Thursday, December 26, 2013

Art Journal Thursdays: Monochromatic

When I sat down at my desk, I had no preconceived notions about what this journal page was going to look like. I knew that I wanted to do a page honoring this old picture that I found. There she was, among a number of old family pictures, with no name or notation. Family friend? Long lost cousin? The one that got away? Who knows. But there was something captivating about her, so she became the page’s focal point.

The QuicKutz 'Adornments (Victorian) Die is in the corner and it does a nice job of directing the eye toward her face.

I wondered about this woman. Who was she? I liked the picture because her lips slightly parted as if she had just finished saying something. Maybe it was, “Let’s this done because I need a drink!” or “I have to pick up my kids” or “What a dry summer…you have no idea what it’s doing to my peonies!” She was sitting in her black dress against a gray background, eyes alert contrasting the stiffness of her body. It just seemed to me that using a monochromatic palette was the right thing to do.

Using watercolor paper, I glued down some random pieces of book pages to create a little texture. Then I laid down a thin layer of gesso. Using Anita’s Metallic Black acrylic  paint, I brushed a generous layer on to the dry gesso. I removed some of the paint with baby wipes, sometimes scrubbing down to the gesso or paper.

I added a little black burlap under the tags so make them "pop" a little more.

The next step was finding the right pattern to give the journal page some more interest. I chose the K&Co. vellum border since their pattern reminded me of the wall paper this woman might have. I applied the border to plain white tags and then added a little white Faber-Castell gelato to the edges. They ended up looking a little plain so a few mother of pearl buttons were sewn on. I wanted to the tags to be “bound” to the larger piece so I found an old notebook page in my ephemera stash and glue it to the photo and then ran the strings through the holes.

I removed all the paint in some areas so that the gesso would add a little texture.

The side panel was made by gluing three book page scraps together. I punched out some flowers. Again, it seemed too plain on the page so I decided to gesso the panel and then added some more black metallic paint. Again, baby wipes were used to get rid of the excess paint. I added the vellum borer to a scrap piece of cardstock and glued it behind the windows of the panel.

Lastly, I added a little random poetry from two phrases from different books.

What I found challenging about this layout was the play of values. Since I didn't have different colors to add emphasis or texture, it all had to be achieved using color values. It actually required a little discipline to grab a red just to give it punch, but I resisted in the end because that would have stolen my lady’s thunder.

What challenges have you found in your art recently?

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