Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art Journal Page: Sweet Clarity

It's been a while since I've done some traditional art journaling. I love digital, but sometimes I just need to get my hands dirty. As many of you know, my area has recently endured a huge earthquake, and although my home and life is back in order now, the quake has shaken up all sorts of emotions in me that I wanted to address through art journaling.

My first page in this new journal is called Sweet Clarity, because despite the mess and trauma of the quake, it's helped me put my life into perspective and make some big decisions.

I'm working in a 9"x12" Strathmore Visual Journal with 90lb. watercolor paper.

I started with a wash of watercolor, then drew out my figure and title in ink with a dip pen...

Then I added depth and color to the figure with Inktense pencils and a water brush pen. 

I added highlights and details with a white gel pen pen and a white Prismacolor pencil.

And lastly I wrote out my journaling with a pink UniBall Vision Elite pen.

The taped edge is some striped fabric tape that doesn't hold well on it's own, so I also used some skinny washi tape.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Walkthrough Wednesday: Awesome Afternoon





Welcome to Walkthrough Wednesday, where each Hump Day I'll be sharing the process of creating a digital art journal page. I include every time I change my mind or flub-up on something so that you can really get a sense of the whole process. You can follow along step-by-step or just read through for a little mid-week technique inspiration.

I'm working in Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1. Most of my techniques are do-able in PS Elements and GIMP as well. Here's what I'm creating:


Resources used:
I started my layout with this fun freebie paper from Jopked Designs.


Although I love the colors in this paper, I knew they wouldn't go with the colors I wanted to use, so I did as I often do with backgrounds and desaturated the page (ctrl/cmnd D).


I placed in a photo from my Instagram account. I don't normally use photos in my art journal pages, because then it becomes some art journal/scrapbook hybrid thing, and I have some weird imaginary rules in my head about that. But, today I'm breaking the rules.


I like a white border on my square photos, so I created one by making a white square and placing it on a layer underneath the photo. If you hold down the shift key while using the rectangle tool, it will keep it a perfect square. I then merged the photo and border layers together.



I wanted the photo to look bent, so I selected an area around it with the rectangular selection tool, and then applied the shear filter. A tiny tug on the point in the middle of the diagram on the adjustment menu makes a nice natural curve.



To get a realistic shadow on this curved photo, I ctrl/cmnd-clicked the thumbnail of the layer to select it, created a new layer underneath it, and filled the selection with black. Then, with the new layer selected, I flipped the black shape horizontally (edit>transform>flip horizontally), and applied a gaussian blur to it. Then I lowered the opacity of the shadow layer to 50% and linked the 2 layers so that they'd move together for future steps.



I then angled my photo into the lower left corner and placed a staple element along the edge to visually explain how that photo is attached to the page. I don't know where I got this staple element. It was in a misc. image folder, so it either found it's way out of a kit or was from some other non-scrapbooky project. Sorry about that. But, if you need some digi staples, I found a freebie here.



How it's time to get painty. Using my abstract grunge brush set I added color splotches on a new layer just above the background layer so that the paint would be mostly peeking out from behind my photo. I also added some brush marks in the opposite corner. The colors are selected straight out of my photo with the eyedropper tool.


Next I placed in this "How I Roll" graphic, which I made a few months back for t-shirts and jackets. I don't have this graphic available for sale on it's own, but here are some public domain bicycle images you could use.


I wanted this image to look more like a stamp, so I double clicked the layer thumbnail to open the smart object psb document, and then I ran the Presto! vintage action.


I saved the psb file and returned to my main document where I turned my new stamp burgundy and changed the layer's blend mode to multiply to enhance the stamped effect.


Next I typed a title for my page and applied the same effects that I just did with the "How I Roll" graphic.

Finally, I wrote my journaling, and my page was complete.



Thanks for joining me, and I hope you learned something useful!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Walkthrough Wednesday: Authentic Self





Welcome to Walkthrough Wednesday, where each Hump Day I'll be sharing the process of creating a digital art journal page. I include every time I change my mind or flub-up on something so that you can really get a sense of the whole process. You can follow along step-by-step or just read through for a little mid-week technique inspiration.

I'm working in Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1. Most of my techniques are do-able in PS Elements and GIMP as well. Here's what I'm creating:
 


Resources used:
Dido Designs Authentic Mini Kit  (free when you like their Facebook page)
GistX font from Yellow Design Studio
Larke Sans Font by Steve Gardner
and a personal drawing done with a Sakura Micron 08 pen.

My inspiration for today's page comes from this "door hues" palette from design-seeds, which I will be sampling color from for my layout. I'm starting with the palette open, alongside my canvas, within which I've pasted this gorgeous paper from the kit.


I immediately wanted to get some of that yellow into my page, so, on a new layer, I painted a fat line across the page, blurred the heck out of it with the gaussian blur filter, and set the layer's blend mode to overlay.


Next I introduced some of the sky blue from the palette, using my abstract grunge brush set on a multiply layer.


Then I placed in the word "authentic" from the kit and made several copies in various colors from my palette. I did this by ctrl/cmnd clicking the word art layer and creating new color fill layers.



Next part's a little tricky. I merged all the different "authentic" layers into one, set the blend mode to multiply and added a layer mask. On the mask I used one of my grunge brushes to distress the jumble of words and make them look stamped. Then I multiplied the newly distressed layer twice (ctrl/cmnd+J) and arranged the word jumbles into sort of a cloud.



Now it's time to start building the quote. In the brown shade from the palette I typed out the words "authentic self" in a font called Gist  at 100 pt, making sure to align my text to the right.



At this point I decided I wanted even more of a pop of yellow in there, so I created a new layer right above my original band of yellow and added one click of yellow with a big, soft brush. Then I lowered the opacity of the layer to 65%.


Next I typed out the rest of my quote in 2 layers, using the font Larke Sans Bold in all caps. I set both new text layers to multiply so the yellow would show just a bit better.


At this point I decided there needed to be some areas of clarity in my layout. So, using a contrasting color on a layer just above the paper layer (see the hot pink in the layer window?), I mapped out some areas I'd like to clarify with my grunge brushes and then placed another paper from the kit on top.



I wanted to lighten up the beige quite a bit, so I added a color fill layer in gray and set the layer to overlay mode. 


To clip this paper to the mask I'd made below, I merged the paper layer with the overlay layer and then ctrl/cmnd-clicked the line between my new merged layer and the hot pink mask. I also did a little tweaking at this point, adding a bit more to the mask and erasing some of the baby blue layer that I didn't like.


And...some more tweaking was needed. I moved my yellow focal spot over to the right so that it was leading off the page, then duplicated the layer, enlarged it, and moved that over to the top left corner, lowering the opacity to 43%. I also went back to my clusters of the word "authentic" and varied the opacity of each group. It's all about these little details, folks! They add up.


Next I placed in this photo of a page from my sketchbook. 


I selected just the line art of the flower on the left and then created a new color fill layer in yellow. I can now delete the layer with my sketchbook on it and just have the yellow flower left over.



Now, with the flower in there, I decided the text needed to be a bit more playful. I switched the top and bottom font to Bands Make Her Dance, and changed the color to brown.


Lastly, I added a couple clicks of the darker blue with my grunge brushes and I call it done.
 

Thanks for joining me, and I hope you learned something useful!

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

1986, 2005, 2014.

Back in 2005 I re-imagined some of my childhood drawings. Now I've done a 3rd version for each.






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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer of Color Week 6: Raspberry, Tangerine and Lemon






Summer of Color is a 6 week blog party, hosted by Kristin of Twinkle Twinkle, celebrating (you guessed it) COLOR! This is the 4th year of SOC, but my first time participating. Each week a color palette is announced as a creative prompt. This week's colors are Raspberry & Tangerine with a Smudge, Splash or Pop of Lemon.



This is it, folks. My last post for SOC4. This has been so much more fun than I could've imagined. Kristin's palettes challenged me and inspired a lot of new work that I feel very proud of. It's been quite the fruitful Summer, despite the fact that it raced by so quick I barely got a glimpse of it.

To those of you who've stuck with this challenge as well, give yourself a high 5! (I guess when you high-5 yourself, it's really just called clapping, huh?) It's a real accomplishment to stick to anything for 6 weeks!

Oh yeah, art! This week I  painted another portrait. I call her the Raspberry Queen.


And some close-up shots...

The raspberry crown. Fashionable and delicious.

 I didn't know what color to make her eyes because I didn't want to stray from the palette too much, and eyes just don't come in those colors, but this orangeyness actually worked out pretty well.

The lips are my favorite part. I tried to make them look stained, as if she'd been eating berries.

This piece is available as PRINTS, CANVAS PRINTS, PHONE CASES AND CARD SETS.


Fellow SOC-ers, please keep in touch! There's a zillion different ways to subscribe to this blog over in the right sidebar, or you can keep in touch via my facebook page. Hope to see ya there! XO

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