Unique Spirit

March Theme
Making Your Mark (Doodles & Mark Making)
March 28 - Week 13
Art Challenge:  Make a Custom Element
Journal Prompt:  "Ride the energy of your own unique spirit." ~ Gabrielle Roth

I always felt as if a butterfly embodied my true spirit - the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, emergence from the cocoon, the unfurling of the wings . . . all metaphors of course but nonetheless, I can identify with the butterfly.  I think this is the longest I ever spent on a journal page, but I got lost in the process and really felt it was a journey of self-discovery for me.  I love how working in an art journal will do that for you sometimes!

This page started as a basic plan . . . picturing myself with butterfly wings, but the process took on a life of its own!  I started with some stock images I found on the internet and used one as a template.  Once I printed the image in the correct size, I cut it out.  This became my "custom element" and you will see later how I used it in two different ways.

I traced around the butterfly, then cut it out to create an element I would use, but also a mask for painting.  I'll explain that a little later!

I prepared my journal page by ripping out pieces from a roll of Idea-ology Melange Tissue paper by Tim Holtz.  I love the butterflies on this tissue!  Once I decided on the placement, I adhered them to the page with gel matte medium.

I decided to add a flap to my journal page and found this cover from an old pad of K&Company scrapbook paper {I never throw anything out!}  I love that it had a window cut out and I trimmed it to fit the journal.

I covered the flap in white gesso (used as a primer) and then taped it to the edge of my right page with 1" masking tape to create a hinge.  I added the tape to the front and back.  Masking tape takes paint well so I wasn't worried about the edge on the back of the page - I will just incorporate it somehow in next week's challenge.

I ripped out a few more pieces of the Melange tissue and adhered it to the inside of the flap.

While I was waiting for all of that to dry, I sketched a figure onto bristol paper, using the wings to determine size.

Time to add some color!  I used a tiny piece of double stick paint and stuck my butterfly cutout onto the right side of the spread to create a mask so no color would get underneath.  I used Golden Fluid Acrylics for their transparency.  I applied them with a baby wipe to help blend the colors.

The next photo shows the spread with the butterfly mask still attached to the page.

Once I removed the butterfly, you can see I have a white image underneath where I prevented the paint from being applied.  That also left me with a painted butterfly to use!

I used the fluid acrylics to paint the flap using darker shades to make it stand out and really frame the focal point.

The white butterfly seemed a bit stark, so I spread some Liquitex Ink onto the shape to give it a watercolor-like appearance.

I painted my figure using watercolors and set her aside to dry.

To add some definition (and sharp contrast) to the painted butterfly, I used Bombay black india ink and painted the veins and lines on the wings.  The printed images I used early were good to use as guidelines.

A Stabilo pencil was used to outline the white butterfly and wt slightly to blend.

I then attached my little person to the white butterfly using a UHU glue stick and also attached the painted butterfly to the opposing page.

I felt like the flap needed a little title of some sort, so I stamped the word "Fly" onto old book paper, cut the letters out and then glued them onto the flap.

I loved how the spread was turning out, but it still felt a little "bare" to me so I grabbed a clear stamp with flourishes and stamped all over all of the pages with black staz on ink - just what it needed!

I am really satisfied with the results - I felt like I captured my unique spirit in this challenge!  I will look forward to seeing your pages this week!  And don't forget to check out our Featured Artist this week . . . the fabulous Martha Lever!

Products Used This Week

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