100 Envelopes

Posted on September 12, 2015 and tagged Sketchbook, Painting

I'm starting a 100 days project! I've really been wanting to do this for a long time now but I haven't been able to figure out what that works for me. For this to be something I can actually do every day, I needed:

  • something quick that's easy to do
  • something I'm able to expand on if I have more time one day
  • in my favourite medium - paint!
  • on a material that's inexpensive so I don't worry about wasting it

The problem is, finding a material that's durable enough for layers of paint and cheap is pretty much impossible. I thought about buying little tiny canvas boards for about 50 cents each, but that still seemed like a lot. Then I remembered I have this big box of cardboard envelopes in my closet that have been there for yeeeaars! I bought them in bluk when I sold stationery on Etsy but never really used many of them since my wedding invites were the big sellers. I tried selling the envelopes a couple times, but nobody wanted them!

So I went out a bought a big jug of gesso for about $5 and started covering the front of the envelopes. Turns out they handle paint like a champ! I don't feel like I'm wasting them since I was thinking about throwing them away anyways, so it works out perfectly. The envelopes are about 7 x 10 inches so they're a great size to work with - not too big and not too small.

That was a bit of a rambling story just to say that I'm going to be painting 100 envelopes in 100 days. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the envelopes when I'm done though. Maybe cover a wall with them...or send 100 letters!

There's my first one! The drippy paint didn't work out quite like I expected, but I have 99 more days to get it right. Follow me on Instgram to see updates on this project.

Finding My Way

Posted on July 13, 2015 and tagged Sketchbook, Painting

Lately I've really been struggling with figuring out what I like to make, finding my own style, the colours I like to work with, the tools I feel most comfortable with. I wanted to pick up blogging again because it was something that I really enjoyed in the past. It made sense to me to start blogging about painting and drawing and pattern design because my favourite blogs are the ones where you get to see into someone's studio.

I especially love to follow along with daily drawing and painting challenges because there's something so cool about watching someone's creative struggles and their progression. But let me tell you, sharing things that aren't 'perfect' and that you aren't totally proud of is really, really hard. Like way harder than I thought. So when I decided to start up this blog again and I had a plan all mapped out, I totally froze.

Everything I made wasn't good enough to go on the blog or on Instagram. I found it much more difficult than I was expecting to show my not-so-great work. Even though that's something I really like to see in other artists! I like to see the off days just as much as the on days. It's about documenting the hard work that normally nobody sees. And to me that's really what making stuff is all about. Slogging through those days where you just don't feel like it and every paint stroke or line is a struggle. When you stare at a blank page so long that you scribble something just so it stops staring back at you. That's where the magic happens and where the inspiration for your good days will come from.

So in the spirit of that, here's a painting I worked on the other day. I don't love it. I don't hate it. But it's a step in my creative journey so I'm glad I made it. Now grab a piece of paper and make something! Even if it sucks. Even if you know it will suck. In fact, I hope you hate it. Because there are lessons to be learned from making something crappy. Make some crap today!

Hand Lettering is Hard!

Posted on June 10, 2015 and tagged Sketchbook, Painting

When I first gave hand lettering a shot it was with ink and a calligraphy pen. I never really got the hang of it though! The pen would either scratch along the paper or drop ink in huge blobs. My letters would be all shakey and I hated how you never got a second chance with ink. So when I tried again this past week I decided to just forget about the rules and do what works for me. That meant using a paint bush instead of a pen and faking the calligraphy part a bit.

By "faking" I mean I would just draw my letters, then go back over them and thicken up some of the lines instead of trying to get it all in one shot. Maybe I'll post a tutorial and call it The Messy Girl's Guide to Faking Calligraphy!

So I've been enjoying my hand lettering practice so far! I'm starting out with just single words, but hopefully I'll be able to move on to quotes and stuff soon. I'd still like to loosen up more and eventually get even more messy with my lettering. It would nice if I didn't have to do the faking thing. I guess that just takes practice!


Posted on July 25, 2014 and tagged Painting

Symmetry in art is something that's always really appealed to me, but I also don't really like the "perfect" look you get when you use a computer. My attempts at eye-balling symmetry have failed miserably. My drawings always end up looking lopsided and skewed. I decided the best way to get this hand-drawn-but-perfectly-even look was to break out my geometry set! So I've been playing around with my compass and protractor for a while now and having lots of fun.

Painting in Progress

Posted on July 14, 2014 and tagged Painting

I've been having a lot of fun painting lately so I thought I would show you some progress shots. The kind of painting I like to do is splashing a lot of colours on the canvas in layers, drawing some little patterns with paint pens and just having fun with it. This is something that I've been working on purely for my own enjoyment and to hang in my own home. I have a stack of failed attempts siting behind this one that just aren't doing anything for me. But I guess my practice is paying off because I made one that I like finally!

Once I was finished with that one, I decided he needed a friend. I feel like the first one is still a bit too cluttered so I'm trying to cool it with the next one. The plan is to hang both of them over the bed when I'm done. The second one is not quite done yet, but here's a progress shot.

With these paintings I limited my colour palette to bright blue, apple green, yellow, neon pink and of course black and white. I think that it has really helped me to keep the paintings from getting too busy or muddy. I'm still learning, but I'm pretty pleased with how these are turning out.

And here's a shot of my extremely unstable paint shelf. One of these days it's going to come crashing down. I just know it! I'd really like to get a better storage solution soon because as you can see my paint collection is getting quite big!