss Translucent Texture Paste is wet, its has a milky appearance but it dries beautifully - the gloss is super shiny and the colours jump off the page!


This pic reminds me of algae and seaweed :) Loving these colours!


The seadragons were glued to the page using Glossy Accents... the seadragons themselves are only a little bit sparkly, thanks to my un-precise glueing but I did add a few swishes using my Wink of Stella pen in Clear Shimmer (iridescent brush pen).
In real life, the seadragons appear lifted off the page, yet when photographed above, all the colours appear to be blended together. The closeup photo is a better indication of how it looked before I added the Stella to the ends of the seadragon's leaves :)


Leafy seadragons are such gorgeous, magical creatures! They're found in a few places around the world, one being along the coastline of South Australia, offshore from Normanville and Carrickalinga.


This is the wording I used is from the actual page from the book. Mum made the text in her book appear to be waving and bending over the pages :) The illuminated letter of the G was drawn by Mum too and was the original design for the Dad's shape.


"Gracefully swaying without need for speed, are creatures of beauty disguised as seaweed."
by JE James


Supplies List...
Art Journal or Paper - watercolour, hot or cold press
Dina Wakley Gesso - clear, white or black
Liquitex Gesso - clear or white
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Spray - Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron and Cracked Pistachio
Ranger Texture Paste Translucent Gloss
Tim Holtz Distress Dry Glitter
Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Reinker - Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
Black Waterbased Sharpie Paint Pen
White Waterbased Sharpie Paint Pen
Wink of Stella Clear Shimmer Brush Pen
Distress Ink Pad - Ground Espresso
Ranger Ink Blending Tool - round foam
Ranger Glossy Accents
Dina Wakley Plastic Spatula
Tim Holtz Spray Bottle
Bubblewrap - FREE with nearly every purchase!

Everything is available at Art by Jenny

The following are available by request ...
The Leafy Sea Dancer by JE James
Woodn Marbles Leafy Seadragon Handcut Shapes - watercolour paper or chipboard


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Love Birds ATCs

These ATCs were made for a swap with the FB Art Swap Group for the theme "Feathers".


I used Darkroom Door stamp sets 'Feathers' and 'Love Birds' with Distress Inks, Liquitex mixed media paper and mulbury paper. 


Firstly I inked and stamped feather stamps onto the mulbery paper using Distress ink in Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron, Tea Dye and Peacock Feathers. I just kept inking and layering feathers until I liked what I saw.


They had to be put aside to dry as I used so much ink!

The love birds were inked with Squeezed Lemonade, Rusty Hinge, Twisted Citron and Peacock Feathers (with Pumice Stone for the feet) at the same time before stamping onto the mixed media paper. Normally I'd use my watercolour markers but my yellow is dry so used ink pads instead... not as accurate but it still worked. 

fyi... To refill Distress markers, pull out the brush nib, add a few drops of the same colour Reinker using the eye dropper then put the nib back in.


Their beaks were coloured afterwards with Barn Door and the eyes with black Sharpie. Edges were inked with Pumice Stone... inking edges always seems to finish off pieces and lift them from the surface.

The branch was inked with Walnut Stain and cut separately from the birds.
The words 'love birds' were stamped in black Archival ink.
All were handcut (fussy cut) including the little heart (in mulbery paper) before sticking into place.

Retail therapy links...
Distress Inks https://www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au/collections/distress-by-tim-holtz (msg to order any not here) 

Thanks for reading :) Hope they make you smile!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Scribble Sticks go to the Circus

My latest art journal page for a swap with friends for the theme of "circus".

Hand drawn and painted onto Liquitex acrylic paper using Dina Wakley's fabulous Scribble Sticks with a waterbrush. I also used Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paint Sticks (not much this time, mostly used Dina's) and Dylusions Paint Pens (the red and white) for a few details with a splash of white acrylic paint for the fabric.


I started with drawing red and white big top stripes using the ruby Dina Wakley art stick... but I got carried away and it was way too much for what I wanted, so sprayed it with water. This just turned it all into a red mess ... I used too much water! lol Things we do!

I then added blue and purple with the Dina Wakley art sticks and smooshed it all around with my fingers while it was still wet. The swirling purples gave me an idea so I dried off the middle circle, lifting off the excess.
You can just see the remains behind some areas of the purple.

With so much water used, I had to put it aside... no matter how much I waved air over it, it just wasn't drying!

The next day it looked ok :) Phew! 
I painted brown and red stripes inside the circle with black around the edge and also over the corners of the page.


The silk trapeze artist was drawn in pencil and painted using more DW sticks, as paint rather than using them direct on the page. I added layers and layers of red brush strokes for her hair before painting in the silk. Adding more red squiggly lines afterwards with Dylusions paint pen and even more curly lines in black.


It looked a bit plain... but the star dust Icestickles glitter glue soon fixed that and added that bit of glamour to her hair and leotard. Its amazing what a few spots of glitter will do :)

I like how its turned out :) Thanks so much for reading my blog post.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

Friday, March 31, 2017

Calypso

Calypso was my inspiration for my art journal page. She is a Sea Goddess well known for sinking ships, making big waves in stormy seas and putting curses on pirates. The theme "goddess" was for Tash's journal - part of the AAJS.

This first photo is a work in progress pic with my original sketch behind. I used my favourite paints Tambi Gansai and the Distress watercolour markers with a few other arty treasures.


Every sea has a Heart of the Ocean hidden somewhere... this gem is wrapped around seagrasses, watched over by big mud crabs. 
Sparkle added with Wink of Stella clear shimmer paint pen.


Details throughout the page were added using black and white waterbased Sharpie paint pens along with Stella in gold and white.


Stamps were used for some critters and seaweed. The crabs are from Under the Sea and school of tiny fish are from Ocean Backgrounds, both by Dyan Reavely, while the shells and seaweed are by Rachel Greig of Darkroom Door.


The fish, crabs and shells were all inked with markers then coloured with paints before bring cut out and stuck in the page.



This octopus was drawn and painted freehand, cut in a way that enabled him to climb over the shell and page edge. I wonder who's hiding inside the shell?


Looking up, the octopus realises he has a chance at being a kraken... but is too kindhearted to sink the ship!


The ship is made from card and tissue, so light it floats, despite the huge waves crashing into it.


With waves this wild and huge, the sailors are hiding below deck so we can't see them. Lucky really, because they'd be so tiny I'd need a magnifying glass to paint their little faces!


Calypso's wild mermaid coloured hair is made from yarns, cord and ribbon. Each strand is carefully curled and attached in place using Glossy Accents (glue).


Scales, Smooch and shimmery glitter glue (Diamond Icestickles) finish off Calypso's face.


The finished art journal page...

I'm so pleased with how this turned out, even if Calypso has an odd looking nose!


With the flap folded up, it appears Calypso is hiding, ready for anything!


Thanks so much for spending time looking at my artwork. I hope it made you smile :)
It was a joy to create. I loved every minute!

Darkroom Door and Dylusions cling rubber stamps, Wink of Stella, Sharpies and Tambi Gansai warercolour paints are available at my online shop, www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny





Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fishing Felines

Quick post today :) I seem to be running out of Tuesday!

Fishing anyone? I do love my new feline friends by Tim Holtz :) Crazy Cats are such fun to play with! This was supposed to be mostly red but the cats decided otherwise! lol :) Posting to the next person tomorrow... hope they like it!




Here's my whole page :) Its created on a double page spread in the Dylusions 5x8 journal. Next time I'll gesso the pages so the watercolours (Tim Holtz Distress inks) behave as they do on watercolour paper and don't soak through!

The fishbowl was handdrawn then painted using Distress inks and markers, with the outline redrawn once everything was dry. The background is watercolour wash using Distress ink stains then stamped over using Darkroom Door background stamps (Chevron and Mesh).

The Crazy Cats were stamped with black archival ink then coloured with Distress Markers. The mouse, ball of wool, fish bones and wording "fishing supper" were hand drawn using Ranger's Enamel Accents (it dries raised and shiny).

The paper fish were made from scraps of paper inked with Distress Ink Stains. All black and white details were made using my black and white paint pens by Dylusions.




Thanks for visiting. Hope these Crazy Cats and their antics made you smile!
:)
Have a happy creative day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Full Moon DAJ

My latest magical piece of art is this beautiful painting of the Moon and Earth.

Created for the theme "Moon" in a DAJ swap (deconstructed art journal)... basically you create an art journal page back and front, 8"x8" in size.

The whole piece was hand painted with the gorgeous Gansai Tambi watercolours, stamped using Distress ink and white Sharpie used for the highlights and a few details.


The trees turned out ok in the end... a splash of paint and a few spots here and there in Sharpie does wonders.
Full moons attract all sorts of creatures and bats flew in and made themselves at home.
The bunnies are couple of friends who appeared in a splotch of paint so I let them stay because they made me smile :)


So of course they had to have friends on the moon! Then they each needed a big telescope so they could see each other. And then they needed a man in the moon... just because :)


Love my white Sharpie! It is such a beautiful opaque white paint. The stars were initally stamped using white ink, the Picket Fence Distress Ink Pad, and then I drew extra stars in Sharpie because the stamped ink seemed to fade. 

Thankfully, when it was all dry the two different whites gave the look of a sky with depth :) Love it when everything just works! Couldn't help but add a few galaxies, satelites, and spaceships...


The texture on the Moon and Earth was created by stamping with my IndigoBlu splattery background stamps (will get the names later) in Walnut and Tea Dye Distress Inks. The Earth's ground has extra texture added using a lace doily stamp by Tim (name later!) using Peeled Paint Distress Ink. 


So that's my page :) Its already at its new home with Janie who said she was "blown away" by my painting! What an awesome compliment :)

Thanks so much for reading and hope my painting inspires you to have a go.

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny











Wednesday, February 1, 2017

There's an Elephant in my Journal

I love elephants. They're incredible, kind, compassionate and strong with such beautiful wise old eyes and big hearts!

I've drawn so many of them often over the years including this one I sketched in pen and wash the other day.

I drew the elephant a tad crooked so decided that he's just scratching his leg on the tree!

My ellie and mouse were drawn with a Derwent Graphic Line Maker in .3 and I used a waterbrush to activate the ink to blend out. 


Its a great technique, turning a line drawing into a greyscale painting. It can be simple doodles, Zentangling or highly detailed illustrations. Whichever side of the line you wet will bleed and blend into grey shadows.

Only the basic supplies are needed too, making it easy on the purse strings!

A waterbrush like the Jasart ones in my photo. These are fantastic! They hold oodles of water, saving you from carrying jars of water wherever you go. A square of kitchen paper will be useful too. I tend to clean my brush or test water amounts on the back of my hand so paper towel will stop your hand turning grey and soggy!

Drawing is done with a waterbased black pen, felt tipped or fine marker (texta) like a Chameleon Detail Pen (pictured) or Derwent Graphik Line Maker. The kids's textas like Crayola or the Faber-Castell ones that join together will work too :) You'll soon find out if your pen is waterbased or not when you use it, because if its not, it won't react to water no matter how many buckets of water you throw at it! The paper will get super soggy though, but that's fine too because it will dry and can be reused :)



My favourite paper to use is Strathmore, either the 400 series (brown cover) or the spiral bound art journal. This high quality watercolour paper withstands quite alot of water and scrubbing without going furry (pilling) or creating holes. Like any porous surface, too much water with friction will damage it eventually so still be gentle!


This rose in a tin pot was just a few squiggles, a few splotches of water and voila, a groovy little picture appeared! And the roses stayed looking like roses too, always a bonus! A couple of soft spots of water in the flower centres gives an impression of a full flower while wetting the tin can's sides makes it appear round.

The next few drawings are with my Chameleon pen (detailer, using .6 end). You can see the different colours that make black inks when you add water to them. The Graphik pen dries in variations of grey while the Chameleon dries with hints of green and yellow in soft grey tones.


They're all different, I had a Stabilo black felt tip pen that dried showing bright blues :) Experiment with what you have and see what other colours appear.


To create a simple watercolour flower using a pen 'n wash technique...
A - draw a spiral with the pen.
B - 'paint' the spiral to activate the ink using the waterbrush.
C - pull out the ink with the brush using a flicking action.
D - pull out more colour to create more or longer petals or even curved petals.



Once your flower is dry, add some loops for petals and add dots and spots for the centre. I also added a few white spots. 


Its amazing the difference a few squiggles and spots can do!

The next picture I've drawn and then used my waterbrush to pull out the ink to give shadows and shape.


The next few closeups will give a better idea...

I like how sometimes things work out! The wash has made the seaweed look really bendy :)


This pic with the crab hiding in the sand  was drawn over the sandy wash. No water has been added to the seaweed or crab.


You can use the pen like regular paint simply by scribbling a small spot then adding water to it. 
I made a spot of paint like this to add extra swirls in the sea and behind the fast swimming fish. Use quickly as it will dry. Not all pens reactivate once dry (after being wet once).




Hope this has shown how simple watercolour can be and are inspired to have a go :) Sing out if you need help or have questions.

Thanks for reading my blog :D

Happy creative day!
:)
Jenny

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