Monday, August 31, 2009

Versals, Transferred

Okay, I admit it, I'm obsessed. Today I read about a technique for transferring inkjet images using hand sanitizer (!). I tried it several times and am posting photos of some of the results. I transferred images of my versal letters onto yellow patterned scrapbook paper, then added a few spirals with gold gel pen. Some of the lines from the journal page also show up in the transfer, but I kind of like the look. I'm sure I'll be trying this technique again!

Versals, in Color

It's a bit difficult for me to share these elementary attempts at lettering on my blog (even if maybe there's only one person reading?:)). I guess as long as I don't compare my efforts too closely with the beautiful calligraphy I see online and in books, I'm OK. Anyway, I photocopied my versals practice page, and added some color to it.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Practicing Versals

Lately I've been obsessed with lettering and calligraphy. I found several used books on the subject in Austin, and yesterday I found a good one at Daedulus Books here in Columbia. It's called Calligraphy Stroke-by-Stroke by Annie Moring. It contains exactly what I was looking for-- a detailed guide to writing Versal letters. I've seen interpretations of this sort of lettering used in art pieces, and have always wondered how it's done. Here's today's practice page, drawn in a squared Moleskine notebook with a Sheaffer calligraphy pen. You can leave the spaces in the letters open, or fill them in with color or designs. It's kind of hard to master (hard to get the verticals truly vertical, for one thing) but I hope to be able to use it in my art journaling at some point. The "real" calligraphy class I'm taking this fall will teach a different alphabet, which could be confusing, but I'll persevere :).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Today's Words of Wisdom

These words are something to aspire to. I will also aspire to measure and draw lines correctly for lettering :).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Here's a version of last evening's face, with some color added. I used the Derwent Inktense pencils I bought at Jerry's in Austin. I applied a light coat of color directly from the pencils (the skintone in this photo looks a bit yellower than the original), then gently went over it with a Niji waterbrush. This spread the color quickly and smoothly- almost like a very light wash of watercolor. It was a much smoother application than with watercolor pencils. The Inktense color is supposed to be permanent when dry. Now I have to keep myself from buying all the rest of the Inktense colors...
PS: Yes, she has some silver in her hair :).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another Face

I think I'm going to have to start naming these, to keep track of which is which. I did this one today, using a woodless graphite pencil.


These are some of the recent face sketches I've done while traveling, using pen and ink and watercolor pencils. Still experimenting with face shapes, features, etc. I've started adding one fancy earring to most of my face drawings--a small memento of my jewelry-making days, I guess.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Austin Sketches

I did these at the Austin airport in my small Moleskine watercolor journal, while waiting for our flight home. I used a Uniball Vision Elite pen, not my usual Prismacolor fineliner. I found it very fluid to use, which I think helped loosen my style (something I'm always aiming for). I bought this pen for our trip to China last year because it was advertised as "not exploding on airplanes." I don't know if it's waterproof ink, but will check it out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Logo for Nelson

This weekend Nelson and I spent a lot of time trying to see if we could use our limited graphic design skills to design a logo for his consulting business. Here's what we came up with in Microsoft Publisher. (It came out a little "pixilated" here but in Publisher it looks great.)

In Austin

Here's a very cool photo of Nelson and me, taken by Ryan near a store called Recycled Reads. They are part of a recycling effort for Austin library books. I found some great older calligraphy books there, and they gave us each a free tote bag!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Signs of Austin

Nelson and I like to take pictures of signs, wherever we go. Here are some from Austin- fun and funky!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Art Supplies in Austin

Just back from Austin, where we had a wonderful time. Will post more about our trip, but meanwhile, here's a picture of me in front of one of my favorite art supply stores, Jerry's Artarama.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Going to See Ryan!

We're off to Austin to spend some time with Ryan (and Nelson will do some business stuff there). Here's a journal page I did based on a photo I took of Ryan reflected in a mirror, in Shanghai last year. I printed it in the "litho" setting on my printer software, and love the effect.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Yesterday, August 11, was the wedding anniversary of my parents, Bonnie and Harry London. I'm posting this photo in their memory.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pursuing Portraits

I am finishing up an online class given by Pam Carriker on the Creative Workshops ning. It was an absorbing and very challenging adventure in creating a unique portrait inspired by one's own life and some of one's own facial features. This is my "final" result. It's not really me, of course, but I incorporated the general concepts of dark eyes, straight eyebrows, round face, and short hair. And the words and symbols that surround the face are important to me. The class was great-- I learned so much about using different art mediums, and loved seeing the work posted by other classmates.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Handmade Book

Here are three views of the book I made in the bookbinding class last week at the Columbia Art Center--the front, back, and inside cover. In class, we cut, sewed, and glued the signatures, bound them together with bookboard and book cloth, and covered the book with decorative paper. An amazing experience. The paper I used for the cover was gorgeous wrapping paper we found at the Walters Art Museum gift shop when we saw the illuminated bible exhibit a few months ago.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Forgot to Post This Altered Book Page

I couldn't resist posting this page from my altered book. The picture is from our son Ryan's latest adventure--skydiving. Note the keychain tied to the lower right corner of the page.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Altered Book- final posting

Here are the 2 pages at the end of the altered book I made for our beach vacation. I really enjoyed working on this project. Now I just have to come with something new and different for next year's Outer Banks trip...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Altered Book, Continued

These are two more pages of the altered storybook I created on our beach vacation (see previous post). We do a lot of reading at our beach timeshare. The Wright Brothers book on the left side of this photo opens to reveal photos of the brothers. On the right side of the photo, the tiny books being held by the mermaid and mer-man (they're wearing glasses) also open.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Artful Storybook

I usually take at least one art project to work on when we go on our annual beach trip. This year, inspired by the one-of-a-kind artists' storybooks shown in Terry Taylor's The Artful Storybook, I created an altered book that tells a story about our vacation. In my tale, the two of us are a mermaid and a mer-man. Our story is told in the altered pages of a children's science book about the sea. I also incorporated some images from a children's book about mermaids. The result is a rather long book--part storybook, part art journal, part vacation album. So I'll probably just post a few photos of random pages over the next couple of weeks. The photos above show the cover and the first two pages of the book.

Still Lettering...

I'm going to have to take a break from all this lettering to take an all-day bookbinding class tomorrow at Columbia Art Center. Hope to have some results from the class to share. Meanwhile, here's another lettering attempt.