Saturday, September 29, 2012

Latest Art Journal Page

Just some stenciling with glimmer mists, and doodling over.   Fast, easy, fun; my mantra.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Montana and Posca Pen Review Update

It's no longer a tie between Montana and Posca acrylic paint pens (my review is down a post).   After working with them both, the Montanas have this wierd thing where they look great wet, but melt into the page as they dry, especially layered over other acyrlic paint.  The Poscas "sit up" on the page and stay vibrant looking.  Here's an example - I was in a doodle mood, and went to add an edge to this page....

 ...and the Montana pens kept sinking in, making me go over it 3-4 times.   I then edged the bumps with the Posca pen, and it covered nicely the first time.  Here's a close-up, where you can see the fading out pink edged with nice strong pink....

I'll definitely be reaching for the Posca pens first.

Fast and Easy Background

Isn't this kinda pretty and organic looking? 

Reminds me of a distant galaxy or something - and the best part is that it took just a couple of minutes.  I had smooshed some Ranger Distress Ink around the page, and then spritzed it with water.  After it had beaded up a bit, I blotted the water off, and it left the nice mottled effect.   Soooooo fast and easy.   Hope you have some time to play in your journal, and if you're free Sunday, come play with us at the Art Journal Circle!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Montana Acrylic Markers Review

Paint Pen Smackdown!

I recently got some acrylic paint markers by Montana, and wanted to compare them to my Posca ones.   Both are water-based for easy clean-up, and to be honest they are very, very similar.  Here's the Montanas...

 They are new to the market, and based on their popular "artist's" spray paint  line.  In theory they are a 2mm line, but as you'll see, they act more like the 1mm line of the Poscas....

                  yeah, there's no colors noted because the writing on the pens is all Japanese.    

Both types are high-quality, don't bleed through paper (looking at you, Copic markers), and have excellent coverage.  They are almost opaque layered over each other, with just a hint of the under-color showing through.

"M" =Montanas, "P" = Poscas - the flower is all Montanas, and you can see the yellow flower centers pretty much cover the blue.

I did this just to compare the colors, and you can see that sometimes the Montana's blurped out a fat line, but usually it comes out fairly fine.  The control over a detailed pic would definitely be better with the smaller tip of the Poscas.   Both types of pens come in multiple tip sizes, so you could just buy fatter/thinner if you like, but this was considered "fine" size by both.

They work well on slick surfaces (glass, plastic, etc.), but I usually use them on paper.   They will blend nicely on glossy paper, but not so much on watercolor paper, so it's a flatter, more cartoon-y look.

Why would you use them instead of ink markers or gel pens?  Because they are much, much more opaque, and can be cleanly layered over each other.  They really "pop" off the page because of that.   Painting over collage work or photos is a breeze with these.  As to which to chose, go with the brand that you like the colors of better, or are cheaper.  I generally get pens at JetPens, a mom-and-pop business with great service and huuuge selection of off-beat pens.

So there you go, the acrylic marker smack-down ends in a stand-off:  I'm calling this one a tie.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Halloween Freebie!

Here's another wonderful free download from Artchix Studios, perfect for mixed media or art journaling around Halloween!

Just go here to get it!  (They are such a fun resource to get stuff from too, very unique stuff there.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Once I decided to focus on texture in our next Art Journal Circle Meeting, I noticed it everywhere in my journals.  Here's a recent page....

                             The "fashion" quote was made Yapping Cat Studio, I think - I just had it around
The fabric in the background is really nubby, the doily has a nice lace effect, and the raised embossing on the dressform is just yummy.   I'll definitely bring all this stuff and something for everyone to emboss, because that technique is just the best (thanks Suzy West, for teaching that at Treasured Memories!)

Tbh, I don't love the color of the dress on the purple page, but I'm not that dedicated to fixing every little thing on my journal pages.  Some people spend hours per page, and I respect that; but for me, when it gets too fussy it stops being fun. 

The Mess of Life

My art space is an incredible mess....seriously, I can't even post a pic of it 'cause it's too embarrassing.  So I sat down today and decided whatever scraps were on top of my art desk I would use up on a journal page.   Here's the result....

This is in my "writing" journal, which is why it's primarily large open spaces.   Gorgeous paper scraps deserve a home, and I'm happy these found one.  Down in the lower left is the business card from cathy b.: I don't even remember what I bought from her etsy store (the thank you vellum envelope may be from her too).

On another note, my Art Journal group will be meeting on the 30th at Treasured Memories - if you're in the Ventura, CA area, come by and play!   Whether you work in a journal or Smash Book, or are just interested, you'll have fun. We're going to focus on incorporating more texture into our pages, so I'll have fabric and molding paste and all kinds of things to experiment with.  Sign up ahead, so I know how much to bring!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Playing with watercolors

Sometimes I only post stuff to show that if *I* can manage this, anyone can.  In that spirit, here's a little watercolor I did today, just a quick take on some dried, crumpled leaves.  

 It took around 20 minutes, but left me feeling that calm happiness that creative activity brings.  Hope you have time for some today!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Latest Journal page

I've been very bad about blogging and sharing lately, but here's today's page.

I recently ordered a couple of Pam Carriker's stamps to play with, mostly inspired by how she makes a gorgeous entire journal page out of one little stamp.  Here's her incredible version...

NOTE: Not my work, Pam Carriker's!

I decided to try and replicate her page first, just to play with it.  I'm not shy about copying someone I admire, because I think that's a huge way that we learn (of course, I'm always careful to credit the original source).   Here's my imitation journal page....

 I like the stripes on the left to journal on - I'm looking forward to getting to this page!   It was quite fast and fun to create, just as I'd hoped.   The stamp provides a nice center for the page, and smushing some Neo-Color 2s around was short work.  (I definitely lost patience around the fiddly bits in the upper right corner, so they got rather haphazard.) I have to admit that I have limited patience for working on a page, so stamps or stencils that speed things up are always appreciated!