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Posts Tagged ‘visual journal’

Another one of the journals I worked on in the Journey of Journals project and returned home and I am able to post photos of the pages I created as well as the few pages that were in the journal when I received it. The theme of this journal was Strength.

Note: if you right-click any of the images and select View Image, you will be able to see a larger, more detailed image.

The journal is handmade with a vibrant fabric wrapped around paper signatures that are stitched into the fabric. Paula, the journal’s creator, did a beautiful job of connecting her imagery to the journal’s design.

The theme of this journal was strength. Paula's intro page included a small envelope for everyone to include their name.

Her first spread is a mixed-media illustration. I love how she used different patterns and textures to create the design. The layering of items gives the pages a sense of depth and history.

Paula's second spread is layered with rich, vibrant colors and images.

My spread was created by altering a photo of a wolf I took at the International Wolf Center in MN. The image was printing on plain paper using an ink jet printer. I used a translucent, white, iridescent paint on the photo to give the image an otherworldly glow. Inks were added to the dark areas to increase contrast.

Another photo from my visit to the wolf center was used for my second spread. Multiple paint and gel medium layers were used to give the photo a painterly effect.

You can view the Strength journal in its entirety at the following link: Paula’s Journal.

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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’ve been dabbling in photography as an adjunct to art journals and sketching. I struggle with creating technically correct photographs, but a recent experiment yielded some interesting images that didn’t require me to be technically perfect. The subject was a dull, winter, Kentucky landscape, that would be boring, even if taken by a professional photographer. With a little help from Photoshop, I was able to transform these lifeless photos into something artistic.

These landscape blurs were created by moving my camera while exposing the shot. Using Adobe Photoshop to edit the images, I pumped up the color to enhance the otherwise dull images and the results are more art than photography. The real surprise was the rich textures and colors that appeared when I pushed the colors beyond safe levels.

I can see using this technique to create rich colorful backgrounds in future art journals or as a base for a collage or mixed-media art. If you have used this technique in one of your art journals or artwork, I’d love to know more about your project.

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Laser transfer in an Ecosystems Sketchbook

This final image was created using a combination laser transfer, acrylic paint and oil pastel.

I love combining digital art with traditional art and one easy way to combine the two is by using laser transfers from your laser printer in combination with paints on paper.

This image was created using a laser transfer as the base image in my Ecosystems Sketchbook with layers of acrylic and oil pastel on top. Laser transfers are not acid-free, but by covering the image with acrylics and a final coating at the end, you will be able to make it last long enough to enjoy it. Please note that this method uses chemicals that should only be used in a well-ventilated area and that you should take adequate precautions when using petroleum-based thinners. Please read the precaution on the can of the product you are using and follow the safety instructions.

A color laser print out of a medallion was used to make the base image. I did not create a mirror image because I didn't care if the image was reversed from the way it was originally created. If you are using type or another image that needs to be in a specific orientation, be sure to you your printer's settings to print an inverted or mirror image of your design or photo.

To start, I designed and printed out an image using my drawing program. I intentionally used bright, saturated colors because some of the intensity is lost during the transfer process and I wanted my base image to be visible below several layers of paint. If I would have used lighter colors, the image would have been much more subtle. I printed the image on a color laser, but you can also transfer black and white laser images using this method.

Next, I placed the image face down onto my journal. Once the image was positioned, I applied a rag saturated with lacquer thinner to the back of the laser print and rubbed it into the page until I could see the image through the back of the paper. Note: It will take some experimentation to learn how your thinner works with your laser print, so if you are unsure of what results you will get, try the transfer first on a scrap piece of paper until you are happy with the results.

I applied the thinner to the entire image and burnished it to press the color into the paper. More burnishing produces stronger images although the transfer will never be as clear and sharp as the original printout. If you require more perfect transfers, other techniques which add another layer of material will work better such as Lasertran and inkjet transfers or Water Slide Decals.

Laser transfer in an art journal.

Once the transfer was complete, I peeled away the color laser print out to reveal the image. Note the image is much softer than the original printout. This is quite normal and is to be expected using this technique. I can give your art an aged look that is difficult to achieve by hand.

The final image transfer. Note how it is much softer than the original print.

The image transfer. Note how it is much softer than the original print.

I added metallic gold, acrylic paint that had been thinned with water to create a shimmery, aged look. It took several layers of this to build up enough color to create the effect I was after.

I added metallic gold, acrylic paint that had been thinned with water to create a shimmery, aged look. It took several layers of this to build up enough color to create the effect I was after.

Art Journal

I used multiple layers of acrylic paints of different colors to add depth and intensity.

Adding text to an art journal.

Once I had the background color the way I liked it and the paint was dry, I added horizontal pencil lines so I would be able add aligned text on top of the image. The pencil lines were very light to not obstruct the image.

The final image including hand-written text.

I added hand-written text on top of the art using a white oil pastel. The oil pastel is dense and enabled me to create opaque, cursive text on top of the image. Once I was finished, I coated the entire piece with a clear acrylic spray to seal it and to prevent the oil pastel from transferring to paper or hands. The sealer also protect the artwork from dirt, grime and moisture.

this is filler

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Copic markers are now available at JournalingArts.com.

Copic markers are now available at JournalingArts.com.

For those of you who love top-of-the-line art supplies, you’ll be glad to know that Copic Sketch and Ciao Markers are now available at Journalingarts.com. Copic Markers are alcohol-based permanent markers which are non-toxic, acid-free and blend smoothly on paper. They were used for decades exclusively by professionals around the world including architects, illustrators and designers, and now they have become popular among the hobby industry for scrapbooking, card-making, models, ceramics and other artistic projects.

I couldn’t resist experimenting with a set of Sketch Markers in my Moleskine Watercolor Journal along with some watercolors and water-soluble pastels. Since water-based and alcohol-based inks do not smear or alter each other, I was able to use the Sketch markers on top of the watercolors without smearing or altering the first layer of color. Because the Sketch Markers are permanent, they do bleed through most uncoated papers, so I primed the page first with gesso to prevent bleedthrough.

Copic Sketch Markers were used with watercolors and Aquarelle water-soluable pastels in this mixed media piece.

Copic Sketch Markers were used with watercolors and Aquarelle water-soluble pastels in this mixed media piece.

Copic Ciao Markers

Copic Ciao Markers set 72A

Copic Sketch Markers Papercrafting 72 A

Copic Sketch Markers Papercrafting Colors Set 72 A

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I thought it would be appropriate to create a pencil sketch in Ecosystem’s Sketchbook since this is what it is designed for. According to the folks at Ecosystem, this journal is named the Artist and it shares the same great features as their planners and journals. It is made from 100% post consumer recycled paper and is entirely made in America.

Pencil sketching was predictable on the paper. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth shading.

The paper is bright white, fairly smooth and has just a little bit of tooth. The slight texture is visible in areas where the shading was the darkest, but this is typical with most papers and it adds a bit of softness to the illustration. I was able to create crisp lines and smooth blends without any issues. Overall, it is quite nice to sketch on although it would be nicer if the paper were a little bit thicker.

This is another image from an Affirmation Journal I started to aid in creativity. More will follow soon.

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Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

Affirmation Journal spread created with acrylic paint and pen and ink.

I have been using a variety of mediums in an affirmation journal I am in the process of creating. This spread was created using acrylic paint. The abstract design was inspired by the hand design on the cover that I previously blogged about. To get a better idea of the flow of this journal, please see my earlier reviews Illustrating the Cover of an Ecosystem Large Sketchbook and Color Laser Transfer in an Ecosystem Sketchbook.

The watercolor paint and parts of the laser transfer from the previous page had bled through the paper a bit leaving me with a hand shape and backwards letter on this two page spread. This inspired me to continue the theme and to create an abstract flower.

The laser transfer from the previous page bled through a bit, which inspired me to create an abstract hand image for this spread.

To start, I outlined the hand shape on the left page and applied paint within the pencil lines. The remaining color and design was added on top using a brush.

To start, I added paint on top of the had image that showed through the page.

Ecosystem Sketchbook

I painted only on the left page, so I could press the pages together and create a mirror image.

When I had finished painting the left page, I closed the journal and pressed the painting onto the right page, creating a mirror image.

I pressed the pages together by closing the journal. When I opened it again, I had a good background for my image.

The paper buckled quite a bit during the painting process, but flattened out somewhat when the paint dried. There was a little bit of show through on the backside, but nothing major. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend using acrylic paints with the Ecosystem Sketchbook. The paper ends up very wavy and the pages were weakened where it is perforated. Perhaps in the future I will try again using a primer of some sort.

Once the initial layer was dry, I repeated the process using additional pinks, golds and yellows.

I used pen and ink to create the text. The ink was very compatible with the paper in the Ecosystem Sketchbook. There was no feathering, show through or bleed through and the lines were crisp and black against the bright white paper.

The final illustration including text.

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