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Artful Academy journal – May

Art journal page with a large butterfly and a banner across it with the quote "take a breath, go and look at the sky, hold on tight - Warren Ellis".

Series: Artful Academy 2020 journal #6

May’s prompt was “quotes” so I really couldn’t avoid using words on this one. Trying to find a quote that wasn’t over-used or twee or without any meaning for me was difficult though; I have a few collected in my notes, but nothing was speaking to me. But there was one small spot of positivity in my inbox every week: the newsletter sent out by Warren Ellis (unfortunately since cancelled). Along with an interesting random collection of stuff, he would sign off with a self-care reminder which always felt sincere, so much so that I started collecting them, and that’s where my quote comes from.

Close-up of the butterfly's wing.

I created the layout on my iMac with Affinity Designer using a vintage butterfly from Tom Chalky and then traced it onto my page in pencil with the help of a lightpad. I was going to use watercolour so I needed the lines to be waterproof: that called for Indian ink and my trusty glass dip pen. I could have used a black fineliner, but I enjoy the feel of the dip pen so much more. I ended up adding a lot more shading lines than were on the original image.

Close-up of the Warren Ellis quote: "Take a breath, go and look at the sky, hold on tight."

Once that was completely dry and the pencil lines erased, I added some colour to the butterfly and the background. If I do something like this again, I will probably lay the colour down before inking the lines; I would have to be more precise with my inking as I couldn’t erase all of the pencil, but the inking would be cleaner.

Finally I made my collage page. I’m happy with how this one turned out, but I do wish that I had thought to mirror the butterfly shape when I laid it out. I think that would have made a better spread.

Two-page spread with the butterfly on the right and the matching collage page on the left.

2 thoughts on “Artful Academy journal – May”

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