On my desk this week: Starry Night Journal Page

Time for another peek at what I'm working on today.

On my desk: April 15, 2015- project sample for a live class

This journal page is for my Mary Maxim PM class on April 18th. The AM classes always focus on Copic marker technique but in the PM session, I try to challenge the students with something more advanced, artistic, or experimental.

This class is Introduction to Art Journaling Techniques, a survey of materials and basic tools. We'll build upon this lesson in future classes with specific pages.

Here's a look up close.

So what's going right?

Well, I love the background page which features a hand cut stamp block (the class will make one  too). And I'm pretty happy with the stencil work although my first instinct is always to draw the shapes I need.

What's going wrong?

While I really love the Dylusions Creative Journal for its solid construction and heavy weight paper, I really need to remind myself that it is NOT, NOT, NOT watercolor paper. It would have been much smarter for me to work on a good quality watercolor paper and then mount that into the journal rather than paint directly on the journal page. 

I'm also not thrilled with my inability to tape that stitched center line. I knew the tape would not accept my watercolor the same way as the paper. Usually gesso helps hide that tape but I couldn't add yet another supply to the class list. I'm also not big on watercolor over gesso, I like my paper fibers and my bleed. Again, mounting a sheet of watercolor paper over the journal paper would have been the smart way to cover that juncture. Live and learn?

What's going really wrong?

My stars and moon are super easy and pretty cool. I love the halo effect that I'm getting from the Perfect Pearls. The inspiration piece (Starry Night by Van Gogh) has an aura around each star which I've duplicated with the gold pearl. You have to tilt the journal to see it, but it's really neat.  BUT the gold dust also coated everything else, including me. You can see below the gold pen, on the outer border, I can't seem to get the gold dust off there. I've tried everything from baby wipes to kneaded eraser to sticky tack and it's not coming up. And the journal paper doesn't like to be scrubbed... live and learn?

What's next?

I've got the pencil and gold pen out because that's the next step- hand lettering the words "Starry, Starry Night". I'll pencil it using casual but expressive cursive. With the gold pen, I'll thicken certain stokes to make calligraphic lettering. It's a very simple technique and I know the class will love this mini-lesson. After that, I'll add Prismacolor pencil touches to the foreground and the sky to make it feel a little more Van Goghish. I'll finish with a coat of spray fixative to keep that darned gold dust from migrating any further.

It might not be my favorite piece ever but it is a good lesson for me about Wabi-sabi lettin' go.

So there you have it- one journal page about 2/3 complete. No signs of genius but it'll do.