Happy Backyard

The next phase of home improvement: Redoing our garden! Actually, our front and back garden which are both rather spacious needed some major changes as we were not entirely happy with what the previous owners had left behind. Beginning of January, we firstly had the the tiles of the patio replaced and the wooden pathway switched to brick paths. Then we plan on getting the entire garden redone with new plants and where possible relocating existing trees. Quite a big project underway! In spring, new flowers will be planted which we are so excited about. And of course I was keen to paint about it, in art journal form, featuring happy me and my smiling boyfriend in the background.

The Start

This piece was not even planned! I merely began by painting a large image of Little One (my alter ego) on one side of the page spread and taking it on from there. For this, I firstly sketched in pencil then filled in the face and hair using small tins of craft watercolors by Prima and Jane Davenport which I use mainly for journaling. Once I was almost done, the thought of our home and backyard came up which I then pencil sketched on the other page.

Painting Both Sides

Once the pencil sketch was done, I filled it in with watercolor as well, this time introducing Kuretake ZIG Clean Watercolor pens. Ecoline inks were then incorporated to intensify the colors more. And as you can see, my BF is there waving as he gets out of the house onto the path. It would have been ideal if we were standing next to each other but I wanted to include the house and enhance the garden too. Besides it is a good change in composition since I usually draw ourselves posing side by side!

Getting Crafty

One of the things I need to start using more often are my stencils, stamps and inks pads. I know these mediums are more for crafting but that should not stop me from incorporating them into my artwork! They were used more often when I first began painting a few years ago and for some time left in my drawers. Here, I thought would be an opportunity to reintroduce them and hence went for some leafy stencils and flowery rubber stamps together with Distress Oxide and Archive Inks, both by Rangers. Best area of course would be where the grass was painted. So pretty!

Finishing Touches

So far so cute isn’t it? To finish of this painting, I added a few stickers and scrap paper as collages, ie., leftovers from previous work. A little mistake was made with the positioning of the Hello Kitty stamp, though, on the pink dress and I had to paint over it with fluorescent pink gouache (Opera by Holbein) and start again. A flower on the corner was doodled in with some copper Relief Paint by Amsterdam for a 3D effect also made possible with some fluorescent green Sennelier 3D Liner for some leaves lying on the ground. Some bits added with Gel Pens and, and we were done. And here we are, another kawaii happy painting of us!

WIth so much going on and us going through some stressful times, painting happy things and writing about it certainly helps. I should do this more often! Art journaling is another way to express my feelings and thoughts in a more quick and spontaneous way compared to say a proper painting. It is also an opportunity to experiment with various mediums and to rediscover ones I haven’t used in years. And now that I’ve gotten the swing of it, I would definitely continue. And of course, we have our new garden to look forward to, don’t we!

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