Tag: drawing

Visual Journal Page 21: The Perfect Combination

I have said it many times, I have the sweet tooth of a 7 year old. My sugar palate never seemed to mature to the dark chocolates of my peers, I have always loved the 100% sugar, fruity varieties of candy that are marketed towards children. For many years, Skittles have been my reigning favorite, a fact that my hubby knows well.

Nick will periodically come home after a grocery trip with a share size Skittles bag. When we go see a movie, no questions asked, Skittles are the staple after popcorn. On road trips he will stop for gas, even if we don’t really need it, just to go get me a bag of Skittles.

Over the years, not only has Nick stored my favorite candy somewhere in his brain, he has also noted my favorite color combination: purple and red. I don’t know what it is about purple and red, it is the most perfect flavor combination out there. I don’t seek out purples or reds to eat individually, it is a combo deal, otherwise any color will do. I can’t even refer to them as their flavors, because a skittle flavor is unique to it’s color, and trust me, purple and red is it. As Nick and I snuggle up on the sofa to watch TV or sit in a movie theater, he will pass along Skittles to share. Without fail, if he ends up with a handful that has purples and reds, they come straight to me.

This is not something I ever made a point to tell him I needed. It was never a discussion, argument, or requirement. It was just something he noticed I liked and did for me unprompted. Moments like these define our marriage. It’s not the buying of houses or birthing of children, it’s the fact that I get every purple and red Skittle Nick comes across. The little things matter the most, because the little things add up to better days, weeks, months, years, and a continued growth together, not apart. The little things mean the other person is still paying attention, wants to know more, and do more to make you happy. Not because you are supposed to buy that house or procreate, they do things to make you happy just because they care enough to want to.

It’s scary how well you know me.

SUPPLIES:

  • Visual journal
  • Gesso
  • Paintbrush
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Watercolor
  • Thin Sharpie
  • White colored pencil
  • Rubber cement

HOW TO

For this visual journal page, I decided to focus on the colors of the red and purple Skittles. I brainstormed different ways of including them, an avalanche of purples and reds, a Skittles package with nothing but purples and reds, but I ended up deciding that it isn’t the quantity that is important, it’s the combination of a single purple and a single red. Once I decided on just two skittles, I opted to draw hands cradling them, as if they were something delicate and special, not something I am about to chew up and digest.

To create the visual journal page, I started by ripping a page from my visual journal book. I did this because I wanted to make the arms and hands stand out against the page and decided to use watered down gesso to do that. Since gesso is liquidy, I didn’t want it to soak through the other pages of my book. I lightly sketched the outline of the arms and hands, then filled them in with gesso. Once dry, I added details and shading with a pencil. Gesso creates a nice, smooth surface to draw on top of.

After I finished my hands, on a separate sheet of paper I drew my skittles and filled them in with watercolor. I didn’t add much water to the pigment so I would end up with a nice, vibrant color. While waiting for the Skittles to dry, I moved onto my paint splatters. I added more water to the watercolor pigment, painted a thick line on a sheet of paper, and blew it at an angle to make the paint splatter. After the skittles and paint splatters dried, I cut them out.

I glued the skittles down first, then added a highlight and the “S” using a white colored pencil. Next, I alternated red and purple splatters around the hands, and glued them down with rubber cement. Last, I used an extra fine Sharpie to add the words on top of the paint splatters.

CHALLENGE

Dedicate a page to your favorite sweet.


 

Low-light

Every now and then it helps to have a topic to get you going on a page. I recommend making a list of things about you when you start your journal, and if you ever get stuck in a journal block you can reference the list to see if anything inspires you. Typically I will give out one or two journal assignments to my students over the course of a semester or year. One of my standard assignments is to create two pages, one should be a low-light of your week, the other should be a highlight.

This page is my low-light of the week. I have four sinks in my classroom, and I love my sinks. I really appreciate them because in the past we have had two art teachers at my school, and one always had to be in a room without a sink. If you know anything about teaching art you know that a sink is practically a requirement. So, I really do appreciate my sink… However in addition to my long job list as artist, teacher, maid, and counselor, I also have to add plumber. Some people don’t understand that you can’t shove every unused art material down the sink… You really need to throw excess in the trash (or even better save it for later or just don’t start with an excess) before you rinse off brushes, etc. Every now and then (and by every now and then I really mean at least once a week) one of my four sinks gets clogged, and fills with water, because people want to use the sink even though it obviously isn’t draining… and I whip out my plunger and get to it.

Even though unclogging my many sinks is a low-light in a way I can still look at it as a highlight because once all the nasty stuff is out of the way sometimes beautiful splashes of paint remain. I hate clogged sinks, but in a way it can turn into a work of art.

I used gesso to create a hazy base, then I drew the sink outline with pencil, and added value to create depth. I also used India Ink in the dark areas to emphasize the darker value. After I added all the shadows I went back with gesso to emphasize the highlights. To create the paint splatters I used bleeding tissue paper and blew it to create the splatter effect.