“Do What You Love”

dwyl-1It is real surprising the mental block my head is giving me with this spiral bound sketchbook for art journaling. My head just whines at me telling me to go back to the smaller familiar Moleskine and do spreads in it. I won’t do it, however! Because I know it’s just paper and a book for crying out loud.

I am just encountering new challenges with the Canson. Mostly that the paper tends to want to bend and buckle which can be frustrating. Again, I think it’s because it’s a lot more space on the page, where the Moleskine has more stability from the pages being smaller.

Regardless, I prevailed. I stomped over my urge to go back to the familiar and pressed on in my Canson and finished up what I feel to be a very pretty layout with which I am quite satisfied.

First layer down with acrylics. You can see how the page was bending on me.

This was another one where I didn’t start the layout with anything real particular in mind, only that I wanted a nice blue gradient background to work on. I painted it using acrylics and then I added some interest with a Prima stencil and some Faber-Castell whipped spackle. I sprayed over those two areas with some Dylusions ink in “cut grass” color and let it drip down the page, then decided to do some more playing with stencils and texture so I took some Faber-Castell glass bead glitter gel and mixed it with a bright green acrylic paint and stenciled over the lower-right corner with a nice swirly design.

The background needed still a little more subtle touch so I took one last stencil in a honeycomb design and dabbed it with my Distress ink in “salty ocean.”

Adding interest and texture with stencils, mediums and bright colors.

After the large green stenciling dried I wanted to add some depth around it with shading so decided to color around it with an Inktense pencil from Derwent. (By the way, I do most all of my drying with my hairdryer – too impatient to wait for stuff to air dry. I set it on hot heat but low air pressure. One of these days I’ll purchase an actual craft heat gun so I’m no longer wondering where my hair dryer is when I’m trying to actually dry my hair!) I really liked how the Inktense pencils worked out for the shadow effect – just colored around the edges then hit it with some water. I lack any Faber-Castell PITT pens that I see so many people using to create the same effect, so this worked quite nicely and I would highly recommend it.

The Inktense pencils were great at adding splatters in a controlled manner.

I also discovered a new way to add splatter effects to my pages! Derwent Inktense pencils! I just took my wet brush and held the pencil close to the page and then flicked the brush down over the pencil. Hallelujah! A way to add splatters without first having to encase my entire work area with throws!

Now, this layout almost had a completely different focal point. I was going to take some of the scrap pieces of fabric from my haul the day before and a couple pieces of miscellaneous ephemera in blue and orange and adhere them to the page. I wanted to add more interest to the page, however, so started doodling those gorgeous Zentangle swirly patterns on the page with my Sharpie pen. When I got through adding those details in both my Sharpie and my Gelly Roll white pen, I decided I didn’t want to cover them up with the fabric swatches so took a completely different approach.

Adding more depth with my favorite Zentangles.

I was working on this design while watching some television, too. Usually I’m set up in my office / craft room working on these projects, but I’ve been watching Alaskan Bush People on Discovery lately (that family has really grown on me.) The latest episode was on last night right when I was doing my Zentangles. Since drawing those doesn’t require more than a flat surface and my pen, I took it out to watch television while I drew. I think this forced some pauses into my approach which made me think of other options than the fabric.

I had this urge to put some words in banners on the page at that point. What would the words be? Well I was thinking about how much I loved drawing those swirly Zentangles so decided to go with “Do What You Love” as the sentiment. I took out some card stock and drew three different ribbon banners in pencil then cut them out with my x-acto knife. I then added detail to the banners using my Sharpie pen to create the words and the shadows and then used my Bic Mark-it permanent marker to hit all the edges with a nice black outline. I decided I wanted a heart to go with the design as well so drew one on the card stock and prepped it in the same manner as the banners.

Tattoo-like design from hand-drawn elements cut out from card stock and colored with Inktense pencils.

I used my Inktense pencils to color both the heart and the banners. I really like how they turned out – it has a tattoo-like effect.

After those dried I adhered them to the page with gel medium, added a little sparkle with a few strategically-placed rhinestones and then called the layout done!

Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!

List of materials:

Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Mod Podge
Liquitex clear gesso
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Faber-Castell Whipped Spackle
Faber-Castell glass bead glitter gel
Artist’s Loft acrylic paints
Ranger Dylusions Ink Spray in Cut Grass
Sharpie Pen in medium
Gelly Roll white pen
Derwent Inktense pencils
Elmer’s CraftBond tacky glue

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