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Art Journal Time - Strange Portraits!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Art journal time is a special time for me.  I don't like to rush it.  Sometimes I will spend a long time just deciding where something will go or what colour I want to use.  I turn the pages slowly, arrange cut out drawings in different ways, or sometimes I like to add details and embellish.  I enjoy every minute of it.  If someone was watching me do this, it would probably drive them bananas. 

They might say 'Oh come on...just get on with it!'.  I don't like to be rushed, though, with my art journal time, because it helps me relax.  I enjoy  looking through the pages and remembering what I did on different days.  Sometimes a page I wasn't really happy with before will suddenly become clear, and I will know exactly what it needs.  Sometimes I like to be neat and tidy, sometimes I like the pages to look rough and thrown together, depending on what mood I am in at the time.  How about you...how do you feel about your art journal?  I think the whole idea of an art journal is that it is the process that is important, not the finished product.  It's not like a painting that we frame and hang on the wall.
One day I sat down with a big piece of good cartridge paper, some different coloured inks that I had saved from an inkjet printer that was going to be thrown away, and a paintbrush.  I started with black ink and drew some faces with the paintbrush, then began to change the features on each face...a nose a bit longer here, a different hairstyle, mouth close to the chin, mouth closer to the nose, etc.  I tried not to think too much about it.  It was a lot of fun to draw these character portraits.  I wanted to add colour, so I decided that I would add one single colour to each one with the printer inks and a paintbrush.  I let them all dry, cut them out, and put them in my 'art journal collage box' for a rainy day.  
My art journal collage box is a special flat box that I save all sorts of bits and pieces in ready to put in just the right spot in my art journal. Sometimes even the smallest doodled drawing will end up in there, or a bit of stamped paper I didn't want to throw away.  I often feel more freedom to draw or paint when it is on a bit of paper, rather than straight into my sketch book.  I know I can always decide to keep it or throw it away, so there is no pressure to make it look perfect.

So when the time was right, I took out these strange portraits of people from my imagination, and glued them into my journal, closed it and forgot about it.  Then another day I opened my journal again, and added some black paper around the portrains becaue the white page was looking a bit dirty. Yet another day I decided that I would add some embellishments with a white gel pen.  Are you  like me and find it hard to stop when using one of these pens? They are so addictive! There's something great about drawing with white on a dark surface.  So anyway, here is what these strange people turned out like in the end.  I think Mr Stern here with the moustache might have been working in a bank, or starred in an Agatha Christie movie. He's got a very sneaky smirk on his face though...what do you think he is thinking about?

I hope you have enjoyed the journey into these strange art journal pages.  One day after I haven't opened my journal for a while, I will enjoy meeting these characters again to remember how I made them!  I hope I have inspired you to get that art journal open!  Do you keep a box of goodies ready in your desk filled with cut out drawings, ready to stick in your journal? Or do you like to just jump in there and begin your creating straight on the page? Let me know in the comments, I love to hear how other people make art, because everyone is unique.

Happy art journaling!





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