Saturday, July 28, 2018

Gypsy Art Journal Page

Life of a gypsy has always appealed to me... living in a gorgeous wagon drawn by a huge, friendly Clydesdale horse, with beautiful surroundings and a peaceful lifestyle - nothing but painting, drawing, crochet, embroidery, colouring and reading. A world of happy, friendly animals and wildlife. Of course my cats wouldn't hurt a fly so they're able to hang out with me in the sunflower garden (birds, frogs and lizards feeling totally safe of course! lol).

The theme was "Gypsy" and is part of the Australian Art Journal Swap (click here to visit the AAJS blog).

Here's a quick reference list of treasures to make this page...
... Pines, Heartstruck, Leafy, Feathers, Flourish, Wildflower, Blossom, Lace, Trellis
- Studio Light Stencils, Flowers
- Dyan Reaveley by Dylusions Stamps
... Sunshine Girl, Everything's Rosy
- Laurel Burch Stamps
... stamps with cats, dogs, horses and mermaids to be added online soon :)
Kuretake Hikkei Double Ended Brush Pen
If you need a hand finding anything or would like to order something, sing out anytime :)


I started the page by painting a Dylusional Rainbow. I used a Ranger Ink Blending Tool and at first, painted strips of colour across the page but got quickly tired of the long lines. Dabbing made the colours appear to blend (they just overlap) and was easier to fix when I went overboard.
Amazingly enough, I didn't make a huge mess on the backs of the pages (phew!).


The colours used were : Postbox Red, Tangerine Dream, Lemon Zest, Cut Grass, Dirty Martini, London Blue, Calypso Teal, Crushed Grape for the initial rainbow, then layered using Tim's stencils with Lemon Zest, Pomegranate Seed, Mushy Peas, Crushed Grape and After Midnight.


The pic to the right is just to show what the ink blending tools look like. They're wooden handles with Velcro to hold the found pieces of dense foam. Washable and reusable :)
I use them just like I use sea sponges - dabbing, smooshing, blending, spotting, dusting, swirling, whatever the hand and paint want to do. I used to also use those house painter's foam rectangles till I discovered the world of Ranger! They were more furry than foam... meant for fast, drip free wall painting.

I used a variety of stencils by Tim Holtz (wildflowers, blossoms, trellis, lace, flourish, pines, heartstruck) and Studio Light (above)... 

Its usually recommended that less is more when using paint with stencils. Too much paint and it can leak underneath the plastic, giving you a less than perfect design.


Above shows how heavy handed I am with paint! lol :) If you saw a closeup of someone else's artwork, you'd see even coats of paint without those edges, borders, bumps and messes.


An overview of the background as its drying. See? Much nicer than my spotty rainbow :) Love the colours!


Inbetween the different layers of the background were drying, I stamped, coloured and cut out my collage pieces. I was itching to use Dyan Reaveley's gorgeous new stamp set "Sunshine Girl".

I've never felt so attached to someone else's design before :D She's just like me! lol :) I wear shift dresses over leggings and long sleeved shirts, short boots (always wanted red ones), have a beanie that is just like that hat (Mum made it years ago - she called it my Wee Willie Winkie Hat) and I have purple hair (used to be curly and have always loved ringlets). Naturally purple of course :)


So anyway, as usual these days, I reached for those Mermaid Markers of Jane Davenport's. My greens and yellows are running out too! Lucky I know where I can get more :)


The gorgeous dark brown in the centre of the flower is made up of yellow, green, brown and black.
With white spots made using a paint pen.
The petals are the two yellows with a hint of pink and brown for the shadows.
I cut the flower out with scissors and inked the edges with the lime green marker after gluing it together.


I used Google for help on how a wagon should look, making my own a mix of all I saw that had wooden spoked wheels and fillagrees. I like wooden wheels. Many modern wagons I found had car tyres that while practical, are simply not beautiful.



Sometimes things look so much better after they're cut out... The flower stems are from "Everything's Rosy" and the two adorable cats are stamps by Laurel Burch (Stampendous).


Do you ever find it can take ages to finally decide where everything should sit?


Ink now, worry later! lol :) I find if I fluff about too much with pencil before I put the ink down, I have too many eraser marks on the artwork.
I practiced in my Dyary first (its such nice drawing paper, see below), then used a bit of scrap with the quote scribbled down, as a guide for the size and keeping it straight (ish).



The lettering is from an old book I've had since I was in high school "The Lettering Book" by Noelene Morris (top right, its a bit tired). I flicked through a few and settled on an old favourite Noelene called "Mod Ombre".


"She dances to the songs in her head 
and the rhythm of her heart."

The actual quote I found said "She dances to the songs in her head, speaks with the rhythm of her heart, and loves from the depth of her soul." By the time I got to "head", it was clear I was going to run out of space.

I'm happy with how it turned out and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process, from looking up variations of gypsy wagons to washing my stencils and stamps. Every part of creating an artwork is a wonderful thing... how it turns out is such a fabulous bonus!

Thanks so much for reading about my page for Louise. I hope it made you smile!

Have you used these stamps or paints in art? I'd love to see it!
Add @Art.by.Jenny or #ArtbyJenny to your Instagram post if you feel like sharing :D

Have a happy creative day!
:)
Jenny

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Butterfly Flower Garden Art Journal Page

Butterflies are incredible creatures that are in thousands of different shapes, sizes and colours... such variation - some wander for thousands and thousands of kms, others stay close to home, some live such short lives. All are extroardinary and beautiful.

butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
The above photo is a closeup my art journal page covered in beautiful flying creatures made from Tim Holtz Stamps, Framelits, Bigz Die and Embossing Folder. The theme was "Exotic" and is part of the Australian Art Journal Swap (click here to visit the AAJS blog).
I've also used Dylusions paints, Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and Tim Holtz Foam Stamps to create a magical garden for these exotic beauties.

Here's a quick reference list of treasures used...
... Pines, Scribbles, Leafy, Feathers, Flourish
... Fern, Blossom
- Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine (or use a Big Shot, Vagabond or other die cutting machine - so many to choose from. Jane's even getting one under her brand too, she's working with Spellbinders to make a pretty blue one covered in mermaids!)
If you need a hand finding anything or would like to order something, sing out anytime :)

The Background

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
The background was created layer upon layer, using acrylic paints with stencils and foam stamps.
The first layer (above) was simply Lemon Zest and Dirty Martini, smooshed all over the page then left to dry as I sifted through my stencils.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Using the foam blending tool, I blended the Tim Holtz Leafy and Feather stencils using just the Dirty Martini paint.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
This pic of my paint covered stencils is just to show you what the stencils look like :) Thought it might be useful considering I don't seem to have any action photos showing them in use!

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
For the next layer, I've used the large Darkroom Door Fern and Blossom stencils and then the Tim Holtz Pines, Scribbles and Flourish stencils with Polished Jade (the darker green), Dirty Martini and Lemon Zest. The Blossom was blended with a mix of Polished Jade and Lemon Zest.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Using the Vibrant Turquoise paint and Cut Out (Funky) Floral Foam Stamps by Tim, I printed the foreground foliage.


background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
The above shows the background before I added all the flowers. I was on a roll, mixing the greens, blending the yellows, "growing" the garden! So much that my coffee went cold... as it often does :) lol Gotta love my mug though! My son gave it to me :D Its beautiful.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Above: As you can see, I add the paint to the foam stamp using the foam ink blending tool, collecting paint from the lid. This gives the foam stamp an even coverage of paint. If you dip into the paint you may get lumps of paint where you don't want them!

When leaving your pot (or jar) of paint open for a while, make sure you add a spray of water before closing again - this will ensure your paint stays beautifully fluid to the last drop.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
To paint the flowers I used Lemon Zest and Pure Sunshine... the fab thing about foam stamps (apart from their cool shapes and not having to cut apart potatoes!) is that you can see exactly where to overlay the image when printing with multiple colours.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
To add white tips to the petals, simply add paint only to the tips of the petals on the foam stamp then press over the flower on the page.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Centres of the flowers were added using the groovy little Detail Blending Tool. This is a useful little stick with foam circles on both ends. Luckily it is in a pack of 5 so I don't have to wash off the paint. Now I have a stick for yellow and white, and 4 others for another day :)

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Above: photo showing the finished garden on the right hand side of the journal page.

background of the butterflies art journal page using stencils and mixed media craft supplies
Above: photo showing the finished garden on the left hand side of the journal page.

The Butterflies

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
The two giant butterflies were coloured using Jane's Mermaid Markers (Pirate's Gold with Starfish; Lagoon with Bali Blue and Byron Bay) and left them to blend naturally as they dried.


butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
They were both cut out with the Tim Holtz Butterfly Duo Bigz Die using my Cuttlebug. Then they were rolled through again using the matching texture fades embossing folder to give them the raised pattern.


butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
A splash of contrast was added using Black Soot Distress Ink and an ink blending tool. The abdomen was coloured with the dark brown Reef Mermaid Marker.


butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
The butterflies were given a splash of shimmer using Winsor & Newton Iridescent Medium.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
I love how the colours blend and how the medium adds life! I should mention that the paper I've used for all butterflies is Strathmore Mixed Media Paper. In case you were wondering :)

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
All butterflies need antennae to feel their way and chat together... sadly the Bigz die cuts them off but they're easier enough to add back. Sometimes I'll use twine or string but this time I've used Tim's cotton thread and bit of double sided tape.
As you can see above, I use one piece of cotton and bend it under the tape.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
All the small butterflies were created using Tim's Flutter By stamps and matching Sizzix Framelits.
To make them, I stamped them all using an Archival black ink pad. I was going to use colourful inks, but our encyclopaedia shows nearly all butterflies have either black, white or brown outlines.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
In the photo above, I've shown you what the difference inking edges and bodies makes. Left is before I've added Stormy Seas Mermaid Marker to the body/abdomen and Black Soot Distress Ink to the edges. Its only a subtle difference, but it hides the white paper they're made from and helps lifts them from the page :)

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
One by one, their antennae was added back (after being cleanly cut off using the Sidekick and Framelits) using the thick cotton thread and double sided tape.

One day Sizzix will make dies for butterflies and dragonflies with all their anatomy in tact. Maybe even embossing and cutting at the same time. Have you seen the Impresslits yet? Very clever!

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
A quick closeup of all the butterflies waiting together for the next step.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
After adding antennae, inking all the edges and painting the bodies, I added a splash of shimmer using Wink of Stella... black for the bodies and clear for the wings.

Finishing the Art Journal Page

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
Closeup pic of one of my faves... who am I kidding, all the butterflies are my faves. Even the red ones after I added white spots and more glittery shimmery stuff.


butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
Placing elements on a page to make it appear like it was random isn't as easy as it seems... I started by letting them fall wherever they wanted but it was a tad lopsided.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies
In the end, after about an hour! lol, I placed the big butterflies on the right hand side - flying into the page together, while the little ones flew around them.
All butterflies were glued down with the double sided tape. I didn't add more, I used the same piece that held on the antennae, allowing all their wings to be free to fly.

I then added thoughtful words and sayings like 'go with your heart', 'can never have too much happy' and 'adventure awaits' using Tim's stickers and washi tape.

Above shows the completed left hand side of the spread and below shows the right hand side.

butterflies art journal page using stamps and other mixed media craft supplies

So there we have it. A completed flock of flutterbies and butterflies, almost as beautiful as what Mother Nature creates :) I love moths, caterpillars and dragonflies too! They're all incredible!

Thanks for reading my blog :) Hope these butterflies made you smile and inspired you to paint, colour and create!

Happy Creative Day!
:)
Jenny

All treasures available from my online shop at www.shop.artbyjenny.com.au :)

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