I'm Tammy. 



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    Friday
    Sep272013

    Daily Paper Prompt #55: Patterns on a Grid

    Our guest for DPP #55 is Anika {also known as A is for Anika} who has taken instagram by storm {or at least by pattern} with her pattern-a-day challenge. I "met" Anika through instagram when I noticed a series of elegant patterns in mediums that seemed to change by the month. I liked the simplicity of the challenge and did the challenge in December 2012. It was a blast! 

     

    Creating patterns is a great way to express your creativity. You can spend as much or as little time on them as you want, and the results are always satisfying. There are a number of ways to approach drawing patterns, but one of the easiest ways to begin is to use grids. You can use them as a fixed structures that are incorporated into your patterns or as a starting points to make very un-grid-like finished products. In any case, having a few lines on the paper often makes it easier to get started.

    When I first tried out making my own patterns, I used a sketchbook filled with graph paper. It's still one of my favorite surfaces to draw on, and I use it in several ways to help me compose patterns.

     

    • Incorporate the boxes of the grid into a pattern. Fill the boxes solidly with color, or decorate them with different textures such as lines or dots. 
    • Draw organic shapes at regular intervals. Use the grid to space the pattern evenly.
    • Ignore the grid! Try out a scattered pattern on graph paper. Add shapes randomly while striving for an overall balanced composition. The existing printed lines make an interesting background to this kind of pattern.

    What to do when you don't have any graph paper handy? Easy! Make your own!

    Draw a grid with pencil and use it as a guideline to arrange elements of a pattern. This is a convenient way to start since you can erase the pencil lines when you are finished, (assuming you don't use pencil to draw your pattern!) and it will look like you freehanded an evenly spaced pattern!

    You can use a ruler to create a precise grid, but I like to draw my lines on the fly. The squares usually end up being a little wonky and imperfect, but I enjoy the irregularity. There are 2 ways to approach creating a hand drawn grid:

    For a relatively more even grid, start by dividing your paper into quadrants.

    Continue to divide the sections in halves until you have the desired size grid.

    If you prefer an uneven grid, draw your lines from one end of the paper to the other, and then from the top to the bottom.

    You might be surprised by how hard it is to get even divisions across the page, but this is great technique if you're after a grid with a little more character. 

    Use your hand drawn grid to create a pattern with markers or watercolor. When you are done, erase what is left of the grid for a clean background.

    If you use watercolor to make your pattern, try adding pen or marker detail in analogous or contrasting colors for a little extra visual interest.

    Tips:  

    • Use a "light hand" when drawing your grid with pencil, and it will be much easier to completely erase the guidelines when you're done with the pattern. 
    • If your pencil lines are dark and you have a hard time "seeing past them" to create the pattern you want, erase the dark lines just enough so they are faded, but not completely gone. This way you can use the lines and intersections to place your pattern elements where you want them without being distracted by dark, seemingly permanent lines. 

    It's a cool trick to be able to draw your own grid, and then erase it when your pattern is finished, but I also like to create patterns that use the grid as part of the design. When approaching a pattern in this manner, start out by drawing your grid with marker, watercolor, paint, etc. You can draw the lines by hand, or use the help of a ruler if you prefer.

    Once the grid is on the paper, embellish the squares with shapes or texture to finish the pattern.

    Tips: Find inspiration from traditional techniques that often incorporate grids into designs:

    • Tiles: Notice how a single tile can match up with others to create different effects. Draw your own tile and see what the pattern looks like when they are repeated.
    • Quilt Patterns: Simple looking quilt squares often meet up with one another to make complex patterns. Can you come up with your own variation of a traditional quilt pattern?
    • Plaid: Try using watercolor or other transparent medium to come up with a unique plaid pattern!

    If you don't want to take the time to draw a grid before starting a pattern, try to simply "imagine" a grid.

    Without the use of an actual grid on the paper, you can still draw a pattern that is arranged in a grid layout. Starting at the top of the paper, draw a row of repeating or alternating motifs. Below that first row, draw another row of the same motif(s), or come up with a new shape for the new row. Line up the motifs vertically so you start to build vertical columns as well as rows. Try to keep the rows and columns even, but embrace imperfections as you make them. Repeat for as many rows as desired.

    When you've filled the page with your pattern, go back and add other elements to the spaces where your imaginary grid lines "intersect". If your pattern is looking a little unfinished, you can always add more detail lines or color.

    I've had so much fun drawing and exploring pattern over the last few years. The possibilities are truly endless, and it's a fun tool to incorporate into any creative endeavor. I hope these ideas have inspired you to make at least a few unique patterns of your own!

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Tuesday
    Sep242013

    Daily Paper Prompt #54: Organize Ephemera

    “If you run out of ideas follow the road; you'll get there”
    Edgar Allan Poe


     

    Take some time this week to organize your art journaling ephemera. It might be unrealistic to organize everything in a few days, but making some small steps toward organizing your ephemera might lead you to some interesting discoveries and will make working in your journal easier!

    Part of collecting stuff is organizing said stuff! I organize my paper ephemera and abstract papers in several ways. For example, my Japanese washi papers are stored together in a large basket. Several tiny sucrets cough drop boxes (altered with washi tape) hold fodder like postage stamps, fortunes, words and mini-MOO cards. A variety of abstract painted pages are organized in clear plastic boxes made for scrapbook papers. Similar boxes hold magazine/catalog clippings, maps, brochures, tags and random ephemera.

    Wouldn't it help to get a little organized? 

    Great spots for your paper stuff: zip-lok baggies, baskets, lidded plastic containers, shoeboxes and cigar boxes. You can store ephemera + collage cuttings by theme, type, color, size, or usage. For example, you might keep stuff to create "people" together {dresses, clothing, faces, shoes}, keep found words or phrases together {for found poetry or wise remarks on journal pages}. Or maybe by color - greens in one zip-lok, blues in another, etc.

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Monday
    Sep232013

    Daily Paper Prompt #53: Triangles

    This three-sided prompt is from guest hostess Denyse Whelan!

     

    Hello! I am Denyse, an Australian K-6 retired principal who always wanted to do Art in High School as a 'proper' subject but was told to do a more 'rigorous' subject. More than 45 years later, here I am, loving the freedom, the thinking, and the creativity of Art in my life. I'm a highly visual learner and love to take photos as well as to create. Finding Daisy Yellow's ICAD challenge has changed my life.

    When it was suggested I could take this idea and see what I came up with as a Daily Paper Prompt (thanks Tammy!) I couldn’t get the triangle shape out of my head. Best to start creating. I did two (and a few more) and then I went for a drive. Not to find triangles, just some Spring (in Australia) photo opportunities. I was driving peacefully along a back road of North West Sydney when ‘bam’ I saw Triangles.

    In fact, so many I said it outloud! I safely stopped, drove back to the spot and found this!

    Steel staunchions. Power Lines.

    Then away along the road again, these:

     

    And so I created.... and created...

    Two of my many creations based on triangle shape. In the first (above), I started with a DOT in the middle and then added triangle after triangle. The materials are wax resist glitter colours in Neocolour Crayons.

    In this piece, I used a triangle shape (plastic) found in kids’ maths bags. Layered the triangles, and let the pattern take me along. The materials are water soluble Neocolour Crayons and a water brush.

    Bonus: If you pop over to Denyse's blog you'll find the step-by-step process for these works!!!

    Your turn! 

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Sunday
    Sep222013

    Daily Paper Prompt #52: White Page

    Create a page of all WHITE things. This could be an art journal page or a mixed media collage. Cut out imagery from catalogs or magazines that is white, off white, cream, and include a little bit of black or brown to balance out the whiteness. Add fabric, white cardstock with small patterns, postage stamps, text with white background, try to get as much variety as you can.

    This is a 9x12" art journal page on heavy cardboard in whites that I created for a guest post at Creative Every Day. The dark brown is actually the background cardboard's natural color.

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Friday
    Sep202013

    Daily Paper Prompt #51: Borders

    Our guest hostess for this DPP is Kim Hesson of Miss Alayneeah. Like so many others, I met Kim through the DY FB group and was immediately taken by her use of color and her playful mark-making. Kim is an active contributor to the group and always has shares kind and supportive words.

     

    I was so excited when Tammy asked me to be a guest host for the DPP's! One of the first options that came to my mind was borders! One of the things I like to do when I'm following along with a challenge is to look up the word/s given in the challenge. I feel sometimes it can give me a different perspective on the challenge! So I've already done that for you! Here are a few different links you can go to and find out more about borders:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/border
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/border http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border

    Sometimes if we will look past the obvious definitions we can come up with ideas that we might not before! Another fun thing to try is to put the word in the Thesaurus. After doing some reading and thinking I came up with pages of ideas for the word border! Of course I have only tried a few of them for now! I did keep a list for future reference in case I ever find myself stuck!

    When I first thought of this challenge I made a list of things I could use to make a border. Here are a few of those things – ribbon, lace, stamps, doodling, stitching, words/journal, found objects, fabric, and scraps. Of course the list could go on!

    My second thought about this challenge was where the border would go. We might typically think that a border would go around the outer edge of our page. If we think past that then we can come up with some different ideas. Anything on your page can have a border! The borders can be in the middle of your page or you could even have several different borders on your page. The border can highlight anything on your pages from photos, quotes, words, or even an object. The shape of the border can even differ from a circle to the outline of a word, or any other shape that you can think of.

    On this first page I did a few different borders. I started out with the background and then used a stencil to trace in the stars. I created these as my borders for the words I would be adding. I chose to doodle them up a bit. After the stars were done the page felt unfinished to me so I added the border around the edge of the paper. I didn't want it to stand out as much so I just used a basic black pen instead of a marker.

    This page also has many borders in it. The main border that I created though was the outer border. To create this border I started with my blank paper and added tape to the outer edges. I added the water color background and other stuff before removing the tape. This left me with the blank white edge that I added my doodles to.

     

    This 3rd page I started out creating my own pattern paper. You could use any paper you have though. I traced the circles onto the back of the paper and hand cut them. I didn't want my circles to be perfect. I wanted the hand cut look. You could use any shape or paper punch to create this effect as well. I added the circles to a new background creating the border you see here. I haven't decided what to add to the center yet, but there are several choices! You can see I continued to enhance the circle border with pen lines and marks. The outer portion of the page has a simple border as well.

     

    On this last page I wanted to use my sewing machine! I just love the texture that stitches add to my pages! Here I added paper and stitching as a border to the bird that I chose. I think the stitching and the torn edges add a fun and worn feel to it. I now have a list of ideas I want to try with the sewing machine after doing this page! I can't wait to work on them!

     

    For me doing these challenges mean trying something fun and new that I might not have otherwise and stretching those creative muscles! I hope you have fun coming up with and finding new ways to use borders on your pages! In the days/weeks to come I will share the steps that I took to make each of these pages on my blog. Be sure to stop by and say hi! Thanks again Tammy for such a fun experience and opportunity to grow and play!

    Find ALL of the prompts at this link: Daily Paper Prompts

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Thursday
    Sep192013

    Daily Paper Prompt #50: Negative Space

    Our prompt hostess today is Jana Bodin of Tangled Pen! I love Jana's fresh, elegant creative style and enjoy her kind and supportive words in the DY FB group.

     

    Fortunately, the only negative here is the fact, that the object of interest is called 'negative' because it is left untouched, and color or decorative matter surrounds it.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my attempts and thoughts about this technique with you!

    I use this technique when I don't feel the patience to work on details but want to capture a certain mood or color combination. So one time I had sketched a bird and took notes of how I imagined it to be drawn later. I scribbled those notes inside the bird. Later I simply swished some color around it and it became one of my favorite art journal pages. Since then I painted a few more journal pages using this style and tried different types of journaling within those pages.

    base layer - journaling all over the page, then sketching my bird and finally surrounding it with color (and adding more elements... more journaling, stamps, paint splashes

    I hope you're inspired to try this technique. It's fun and gets your brain thinking a bit outside the box. I will have a few more of this type of journal pages on my blog. By the way: No limits to mediums! I used acrylics and water colors on mixed media paper, regular copy paper, water color paper, newspaper... just go ahead and play:)

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt? 

    Wednesday
    Sep182013

    Daily Paper Prompt #49: Vogue {sort of}

    Today's prompt is to design a page that looks like a magazine cover. It can be an art journal page or a painted page on loose watercolor paper or heavy cardstock. Write tantalizing and inviting {faux} article titles that taunt you to purchase the magazine {or convince you to do something}.

    My Vogue {or is that Vague???} magazine cover is all about THIN. Articles investigate fat this and fat that, but rarely is THIN the focus of a joke, the focus of a fashion line.

    My tongue-in-cheek articles include: 

    "Quilted Jeans All the Rage on US Campuses From Harvard to UCLA"
    "Personal Trainer Saga"
    "Designers on Strike in Milan"
    "The Thin Democracy, a Book Excerpt"
    "The Thin Within"

    9x12" watercolor paper, Aquabee journal, slicci pen, watercolor

    Place the title or headline behind something - a collaged person or a painted face or a flower. The trick is to draw or glue on the person or thing first, then add the letters "behind" it so that it appears to be on top. Just imagine where the letters would be - if they were there - and keep writing. Put just enough of the title to indicate what it says.

    Notice how the woman in red on this magazine cover is covering up the bottom of the Z, the entire first A and even a bit of the second A. You can go even more cryptic than that!

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?

    Tuesday
    Sep172013

    Daily Paper Prompt #48: Ransom Note

     

    Create a ransom note! You can create a hand-written note using a different style for each letter or cut letters from a magazine to create your note. Another option is to use a variety of alphabet stamps at various odd angles to stamp out a message.

    What's the Daily Paper Prompt?