Wednesday, December 05, 2012

January 2011

The borders for this spread were made with a stamp that I hand-carved. It's really quite simple...just vertical and horizontal lines, though you do need to be careful to keep them straight and more or less the same width. I picked up the colors from a multicolor pad called Splendor "Misty" by Tsukineko.

The title letters were sketched, outlined with a fine Pitt pen and colored with Prismacolor pencils.

Band of Brothers (Jan. 5, 2011)

This page was in memory of Major Dick Winters who died this week. His WWII exploits were made famous by the book and miniseries Band of Brothers, which is my all-time favorite TV series. I have watched it in its entirety at least 4 or 5 times.

We watched The Pacific a few months ago, and although it was made by the same people (Tom Hanks & Steven Spielberg notably) and was very good and interesting, it just didn't enthrall me like this one.

I wrote the title using a white Prismacolor pencil. It is an adaptation of the Art Nouveau alphabet. Good brands of colored pencils work great over craft acrylic paint, although you have to sharpen them quite frequently. That can get tiresome if writing lengthy passages, though I don't find it a problem for something like this.

Noah's Ark (Dec. 25, 2010)

I don't recall the specific paints I used for this background, but I can tell by looking that the yellow was painted  first, and the watered-down red brushed on afterwards. The blue at the top of the right page was a bleed from the following page, but I don't really object to it. It kind of reiterates the water at the bottom of Noah's ark. Years ago, this would have bothered me no end, and I would have probably tried to "fix it" by  painting over it, and simply ended up calling more attention to it. I do avoid the majority of these bleeds by using page protectors which are simply freezer paper folded in half and a quarter inch slit cut down the center through which your pages are pulled two at the time, and each one folded back over the freezer paper, which then protects the underneath pages while you paint these two. These move less than single pieces of wax paper which often slip around as you work, letting wet paint that has gotten onto them smear off and transfer to the back sides of the pages you are working on.

The Noah's Ark illustration was from a book catalog that I got many years ago when I was a school librarian. Have you ever found the perfect illustration for a journal page, but it was too big or too small? Just throw it on your copier to make the size you want. But...but, you say, I don't know what percentage to set. A wonderful tool I use for this is called a Proportional Scale. It's just 2 circles that revolve around each other. You line up the present size on the inner scale under the new size wanted on the outer scale. The percent of enlargement or reduction will appear in the cut-out window. Most good art stores should carry these. I know Dick Blick has them for about $5. I've had mine for years, and would hate to be without it.

Note: Some newer readers of this blog may not be aware that I offer a set of journaling lessons that comprise over 80 pages of instructions with accompanying photos. Just one of the things covered in detail is exactly how to make page protectors. To see what else is offered, look here:

Blake Learns to Walk (Dec. 16, 2010)

To create these pages, I first masked off the edges with 1.5" wide Safe-Release Painter's tape by Scotch 3M. This is a little less sticky than their blue painter's tape, although it works well too if you are very careful when removing it. I let the tape extend over the edge by a quarter inch, since I only wanted the borders to be 1.25" wide. Then I painted the centers of each page with Anita's "Island Green." When this was completely dry, I removed the tape.
For the left-hand page, I cut strips from a colorful catalog page to cover the unpainted border, stamped the tree and colored with Prismacolor pencils and gel pens.
To complete the right page, I covered the edges of the blue rectangle with Painter's tape and painted the exposed border with Anita's "Rust Red." The gingerbread boy was cut from an ad.

Granny in the Nursing Home (Dec. 12, 2010)

This background began with Americana's "Light Buttermilk", which was then swiped with the dregs of red paint that had been in a brush left in the water jar.
I wrote the date with a Pitt Brush pen in "Pink Carmine" and shadowed it with one in "May Green".
The poinsettia is a rubberstamp done with Prismacolor pencils.

Latest Fashion Accessory (Nov. 18, 2010)

It's been way too long since I've written in this journal. I've been spending several days a week at Missy's house helping her with sewing projects and taking care of Blake while she does stuff for the restaurant.
The baby is learning to do so many new things. She understands many words and commands, although the only things we understand her to say are "Mama" and "Aa" (the first syllable of Alley. I think this means any little critter to her, since she also said it around Granny's dog, Daisy. She shakes her head when she hears "No," cuts her eyes up at the light when I say that, waves "hi" and "bye-bye" and blows kisses. She also points to everything and says "dat?". She loves music and shakes her shoulders & her booty whenever she hears any.
She loves cellphones and remote controls and eyeglasses.
Of course, at this age, everything goes in her mouth. We had to take her books away, except when we're right with her, because she gnaws on the covers. She was also biting off bits of the plastic foam cylinders that Missy had put around the bars of the child gate. It looked like a rat had been gnawing on everything.
The photo shows the latest fashion accessory according to Blake. She dug through the clean laundry and appropriated a pair of her mommy's panties to drape around her neck. Tres chic!

I painted the background with "Light Buttermilk" using a brush that had watered-down yellow paint still in it. Then I pulled a couple of more brushes from my water jar with leftover pink and green in them.
The babies across the top of the page started out as a rubberstamp images to which I tried adding panties around their necks. They're colored with Prismacolor pencils.

Pearland in Little League World Series (8/20/10)

The acrylic paints I used on these pages were Bright Yellow and Tangerine. The illustrations are from the newspaper and a piece of gift wrap.

Enchiladas (Aug. 13, 2010)

The background for this spread was made with Anita's Morning Blue, Seafoam Green and Americana's Wisteria. I sketched the "E" and outlined it with a black Pitt pen. The interior zen doodles were drawn with various small sizes of Micron pens and colored with Prismacolor pencils. The rest of the word was written with a fine Pitt pen in the script known as Akim.

She's a Little Monkey! (July 19-22, 2010)

The left page is soft pastel chalk sprayed with Fixafif. The right page is French Country Yellow & French Vanilla acrylics. I drew the monkey with a black pen and colored her with Prismacolor pencils. The black shadow around her was done with a black Neocolor II which I smudged with my finger. For a touch of whimsey, I glued a couple of paper posies in her hair and added a tiny gemstone to the center.

Blake has accomplished a lot this week. She is becoming as agile as a little monkey. She learned to crawl in her hands and knees instead of just scooting and to pull herself to a standing position in the crib.

Small Flower - Big Flower (July 14, 2010)

I tried out two different approaches to making flower illustrations. The small one is just a little ink drawing touched up with watercolors, while the large bloom is a cut-out colored with Prismacolor Illustration markers, FW ink, and soft pastels.

My text says:
We went over to see Blake today. She is cutting her first tooth.
We only stayed an hour, but all three of us noticed & commented on the disappointed look she go on her little face when we started saying "Bye-Bye." I guess she really does understand what it means.
I made a Peach-Pecan cobbler when we got home. It had a double baked crust with pecans in between the layers that was wonderful.