mixed media

Artful Academy journal – November

An art journal page with a painting of a dry stone wall in a field with a tree branch overhanging it.

Series: Artful Academy 2020 journal #12

The prompt I chose for this page was boundaries. Walls, fences, hedges, doors and gates have always interested me. Even here, in a very urban environment, the sheer variety in the walls and fences separating the houses from the pavements just on a single road is remarkable. Boundaries are often interpreted as limitations, I prefer to think of them as defining points or places of transition.

My original plan was to paint a simple, mostly block colour, version of this view (from a photo taken in the Yorkshire dales by my brother’s other half) and then use some of my Seth Apter grungy embossing powders to add texture to the dry stone wall. Then I started painting and ended up having far too much fun creating all that colour and variety just with acrylic paint.

A close-up of the tree branch.

I was a bit hesitant when it came time to paint the tree branch β€” the one in the original photo had an awful lot of tiny twiggy branches that I knew would look terrible if I tried to recreate them faithfully. But, given the choice between avoiding trying and just going for it, I went for it and laid out the main branches. It was looking a bit bare though; there wasn’t much foliage on the original, just the last few leaves hanging on, but I needed to balance out the missing twigs, so I added some extra foliage, keeping the scrappy end-of-autumn feel.

A close-up of the dry stone wall and the view through the gate.

The only thing I’m not completely happy with is the view through the gap in the wall. The gate looks better than it started out, but it lost contrast as it dried and is now blending into the background. I am leaving it as it is though β€” chances are any attempt to fix it would just make it worse at this point.

I nearly left it without any text on it, but every other page has writing on it and I wanted to keep some consistency across the whole art journal. I’m terrible at doing freehand lettering, so I started by finding a font, printing boundaries out at the right size and trimming it to a strip that I could use as a guide on the page. I masked around where I wanted the word to go and marked the letter spacing on the masking tape. Then I could draw the letters, confident that they would at least be spaced correctly and straight on the page.

The art journal page with its matching collage page.

1 thought on “Artful Academy journal – November”

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