Saturday, September 26, 2015

DIY Art Journal 2016 Calendar

altered book, 2016 calendar, art journal

Back in July, I noticed calendars were already coming out for 2016. I decided I would make my own again this year but with the added space for art journalling.

Altering the Book

Materials Needed:

  • Hardcover Book (I get mine from the local second-hand shops)
  • exacto knife
  • paper for signatures
  • bookbinder's thread for sewing signatures
  • glue (PVA glue for bookbinding is preferred)
  • assorted art supplies for making calendar pages

altered book wip, inside cover

Remove the inner pages by gently cutting the threads that bind the pages to the book's inner spine. To do this you'll open the book as much as possible and cut away at the paper. Be careful not to cut through the cover itself. Above is what remains, after I've removed the book's original signatures.

ItsonlyaDream97 shows this cutting out process in the first couple of minutes in her youtube video.

Making & Attaching the Signatures

altered book, wip, gluing last signature page to cover

Depending on how large your book is, you may need more than 3 holes for your signatures. For a 3 hole signature, please view Alissa Marquess' youtube video.   I used a saddle stitch for binding my pages and used sea lemon's youtube video as my guide.

I used 90lb watercolor paper which will work with a variety of art materials. If you paint very wet, you might need a heavier paper. However, the heavier the paper, the less pages you can have.

After you've made your signatures, there are a few ways you can attach them to the cover. The method I chose glues the signature's page that faces the inside of the cover to the cover.

last page of signature glued to book cover

After you have glued the signature's last page to the inside cover and smoothed out any bubbles, place a sheet of wax paper on top of the newly glued page and place a heavy object on top and allow to dry. Repeat this step for the other side of the inner cover.

Calendar Pages

oblong linocut stamp, 2016 calendar 

For the calendar pages, I carved an oblong, linocut stamp and stamped spaces for the days.

sliver of paper to married signatures

Because I did not sew the 3 signatures as one unit, I glued the last pages of each signature to each other (same method as attaching them to the cover). It's not the most beautiful way to marry the signatures, but while I learn bookbinding techniques, this creative way works for me. To keep the signatures snug, I glue an additional slice of paper to the pages that sandwich the married pages.

To make the pockets for this altered book, I cut off half of one page at an angle and glued that page to the next page in the signature.

I will use this calendar - art journal to write, sketch, draw, jot notes down, and whatever else comes to mind. My gratitudes will also go in this book rather than have a separate gratitude journal.

I had a lot of fun making this altered calendar book and am looking forward to working in it next year.

joining sunday sketches

Saturday, September 5, 2015

art tutorial, hand and birch trees

touch wood I, 9x12, rice paper on paper by gallery juana

I love rice paper and use it for painting and printing. Touch Wood I and Touch Wood II were done using the process explaned below.

Touch Wood II art tutorial

Materials and tools:

sheet of rice paper larger than your support
watercolor paper
matte medium
watercolor pencil
sand paper
paper towel
acrylic brushes

For this tutorial, I will focus on the birch trees.  The same materials and process can be used to complete the hands.

I love trees and keep a collection of dried leaves and pieces of bark on my art table. For the Touch Wood series, I discovered rice paper adds a perfect element to bringing Birch trees to life.

Rice Paper and Watercolor Paper

The rice paper will be adhered to the watercolor paper. Rice paper comes in different varieties. Some will be thinner or more fibrous than others. One thing to remember is the thinner the rice paper, the more likely it is to tear when wet or overworked. Also, if you’ve painted or collaged on the watercolor paper support first, those layers will show through the rice paper in the beginning of this process.

Layers and Grooves for Bark

I painted a sketch of the hands and trees on the rice paper.  Once the paint was dry on the rice paper, I used matte medium  to adhere the rice paper to the watercolor paper.  At the same time,  I shaped parts of the rice paper to mimic knots in the wood.   After allowing everything to dry, I used gesso and acrylics to add lighter areas and textures in the bark.

touch wood II wip, adding gesso and pencil

To add dark areas, I ran a 5h or 7h pencil sideways throughout the bark to catch the raised areas and then burnished with a paper towel. This allowed the raised layers and some crevices to take on the pencil. Between some of the layers, I lightly sanded the painted areas of the bark to give the paper some tooth.

touch wood II wip

I used watercolor to stain the areas of rice paper that had not been covered with acrylic or gesso. I wiped off the watercolor which left only what had stained the rice paper or sanded areas. This process of adding gesso, acrylic and pencil is repeated along with lightly sanding, if necessary, between layers and burnishing.

The painting was still dark at this point, so I lightened the blue sky background and continued to bring out the shadows and ridges of the hands and trees with more washes of color.  I added leaves by painting dried leaves with acrylics and printing the leaf image onto the painting.

Lastly, using a 6b pencil, I drew the outlines of the trees and burnished here and there to soften the lines. Once completely dry, the varnish was added.

touch wood II,  9 x 12, rice paper on paper, mixed media

read my other art tutorial on using rice paper for birch trees.

Have you used rice paper in your art?

joining sunday sketches
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