Thursday, May 29, 2014

Drawing Pets

I discovered Craftsy today! I think it was an ad in Facebook, for a lesson on how to paint pets, for €15. At that price, I thought it was worth a try. And I had heard of Craftsy through a customer of mine who is into knitting and crochet. I just didn't realise that they also did fine arts. 

I had done a good drawing of our cat many years ago, but I had never pursued it beyond that drawing. As he is not getting any younger, the urge to paint him has come back. And also our dog now.

So I've watched the first part of the lesson, and I'm already diverging from the teacher's instructions. There is no way I could do a freehand drawing like that, even from a photograph. So I'm using a grid system, 2 cm on the original photo, 3 cm on the drawing.

I have a good bit more to do, but I'm pleased with the likeness so far. And I've picked up some useful tips from the teacher. Some of the students on the forum are complaining that the teacher doesn't explain enough about how to draw the animals, but this is not a basic drawing course, so I don't know what their expectation was. There will always be people who moan and blame others for their inadequacies! I just think this course is great value, and I'm looking forward to the painting bit!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 11

When you're so far behind as I am, you have to take shortcuts sometimes. So when I saw the challenge for Week 11, I was delighted - Draw, Photograph or Collage a bird onto your page!

I had the perfect candidate waiting for me - a little project I had done in my sketchbook back in January - The Crow - check the link if you want the steps to this really easy transfer method using packing tape!

So all that was left to do was to prepare a flap on which I can add my journal diary for next week. I found the Dealz blank postcards very useful for this - they're not too thick, but yet they take paint quite well. So I made circles - from the blog Me with My Head in the Clouds - very soothing - on one side and applied green paint with a brayer on the other and doodled dots and dates on the other side.  A little strip of washi tape to attach it to the page, and I called it done!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 10

Week 10 of the Documented Life Project challenges was to make a list of the things that make you you.

I used my usual background of acrylic paint applied with my brayer - as you know I hate to waste paint. I applied little photos that describe me and I surrounded them with lots of little marker golden dots.

Then I decided that I wanted to keep that page personal, so I added a flap - this time using tissue paper (I still haven't got around to buying deli paper, and I'm a believer in using what I have rather than buying more art supplies). Again I had used that tissue paper to use up the paint left on my brayer after a gelli print. I stamped my initials and also the stamp that I made for Week 6.

I called it done!

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 9

This week's movie title - The Time-traveller's Wife

Week 9 was to use something recycled and collage it - I decided to use a page from the Golden Pages - we always get the new edition in May, and the old one goes into the recycling bin.

  1. So I picked a page that was meaningful to me and applied it over a Gelli-printed page. The Gelli print was done using big bubble wrap - one of my favourites. I like it so much I actually have two bubble-wrap Gelli prints framed in our hallway
  2. I added a few words with an Urban stamp alphabet
  3. Doodled around some of the bubbles
  4. I had a wonderful time making circles, using an idea from a fellow DLP artist, Mary, from Me, With My Head in the Clouds - using the same Golden Pages page. I glued a few of those on my page
  5. On the calendar side, I glued a few lines from a cake wrap - beautiful pink and white, all fluffy and yummy. But I liked my bubble-wrap print so much I didn't want to cover it all.
  6. So I had to resort to adding a flap to the page - since I've discovered flaps, I can't get enough of them. I used a blank postcard (from a Dealz pack - € 1.49). 
  7. On the calendar side, I've applied pink with my Neocolor II pencil - not very elaborate - we'll have to see how it evolves over the week
  8. On the art side, I just had more fun with painted circles
  9. That's about it (a few doodles here, a few round stamps there, ...). So I called it done.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 8

I love it that the ladies from Art to the 5th came up with all these ideas to inspire creativity. So, I've now completed the Week 8 challenge - add a flap to your flap. I was glad of the tutorial video from Roben-Marie Smith, because I was really not sure about the technicalities of this project.

So here are the steps - deep breath, there's a lot of steps:
  1. Chose a page with colour on it - again left-over paint from a gelli print, applied with my brayer
  2. Chose a flap - I was thinking of using a postcard, then I found this card while tidying up - it was a thank-you card from a friend's daughter. I decided to use it because I thought it was really sweet she sent me a thank-you card - I didn't think the youth of today even knew how to post a letter. And also because I like the green and blue
  3. I cut a circular tab so I could insert a little message - thank you Roben-Marie Smith for the idea and instructions
  4. I glued a few little cut-out flowers (punched with a flower punch - the paper is a paint colour chart - I will be frequenting my local DYI store to raid these as often as I dare!)
  5. I cut an origami square with a print that I liked - these little arrows are gorgeous, so delicate - and glued strips in a couple of locations
  6. I cut my own arrow stamp - not quite so delicate, but pretty all the same.
  7. I applied a little Thank You note I found in my Japanese paper scraps
  8. I used a lovely set of dye inks I got in the Art&Hobby shop - I know dye inks are not archival quality, but they are so pretty, I couldn't resist.  And I printed arrows in lots of different locations
  9. I glued a beautiful Japanese stamp - you can never have too many Japanese stamps!
  10. I tore and glued bits of green paper from a craft set from Dealz
  11. I applied a tiny little Japanese sticker
  12. I added a personal note on the main page and a note to friends and family on the flap
  13. I hate throwing things away, so I glued the semi-circular cutout from step 3 to the back of my flap, and drew a few more arrows
  14. I applied washi tape to fix my flap to the top of the main page - again, thank you to Roben-Marie Smith for excellent video instructions on how to do that!
  15. I started my journal page on the other side - Neocolor II pencil, white dots, little stickers with numbers from an Urban Stamp rubber stamp kit, more arrows, and a few items from the start of my week. The rest of the week will be work work work, but it's nice to get a good start
  16. I called it done!
More photos below:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 7

The theme for the Week 7 Challenge was to draw a shape, repeat it and add colour. I was tempted to do circles, but looking at my pile of gelli prints, I thought rectangles would work better. And I was busy with Happy Mail this week, so decided to keep it simple

Here are my steps:

  1. Pick a page with a gelli print brayer leftover background - I wanted an urban feel
  2. Cut a few bright Gelli prints into small rectangles
  3. Move them around the page until I liked what I saw
  4. Glued them all on
  5. Added a bit of shadow with a Faber Castell PITT marker (sepia)
  6. Started drawing an urban landscape with the same marker
  7. Added more shadow with my Neocolor II pencils
  8. Cut a round moon from a leftover Gelli print - my Gyro-Cut was giving me trouble despite the new blade, but I managed it in the end - the bottom of my moon is a bit flat! 
  9. Glued it to the page
  10. Added a doodle border - sepia and white, keeping the same rectangular theme
  11. Pencilled in a little bit of light on the horizon (I was inspired by a post on Gelli Arts' facebook page by an artist called Kathleen Pequignot). I used my good old Caran d'Ache pencils - I already had those when I was still getting colouring books for Christmas presents - I do have a tendency to save my beloved art supplies. Somebody calls it hoarding!
  12. Called it done
  13. Then I added my to-do list for the day on the opposite page. 
    1. Picked a page from a hotel notebook (my favourite hotel in New York)
    2. Wrote my list
    3. Added pencil colour all around
    4. That's it!
Do you get the feeling that you can never complete even half the tasks on your To-Do list?

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Documented Life Project - Week 6

I nearly didn't get to work on this week's challenge - between work and dog, life is busy. So I decided to keep it simple - not so many steps.

  1. Find a Pinterest pin that inspires me. That's the challenge. And yes, I'm still 12 weeks behind everybody else. And despite the long weekend (May Bank Holiday), I won't get to do much more. So I started digging through my thousand + pins - I was looking for ideas around a lovely plant from the umbelliferae family, for which I had quite a few pins actually. The one that I decided to use was a pin on a board entitled Hogweed and Cow Parsley, and it is a piece of textile art by Kirsten Chursinoff, who makes beautiful pictures with thread and fabric. Since I am not about to embark on yet another art form, I decided to interpret the idea with a hand-made stamp
  2. As usual, I picked a page that I had already painted with left-over paint from Gelli printing. This one has a simple polka-dot theme from a free stencil I received from Gelli Arts when they sent me my Gelli plate, or was it from the UK distributor? 
  3. I then got to work on my stamp with my carve-a-stamp kit. This is the most intricate stamp I've ever done - yes, I'm a beginner - so I was worried that I might make it too chunky, or, cut through a stalk in my attempt to carve intricate detail. But it all worked out, and I'm rather pleased with the result. If it wasn't for this challenge, I don't think I would have tackled such an intricate stamp. So my thanks go to the ladies from Art to the 5th for their inspiration, or rather for helping me convert inspiration into actual art!
  4. I applied paint onto a label (with Distress Stain (Jim Holtz)), which I glued on the page
  5. Attached a cute little butterfly from a pack of Japanese stickers a friend sent me
  6. Glued a Japanese stamp
  7. Stamped "bank holiday" with a new set of Urban Stamps I got in town last week.
  8. Added doodle dots
  9. Attached cute little labels - these are from my attempt at gelli-printing onto a page of self-adhesive labels - for the most part, it was a failure as the labels became unstuck from the backing sheet when I lifted the print, but a few of them turned out ok
  10. Then, an after-thought - added a bit of washi tape - I think the red polka dots bring a little bit of colour to the whole thing
  11. I called it done! 11 steps only!

My carved stamp

Testing the stamp

Testing the stamp - I think I'll use this one in another project - too pretty to leave in a sketchpad

With the washi tape