An Arts & Crafts Book Like You’ve Never Seen Before!

I am so excited to have been asked to contribute my art to this amazing project! “Around The World With 80 Artists” is a compilation of arts and crafts projects curated by Mahe Zehra Husain, founder of The Creative Art Academy. From budding crafters to advanced artists, there is a project here for everyone! My contributions will include not only some of the coloring pages from The Art Journal Coloring Book, but also a tutorial on how to make your own coloring pages, easy-peasy!

Best of all, 20% of the proceeds from this project will go to The Malala Fund to help girls gain an education. Girls who might otherwise not get their chance at a basic human right so many of us take for granted.

Click the image linked below to sign up for your own FREE e-copy before it goes on sale!

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Adult Coloring Books: Mixing Copics & Colored Pencils

Have you tried mixing markers with colored pencils when you color in your favourite adult coloring books? It’s a technique I love not only because I get to use more of my stash, but also because markers can ensure a more even color base for adding depth & dimension with shading. Shading is half the fun! Here’s a quick video where I show you what I’m talking about.

Did you know that I’m giving away FREE stuff?! Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get your first prezzie, a free coloring page from The Art Journal Coloring Book! Subscribe here and stay tuned for more fun, prompts, freebies and more!no bird soars too high colored page

And when you color a page from my book, please share it on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #theartjournalcoloringbook so I can see how your pages look – can’t wait!

Mixed Media Art Video: Watercolor Flower Tag

I love getting snail mail, don’t you? Not bills or flyers – I mean something addressed to me in someone’s handwriting, with stickers or colourful embellishments to grab my attention. And if that envelope is just the wee bit on the chubby side… well, who knows what goodies await?!

Just such an envelope was waiting for me last week. Excitement! Inspired to reciprocate, I pulled out my watercolours to finish creating a tag I’d started on another project. Here’s how it turned out. Have you every tried painting with watercolour? Let me know what you think!

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Layering Art Journal Backgrounds with Napkins and Tissue Paper

Apologies for the lack of Spring posts, my friends. I’m back in the saddle now. (On the palette?) Here’s a pic from my new art studio (moved it twice this year already, not moving again) where I’m working on altering a book into an art journal for personal use. Not adding any watercolor paper, just removing and altering pages that already exist. In these pics I’m using tissue paper and napkins as background layers. 20150527_071300 20150527_071710 20150527_071853 20150527_072019

Junk Journaling, Part 1

Hi everyone! I’ve just finished an art journal video which will be posted on Faber-Castell Design Memory Craft’s blog next week. You can see my other Design Memory Craft designs here and here. In the meantime, I’m having a lot of fun in my junk journal. When I was first introduced to this concept I had a difficult time understanding what a “junk” journal was all about. Why would anyone want to journal junk? Isn’t every page sacred?

Well guess what? No pages are sacred, that was just my perfectionism talking. I am now a complete convert and here’s why: Junk Journals = freedom! Freedom to make mistakes and experiment, which in turn frees your creativity from perfection. You can do no wrong. Make sense? Here’s a peek at my junk journal. The cover is made from a Trader Joe’s grocery bag. I’m not worried about messing up a grocery bag, that’s for sure!

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The inner pages are made from junk paper (envelopes, old book pages, scrap paper scraps, etc.). This cat illustration was cut from an old children’s book. I embellished, add some new elements and decorated the page.

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The red bird is a collage item from a color laser copy of another of my projects. I added the tree and buds.

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Pages aren’t the same size, the same color, nor even from the same source (although you could use a cheap notebook)! If you are having some challenges with a blank page or wondering how to start art journaling, I highly recommend giving junk journaling a try. It’s a wonderful antidote to the fear of mistakes! Stay tuned for more of my junk journal pages… happy journaling!

CLICK HERE for a list of the materials I used.

xo, seena

Handmade Art Journals

When I first heard of making your own journal my first thought was, why would anyone do that when there are soooo many to choose from at the art store? Well, I’m now a convert. The luxury of being able to choose your own paper is so fantastic! Maybe I’ve just had one too many spray inks soak through the paper and ruin a piece of my artwork on the other side, but I love that I can buy my favourite paper, cut the paper as required and have a custom journal to work in.

Here are some of my handmade art journals (still working on the art inside!):

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Then I took it  a step further and made a bound book using a vintage book cover – not nearly as difficult as I thought it’d be, thanks to a handy little discovery known as gaffer tape.

Front cover.
Front cover.

Here’s how I did it… (Click on the first pic for a gallery to appear.)

I plan on uploading a video tutorial soon. It may be a little easier to see this in action! I’d LOVE to see a handmade journal you’ve created!

Go Confidently

After having difficulty with Dylusions Spray Inks (I love them, but they tend to over saturate my paper despite various methods of water vs. ink) I wanted to try Pan Pastels for my background. Easy to stamp over, but as I was doing some hand letting I had to spray with a fixative so the pastels wouldn’t erase.

I used a combination of white & black ink, Glossy Accents & Glaze pens for colour.

I wanted the word “dreams” to look different from the other text, so I wrote it by hand and used Perfect Pearls to give it some shimmer.

It was actually quite a number of steps, which I was too lazy to document. Couldn’t pull myself away from creating long enough. Enjoy, seena.

Warm Embrace

I was inspired by the lyrics of a Billy Joel song (his version, not the Glee update) when thinking about Joanne Sharpe’s “Whismy Grid” lettering. This finished piece feels kind of ethereal to me, as though stars are lighting up the figure’s dress.

I was careful to sketch things out in soft pencil first, lest I make any errors. I did a LOT of erasing!

I could have stopped here, but I kept challenging myself to add more detail.

Derwent Inktense Pencils were used to shade the half circles. And my Signo white pen got a workout.

Before and after: