My Brand New Art Journal!

artjournalcoverMy friend Leslie Herger at Comfortable Shoes has been running a lot of videos of various artists and their art journals.  I have been enraptured by many of them and decided that I HAD to try this.  After two days of watching Suzy Blu Tube videos and stalking Leslie on Twitter where I asked her tons of questions (and she answered every one of them!) I finally just sat down and did it!

artjournalmessThe first thing I did was gather supplies!  I love gathering art supplies.  I talked my beautiful young bride into letting me run out and buy a small bottle of gesso and a box of watercolor crayons.  I also bought the journal and some acrylic poster paints, as well as some way-cheapo paint brushes.

girl2journalingWe even got Girl2 involved in this process!  I really hope to instill a lifetime habit with this.  I think it would be really cool for her grand kids to pull out her journals and see her whole life laid out like that.  I have doubts that she will continue it past puberty, but maybe she’ll pick it back up in her twenties.

artjournalpage1openI had three different ideas all fighting for “First Dibs” of the journal.  I will do them all but the first ever entry of my first ever art journal is “State Fair”  I layered the background in gesso and watercolor crayon.  Then I used the gesso and the white acrylic poster paint to white out the shapes.  I painted the images with acrylic poster paints, watercolor crayons, and sharpie markers.  Then I added random memories text with red acrylic poster paint.

artjournalpage1I like the way it turned out, however there is a bit of a learning curve.  First, I’ve never worked with gesso so that was an experience all on it’s own.  Second, acrylic poster paints are way more opaque than watercolors, but not nearly as much as I had expected.  Also, and this was the most important lesson (besides cleaning up before the wife sees the mess):  When you gesso a page in a spiral bound notebook, take care not to “glue” the pages together with gesso.

Portrait WIP V

Posted by mobile phone:

I have about come to the end of this little fella. I will spend a little more time strengthening the values around the mouth and neck, but I think for the most part I’m going to call this done. Hopefully I can get finished up what I need to and get this in a matte to present to his folks this upcoming weekend. Nobody tell his mother because it’s a surprise.

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Portrait WIP V

Portrait WIP IV

garrett9When last we left our hero, he was contemplating starting over on the nose of our little friend…

If you look at his nose in this image, you can see that it’s not quite right to the photo.  It gives him kind of a muzzle that’s not really there.  g-manFrom the photo, the right hand side of his right bottom tooth should fall almost square in the middle of his right nostril.  The right edge of the right nostril should line up under the corner of the right eye.  Also the left nostril should be steeper and rounder, as should the ball of the nose.  I think all in all, this nose just needs to be reworked.

garrett10bGot the nose all put back into place and started laying in some features to the hair and ear.  I really only started that to distract me from the main face so that I wouldn’t over work it.  I’m fixated on it right now and it’s already starting to look “smudgy” instead of soft.  Since the ear and the hair are not really the focal points, I probably won’t put too much detail in, just enough so you can see what’s going on.  I need to finish the shape of the chin and the facial shading and I think I’ll have it.

Portrait WIP III

makeshiftstudioJust over two weeks ago, I started a portrait of a friends toddler.  Working in my little makeshift studio, at about 30 minutes a session, I believe that I am closing in on this tyke.  I didn’t get to work on this very much over Labor Day Weekend.  I would like to say that it was because I was fixing my motorcycle or working on my landscaping or even simply playing soccer with Girl2.  But, alas, the reason I did not get much done this weekend was that I received a  simple card in the mail from Big Fish Games about a new game they released, Drawn.  This thing is beautiful and I played it five times this weekend.  I can’t wait for the sequel.  Maybe I’ll have this portrait done by then.


Sunday Funnies 06SEP2009

Like a Red Rubber Ball!

“Like a Red Rubber Ball…”

This is the kind of thing that makes my dinner cold.  I get an idea in my head and I have to put it to paper.  This afternoon we had lunch at my grandmother’s house.  The long standing tradition there is that while waiting for lunch, I would always read the “Red” funnies.  That’s the funnies that are in color in the Sunday paper.  I know they haven’t been called that in a very long time, but my granny still does.  Anyway, I got in mind to do a Sunday comic similar to Ziggy.  I have been quietly obsessing over it all evening.  Then, after we had ordered our calzone from a local restaurant and it was time for me to leave to pick it up, I decided it was time to work on it.  After the fourth time my beautiful young bride reminded me that the food was ready to be picked up, I called it finished.