Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let's Art Journal (Week 2: Where I'm At)


The other day, I made this page for my art journal with the theme of "Where I'm At" in mind. Although I took a more literal approach to this prompt, you can really interpret it anyway that you want. And, I really encourage you guys to create your own art journal pages inspired by these posts and share images of them with me either via email here or tagging those images on Instagram with my username, @ConstantlyKatelyn15 or the hashtag, #CKLetsArtJournal

Supplies (That I Used To Create My Page)

  • Watercolor Pencils 
    • Derwent Turquoise Green #40
    • Derwent May Green #49
    • Derwent Silver Grey #71
    • Derwent Bronze #52
    • Derwent Burnt Umber #54
    • Derwent Gun Metal #69
    • Derwent Pale Vermilion #13
  • Prismacolor Marker Pen in .05 Sepia
  • Paintbrush- For this project I worked with a round tipped brush in a smaller size
  • Cup of Water

My Page Creating Process

So I began with the ever-dreaded first blank page of a new art journal. I always put a lot of stress on myself to do something amazing on the first page, because it's the one that's going to stay in your journal the longest and when people ask to see your journal, it's the first impression that they'll make. Whenever I get stuck for ideas, I like to draw what I'm looking at, and in this case, it was the futon in my dorm room, some ottomans that are being used as a coffee table and a wall tapestry.


I begin with painting what's closest to me, which is the ottoman table. My technique with watercolor pencils is a little different than most, is the sense that I wet my brush, touch it to the tip of the pencil so that I gathers the color and then paint. In my process, the watercolor pencils generally don't make contact with the paper, this eliminates the streaky lines that sometimes occur when you draw with the dry watercolor pencil and then add water to smooth.I prefer to do a more loose watercolor to begin with and then define the stronger lines using a more pigmented paint from the same pencil. 

I also like to keep track of the pencils that I used for the page by swatching them on the right-hand side of the paper. Generally, I paint a 1 centimeter by 1 centimeter square and try to get a variety of tones in, some light color and some very pigmented. Underneath the square, I write which brand the pencil was, which for this page was a Derwent Watercolor, the color that the brand gave the pencil and the number in my set that the pencil was. With these swatches, I'm able to find the exact colors that I used in case I ever need to go back and add more of a particular color without guessing which pencil I used. I also find the color swatches visually appealing, but, you know, it's all personal preference.



I maintain the loose painting style throughout the piece and build up tones by adding thin washes of the paint once the surface has dried. This part of the journal page is quick and fun to do because you don't have to worry about getting it to look a certain way, it will all be defined when we outline in pen.


To keep my page looking more uniform, I use the pen that I was planning on doing my journaling in and detail drawing to write my swatch descriptions. For this project I picked a sepia toned pen because of the brown tones that I was using in my page.



Don't be afraid to introduce colors from other areas into areas where they may not exist for accents. I added the pink color that was originally in the tapestry as an accent to the blanket and also in the ottomans. This makes your piece more cohesive because key colors are continued throughout.


I wait a few minutes for my watercolor to dry and then I write a short paragraph about my page and how it ties into my life/ my theme for the page. This is my 'journaling' aspect of my art journal, but there's a lot of different ways to go about doing this. I chose to write directly over part of my painting that didn't have much detail. Generally, I leave a bit of blank space on the page for this writing, but I got too involved in the painting to stop.


I also used my sepia pen to label and comment on some things in my painting such as the tapestry or the futon. Some of these notes are about the objects themselves, others are about my process in creating them. The reason I write my journal entry/ descriptions now is so that when I go back into my painting with the same pen, I know not to detail the areas where I wrote so they'll still be legible.


For my final step, I went back into my painting with my Prismacolor sepia pen and added in the small details that would have been a pain to paint such as the decoration on the pillows or the rug. I also use my pen to outline some strong shapes such as the triangles in the tapestry or the shape of the futon to add more definition to an otherwise loosely painted piece. I also quickly outlined my paint swatches, purposely leaving some of the paint out around the edges, to compliment the loose quality of the actual painting and to also separate them from the journal page.

That's it for this week's art journal page- short and simple! Please share your inspired pages with me for a chance to be featured in next week's post. And, as always, if you have any questions about my process, materials or anything about this project in general, leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

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-Katelyn