Back story: Day by day, I add to my art journal. Over several days I complete a spread. And then I begin again. These are my notes where I reflect on my pages and record what I learn. If you're curious about how much time I spend and generally why I spend time in my art journal, I can tell you this: Some days I spend only five minutes, some days I look up after an hour or more, and some days—yes, I skip. But most days, I art journal. I do not art journal to record time, but to make it a practice to BE in time. Time to be creative, to experiment, to play and to learn. It’s a regular date with myself. Like what I used to do on the yoga mat. Breathe. Check in. How are you? How’s the universe? What should we create today? This is my practice.
January 28-31: Beauty Feels Like Love
On a mission to experiment more with ink, I used liquid permanent ink and water to create the bright multi-colored background. Then I painted my first face with acrylics to appear in any of my art journals. I've been avoiding faces—I'm not really interested in making whimsical faces or realistic portraits—but I've decided that I'd love to develop a stylized woman of my own someday to represent parts of me in my artwork, and I know that must come after I learn how to paint a basic face. First steps first. So that's one of the reasons why I'm focusing on faces in my February mastery series and that's why I painted her here in this spread. What better place to learn than in my AJ? I studied a few videos first, particularly Effy Wild's lady in the fourth week of her current Book of Days workshop series (of which I am a member) as well as Andrea Wolford's guest post on Donna Downey's blog. Both were very helpful to get me started!
How I mixed the media
Dr. PH Martin's Bombay India Ink, acrylic paint, permanent ink black pens (Farber-Castel & Micron), stencils, stamps—and oh, there's some negative stencil stamping in the background that was clean-up from a prior page...
What I like about this page
◊ The colors of the ink in the background. India ink is both transluscent and saturated, bright color. And permanent so of course any wet media on top is fine.
◊ The quick journaling around the edge - captures the time I worked on this spread.
◊ I do like my first girl, despite the fact that I also have many criticisms. But I do like the nose and mouth and the shading...and the purple irises (which was in the background, not painted in)...and the blurred lashes.
What I learned
◊ How to paint a face! It's not perfect, but I understand the magic, now, of blending paint.
◊ Ink and water is a nice way t spread rich color around.
What I could have improved
◊ Well, the eyes aren't right, I know. Way too big and out of proportion--and actually in a style that isn't compatible with the rest of her features (whimsical in more realistic face, I think).
◊ I really don't know how to paint hair!
◊ Shading skills still need development.
◊ The ink background could have been blended better. Ink dries super fast, even with water, so it will take some practice.
◊ I could have worked with the background to develop the landscape more.
Notes for future
Continue taking risks. Practice with more faces. Play with the techniques used in the facial features.
I hope my notes give you some ideas for your own creative work. Thanks for stopping by!