As you can see, I use my journals for a lot of different purposes, not only for sketching pleasure. As I’ve committed myself to doing more painting this year, I find that I’m reaching for it more and more as a practical workbook, not a chronological diary of my days. In fact, I have numerous workbooks with different paper in different sizes. I keep notes of ideas for paintings, I try out color mixtures. I paste in swatches of different kinds of paper and practice different drawing techniques. I work out designs for soft block carving. I carry it with me to museums and make notes about the artists. I even print out and paste in my sketches and paintings done in Photoshop or Painter.
This is my portable personal encyclopedia free of rules and concern about outcomes. The disastrous pages are as valuable as the “good” ones but none of them gets torn out and thrown away. It’s not an artists book destined to look pretty on its own. It’s a workbook – raw, spontaneous and full of scribbles and wrong turns. It’s where I map my “Creative Journey.”
Do you keep an art workbook for experiments and testing paint and such? Write and tell me about it.
Today’s piece of artwork is a soft block carving which has been printed then scanned into Photoshop and colorized using a variety of layers, brushes and enhancement tools including such different channel modes as Color, Darken, Lighten, Multiply.
It’s a different version of the same dragon (scroll down) which I painted in my Moleskine last Friday for the first day of Chinese New Year.
I think it might make a cool T-shirt, too!
This digitally-composited poster incorporated a soft-block carving which I did of a statue of Kwan Yin, as well as photography at the Pacific Asia Museum.