Monday, July 21, 2014

Sketchbookery Class

As I mentioned last post, I signed up for Mary Ann Moss's Sketchbookery class and am really enjoying it. For the first time ever, I'm sketching and painting with acceptable results. The most useful part of the class (for me) are the videos where she shows an object and then films herself sketching it. Just watching someone draw something has been more helpful than anything.

I made a sketchbook for class, using the cover from a hardback book, reinforcing the spine with duct tape. For the first time I used hot press watercolor paper - which I had to order online, nobody around here had it - for the signatures. Started with 9x12 paper simply folded in half so my book is about 6x9, a good size. A Goldilocks size, not too big, not too small.

Quite like the smoothness of the hot press paper. First time I used it was for my hydrangea drawing. That was before I made the book, so I just bound it in as the first page.

I didn't use the binding stitch she shows for the class cause I wanted to try long stitch. I perused a bunch of pics on Google images and then played with dots and lines on a piece of scrap paper before binding my book. I wasn't terribly on center when I punched the holes but I like the basic idea.

I may rebind it paying more attn to the top and bottom rows of stitches. I wanted a thicker looking line there and meant to make loops instead of stitches, but forgot.
Inside front cover.
Not finished doodling, I don't think.
Love that turq and orange together.

Wanted to do some lettering but wasn't into finding a quote
so I just did the book I'm reading.
Then added a leaf from my coral bells out front.  

Testing the colors of the little box of pearlescent paints
I bought at Nasco when Julie was here.
So lucky to have that place nearby.
They have only 3 retail stores nationwide
and one of them is 30-40 minutes from me.
Will draw some more bugs, then paint them. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

pink hydrangea drawing

I signed up for Mary Ann Moss's Sketchbookery class, in the wild hopes of learning to sketch and watercolor just well enough to satisfy my own fairly low expectations. Unfortunately, I'm not really patient enough to go thru the drill of many blind contour drawings, many more semi-blind contour drawings, etc, etc.

I just wanna be able to draw. Now.

But that's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.    (how I love that commercial)

But I forged ahead and last night sat down with a will and a purpose - to draw and paint something recognizable. I went slowly (sooo difficult) and drew what I saw, not what I thought I saw.

Then I painted it, again going slowly and really looking at my subject, changing my paint colors little by little as I layered.

And a crazy thing happened. I drew and painted something I'm happy with.


It's not a Monet but it's way the hell better than anything I've done before.

So thanks, Mary Ann! I may end up being able to sketch after this class.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

gelli printing on black

I've been a gelli printing fool lately. Pamela was over for that one day, then my friend Julie-in-July came for 4 days, one of which we spent cranking out gelli prints. And tomorrow I'm leaving for an over nighter with my friend Moneka.

Guess what we're going to do?

Yup. Gelli printing. Cause her 13yo grand daughter is visiting, so I'm taking all my gelli stuff, plus my book binding supply box, and we're going to make cool prints the first day, then make some simple journals with them t he next. Also going to show her how to make a zine somewhere in there. Should be a fun-filled 2 days. Supposed to be around 105F both days, so we'll be spending some time in her pool too. I haven't crammed myself into my bathing suit since 2005 when we snorkled the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Should be... interesting.

Anyway, I did some gelli printing on black card stock and it came out kinda cool. Not sure why I haven't tried it before, but I'll be doing it again, for sure.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

best Photoshop/Elements mixed media tutorials ever

Tangie Baxter is a mixed media artist, both digital and paper. I've been a fan for several years, going to her studio in AZ last fall for a workshop that was a blast, taking online classes, buying digital goodies from her. A couple years ago I anted up for her full digital workshop and am sooo glad I did. I'd been using Photoshop and Elements for a few years and was doing ok on my own but would get terribly frustrated trying to figure out how to do cool mixed media effects by looking in books meant for photographers or other types of users.

I started at the first lesson and by the end of it had taken so many notes that I'd filled the class PDF I'd printed out and had to get more paper. I kept going, "So THAT'S how you do that!" It's really a great bunch of tutorials.

AND... they're now down to $75 for all 3 - Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You get 35+ videos, PDFs, elements to use in the demos, a $25 coupon to Tangie's studio etc, etc.

$75 is half price. I'm posting a plug for the class cause I know from experience that it's a great deal on excellent classes. Every digital collage I've posted in the last couple years was made using what I learned in these classes.

If you've had a hankering to learn from scratch, or get better at, Photoshop or Elements, go take a look at this great deal.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

quickie - cool book binding blog

Just a quickie! Discovered a great blog with tons of book binding info, pictures, tutes, links to tutes, book reviews, etc. If you've never tried book binding but like hand made books, give it a shot. It just isn't that difficult and you don't need any special tools or materials.

Go forth and make books.

Monday, June 30, 2014

MMSA paperbag book - incoming

Received my paper bag booklet today. Actually, it's prolly been out in the mail box for a few days but only collect the mail a couple times a week, despite the fact that it's about 50 feet from my front door. Just seems like too much trouble at the end of a long day at work. #lazybroad

It's from Laurie Morris and it's great. I love the colors. I'm not sure if Karen knows that or not but she more often than not sends me just what I wanted in the swaps. It's difficult to tell in the photos but the splotches of what looks like brown are actually metallic bronze which contrasts marvelously with the blues and greens. Each page has a flap that's either blank or with a quote on it. And each pocket held several pieces of painted papers to use in my art, last photo. Thanks, Laurie!


MMSA paperbag book - outgoing

Another fun swap from Karen. Four lunch bags, decorated however you like, bound into a small book. The one I sent out is up first. I gelli printed both sides of four bags. Takes longer than it sounds cause I did several layers on every side. I made four small collages, one each for the four open ends of the bags that become pockets to tuck things into when you bind the bags together. I also glued on half an envelope and stuck a small booklet into it, made from Pamela's tutorial. It's a cool little booklet. I've since made 8 or 10 of them and had to force myself to stop tearing out likely magazine pages to fold up into covers. Give it a try.