Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June theme: "Pathways"

Pathways.  We all take them, both literally and metaphorically.  Some are of our own choosing, and some are set before us.  It is what we do with the pathways that are not of our own choosing that often define us the most. 
Leslie here. Please join me this month in exploring your own pathways through words and images.  I look forward to seeing where yours take you.
For my first page, I created a layered collage on 140 lb hot press watercolor paper.  First, I did painted several colors of watered-down Golden Fluid acrylic over the surface.  Next, I spattered some gouache with a watercolor brush.  Using both Sakura gel pens and water-soluble crayons I wrote into the dried paint, often layering the script.  Finally, using some plastic lettering I created a stenciled title by coloring over the letters with Pitt Pens, then marked back into the edges with Sakura gel pens for definition.

This page was created in several layers, again on 140 lb hot press paper.  After washing dilute golden fluid acrylic over a portion of the paper I applied saran wrap and “bunched it” on the surface, allowing it to dry in place.  The plastic draws the paint in and creates an organic set of “stone-like” shapes on the surface.  In addition, I stamped into the blue wash on the right side of the page with some hand-cut eraser stamps and allowed it to dry.  I wrote into these areas with a combination of Pitt pens and Sakura gel pens.  Finally, I collaged an old baggage tag onto the surface for an ironic twist.

The third page was created by pressing bubble wrap into a wet acrylic wash and allowed to dry.  As with the saran wrap, the paint will gravitate to the areas the bubble wrap contacts the paper surface, giving an interesting textural quality to the page.  I fused some cut pieces of hand-dyed cloth (a piece of cotton and a piece of silk-cotton Radiance) onto the page and stitched them (somewhat badly!) into place on the sewing machine.  I wrote in the central areas with a Sakura gel pen.

My fourth page has some similar features as the others:  an area of saran wrap texture, another hand-made stamp on the left edge of the page, this time stamping pigment onto a wet surface which allows the paint to migrate just slightly to create a blurred edge.  The area inside the saran marks reminded me of a tree branch shape, so I used a thermofax screen of my bird (seen in previous pages) and drew into the shape with water-soluble crayons, then painted over with a wash of gouache paint.  I painted the branch shape first with water, then “dripped” a bit of paint into the area and allowed it to run.  Since water has a “memory” on the paper, the paint remained only in the water-brushed area.
The flowers at the top of the page were drawn in with Sakura pens and a few of the petals were painted into with gouache.

Junes theme is: Pathways!

How to be eligible for prize drawings:

In order to be eligible for one of the June prize packages you must post at least one photo of a sketchbook page related to the theme for May to the Sketchbook Challenge Flickr group and you MUST tag one of your photos with the code "jun749".
It is not necessary to tag more than one and it will not increase your chances of winning.

See the available prize packages here!

Information on how to upload photos to flickr can be found

Winners will be chosen by random draw on 6/30/11 and announced on the Sketchbook Challenge blog on 6/30/11. 


  1. This looks like a good one! Mapmaking, anyone?

  2. I love those pages! The texture and hidden meaning ... just wonderful. Must do some of these techniques (never thought of leaving bubble wrap on the paint while it dried ... love that look!)

  3. Great theme! Thank you, Leslie.

  4. Instead of saying how am I going to do this one!! I am choosing to say how exciting a new challenge this month and I can do it!!! Wow this one could open up so many possibilities.

  5. I'm thinking that this new challenge will help me get the ole mojo moving...

  6. I love the theme for June! I can think of many pathways. Truly inspirational, as is your artwork. Love the colors and textures. I am ready to roll!

  7. I can't wait to see what everyone does with the theme. I'm inspired to make some more pages. I'll be peeking at the Flickr pages frequently!

  8. Hello. I was wondering if it was too late for me to join in on The Sketchbook Challenge.

    Thanks so much,