Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Art journals and getting creative or a few of my favourite things

Have you ever thought about making or creating an art journal? I have been doing a little bit of research about it both online via Pinterest and blogs, but also by flicking through a few book dedicated to art journalling techniques and hints. I love to experiment and try new stuff out, but have never thought about putting it all in a book. Some things that I've tried have worked and I've squirrelled them away for another day and stuff that hasn't worked, has found it's way into the bin.

Lately I've found that I have wanted to make and design things but feel that I have a lack of recent artwork to use. That has led to a bit of a creative blockage and some frustration. I've felt the need to get back into drawing again, but finding a topic to inspire has sometimes proved uninviting or a case of "that old nutshell again". I have thousands of my own photos stored on my ever faithful but slow computer and always think that would be good for a project, just for them to sit there gathering digital dust!

So I bit the bullet and after digging around for ideas on how to kick start myself again I decided to try journalling. I may not stick to 1 page a day, it may be more like a page or 2 a week as I juggle it around work and other commitments. But I'm going to give it a bash.

My theme then......A few of my favourite things. Here is my list to prompt my lovely new creative journal.
The list is in no particular order, just what popped into my head at the time. It is by no means the limit of my favourite things either as I have many and the word FEW means just that.

Armed with my list it was time to get on and start.......I picked my first topic Marek and decided to use a picture of him that I really love and have lovely memories of a day out drinking coffee and chilling out.
 Marek, he calls it the "on the dodgems."

 First outlines. I coloured the page so I wouldn't be working straight onto white and as I sometimes struggle with proportions I traced a few lines from the photograph. I then drew in a couple of outlines and dark strokes in his hair.
 Adding skin tones can be a little bit tricky, but I tried to look for the colours in the photograph and keep note of highlights and shadows.
 Hair done, but his eyes need a little more work and softening.
I decided to tackle the eyes later and moved onto his jacket and shirt.
After some thought and asking a work colleague about the eyes and background, I managed to soften the eyes and add a little more detail to them and then added the dodgem (sofa he was sitting on) too.

I drew the picture with a mixture of media to help reflect the textures in the photo, Polychromos pencil crayons are great and add loads of colour and are easy to blend and shade. If you use a burnisher it smooths out some of those crayon marks.

So now I feel I have the creative juices flowing, well almost and will endeavour to complete my whole list of favourite things and enjoy experimenting along the way.

All images Copyright to Tracy Bidwell @Ballistic Owl

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