|New Oak Moon art journal spread|
While I was working on it, I never thought it would look cohesive. There are many layers to this page. The very first is a background layer of color painted onto the paper with Gelato pigments, giving the whole page a softer, nearly pastel feel.
|New Oak Moon - detail|
I worked on this piece off and on between other projects over a period of three weeks. I had to practice drawing the tree a number of times to get a trunk and branches that I liked. I also had to teach myself to draw abstract oak leaves, so I filled an entire sketchbook page with them drawing slow at first and then speeding up. It was time-consuming to create all of tree's detail, but the detail is what brought together the living-tree shape.
I used to prefer to keep backgrounds very simple if the main focus of the piece was going to be an illustration (rather than pure abstract collage). But now I think that this tree would look very different on a plain background. The effect was worth the effort.
In the meantime, I have devised several ways to recycle my own art.
I shared a page of watercolor lines in my last blog post. I have several of these pages of watercolor lines because I practiced the same blending exercise several times. I took giant hole punches yesterday and punched out 2" inch and 1 3/4" inch circles from one of the practice pages. It's very likely that these circles will begin to appear in different collage pieces I create in the near future.
|Collage circles punched out from a watercolor practice page.|
Finally, I had been debating what to do about the cover for my recently-begun art journal. The book is an 11 3/8" inch by 8 1/4" inch bound Dylusions journal book specifically made for mixed media creating. I love the size of it and the fact that the pages are bound to open completely flat, making painting and drawing easier. The cover is just craft-paper brown, and it kept staring at me asking, "when are you going to cover me with art?" But I could not decide what to do.
I debated for days. Maybe I should just paint it a color so it's not blank. No, maybe I should collage it. Then it hit me, I had a favorite 4x6 index card piece of the full moon in July.
|Brand new cover for my art journal.|
I used the book cover as a frame for my index card art, by painting around it in acrylic and ink layers. I taped a starry-night washi tape border along the book's spine so that it matched the night sky theme. And I glued on mylar stars surrounding the picture and an arrow with my title and the date to remind me of when I created the hand-moon picture.
Now it is happily situated on the front cover of my journal so that I can look at it and let it inspire me all of the time.