Tag Archives: draw

Another Midori Traveller Notebook Knock Off Idea

I wanted to add 2 more journals to my MTNKO. I saw a blog post somewhere, I cna't remember the blog that added a additional pockets to the notebook through the use of a rubber band. I decided to use that idea to add 2 more notebooks. I wanted to have my general idea notebook, a notebook for PioP and another sketchbook. To do this hack you'll need the following:

A medium length thin rubber band or a loop of the elastic you used to make you MTNKO

2 Notebooks

Slide the rubber band through the center of one notebook then the other,so they are attached spine to spine. Slide one notebook under the notebook already in your MTNKO.

Here's a helpful video of the process.

 

 

State of the Weekend

It’s been a crazy few weeks. I had to help count inventory a while back for the DayJob and it threw me for a loop. I’ve been trying to get back on track ever since I was sick and having my schedule screwed up really just put me back to spinning my wheels in the rut again. This weekend was a good one for getting me back into the flow of things. Jane and I met and had a good cuppa at one of my favorite places, Atomic and then we took a walk in the park here in town. Where I sat and sketched and we talked about PioP, which is shaping up to be really really cool. I can’t wait for the reveal of what it is. It’s going to be awesome.
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This is the first sketching I’ve done in awhile. I could make a lot of excuses but I won’t. Honestly life has been flying at a million miles an hour and I find that instead of sketching or arting I make a few notes in my journal or veg out watching Hulu* at the end of the day. Fortunately though those notes are all forward progress, important tidbits of information. I’m looking forward to sharing those with you once everything is in place.
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I picked up a copy of Kerri Smith’s new book, “Finish This Book.” I’ll have a review on it here soon.I’ve also picked up a bunch of new fountain pens, some inks, a brush and a few other odds and ends. Hopefully this week I’ll get to writing up a bunch of reviews. That means I’ve got Thursdays covered. Hopefully I’ll be back on track with my blogging as well as my journaling. I've also been attempting to practice some "ultra light weight" journaling/sketching. It's centered around my Midori Traveller knock off. I"ll get a post up about that too. Lots of good stuff is in the works.

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Review: FlexiSketch Sketchbook

I picked up this sketchbook on sale at Artist & Craftman. It was super affordable, more so than usual. It usually runs in the $10 to $15 range. The 8.5×11 inch sketchbook feels weighty in hand and looks nice. The green color is a soothing soft mossy green they call "Fern." I’m annoyed that the 25% more FREE stick is stuck to the cover and doesn’t peel off easily. I’ll be hacking at it with a knife to get it off. After opening up the package I notice it’s Smythe Sewn like a moleskine so it will open flat and flatter the more I use it. The binding is nice and flexible but the wrap around cover on the spine is less so.

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The paper is bright white, thick and sturdy feeling, 75lb/110gsm. There are 300 pages or 150 sheets. It has a soft texture and is nice with pencils. Wider nibbed pens glide over it’s surface but narrow nibs sink into it’s surface a little. The paper is absorbent with ink and watercolor. I didn’t notice any feathering with ink but most pens looked to be about a size larger than on other paper. I noticed some ink soaking through as I sketched and wrote. Nothing major since I didn’t plan on using both sides of the paper anyway. This isn’t a deal breaker if you use dry media like pencil or charcoal. The fact that the paper soaks ink up like a paper towel is annoying, and if I were using expensive ink, would annoy me.

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The cover is thick cardstock with a glossy finish. It scuffs easily, but I don’t mind that. If you are the sort who would like to decorate your art journal you’ll need to sand the surface to get gesso to stick. I managed to pop the glue that holds the back cover to the block off. Rather annoying but it also let me see the spine and that it’s glued sturdily and will survive a lot of abuse. This also makes me think I could cover this journal with little work

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Overall my verdict on this is that this sketchbook is a great value. The paper isn’t optimum for ink but it’s thick and sturdy enough to withstand pretty much anything an art journaler can throw at it. The paper has a nice surface for a variety of media. While pen does soak through in some spots it looks fantastic on this paper. I’d buy it again.

 

Wordy Monday Evening: Snake Oil, Sharks, Resonate

Lisa over at LifeUnity put up this post earlier and it resonated with me, in part because I’m going through some of the same balance issues but also because it’s a very real post and that is something I feel like the blog-o-sphere has been lacking.

Today Connie over at DirtyFootPrints posted this, and it also resonated with me. It’s also a place I’ve been in my head lately, thinking of what is “enough.” What is good enough? (more on this later.)

Aggression  and sharks.

Or as my Dad used to say, “There are assholes everywhere and some of ‘em, most of ‘em, are out to get you.” Often times my Dad meant this about boys (ha!) trying to get in my pants and people trying to take my money, but this applies to the wild internets*.

Let me back up here.

A few weeks back I decided I was going to cut back on what I allow into my internet and life. Every time someone put up a post on facebook or twitter that made me feel icky I unfollowed or hid them from my view. After another week went past I’d go back and check and see if their tweets or posts still made me uncomfortable, if they did, I unfollowed, blocked, and or unfriended them. It’s been about 3 or 4 weeks since I've been doing this and frankly the quality of my twitter feed has gone up, I’m genuinely interested in what people I’m following and I’m not burdened by reading stuff that offends me.**

Why do I do this? No one has the right to make me feel bad, When I allowed people to suck up MY time with their drama I was giving them power over my life and allowing them to waste MY time. Additionally I can't worry that I'm going to offend them, clearly they don't care if they offend me, so why am I concerned about offending them? 

It’s as if I gave them permission to crap on my good time.

So I’m done with it. The drama and the snake oil sales, done.

That’s another thing that is getting to me lately, the snake oil sales. If someone is selling you a promise to unlock your deepest inner power, it’s most likely snake oil. The only person who can do that is you. I’m  wary of someone who wants to whisper into my ear and ask me to do stuff that makes me feel icky. I’m not talking legit life coaches, teachers, licensed therapists and social workers who have been to school and trained to make you push your boundaries. I’m talking about the arm chair quarterbacks that want to tell me what to do when they haven’t put in the hard work themselves, the do as I say not as I do crowd.

I have made my way so far by listening to myself, going with what I feel is right. It’s why Art Journaling Ning is free and will always be free to join and enjoy with paid classes for those who are interested. I see this whole thing as living real.     

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Observation: Looking Back into Old Journals

I was looking through one of my older moleskine sketchbooks specifically the one I started writing in then I first moved to Massachusetts. One of the thigns that I wrote about a lot was simplicity. I had lived in a small 3-ish room apartment in the woods of Maine. My apartment was essentially 1 large L-shaped room, a half wall divided the kitchen from the living “room” and a wall with a doorway divided the kitchen from the bedroom. There was no door on the bedroom. The only room that had a door was the bathroom, which housed a shower stall, toilet, sink and a bunch of shelves. Total square feet of the apartment was maybe 600sq ft. If the walls had not been vaulted it would have been awesome.

When I moved to Mass the apartment I moved into wasn’t much larger. Over the years we moved from about 600sq ft to about 700 sq ft and now we are in a 1200 sq ft house, we’ve got about 300 to 500 sq ft we don’t use all that often. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much space and other times I feel like it’s not enough. I am really thankful we’ve got a garage and a basement, both of which feel decadent after years of living without a space to work on bikes, engines and greasy things that don’t belong on kitchen or coffee tables.

I feel like I need to revisit this simplicity concept . It’s not like we live extravagantly, simplicity is something I strive for, but sometimes I get caught up in ridiculousness and making things more complex than they need to be. I need to cut that out.

I tend to think of simplicity as going hand-in-hand with organization. As I look around my office I think perhaps I should start here and work my way out.

On a side note anytime I think of simplicity I have to think of my art and what materials I would work in if I could only chose a few supplies to keep with me. I have to say I’d probably go with pen and ink with watercolor. It gives me color and the ability to draw.

If you could only pick 3 art materials to use for the next 6 months what would you use?

Drawing-a-Day: Coffee Time

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“Coffee Time” measures A5 or 5.75×7.5 inches. I did a quick sketch with pencil and then used a couple of fountain pens filled with Noodler’s Black.

Cost is $25 USD, shipping to CONUS included.





Drawing-a-Day: I Need that Color!

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This is the 4-1-11 drawing titled “I Need that Color!” It measures A5 or 5.75×7.5 inches. I did a quick sketch with pencil and then used a Lamy Safari with a B nib filled with Noodler’s Black ink for the paint tubes and added the shading with a TWSBI M Nib and Private Reserve Electric DC Blue ink.

Cost is $25 USD, shipping to CONUS included.

 

Review: Clairefontaine Graf It Pad

One of the other sketchbooks I received from Exaclair was the Clairfontaine Graf It pad. I’d seen these on several occasions at Artist & Craftsman and passed them by due to the cover being… well, kinda lame*. In addition to the plain black grainy text and images, each cover is made with various colors of card stock that folds behind the staple bound pad. The back is supported with sturdy heavy chipboard. Each page is microperfed for easy removal. The perf is sturdy enough that you can turn the page and it won’t tear out, unless you want it removed, it stays. The pad is often sold on American websites as “6×8.” That may be the outer dimensions of the pad but the actual sheet size is 5.75×7.5 inches. There are 80 sheets in each pad.

I did my usual battery of tests on this paper and it withstood them all. I have to say that this paper is amazing. Though it’s only 90g (41lb) it’s super sturdy and accepts a lot of media without issues. It takes some serious effort to get stuff to soak through. When I say stuff I mean ALL the stuff I’ve tossed at it. See the pic below.

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With watercolor it accepts the color well. The paper cockles as is expected with paper this thin. I find this to be a great paper to experiment with techniques and color. It responds well to puddles of water as well as thin washes. Color stays true and doesn’t get muddy on the page.

While drawing with ink I was able put down multiple layers of ink without cockling and bleed through. Heavy layers that would have bleed through many other heavier papers did not bleed through on this paper. Noodler’s black bonded with the paper well enough that I didn’t worry about it lifting much with my water brush. Colors seem to pop off the page.

I did try gessoing the page but I don’t see the point as the paper is tough enough to survive most stuff without the gesso. I also scrapped acrylic paint over the page to see how it would work, and it worked just fine. This paper is also amazing for pencil. It has just enough texture and tooth that pencil feels really good on it and it hold a lot of graphite, so darks are really dark.

My final verdict on this pad is that it’s great. The paper is awesome. The format it’s served in is where it is lacking. I hate perforations (my own little quirk.) I prefer a pad that allows the pages to stay together. The staple binding is crap for keeping stuff together, I made a little folio out of a USPS priority mailer to keep my drawings together. For art journaling it would be a great pad to do drawings in and then cut out and glue into your regular art journal. The paper is thin enough that if you draw a face and cut it out the edges won’t be all that noticeable.

The pad is pretty cheap. I found it online for $4 to $6 the larger size is pretty reasonably priced too at around $9. These are prime pad for binding into a sketchbook. If this came bound like a moleskine or a Rhodia Webbie I’d buy it. I know that the reason this pad is so inexpensive is that its bound inexpensively, 2 staples straight through to a sturdy backer. I like this paper a lot, in fact the next time I’m at Artist & Craftsman I’ll be picking up another one of these in another size. Perhaps I’ll bind the large size into a nice art journal!

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Wordy Wednesday: Cult of Tutu

I followed a link to an art journaling blog where I saw yet another female artist in a tutu. Afterward I tweeted the statement, “To be a mixed media artist do you need to wear a tutu? Or even like them? NO!”

To be blunt, I don’t get tutus. They are made out of plastic scratchy material, the same stuff the exfoliating bath poofs are made of and I can’t imagine they are comfortable.

I’m not saying I’m down on it, I just don’t get it.

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What I wear doesn’t define me as an artist. My clothing isn’t a statement. I’d rather my art make the statement. I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind woman; I like cotton, wool and other natural materials. I look for comfort while I create. I don’t need something outward to help me find my inner creativity. I know that some people enjoy costumes*and perhaps that is what the tutu is about. Using costume to find that inner well of creativity, capturing lost childhood insight, or perhaps these ladies really enjoy wearing a tutu. It is not my place to yuck your yum, but I can say that I don’t get it

I also have to wonder, other than Salvador Dali, would you see a male artist wearing something like a tutu? In part I’m somewhat uncomfortable with the idea that female artists have to dress up and play a part to sell their art. Peddle their wares like a carnie, “Win your lady a stuffed teddy bear here!” “Strong man competition, ring the bell, win a prize.” “Hooooot sausage and peppers, fried dough, cold lemonade”

Tutus and tiaras, 2 things you’ll never catch me wearing.

 

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Technique Tuesday: Faux Ink Wash

A technique that I’m asked about on  a regular basis is how I get that watercolor effect with my ink drawings. First I start out with a regular ink drawing like the one below. If I know I’m going to use this technique I try and use inks that don’t dry waterproof, eternal or bulletproof.

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The next step is to use a waterbrush to pick up ink and move it around on the page. It takes a little practice to get the “right” amount of water and ink to get the value/tone you want but after you get the feel of it, it’s effective.

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