Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rock Art Inspiration - More Tips and Tricks

Thanks to Goose Creek Rocks, I have been inspired to make rock art! Here are some of the rocks I've made as gifts for my friends and family, as well as the rocks I've donated to the community. I also give you a few hints about making similar work of your own.

"Sun" Rock Art - For my mom
Sharpie / Acrylic Ink

This rock is a companion piece to the Moon rock pictured below. You can get a really cool "stamped on" effect with the drawing by using a sharpie and stippling on the lines. For the colors, I used acrylic ink. Then, I sealed it all over with a varnish sealant. Shiny!
"Moon" Rock Art - For my mom
Sharpie / Acrylic Ink

This piece was made similarly to the sun rock, just sharpies and acrylic inks on bare rock.

Star Trek Spock Rock Art
Acrylic Ink / Acrylic Paint

This lovely Spock Rock was a gift for my Trekkie boyfriend. It was done with acrylic ink and acrylic paint. I included a progress shot to illustrate how I built up the layers to get those nice juicy colors. I'm especially proud of the inky space background, the details of which were unfortunately a little too shiny to pick up with the camera. 

Spock Rock unfinished- As you can see, I started by painting
the background and then blocking in the foreground details.
Most of the base was done with acrylic paint, then I went
backwith the ink and got the sharp details in. 

Unlike the sun and moon rock, Spock Rock was made heavy with paint. I think that was ultimately the reason why I was unable to paint varnish over top of this one... My theory is, the acrylic ink wasn't absorbing into the rock enough because it was sitting on top of plastic based acrylic paints. The varnish just lifted and pushed the ink around instead of properly sealing... luckily, I only did this in a test corner and didn't continue on the rest of the piece!

Check out the other sides of this painted rock. I'm low key psyched about managing to at least somewhat pull off the Enterprise part. Technical and geometric drawings are definitely not my forte, I'm more into organic shapes myself.

Star Trek Spock Rock Art - The Enterprise

I used shiny blue paint to give it that spacey glow.
 I suppose this was inspired by the reboot Star Trek movies and all their lens flares.
Star Trek Spock Rock Art - Planet Vulcan
Star Trek Spock Rock Art - Star Fleet Insignia

Octopus Rock Art - For my friend Racheal
Sharpie Markers

This squiggly little octopus was done for my friend Racheal who absolutely loves anything to do with tentacles. This one was fun to do, just layering dots on top of dots. The stippling effect looks really neat on rock art in my opinion. You can get some good color values and the dots seem to look a little more natural than just smooth lines for some reason. 

All I did here was build up various colors of sharpie to get a desirable level of color and shading. And since they're permanent markers, you don't have to worry about them smearing with varnish- if you decide to put varnish on at all at this point. Using Sharpies is a good way to cut out the sealing step altogether. I decided to go ahead and varnish anyways, it couldn't hurt right?

Lighthouse Rock Art for Goose Creek Rocks
Acrylic Paint
Sailboat Rock Art for Goose Creek Rocks
 Acrylic Paint / Acrylic Ink
Since we're on the subject of beachy things, here's a few of my "Broken Ocean Series" rocks that I made for the Goose Creek Rocks community. I was interested in using the three dimensional nature of "broken" rocks to add an extra depth to the scenes.

Fish Rock Art
Acrylic Paint / Sharpie

Check out this sweet fishie! 
The rock's shape did all the talking and I just painted in the details and drew the lines with sharpie.

A cute pumpkin rock
Acrylic Paint

Another example of using a rock's shape to dictate the design painted on it.
 In this case, I couldn't stop thinking of this rock's shape to be very "pumpkin like."

Pink Flower Rock Art

I love the level of control and detail you can get with a simple fine point sharpie marker. I think these are the funnest rocks to decorate. Mess free and more control over details, what could be more ideal?

House Rock Art
Acrylic Paint

This was inspired by a similar series done by another artist, but I can't find the source!

Sugar Skull Rocks
Acrylic Paint

These are some of my favorites. I hid one of them inside one of those quarter toy machines and I snuck one of them behind the bar at Starbuck's to add a little spontaneity to the lives of the busy baristas. These were done in straight up acrylic paint, no tricks here.

Eyeball Rock Art
Acrylic Paint

When in doubt, paint an eyeball!

"Soot Monster" Inspired Rock Art
Acrylic Paint

This was a silly and simple one but I think it's one of my favorites. 
There is just something charming about his creepy little expression.
Witch Rock Art
Paint Markers

I got my hands on some paint markers and they work like a dream on rocks! I was very happy with how the colors turned out on this one. The ink is oil based which makes it pretty darn permanent to boot.

One day, me and my parents snuck over to my cousin's house and hid rocks for them all to find. Here's a pic of the happy hunters after discovering their specially made rocks! 

Do you make rock art, or are you a part of a rock hiding community? Feel free to toot your own horn in the comments below. I think it's a beautiful and unique medium to work in and I'd love to see more of it.

 Also, if you want to paint some rocks of your own but don't know where to start, make sure to check out my massive tutorial I made about rock art here. I compiled some good info there, hopefully it will be of use to you. Until next time!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

What does a finished Wreck This Journal look like?

Here's my "One More Thing" about Wreck this Journal. If you didn't know, I've spent a few years finishing this book up and covering it through blog posts extensively. Here is the final product, as finished as it will ever be! Here's to moving on to new things and celebrating past accomplishments.

My Journey With Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes

Did you know that 2017 will mark the 10 year anniversary of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal? I have covered the book extensively in the past and took finishing the book very seriously. Recently, I finally decided to "retire" my book and I've got to admit, I kind of missed working on it now that it's done. Then one day, a spontaneous trip to the mall brought me the inspiration to buy one of Keri Smith's other books. I knew there was one in particular that would scratch my itch for a new Wreck this Journal. That book was "Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes," which in my opinion is almost a direct sequel to Wreck this Journal.

The idea is the same - each page has a set of directions on them and you have to complete whatever strange task the book asks of you, often times "wrecking" or "messing up" your journal in the process. Both beckon you to push the book itself to its physical limits. How much can you ruin the book without technically ruining it?

Keri Smith's Mess This Journal Cover
Mess this Journal - The Front Cover

One of the pages in Mess prompts you to destroy the front and back cover, but I think that one is a gimme. This once pristine and sharply designed book will hardly resemble itself after a few good sessions of messing up. I've already doodled a few additions to cover, and used it as a mat for my glue gun once or twice now. 

Mess This Journal - Ink Drop Characters

 I think this page turned out super cute. I kind of want to go back and add more characters. There's still some white space left on the page!
Mess This Journal - Only Blue Things

This is very similar to a prompt in Wreck this Journal that makes you collect only white things. The first thing I thought when I saw this page was: "So many more options for cool things now!" White things were very limiting to collect while Blue seems like it'd be almost overwhelmingly various. I immediately installed a hinged pocket and some blue jeans so I could stuff more blue things onto the page in the future.
Mess This Journal - Draw for only 10 seconds at a time

I loved this little exercise so much that I extended it over the entire page. It was fun to try to come up with new things constantly and the strange "stream of consciousness" doodles that followed. I noticed that some of the drawings that are next to each other have started off with similar initial shapes/lines but kind of transform into a different thing as the sketch went on. I've marked this off as my first "completed" Mess page, mainly because I can't think of anything else I could possibly do to it directly. Done and done.

Mess this Journal - Draw a circle

Similar to the 10 second doodle prompt, this page requires you to draw a cirlce under all sorts of strange circumstances including circles "that talk" and circles drawn "with a dog sitting in the middle of the page." I had extra exuberance for these pages and ended up adding more prompts to this one, too.

Mess This Journal - Melt Crayon Shavings Here

Another page that I enjoyed. It requires you to take crayon crumbles, mash the pages together and then iron the pages to melt the crayon. I actually have a lot of crayon shavings accumulated because I have one of those awesome plastic Crayola crayon sharpeners (yes, be jealous.) So, I just dumped them out on the page and arranged them into what I thought might turn out to be a cool shape and ironed away. I'm kinda excited that it actually still kind of resembles a face, which was totally what I was going for.

Mess This Journal - Draw an object by tearing it

Mess This Journal - Mini Encyclopedia of Messes and Mistakes

Mess contains way more lists than Wreck this Journal did. This page particularly indulges my obsessive side- I get to pour over the pages and carefully list each one that has this or that quality. It's meticulously obsessive in a way that really doesn't matter or make sense, my favorite kind of obsession to partake in.

Mess This Journal - Smudge Log
Mess This Journal - Document Various Scribbles
My pal Racheal helped me out with this page with her orange crayon scribble. She asked which box I wanted her to put the scribble in and I said, "I don't know, you tell me? Maybe not in the box at all?" I think that scared her. It scares me too, that's the point!

Mess This Journal - Disaster Area 
Wreck This Journal - Random Things Here
What a future this Mess page has to look forward to.

The "disaster area" page reminds me of another page from Wreck This Journal that required you to glue random items to the paper. I remember that page filled up super quickly for some reason - I guess I have access to a lot of random things to glue down?

Mess This Journal - Abrasion Test: Sand this page

Mess This Journal - Thought Mess

My Mess Journal still has a long way before it's fleshed out, but there a lot to look forward to in the future. I thought it was worth documenting these prompts in their "before" stages since most of these pages will look completely different once they're done. 
Mess This Journal - Cut out this image and rearrange it

Mess This Journal - Lose your balance

Mess This Journal - Help the man let loose
After I did the Ink Character's page, I was lead to my first unexpected "mess surprise" when I realized that the ink had bled through the paper in a considerable amount... but mainly around this dude's eyes and lips, weirdly enough. I had to laugh because it immediately makes him look like a clown. But I think most men who try makeup for the first time kind of end up looking like that.... Yes, he wants to look like a beautiful woman, but he doesn't know how to yet. I'm going to help him out with that.

Mess This Journal - Color in with your eyes closed
So this started off as just a simple pear shape but I thought that was not hard enough so I added a bunch of other random stuff on the page for me to color, too.

Mess This Journal - Alter this image

I'm thinking about making their hats into giant soup bowls. 
One guy doesn't have a soup bowl hat though, how sad :'(

Mess This Journal - Deface this room

Honestly, this prompt freaks me out. After living in my own place for a while, I've come to realize the importance of a clean room. After all the time I've spent organizing, vacuuming, and decluttering, to mess up this room on purpose just seems wrong! That's why I think this page is really smart. I love the insightful ways that Keri Smith tries to get us out of our heads through simple works of art.

Mess This Journal - Delete or erase something

Mess This Journal - Something that will go moldy

So, there's one line I will not cross when it comes to my Keri Smith books, and that is using rotting food on the pages. Past experiments have lead me down a path of sugar ants and stickiness that I don't ever care to endure again. With that being said, I think I followed the directions of this page perfectly!  I made tiny versions of Wreck this Journal and Mess out of Play Doh, which can easily become moldy again when you add water to the compound. Get it, moldy? I crack myself up.
Mess This Journal - Use this page as a palette

When I'm painting or using pens I actually do like to have a paper like this where I can wipe off excess ink or test marker colors. It's not a very pretty page, but it's what the other side of creativity looks like sometimes. 

Mess This Journal - While drawing a line, have someone bump the book

I had my boyfriend help me with this one and the finished product cracked me up. He did a great job randomly jarring me around, I never knew when to expect it.  I decided not to correct the lines when pushed and instead improvised with the "mistakes" still intact, hence this chick's awesomely big chin and ghosties with kitty mouths. I liked the idea of not having complete control on how "perfect" the drawings turned out. I think I will do another round of this random jarring when I decide to go back and color it.
Mess This Journal - Public Mess

I randomly "planted" some flowers that were not waterproof and will probably smear and smudge over time whenever the book gets wet. 

Mess This Journal - Fill in with all the colors you have on hand

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates on my Mess journal, and a few little things I'd still like to share about my Wreck This Journal. By the way, if you haven't yet, check out my extensive coverage on WTJ here- start from the beginning, it's an epic journey.

What do you think, is Mess a book you would be interested in working on? Which of the pages are your favorites? Which would be the scariest to complete in your opinion? Let me know in a comment below.