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Friday, September 21, 2018

Art Journal Series: Week 2, Drawing faces

Art Journal Prompt: 5 People Who Make You Smile MOST.

     I don't know about you but, wow, is it not a challenge to pick only FIVE people who make you smile. I have lots of smiles in my life and am grateful for every one of them. I chose the people who really give me peace and unconditional happiness. People who I don' have to do anything to please. Isn't funny how those become the people you want to do the most for? Sadly, we don't always put them first. We tend to put our efforts in to the relationships that demand the most from us such as our boss, our kid's coaches or teachers, our discontented peers or that family member or friend who seems to always slip their critical spirit into your life.
     It is time to refocus our time and efforts on those who we love to love.  Relationships don't always have to be hard. Sometimes they are gut level. You just know when they walk into the room that you are safe with them. They simply make you smile. Always remember Philippians 4:8 when you are anxious or busy.  Life is all about your focus.

     My first three were easy, my husband and kids. These three have seen the worst of me and inexplicably they still love me. Not in an I-live-with-you-so-I-have-to-love-you-way but in a wonderful filling the air around us way. I am so BLESSED by them.
     The next two were harder to narrow down. I thought about my parents who I love so much I moved in across the street from or  my two best friends who have stuck with me forever. I also have a couple brothers and sister-in-laws whom I would love to devote more time to. But it was the pure unconditional love of two teenagers that my heart rested on, my niece and my friend's daughter.  They have become bright shining places in my life that I cherish. Every time I see them I get a hug. Yes! from teenage girls! I thought they would grow out of this and leave me behind but I am still blessed by their love even while they are giving their own mothers the typical growing pains. These are the five people I want to focus my efforts on most in the busy season to come.

So here is my journal page:
 Art Journal Prompt 2 by Earthshaper Arts: 5 people that make you simile

Week 2 Art Technique:

 Drawing Step by Step Face

    Now before you get all self critical about your drawing skills, I want you to breathe and relax. Remember this art journal is just yours. I thought long and hard about what technique to demo this week (exactly why this week is being published late). There are many ways you could do this page that doesn't require drawing. Such as a photos collage, going back to last week's technique. Or silhouettes which is just cutting out a profile photo and tracing around it on colored paper and cutting that out. But I wanted to draw my 5 people and after seeing my niece this weekend I thought I would create this demo for her. So this is dedicated to her. 

      I am going to break it down real simple and teach you some of the tricks I learned in art school to help you get the basics of drawing the human face. The human face and body are surprisingly geometric and symmetrical.  Check out Leonardo DaVinci's Vitruvian Man. It shows how perfectly mathematical the human form is. The things that make us each look unique is how our proportions deviate from perfection. Isn't that poetic? So your little flaws are what make you beautiful YOU!

So let's begin....

 How to draw faces in 9 steps by Earthshaper arts

     I will break this down into less than 10 steps with illustrations. I will be using a few stencils to get you past fear factor. You can buy the stencils on Amazon or at a Craft Store but if you look around your house it is likely you can find objects to trace around for consistency. The alternative to this is Practice Practice Practice. Practice drawing general shapes first straight lines, circles, ovals, and cubes which are the essential shapes in drawing people and most things for that matter.

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 1

The Oval. 

Ovals can be tricky and intimidating but they are essential to drawing faces.It is the basic shape you start with. So when you are starting out, it is fine to start with stencils or tracing. An Easter egg that opens length wise is great or a cardboard tube that you squeeze in the middle slightly can work. You can always print your shapes on card stock and cut them out to trace around if you want to be really precise. However, precision is not that important at this stage. Ideally you will grow in confidence and hand eye coordination and will soon be free handing. 

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 2

Basic Proportions

 Drawing Faces: Basic proportions
The fun thing about the face is there are easy to remember measurements for laying the different parts out. First you divide the face in Half from top to bottom. This line helps you make the two side of the face symmetrical. That means they are mirror images of themselves. Similar to how you fold a piece of paper in half to cut out a valentine heart. 

Then draw a light line across the face HALF way down. All these guide lines need to be very light so you can erase them later. Now this line is the eye line believe it or not. We do not have monkey or bird brains. We have large brains on the top of our heads so leave plenty of room for it or your faces with not look very smart. 

Then divide the lower half of the face in HALF again. This is the nose line. 

Then divide that bottom fourth in HALF AGAIN!  Ha. That is where the mouth with open. It doesn't seem like much room but trust me.

 Drawing Easy Faces: Eye Placement & SizeDrawing Easy Faces: Step 3

The Eye Placement

When placing the eyes is good to imagine a third  eye between them. I used this stencil to demonstrate. You don't really need the stencil but a ruler or small round object might be nice just to help you in making both eyes the same size. Matching eyes is one of the most common  trouble spot for new artists. So much so that I have noticed many using a simple black dot for eyes on Etsy and in comics. Those are options too but I like to simply measure for accuracy.  
      You will see below that I generally use a simple circle to draw the edges of the iris. The bottom of the iris usually shows as well unless the person is smiling big or squinting. But the top almost never shows. 

 Easy eyes
Place the iris directly on the eye line and then draw the lids around it. Extend the ends of the top lid arch just beyond the bottom lid to indicate the tear duct and the corner crease. 

The pupil is just a smaller circle inside the iris. Color the pupil in black but leave a tiny moon shape along the edge of it as shown below. 

A quick note of variations. In General, the masculine face and features are more angular and contain more straight lines than the curved feminine lines. This includes the eyes. Their eyelashes are usually not as long and the lips not as full.
A few very small changes can make a huge difference. 

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 5

Nose Placement and size

The nose is placed where the second horizontal line and the vertical line meet. The most simple nose shape is just a slight curve. If you want to get more specific than that you can add the edges of the nostrils something like this แ€„◡แ 

How large or pointed the middle curve is can really add personality to the face. 

The general rule about the width of the nose is that the nostrils should line up with the inside corners of the eyes. 

 Drawing Faces Nose And Mouth AlignmentDrawing Easy Faces: Step 6

Mouth placement & size

The mouth rests on the final horizontal guide line you  drew. A vertical line drawn straight down from the center of the eyes indicates where the edges of the mouth should stop. 

The curved line drawn here is actually the inner edge of the top lip. 
A slightly more curved line above and below that curve will form the lips. 

Often the outer edge of the top lip is poorly defined or completely missing when drawing a masculine face because their lips are thinner than their estrogen filled counter parts. 

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 7

Ear Attachment & Placement

Ears are a very complicated body part. But given that few people pay much attention to them and the are often obscured by hair or shadows, the short hand is quite easy. 

The attach to the side of the face where you already have guide lines. The top curve extends just above the eye line and the bottom curve hangs just below the nose line. The bottom lobe sits closer to the face given that it is softer. 

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 8


The rule for eyebrows is to line the inner edge up with the nostrils. The outer edge should fall in a diagonal line from the outer corners of the mouth and eyes. To form the arch correctly, the highest point in the arch should be above the pupil. 

Drawing Easy Faces: Step 9


 Drawing Faces with Variation

Now that you know all the rules BREAK THEM!

The things that makes faces so interesting to look at and draw is the never ending combinations of variations that make everyone look so different.  You can see it just in this very limited sketch of faces for my journal. In drawing this five people, most of whom are related, I learned that my husband always seems happy because his eyes squint more than the generalized version of an eye. My daughter's mouth is closer to her nose than usual. Which explains we her smile is so big and how she can touch her nose with her tongue. Ha! My niece has adorable dimples which are the tiniest marks on a page but make all the difference in the world in making her look unique. 

Drawing your favorite people can become a kind of meditation in which you grow closer to that person and learn more about them. It really is a practice anyone can pick up and benefit from. Good luck with your Journal. And please comment here or on my Facebook page about what you learned today or questions you have. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Art Journaling Series: Week 1, Collage

     Last week I introduced Art Journaling with the promise to walk you through all kinds of journals and techniques. Oh My! Where to start? I decided to just jump right in with a 10 week journal prompt list. One subject a week that will get us right up to the crazy holiday season and be there to remind us of the people, places and things that bring us joy. Isn't that what we all need to recapture most in the midst of all the hustle and bustle?
 Art Journal Technique: Collage

So there are all kinds of journal prompt lists. My daughter who is also an artist does this once in a while when she is going through a creative block and needs something to draw. Her peers on Instagram post a list of one drawing idea each day related to a theme. No one expects a masterpiece for these quick exercises but is does get the creative juices flowing and keeps the habit of daily creativity ingrained in them. Journal prompts are also common for writers for the same reason.
     Since art journaling is less about skill and more about mindfulness these prompts may seem a bit more abstract. But the objective is the same, healthy habits and fostering daily creativity. If you have a place to keep all your journaling materials out and readily accessible you could feasibly complete these weekly prompts in just 5-15 minutes a day. Or if your schedule is less routine like mine do it all in one or two sittings. So lets get started.

Here is your prompts for the Pre-Holiday season 2018:

 Pre- Holiday Inner Happiness Journal prompts

     I completed a list like this a few years ago and can I just tell you how happy it makes me even today to look at it and be reminded where my heart really dwells. When all the noise of the media and advertising, success gurus and corporate bosses and even family and friends are telling me how I should act or feel, I look at this list and know who I really am and what truly makes my spirit happy. I am not saying to be completely selfish in this. Charity and serving others truly does feed our souls but we all have our own talents, our own pet causes, and our personal style. So, explore that. You can serve the world so much better when you are true to you!

WEEK 1 PROMPT: Top 5 life priorities to focus everything else on. 

     Years ago I learned that naming these and reminding myself of them often was a huge help in deciding what to concern myself with and what to let go. The world would have you believe that every little thing is important. And usually the squeakiest door gets your attention. It is OK to just let some doors whine while you take care of what is really important to you. This goes right back to the purpose of a vision board that I wrote about at the beginning of the year.
     So really think about these. Make them broad enough to really encompass what motivates you. If you feel like your career takes up all of your time decide why that is. Is it the accolades that you are seeking, for others to recognize you as an inspiration or a innovator in the field? maybe it is the field itself you are passionate about. You just really can't get enough of the subject that you working. Or maybe it is to live in a luxurious beautiful home. Then you could say that beauty and comfort motivate you. Maybe you work because you have a sick loved one to support or so that your children can have every opportunity possible in school and life. It's safe to say your priority is family. Maybe you work hard just because you believe it is the Right thing to do. Then one of your priorities should be a moral belief system of some kind. None of these are right or wrong. Only you know what motivates you. 
 Organize your collage clippings to save for later
I like to save every image and word the grabs me because I may want to do a collage again later and I don't want to have to keep all those magazines laying around the house. So I file the clips and toss the the magazine.


   Since, this isn't mamsy pansy stuff we are thinking about here I picked a tried and true journaling technique for this week. One you have probably all done at some point in elementary school. The great thing about collage for this prompt is you spend a lot of time thinking about the words you are choosing to express your thoughts. I will admit that is prompt is pretty deep but I truly believe it belongs in EVERY journal that is concerned with your self expression, inner peace, or life goals. Shoot I even copy my priority list into every planner and calendar I start. It is key to living a life you choose and excel at. 

Magazines, ads, books, and newspapers you don't mind cutting
Paste or mod podge
Your Journal
A few envelops
Markers, puffy paints, glitter glue, stickers
Scrap paper or drop cloth to apply paste over 

๐Ÿ–ŒStep 1. Collect all of your magazines, mailers, advertisement flyers, all that junk mail, even old books if you can bring your self to cutting them up. I am telling you advertisers know what motivates people better than anyone. And of course they use that info to sell you cars, jewelry, and makeup. Even medication ads have some great words that you can use to express your priorities in life. So any piece of copy with ads in it will be a resource for you. You can also find magazines at some recycling centers. Ours has a self for materials that can be reused. The thrifty teacher is well aware of where to get  old magazines in your area. 
Step 2: Roughly jot down what you think you five priorities are. 
๐Ÿ–ŒStep 3. Scan the magazines for imagines and the bold words that jump out at you most. This is very intuitive. Enjoy this process and don't be to rigid about find the exact words you jotted down. 
Step 4: Cut out those images and words for later. You can divide them into categories that fit each of your priorities and place them in a labeled envelope.  If you start finding certain images and words that you love but that do not fit your categories make a miscellaneous envelope and when you are done see if a new theme emerges. Perhaps that subject means more to you than you thought before. 
๐Ÿ–ŒStep 5: Arrange them in your journal on the first two pages (two pages facing each other is called a spread). I arranged mine by topic. I love using Elmer's disappearing school glue sticks because you can put a little dab of glue on the your pieces, place them on the page and they will stay if a breeze blows through. If you change your mind, you can gently lift the piece off and re-position it while the glue is still purple. 
Step 6: Glue them firmly down. This is where I like to have some scrap paper so that I can go all the way to the edge of the clips with my glue and not get the glue on everything. Some prefer Mod Podge both under and on top of their collage. It gives it a nice finished look. A word to the wise though. Do not use glossy Mod Podge in your journals. It will cause the pages to stick together no mater how long it has to dry. They do make matte Mod Podge I imagine this would not have the same problem but I have not tried it yet. 
๐Ÿ–ŒStep 7: If you feel like your final arrangement or images are a little to abstract for your taste, you can now go back and write your priorities right onto the page like labels. Or you can use alphabet stickers to really spell it out. Puffy pain or glitter glue can really make things stand out too.

Now you have the first two page spread of your Happiness Journal. I hope you will do this with us and maybe even post your results in the comments here or on my Facebook page. I would love to see how everyone's turns out and how different they are from each others. Really let your personality shine. 
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Friday, August 31, 2018

How to Art Journal

 Art Journaling Series: part 1

                Have you ever wanted to start a journal but didn’t know where to start, what to write about, what to leave out? Ever start a journal and get overwhelmed by the details of life or been afraid it would be seen by your family or kids one day or the whole world if you ever had five minutes of fame? Trust me I have been there. I have been journaling in some form on and off since I was 10 years old. I know all the struggles but I have also reaped many of the benefits and that is what I want to share with you.

                Art journaling is a whole category of journaling that helped me overcome many of the pitfalls of traditional journaling. It simply means journaling that includes images. You don’t have to be an artist. There are lots for techniques that take little to no artistic training.  Though, it is a wonderful place to explore new art techniques and tools if you are artistically inclined.
                Journaling helps you make connections and give meaning to the events that happen to you and in the world around you. When done right it reinforces positive pathways in your brain and solidifies your values and world view. It gives you practice in reacting to the world in the way that you deem respectable and constructive. Too many times, however, my written journals have spiraled into rants that only escalated the situation in my own head. The beauty I have found in art journaling is that it is light on words and heavy on meaning. It is hard to get carried away in chronicling the details of an event when you only have a page or two to fill with images. It cuts straight to the emotions and meaning of the situation and keeps the personal defenses down.
                It turns out that this kind of journaling is healthy for your mind and body. The things you reflect on most you learn from and remember long term. All the other junk information that streams through your day can just fall away. According to Scientific America studies have shown that reflective, values focused journaling helps you cope better with stress, heal better, boosts your immune system, and may even raise you GPA in school. So that’s how I passed nursing school! Ha

So How do You Start?

                Honestly, there are no rules, but I have tried tons of ideas that I am happy to share. All of them will take WAY more than this one blog post though. So, I have made this a series that I will add to every other week between all the other interests I post about. I will share journaling ideas, prompts, tools, and techniques as well as my own art journals to encourage you.

First, Gather MATERIALS.

Of course, you will need a JOURNAL. My favorite is the Strathmore visual journal. It has a hard cover to protect your work. Thick pages that can take on about any kind of medium (that’s your pencils, paints, inks, markers, and glue) and it is spiral bound so it can expand with what ever you put in it.  
Drawing/ painting tools. Pens, pencils, markers, watercolor paint or craft paint, even crayons. The sky is really the limit here.
Collage supplies. For those that are not very confident in their drawing skills you will love this one. Gather your favorite magazines, mailers from your favorite stores, children’s books. And Glue. Some of my favorites are quality gluesticks, mod podge, and acid free double-sided tape. You might want a sponge brush to apply the glue but I find my finger and a damp rag to clean in off work just fine.
Alphabet stamps and stencils. Until you are more confident with your own hand lettering this is a good place to start. Stencils offer all kinds of possibilities and the stamps are great for memorizing things as well because you have to find each letter separately. You can do this by cutting words out of magazines too if you don’t have stamps yet.
A bag to keep your supplies in so you can journal anywhere. Availability will help you keep you journaling habit consistent.  My favorite is actually from an Indiana nonprofit organization called the First Chance Center. Their Envision line of bags are so sturdy and have tons of pockets and best yet they provide training and jobs to people with disabilities who otherwise may not have got a chance in the work force. 

Second, Decide on your STYLE.

                What purpose is it going to serve for you? Is it to encourage you, help you study something you want to know more about, to process grief or and illness, or to help you remember things, etc. My first art journal was in art school (duh) and was specifically to help me become a better artist. That evolved into a journal to capture my ideas. That was a pocket size one I carried everywhere with me. Then there were travel journals, and health journals and devotionals, and dare I mention, scrapbooking! That is the most common and well-known form of art journaling. So here is a list of types of journaling that I can tell you a bit more about.

๐ŸŒฟThe Field Journal: This journal helps you perfect a skill or learn more about a subject. Think Audubon or DaVinci. They drew in journals to better illustrate their research.
✨The Timeline Journal: This is akin to the scrapbook. It tells a story about your life.
๐ŸŒฟThe Travel Journal:  This can be one journal for each long trip or book of all the places far and near that you stay in, dine in, or explore.
✨The Devotional/prayer Journal:  A meditation journal in which you spend a set portion of each day in spiritual thought, be it through verse, quotes, prayer or gratefulness.
๐ŸŒฟThe Garden Journal: Part planner, part record, the garden journal helps you remember what worked and what didn’t and in what season to do or expect certain things. It can also be used as simply another way to appreciate the garden and can help get through the doldrums of winter.
✨The Vision Journal: This can help you on the way to meeting a goal. It helps you visualize where you want to be, how you get there and records your little successes along the way. All the big motivational speakers suggest these steps but you can keep these all in one place with an art journal.
๐ŸŒฟThe Health Journal: This type is more focused. Whatever area of your life you want to get healthier in, it is always helpful to keep a journal. In mental health, losing weight, finding food sensitivities, and so on using glyphs, stencils or stickers to log your new routines and celebrate each achievement along the way will make it more fun.
✨The Happy Thoughts Journal: My personal favorite. I will be including a prompt list for this one soon. In this one you fill the pages with things that make you smile, memories or great times, and the words of people who love and encourage you. With this just near by you can never forget how good life really is.

Finally, Just do it.

Remember you don’t have to share these with anyone else. So, if you start out a little clumsy, no worries. It’s all about the process. And I will be here to guide you if you need it. My next post will include prompts, more examples and simple techniques. I am super excited to share this journey with you hope you enjoy it too.
                To get notified every time I post add yourself too the Earthshaper email list. I promise I will not spam you  ‘cause I ain’t got no time for that either. Haha. Maybe, one post a week or less at this point but I would hate for you to miss them. Or you can like our Facebook page.

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