Illustrated Journals (page 1 of 3)

How to Make a Simple Ink Wash

Using an ink wash is a fun and easy way to add interest to your illustrated journal or art journal pages. It is especially handy way to start a page if you are not confident in your drawing as it is by its nature a messy look. (“See? I meant it to look like that.”)

In this short video, you can see how the technique can be done with pen and ink as well as other water soluble materials. Let me know if you have any [read more]

Making Illustrated Journal Pages While Stuck Inside

There is something special about the ability of an illustrated journal to capture the details of our days and these are strange days indeed that need recording. If you make notes in your visual diary now, you will have an account of what this time was like: isolating or working on the front lines; keeping your kids home or keeping connected virtually while you are on your own; what you are watching or reading; privations, resourceful ideas, what you are doing to cope, how you have adjusted your day to day. Anything. Seriously – anything.

(Click on any photo for a larger view.)

My experience in teaching journal keeping tells me that some of you are already off and running while others are overwhelmed by the idea of beginning. If this is you here is what you need to know: you can and should do this, and here are some hacks to get you started, no excuses.

(To read more about what an illustrated journal is go to this earlier post.)

  • Use what materials you have on hand. This is not the time to go out buy art supplies so use printer paper or a school notebook, a pencil or [read more]

Illustrated Journal Pages, France (Burgundy)

These are some recent illustrated journal pages from last Fall’s trip through Burgundy in France. Santé ! (Click on photo for larger image.)

And below is a flipthrough with commentary about how I made some of the [read more]

What is an Illustrated Journal?

Recently, someone said they admired the way I kept up with my illustrated journal pages while on vacation. I stared at her slackjawed. No matter how many museums, road trips, hikes, or meal – I can’t not keep up my journal. If I don’t get it in my diary, it didn’t happen, without my pages my journey feels flat and black and white. So I thought maybe it was time to do a little preaching about keeping a visual diary.

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An illustrated journal is somewhere between a diary and a scrapbook: drawings, ticket stubs, lists, maps, postcards, and photos combine with handwritten lists, notes, and stories and the end result is a whimsical field guide to your days. Unlike a photo album alone, it provides a strong sense of witness.

While it is invaluable for travel (the French call it un carnet de voyage) and capturing unfamiliar sites, food, wanderings, scenery, memories, it can do these things for your everyday life as well, your day-to-day journey: what you’re cooking, reading, pondering. A map of your neighbourhood with a story. Your shoes, a leaf, your cat, your coffee cup. (Click on photos for larger view.)

 

In the weeks to come I [read more]

How to Make No-Fail New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”Annie Dillard, A Writing Life

Making New Year’s Resolutions is a kind of religion for me. I believe in it so much that I make my resolutions at the new year and again at mid-year for tune up. If you are reading this and you think that resolutions are corny or a waste of time, I strongly suspect that no one has ever sugested ways that are meaningful and guarantees success. So give it a chance and join me, won’t you? You are about to change your life.

In my experience, expressing your deepest, wildest dreams, even in a private diary, can feel scary and sometimes even wrong, as in: “Who am I to allow myself to imagine a life this big and gorgeous and successful? And if I write it in my day-to-day journal, what if someone sees it? What if I see it, what if I read it again in a few months and I’ve failed because of course I will and these words will humiliate me because I should know better and…” Sound familiar?

The Burner Journal

Now, you can “kill” your [read more]

What is the Best Way to Keep a Journal?

 

Okay, now that you’re here, I might as well tell you this is a trick. Oh, we are going to talk about ways to keep journals; in the weeks and months to come, we are going to talk about it a lot: about paper and laying out a page and formatting and lettering and you name it, but today, there is no so-called best way. What matters is that you clicked on this link because you want to keep a journal or diary – maybe just with words but maybe also with drawings or doodling or gluing or something. And you don’t know how to start.

It is possible you are an experienced journal keeper and do not need outside help. I think it is more likely that you are new at this or that you began and are now stuck. Maybe you bought a blank book and have never made a mark in it because it’s too good to write in. Maybe you have a plain-old, lined notebook that cost $1.29 and you think it’s not good enough.

Whichever it is, you are mistaken. What you need to start your journal is this: something to write on (handmade [read more]

Using Ink in Your Journal Work

So, let’s talk about ink. It is one of the bedrock materials for use in an illustrated journal, sketchbook, art journal, junk journal, or an array of mixed-media projects. There is fountain pen ink, plant based inks, pigments, dyes, acrylic ink, and tinctures and they can all be used to create backgrounds or highlights or washes or shadows in your sketches. Here are ten ways that you can use ink in your journal work. (Go all the way down to see the video!)

– Blots. Doesn’t get simpler than this. Dribble a bit of ink on a page then blot with another sheet then allow to dry. Depending on how much ink you use, you will either have a substantial, abstract background to draw or work on top of, or a smaller blotch. The shapes created by these smaller puddles of colour often suggest a drawing with this as its base. You can also make a blot by spraying liberally with a mister than allowing to dry or by folding the pages on top of each other for a dramatic smudge.

– Asemic writing is an abstract calligraphy, scribbled lines that suggest letters and in turn, words. (To see [read more]

Illustrated Journal Pages: France

These are some pages that I made while in Burgundy last April. (Ha. Just finished editing and photographing them.) You can see that while I enjoy sketching and painting, I am not great at it. I sketch and draw anyway. I also rely heavily on found items from brochures, menus, maps, and whatnot. My point is, if you are hesitating to work in a journal because you think you can’t draw – NO EXCUSES. (Ahem.) Now here we [read more]

Basic Workshop Info

To attend one of these workshops, please contact me and book in for a time that suits you. These are two hour sessions of intense teaching and creating, and you will leave inspired.

 

Art Play Date Workshop

Join artist Kelly Boler at her marina art studio for a playdate that includes one-on-one tuition and full use of an amazing variety of stencils, rubber stamps, inks, embossing powders, acrylic paint, pastels, watercolours, gel mediums, gesso, hot glue, paint daubers, watercolour pencils and crayons, die cutters, washi tape, and a huge assortment of paper ephemera. Also on hand is a library of art books filled with ideas for inspiration. Learn how to keep an art journal, make your own tag art, try out unfamiliar art supplies and techniques, or just play.

This playdate is ideal for absolute beginners as well as experienced crafters. Buy it for yourself or give to someone who might need a nudge with their creativity. Two hours includes use of all supplies, tuition on a variety of crafts, and a free starter sketchbook to work in and take home. £40 for an individual or £75 for two – bring a friend!

To make a date call or text: 0792 807 8866 or [read more]

Journal Prompts for the New Year

In my latest junk journal, I included hand-written prompts throughout to stimulate reflection and creative data-mining of the soul. Below is a list of those prompts plus a few more. Feel free to cut and paste and borrow at will. (To see the journal in my shop, go to: https://bookandpaperarts.com/altered-book-with-goal-setting-prompts/)

 

(The only thing that I ask is that if you use these in a post or item to sell, that you credit me, please.)

 

 

What are five things that

I would like to learn?

 

Choose one. Now pretend you nailed it.

Look at how you began, backwards. You are

here, how did you get here, what was

your first babystep? Now take that step.

 

What are some quotes that are meaningful

to you? Write one and illustrate it. If you

don’t draw, make a collage from photos

in a magazine.

 

What is the best decision I ever made?

 

What are you really good at? Quick, what

was the first thing that came to your mind?

Write it down and write about it.

 

Your goddess. Describe her in five words.

Illustrate or collage what she is like.

 

Name five role models or people I admire.

 How can I be more like them?

 

What is my favourite thing to wear for

dressing up? For comfort? Draw or

collage them.

 

Which one makes [read more]

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