Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Sketchbook tutorial: Adding texture

How to use paper to add texture and 
interest to a sketchbook page

  I have always been fascinated by the look and feel of texture. I was one of those kids who couldn't stop touching different surfaces (actually I still find it hard as an adult not to touch.  I have just got a little more discreet)  I particularly love fur and leather.  

This sketchbook tutorial today is how I create that leathery feel.

Finished Sketchbook page :Unfurling browns and golds


  • An old book or junk mail or paper
  • Scraps of paper in the colour of your choice
  • Paint. At least 3 colours 
  • One metallic paint
  • White glue
  • Paper towel
  • A selection of stamps and stencils.  
  • Paintbrush
  • Stencil paintbrush
  • Gold pen

1.  Smear Watered down glue over the whole page.  (half water half glue)  You could use a brush or your hands.  The book That is being used in this tutorial is an old seed catalogue.

2.  Tear up small strips of paper and stick to the glue. Layer the paper over each other so none of the the back page is visible.  It is good to create as much texture as possible with the paper.  Put a layer of glue over the top to keep the paper flat.

3.  Let the glue dry.  Then smear paint over the whole surface.  Use 3 colours that are close to each other on the colour wheel.  This page has red brown,  mid brown and chocolate brown on it.  Take a paper towel and wipe a little paint in selected areas to see more of the papers underneath.  Press a stamp into the wet paint to create more texture.

4.  Let the page dry.  Then choose a stencil that you like.  Stencil it randomly over the page in the metallic paint.  Rub a little metallic paint on your finger and smear that over selected areas of the page.

5.Chose a stamp and sequin waste (or something similar)  Stamp over the page in your metallic paint.  Then put some brown paint on your finger tips and smear randomly over the page. 

6.  Choose another stencil and print over the surface.  In this example a maple leaf stencil was chosen.  You may like to use 2-3 colours in each leaf to add more texture and interest.

7.  Chose a large stencil as a focal point. Using a mixture of gold and red brown paint stencil it over the top of the page.  

8.  Finally add details with a gold pen.  

Try to Experiment 
  • With different colour ways  
  • Different stencils 
  • Other papers 
  • Working in fabric
  • Different paintbrushes
  • On different book surfaces

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Photographs this week: ANZAC day

ANZAC Day (remembrance day)

On the 25th April we remembered all the soldiers who fought for our country in Gallipoli 100 years ago.   Our family went to the dawn parade.  I proudly wore my great grandfathers war medals  It was a beautiful and emotional day.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Taking a break from creating art: It can be so helpful

I have had such a wonderful but very busy 2 week school break with the kids.  We managed to get away for a few days to the beach (and I swam in the ocean for the first time in April!!)  I have had two children at the A&E,  we have hiked,  been to a party, done gardening and just spent time being. It has been full on but really lovely.   Needless to say my blog,  Facebook page and studio time has been rather thin on the ground.  My mothering duties have taken precedence.

3 of the children at The ANZAC day (remembrance day) dawn parade

I have had a chance to make 10 cushions (the fabric wraps are now gone!!) a canteen bandanna picnic blanket and I have started a crocheted Afghan.  It has been lovely to do these things with children helping me and while they have been snuggled up beside me reading. I love winter for those lovely snuggly moments and cosy evenings. 

Holidays are so wonderful.  I love taking a break for a wee while to recharge my batteries.  Taking a break is a great way to gain new focus on what is important and what direction your life needs to take.  I have to take a break from my art work at times too just so I can see more clearly where my work is heading and what direction to go to next.  I used to be scared of breaks that somehow I would get 'behind'  or get out of a habit.  But I have found that a break is actually can be very beneficial.  The trick is to only do it once or twice a year and to take only just the time needed and no more.  I find 3 weeks a good time.

Why take a break from doing art?

  • It recharges the batteries.  More energy is gained from having a rest.
  • It helps to refocus on where to go next.  Sometimes we get so focussed on here and now we loose the bigger picture. By having a change of scenery the picture can become clearer and brighter.
  • It helps to clarify what is important and needed.  Stepping back can also help to see what priorities are important in your work and routines.  I have realised how much I need to draw each day and to also have time just to create and play.
  • It allows other things to get done.  It is a chance to get Gardening, reading and the deep clean of the house done.  With less clutter in the brain creating is much more enjoyable and free.
  • It gives a chance to rest the brain.  Being creative all the time can sometimes be quite tiring :) Creativity requires the brain to be switched on and thinking constantly.  Resting just give time for the brain to recover.
  • It helps to meet needs of other people close to you.  Family and friends can sometimes feel a little excluded  if you are switched on all the time to creating.  It has been so wonderful just be be with the family and not to worry about deadlines and new ideas.
So don't feel guilty about having a rest form creating.  It can be just as good as being in the studio today.  

It's nice to be back
 Love Catherine xxxx

Friday, 3 April 2015

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

Have a lovely Easter break and enjoy having time with your family.

This is what I woke up to this morning at my house.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Creativity: Dressing up as Harry Potter characters

Sometimes just being creative is dressing up and having a bit of fun

Last week I went to my nieces 12th birthday, a Harry Potter themed birthday party.  We had so much fun.  There was chocolate to get strength back after demementor attacks,  pin the scar on Harry Potter,  blowing up your aunt (blowing up a balloon with aunt written on it.  I love my little nieces original ideas) and even a moaning Myrtle on the toilet.  They had even made wonderful wands from chopsticks,  a glue gun and gold paint.

We all were asked to dress up in a Harry Potter costume.  Not everyone obliged but those who did,  did a fantastic job.  Creativity was stretched trying to find costumes from what we had at home without having to spend any money or only buying from second hand shops.  

Professor Trelawny (My younger sister) 

Mad eye moody (My hubby)

The fat lady (My twin sister )

Professor lupin (My son) and Pansy parkinson (My niece)

Harry Potter (my son)

Luna Lovegood (the birthday girl)

Tonks  (my daughter)

And finally Mrs Weasley ( Yours truly) My brother kept telling me all night I looked like a curtain.

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