Monday 27 September 2021

I made a watercolour journal

I recently made myself a watercolour journal, following an online workshop with France Papillon.  The journal course information is here, if you are interested.   It has a nice material cover which is loose at the moment, but once the pages are complete, they can be added into the journal cover with an elastic cord.   This allows the pages to grow if other media is added to them. The pages are bound with a sort of coptic binding, so that they lie flat when you want to work on them.  I found the binding a bit tricky and it certainly isn't as tight as it should be, but for a first attempt, it's fine. 
I had a go at an abstract page with added doodling in black and white pen, inspired by a Youtube video (Nianiani) here.
This iris painting was one of the six I did for part of my art journal mixed media course (Wanderlust 2021)
Here is another of the six iris paintings. (This journal was a good place to put them).
(image from Amazon)
I would like to be more confident with watercolours, particularly loose, abstract images,  so bought this book to help me with that.  Although I don't necessarily subscribe to some of the author's ideas, I do like a lot of the lessons.
This is my first attempt at one of them - Ancient Song - using a poetry/ballad rhyming scheme (ABABBCBCAC plus D) and choosing colours to correspond to the letters.  The D was the addition of gold.  I really enjoyed this and will do it again with different colours. I will also use a fine liner pen to add the vertical lines, rather than the chunky pencil crayon I chose - I think it will look better with a more delicate line.  There are lots more really lovely lessons to try, so I will enjoy working my way through them. 

Sunday 19 September 2021

Treasures in the garden

There is that feeling of autumn, particularly today as it is raining, but the garden has been so dry that it is good to get some rain.  There are a couple of little areas that I am particularly enjoying at the moment.  Above is my collection of cyclamen hederifolium, with their dainty pink flowers and marbled leaves.  Two of these I rescued as they had self seeded and started growing in cracks between the patio paving.  They would have been walked on, so I had to intervene and they have rewarded me by flowering. 
They are such little beauties, aren't they?  They are on the patio at the back, in a nice shady area.
In a complete contrast, here are some bigger treasures to enjoy.  Helianthus Lemon Queen (perennial sunflower) which is bringing a touch of sunshine despite the clouds.  It can be a bit invasive, but it has to compete with asters and a rose, so it is kept under control.  I think the rose is winning at the moment!
It has such bright and cheerful flowers.
They make me smile (and the insects really like them too).

Monday 13 September 2021

Latest cards

My card making has continued and I like to take photos of the cards so that I can remember what I did and what worked.
I do like Clean and Simple cards and these are sometimes the most difficult to make successfully.  Inky fingers can be a big problem!
I have been using my dye inks/Distress inks a lot, both for backgrounds... 
more backgrounds...
..and for focal points.
There have been mainly birthday cards but the occasional anniversary one too.
Florals have been a go-to choice.
Whether die cuts are used...
...or just stamping.
Just some of my most recent cards - I am definitely improving and becoming more confident. I need to start on festive cards next, so that I am not rushing around at the last minute!

Sunday 5 September 2021

Wanderlust 2021 - weeks thirty-three to thirty-six - Rainbows

The theme for these weeks was 'Rainbows'.  For week thirty-three, we chose a landscape photo that meant something to us and then looked at David Hockney's landscapes, noting his mark making and use of colour.  We then created our photo in that style, using contrasting and complementary colours.  My photo was one I took in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
Week thirty-four was more rainbow colour-inspired and was about colour and texture.  I used watercolour sparkle inks and had fun letting the inks drip down the page.  
Week thirty-five was an abstract flower painting, using a 'mother colour'.  This was a new concept to me, where you choose one colour to be the mother colour and then add a tiny bit of that colour to all the other colours you use, to create a harmonious colour palette.  My mother colour was that lovely teal blue/green.  
Week thirty-six involved going for a walk or into the garden and seeing what flowers there were.  I picked these two little posies from the garden for my page.
Lots of pink and purple, but a punch of orange and yellow too.  We then made a colour swatch of the colours we could see and made some ink and pencil sketches of parts of the flowers.
I really enjoyed this and spent a very happy couple of hours yesterday.

The next theme is 'Haven'.  I have already signed up for Wanderlust 2022 as I have really enjoyed this year's course and can honestly say it is one of the best things I have bought.  The course has a different structure next year, with the themes being over seven weeks and focusing on specific materials.  I am really looking forward to it but am pleased to say there are still more lessons to enjoy in this year's course.