Coloured pencil playfulness

Have fallen in love with Päivi‘s art – see her blog Peony and Parakeet. She has revived my interest in coloured pencils. I adore the way she uses them in her inspiring abstracts. Without trying to copy her style, I have made some of my own in a handmade journal.

Art supplies used: black fine liner pen, coloured pencils (some are watercolour pencils) and a corrector pen. The first image, “Steps to Happiness” has some collage and stenciled elements too.mixed media journal page


art journal collage and paint

mixed media journal page


coloured pencil mixed mediamixed media colored pencilmixed media w/colored pencil

This creature formed itself out of watercolour paint drips. I was trying to make a sort of tree and suddenly, there he was. All he needed was a few defining pen strokes.

Mixed media journal with colored pencil

This page was created by splodging on watercolour randomly, then picking out bits to colour with pencil. Some doodles started to reveal all the hidden monsters.

Art journal page color pencil abstract

I called this one “Patterns of Thought” as I was listening to some metaphysical blog radio at the time.

Patchwork art journal

Here is the cover, inspired by Teesha‘s fabulous journals. There are odd little pockets on the inside where I overlapped squares to make it the right size.Fabric journal inspired by Teesha

Rough puff patchwork

Life Book 2014 exercises

Life Book 2014 Week 10

I made three attempts at this one. Blimmin’ awful! We had to use magazine photos of faces and paint over them. The back grounds are paint, collage and gesso. I spattered and dripped, splodged and crayoned but I could not get them to look  how I saw them in my imagination. The premise of the exercise was ‘Life Connections’. Obvs I focused on my family and home. Why the little house on the right looks like it’s on fire, I have no idea! Anyway – crap!

Life Book 2014 Week 11

Week 11 was a short bonus lesson based on ‘The Tree of Life’ Tam’s demonstration was a lovely whimsical girl on a swing and her ‘cohort’, Gracie, gave us a lovely video of a more abstract tree. I’m not  alover of drawing figures, so I sort of combined the two demos for the image on the left. The one on the right was just me playing with some ideas in my journal – nothing to do with Life Book.

Life Book 2014 Week 14

You might notice I skipped a couple of weeks. That’s because the exercises for the missing weeks didn’t really appeal & I didn’t have the necessary materials for them. I can always go back to them if I feel the urge later on.

This was Week 14, a bonus lesson by Dyan Reavely. Much fun. Quick and easy. Dyan’s flowers were three dimensional but I made mine flat as I am working in a journal, rather than on loose sheets of paper. I cheated even more – the flowers, leaves and tree were created out of  four large sticky labels. I journaled on them – freewriting all sorts of crazy stuff. The flowers, etc., were doodled, painted (Tombow markers) and cut out. Of course, they simply stuck down without me having to bother with glue or gel medium. I like the effect so it’s a technique I will use again.

The background was created by spraying diluted Brusho (powder) watercolour paints. Sorry, Dyan, but I can’t afford Dylusions right now. Brushos work just the same, last for an eternity and you can do lots of different effects with them. There are several videos on YouTube which demonstrate how to use them.

Readers in the US can buy Brusho paints here.

Life Book 2014 Week 15

Week 15 was so much fun. I loved making these Quirky Animals! This was a lesson presented by Tam… I dreaded trying to do these, but the way she explained and showed us made it super-simple. Again I used my trusty Brushos for the background, spraying them through stencils.

The creatures are made with simple shapes with added quirk. Some are painted with acrylics and some are watercolour and/or watercolour pencil.

I added white pen all around, and some gold dimensional paint on the background.

I’d love to do more of these and frame them for imminent grandbaby.














Life Book 2014 Traci Bautista's lesson

Week 16 was one I’ve been looking forward to. I’ve been a great fan of Traci Bautista for a few years now. I just which I could create art so… well, so artfully as she does. Her’s always seems unforced and easy, whereas when I try the same thing it looks like a dog’s breakfast! Think I’ll give this one another go,

Life Book 2014 Week 19

Missed a couple more weeks – this is Week 19. Week 18 was an interview with Carla Sonheim.

This lesson was presented by Danielle Danielle. I quite enjoyed it, even if I can’t get the hang of crossed legs. Pretend she’s wearing great baggy yoga pants, please! The background was created with lots of collage, hence the very textured nature. There is a torn piece of collage that runs right though the girl’s face – argh!

Acrylics, gesso, collage, crayon & pen.

And I am all caught up – yay!

Life Book week 8

I have caught up – yay! This week’s lesson was created by Alena Hennessy, author of Cultivating Your Creative Life, and it was all about intuitive painting. She gave us a guided meditation, which I’m ashamed to say I haven’t partaken of yet (I’m a meditative wriggler) and a free form exercise using collage, acrylics, crayons and pen.

Mixed media abstract

I had a lot of fun with this – it’s one of favourite ways of making art. There was a stage (which I oughtta be used to by now, you’d think) where it got extremely ugly and I was about to bin it. I kept telling myself to press on and it would be okay in the end. Well, it’s not great, but it’s okay.

Journal of Simplicity

Hand made journal

Here’s an old journal I made. It’s only partially filled, but it’s the one I turn too when a bit bored. The pre-prepared backgrounds make it easy to get started. The journal was made by laying down a full size Imperial sheet of Fabriano Artistico, then spraying with diluted inks through stencils. When the first side was dry, I turned it over and sprayed again. Drips and runs very much appreciated.Sprayed ink journal

I used a straight edge to tear the paper into… mm… 8″ x 16″ pieces. I folded them in half and sewed them at the spine.

Journal of Simplicity 2

Sprayed ink journa

Handmade journal

I love that the background suggests images to me – do you see faces in your bathroom flooring too? So when I want to do some art but am not particularly inspired, I can open this journal and ‘see’ something – all I have to do is let it out.

Hand made art journal

Life Book 2014 Week 7 Jane Davenport

I have to admit it… I was very resistant to doing last week’s lesson. I love Jane Davenport’s style, her energy and verve. However, I thought that the lesson, which involved making a sort of folder with pop-ups inside was more suited to card making than an art journal page. After huffing and puffing a bit, I decided that I was indeed resisting, and there was no earthly reason why I shouldn’t try it. Of course, my underlying problem is that I thought I *couldn’t do it*.

My ‘creation’ is based on my home and family – it’s where I feel good with the people I love. I used spray inks, fabric tape, watercolours, acrylics, pen, a bit of collage and I made the bunting with watercolour diamonds and a bit of yarn.

Jane Davenport lesson

Life Book 2014

Jane Davenport Lesson pop-ups

They make my heart sing


Life Book 2014 Week 6 Pt 2

As promised, here is my version of the main exercise for week 6. My first attempt was a disaster but I gessoed over the mess and started again – being too mean to discard the Fabriano paper. The Brusho paint worked really well over the gesso and I got some really good streaks going. Loved how they mixed – even yellow and purple – together and didn’t make mud.

We had to make a list of our positive attributes before we started but I preferred to do mine on the fly. I wrote them in the third person as I couldn’t bear to write I, I, I, me, me, me, all over my art.

Life Book 2014 positive qualities




Life Book 2014 Week 6

Week six was another couple of exercises from Tam – she’s always fun. This week we were dripping and flowing ink. She used Dylusions; I haven’t got any so I used my diluted Brusho paints. Brusho is a powdered watercolour/dye that can be used in many ways on paper and fabric. It can be diluted and kept in spray bottles – you only need to use a little, or you can sprinkle it onto wet paper for some lovely effects. We had two projects; here is the first.

Wk 6 inksplash sml

I used homemade tape, fabric tape, rubber stamps and my Brusho paint. I’ll post the second piece as soon as it’s done.