I love fall and I am so excited its finally starting here in California. To celebrate, I decided my on-a-whim painting should have a more fall-based palette. I saw this photo floating around Pinterest and was inspired by the entire wedding. So here’s my loose interpretation of her fall flower bouquet.
Colors used go across the top and the mixes from those for the palette are under the text.
My brother’s girlfriend, who lives in South Korea, gave me a variety of handmade papers and a bamboo brush last Christmas. I finally had the time and opportunity to test out this quality brush. Since I had also been wanting to try out some Chinese painting looks from a book my grandmother loaned me, I decided to pair up the two experiments. The brush held so much water and distributed colors in a loose, beautiful way. I love the vibrant result given by layering the colors on the brush itself before making strokes as recommended by the book. I based the style of the flowers and leaves on some background flowers in the book’s various walkthroughs. Each stroke was so satisfying, I can’t wait to make more paintings like this.
I officially graduated with a bachelor’s in Business Administration, concentration in marketing, and a minor in English Literature. Now, I once again have the time to create and share those creations with all of you!
My best friend’s baby turned one back in April!
Here’s what I whipped up as part of my present to Lily and a quick shot with the birthday girl herself:
To keep the flowers from being too classic flower-y pink February, I went for neutral shades. I was thinking more of a sepia-filter effect than the Autumnal look I got but it works.
First thing I did was dip my paper in leftover coffee. I kept the calendar lines casual and carefree then lettered in the numbers and heading based on my font book. The flowers and vines are all watercolors. I enhanced the original coffee ombre dip with distress inks.
I did a few practice runs and experiments of watercolor flowers in a practice book before planning out a card for my graduating friend.
And the final product for a delightful friend who worked very hard and graduated with flying colors!
I know I am running late not only on my September journal update but also missed my August pages and I apologize. However, now you get two entries in one and who doesn’t like a two for one deal? August was sweet and quick while September was packed fuller. I celebrated my birthday (mentioned here – illustration), got deeper into my semester, and attended a Harry Potter themed wedding (referenced here – wedding card.) Now here’s the build up of two monthly entries.
I mimicked the patterns on my birthday-present bedding and then loosely traced over my lines with pen. I used regular sketchbook paper for easier drawing and erasing. Also, using thinner paper lines my planner pages better.
I let the ink set a while and then painted it in with watercolors. On top, I attached a “mini planner” made from patterned papers reminiscent of my actual planner’s coloring and some mini planner pages. I did a mini journal entry on this to give a bit of an “inception” feel for fun. I referenced the key from my table number card at the wedding for the letter “p” and used a book for the “m” to represent my semester activities and the books I enjoyed reading for my literature course.
And now, August:
For my August pages I attempted a simple and minimalistic look, playing with textures rather than colors. My mother and I cleaned out a lot of old boxes in the garage and multiple closets. During this time, we found a few treasures. One of these such treasures was a box of photo slides my mother took during one of her springs attending college. I think she gave them to me expecting I would use the frames for projects but the nostalgic photos with eighties tank tops and the pretty landscapes of her agricultural-focused school were worth preserving too.
I punched a hole in the left hand slide and placed it on a brad so it could swivel to be looked at in front of a light, the image seen clearly.
I created a “page” with vellum paper and layered various textured packing paper types to create a focal point for the frames and slide. This way, the vellum page could be tipped to allow light to shine through the slide. August showed up quick and said bye just as fast.
Bye friends (for now)
Someone I care about a lot is going through a hard time, so I made this for them.
I used some watercolor canvas, a pad we had lying around the house. Can I just say, painting on this canvas is a dream! I really loved working with this rather than a basic watercolor paper or regular paper. It is so easy to paint and repaint over and over without it getting all weird. The paint really stands out on the surface. The fabric style of canvas gives the finished piece a really nice, soft look and easier to give to someone than just a piece of paper.
It does need to be slightly stretched and secured while you paint on it. I used regular staples on soft wood while painting, shown below, and only taped, as shown above, while spraying with a sealant.
This photo is pre-quote, just after I had begun to remove the canvas from the wood so I could use a window while tracing over my lettering. I traced my letters to avoid any pencil marks on the canvas. I made a dark gray mix with acrylic paints and used a tiny brush to apply the letters while canvas and sketched out letter were taped to a window.
The quote I used was from, as usual, Jane Austen. In this case, it was from her novel, Emma and goes as follows:
“If things are going untowardly one month, they are sure to mend the next.”
A good, old friend got married! To congratulate her, I whipped up a card to go with a gift. I did a very thin layer of gesso on the card so the colors would be stronger. The lettering on the card was just a basic black pen. For the envelope, I went over the name with a silver paint pen. I also used the pen for accents on the card, along with the gold paint pen.
I did some concept planning. The flowers are primarily lilies since I figure I better practice those any chance I get now that my best friend’s baby is named Lily.
The metal accents got a bit away from me but I think it worked out well enough.
I wish the two all the happiness in the world!
Although many of us take extra time to get through a University degree, some do some responsible planning and graduate on time. One of those successes is my friend. To congratulate her on her graduation, I whipped her up a vibrant, watercolor card.
Before putting paint to card, I did some concept testing in my watercolor practice journal – focusing on greens. I finally got a succulent to work, something I’ve been having trouble with.
I also tested out a variety of purple and blue flower ideas. I don’t believe I used a single one on the card haha.
Lastly, I streaked some gloss gel over the botany, focusing on the flower petals to give a bit more dimension and finish.
I streaked the main green color I was using over the envelope for an ombre effect and to bring the palette together.
To anyone else graduating, any school, Congratulations and Good Luck!
I realize this is a bit late but May is always quite busy, being the end of the semester and all. Still, I found a good moment to reflect back on April and it’s highlights to create my monthly art journal entry. In April, the most important things were filled with love. My friend’s baby girl was born and named Lily. She was my obviously my main inspiration. Just days after her birth, I attended a family friend’s wedding and it was a gorgeous outdoor ceremony and sweet reception. She deserved such a happy day.
For the entry, I mixed gesso with a bit of blue and then green acrylics to make a lightly washed background. The lilies were loosely sketched out with pen and let to dry before I messily watercolored the blooms. It is a simple entry but a reminder of special moments.