Inspired by Jane Davenport

Art Journal page inspired by Jane Davenport
Art Journal page inspired by Jane Davenport

As crafters, we are always inspired by something or someone. For me, most of my creative inspiration comes from YouTube, in which I curate my subscription to follow people who constantly inspire me. I think that is very important, because when you are in need of a creative fix, you won’t be stuck watching videos that don’t engage with the creative part of your mind. Even though I believe that it’s good to have more and varied sources of inspiration (following people with different artistic style and yet still calls out to you for example), I also believe it is equally important to simplify: Don’t just mindlessly absorb everything, but pick only those you really enjoy.

Sometimes though I don’t get enough creative fix from my subscription, because I’m devouring content faster than new content uploads. Hence I would browse the home page, where YouTube selects recommended video based on your video watching history. Watching some of this recommended videos once in a while can a rather refreshing change and might also expose you to new channels that you might want to subscribe.

Today’s post in all about being inspired by Jane Davenport. I do enjoy her style quite a bit, which is beautiful but she is not someone I follow because she’s a art supply junkie, and her method of using many different specific art supplies don’t really resonate with me because I don’t have half the things she uses. But nevertheless, watching her videos once in a while is still enjoyable and rewarding.

This is the video that I was inspired by, in which Jane Davenport uses inktense and gesso to create soft pastel looking yet bright colours. My entire page is done using the particular technique, using mostly my inktense blocks and watercolour pencils. I find that the Inktense blocks gives brighter and more intense colours when mixed with gesso, while watercolour pencils are much lighter and more pastel-y. It could be the amount of pigment that is applied to the page though, because my watercolour pencils are the normal craft grade ones from Staedtler. But other wise, the outcome is rather similar. (Compare the clouds which were done with Inktense, and the blue lines on the dress which were done with watercolour pencils.)

I used the same technique with my Neocolor II crayons as well just to see how the colours will look and how they compare with these two watersoluble medias. The results are pretty similar as well. Moral of the story is this: try new techniques you learn with a variety of similar mediums! (In this case, it would be watersoluble media.)

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Rethinking your supplies

If you have noticed through this blog, watercolour is one of the most go-to medium I use, because it’s quick to set up and easy to clean up. All I need to do it to open the lid to my pan watercolours, uncap my water brush and voila, I can do whatever I want. And to clean up, I just need to scribble off the paint on my waterbrush somewhere and then leave the watercolour pans to dry.

I own a basic set of Reeves’ watercolour, with just 12 colours. Which doesn’t really matter to me because I can mix my own colours, and I’m getting better at mixing the colours I want. (It’s also a good way to force myself to learn colour mixing through trial and error and practicing.) But recently, I’ve been getting into a dilemma, for while I can mix almost any colours under the sun with my watercolours, I am unable mix every shade under the sun. I find that with my set of watercolours, I am unable to mix bright colours, something that I am rather attracted to right now from other artists such as Amy Tangerine and Wilna Furstenberg. I really tried, but I can’t seem to mix the bright colours that would resonate with my heart. Both of them uses pan watercolour too, and judging from the pictures I see of their watercolour, their pans originally comes in those bright colours. And so, these couple of days I have been contemplating getting a set of watercolour that has these bright colours and wondering where best to get them.

But earlier today, I had a serendipitous moment. I pulled out my incomplete scrapbook page from last week (I often leave them half complete when I feel like things are not going smoothly or when I get tired), and was intending to work on the title. It’s the last element to be added to my page, and I was contemplating between hand stitching or watercolour scripting but decided on watercolour in the end because as I said above, it’s a lot easier and more convenient. It’s a nice pastel paper from one of Dear Lizzy’s old collection, and I wanted a colour that would match it.

And so I set about mixing a teal green like colour between my blues and greens, but again, couldn’t get the right shade I want. Feeling frustrated and puzzled, I thought to myself why it is so difficult to mix a teal with my watercolours when I don’t have that much of a problem with my inktense blocks? And *ding* there comes my serendipitous moment – I can mix bright colours with my inktense!! It’s so simple I’m hitting my head as to why I didn’t think of it earlier. And so, I took out my inktense block and started mixing, and the title was done just a little while after it.

So learn from my mistake! The point here is, I guess, to have a better grasp of your supply, and that’s it’s always ok to mix supplies around. In this case, watercolours and inktense are both wet media that can work together or in place of each other. And thus lesson learnt now! That there are other medias that I already own that allows me to mix my bright colours. And also feeling happy now that I can do that. ^^