Art Journal Speed Process: “Enlighten the Untransformed”

I (finally!) got around to finishing a spread that I’m currently recording the process of, and I’m sharing it with you today! I don’t know how excited about this you are, I’m pretty stoked, because it’s a rarity that I can focus myself long enough to make sure all aspects of a page get recorded. If you’re like me and leave your art laying out, you probably find yourself stepping past, only to double back in order to make a mark or two. I often can’t cram everything onto a page in one sitting, simply because a completely detailed art journal spread usually takes about six or more hours to finish. I know many other artists can bang pages out in just an hour or less, but my aesthetic is all about clutter and chaos, so I love lots of little designs and details…which can take a LOT of time.

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This journal page, which is all about trying to enlighten those who are unwilling, is both a statement about myself and others. I think that everyone should strive to have an open mind and an open heart, and even though many people believe themselves to be ‘open minded,’ I’m not quite sure they’re correct. The Socratic paradox says that a wise man knows that he knows nothing, and to accept that you have ignorance is to accept that there is always more to learn and understand. This page speaks both to my personal beliefs and to my political beliefs. As an American, I think that this message is especially relevant right now, during the 2016 presidential election.

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Although this page was not specifically created in response to anything, this is one of those spreads in which the meaning developed as it took form. I’m a strong believer that inspiration comes most often when we aren’t looking for it, and sometimes my muse doesn’t speak until I’ve already started working; this was one of those times.

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Anyways, lets get past the heavy stuff and enjoy how our minds can take the ugly and form into something beautiful, which, in this case, is providing me with reason to reflect and create! Being able to create another art journal spread (where I can meditate and breathe easy for a while) is great comfort for my anxious mind. I invite you to watch this process video, take a moment to unwind, and even play in your own journal! Enjoy! (If the video below doesn’t work for you, click HERE.)

 

ArtSnacks Unboxing: October 2016

ArtSnacks is a company which ships a small box containing 4 to 5 different art supplies and 1 piece of candy to your home each month. The box also includes a Menu, which explains what each art supply is, and a sticker with the ArtSnacks logo; any other items are entirely promotional.

It’s Inktober and I was thrilled to get this month’s ArtSnacks box! The ArtSnacks company advertised about pairing up with Inktober founder Jake Parker to release a specialty box (which I did not order), so I was hoping that the company would stick to the theme of inking; I was not disappointed! This month’s box was was very much ink themed, including: bottled ink, a paint brush to ink with, a black brush marker, and a white gel pen. Using these items would allow me to create that day’s Inktober drawing.

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Contents of the October ArtSnacks Box

This month’s box included many items that are considered high quality brand name, and was a pleasure to open. The ink, advertised as special edition, is from Liquitex‘s special release Muted Collection. I received the pink version, and the color is like a desaturated magenta. The company also offers this ink in: grey, turquoise, green, and violet. The Copic Gasenfude nylon brush pen was the second (and just as impressive item) in this month’s box. I was excited to play with this marker, but found myself unsatisfied with the results, being someone who is not practiced with a brush marker. I’ll need more practice before I can give an honest review of the Gasenfude.

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October ArtSnacks Supplies In Use 

The third item, a Uni-Ball Singno Broad gel pen, will make a great new addiction to my art journaling, as the only gel pens that I use are Gelly Roll. The Uni-Ball gel pen is not light fast, but that is my only complaint, and I’ll run this pen dry for sure! The last supply in the October ArtSnacks box is a watercolor paintbrush, included for artists to use with the Liquitex ink. I was not impressed with this brush as a watercolor brush, but found it to act much more like an acrylic brush. I was sent the round 4 of the Lauren Series 4350 by Princeton Brush; it did not hold a lot of liquid, though it did keep a great shape. It will be a versatile addition to my collection, but after receiving two brushes from ArtSnacks of this brand, I don’t think I’d buy it on my own.

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October ArtSnacks Menu

 

October’s ArtSnacks box also included the ArtSnacks Menu, the pencil/pretzel ArtSnacks brand temporary tattoo, and a Sour Punch rope candy. ArtSnacks values the 4 art supplies at a total of $25.94. I like the items in this box, and am especially happy to receive bottled ink, as it’s one of my new favorite supplies to play with in my art journaling. I would probably buy the Copic Gasenfude at least once on account of the brand’s superior reputation, but cannot say rather or not it will become a staple in my supply collection. The gel pen is a buy-again, and I’m glad to receive it, as I’m unwilling to purchase gel pens out of my comfort zone as gel pens are hit-or-miss for me. I don’t believe the brush is worth $5.75, but I’m cheap so my opinion doesn’t really count here.

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Art Created with October ArtSnacks Supplies for Day 3 of Inktober

Click the video below (or go here) to see my unboxing of August’s ArtSnacks—and stick around to the second half in order to see my application of each supply for my version of the ArtSnacks Challenge!

You can see my first ArtSnacks unboxing from May by clicking HERE, and see my unboxing for the month of June by clicking HERE, and check out August’s unboxing HERE! If you subscribe to ArtSnacks (or any other artsy/craftsy monthly subscription box), tell me about it in the comments: I’d love to hear your input!

Note: This ArtSnacks subscription is out-of-pocket for my household. I am not affiliated with ArtSnacks nor any of the brands shown in this video or discussed in the blog post. I have received no payment or gifts to participate in this ArtSnacks unboxing. Yet. That being said, if you work for any of these companies, please feel free to get a hold of me and send me free stuff. Seriously, though, I’ll take what I can get.

Instagram Update & InkTober Art Haul

Miss me? No? Because you have a life and don’t rely on this six month old blog for the majority of your entertainment? Fair enough. However, if that were in fact the case, I may have disappointed you with a lack of posting. Well, good news! I’ve got some pictures and a video to occupy your mind and delight your eyes. Hurrah!

So where have I been? Mostly, on Instagram. If you have an account on this social media giant, feel free to follow me or watch the hashtag #madebyemk, with which I tag 99% of my posts. If you haven’t yet clicked the link (or don’t plan to, because life is already hard enough) here’s a small preview of what you are missing…

Have I tempted you to check it out? If not, here is another great reason: IT’S INKTOBER, and I’m participating! Inktober is a drawing challenge, created by Jake Parker, in which artists dedicate themselves to drawing one image everyday of October. The creator releases a prompt list, but not all artists follow it; the point is to draw each day, and it doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s in ink. Anyone can participate in Inktober; the only thing you need is a piece of paper and a pen. If you’re a pen junkie like me, you may use this month as excuse to buy art supplies, and I have some suggestions. This Inktober, I’m using black Faber-Castell PITT pens and grey Faber-Castell brush tipped PITT pens in an Art-Plus Moleskine. The video below explains everything you need to know, including a quick review of the pens and notebook that I’m using for this month’s awesome drawing challenge. (You can also see this video HERE.)

The PITT pens I’ll be using are black and gray, and I purchased a set of each for this drawing challenge. The grey pack comes as a set of soft brush tips, including cold greys and warm grays, providing a huge range for shading and coloring. The first photo below is an example of the colors included. I strongly recommend some grays for shading, and the Faber-Castell PITT pens are all made with India ink, so they look pretty great with most drawing pens out there. The second photo below portrays a close up of each of the pen nibs from the black set. Most PITT pen users are comfortable with the smaller nibbed pens, but this set also included 3 larger tips that I had never used before. Both of these sets run about $25 USD, which isn’t a huge savings if you were to break the 8 pack down, so I don’t recommend purchasing the wallet sets if you only plan on using small nibs,  (XS, S, F, and M) as it’s worth it to purchase those pens individually.

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Pens Included In: PITT Pen Soft Brush 8 Pack of Assorted Greys

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Pens included In: PITT Pen 8 Pack of Black Assorted Tip Size

If you are participating in Inktober, please leave a comment below with a link we can all check out to your blog or Instagram. I’m so excited to see what creativity transpires over the next month! I’ll be updating with my drawings all October as I join in the fun!!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Making Shadows”

I have a certain love for hanging lanterns. Honestly, all party supplies stir something inside me that just gets me in a good mood, whether it be streamers, balloons…presents. I have a bad habit of leaving decorations up far beyond a reasonable time frame, and in fact, have a string of green paper lanterns dangling from the ceiling in my studio; as of now, there are no plans to remove them. It’s should be no surprise that hanging lanterns would eventually find themselves layered into the artwork of my journal.

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“Making Shadows” Art Journal Spread

Unlike most of my journal pages, which are created impromptu, this spread had a moment of conception when the muse struck me outside of my studio. I had this strange urge to use a wet paint technique to create red, multi-hued hanging lanterns. I wasn’t quite sure what this journal spread would be about (other than my affinity for celebratory ephemera) but I got to my desk ASAP, and started gluing down collage material to get my creative juices flowing. It wasn’t long before I had thick circles of red paint adorning my pages! For this spread, I also brought out my inks, KRINK paint tools, pens, and markers and let the magic happen.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Left)

Some of these collage images came from my purchase of a coffee table book about National Geographic photographers, which will be my next altered book. Before I begin altering a book, I always remove some pages from it to alleviate stress from the binding, as my altered pages thicken the book quite a bit. The pages removed from my NatGeo book had some pretty interesting images, so I kept them for collage material. If you have interest in this book, you can find it on Amazon.com HERE. At his time, a new version of this book is available for $3.24 (plus shipping), which is an awesome price for the amount of beautiful images this large hardcover holds.

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“Making Shadows” Close Up (Right)

To see the creation of the journal spread “Making Shadows,” you can watch the video below or click HERE.

As always, if you have any questions about supplies used, applied techniques, or just want to drop me a line, feel free to connect with me in the comments below!

Art Journal Speed Process: “Ink Blot Buffalo”

Forgive the tardiness of this post, as I was involved in a pretty intense car accident that left me so shaken and exhausted that I collapsed on my sofa upon return instead of blogging to you, dear follower. (I have a feeling you might be understanding in realizing that the situation was an unexpected incident which could alter anyone’s schedule.) But I thank you for your patience and present you with almost 20 minutes of an art journal speed process video!

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Art Journal Spread

I created the above spread as my first week’s participation in the Get Messy group (discussed in this blog post), which offered multiple prompts as part of the current week for this six week season. The theme for these six weeks is introspection, and I chose to do an inkblot type design with my acrylic paint. The Get Messy prompt inspired a great many of us to see what we would find in our homemade “inkblots,” which mimics the famous Rorschach test.  I’ve done this before, as you can see in the photo below, but it’s been a long time since!

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“Not All That Bites Is Bad” Art Journal Spread

This video took me quite a bit of time to put together, as it not only shows an entire start-to-finish process for my newest art journal page, “Ink Blot Buffalo,” but I also took the time to add commentary though out the video. This commentary provides you with my rationale during the creation of this spread, detail of the art supplies used, and gives you a little insight on how it is that I create my spreads. The video is sped up to four times the original, so there is a lot of content crammed into it! Enjoy!

 

More photos of the “Ink Blot Buffalo” art journal spread can be seen below.

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Bottom

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

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“Ink Blot Buffalo” Close-Up: Right Page

I hope you gained a little insight and a lot of inspiration, and I will see you Friday with a new post! Feel free to contact me before then by leaving me a comment below; I’d love to hear your thoughts!!!

ArtSnacks Unboxing: June 2016

ArtSnacks is a company which ships a small box containing 4 to 5 different art supplies and 1 piece of candy to your home each month. The box also includes a Menu, which explains what each art supply is, and a sticker with the Art Snacks logo; any other items are entirely promotional.

It’s finally June, which is crazy because 2016 is already half gone. The good news, however, is that my ArtSnacks box is here and I’m thrilled about it! I’m sure you’re curious to see what goodies were hiding inside, and so was I. So curious, in fact, that I postponed my mini-getaway just so that I could open it. Below you will find a photo of the contents in this month’s ArtSnacks! Of course, I’d be a monster if I’d done that away from my camera, so I set up my desk and filmed it, too.

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This month, the box included 5 art supplies. The first item was by the brand AD, a new supply called the Spectra Marker, which is alcohol based and came in ultramarine. The next item was a specialty softcover sketchbook, which was produced specifically for ArtSnacks by the company Denik; it contains 34 thin pages (68 front/back) in a sturdy binding of four sewn signatures. This box also contained a water based brush marker by the company Caran d’Ache, and is a new product called the Fibralo. Next in line is the Kuretake No. 7 brush pen in black, which luckily came with a bonus refill, as I couldn’t read the packaging if I had too! Finally was General’s Layout pencil, self described as “Extra Black,” and a supposed favorite among animators. Here is the “menu” for more information:

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June ArtSnacks Menu

June’s ArtSnacks did not include any other items besides the supplies, menu, and sticker. ArtSnacks values the 5 art supplies at a total of $20.15. Given the chance (and the cash), I would personally purchase 4/5 supplies, not having much use for the sketchbook. The sketchbook is valued at $5, which I find to be incredibly reasonable for the special design, so I’m still happy to receive it. With the exception of the sketchbook, you can see a detail photograph below of each supply in use.

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June ArtSnacks Supply Detail

Click the video below (or go here) to see my unboxing of June’s ArtSnacks—and stick around to the second half in order to see my application of each supply for my version of the ArtSnacks Challenge!

Below is the finished art journal spread that is featured in my June ArtSnacks video. This spread was created using multiple different supplies, including the contents of June’s ArtSnacks box.

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“Pink Elephant” Art Journal Spread

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“Pink Elephant” Art Journal Spread: Details

If you subscribe to ArtSnacks (or any other artsy/craftsy monthly subscription box), tell me about it in the comments: I’d love to hear your input!

Note: This ArtSnacks subscription is out-of-pocket for my household. I am not affiliated with ArtSnacks nor any of the brands shown in this video or discussed in the blog post. I have received no payment or gifts to participate in this ArtSnacks unboxing. Yet. That being said, if you work for any of these companies, please feel free to get a hold of me and send me free stuff. Seriously, though, I’ll take what I can get.

Art Supply Haul 2: Unboxed, Tested, & Art Journaling

In this post, I’ll be sharing a video in which you can watch the unboxing of four different art supplies and see them at work. I will also be using these new art supplies in order to work on one of my art journal pages. (If you’d like to skip the unboxing and testing of theses supplies in order to go directly to the art journaling section of this video, that part begins at 10:57. You can click the time stamp in this paragraph to skip to that portion of the video on YouTube, or you can fast forward the video on this page.)

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Art Supply Haul 2 Items: Graphite and Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, & India Ink

New Supplies (seen above):
5 Pack Jumbo Pencils 9000 Series by Faber-Castell (5/10 ★s)
24 Pack Premier Colored Pencils by Prismacolor (7/10 ★s)
Triple Hole Pencil Sharpener by Faber-Castell (4/10 ★s)
12 Pack Bombay India Ink by Dr. Ph. Martin (10/10 ★s)

As seems to be the theme for my latest art supply videos, these items were purchased using a gift card that I received for my birthday. Unlike the Art Snacks box or the Uni-Posca paint pens, these art supplies were of my own choosing. Purchasing $50 worth of supplies required much deliberation, hence why it’s been a month since the gift card was given to me; my indecisiveness, however, was crushed by the thrill that can only come with online shopping. I ended up spending slightly over the card’s amount, but the excess was for the sharpener: it’s silly to have pencils if you can’t use them! (Or so I told myself, splurging on a $7 name brand sharpener.)

So, without further ado, here is the video you’ve skipped through the text to get to..

Final Thoughts: The pencils were an awesome size, and exactly what pencils should be, but the graphite was shinier and lighter in color than I’d like, which isn’t exactly artist quality in my opinion…and are pretty expensive for pencils. The Prismacolor colored pencils have amazing pigmentation, but are going to dwindle to nothing soon because the lead is so soft; that being said, I knew this would be the case upon purchase. Thirdly, the pencil sharpener sharpens all the pencils I personally own, including other brands; unfortunately, it opens up on a thin plastic hinge (that I see snapping in the near future), and it leaks shaving everywhere when opened. Finally, Dr. Ph. Martin’s India inks are expensive, but I was lucky and found the 12 set on Amazon for $12 less than for what the official website sells this 12 pack. At a little over $3 per bottle, it’s almost half the price of purchasing each color individually. In my opinion, these Bombay inks were worth every penny!!

Related Posts: Art Supply Haul 1: Unboxed & Tested and Art Supply Haul 1: Challenge

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos

Because I know there are a few of you who prefer short & sweet, there is a concise list of need-to-know information regarding recording overhead videos located at the bottom of this post.

Starting the project of creating art videos was not easy for me! I understood it in theory (record, edit, post) but the actual how-to of filming threw me through a loop! Having seen multiple art videos (YouTube and classes, alike) I knew what I wanted to do, just not how to achieve the look. I tried to search the web to find out what my favorite artists online used to record their videos, but it was a fruitless quest. Not one result was available to me about which cameras worked best or where to position the recording device—and there were absolutely no tips or tricks on the process of achieving such a feat. So I now present you with the post I wish I could have found.

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My Video Editing Software, Pinnacle Studio 18, In Use

I knew step one would be to purchase simple video editing software, and I found a cheap one in town. It’s not the best thing by any means, but it works…for now. As for everything else, I just used items on hand. I had a nice camera—not camcorder—and a huge tripod to start out with, which I was using beneath a pretty terrible overhead light. After blogging for about a month and a half now, I have realized that having a less than ideal camera has begun to deter my creative spirit. Every video I made required multiple cuts due to quickly dying camera batteries, and having to adjust zoom per each cut was awful! It was simply not giving me the clean results that my inner perfectionist desired. Fortunately, I had the means to fix all of this!

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My Original Recording Device, Nikon Coolpix L820, And It Is NOT a Camcorder!

Yesterday, I ran about town to purchase a camcorder and tripod, which would not consume a third of my desk. I am also now the happy owner of a desk light with natural light light bulbs. (The natural light light bulbs are a must have!) The camcorder can be used while plugged in, meaning no constant battery switching; the tripod is small enough that I no longer have to worry about inconsistent zoom range per cut. I’m thrilled to have a setup that makes my videos the (semi-)professional creations I’ve been so desperately craving! I now have a compact tripod that was aprox. $15, and a Cannon camcorder that cost me $250.

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My New Recording Materials: Sunpak 42″ Tripod & Canon HFR700 Camcorder

If you are trying to record an overhead video, the Canon Vixia HF R700 camcorder is perfect. It can stay plugged in forever, records up to 12 hours without stopping, and has a screen that will turn to face you, which means you can see the image you’re recording. It also has a function which allows the user to make the image mirrored, which isn’t a necessity, but stops you from trying to adjust your camera in the wrong direction when you image is off centered. If that doesn’t make sense, I’m sorry, but please know it’s got a neat feature that does a convenient thing for this specific use. I 100% endorse this camera if you are tying to do much overhead desk recording!

So here is a concise list of what I wish I’d known prior to attempting this project…

5 Helpful Hints For Recording Art Videos:
1. A camera with a battery life of an hour or more is a must have; a camera that can stay plugged in forever is a life saver!
2. If the camera has a screen to face you, it’s worth an extra $50. If it’s anymore than that, use a mirror opposite the camera to check your camera screen frequently(Especially if the camera’s battery isn’t very good!)
3. You do not need a tripod that is taller than 40″. Ever.
4. Shadows will ruin all videos, and even the cheapest adjustable desk lamp is worth your money for this purpose.
5. Having natural light or white light light bulbs will make your videos 100x better looking.
6. The three most important features in a video editing software are 1) ability to adjust video speed, 2) ability to add and alter additional audio tracks, and 3) ability to rotate your video.

Now that I have a setup that I don’t hate, you’ll be seeing quite a bit more of me!! Until then, happy arting!

Art Snacks Unboxing: May 2016

For at least a year, I have been aware of a monthly subscription box called Art Snacks, which ships a small box containing 4 to 5 different art supplies and 1 piece of candy to your home each month. The box also includes a Menu, which explains what each art supply is, and a sticker with the Art Snacks logo; any other items are entirely promotional. There are other monthly subscription boxes containing art supplies, (Creative Art Box, Sketch Box, etc.) but Art Snacks just seems to be everywhere, and is therefore much easier to research!

About three months ago, I hinted to the husband that Art Snacks would be a great birthday present this year. About two months ago, I told the husband he should get it for me. About one month ago, I told him that I needed to know if he wasn’t going to get it for me so that I could purchase it for myself! Well on my 25th birthday, i.e. today, I went to the mailbox and discovered a small box that was calling my name…and low and behold, it was my very first Art Snacks box!!! Well, what was a girl to do but turn on her camera and record an unboxing video?! Here is what was hiding inside:

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Contents of May Art Snacks Box (Minus Candy & Sticker)

This month, the box included 4 art supplies. The first item was by the brand KRINK, a new supply called the K-90 Paint Marker, which came in black. Next in line was General’s Cedar Pointe Graphite Pencil, described as a No. 1 with “extra soft” graphite. The last two are intended for use together; one being a hollow paint brush, or waterbrush, the Kuretake brand’s Brush2o Long. The last supply is an a neon acrylic ink by Daler-Rowney. It appears orange in this video, but is very pink off screen.

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Art Snacks Menu for May

Besides the piece of candy and sticker, May’s box also included a 30% off code for KRINK’s online store, which I’m actually really excited about, as well as a card advertising the Art Snacks 2016 Travel Collection. Art Snacks values the 4 art supplies at a total of $27.61, which does not include shipping or any other promotional items in the box. Given the chance (and the cash), I would personally purchase 3/4 supplies, not having much use for the pencil. Even without the pencil, valued at a mere $0.66, each box costs $20 a month for a subscriber, so I technically saved a little money if Art Snacks’ pricing is correct.

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Supply Detail

Based on this month’s box, I would definitely suggest Art Snacks to one of my artsy pals. I’m incredibly happy with this set of supplies. This box fits my mixed-media passion, but seems best suited for watercolor artists. That being said, every month is different, so next month may be better for an artist that prefers oil pastels, colored pencils, markers, etc. If you refuse to use supplies outside of your chosen medium, then this probably isn’t for you.

Click the video below (or go here) to see my unboxing for May’s Art Snacks.

I plan on participating in the Art Snacks Challenge, which challenges me to create art using the supplies that came in this month’s box. This means my color palette will be limited to black, pink, and the graphite of the sketch pencil. I will be recording my attempt at this challenge, so be prepared and get excited for that upcoming video! If you subscribe to Art Snacks or any other monthly subscription box, tell me about it in the contents: I’d love to hear your input!

Note: This Art Snacks subscription is out-of-pocket for my household. I am not affiliated with Art Snacks or any of the brands shown in this video or discussed in the blog post. I have received no payment or gifts to participate in this Art Snacks unboxing. Yet. That being said, if you work for any of these companies, please feel free to get a hold of me and send me free stuff. Seriously, though, I’ll take what I can get.

Working With a List Palette

When working on backgrounds that consist of large blogs of colors, I like to choose pens and markers that I know will complement my spread to create small line work. I choose varying hues of the colors already found on the page, and use neutrals to contrast against the vibrant or pastel hues. My writing utensils range from cheap ball point pens, to expensive markers. I use paint pens, markers with bases of alcohol and India ink, and even highlighters! If it comes with a cap and fits in my hand, it’s likely to be used on my spreads.

Writing Utensils, Including: Uniball Pens, Sakura Gelly Rolls & Permanpaque Pens

Writing Utensils, Including: Uniball Pens, Sakura Gelly Rolls & Permanpaque Pens

Whenever I’m working with pens and markers on top of a pre-painted spread, I am already aware of my established color scheme and know what color utensils I’ll want to work with. For example, this spread was yellow, pink, and green; I pulled out my multiple collections of pens and markers, then chose yellow, orange, pink, and green writing utensils from my stash. After this, I queued up my markers in color order and created a list, writing the name of each marker/pen with the named utensils. This allowed me to compare all color types to one another, and gave me a reference to compare against my pre-painted spread. I call this a list palette.

A List Palette

A List Palette

Once my list palette is created, I place it close to my journal spread so that I can see which colors will clash against the background and which ones will provide an attractive contrast. For most spreads, I use white and black pens/markers without question, and this spread was no different. However, I did find it more difficult to choose colored utensils, as the pastel background was somewhat outside of my comfort zone. Besides the neutral colored pens, I ended up only choosing 4 others. I happily realized the tip types to be varied, giving me the ability to keep my line work diverse and interesting.
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If you’re interested in seeing this process, watching me create some doodled chaos in my art journal, or would like hear some public domain folk music: view the video below.