Saturday, August 29, 2015

Inspiration - Sunset and Fireflys - Artful Journeys Prompt Week #35

This weeks prompt got my blood boiling! I had this grand idea of a watercolor sunset background and the bold black silhouette of a corn field and the fireflies brightly lit up in the field. I thought it would be easy! I am a pro! I can do watercolor sunsets with my eyes closed!


I grabbed my Strathmore 400 Series Watercolor Journal and started up! I wet my page to get it ready and started adding color, it was one of those days... even the skills I think I have down pat are impossible to accomplish!  I was overworking the color I could not keep a light hand!  I tried to fix it and I picked up too much color! This is what I ended up with, all the colors to bold, no dreamy color what so ever, and a muddy mix of color that I could not pick up and it was sopping wet from trying to lighten the it, this picture is from about and hour of trying to fix my initial error.

I was so frustrated I closed my watercolor journal went and played with my puppy to cool down and came back to it. I opened my journal and I still did not like it for what I wanted to do, but....

The page on the opposite side was beautiful and reminded my of my scouting days when I took a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters , it was so beautiful there! I was inspired! Woo hoo!!

The colors that were bold on the opposite page came over as muted on the opposite page that gave it the dreamy surreal quality that I remember from the Boundary Waters. 

Right away I found my inner Bob Ross, pulled out my fan brush, and started painting some happy little trees using a mix of black and forest green watercolor. 

The muddy mix of color from the page gone wrong was concentrated in mostly one area of my new loveliness, and reminded me of some of the bluffs we had seen during our trip, I always wanted to go to the top and camp out looking over the waterways and see the everything from above.

So I painted the bluff in and put people camping on the top, I even remembered to put their food pack up in a tree! In reality you would put it further from your campsite, but it's my world! Oops! how did they get there!? So, I added the canoe banked at the bottom of the bluff.

I added another tree into the foreground to add a bit of depth, and added my lightening bugs (aka fire flies) here and there. In hind sight I would have left the foreground tree out, the fireflies make it look kinda like a Christmas tree, but, I don't hate it entirely, so that's a positive, right?

I really like how this page ended up! I really was so frustrated with the whole thing, but life is so full of happy accidents!

I know I will end up using the original page for something else, I don't know what but it will be used, I do like how the colors turned out on that page, it just wasn't what was in my head! I am still going to do my original idea at some point, just not now!

Big hugs and mushy stuff!!!

Special thanks to my Puppy for helping me keep my cool! It is impossible to look at him an not smile!

Go on over and check out what the other girls made over at Artful Chicks!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Inspiration - Windows - Artful Journeys - Week #34

This weeks prompt gave me a reason to practice my watercolor skills, and what is a art journal for if not to practice! I have always had a hard time with trees so I decided to do a scene with trees so I scoured the internet looking for some nice scenery pictures, I found a beautiful picture by Anna Surface of Surface and Surface Photography, I would post a copy of the picture but I didn't get permissions to post the photo, you should definitely take a look at her website her work is beautiful.

I used her photo as reference for this watercolor

I think I am getting better at catching the highlights and shadows when it comes to groups of trees, I still have more work to do to get where I want to but I am pretty happy with my progress!

I wanted to use this picture as a  view from a window in my junk journal, I made my junk journal using a large Smash journal and a Recollections journal that I found on the clearance rack a Micheals, they were both damaged so I took the 2 and made them into 1 journal, I love this journal and the different patterns sometime lead me to paint and draw things I normally wouldn't.

I found a page that had wood grain that would make a perfect window frame so I cut out the windows, and I lucked out that the other side was a floral pattern and I use the cut out parts as curtains!

I taped the watercolor onto the back of the page using scotch paper tape on just the one side so that the full watercolor can still be seen if wanted.

I then used the cut out pieces from the window and used double stick tape to attach them to the window frame to make pretty curtains.

I think the journal entry turned out pretty cute and love that I have put another entry into my junk journal!

Go check out how the other ladies used this weeks prompt over at Artful Chicks!!

Big hugs and mushy stuff!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Inspiration - Bad Poetry - Artful Journeys - Week #33

Ok... Bad Poetry... Did you know National Bad Poetry Day is August 18th? Who knew it had its own day! I didn't! but it is awesome to have a day that makes me realize I'm not the only one that cant write like Shakespeare!

For the Artful Journeys prompt we put a twist on it and made it a 'Found' Poetry prompt as well! Basically cutting out words from magazines, books, flyers, newspapers etc. and seeing what we could come up with!

I had so much fun with this one! I sat on the couch just cutting words out of magazines, I thought I was done then realized I forgot to cut out my Fanboys! (Fanboy is an acronym for the basic conjunctions F=for A=and N=nor B=but O=or Y=yet S=so) So don't forget your Fanboys!

I also had a page in my junk journal that I had no idea how to use so I started gluing my words down, I didn't even add any other embellishment on the page, I just like how they look on top of the wheat.

It says:

I looked in the mirror
Serenity and a Dog,
Is Mystery
Into the Last Best Plunge with you?

Lets pretend it's deep and meaningful, shall we?

To go along with it I just used paint and colored pencil to make a girl with a dog on the other side of the page, covering as little of the background as possible.

Here is the full spread, it may not be my absolute favorite journal entry but it was a lot of fun! and I love that I don't have to stare at the wheat pages anymore!

And just for fun I made a second one for bad poetry day, This spread I made using napkins I received from a member of Artful Mail Groupies as a "just because" she is so sweet! (thank you P.J.!)

I started by separating the layers of the napkins ripping them apart and gluing them down along with some book pages using Liquitex Matte Medium.

I used gelatos and gesso to color the back ground and added splatters of black India Ink around just for some contrast.

The large yellow and red butterfly I stamped on the page using my StazOn ink pad.

I used acrylic paint, Neocolor II's to paint the face in the sunflower and the butterflies then used my Faber-Castell Pitt Pens add some dimension and lines.

At that point I felt that the butterflies were stealing the show from the flower so I watered down some gesso and did a thin coat over everything except the face of the sunflower to tone them down.

I then scanned the image into my computer and added the bad poem that I wrote!

I want to apologize for getting this post up so late! I had company this weekend, my puppy Tomah had his brother Slate over for a visit 

and they had fun!

And wore each other out!

Hard to believe they are from the same litter!

Big hugs and Mushy Stuff everyone!
be sure to go check over at Artful Chicks to see what the other ladies did and go on over to Artful Journeys on Facebook to share how you used the prompt!

- Shana aka wisccheeto

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Inspiration - Effects on watercolor Salt and alcohol - Week #32 Artful Journeys

Oooo! I love it when I get to to do a 2 for 1! and this week I got to!

Those of you that follow my art page on Facebook (Shana Conroy) may have noticed that I have been doing quite a few cancer ribbons with wings lately, these have all been commissioned by my Aunties, like most of you reading this our family has had to deal with the scary reality of cancer and with the 3 Aunties we have had 3 different types, they want to have purses and bags made with awareness ribbons so I obliged! I made the custom art for them and uploaded it into my Society6 Store and into my Zazzle Store

The latest one I did I was also able to use the Artful Journeys prompt for this week, it is a red and white ribbon with dragonfly wings for basal and squamous cell carcinoma awareness for my Auntie Kathy.

The prompt for this week is to use salt and/or alcohol with watercolors, because I knew I would be using watercolors for this piece I was excited to use these effects, and because I wanted to try something new I used the effect on Yupo.

Yupo is a synthetic 100% recyclable paper that is tree free it is made from polypropylene pellets, the paper is non-absorbent so the effects with water color or even acrylic inks is awesome!

To get the background effect I painted my subject with a heavy hand in red then used a paper towel to pick up the excess around my image, I then used alcohol ink to paint the dark red areas and the effect on the watercolor was a cool marbling of color, to make it more so I added alcohol to it as well!

I then went over it again with the watercolor with a heavy hand and applied table salt while it was still wet and let it dry fully before removing the salt with a large soft bristle brush. using a soft brush to remove is important on Yupo, because the paint sits on the surface of the paper and is not absorbed it can be easily scratched.
this is how the piece looked after my 1st color and the addition of some white

I sent the above picture to my Auntie and we both agreed that even though it looked cool with the splatter and the salt effects it did kind of look like blood! So with her input we decided to add purple into the background to signify the awareness of all cancers and some black for contrast.

I applied the purple with a lot of water around the dragonfly then added drops of alcohol and red alcohol ink to it, I kept adding the purple then salting and adding alcohol until it no longer looked like a crime scene, I then added the black around the page using both watercolors and india ink, I used the alcohol in the black to give a neat effect then used a paper towel to pick up anything that looked to dark.

I finished the dragonfly wings and the ribbon with black, white and red India ink and a dip pen with a fine point nib.

Here are some close ups of the finished piece and the awesome effects that alcohol and table salt can make in a project.

I love how the finished piece came out and love that is was made for someone I love!

If you would like to see some of the products available with these images just click them and you will be brought to my Society6 store

Finished Red and white Ribbon for basal and squamous cell carcinoma awareness for my Auntie Kathy

Periwinkle Ribbon for Esophageal Cancer for my Auntie Deb created using prismacolor pencils

Black Ribbon for Melanoma Cancer for my Auntie Gwen created using prismacolor pencils

Purple Ribbon for all CancersCreated using acrylic inks on Yupo

I hope you enjoyed my process! big hugs and mushy stuff! XOXOXO

Go on over to Artful Journeys of Facebook to show us how you used this prompt and to see what the others in the team did go over to the Artful Chicks!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Inspiration - Go Organic - Week #31 Artful Journey

I have a knack for finding 4 leaf clovers, the family on my Dads' side say that I get it from my Granny, she would find them all the time and had them stashed in most of her books. I find 4-clover all the time too, but usually when I am not looking for them, I actually found these in my Dads' yard when I was looking out the truck window as we were leaving to go fishing one morning! With the day of fishing we had I should have picked them before we left!

Living in Arizona in the summer I don't come across patches of clover. So I took mental note of where they were in the yard and picked them when we got home after a successful day of casting practice.

After I picked these two I actually found two more not far away and I put them in my art journal for safe keeping until I found a use for them. I thought this prompt was going to be where I actually got to use a few!
 But nope... I ended up having so much fun using basically every medium and fixing my klutzy mistake that the clovers just did not look right when I tried to find a way to place them! So they ended up being the inspiration instead of the focal point.

For this prompt I used my large Dylusions Journal, I coated the page in gesso then used watercolor to paint the clovers and stems. I ended up deciding they were not bold enough so I added some acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencils.
I then added Golden Gel medium over the clover leaves and flowers to give them a little more texture and make them stand out from the stems a bit. 

I didn't like the background it was just BLAH! So I grabbed a stencil and sprayed Dylusions After Midnight Ink spray through it. I let it sit for a it then used a damp paper towel to smudge it around a bit to add more fun and color and pattern to the background.                                                                                                                        
My Plan was to let it dry then use more gel medium as glue to put my 4 leaf clovers into the page, but, that didn't happen, because I am a klutz! While the gel medium and ink spray were drying I was working on a different piece and I accidentally dropped my bottle of black paint, I didn't realize it but some of it spattered on my page and by the time I noticed it was to dry to remove.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
I didn't want to lose all the work I had already done, a couple expletives did escape my lips, so I figured the worste that could happen is I would have to start over and I grabbed my black Sharpie paint pen and started doodling making the black splatter work for me and the black tangled line background just happened! I love how it makes the clovers pop and gives an almost art deco feel to the page! I love when mistakes go good!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my process and I apologize for not getting more images while I was working! Go check out the other ladies and how they interpreted this weeks prompt over in the Artful Chicks Blog  and go over and join our Facebook Page Artful Journeys to show us what you made using this prompt and what others are doing too!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!