Flashcard Friday-A Wash.

Creating a wash, or in the case of this flashcard in particular, a wash gradation in two colors, is both easy and fun. The challenge is to prepare your work surface with everything you need so that when it comes time to paint your wash, you can quickly grab whatever you need. I like to use a wide, cheap, bristle brush to lay the paint down. There are elegant brushes for this purpose, but I don’t own one.

On this journal page, I combined gradation wash with the use of paper frisket, (a flashcard for another day). There are some techniques that  can or should be used in combination with other techniques. You can do a wash on the page to lay color down-then start working the page, or you can mask an area and paint over it, reserving a portion and coloring the ground. It is up to you.

On another note, I have been speaking with Diana from M. Graham paints. Diana has been gracious and is answering some questions about her paints and we wanted to share information with you. M. Graham are my paint of choice in all mediums-watercolor, gouache and acrylic. I started using her paints because the gouache formulation is such that it can be parsed out in a travel palette and allowed to ‘dry’. Not all gouache can be rewet, but M. Graham paints can. This is a boon for artists like me, who enjoy painting on the go!


Diana, I have been using your paints for a few years, I was turned onto them by Roz Stendahl, a blogger and artist whom I greatly admire. The selling point for me was the fact that you use honey in your formulation and that your gouache paints do not use opacifiers-making them able to travel in a travel palette. Will you talk about this? Why honey? Why no opacifiers?

The gouache story is that “designers” gouache that most people are familiar with was created for fashion, etc. designing. The artwork was created, reproduced and discarded.  Because the original art was not to be retained, the permanency of the color was not an issue.  Many of the hues are purples, reds and fluorescents which are available in beautiful pigment or dyes-few  of which are lightfast.  We chose to use the same pigments as our other lines (all rated lightfast I or II except Alizarin which remains by popular demand).
While gouache is like watercolor (and can be thinned and used as washes), the usual application is a thick, flat layer or layers.  This requires a media that is film forming and resistant to cracking.  The use of honey in ours creates a more flexible film and better adhesion.
Most brands add chalks or whiteners to make the color opaque.  While some prefer this in design work, it detracts fro the brilliant liveliness in a fine art piece.  We chose to leave the mixing to the artist so either technique can be used.  Each color is as opaque as the pigment allows.  Some colors, like Quinacridone Red, are like layering transparent colored glass trying to get opacity.  No matter how much pigment you add, it is simply more transparent by nature than other pigments.
Some watercolorists apply transparent watercolor thickly, straight from the tube.  Our watercolors are formulated for more traditional dilution and application and they may not dry if painted out thickly.  For this technique, the gouache is the perfect solution.
I’ll try to talk about honey next.

Positively Flash Card Friday

Flash Card Friday

Here is another contribution to Flash Card Friday. Last week we talked about Negative Space, this week we talk about Positive Space. Positive space is object itself. Positive space is the person, place or thing that you are drawing. In the last post, I painted the negative space around the chair, in this one, I painted the chair itself.

As I have said before, negative space stymied and alluded me for years. I didn’t get it, so I created these two images to have relationship to one another so that you will not get confused like I did.

Have you considered making a set of Flash Cards for yourself? These can be used to challenge yourself to a throw down, as Chapter 5 in Dreaming from the Journal Page suggests. This will help you to start layering and building innovative and interesting journal pages all while trying out each technique in the book.

Flash Card Friday: Negative Space


It is once again Flash Card Friday, where I discuss techniques used in Dreaming From the Journal Page.

I don’t know why, but for years I had a very hard time remembering what negative space was. I had a mental block. Then one day my pal Angela looked at a stamp I had carved and said, “You have great command of negative space”. I looked at her dumbfounded and asked her to please explain what that meant.

Negative space is the the area around an object. Simple.

The use of negative space in my work is akin to creating windows into previous layers. See the peach/teal/polka dots? That was the first layer. After which, I outlined two figures (which is my Man and I) and painted around them using a royal blue. The royal blue is negative space.

Easy peasy, right?

When I journal, there are a few images that continually recur, this ‘couple’ is one of them. I started drawing elongated people and calling them David and I after we saw some Giacometti sculptures at Tate Modern. It was such a fabulous trip and the artwork spoke volumes to me, so they became personally iconic. Do you do this too?

My Guy and I are going away for a relaxing retreat at our favorite yoga center and we really need it. See you again on Tuesday!

Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern Blog Hop Tutorial

Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern <———Click to download pattern.

Part 2 of Gather your Sew-plies

It is tutorial time again and this time I present the Thimble Cinch Add-on Pattern. This pattern is made in response to and improvement upon, the Gather your Sew-plies!! Pattern. There will be a few more printable patterns in this series. So far I still have yet to complete a Scissor Tuck Pocket Patterm and I would like to do one called, ‘Mods:’ where I discuss the small modifications, embellishments and changes that I have made.

embellish freely.

But for today, I offer you this downloadable pdf, Thimble Cinch pouch pattern, woot!

If you make your own version of this, I would love to see it and will create a Flickr group to manage your photos. Say, Yes! Start this weekend! Start now. 

If you would like a copy of each downloadable pattern to be delivered to your email box, please sign up for The Clever Guild’s newsletter. I won’t barrage you with email, but I will be sending out at least 4 to 6 emails a year with content like this free downloadable pattern, video samples and information pertaining to upcoming workshops and more.


And, it is also Flash Card Friday

On page 40 of Dreaming from the Journal Page, liquid Frisket is discussed and demonstrated.

Liquid frisket is a rubbery, liquid substance used as a painterly resist on watercolor paper in combination with either watercolor or gouache. The type of paper you can use it on is limited, on watercolor paper, no problem. But it does not work well on bristol board and I would not suggest you use it in a Moleskine Sketchbook, as it has the tendency to delaminate that type of paper. Always experiment to see what works best for you and your supplies!

I am using this journal spread to demonstrate techniques for my up coming Dream Journals class (this class will available for sign up within the month) through The Clever Guild. The image of Arrow, upper left corner of the page, used liquid frisket. It is fun to see the page like this as it has really grown and changed since I took this photo.

And please, if you are interested, sign up for Stencil Magic, where i demonstrate the use of single and multicolored stencils, with samples on (mostly) fabric, though I also demonstrate using stencils in mixed media painting and your artist’s journal. I really hope to see you there!

Flash Card Friday: Stencils

One Flash Card for every technique in the book!

Here is the scoop, Chapter 3 of Dreaming from the Journal Page contains a lot of the techniques I use to play around in my journals. I encourage you to mix and match these ideas by engaging with the concept of ‘Throw Downs’, A Throw Down is a challenge or a creative ‘Double Dog Dare’, where you will take 1, 2, 3 or more techniques and use all of them on a single page of your journal. This is a way to get you layering and building imagery.

What better way to learn about each technique that to make a set of Flash Cards for yourself. I am not going to go into detail about how to do each technique (I wrote the book and would love for you to get a copy) but I will talk about each technique and how I go about using them.

The card up above is an image of Arrow, my supercat. I created the image by making a stencil inspired by a photograph. I have been using stencils in some really creative ways and I will share samples of each  technique and its use, here, on my blog on fridays, Flash Card Friday.

You may also be interested to know that my first Clever Guild class is called Stencil Magic, please sign up today!

A sample from the Stencil Magic Class.

This is a sample from the Stencil Magic class. I fully illustrate how to create this piece of cloth in the Stencil Magic class.

Find inspiration where you are.

Here is an example of a stenciled image photographed on a walk in my neighborhood. 

I am about to use my Arrow stencil in my journal, and will post the image later in the week.

If you would like to purchase a signed copy of my book, please check out the sidebar on the right hand portion of the blog. And. Um. I was thinking of charging a small fee to create signed Art Sticker for those of you who would like a ‘signed copy’ but have already bought your copy elsewhere, is there interest for this idea out there? Leave a comment.