Friday, February 6, 2015

Illustrated Alphabet Art Journal Album - Part 1 - The Preparation

If you haven't already seen it then I suggest you take a wander over to my YouTube Channel and check out the video I posted, the first of many, that shows the start of my new Art Journal project for 2015.

I was inspired by my good friend Aaron over on his YouTube Channel - Imperfect Impulses. Last year he created an A - Z album which I really enjoyed watching him create. I thought this would be a great idea for me to do this year, but I wanted to put my own spin on it (as you do).

So I pondered the theme of my art journal for a few months... yes it took a while to come up with my own twist. Of course having just returned from the States meant I was really inspired... I just had too much work to catch up on at my "real" job (you know the one that pays the mortgage and power and food bill) so the actual turning the inspiring into reality took a little longer than I hoped.

Over the Christmas and New Year break (here in New Zealand it's Summer, so we have a long holiday break at this time of the year) I caught up on some YouTube watching and I watched a few videos demonstrating Calligraphy. Now this was an art form I tried back in my teenage years so it was almost like going home. It didn't take too many videos to click on what my theme would be for my art journal... An Illustrated Alphabet.

To take it one step further I decided that the theme of the illustrations would be art styles and techniques so my completed art journal could also be used, once it's completed, as a source book or handbook of styles and techniques for any time I get stuck for an idea and need something to help re-ignite my crafting MOJO.

I considered the selection of art journals that I had in my stash and eventually decided to use the Prima Marketing Mixed Media Art Journal 9" x 6", but use it vertically rather than horizontally. It just seemed to fit the stylings of an alphabet better, especially when I was considering that some letters might have long tails or uprights... depending upon how I ended up actually creating them.

As it is also going to fulfil the purpose of being a handbook of techniques, I also decided I was going to experiment with all those products that I have in my stash as well as any that I happen to acquire during the creative process. Which is why you will see a long list of different gessos in a paragraph or two.

My art journal journey will be as much about experimenting with various tools and products as well as investigating the interaction between products used, as it will be a documentation of the techniques tried.

I hope that I can give you ideas for new or different ways that you can use your tools as well as your products, because let's be honest there can be a lot of money invested in them so we want to make sure we are getting our money's worth out of them. And just quietly, I'm really not a huge fan of tools that can only be used one way. In fact I flat our try to avoid buying anything like that. I want versatility and multiple uses so I can rest assured that I am getting value for my hard earned money spent.

Getting off soapbox now...

Products used in Album Preparation:

  • Prima Marketing Mixed Media Art Journal 9" x 6"
  • Elmer's Glue Clear & White (stick pages together)
  • Gesso: Faber-Castell Gesso; Golden White & Black Gessos; Liquitex Clear Gesso; Prima Marketing Finnabair Art Basics Clear & White Heavy Gessos
Tools used in Album Preparation:
  • Recycled Credit Card (For gluing pages together step & painting gesso)
  • Brayer (To ensure good adhesion of pages together)
  • Princeton Catalyst Blade (Shape 6 30mm)
  • Paint Brush
  • Wet wipes
  • Paper Towels

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