Posts Tagged ‘art journal’

Paint shading and faces practice

After watching Dina Wakley painting her tag, I was enthralled with her shading and highlighting with white and dark blue paints. I wanted to give it a try. I’m also developing my face drawings so I put them together to see what I could create.

Michelle G Brown face sketches in her mixed media art journal

I always worry, when painting faces that the colours aren’t true to life – getting “skin” colour “right” is almost impossible. So I took a HUGE step away from trying to get the skin colour “right” and use non-kin colour colours. Here are the results:

mixed media art journal painted faces

Isn’t it disconcerting to see green people?


The painting was done with Folk Art paints, straight onto water colour paper. It was a little hard to blend the shading and highlighting colour as the paint was drying quickly. Next time I may add a layer of Gesso first or use my (tiny) collection of Golden paints.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy creating!


GPP No 50 ~ In Case of Emergency

Thank goodness for the Green Pepper Press Crusades! If not for Michelle and fellow Crusaders, I may not get any crafting done for myself at all! This months “evidence” builds on last month’s, to look at those we turn to “In Case of Emergency“!

I started with a credit-card painted background, then grunged it up a little as it needed a border and added the heading.

Mixed Media Art Journal backgroundMixed media art photos

I had a few photos I wanted to use but was amazed that many of my “go-to” people had not had recent photos taken! I will have to fix that very soon. My grandparents are in their late 80’s / 90’s and the kids grow so fast; photos and video are a fantastic way to remind us of those special people and occasions.

To fit all of the photos in, I created flaps to allow them to overlap and the journalling to be written on the back. Here is the layout with the flaps closed:

Mixed Media art journal

With the flaps open, you can see the journalling.

I also added more photos ~ a series of 6. I couldn’t choose just one of the photos with the great-grandkids and the grandparents; between the 6 kids, there is only one photo with all of them in it and then Grandma isn’t looking…. always the way when there are lots of children involved! I also added a few tabs to include my extended family. These were all mounted on my favourite cardboard ~ cereal boxes ~ so they would sit up and create depth.

family photos

Thanks for another great Crusade! Now we have a file for where to go, in case of an…

😉 *smiles*


Mixed Media Monday – Art

This week’s theme at Mixed Media Monday is ART

On considering the topic of “art” I come up against the same question often – When is craft art? Can I really call what I do “art” or is it just fancy craft stuff? As I was putting this art journal layout together, I realised that many of the arts / crafts I had listed were “ing” words – doing words (aka verbs!)….

Does this mean that the process of crafting results in art? The verb creating the noun?

Anyways, I started with a painted art journal page, done in monotone greens.

I added “craft” and “art” using Making Memories mixed font foam stamps in white and black paint. “When” was stamped using the Basic Grey alphabet stamps with grey paint. Text was handwritten in black, white and silver gel pens.

Thanks for stopping by…

x Michelle



GPP Crusade No. 44 – In a Scrape

In a Scrape is the challenge over at Michelle Ward‘s Street Team Crusade this month. And I faced this challenge with excitement – I’ve done something a bit like this before, so it isn’t as scary as some of Michelle’s past challenges (see Strip Ease and Pulling Prints, not to mention the ones I didn’t complete).

I started by tearing various text pages into squares (using a ruler) and sticking them onto an art journal spread using a glue stick.

Then I started the paint scraping. I had an idea in my mind so I began with light blue and put the paint directly onto the credit card. I started at the top fo the page, then lifted the card when I was half way down the page. I was going for a fading effect.

Then I added brown across the bottom.

I continues with a few layers of light blue and then a few of straight white, starting from the brown section up to try and enhance the fading. The white also took away some of the darkness in the brown.

I wasn’t happy with the blue contrasting, so I added two darker shades of blue across the top. I was very careful to make sure I only added a little at a time.

To blend these in, I added more light blue and white.

And I was finally happy with the overall results. I love this method as the print dries really quickly (even in the cold weather) so it is easy to add lots of layers in a short amount of time.

To finish off the piece, I created a stencil from a photo I had taken and printed on plain paper. After mixing up some grey paint, I sponged on the trees (no paint brush here!)

To create the layers and depth of the trees, I added more black paint into the grey, adding more trees until I was out of room. I also used the negative stencil but didn’t like that effect as much as the positive stencil trees.

Here is more of the detail. You can still see the underlying text paper and the darker blue.

This is the photo I had in my mind while creating this layout.

This was taken at Lake Mulwala, New South Wales, where the Murry River has been dammed and is full of dead trees. It makes such an eerie sight, early in the morning, but the expanse of blue sky and the reflection was breathtaking. (Taken June 2010)

So that’s it for another month ~ thanks for getting to the end of the post. I would love for you to leave a comment, fellow Crusaders and general blog wanders alike.

Happy Creating,

GPP Crusade No. 41 – Grid Lock

We are back on the Crusade trail this week! And Michelle and the Green Pepper Press Street Team are in Grid Lock. So we have hauled out our art journals and created a grid. As an engineer, I LOVE grids and order and structure, so I was in heaven!

I took this art journal / altered book page that I had already over painted. I kept the apple image and collected the bits and pieces around me to cut into squares.

I decided on a “cute” square size of about 4cm, with a bit of a gap, making my grid at 9cm and then halving it. Then I wanted to have the half squares around the edges, so I indented the start of the grid, then marked out the 4.5cm squares. I debated about not actually marking the grid with a pencil on my painted background but decided it would be much easier to align each square if the grid was drawn in, so the pencil lines add a certain grunginess about it.

Next I cut up a variety of papers into 4cm squares using my trusty Centipede cutter and laid them out on the page, taking care not to sneeze. I am always amazed at how patterns and structure appears when I am trying to arrange the squares to seem random. This was the first layout.

I needed another two colours / papers so cut those and rearrange the squares. By standing back and squinting, I took the colour and pattern composition into consideration – not too many solid blue squares together; not having two of the same paper touching, even as diagonals (didn’t quite succeed there). This was the final layout – can YOU spot the difference?

Next I edged each square with either denim or sepia ink. Some were direct to paper from the ink pad. Some were using a sponge or stippling brush.  Then I finally stuck each square down carefully, taking care not to turn the squares around the wrong way. I used double sided tape for the thicker ones and PVA glue for the rest. To add a little more grunginess, I added some white gel pen and dark blue pencil lines over the pencil lies, but only at intervals and for some sections.

This was so much fun – I had it completed in a few hours. This layout is on the right hand side of the spread. I may extend the grid across the left hand side to complete the layout. I may even turn the grid 90 degrees and turn my hand at diamonds. I shall report back.

Fare thee well, fellow Crusaders. May all of ye avaid the grid lock….



Mixed Media Monday – Party Animals

The Party Animals have been let loose over at Mixed Media Monday this week. My barnyard animals are having a party…

The barnyard animals are having a party

This is another page in my art journal. Background painted with two shades of blue. Grass uses green card and highlighted with dark green on a dry brush. Edge cut with sharp scissors. Animal stamps by Fern Gully Stamps. Harold coloured with Faber-Castell pencils. All stuck in with double sided tape. Text by me.

Hope your animals have enjoyed their parties!


Mixed Media Monday – What was she thinking?

What was she thinking? That’s what we had to determine this week over at Mixed Media Monday.

I had a great time creating this art journal page. I created the background using my favourite mixed media art technique; I painted the background with gesso and acrylics, and added Collections stamps in Staz-On. The girl was attached with craft glue and I gesso’d over her dress to provide a definite outline. I made a paper template for her dress, then transferred it onto the map paper. This was cut out, gesso’d and details added with Collection stamp, pink pencil and Twinkling H2Os.

Animal stamps by Fern Gully Stamps. Bird stamp by Rhonna Farrer, Autumn Leaves. These were stamped onto dictionary paper and coloured in with pencils.Heading written by hand with silver pen and pink Sharpie pen.

Thanks must go to Diane, who does such a great job conducting and co-ordinating our Mixed Media Monday challenges each week. And thank you to all of you – each of you, with your viewing and leaving lovely comments, really have make the MMM community a fantastic one and one of my favourite challenge groups.

Until next week, keep creating!


A Day Out Stamping (and painting, and chatting…)

I made it out of the house to attend my local stamping group. I think It’s the longest I’ve been away from my children in 6 weeks (thank goodness school is starting this week!).

To see what I got up to, you can visit the SERS blog, updated by the lovely Pauline.

And you can see some stamping in my art journal, with some painting and a little collage. Will have it finished and posted this week!

Keep creating!