Thursday, July 21, 2011

drawing and pencils

{ art journal july 20 }

All of a sudden yesterday, I had a desire to go draw in my journal. I didn't know why at the time, but thinking back it is probably because I was writing so freely in my art journal the day before. I took the same black Sharpie marker and started with the spiral above. Like the writing I did, but this time drawing abstract lines. I did not have a plan, I did not know what I was doing, I just wanted to draw, to doodle even. It felt a bit like the Zentangle art form I learned last year, except I was doing my own thing and not following any patterns at all. It had the same effect though, of being meditative. I just kept making lines until the page was filled and it looked like this:

When I looked at what I had done, I thought to myself that watercolor crayons might not be the best tool for adding color this time, even if they are one of my favorite ways to do so! I thought about Lianne and how she commented that she used watercolor pencils all the time. I have a set that is not as well used as my crayons, but I thought they might be just the ticket. I think my choice was correct. Below, my drawing is colored in randomly and completely but I have not added any water to the pencil color I had laid down yet.

I grabbed my Niji watercolor brush, filled the barrel with water and started activating the color. I love how this makes the color pop when you do that! The pencil is a little more subtle than the crayon I think -you can compare it by looking at the post following this one. But the pencils were just what my abstract drawing needed, just the right amount of color -- and, I could easily get into small spaces.

My husband came into my studio while I was doing this, saw this page for the first time and said, "Wow! that is so cool. It reminds me of . . .  Max . . . Peter Max!"  Well, that was certainly a compliment! Then Steven grabbed my camera off the table and started taking photographs, I thought I would share some of me working (playing).

Look, Joy! I am wearing my Stonewall Kitchen T-shirt!!
(Joy is the assistant manager in Avon, CT - I used to work there)

(new hair cut!)

I cleaned up my table pretty recently, so it's not that bad.

some close-ups, the whole page . .. 

One of my favorite sections is below. See how the watercolor pencils are a little different from the crayons?

what will you do in your journal today? Have you started one? Are you on a roll? 
I really liked drawing, writing and playing with my different watercolor media instead of doing collage, just as a change of pace, as something different, something that was challenging for me. I wonder what I will do on the other side of the spread??? Hmmmm . .. I'll be thinking about it now!
Have some fun, whatever you do ; ^ ) lenna 

Learn more about this project here: Art Journal Every day
All of the writing on the process of my art journal is here -
-it starts with the current post, scroll down. 


  1. beautiful, beautiful...lovely, lovely art AND snap shots, thank you much for sharing :)

  2. I love it Lenna! My art teacher always tells me when I am in a place of "I don't know what I'm doing" .. that is the best place to be because then our Muse takes over. Love the pencils as opposed to the crayons in this piece. Absolutely perfect. xxDonna

  3. Oh wow, love what you've done on this page but even more I'm so pleased to have another peek into your studio. I was pointing out to John how you have lots of drawers, a Xyron, a sewing machine but what he noticed was that you sit just like I do, with one leg underneath. I know it's not good for the circulation but have been doing that for all of my life. What fun to see you do it too!!!

  4. Isn't it great to just have fun in your journal and see where it takes you! Love the colours and pattern and seeing you at work :o)

  5. It was great to see the book sitting out on your work really gives a better sense of the size.....because you often work with larger books, I am forever thinking that these pages, shown individually, are at least 8.5 x 11!!! Now tell the truth, did you neaten up for the photos???

  6. Thanks to all of you for the comments, I have so enjoyed reading them . . . And Sharon W, you devil! No, I did not straighten up for these photos. It was unexpected, Steven came in and started snapping away! I think I cleaned up last week when there was just too much out and I was finding it hard to work. I remembered mary Green suggesting a "clear off" in a recent Collage club newsletter!
    Thanks again. I have started something on the page next to this one which I think is interesting & pretty! I will share it later today or tomorrow ; ^ ) lenna

  7. He's so right - Peter Max, exactly!! I love this. It's a wonderful inspiration for me. I love that you tried out the colored pencils, instead of your normal default. Even an established artist sometimes 'takes a chance'!!

  8. I love the playfulness of this! Reminds me of the doodles I did back in school...

  9. 'Groovy' is the word that sprung to mind when I saw this wonderful colourful page. It was lovely to have a peek into your studio.

    I haven't used water colour pencils. I do have some but they were dirt cheap (actually they came free with a sketchbook that was dirt cheap) so I'm not convinced they'll be any good, but I'll have to dig them out and have a play.

    Looking forward to seeing what you do on the other page.


    ps word verification - messi ! Was it talking to me?!

  10. You my friend are so alive and full of color and one great big inspiration! I have been thinking about journaling for weeks, I want to and think I need to, but just can't get started. I want to journal quickly, not make it into a big project like I usually do. I hope I am working up to it! I will write to you soon.

  11. This is so cool and those watercolor pencils are awesome, need to get me some of those! lol Love seeing the pictures of you in action! No art journaling for me recently but I did just finished my first mixed media piece in months! Tickled pink about that, lol.

  12. Love this! The waterbrush keeps colors in place and avoids seeping? So colorful and lively.

  13. Hi Nancy!
    I do think the small brush of the water brush keeps it more controlled, if you want. I also worked on activating one color at a time. I used the wet brush on all the yellow spaces, then all of one shade of pink, brown, one shade of blue -- wiping the brush off in-between colors if I thought it needed it. So there was rarely two wet colors next to each other and that probably helped with any seeping issues!



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