{R} Rule of thirds: A brief introduction to composition

Rule of three: An odd number of hearts makes for a more effective spread than if there were 2 or 4.

Rule of three: An odd number of hearts makes for a more effective spread than if there were 2 or 4.

Composition – or how various elements are placed in a work of art – is key to the success of all visual arts. Being a photography enthusiast, I have an innate understanding of some of these rules {such as the rule of thirds}, but when it comes to art, I’ve had to be a little more deliberate about composition. More often than not, however, art journal spreads are not planned – we often wing it! And that’s when we stumble upon problems of achieving balance and white space, depth and an overall pleasing composition.

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{Q} Quill and ink: incorporating the written word in your art journal

Let’s switch our focus from art to writing today. We’ve covered a fair bit on the art aspect of art journals. But the other part of an art journal, is the journal, by which I mean writing.

There are many ways in which you can incorporate the written word in your spreads to give them even more meaning. You can start with a layer of writing – pen down your thoughts, confusion, doubt, gratitude – anything on the page and then cover it with paints and mediums. That’s certainly one way to go about it – and it is something that I do very often.

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{P} Paint over collage

Paint over collage is a very interesting technique – especially if you’re afraid to draw or are unsure about shading a face, for instance, and it yields some amazing results. The technique does take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really a lot of fun!

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{N} The art of non-attachment: an introduction to intuitive painting

For me when painting, I’m most successful when I let all organized thought go; my eyes blur, and my pen goes. Whatever odd words pass through my mind I place on the page, where the edge of a paint stain looks like an eye or and arm or a mouth I let it become that, regardless of the logical nature of the form.” – Leslie A. Brown (Painter)

So, just what is intuitive painting?

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{M} Make it simple: the beauty of simple line work in black and white

I love color – luscious blues, royal purples, lush pinks, the glint of metallic paint, a riot of colors, texture, shapes, layers. Surrounded by paints in a variety of hues, it’s easy to forget the basics – black and white; line, form and shape; light shading; the simplicity that can also create a huge impact.

Monocromatic art journal page

So here’s your challenge for today.  Pull out some paper, a black watersoluble pencil (sketch and wash charcoal pencil, Inktense pencil or watercolour pencil), and play with just this simple palette.

I chose to do a black and white portrait with a hint of color, but you can choose any subject of your choice.  Add some doodles, a few paint splatters, a quote – whatever suits your fancy. Just remember to keep the color palette black and white {maybe with a hint of color}.

And don’t forget to share your sketches/paintings with me!

{L} Creating layers in your art journal

I introduced you to layers in the lesson on backgrounds. But I know I didn’t give you enough information on just how to layer. For a long time even I was confused about the how and why of layering. After all, why would someone create a beautiful background and then cover it up? Isn’t it a waste of paint? And that beautiful stencil pattern and all those collage elements that will just get hidden?

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{K} Kintsugi: Adapting the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery to your {art} journal

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold or silver. As a philosophy, the belief is that the object is more valuable and beautiful with its history revealed.

But how can you adapt a pottery repair technique to your art journal?
By adapting Kintsugi as a transformative tool in your journal.

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{I} Inky fun

Let’s spend some time today talking about inks. And no, I don’t mean the Parker ink you used in your school pen {I hope I didn’t just give me age away with that comment!}. We are going to focus on three types of ink: drawing {or India ink}, acrylic ink, and Inktense pencils.

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Drawing ink
The most popular drawing ink is Dr. Martin’s India Ink, which is available in a wide variety of colors. The colors are very intense, and when mixed with water, can be thinned into more transparent washes. Until quite recently, however, they were unavailable in India. And now that they are, they’re frightfully expensive!Continue reading