{21 Secrets} Watercolour Playground

21 Secrets
As promised, I’m back with some more of my creations from last year’s 21 Secrets workshop… today I want to share the pages I made following Tammy Garcia’s Watercolour Playground lessons.
Historically, I’m not the biggest fan of watercolour. It annoys me that you need to use certain paper to get a result. It annoys me that it reactivates if you spill something on it (and I do that a lot). Having said that, I actually really enjoyed this class. It’s quite a slow medium to work with, and as I was testing out a few new techniques, I was going extra, extra, slow… which is very therapeutic, especially if you’re a ‘mile a minute’ kind of person like me.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love rainbows? Blending all of the stripes was sooo calming but do you now what wasn’t calming? Watching the cat knock my pain water all over it, and seeing a big white splodge materialize in the middle. Grrrr. I think you can see a few of the water spots in the top corner…)
One of my usual bug bears with watercolours is that they’re just a bit wishy washy… and I have an expensive little set that I never even touch for that reason…. BUT my Crayola set (which was about £5) are so vibrant and lush that I can’t leave them alone now!
Here I went a teensy bit rogue and put my own mark on the lesson by adding lots of doodles and dots… You can’t really tell from this photo, but the white dimensional paint sucked up some of the watercolour and tinted itself – a very cool effect!
This page was a collection of all the different tips and techniques Tammy shared throughout the workshop and I’m not kidding when I say it took me FOREVER. I think I managed to watch the entire second season of Stella while I was working on it!
So what do you think? Am I a watercolour whiz now? You should definitely hop over to Daisy Yellow, Tammy’s blog. It’s filled with fabulous creative prompts, in fact, my first ever art journal page was created as a response to one of them!
Have a great weekend guys, I’ll be back soon 🙂
D x

{Doodle Camp 2013} Part 3

Today I wanted to share the rest of the pages from my Doodle Camp journal:


This page is the equivalent of doodling word vomit – I did completely without thinking or planning, or even really caring about what I was doing next. It’s not necessarily my favourite page to look at, but it was very relaxing to do!


I started this page with a smoosh of ink across the page, and a doodle jump-start provided by Dawn Devries Sokol. After that I just let myself loose with a black pen and voila!


This is my absolute favourite page in the whole book… I just love! All the colours and complete randomness just make me happy 🙂 I also really like the swirly cut out down the side of the page… plus it was just really fun. I could happily fill a whole book with this technique!


This page of journalling blocks was designed to house a bunch of art journal prompts to use in the future (if you have any ideas then leave me a comment below!)

I’ve now shared all the pages from my Doodle Camp 2013 journal (click here or here to see the first two posts) – I have a few more blank ones at the bank for whenever the doodling mood strikes… so have you been up to anything arty this week?

D x

Blog Every Day in November badge

{Doodle Camp 2013} Part 2

So already I have failed in my BEDN ambitions. I had the best of intentions – I had my post sketched out and ready to be typed up but external forces took over… I fell asleep. A combination of work and studying and art workshops and intense Slimming World obsessions conspired to send me off to Hushabye Mountain. I shouldn’t complain really. These self-imposed stressors can have way worse side effects; I get crabby; I start panicking; I lose all motivation; I eat; I glaze over and drown in TV. None are particularly good for me.

There is one technique that I use to de-stress that has never failed me. I unleash the creativity. I’ll choose something that won’t take a lot of time, or space, or materials or effort or brain power, something like doodling, and I’ll just let go for a while. A couple of months ago I took part in a fun mini workshop with Dawn Devries Sokol called ‘Doodle Camp’, so in honour of National Stress Awareness Day I thought I’d share some of the doodles and drawings that left me feeling oh-so-serene:


[A list of things I’d take to Doodle Camp with me]


[Inspired by Nature]


[Dream Destination]


[Playing with Patterns]


[Finding the Doodle]


[Designing an Alphabet]


[Ice Cream Treats]



So are you a fan of the almighty doodle? How do you choose to beat the stress out of your life?

D x

Blog Every Day in November badge

Heart Sight Heart Light

Hellooo! I’ve been a bit lax with posting my art journaling endeavours recently, and I’ve been even more lax about keeping up with the Life Book lessons… I’ll get more efficient I PROMISE but sometimes work and sleep and study just get in the way of everything! The good news is I’ve been given the spare room to turn into an art studio (yay!), and my Saturday tutorial has been cancelled this week, so very, very soon I’ll have a designated creative space with places to store my stash. I’m pretty damn excited, I’m not gonna lie! It’s so much easier to stay inspired if you don’t have to pack everything away once you’re finished using it. Plus, it will be really convenient having somewhere to leave things to dry!

Today I wanted to share the last Life Book page I completed – this one came from Effy Wild’s Heart Sight Heart Light lesson:



I have to say, I’m slightly in love with this background! As a lot of my art stuff is still currently packed up in boxes, I didn’t have any tissue paper to hand, so I had to improvise. I ended up using some paper napkins with a floral design to create the texture, and I really like that in some areas the printed lines shine through. The supplies I used here were so, so simple – my napkin, some glue, two felt tips, some charcoal and a bit of white acrylic (partially because the lesson didn’t ask for too much more, partially because even if it had, I wouldn’t have been able to find anything!) It’s not my favourite page ever, but I wasn’t in a particularly arty mood when I was working on it, so I wouldn’t expect it to be! I’m expecting to be back in my arty swing this time next week, so hopefully have some more pages to share with you then!

D x


Playful Self Portraits

The page I’d like to share with you today is a response to Jane Davies‘ bonus Life Book lesson:



This one was quite fun to do as a ‘warm-up’, on an evening that I wasn’t feeling very creative. The background was a scraping of left over paint from quite a while ago, and the rest was a combination of collage, permanent markers and dimensional paint. Do I love it? No. Does it show any real artistic skill? No. Do I want a hat like that? Yes please.

To be honest the ‘collage body building’ is something I’ve done before, and I definitely prefer it when my face isn’t involved… and my fave lessons tend to be the ones that show me something I’d never have thought of on my own.

I’ll be linking this page up to Art Journal Every Day – don’t forget to hop over and check out the (much more gorgeous) artwork!

D x

Embracing All of You

Happy Friday everyone! And it is a Happy Friday for me – I’ve just had the complete Sky package installed so I have two blissful days ahead, crammed with unlimited box-sets and crime dramas. Heaven! I’ll also be hosting my first ever party in honour of the boyfriend’s birthday (Sunday) which I’m very excited about. Think homemade tacos and jelly shots…

Anyway, today I wanted to share an art journal page from Life Book, the online art course hosted by the magnificent Tam.



This is from one of the lessons of the great lady herself, and is focused around accepting the less delightful parts of your character.

As always there are things that I love, and things that I really don’t. The background has so many layers that can barely be seen in this photo, and I just adore it! The colour palette is a bit wackadoodle, but that’s what I was feeling at the time so I’m not going to complain. The part I’m not too keen on is the figure… these whimsical, doll-like figures are not really ‘me’. I prefer slightly messy, abstracted, doodled on people, but it was fun try out a new style!

Did I mention I now have a designated art room? This makes me so giddy!! For the first time ever I don’t have to hide my art supplies in boxes or under furniture… luxury!

So have you done anything creative this week? (If you have, you should consider linking up to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s Art Journal Every Day post)

D x

A Quirky Picnic

The latest Quirky Crafts challenge is live! This time the theme is ‘A BBQ or Picnic’ (very fitting for this weather, don’t you think?), and was sponsored by Crackerbox Palace; check out their online shop for a great line of rubber stamps.

As design examples for this challenge, I came up with these two art journal pages:


For my first spread I used a ‘spontaneous background’ created when cleaning of my brushes and stamps. The Watermelon from Crackerbox Palace was coloured with normal felt-tips (with a few gel-pen doodles), before being covered with strips of paper from a Mandarin poetry book. I redefined the watermelon and coloured those areas with Prismacolor pencils and then added a gel-pen quote and border (quote reads “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it” – Russell Baker)


I started this second page with a quick sketch – using two felt-tips I drew a picnic blanket kind of pattern before blending with a waterbrush. I coloured the flower (and dots) with Papermania Watercolour Markers and an orange Sakura Souffle pen. The ants were doodled with a PITT pen, and the quote was added using Tipex (and outlined in black).

For more inspiration, and details on how to link up, visit the original challenge post here.

See ya later!

D x

P.S. If you’re a twitter user, use the #abloggers tag to connect with artists, illustrators and other creative bloggers. We’ve also started weekly #ablogger chats, on Wednesdays at 7.30pm GMT, come join in!