October 12, 2018

Art Journaling Prompt

Hello Creatives,

It's art journaling prompt/ sketchbook time!

This project is in a mixed media art style and pretty easy, so it could be tried with kids in an art class as well. I created this as an example for my art class in the small group of kids that I teach, I will let you know if it's a success!

I think sometimes all you need to get going in your art journal is some instructions or a few prompts to follow.

So, I have created this for you today. Let me know if you try it, I'd love to see what you come up with!

You will need:

-Art journal/sketchbook
-Scrapbook papers
-Mod Podge
-Back & white print out of yourself or a loved one
-Acrylic paints
-Matte painting medium (I love to use gloss but I find it makes the pages stick in a sketchbook)
-Paint Pens

I began by sticking various pieces of scrapbook papers onto the pages. I had some scrappy bits that my art-class-kids had messed up. But not to worry, that adds to all the layering and textural effects! Tear or cut them up. Torn edges look good. Don't get precious :)

I paste the back of the papers with mod podge first, press them down, then paste more mod podge over the top. This helps to minimise wrinkling.

Cut around your black and white figure print out and paste onto the pages where you'd like it to be.

Then using medium & paint, add washes over the top varying from transparent to opaque. In some places the scrapbook paper gets completely covered. I added some petals around the 'love you more' piece, then painted in some dots and splodges.

Next up, take a small paintbrush and add some detail with a darker colour. I added outlines of a flower, but you could do anything here. You could add words, or shells, or toadstool for example. If you look at the last photo, I have added 4 points of interest with some visual space in between around the figure. 

I also added a wash of pale yellow over the cardigan, and painted some pink cheek circles in :)

Add more paint and washes if desired. I used a white paint pen to bring some texture back into the clothing.

Add some more medium-paint-mix here using darker colours thinned out quite a bit, and rub back, manipulate and push the medium around using a tissue. This creates some extra depth and texture.

Last of all, when it's completely dry (don't be impatient like me and ruin your paint pens), take some paint pens and doodle over the top however you would like.

All done! What I love about a set of "instructions" for art journaling/ sketchbook work, is that you can take some of the decisions and fear away from what to do, take the cues and just enjoy the creative process.


Jules :)

September 20, 2018

Craft: DIY Resin Pendants

Every now and then I craft a batch of these resin pendants using various methods, and I’m sharing with you today how I’ve made these hand-painted necklace pendants.

You will need:

There are so many brands of resin to use. I’ve been using one called “Glass Coat”. They are sold as a two-part epoxy kit that you mix together. The individual brands will state on the bottles whether they are suitable for coating. 
-Wide wooden stirrer
-Wooden craft disks (I used 1 1/2”)
-Acrylic Paint
-Sealer (I used a water-based gloss varnish)
-Necklace or cord and closure of your choice
-Small propane torch
-E6000 glue

First, seal your wooden disks using gesso.

Once dry, paint them however you like. I just "doodle painted". I had no plan; I just started painting. If you don’t like anything you’ve done, just paint over it! There’s no pressure here, and that’s the beauty of acrylics :) 

Paint the backs of the pendants in a solid colour.

Once my designs were dry, I sealed them using the gloss sealer front, back, and sides. 

Leave to dry.

Now, mix your resin. Pour the two parts of your resin into a disposable container, and mix following the directions on the bottle of your particular brand using the wooden stirrer. 

Place your pendants on some paper (baking paper provides extra protection if you need it) to protect your working surface. Pour the resin on, or ‘spoon’ on like I have in the photo using my stirrer stick, and gently coax the resin up to the sides of the disk using the stirrer. The surface tension keeps the resin from dripping over the sides, although unfortunately that sometimes happens!

Using the propane torch, quickly run over the resin close to the surface, but not touching the resin with the flame. This will pop any little air bubbles.

Leave in a dust free area to cure. I place a large lid over my work to keep dust off. You just have to make sure the lip is deep enough so it doesn’t touch the pendants.

Glue bails on the pendants using E6000 glue.

Once the glue is dry, thread your pendants onto cord or necklace, and enjoy!

Jules :)

September 05, 2018

Creative Life Round Up!

Hello creative friends! What have I been up to?

Sorry it's been a while, I think I'm way overdue for a catch-up :)

I have started a ceramics class, which actually only has two weeks left for the term. I am totally smitten by working with clay. I really felt I wanted to learn, as I couldn't remember all the clay joining rules and techniques that I've learned in the past, and wanted to make sure I didn't make something and have my work explode along with blowing up other people's work that might happen to be sitting next to mine in the kiln.

I've done one class per week so far and it's given me enough knowledge of the basics to start creating.  I can see you could study pottery for years and still be learning.

I've purchased some of my own supplies so I can carry on learning ceramics at home (thank you, youtube!)

I also think it's a perfect craft for holding my attention. As I suffer from craft- attention- deficit- disorder (alongside many of you I'm sure) and struggle to commit to any one thing, I think that the excitement of opening a kiln and getting to see what comes out might just be enough to keep me coming back for more. I am really into it. I even dreamt about glazing last night!

So yesterday I got to pick up my first two finished pieces! A little mini pinch pot, and this texture-decorated tea light holder. I played around with the tea light holder to see if I could add pieces on that didn't fall off in the kiln, and they didn't, hooray!

A new DIY craft tutorial I've been working on involves cement & creating something for the garden, oooh! *rubs hands together* :)

Some table bling... from a while ago, but I love the photo!

This illustrated quote available as a print in the shop. "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Drawn using coloured pencils and acrylic paint. A reminder to myself that sometimes I need to stop thinking about what projects I'm working on and just get working! This would look great in a plain frame, but if you're over-the-top like me and feel more is more, an ornate frame would work just as well.

And an image from my sketchbook, just to pretty up the post a bit more :) 

I'm also running a weekly after school kids art class, which has taken up a fair bit of my time too, planning and getting things ready for that through the week. And researching how to teach and manage a kids class room! I get all the art stuff, that is covered, but class room management!? Holy moly..

So, I'll have some more clay stuff soon. Who knows where I'm going with this! I'm also entering into the Illustrators Australia & New Zealand 2018 Awards, with an unpublished illustration (pictures to come). Also- a chook pen reno coming up! Hopefully with the arrival of spring, sunnier days and longer light hours, I'll be less tired and more motived to create more.

Hope you've enjoyed my update, 

Jules :)

July 15, 2018

Kids Craft Project: Painted Dream Catchers

Hello Creativity Lovers!

I'm sharing a craft project that we kept busy with one day over the school holidays.

We had some of our kids' friends over for a whole day, and they are art and craft lovers, so we thought we'd come up with a special project for them to complete while they were here. 

Painted dream catchers! 

I got the fabric circles and wire loops ready before our guests came over. I cut circles of calico, a little smaller than the wire circles I made, sewed around them leaving a gap, snipped around the edges then turned out to the right side. I pressed the circles with an iron, then topstitched close to the edges all around, sealing the opening.

I gave each circle a coat of gesso and let dry. Check out my desk, one of my kids has written "ART!" Haha.

I suggested each kid think of a theme for their dream catcher, and we printed off some pictures from the internet for inspiration. I also suggested we each thought about our colour theme, and whether we wanted lighter or darker colours. One of my girls thought a colour palette scheme printed from the internet would be a good idea, so we did that.

Once the kids were in the studio, they chose fabric to wrap around our wire circles, sealing the ends with tacky craft glue. 

Then the kids got to work painting their chosen themes. We used student grade acrylic paint, and one kid chose to add some pen to the top of their dry painting (we used a hair dryer to speed up the paint drying), and another chose to use some stamps to embellish her piece.

The stamping was done by painting acrylic paint onto the stamp then pressing onto the fabric. You need to quickly wash stamps after doing that, before the acrylic paint dries into grooves.

Contrast works well in paintings. I suggested a darker background here to make the cat stand out. Of course, I'm not strict about it all, if someone chooses to go against my suggestion, then I'm all for letting their own individual creativity and ideas shine!

Then came sewing our paintings into our wire loops. To make it easier, I used a hammer and a chunky nail to make holes around the edges so the kids could easily sew their chosen wool colour through the edges of the paintings. We used tapestry needles for the sewing.

We found it easier to loosely sew the calico circle in, then go around fixing the tension of the wool later.

Busy, crafty, fun work!

The kids then chose from ribbons, fabric strips, ric-rac, wool, and beaded strands to "flourish" their dream catchers. (Flourish was a word used by one of the kids- love it!)

They also discovered my supply of resin flowers, and so some of them got added to their paintings as well. I made wool loops to attach to the tops for hanging.

Then, the dream catchers were all finished, and our proud guest artists went home with a unique piece of art to hang in their rooms and catch all their wildest dreams!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process of our latest kids craft project.

Jules :)

June 20, 2018

New Art: Sculpture

Hello Creativity Lovers! I have some new art to share today in the form of a sculpture.

I was driven to create a piece that was elaborate and detailed. As I was making it I was thinking about the woman holding the cheetah creature, who also seems to represent a child, with its naive face and it got me thinking about the things we are connected to. We care for the extensions of ourselves in our lives; children or animals, and we are bound and tied to them in bittersweet ways. 

The Ties That Bind Us or; Nurture

The binding is represented by the entwining black beads around the woman's leg, keeping her in a place that sometimes feels restrictive, but ultimately, it's where she wants to be.

It's a mixed media art piece that was made used paper mache, air dry clay, plaster, gauze, wire, beads, wool, fabric and acrylic paint. It's also a shout out to my love of crazy colour, texture, and maximalism.

I think this 3D art/ sculpture has got me all excited about a new way of working, and my mind is flooded with imagery of possibilities. I have signed up for a ceramics class next term to keep this 3D art & sculpture thread going, and am excited to see where that leads.

Hope you enjoyed checking out my latest project.

Jules :)


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