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Posts Tagged ‘moleskine sketchbook’

This past weekend, as I looked through my back window, I realized the trees overlapped to form the letter “W”, so this is how I chose my subject for this letter. I went back to using the Tombow Drawing Pencils because I love how they work with this paper.

This day was sunny and beautiful and I found myself becoming entranced with the patterns on the bark of the trees. I hadn’t realized how geometric the bark was until I really took a look at it. The tree of the left had patterns that reminded me of a flowing river and I was struck with how patterns seem to repeat themselves in nature.

The Letter W Presented Itself Within the Branches of the Trees In My Backyard. The Patterns of the Bark are Similar to Other Patterns in Nature.

The Letter "W" Presented Itself Within the Branches of the Trees In My Backyard. The Patterns of the Bark are Similar to Other Patterns in Nature.

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I was inspired by the space within the letter “U”, so my illustration has this as its focal point. The charcoal I used provided a intense black contrast to the paper and was easy to smudge. The pattern of the paper’s texture is evident in the smudged areas, but I like the effect.

Charcoal Works Well on the Moleskine Sketchbook Paper and the Blends Take on the Pattern of Papers Texture.

Charcoal Works Well on the Moleskine Sketchbook Paper and the Blends Take on the Pattern of Paper's Texture.

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While technically this illustration was not created within the pages of the Moleskine Sketchbook, it was pasted in using a gel medium. This method can be used for creating collage-type images for your journaling projects in which you want to create a soft effect with a texture that is similar to an acrylic painting. It is also a great method to use on cards or for making art to hand on your walls.

This collage was created in Photoshop using photos from a vacation I took to Jekyll Island. To add softness and wear to the illustration that is reminiscent of the sea shore, I added the pastel filter to give the image an illustrated look. You don’t need to filter your photos for this method to work well, I chose to do this as an artistic choice. The collage was printed on a color laser printer to which I applied a thick layer of Golden gel medium over the image area. The gel medium was allowed to dry overnight. Once dry, I ran the image under water to remove the paper from the gel medium by gently rubbing the paper until it was completely removed and set it aside and allowed it to dry.  The color from the laser printer remained embedded in the gel medium. From there, it was a simple matter of applying more of the gel medium to the paper in the sketchbook and pressing the gelled image into the medium and allowing to dry.The gel medium I used was a soft gel with a matte finish. For sharper images, you can use a gel with a glossy finish.

This image has 2 letter T’s, one which was completely accidental. I added a green T on the right page intentionally, but the T that appeared in the center of the collage was a happy accident. Once I realized the surprise T was there, I opted to add a T that was sans serif to repeat the one created in the illustration.

A Gel Meduim Was Used to Capture and Paste the Collage Into My Moleskine Sketchbook.

A Gel Medium Was Used to Capture and Paste the Collage Into My Moleskine Sketchbook.

The Gel Medium Provides a Textured Surface Similar to that of an Acrylic Painting. It also Gives a Softened Look to the Images.

The Gel Medium Provides a Textured Surface Similar to that of an Acrylic Painting. It also Gives a Softened Look to the Images that was Reminiscent of the Sea Shore.

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I wanted to add some bumpy texture to these pages using crepe paper and acrylic to create a texture that appeared to have some age. Thick blobs of blue acrylic paint were smeared on the pages and thin, white crepe paper was pressed into the paint. I bunched the paper to create thick wrinkles and set it aside to dry before adding additional layers of acrylic to shadow and highlight the texture. Silver was rubbed across the raised areas to create highlights after I rubbed black in the crevices to add some dimension. Overall, I am pretty pleased with the texture that resulted from this process and can see application working well on the kraft covers of a Moleskine Cahier or another cardboard type journal. The letter “S” was added  using a typeface with a spiral design and silver metallic pen to be compatible with the silver on the previous page.

The Letter S was Created with Metallic Marker and Lots of Background Texture.

The Letter "S" was Created with Metallic Marker and Lots of Background Texture.

Crepe Paper Pressed into Thick Acrylic Paint Created a Rich, Wrinkled Texture that was Ideal for Shadows and Highlights.

Crepe Paper Pressed into Thick Acrylic Paint Created a Rich, Wrinkled Texture that was Ideal for Shadows and Highlights.

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The upper case letter R has such a beautiful form. I like how the straight stilt-like strokes seem to balance the bulbous shape and it reminds me somewhat of a pregnant woman. I wanted to accentuate the rounded shape, so I cut out the right side of the letter, exposing the page below. I was surprised to find that the stem of the R created a working kickstand for the journal.

I used water pastels for color, and stroked the color with a square foam brush to give it a chunky texture. The brush was wet, but not drippy, so I was able to apply the water with minimal buckling of the paper. Adding the water in this manner gives a smooth, streaky appearance with more intense color near the edges of the brush. The rounded form on the R inspired me to create spirals as a background pattern on top of the soft color, which adds a bit of contrast to show off the letter better

By Using a Damp Foam Brush, I was Able to Add Water to the Watercolor Pastels with Minimal Buckling of the Moleskine Sketchbook Paper.

By Using a Damp Foam Brush, I was Able to Add Water to the Watercolor Pastels with Minimal Buckling of the Moleskine Sketchbook Paper.

The Stem of the Letter R Makes a Workable Kickstand in my Moleksine Sketchbook

The Stem of the Letter R Makes a Workable Kickstand in my Moleksine Sketchbook

Detail of the Metallic Spiral Background.

Detail of the Metallic Spiral Background.

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I was looking to do something more interesteing when I created these letters so I decided to cut into the paper in the sketchbook and create three interconnected letters. The letter “O”  on the right page was created from a cut out that is shared by the letter “P” on the reverse page. The illustration of “O” including lines with the silver circle in the center “O” is actually part of the letter “Q” that peeks through the cutout. I had to create all three letters at the same time to keep things lined up. First, I cut out the shape of a backwards “D” into the sketchbook paper on the right “O” page. This forms the outline/shape for most of the “O”, but the right side of the cutout was truncated to form the  stem on the “P” on the reverse. Concentric circles were drawn to reinforce the circular shape of the letter which borrows the center of it’s design from the underlying letter “Q”. Because of the graphic nature of the design, I used bright, flashy colors including red, black and metallic silver.

In filling in the large areas of black, I did notice a peculiarity with the paper. It seemed to have had lots of little white specks that did not accept the color well when I used a water-based marker. These tiny areas appeared to be non-porous. I did not have this problem when I used solvent markers or pen & ink, it only occurred with the watercolor markers. It is definitely something to consider if you are planning on using water-based markers in your Moleskine sketchbook.

Shapes Were Cut Into the Pages of My Moleskine Sketchbook to Create the Letter O and P.

Shapes Were Cut Into the Pages of My Moleskine Sketchbook to Create the Letter "O" and "P". The Letter "O" borrows it's design from the underlying "Q".

When You Lift the Page, You Can See How the Cut Out Was Formed that Creates an O on the Front Side and a P on the Reverse.

When You Lift the Page, You Can See How the Cutout Creates an "O" on the Front of the Page and a "P" on the Reverse.

The letter “P” is on the backside of letter “O” and was created from the D-shaped cutout. The horizontal lines unite all of the pages and form the background on the design for “O”, “P” and “Q”. These horizontal lines help mask the cutout and make it less obvious and provide a nice contrast to the circular patterns. The corner of the “O” page was cut to add some interest to the “P” and “Q” pages and to add some pop to the “O” on the reverse. Because of the similarity of the letters “P” and “Q”, I could not resist placing them next to each other on the same spread. They form the perfect mirror image.

The Cutout Used for the P is the Backside of the Cutout Used for the Letter O

The Cutout Used for the "P" is also Used for the Letter "O" on the Reverse.

The Letters P and Q are so Similar, I Couldnt Resist Putting them Together on the Same Page.

The Letters "P" and "Q" are so Similar, I Couldn't Resist Putting them Together on the Same Page.

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Tired of the 2-dimensional images I’ve been creating, I wanted to try something different. Letter “N” is a pop-up letter that was created from some old business card stock I had laying around the office. Because the tone of the “N”and the background colors were so similar, I opted for a horizontal format for the background to add some much needed contrast to offset the vertical line of the letter. I used my Tombow Dual Brush Markers to create the watery background for quick and easy color. A few simple tabs were included in the design of the letter that were later folded and glued into the pages of the Moleskine Sketchbook. It took some experimentation to get the letter to pop up when the pages were opened, but I manged to get it to pop up slightly. I could have gone for more pop, but this could have kept me occupied for hours to get just the right pop and I was not in the mood to obsess over the height of my pop at the time. Perhaps I will experiment with this on another letter down the line.

Letter N is a Pop-Up Letter and Was a Nice Diversion from 2-Dimensional Wrok.

Letter "N" is a Pop-Up Letter and Was a Nice Diversion from 2-Dimensional Art Work.

If you are designing a journal or scrapbook for a child a pop-up letter or picture would be a great surprise for the reader. It is relatively simple to do and has a big impact. This pop up was created by making a few folds on the letter and gluing it down.

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