That’s Judy’s chosen theme for SPA this week – nice! I haven’t drawn a new character, let alone a mermaid for ages… so, here she is:

I used the Neocolours in blues and greens, with lots of water, after sketching her lightly in pencil. The book paper I used for my postcard dates back to 1928, so I have to be really careful not to over-wet it! Either that or be patient (not my strong suit), and wait for it to dry properly between layers…

The shading was achieved with a Derwent Inktense Chinese Ink pencil, and the detailing with a Uni-ball Signo black pen and a white Sharpie Poster Paint pen.

Thanks for looking! 🙂

Of Divas and so on…

I spent what I earnt last week on new art supplies. It feels good, very good, to be honest… because I have been lusting after some more of the divine Inktense pencils (by Derwent) for the longest time. I was so lucky – shopping online at Jacksons Art  early in the week, with just a bit over £20 to spend, I found an absolute bargain – a set of 18 Inktense pencils, with a portable pencil stand for £13.79!! I clicked BUY! I also bought some white acrylic ink for journalling with the dip pen, another black Posca pen (fine nib this time), and a Brush Pen which holds water or ink.

So, after getting the chores and an Etsy listing out of the way, I have had a little play with them…

My colourful Diva!

Oh they are such pretty colours! If you have been watching what I post here, you’ll have noticed that I am really into colours at the  moment – big, bold and bright!! In all their hues. Yes! Yummy, juicy colours, which I have been using to create my own collage sheets. So, here’s one I created yesterday and finished this morning. It has 29 different elements (phew!) and lots of those bold colours! I wanted to make an assorted sizes sheet, so that you’re not restricted, when printing these out, to just one thing – like all dominos, or inchies, etc. On this one, you get some of each and they are all fabulously colourful!

Beautiful + Bird Printable Collage Sheet

So that was my latest listing in the Etsy shop and my reasoning behind it!! All the elements are taken from an original piece of my artwork and I’ll tell you a secret – Gizmo has a test sheet hanging on the tall fridge to the right of her cage. She has made a lot of noise since I put it there… not sure if it’s the colours or the warmer weather!! 😉

Nick’s page!

Today I did my first art journalling and watercolour sketching in public! Yes! Defiantly, I got out my “Everything” art journal that my friend Barbara sent me a couple of years ago to encourage me to be an art journalist and made a page about Nick. That’s my husband – who was sitting his driving test today after having driven for over 40 years. He had to retake the test because his European/Spanish driving licence dates back to the age before computerisation and there is no longer a record of it! The Examiner says that it is not uncommon for Spanish Nationals who lose their licences (as in mislay them), to come to the UK to retake and then go home and swap the UK licence for a Spanish one!

Whatever I dream, I can do...

Anyway, I digress… So, I sat in the waiting room, with a Driving Instructor who was waiting for his pupil, and journalled. I felt so brave… and defiant as I thought, “Well, I am an artist and this is what I do when I have time!”

Testing times!

I remember Julie Fei-Fan B. talking about her “everything” journal and I carry Barbara’s little journal in my bag all the time lately! I also took one of my own handbuilt art journals with me and fell in love with Fabriano watercolour paper all over again! How daunting it is to begin a brand new EMPTY, virgin art journal. And, intimidating too – these books that I bound and built and painted and stitched myself – are so precious to me. So here’s what I did:

Untitled... unfinished...wip

About 2/3rds of the way through the book I started this sketch. It’s been some days since I drew a face! I had a few watercolour pencils, a waterbrush (must get a newer and more efficient one though…) and one of my 3 Inktense pencils; some HB and B pencils and a rubber. I think she’s going to be so pretty when I’m done! Here’s a photo of the cover of this journal:

So, I stopped working reluctantly because Nick was due back soon – he’d been gone about 30 minutes – and got chatting to the chap waiting for his pupil. He was great fun (ex-Forces – like us, not from Cornwall – like us!, etc.) and the next 10 minutes passed quickly in the sunshine outside the centre till they returned.  Oh and Nick passed, so yay!! 🙂

The prompt “Empty” was from Tammy’s site and she has the most gorgeous coloured penwork up today, aswell as a list of experiments and stuff for fun,  for freeing “blocks” and to get your creativity flowing. Go pay a visit to Daisy Yellow, go now… just go!

Cards for consideration by Queen Kat

I have 3 cards to show today which have been designed and created in response to the Queen Kat Designs Royal Court Call. I saw the call advertised on LindaB’s Facebook and went to investigate. It has been a while since I was part of a design team and I miss the challenge, the brainstorming and of course, the stamps!

Those of you who are regular blogging pals and vistors/followers all know how much I enjoy experimenting, characterisations and sharing my absurd sense of humour, aswell as the how and why I do what I do… So, it should come as no surprise to you all, that this is a series of 3 simple and complex cards, rich in technique and grungey in appearance! The series is called “Variation on a theme”  taken from one of my old Piano books. No more than one whole sheet assisted in the creation of these cards! So, to Entry #1:

"Variation by degrees..."

They, (discontinued Anita’s stamp), look as though they’re reaching for the sun, don’t they? Card bases are all Fabriano Watercolour notelets – A5 size (about 4″x6″) – fab quality and they’ll take a lot of paint, colour, medium, etc. Ideal for grungework! Entry #2:

Slowly swirled, vines and blots – from Home Impressions grunge plate – on an ATC “scraps” background, with a little added artitude, courtesy of a blue metallic Derwent watersoluble pencil and a soft small paintbrush! I use Ranger Archival ink to stamp with – you can’t beat a clear, crisp image and if necessary, I dry it with my heat gun. There’s room along the bottom of this card for a sentiment too…

Lastly, its background reflecting the butterflies in my stomach, entry #3:

Lesson Eight - Chord exercises!

Forgive the play on words – the addition of a “cord” came to me when I realised that I had added dsst to the wrong side of the music! But, it allowed for a little fun, so it’s not all bad. This time, I coloured the Fabriano card with a little watersoluble oil pastel in blues and orange, before stamping the butterflies. The ATC she rises from, was created using the magazine scrunchie background that I referred to in my “African Sunset” post; the angel is from Ria’s Gothic stamp plate and the butterfly background stamp is from Tandastamps in the UK. I used a Derwent Inktense pencil to soften the edges of the music and a black fineliner for accents.

The angel was stamped on book text scrap off my desk and shaded with that Derwent metallic blue pencil and water. I did coat her with Golden’s Polymer liquid gloss – it strengthens the light book paper and adds a subtle gloss. I used dss pads to attach the ATC and the angel and small sticky dots to attach the chord/cord!

I really enjoyed this exercise and hopefully I shall find favour at the Royal Court of Queen Kat. 🙂

As I have used books in music form and for my angel, these  will be my entry for The Three Muses “Books” challenge this week.