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Posts Tagged ‘Moleskine Japanese Album’

The completed journal from a recent journal swap.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of a worldwide journal swap that took place between the members of CoachCreativeSpace.com. Not only did I start a journal that was sent to 6 other artists, but I also had the privilege of creating pages in those 6 artists journals. The results were awesome and I feel like I really got to know my artist friends by working in their journals and seeing the work they created in mine.

My journal was themed Connected. I chose the theme because eventually, we would all be connected by our work. I used a large Moleskine Accordion Journal (Japanese Album) to enhance the theme because its pages are connected, zig-zagging throughout. The only request I made to my artist friends was that they somehow found a way to connect their art to the previous artists. How they did that was entirely up to them.

The first 2 pages included the front cover ilustration and a note to my fellow artists.

For my illustration, I sketched a marker illustration of a distant treeline with a lone, bare tree.

I created my illustration using my Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Since the markers are water-based, I didn’t have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. I ended my illustration diagonally, half way through my page and the next artist’s page with the hope that she would start on the empty space on my page, which she did.

Nita's connecting images used the same colors that I did to make the transition. Her images were more abstract at first, but morphed into the image of a jet.

The images following the jet were created by Sue which perhaps were inspired by the journey of this particular journal which traveled to the UK and Canada before making its way home to the US.

Sue's post box illustration blends fluidly into the next 2 images by Nancy. The page on the right is the last page of the front side, so Nancy had to continue her illustration on the second side.

Nancy had the task of having to create something that flowed in the middle of the book. She had to illustrate the last 2 pages of the front side of the accordion and the first 2 pages of the back side.

This is the continuation of Nancy’s artwork from the front side.
The next spread shows the journey the journal made, highlighted by tiny rhinestones for the location of each artist.

Jean illustrated a map of the journey the journal took to the various artists. You can see more of Jean’s work on her blog, A Joyful Spirit.

The next spread continued the dotted graphics from the previous spread, blending with images and names of all the artists involved in the journal swap.

Lotus, created an illustration, connecting all of the artist in the swap. You can see more of her creative journals at her blog, WhymsicalLotus.

The final spread in the journal ends with more travel inspired images.

Finally, the final spread in the journal features birds in flight illustrated by Paula in New Mexico.

An overall view of the completed journal and its zig-zag pages.

Once the other artists journals are finished, I will be posting some of the artwork I created, so be sure to check back for more art journal images.

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I wanted to use my Tombow Mono Drawing Pencils last night, so it drew a pencil sketch of Frosti in the Moleskine Japanese Album. The paper, is much like that in the Moleskine Sketchbook. It is fairly thick and smooth with a coating on the paper that is slightly water resistant. Even with a fairly hard lead, I was able to blend the pencil lines easily on the smooth paper. My lines erased clean without leaving any graphite behind. The paper is fine for pencil sketches, but there is a quirk about the journal I  don’t like.

After working with the Moleskine Japanese Album in my lap for a few sketches, I decided that I would prefer using it on a hard surface. The accordion style of the pages can become a little cumbersome when perched on a leg or other unstable surface. The pages tended to open up and fall out unless I was very still and working flat. By working on a hard surface I was able to open the accordian pages all the way and have a firm surface below the pages in use. Sketching on the notebook when it is opened like a book, the zig zag pages feel springy underneath, which can be irritating if you are trying to create a tight drawing. If anyone has a creative solution for this, I would be interested in hearing about it.

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I came home from a big box office supply store the other day with a few goodies. The most exciting was a huge set of 120 colored pencils by Prismacolor. I had not used this brand of colored pencils before and they were on clearance, so needless to say I had to have them.

I’ve been inspired by my dog Frosti lately, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a quick sketch of him using my new colored pencils. I am in the process of finishing a mini album of him using a Moleskine Japanese Album, so this is where I would do my first drawing with the Prismacolor pencils. I won’t do a full review in this post, but will do one sometime in the near future using a few different notebooks with the pencils.

Frosti rendered in Prismacolor colored pencils in a Moleskine Japanese Album

Frosti rendered in Prismacolor colored pencils in a Moleskine Japanese Album

The Japanese album has a smooth, thick paper, not ideal for colored pencils, but acceptable. Paper with a bit more tooth would be preferable because the pencils are somewhat waxy and would blend better on a paper with more texture. The areas where I used a lot of pressure ended up appearing somewhat shiny and have a burnished look. This is not usually how I like my pencils drawings to look, but it could be interesting in the right situation. I also noticed some tiny off-white specks, similar to the ones I discovered on the paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook. These specks do not take color very well and I am assuming that they are the result of a coating on the paper and have nothing to do with the pencils.

I was pleased with the selection of grays in the set. A good variety of both warm and cool grays in both light and dark tones would be perfect to render my furry, white dog.  There were a lot of interesting colors in the set including some metallics and fluorescent colors. While not much use for this illustration I can see using them in some other illustrations down the line. I found myself using the darker pencils first, getting lighter as I went along. I was able to blend the darker colors and smooth them out by using pressure with a light gray or white pencil. This created a nice softening effect and was easy to do with the smooth surface of the paper. Maybe this smooth paper wasn’t so bad after all.

If you look closely in the dark area of the eyes, you can see small specks of off-white where the color was not accepted. This is something in the paper and is not a problem with the colored pencils.

If you look closely in the dark area of the eyes, you can see small specks of off-white where the color was not accepted. This is something in the paper and is not a problem with the colored pencils.

By the time I had finsihed the illustration, I was comfortable using this combination. I can’t wait to do a few more of these in some other notebooks.

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Frosti was sleeping next to me while I was watching a movie. He looked so cute while he was sleeping that I just had to capture it on paper. I started with a pencil sketch, which eventually turned into a pen & ink rendering.

Frosti in his normal state, sleeping at my side.
Frosti in his normal state, sleeping at my side.

I decided to sketch in an unfinished Moleskine Japanese Album I started years ago. The paper is ivory in color which I thought would be a nice backdrop for crisp black line. No surprises with the paper, it was smooth and accepted the ink well without feathering or bleed through. Even though the paper is similar to the paper in the Moleskine Sketchbook, it does not have the same coating as the sketchbook. The paper is more porous making it a better choice for washes or watercolors.

I sketched the illustration in a Moleskine Japanese Album that I had started years ago.

I sketched the illustration in a Moleskine Japanese Album that I had started years ago.

The plain black cover of the Japanese Album lends itself perfectly for customizing. I pasted a photgraph of Frosti on the cover to illustrate the albums contents.

The plain black cover of the Japanese Album lends itself perfectly for customizing. I pasted a photograph of Frosti on the cover to illustrate the album's contents.

The format of the Moleskine Japanese Album is unique. It consists of 60 zig zag pages that allow you to create long visual stories or extra wide landscape illustrations. In this case, I am using it as a small photo, memory album of Frosti. I would like to explore this more in the future as the backdrop for a panoramic illustration or even an animation sequence. More on that later.

The zig zag pages in the Moleskine Japanese Album are great for creating a continuous photo or art story.

The zig zag pages in the Moleskine Japanese Album are great for creating a continuous photo or art story.

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