Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Documented Life Project 2015 - week 5

Week 4 has turned out to be my favorite so far!!! I LOVE under paper. "What's under paper?" you ask. Well, if you're messy like me when painting, you put down some type of paper to catch your blobs, sprays, drips, scrapes, and general run off so you don't get paint all over your great grandmother's desk. 

I participated in Lifebook in 2013 and 2014 and acquired several sheets of colorful under paper (that were often prettier than the piece I created). And now the lovely ladies of the DLP gave me the perfect opportunity to to put it to good use. 

So here's my week 4...

DLP week 5

I'm keeping it as simple in 2015 (which is proving difficult for the week 6 and 7 challenges). And I love how this turned out.

flower detail

I simply took a sheet of my most colorful under paper and cut out a circle, a stem, 14 flower petals, and 2 leaves. I glued everything down with Liquitex Matte Medium (because it's the most matte adhesive I have) and put a coat on top for good measure. I did get some wrinkling, but it didn't bother me on this piece.

some of my favorite pens

I did a few doodles with a Pigma Micron 05 and my second favorite white pen, the Sakura gelly roll. (My absolute favorite is the Uni-ball Signo UM-153.)

doodle details

And then I called it a day! See? Simple!

DLP week 5

Thanks for looking! Have a sunny day!
:) Ann


Here are the materials I used:
(affiliate links - see disclaimer on side)




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Documented Life Project 2015 - week 4

I'm getting caught up on blogging about what I've created in my DLP journal so far this year! Here is my take on week 3 - art challenge: writing! 

I love writing. In fact, I got a bachelor's degree in creative writing but it was a difficult journey (with a difficult instructor) and over the years I have retreated to only writing for myself. Prayerfully that will change soon. Anyhow, here's what I created and how I created it...

DLP2015 week 4 writing

I had just received my little pack of Ranger's Distress Markers and was playing around with them. I knew from following Stephanie Ackerman on Instagram that they could be activated with water and used like watercolor pencils. So I journaled in the background words that made me happy. I then took my small Pentel Aquash waterbrush and roughly went over the lettering to smear out the ink. 

my new Distress Markers and waterbrushes

I seem to be in a flower phase of my art making journey, so I decided to collage some flowers on top of my journaling. I cut out some basic shapes from some scrapbook papers I have hoarded for years and adhered them to the page with Liquitex Matte Medium. It's more expensive than Mod Podge, but I didn't want the top coat to have a shine (and my matte Mod Podge still leave a bit of a sheen). 

collage flowers

To give them a bit of dimension, I made little highlights with the Distress Markers and smudged them out with the waterbrush again. 

yea flowers!

Again, keeping it simple for 2015 and I love the complex look you can get from simply doing paper collage. Below are the items I used if you are interested.

Thanks again for looking! I should have my week 5 (underpaper - one of my favorites!) blogged later this week AND next week I hope to add lots of wonderful photos and details and patterns of my first truelove hobby: crochet!!! 

Be blessed until then,
:) Ann



Disclosure: 
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

My Documented Life Project 2015 - week 3

I'm having such fun with the Documented Life Project this year.

There is no pressure to create a masterpiece of art as this is a journal just for me! Also, the prompts can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. That combined with my word for the year ("Simplify") are making for a fun experience. I know my work isn't as "mixed" media when compared to the work shared on the website or facebook group, but I refuse to compare myself or my work this year. I have to consciously focus on me, my health and well-being, and my style. Gotta stay true to me!

So here it is... week 3! My color wheel of flowers :)

DLP week 3 my color wheel

I made this with my watercolor pencils and water brush. Then I added details with my Letraset Aquamarkers (I didn't blend them out with water though). Then a few details with my favorite white gel pen (the Uni-ball Signo UM-153) and my $1 stamp set from Walmart. And ta-da! Another week complete. Simple!!!

DLP week 3 detail

I did the centers of each flower on my color wheel with their complimentary color so this page can act as a handy reference too!

Thanks for looking. Have a happy day!
:) Ann

PS - for week 4, I did a fun paper collage. Stay tuned later this week for pics of that.

Disclosure: 
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links.



Friday, February 6, 2015

My Documented Life Project 2015 - week 2

Woo-hoo! I'm on a roll.
Here is my week 2 for the Documented Life Project ... (Click that for all of the awesome details and to join! It's free!) 

Week 2's challenge was to use gesso and since I am really trying to focus and keep things simple, I wanted to use gesso with my watercolor pencils. 

DLP2015 week 2
First, I painted little stems and leaves with gesso to try to use it as a resist for my watercolor pencils. That didn't work out so well, but it did provide some texture in the background. See below for a detailed view... 

DLP2015 week 2 gesso background
Then I tried using the gesso to "activate" my watercolor pencils and success! I love the muted pastel hue it gave to my little doodled flowers. See below for a detailed view...

DLP2015 week 2 gesso
The gesso also gave some texture to the flowers. I then went over them with my Letraset Aquamarkers. Here's to keeping it simple in 2015 and onward to week 3!

Materials used:




















Thanks for looking!
:) Ann

Disclosure: 
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Documented Life Project 2015 - week 1

Hi! Long time no blog, huh?! 
Well, I'm back and have been working on lots of fun mixed-media art journal projects. 

This year I have decided to participate in the Documented Life Project. Each week, the lovely ladies from Art to the 5th send an email with an art challenge and journal prompt. Then you can either be inspired by their amazing work or come up with something completely on your own. Click here for more info and to sign up! 

So without further adieu, here is my page for week 1:

DLP2015 week 1


This year, I'm attempting to use supplies that I already have on hand so I am doing this project in the 5.5 in x 8 in Strathmore Visual Journal for Mixed Media. It's 34 sheets of 90 lb. vellum finish paper works splendidly with my watercolor pencils.

I incorporated my word for the year: Simplify. And I did my best to keep this page simple. I hope you enjoy it. And follow along with me this year as I doodle in my art journals. Thanks!

Materials used:


one of my favorite journals to use:



I have an 18 year old set of these that are beautiful:



excellent archival waterproof pens:



the best white pens on the planet:



my favorite water brushes for activating my watercolor pencils:




Thank you for looking!

I will be sharing more throughout the year.
:) Ann


Disclosure: 
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using these links. 

Ann Dreyer Designs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

How to create quick and easy background pages for art journals and mixed media projects - PART 2


Hello again. 
Here's a little addition to my last tutorial on creating quick and easy backgrounds (found HERE). All four of the pages above were created at the same time in about 45 minutes. 

For the following two pages, I started them as described in part 1, but then went a bit overboard with drops of very wet acrylic paint.


For this pink page, I began by covering my paper (which is Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Journal paper, 140 lb, vellum finish, 9x12") in the method described in the previous tutorial. This piece was first painted with orange and blue. Then I scraped on the pink with an old credit card. Next, I did the whole "spritz water and let set for a minute then pat dry" thing.

Then I added approximately 3 parts water to 1 part acrylic paint on my palette. I mixed it well with a paintbrush and then sopped up as much paint as the brush could hold. And then flick... I held the brush over my paper and tapped it with my index finger causing big blobby drops of wonderfulness to fall to the page.



Yummy! I'd recommend not moving your page if you want the paint drops to dry as is. If you want them to run down your page, well then simply tilt up your paper and let them run.



I seriously have a problem with the Folk Art paint colors Calypso Sky and Tangerine.

Here's another page I made using the exact same method.



See... my problem with orange and blue continues...



This one is splattered with "Brilliant Pink" paint. Oh the texture!



How easy and quick!!! I hope you enjoyed this. Now to decide what to put on these fun backgrounds...

Peace and Love,
:) Ann

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to create quick and easy background pages for art journals and mixed media projects




Hi! I'm super excited about this post! 
I'm taking Life Book 2014 the amazing year long art course by Tamara Laporte and several dozen other top notch artists, but I have been in a bit of a creative slump lately. Today, I decided to forget about assignments and how behind I am and just play and make lots of yummy backgrounds. 
I combined a few mixed media techniques I learned last year (and will give credit where credit is delightfully due), but tried to keep it simple and fun. Ok, enough rambling, let's paint!!!


Over the weekend, I purchased some awesome (cheap!) cotton yarn from Walmart and decided to use these colors for my palette.


I globbed a bunch of Folk Art craft acrylic paint onto a foam plate. 
The colors I used were (most of which I got from Walmart too):

  • 901 wicker white
  • 627 tangerine
  • 509 sunny yellow
  • 954 fresh foliage
  • 524 calypso sky
  • 2574 brilliant pink

FYI, I'm addicted to the Calypso Sky color and I think I've used it in every Life Book painting I've done this year. I might need help...


Step 1. Paint some blobs everywhere sticking to two or three colors in the same family (warm in this case - yellow, orange, pink). Let dry -OR- if you're impatient like me, move along...


Step 2. Cover entire page in blue. You can use a brush or scrape on a thin layer using an old credit card/store rewards card/gift card/etc. 
Step 3. WHILE WET, spray page with clean water from a spray bottle (you could also flick water on the page with a clean, wet paint brush).
Step 4. Wait impatiently for 1 minute. This will allow the water to loosen up the most recent layer of paint. (image above)
Step 5. After 1 minute, take 1 or 2 sheets of paper towel and lay it down on painting and press firmly. When you lift off the paper towel, the spots where water was on the blue paint will come up and reveal the colors underneath. (image below)

***NOTE: steps 3-5 were inspired from Life Book 2013 lessons 
I'm sure this technique has been around for forever, but I first learned it through these amazing ladies. :) Check them out!


Step 6. I felt the background needed some grounding so I added green paint around the borders with a dry brush and dabbed with a paper towel so there wouldn't be a harsh paint line. The green is more vibrant, but this was taken with my cell phone with paint-covered hands!


Ta da!!! Below are some detail images.   



Ooohhhh!!! How fun!

So by this point I had some creative mojo back and continued on with a similar process and made the 4 pages in the title image in under an hour (stopping to take some pics too). Below is one of my favorite pages. Finished, it reminds me of candy... yum...


But here's how it began... What?!?!


Same color palette as before (in fact this was my attempt to use up all the leftover paint on my plate).


I coated it with blue like before and sprayed it with water like before too. 


Here's what part of it looked like after patting off water with paper towel. A lot of the paper towels turn out pretty cool too, so I may turn them into flowers or something in another project. 


And I repeated the above with white paint. I had a ton of it out and it was humid and drying up quickly.


And here's a detail of this yummy page. I hope you enjoyed this and I will be posting the extra technique I did on the other two pages soon. Enjoy!

Be blessed,
:) Ann