Monday, December 2, 2013

Evolution of a Sketch Into A Blog Header

Raw Ideas Scribbled in my Junk Journal
I like to change out the blog header during the holidays and this year is no different. For whatever reason, I seem to have snowmen on the brain and that's where I started looking for ideas for this year's header.

I grabbed my junk journal* with black pen** and started sketching lots of faces, hats and scarves in an attempt to capture what I could see in my head. This last page shows where I switched to pencil as I felt I was getting close to what I wanted.
_________________________

*A Junk Journal in a journal of inexpensive paper that doesn't hold up to washes or even heavy marker work. The reason for this is so that I can play in complete safety and explore ideas without worrying that I'm going to "ruin" good paper.

**I use pen so that I can just put ideas down and not get caught up in refining the sketch too early. This is a brainstorming session. The refining will come later.
_________________________

As I looked at the long scarf, I realized it wasn't a long hat I was looking for but a scarf!
Refined Sketch, Junk Journal
You can't tell from looking at the sketch, but there was lots of erasing and redrawing until I came up with what I was looking for.

Rather than work out my color scheme in the junk journal, I scanned the page and worked it out on a page I printed off. This allows me more flexibility if I ever decide to use this particular sketch again.

I then redrew the sketch on a piece of watercolor paper and got busy with my brush…and totally forgot to take photos! Oops!
Lefty the Snowman
I had a near disaster at the very beginning of the painting process: I used a salt that did not absorb the color I used in the background! I've never had this to happen in all the years I've used salt. Instead of robbing color, the pigment settled in around the granules creating dark spots.
Righty the Snowman
Since I really didn't want to start over, I decided to add snow with acrylic paint at the very end of the process. All of the "snow" collecting on the hats and floating around is from a white acrylic Sharpie® Poster Paint marker. Sadly, I don't believe this marker is made any longer.
The heart represents the love we're all entwined in and the tangles we often experience during the holidays (well, really it's all year long, but it seems to amplify during the holidays).

Since I came up with a number of ideas on the other brainstorming pages in my junk journal, I'm hoping to create more than one header this year. We'll see if I can scrape together the time!
_________________________

I strongly encourage folks in the ImaginaryTrip.com classes to get a junk journal because they're awesome for playing, exploring new ideas and on occasion, failing without having it show up in a regular journal. When we have no fear of failing, we are far more likely to play.

Using a pen keeps us from getting mired down in the need to "make it perfect" when we're exploring ideas.
_________________________

With the new header up, I can now say my holidays have officially started!

How about you? What starts your holidays?

16 comments:

  1. ...Laure, I love this design. It is the cutest ever. Hallmark has nothing on you!!! Lefty's coat is so perfect and the little bell...too cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, thank you! I had fun with this and I have soooo many more ideas…now to find and/or make the time!

      Delete
  2. Yep, I keep my junk journal right by my chair. :) Your header is great. It can go all winter it is unique. The heart in the middle is so sweet. Love to see how you think things through. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, Lisa! Glad to hear the junk journal is still around.

      Delete
  3. Love your new header. It took me a moment to see the heart so it made a great surprise ending! I think the dark splotches look nice as if they were snow in the background where the light isn't hitting the snowflakes so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wasn't completely happy with the heart either, Timaree. I would change it if I did it again. The texture in the background works, it's just not what I was expecting!

      Delete
  4. Love this one especially the heart and your explanation. Would you consider doing a short class on sketching Christmas stuff? Could call it "Imaginary Visit to the North Pole."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm considering it, Clare…I'll keep you posted!

      Delete
  5. love Clare's suggestion ! and your new header is sure a hit !

    ReplyDelete
  6. Adorable. I especially like the snow collecting on their noses.

    Love the junk journal idea, and I do have one, but it doesn't get the use it deserves. Wouldn't it be great to set a goal of playing with pen in a junk journal every day just to see what happens? That *should* take away expectations of making everything "pretty."

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a wonderful Holiday painting! … as for a 'junk journal' I think all my journals are junk journals except two and I'm so worried about ruining a page, I hardly ever do anything in them. Junk is good! Someday I might pull all the better pages in my junk journals and rebind them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Elva! I was just thinking about you yesterday. Funny how we get so caught up in the idea that we might "ruin" a page…makes me want to go be a rebel and deliberately mess it up!

      Delete
  8. Your snowmen are delightful! I enjoyed reading about your process too. I like the "junk journal" idea and have been rethinking my approach to journaling lately, so your post is quite timely for me. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

I would love to connect with you! Please leave a comment so we can talk...