Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Art Journal Idea and New Giveaway

The end is in sight…one more job to do and then I'm on summer holidays! As I wait for the rain to subside (last project is weather dependent),  I have some time for my own work.

Sometimes I have a sketch or painting in the art journal I just don't like, rather than live with it I paint it over in black gesso or acrylic.

I can then stamp or stencil on top of it or do something different.

Here I made a sketch in pencil on top of the black and then went over my lines with tacky glue. Let it dry flat.

Now I often do this technique with oil or chalk pastels.  This time let's try something different and use gauche.

Gauche is watercolour that is opaque.  It can be layered and you can put a light colour on top of a darker one, (once that first layer is dry).  If you don't have gauche you can create your own by adding white to your watercolours.  White gauche, sometimes called China White is easy to find at the art supply store and often comes in a watercolour set.  A common question I hear from students is, "How do I use this?"

Mix your colours with white to achieve this chalkboard like look.  Because this is watercolour we can achieve our shading by lifting colour.

Paint in the entire area, let dry and then using a wet brush wet the areas you want to be shaded. Dry your brush on a paper towel and then go in on those areas with the dry brush lifting the colour away.

Here I have lifted the colour from under the eyes.  I can go back in and blend this shading a bit more or add colour back if my shading is too harsh.

I can also add more white for my highlights.

Finally you can add more detail if you wish with pencil, coloured pencil or a white PITT like pen.

I just love this chalkboard like effect but no chalky or oily pastels to deal with in the sketchbook.

Margaret Peot has come out with a new book "The Successful Artist's Career Guide".

I've read a few of these artist guides in my time. They can be kinda of dry and textbook like.  Margaret's is much more engaging.

Filled with artist interviews, a few worksheets and some great art!

The artist interviews are honest and open.

I also found lots of practical advice regarding the 'nuts and bolts' of running an art career.

We artists are often not the best at the business side of things.

I know for myself that accounting, invoicing, inventory, supply purchasing, etc. often seem like they take up way too much of my time but it's all part of being a successful artist.

So if you are interested in winning your own copy of "The Successful Artist's Career Guide" by Margaret Peot do one of the following:

- leave a comment on this post
- email me at
- like or comment on this post on my Facebook page

I'll be doing the draw on Friday June 20th/14 so get your name in soon.
Only Canadian or US residents please.

Thanks Margaret for sponsoring this giveaway, it's a great book.



  1. You have such great art ideas and by following your blog my Kindergarten art program has become much better. I love using different tools and techniques with art ie gesso. The art activities are challenging, multi dimensional both figuratively and literaly. Thank you

  2. I have a daughter pursuing an education in fine arts and as a parent you worry if they will be able to make a living in this field. A book like this would be something good to pass on to her ( after I have had a look!)

  3. This book sounds like just what I need - I've just started selling my art and could use some pointers! Thanks for sharing.

  4. That book might's hard to figure out how to proceed at all!

  5. This is also a great idea for a journal cover!

  6. I have really enjoyed following your blog. Love using some of your ideas with my classes. And I know becoming the owner of Margaret Peot's book, would make my summer holiday, "even happier". Blessings.

  7. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Making a living by being an artist is a great thing. From your post, I think, this is going to be a nice engaging book to read.

  9. This looks really interesting!! I definitely want to read it! I know so many artists who have been thinking about having a serious career in art, I know this book would be great for them as well!

  10. I agree with Cindy! Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. This would be wonderful to win and read, thank you!
    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

  12. This looks like a really interesting book and would love to entered into the draw. I can't wait to try out gauche watercolors too! I've never heard of them but I know my daughter will love this project :)

  13. A question about the gauche; you said to mix with white or china white. Are these watercolor paints or tempera/acrylic. I've often ask about gauche because I've seen it mentioned before but am not totally clear as to what it is.

    Also, would love to own the book!!!!

    1. Hi K Hyman, The white is a gauche paint, a watercolour paint. By adding this white watercolour to other watercolour paint you make the colours opaque, you are creating tints so you get a lot of pastel like colours. Most gauche paint has this pastel like quality. Because it's watercolour it remains water soluble. If you used white acrylic you would still get a tint but the colour would become fixed when it dried and you would not be able to remove it. Hope that helps.