Acrylic Abstracts, Lizards, Swiss Chard, and Books

Posted May 1, 2016 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Artwork, Books

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I sometimes feel like I’m vying to build the most comprehensive art techniques library I have known. I am choosy about what I buy because many of these books say the same thing, but I have quite a few despite that. So many of them are useful and inspirational.

I had never heard of this artist and she has a new book coming out but I was intrigued by her book on painting vegetables. I actually have a few books that talk about drawing and painting onions, it seems to be a popular starting point, but she has some other things I liked: Watercolour Fruit & Vegetable Portraits by Billy Showell.

Swiss chard anyone?

WatercolourFruit_Vegetable

After painting my fireplace mantel a deep blue, I decided I needed a BIG abstract painting for over the fireplace.

JJLRMantel

There are none available that I can afford so I’m going to try myself to paint something. The rug already looks like an abstract painting and I got an idea for a large wall piece from a book I have on painting abstracts, a jumping off point. The last time I tried to paint with acrylics on canvas I didn’t enjoy it—I don’t like canvas, but maybe illustration board or canvas board would work? I have a few colours of Golden fluid acrylics and some gesso, soft gel medium, and some other medium by Golden, so I only need a few colours or larger bottles to start. I use CMYK approximations to mix acrylics from four colours, but I’ve gotten used to mixing with a fuller 12 or 18-colour watercolour palette, and I’m not sure what colours I want now for acrylic.

I was thinking that if I can’t get a large enough board I could do a diptych or something. I borrowed some books from the library with scant information and I have a couple of books on painting but nothing specific to acrylics. So obviously I bought some.

Painting in Acrylics: The Indispensable Guide by Lorena Kloosterboer looked comprehensive and got good reviews.

PaintinginAcrylics

Compendium of Acrylic Painting Techniques: 300 tips, techniques and trade secrets by Gill Barron looked interesting and has good write-ups on each technique according to reviews. That should do me.

AcrylicPaintingTechniques

While browsing acrylic paintings and techniques online, I came across a speed painting video at YouTube of a fellow painting a lizard. I like painting lizards but doing them in watercolour can be tricky. What I liked about his video was the way he underpainted and then overlaid and adjusted the scales and undertone as he went along. This looked like something I could try on illustration board. It’s a rather long video but fascinating.

Now if I could just get the energy to unpack the rest of my art supplies…I’ve had a flare-up of pain and insomnia, so waiting for that to settle down a bit before forging into an art supply shop for a board and paints.

 

 

Handmade and Decorated Kraft Paper Envelopes

Posted April 28, 2016 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Creativity, Writing and Journalling

Tags: , , , , ,

While feeling a cold coming on I decided to do something quiet and went and bought a roll of kraft paper from the post office. It’s hard to find heavier kraft paper and this feels like 18 lb. weight which is pretty light so I lined both envelopes.

The designs are a cross between zentangles and blobby doodling, just the thing to inundate pen pals with!

JJKraftEnvelopes

This is the first time I’ve drawn boxes for the address and the return address, and I REALLY like the exuberance of that, so vow to continue the trend in other coloured envelopes I am still working on.

JJKraftEnvy_Back

I like to put a little design on the back too just to give it some pop of colour.

I used a purple Sharpie extra fine point and Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils for these. The Sharpie bleeds through this paper so I put a scrap piece of paper inside the envelope to catch any bleed-through and it worked well for that purpose.

 

 

 

New Sketching Book, Pilot Metropolitan, and Handmade Envelopes

Posted April 11, 2016 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Artwork, Books, Writing and Journalling

Tags: , , , , ,

I am still looking for my sketchbook so I can finish my 2015 weekly sketch project. I’ll try to hunt it up today, but I am settled enough in the new house after moving 4500 kms that I feel like creative projects again, particularly drawing.

I wanted one of the new Pilot Metropolitan fountain pens in the Retro Pop colours. I had originally wanted the red one but maybe because it is Spring, I chose the green one with the stylized band of leaves. I have it loaded up with Diamine Meadow ink and it writes beautifully as does my older Pilot Metro.

While ordering, I needed something for free shipping and was intrigued by the book Sketching People: An Urban Sketcher’s Manual to Drawing Figures and Faces by Lynne Chapman. I am determined to draw people and thought this more casual approach might ease me into it.

RetroPop_SketchingPeople

In a large box of cat figurines, I found my two boxes of scrapbooking paper with my envelope templates, so I made two 1/4-fold envelopes up in cream-coloured cardstock and did some sketchy things of wildflowers on them.

HandmadeEnvelopes_Wildflowers

I was just itching to draw something! I’ve got all kinds of references ready for three of the weekly sketches I needed to do back in November 2015 so I vow to find the relevant sketchbook for that project and get going to complete my drawings.

 

 

Travelling with Fountain Pens and Ink

Posted January 8, 2016 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Writing and Journalling

Tags: , ,

I have my inks packed in a 9 L plastic storage box which measures about 13.5 L x 8.5 W x 5 H inches. I couldn’t find a tote bag that fit it and still kept the ink upright.

In desperation, I looked at hardware stores and eventually found something perfect at Canadian Tire for $29.99 CAD. It’s imported by Kuny’s Leather Mfg. Ltd. from Alberta and is part of their Tool Works line. Instead of leather it’s made of polyester fabric and has reinforced webbing for the handles and shoulder strap. It also has a metal frame inside the fabric and a zipper.

KunysInsert

It fits the plastic box neatly, and will be easy to carry my bottles of ink in and out of the car for travelling. Plus, it’s protective and cushioned by pockets inside and out, so it provides added safety for moving my collection of fountain pen inks. Once the inks are transported this useful bag can be used for tools or many other things.

KunysMontage

Yeah, everybody needs a bigmouth…bag.😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Resurrect a Pen Roll

Posted December 27, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Sewing, Writing and Journalling

Tags: , , , ,

I originally sewed two of these rolls to use for taking art supplies in the field. One was for wet and one for dry media. I found them a bit awkward to keep clean, so I switched to plastic cases, and these rolls have been sitting in my fabric cupboard unused for over two years.

fieldkits_JJ

I will be travelling next month and living in motels for a while when we move across the country, and the movers won’t take liquids, so I am taking my fountain pens and fountain pen ink with me in the car. I will be able to protect my supplies and use them for corresponding!

I packed five boxes yesterday and was feeling tired and didn’t sleep well, so today I spent an hour gently organizing my inks and pens. I have some packages of puppy training pads that I bought for using with the kitty litter box and generally protecting motel rooms. So I used two to line a plastic box and then nestled all my ink bottles in there. The pads turn to gel if they get wet and seal in liquid, just in case my ink spills or something.

Then I resurrected the moss green corduroy roll and converted it to a fountain pen roll. It folds in half and then rolls up and ties securely, and provides some padding and protection.

JJFountainPenRoll2

Sitting pretty with six fountain pens, two for drawing with waterproof Noodler’s inks, plus a ballpoint pen that I use for addressing envelopes.

JJFountainPenRoll

It brings new meaning to the phrase “Ready to roll.”

 

 

 

 

Handmade Quilted Case for Laptop

Posted December 22, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Quilting, Sewing

Tags: , , , ,

Once again I used Jenya’s tutorial for this.

I added some ease but probably didn’t need to as this turned out a bit roomier than I had planned. I was using a slightly thicker 80/20 cotton/polyester batting and larger seams of 1 cm, so wanted to be sure it didn’t turn out too small. However, Jenya’s formula for plugging in your own dimensions is excellent so I didn’t really need to add ease.

JJ_Laptop1

This was quilted in straight lines using the walking foot on my Pfaff sewing machine; about 20 cm apart. I quilted the front and back pieces and the flap, and used an 11-inch strip of Velcro to close it. I also added some heavy sew-in interfacing to those three pieces as well since this 15-inch laptop is heavier than a smaller device.

JJ_Laptop2

I have a backpack with a section for carrying a laptop, and it has a bit of foam in it but I wanted a quilted case for extra padding and security.

This has got to be the most useful tutorial and customizable pattern I have ever used.

 

 

Handmade Quilted Case for Garmin GPS

Posted December 20, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Quilting, Sewing

Tags: , , , , ,

This was again done with the tutorial for an electronics case from Jenya on the While she was sleeping blog. It was quite easy to modify the measurements for a device like this which is thicker than a phone, about one-inch thick.

This time I decided to quilt the lining with cotton quilt batting and leave the outer main fabric plain. I quilted the front and back and the flap with lines every half inch or a bit more, and then put the case together as normal with Velcro for the fastener.

Quilting_GPS-Case

GPS-Case1

Inner_GPSCase

Here he is all snuggled into his new case.

GPS_Case2

I used a celestial fabric because the device is a navigator, and I am calling my device “William Clark” after the famous member of the Lewis & Clark expedition in early 19th century America. He has been one of my heroes for years.

The moon is smiling favourably on our upcoming journey to our new home across the country to the wilds of the west coast.

 

 


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