Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Sketchbook Activity

Hi everyone!
Carol here.

I have been doing a variety of things this spring and summer.
One of them involved trout fishing.

I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest corner of South Carolina (USA).
They are a part of the Appalachian Mountains- which is the oldest mountain chain in the North American continent (about 350 million years old).
Needless to say the scenery is breathtaking any time of the year in this area.

My husband and I hike and trout fish in several places in the mountain rivers.
I am always amazed at how beautiful these fish are.
I decided to spend a little time sketching and painting them to familiarize myself with them even more.

It's true that we can simply look at something and think we know much about it. But if you spend a little time drawing it you know so much more about it. Add paint to the mix and you will be amazed at how much you missed when just looking at it.

I started out with the brook trout.
They have dots, specs and halos of an orange/red color on their sides that are so interesting.
It seems like everyone paints the rainbow trout but I love the shock of color on the brookie just as much.

I took a few photos for my own information then searched for clearer ones online and in books from the library. It's much easier to draw something when you have a really good photo, isn't it?

After my research and visual study, I came up with this sketch.

I darkened this sketch in PSE.


My original plan was to familiarize myself with the subject enough to paint a few small pieces as Christmas gifts.
I created a simple thermofax screen with the front 1/2 of the drawing since I knew that I was going to be painting more than one.
Then I pulled out the paint.

Here's a look at two pages in my sketchbook - one study is complete and the other three are "in work", all of them were started with a thermofax screen. You can really see the lines of it in the second page of my sketchbook studies. (I just noticed that I used two different screens for the fish.)

The painting on the bottom has been completed.
The upper one only has 2 or 3 layers on it.

The top trout has almost been completed.
The bottom one only has a couple of layers of paint applied.

I took the practice from these two pages in my sketchbook and created several small paintings.
I didn't use the thermofax screen on these paintings though.
Here's a scan of the simple drawing that I made in order to get started.


This wood block (it is actually a free sample block of wood flooring from a local Home Depot!). It measures 3 1/2 inches x 5 inches.

This is the completed painting.

I may have taken a little "artistic license" with this...


I love using the small blocks from the big box home improvement stores. You have to sand them before covering them in a layer of gesso. Sometimes the paint will still fleck off a little if it bumps up against something but they are fine for the most part.

Here's another one - even smaller than the one above.
It measures 2 1/4 inches x 5 inches.



The lesson in this long post is to really study whatever it is you are interested in.
Draw it.
Paint it.
Practice it.
Repeat.
Repeat.


Head over to my blog - I have other posts about drawing, painting and creating fiber art.
I also have an Etsy shop with tons of thermofax screens.
Maybe you'll find one that will help you with your painting!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Vacation-ish ~ Jane LaFazio


from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
Jane LaFazio here! I just got back from a sort of summer vacation at Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park. (I taught 1/2 days and played the rest of the day.) Here are some of the sketchbook pages I did, on location.
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio

from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio

from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
 I'm teaching an online, "Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style" that will start September 1. Hope to see you there, click here for details.
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
Jane LaFazio
While I was in the park, I took ukulele lessons! Gotta try ALL the arts!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Italian Sketchbook ~ Jane LaFazio


from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
Jane LaFazio here. This year I had the pleasure of teaching "Sketching and Watercolor: Journal Style" along shores of Lake Como, Italy. Sadly, we did not see George Clooney! 
Here are some of my sketchbook pages, painted in Italy on location.
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
I'll be teaching in Massachusetts, Sept 12-15th, not quite Italy, but it should be lovely! Hope you join me. Details here.
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio 
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio
from my sketchbook ~ by Jane LaFazio



Sunday, July 13, 2014

making books

Sue B here...

Since we're taking a little vacation from themes this month I thought I'd share what I've been working on.  Instead of working on paper, I've been working on canvas fabric...

I started out by laying down blocks of color onto plain cotton canvas fabric and then once it was dry I screen printed some images over it using Jacquards Screen printing ink  in opaque white.


 The writing on the fabric you see above was done by using an ink filled craft syringe. 
 


The screened image of the buildings was made by drawing the image onto a silkscreen using the Jacquard drawing fluid.  Love this stuff!  You can draw any image you like on the screen and then use it to print on fabric or paper.  

  





I turned a few of the painted surfaces I made into some journals:




And I filled the insides with  hand painted pages, fabric pages with papers,folders and envelopes and pockets stitched to them.




I'm going to be teaching a three day workshop on creating these fabric journals in San Diego in October.  Click here to visit the San Diego Book Arts website for more information on the workshop.


Friday, July 11, 2014

'Rare Birds'



So a theme holiday, I'd like to take mine by the seaside with fish and chips, and not too many seagulls to pinch the chips, but my husband is away working and just too busy to go for a paddle. So talking of birds, I will show you a few pages from my sketchbook for ‘Rare Birds’ which is the theme for my contribution to Jenny Doh’s latest book ‘Stitch Along’, you can read more about it on my blog.





I do recommend working to a theme as I find it pushes me along, and when I fancy trying out a technique I have the source material ready to go.

I wonder where your holiday will take you, I am jealous. Jackie

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Documented Life Project

Jamie Fingal checking in today.  I thought you might enjoy seeing my hand made calendar that I created with handmade paper as my base, that created the colored lines that run horizontally.  Everything else is hand drawn with Copic markers, Sharpies and white gel pens.  The drawing itself was done in a large 9x12 journal book, where the pages lay flat when you open the book.

This is part of The Documented Life Project, where people do a calendar like this, weekly.  This was my first attempt at this concept.

I have to say that this was really fun to create.  I don't think I could do this every week, but I do like the idea of it.  Maybe once a month would be more my speed.

Talk about 'thinking outside the box' - this takes the cake!  And I think you could apply this to many other projects.  I love the free-form of it all.

a larger detail

I love the white gel pens and what they can do to make artwork pop!  Can't wait to see what you create this month for The Sketchbook Challenge.  Make Time for Art!