Recently I had the opportunity to take a two-session class on drawing whimsical animals. Seeing as I can’t even draw a good stick figure, I felt a “whimsical” class would suit me better than taking a “realistic” animal drawing class. Besides, I feel whimsical animals are better suited to my mixed media pieces than realistic animals.
We worked on the basics like eye placement and how changing the eyes and eye brows can totally affect the mood portrayed by the animal.
After copying different animals the instructor provided, we worked on our first mixed media piece. The teacher asked that we include at least two animals and there be some kind of story between them. This is what I came up with.
Putting clothes on animals is a sure way to add whimsy. I even gave my rabbit red boots to wear with her flowered dress.
We had a week between classes so I practiced drawing all kinds of whimsical animals. Here are some of my practice pieces.
The second session had us copying one of the instructors pictures. The funny thing was, I thought her animal was a deer and my other classmate thought it was a rabbit. The teacher said it was actually a peacock. Since only the head was showing, we all saw it a different way. So our instruction was to copy her picture, but make the animal into what we wanted it to be. Here is just the head shot of my funny deer.
I had a lot of fun in that class and I am quickly filling up a journal with funny animal doodles. My goal is to create several animals in a style that is completely my own.
If you are in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area. You can find the drawing whimsical animals class at Lord and Lilly’s, 611 Caroline Street, 540-371-1333.
Drawing whimsical animals or people is an ideal outlet for those of us who are stick-figure challenged!
I was lucky enough to purchase this big bunch of old hand written and typed letters recently.
I really had no idea what I was going to do with them. I looked around my craft desk and my Twinkling H2o’s (shimmering watercolor paints) were still at hand so they were the medium of choice.
So I just sat down and made a big mess with lots of paint and water. It was really quite fun.
I used every color of H2o’s I had in different combinations. After playing and letting the letters dry, this is what I had.
But now what? I knew I could tear some of the papers up to use in mixed media pieces or my art journal but I had another idea.
These fun little stamps were also still on my craft desk so I decided to use them on some of the paper and make a bunch of small embellishments.
I think they turned out really cute and they have an awesome crackling paper texture. Now I am ready to made an art journal page using some of these cute little embellishments that were made from just messing around!
As you may know from reading some of my latest blogs, I am getting ready to do the Vintage Home Market Show in Richmond. I have been very busy making jewelry, aprons and home decor items for this show as well as planning which antiques to bring. All I can say is that I have not had a lot of time to “play art”. I have managed to snatch a few minutes here and there to make a couple of pieces. Three of these are in one of my art journals and the other was made on 3 magazine pages that were glued together and then covered with gesso. So without further ado, and because I’m still working on last-minute details for the show, here is a quick look at my most current mixed media pieces. Enjoy!
We all celebrate birthdays in our own way with our own little traditions. I have never been one to love having parties in my honor, and NEVER surprise parties. It’s just not my thing. Well yesterday was my birthday and I had a wonderful day, in my own way.
After I dropped Adam off at school I went to my parents house for a cup of coffee. Oh wait, it was two cups of coffee. Wee! That fired me up to go….
to work!!! I had some merchandise to put in my booths so I worked for about 1 1/2 hours. Whew! I love my job and I love being the captain of my own ship even more. My reward for working so hard (haha) was a trip to…..
Goodwill. I actually had some donations to drop off but it is against my nature to be this close without actually going in, right? So I spend some time leisurely browsing and found these treasures.
A bright pink tinsel Christmas tree, a hand painted tole trashcan and a vintage metal drinking glasses carrier. If any of you know me well enough, nothing in this group would surprise you. So after purchasing these goodies I treated myself to a trip to….
Michaels. I mean what’s a birthday without stopping at a craft store? So I spent a bunch of time looking at all the crafty goodness and ended up with these…..
I know, I showed tremendous restraint but these are two things I’ve really wanted for a while. The colored pencils are actually watercolor pencils and can be used wet or dry. As the name says, they turn into water colors when you get the paper wet. The little canvases are 3″ x 3″ and are just waiting to get the mixed media treatment. You don’t even know how happy this little purchase makes me! But by now I was getting a little peckish so I went to…
Wegmans. They have an amazing prepared food section but I avoided that and got two of my favorites.
A spicy Asiago cheese flat-bread and some Greek olive and feta salad from the olive bar. You would be hard pressed to find a better $2.73 meal anywhere else! And if the food wasn’t good enough, I chose a better location than Wegmans food court to eat it in. I decided on a beautiful Spring day I needed to be by the….
Rappahannock River. It was truly lovely sitting on my blanket watching the scenery and enjoying my delicious lunch. Alas, I had to move on to one last destination before it would be time to pick Adam up from school. I know this will get a moan out of most of you, however, I enjoy going to……
the gym. I went and heaved rocks around for an hour and then had to go pick Adam up from school. I forgot to take pictures of the evening, but my parents came to Bowling Green and took us all out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We had a wonderful time and capped off the evening with big slices of cake (yes, of course it was chocolate) and tea. So you see, I had a wonderful birthday spent my way!!!
P.S. I want to thank every one of you who took the time to wish me a happy birthday. Because my friends and family are really what made the day so great!!!
All I can say is, “AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH”! This is not as easy as I thought it would be, even with Tammy from Daisy Yellows great suggestions. Just to recap, yesterday’s page (page 1) was too thought out and not free enough. So for today, I decided to try to let myself go and enjoy the process, which is what art journaling is all about. Well I did that and I HATE the result. I think I tried so hard not to do what I usually do, that there is a rigidity in the opposite direction. Does that make sense? Anyway, this journal page is not me or my style at all. BUT, I did learn some things which will help in the future.
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Now, being the genius I am, I first had to look up what the heck Cadmium Yellow and Vermilion are. Basically I came up with mustard yellow and dried blood red. I decided to use water color paper and water colors since I don’t usually use them.
I should have just stopped here. This is when the page looked its best. Then I followed her directions to add some words, and images and more paints and doodles and whatever. Then this wonderful background became this…
I’m actually embarrassed to even show it, but I promised. The only good thing about this train wreck is that I learned some stuff.
1. Water color paper takes a very long time to dry
2.Water color paper curls up and must be pressed a lot
3. My sharpie marker works better than my black paint pens
4. I MUST BE TRUE TO MYSELF AND NOT TRY TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE!!!
So, that being said, I’m off to work on page 3, with yet a little more knowledge. I hope some of you have tried art journaling, even if it’s just making doodles in a notebook. This is certainly stretching me in many ways, but I am enjoying the learning process!
As a mixed media artist I am always trying to learn about new techniques, new products, new trends, new diversions to avoid doing laundry, etc…Well, I found a new way to make art. It has actually been around for a long time, but it is new to me. It’s an art journal. I know, you’re thinking, “An art what?”
An art journal is exactly what it sounds like…a journal in which you make art. Now before I lose most of you because you are not “artists”, let me set you straight. ANYONE can make an art journal. If you don’t believe me, or if you don’t think your interested, hop on over to http://www.daisyyellowart.com. This is an awesome website just filled with great pictures, inspiration and how-tos for art journaling. On the homepage of Tammy’s website, you will see a menu along the top. Click on the “Art Journaling 101” button. She will give you all the tips you can handle. As a matter of fact, I’m not even finished reading that page!
But if you’d like to try making an art journal, just remember there is no right or wrong way to do it. And as Tammy says, “It is about the process, not the end result.” She also describes it as, “Playing with colors and words and images. Doesn’t that sound like fun. We all need more play (and less laundry) in our day!!!
Today I am going to show you how I made an art journal. Not the art part, as that will come later, but the actual journal book part. I made this last night out of stuff I literally had laying around. The funny part is that I went to a craft store today and I saw a pre-made journal from a famous maker for $12.99. It was made from basically the exact same things mine is.
Well, here we go….
Gather a bunch of different pieces of paper and cardboard. I suggest heavier papers (like water color paper) because you want it to be able to withstand paint, glue, pictures and a whole bunch of “whatever else moves you at the time”.
Cut the pieces to the same size. I chose 5″ x 7″.
I stitched this smaller folded piece down one side to make a pocket for tags.
Using a hole punch, make as many holes as you like. I made three.
I used these rings to hold the journal together, but you could use ribbon or sting (or a rubber band) just as well.
I wanted my pages to be different so I mixed up the order they went in.
I used a heavy cardboard for the cover and back so my journal will hold up.
And there you have it. I can easily add more pages if needed and I can take out pages to work on them without getting the rest of the book messed up. All at zero cost.
I urge you to try making an art journal AND making art in it! We take ourselves way too seriously and this is your little space to play “like a kid with a new box of crayons!”
P.S. I am going to TRY post a finished page from my art journal every day this week. I recommend you don’t hold your breath!!!!!