Sunday, 2 November 2014

Book journal - Rose

I have an old book that I salvaged from a second hand store that I use as a journal.
It was in a humid envoirnment and the pages are a little yellowed but this is my all time favourite book to journal in. It have over 500 pages but some have been removed or have fallen out. I have sketched over 200 pages so far.
I now refrain from using gesso or acrylic paint because it has made some pages very sticky and some of my collage and painted works have come away when the pages were pulled apart. I do not recommend acrylic paint or any polymer based products for old pages because the paper is old and delicate and when trying to pull apart  the sticky spreads you risk ripping the them easily. They do take inks, light washes and pen surprisingly well. Just don't over saturate the pages! I recommend painting with mediums like gouache, tempera and watercolour.  
I could place wax paper between each spread but that would add bulk and the old spine may not be able to cope with it so I have just decided to work on the last 300 pages without any kind of acrylic.

I love seeing text under a sketch or drawing. It give it instant character and charm, I feel.
Every book will contain different paper and much depends on how the book was stored. It is best to remove a couple of pages and test them wih your usual mediums to see how the paper handles them.

I use my book journal when I want to try a new technique or when I want to sketch freely and not worry about making mistakes. It is amazing how much you will surprise yourself at creating what you thought that you couldn't do! 

This is a spread that I start last evening and I finished the opposite page today

This is a ballpoint sketch of Poe that I did last month.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

A review of week two at Sketchbook Skool

The second week has Koosje as our instructor. She is the co  founder with Danny Gregory of SBS.
In her videos she demonstrates numerous techniques and helpful tips for beginners and non.  Her class focuses on portraiture. I felt like I got a nice stretch even though I am a portrait artist and it was nice to revisit old techniques.
There was much more content compared to the first week's class.
I really liked her class and it was different from last semester's.

For homework we were asked to do 7 self portraits that included contour drawings, drawing from photographs and from looking in the mirror and one from imagination.

Since my complaint about the absence of clarity in what this course offers you for your money, Danny and Koosje have now added more information as to what this 'skool' is about. I personally think that it is a little late  coming and probably never would have came had I not brought up the discussion in class.  I was offered a refund but since this course was a gift I refused plus not all of the teachers and classes are lacking. I appreciated the offer, though.
Basically and I repeat ,this course is really for beginners and you will have to rely on other members to give you support and feedback . Teachers are not required to interact. 
They state that it is 'not that kind of school'. In fact it is not typical of what one would expect to get from a paying online teaching class and I have taken many .
Some teacher's videos are instructional and some contain more information about the artist . They feel very much like self promotional videos only you pay for them to be part of your lesson. Would you not prefer to watch the artist teaching art rather than watch several videos about themselves? And one intro would suffice! I know that I would BUT in fairness not all of the teachers and classes are like that. It happened in the first semester and I see it repeated again in the second semester. You get 50% good content and the other 50 % is poor in content.
The draw back to this 'self led' course is that not everyone gets support from other students and they may feel left out and that can be very discouraging for timid beginners who are looking for some kind of interaction. This is why I suggested that teachers be more involved and besides it's not our job.

As a student I spent the week doing homework, loading my work onto the Ruzuku site which can take a while sometimes and I did not always have time to comment or look at other students' works after waiting for the images to load. I am using a device ( like many others) which is not as fast as a PC so I am a bit limited.
I do appreciate those who took the time to comment on my work and I did aplogize for not having the time to go and search for their work to return the support or even thank them.  Of course I don't need to but It is something that I like to do and it's a nice way to bond with new people :)  

It is nice to get to experience a lesson with sketchbook artists that I have never heard of but I would recommend that you instead take an online class that they offer on their website if you are looking for a decent amount of content with their guidance .You will find that most of them in SBS have ongoing online classes or books to sell. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reveiw - first week of Sketchbook skool

I did the first semester of this SBS and thought that it was okay. Some teachers were really good as they put a lot of content in their lessons.
The Ruzuku site had a lot of maintenance problems and there were just too many students.
Even now I had difficulty uploading an image so I just posted a link to my homework.
These lessons are really for absolute beginners in my opinion but those more advanced may enjoy sketching along with a group and making new friends.
This year they have  split the members into two groups making it more 'manageable'.

The school is very popular with fans of Danny Gregory and there is a big following especially in the FB group and it feels kind of cliche so I decided that the FB group wasn't for me. My interest is mainly learning new techniques, experiencing new styles and critique that allows us to grow artistically.

I was notified by email that someone bought me a class for second semester. Some kind soul decided that they wanted to gift me something and I was very touched. Bless them!

I chose the 'seeing' class because it has some great teachers in there like Cathy Johnson and Brenda Swenson. I can't wait for their classes to start!
The first lesson is by Danny Gregory. He also did the first lesson in the first semester, too as did Koosje. I would have liked to have experienced other teachers in their place since I had them in Semester one. His first three videos were mostly talking and one of those seemed like a biology lesson about human optics. I did not enjoy them much and would rather have watched Danny, sketch one of his fantastic   portraits from start to finish . There is a video that all of the teachers do where they film their great collection of works.

On the 5th video we finally get to watch Danny sketch and our assignment is to sketch a piece of tosted bread, noticing all the details and how the shapes relate. It is actually quite difficult to do but the idea is to make us notice and see details in objects. His demonstration is about 5 minutes or so long.
There is a second video that is longer and he demostrated another detailed sketch that slightly varies from the first sketching demo but we get to see this one from start to finish. I really enjoy watching this guy work and seeing his journal sketches but I just wish that there was more of that . 

FEEDBACK from Danny or lack of! I have been reading through the comments section and seeing responses from one of the administrators 'sketchbook skool', with general responses like ' well done!' and 'keep it up '!  I have only seen feedback from students in the Gallery so far and not from the instructor.  He seems to have gone AWOL?   I understand that this is a re- run class and there is a pdf with Q&A but still, it would be nice to feel the instructor's presence.
Here is the reply from Sketchbook Skool:

Hi  As you know SBS is a self led course but if you have any specific questions you want to ask me, please email me.  Meanwhile, I'm sure your fellow students have lots of encouragement to offer.

Again, I did not think there was much content in his lesson especially when you compare it to Roz Stendahl's from last year.  That woman is a walking art encyclopedia! She is a great and inspiring teacher who gives you her all and then some. Her blog is so informative!
I realize that many will disagree with my comments but being popular does not interest me :) Neither  is my review negative but rather it is honest as it should be.

Here is my homework for the toast lesson:

This was done in a Moleskine sketching book using pen, markers and watercolours.

Friday, 15 August 2014






Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Goodbye, Jorge

Many of you who read this may not know about the passing of Jorge Royan, who was the creator and mind behind Facebook's Sketchingworkshop Group. He was only 60 years old and he died on 8th of August 2014. 
Being a member of his groups We were asked to draw a portrait of him or paint flowers and all of these works will be collected and made into a memorial book that will be sent to his  family.
I didn't know him that long but his presence was strong and he was very intense and passionate . Sometimes you make better connections with people that you hardly know than those who've been around for as long as you can remember.
I felt the sadness and shock of the other members quite strongly and I guess that is why this affected me more than I expected it to. Maybe it's because I got the impression that this person really enjoyed living his life  and constantly pushed for the best, and that it should not have been his time  to go. He had my respect .

Here are my contributions 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sketchworks collection video

I made a video with the help of iMovie. I have never used this application before and it's quite good.
I had forgotton how time consuming it is to make a video, editing it and them waiting to upload it onto Vimeo.  I swear that each time I upload something onto Vimeo it takes longer and longer! Is it just me?

Anyway, I had to get out my 'grumble grumble'. I come from a long line of grumblers and mine is a very mild case compared to others on the same line who have such acute cases that it has made them obtuse...but that's another story :P

ENJOY! xoxox

The Sketchworks by Palma Rea from PalmaRea on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Teabag sketching tutorial

Sketching on used teabags and preparing them is fairly simple and quick to do.
I have been experimenting with sketching on them after sticking them down in my journal which is an old book first printed in the seventies. It's actually a very young book since it was printed in the same year  that I was born ;) 
I do not prime my pages but you can if you want to. If you are thinking of using a book to journal in then my advise would be to test a few pages with different mediums to see how the paper handles them especially if you intend to saturate them with watercolour washes.

You can use most teabags but I just happened to have folded ones that look like these:
After you have used your teabag , put it in a warm place or out in the sun to dry out. This should take a couple of days depending on the temperature.

Step 1: unfold the bag from it's original state and carefully open it at one end.

Step 2: empty the dried tea into the soil of a plant or in your garden. It makes good feed.

Step 3: Now you have your bag ready to sketch on. No need to iron it out unless you want to.

Step 4: This is a picture of a typical square teabag. Follow previous steps but use a pair of scissors to open the bag on three of its side. You should have a nice rectangle shape to work with.

Step 5:  I used a simple glue stick to adhere my teabag to my book page. It works fine for my paper but I have not tried it on watercolour paper yet. I like this glue because when my teabag gets damp from using watercolour and it can unstick around the edges. This gives me the option to play with the edges.  If your bag un glues itself  just go around the edges with the stick and stick it down again. An alternative to the glue stick would be a very light coating of PVA glue.

Step 6: This is what the bag looks like when stuck down.  You will see that it has a nice aged look and that is because my teabag contained a black tea blend which creates a darker stain. 
I also like the subtle stains created by Green Teas and herbal mixes. I work with whatever colour the bag is stained.

To prevent bleeding occurring on the bag I used pigment line markers to sketch on them or a fountain pen with a fine nib filled with Noodler's Bulletproof black ink. These do not seem to run or bleed. 
Carbon ink should also work although I have not tried it or India ink using a dip pen.

In the above photo are the pens that I use to sketch with that do not seem to bleed whilst sketching on the bags. From the left : Staedtler pigment liner, Pentel brush pen, Artline Pigment liner, Zig Millennium pen and a Uni ball micro pen.

I am considering teaching this technique on an online class when I figure out how to set one up and depending on interest as this will take a lot of preparation and video editing. Included will be demonstrations on how I finish and start my pages, the techniques that I apply and materials that I use.

Happy creating!


Design Cullan Hudson