Monday Down Time on a new art-track…

Monday Down Time on a new art-track…

Hello there.
Thanks for stopping by.
Having a day off, doing a bit of artwork and clearing the head 
after the Ally Pally exhibition this weekend.
Met up with loads of old crafty friends, met lots of new ones, too.
Made a stack of artwork, and gave most of it away.
I asked these good ladies to pose for this Monday blog

and said that this piece would do for Monday’s art!
And I suppose it would,

except I really wanted to close the gates, shut out the noise,
climb up in my new hideaway above the garage,
 and let my imagination go.
Just like the boy in the picture above.
Monday’s blog is Tree and Flowers.
Here then is a little exercise, using 
 and paper stumps
They work brilliantly together.
Remember the custom inkpads we have been making with 
Well, I have got a stack of them now, for several projects I have done now, so decided to get them out, spritz them with a little water to rejuvenate them, and have a play.

A couple of autumn leaves will do the trick beautifully. 
The silhouettes.
Theuva Card is ideal for this, too.
Lovely smooth stamping card.
Just start using the stamps on the random colourful custom pads

overlap the images, use first and second generation ink,

until the little voice says that’ll do!

This looks really nice just as it is, but let’s keep going.
Let’s get some depth going, and the illusion of overlapping.
Using a Micron pen, start outlining the leaves. Decide which ones are darker, so at the front, and which ones are lighter, so at the back.

See how the leaves are now sitting on top of one another?
What I like is that you can see the leaves underneath through the ones at the front.

Now I want to try something. I was using paper stumps at the weekend with the Spectrum Noir Polychromos pencils.
It occurred to me that they might work really well with charcoal pencils, because when I use my finger to blend the charcoal, I haven’t really got a great deal of control.
I tried it in the corner first, as you do!
Ran the charcoal pencil along the micron pen line, and used a little paper stump in little circular motions to spread the shadow.

 So I outlined all the leaves which would logically cast a shadow if they were sitting on top of another leaf.
This looks a bit iffy, but you know what they say:
Just keep going!!!
I used the little stump first, to smudge the charcoal tight to the line art, then the larger stump to graduate and blend the shadows.
It took a while, but it was very very enjoyable.

If the paper stumps got frayed and dirty, 
I sanded them back to a point with the sanding block.
Which, by the way, is also brilliant for getting a good point on the colouring pencils too.

In the gap I left, this fabulous creative stamp fitted perfectly.
It also really summed up what was going on in my head at the time.
Sometimes I do like my own company, don’t you?
Just to step back and calm the mind. 
Doesn’t take long when I’m colouring in or shading…
The next thing I did was clean up the smudges. 
The best thing for this is the Faber Castell Eraser pencil
You can clean up any smudges and brighten the leaves instantly.
Time to colour in the words.
I sharpened the Spectrum Noir pencils with the sanding block, too.
Saves a lot of pencil!

There are 5 tins of pencils altogether. I love them.
Here, I used the Essential tin.
If you decide you have to have them all, there is a special offer on at the moment.
Buy 4 and get the 5th one FREE

I added a little colour to the leaves with the Spectrum Noirs too.
Why not, the voice asked me…

Now this is where I thought the voice may have been taking me down the wrong path. “Tear the top of the card,” it said…

Then it said, “colour in the torn edge with the pencils!”
And it being Monday, and me being so tired, I had no resistance. 
Just did what I was told!
Then, radio silence. This is what the voice does. 
It fires all these great ideas at me, then clears off!
Black edge required. Sharpie pen with ruler trick.
Spray mount the art on white card.
I really am happy with the Spray mount adhesive Stick n Stay.
Then on black.

I hope you like it. 
I really enjoyed being able to control the charcoal pencils 
with the paper stumps.
Very easy.

So have a great Monday – what’s left of it.
lots of love,
PS The winner of the Bespoke Stamp is:
Tracie Carmody
(email us your address, and we will send you the order form, Tracie)
One more thing.
May I just say how much I appreciate that you read this blog of mine. It makes it very important for me to do it, because I know you are going to read it.
Thank you 

66 thoughts on “Monday Down Time on a new art-track…

  1. Lovely artwork, as usual. I love the 3 D effect using light and shade. Long may you continue, Barbara, I love your blog, and lookforward to reading it every day. Enjoy the rest of yours, and we'll catch up again tomorrow. X

  2. I received a little lecture the other day from my granddaughter who has just started Art A level. She was saying that I must always use a paper stump to blend my colouring because of the moisture on our fingers. So now all I need are the pencils and some stumps. Lovely piece of work, I do love the autumn colours. Hope you get some rest today after what was most likely a hectic few days. xx

  3. Well my flabber is gasted, what a beautiful project…… I have my voucher sat on the mantle and there are a few things here it could go towards that I haven't got already, like the charcoal pencils and the paper stumps (what funny objects) and then the eraser and sand block… I know if I search a bit I'll find some cut and dry and now I know what to use it for!! I love the colours and the effect so will be having a go.

    Have made the decision to give up work in March and will have more time to play then too !!

  4. Barbara I love to read your blog every day! In fact on a selfish note I hate when your late! But I do understand how hard you work and that sometimes I have to wait. It's learning all the new things re the paper stubs and how to use these things and all your beautiful artwork . I've always loved art but not being a drawer all your teachings , stamps and stencils allow me to try and do a little bit! Okay I'm not great but that's not what it's about, it's the enjoyment of doing it and the pleasure I get when something turns out reasonable is fantastic. So I thank you kind lady for this learning blog of yours that I love to read every day, and I hope it goes for a long time xx

  5. Another fabulous technique Barbara. I may not always comment, but I always read your blog. I love my daily clarity inspiration. Thank you so much. Laurane xxxx

  6. Amazing! I love projects that just use one stamp and lots of different colours, and somewhere I have one of your leaf stamps….Have had a lovely morning spending the money from my voucher and browsing on your website and now eagerly await my parcel arriving so that I can play on my next days off. Hope you have a lovely day up in your loft space taking some time to relax after your busy, busy weekend, Susan x

  7. I love this card, very artsy and fun, like you. So sad to have missed the show, but another one will come along. I love reading your blog, thanks for doing this every day xxx

  8. I am definitely going down the old creative shading route right now, so this was perfect for me. That sanding block looks great, will be ordering that, and them paper stub things and rubbers. This is my kind of colouring in, where it can still be arty and shading with a rubber, well I had forgotten about that. Wonder if the Sanding block would be good with the GP to? I love this card Barbara – my head does the same as yours, it kind of leaves me in the lurch!!xx

  9. Lovely Barbara, the colours you have chosen are not too dark and overlap beautifully, and the charcoal pencil idea gives it that extra bit of punch, and then that perfect sentiment. Nobody does it like you! x

  10. Really beautiful card, love this layered look. Thank you for taking the time to write your blog everyday! It is a pleasure to read it. Sometimes my computer plays up and will not let me comment but rest assured I read every day without fail. You are a true inspiration to me and many more people not just in this country either! I hope you feel very proud of the group of Clarity friends you have nurtured and developed over the years. Love Donna XX

  11. Barbara, your blog is my daily fix and the day starts when its read and digested. This I will try to have a go as I have all of the bits, blow housework, blow ironing (which actually should be done) blow everything, our teacher says go, so I going to craft are an inspirational mojo to us all,take care, rest up after the weekend now having to wait for your monthly Sunday show.

  12. Hello Barbs! Another stunning card. I also look forward to your daily blog but would like to inform you that your influence sometimes goes further than you may think! After exitedly waking and getting ready for my ally pally trip yesterday we were sidetracked by my friend's neighbour who was having a real mental health crisis. Somethings are really more important than ally pally. We eventually arrived at about 1:30pm, I dashed straight over to stand 2 but alas no Barbs and no Dee! My friend (a non crafter) suggested we have a quick look round and return later, sensible. By this time we were also in need of a seriously strong coffee, sit down and a pee! We dashed round and just as we were deciding where to have the coffee and pee I spotted your good self demonstrating the gelli. Off I dashed, my friend in tow. It was at this point you decided to introduce us to Jan and her unfortunate incident whilst going to the loo! Needless to say our need to pee was somewhat hastily revised! Thankyou from two crossed legged ladies! Also thanks to the lovely Dee for explaining the difference between alcohol and distress inks. I will make fool proff plans next time.

  13. Hi Barbara, another stunning card. I may not always comment but I do always look forward to reading your blog. There is always a smile, inspiration or something to ponder on. I really don't know how you manage to pack so much into life, but it is good to have some quiet time of your own now and then. Thank you for taking the time to share 🙂 x

  14. Hi Barbara what a wonderful card ive got the spectrum noir pencils they are brilliant and what a brilliant offer too ,your blog is part of my daily routine rest up tomorrow is another day xxx

  15. Gorgeous piece of artwork. I haven't got the paper stumps yet (treated myself to 2 of the tins of pencils) as I wasn't sure what to do with them but now I know what they are for I'll go and get a pack.
    Thank Barb.
    PS I read your blog every day and I really enjoy it. I don't leave a comment very often – sorry. Will do more often.

  16. Oh Barb, I did forget to breath for a minute while I got all flushed and excited at winning one of your bespoke stamps. I am beyond happy and pleased and excited and all the wonderful adjectives you can think of……. thank you so so much for picking me. I will give Jo a huge hug to pass on to you when you next see her :o))))))) xx

    Loving the blog. I must admit, the shading is what I really must try to master. You have made those leaves look 3D, it's incredible! WOW I don't have a stump therefore will invest. I bought a tin of the SN pencils a few weeks back, now I should really use them… thanks for the inspiration as always

    I love your blog, it is actually my favourite and the one I go to for inspiration. I love looking through your previous blogs, it will take me a long time to go through them all and really take them in, but I will enjoy every single minute..


  17. Your blog is the first I check each day, I follow a few so don't always stop to comment as wouldn't get any work done, love your art work and refreshing blog style
    Jane x

  18. I was show that trick with th charcoal pencils so had been out got a pack of them very handy love this beautiful autum card love seeing the colour of the leaves change tis time of year. Lovely bed today's blog thanks again xxx

  19. A lovely piece of artwork Barbara, I bought this leaf set at Catterick, so will have to have a go at this, I am rubbish at shading, definitely need the pencil erasers though, hee hee.
    I don't comment all the time but I surely do read your blog everyday, I just love it, you always put a smile on my face, its how you phrase your write ups that make me laugh, I just wish I had 10% of your talent, wit and outlook on life. Just keep blogging, we would truely miss you if you stopped. Michelle XXX

  20. Just reading all these comments makes me realise how much everyone loves reading your blog Barbara. There is always so much inspiration and I just wish there were enough hours in the day to be able to try them out! I couldn't get to Ally Pally but do hope to see you at the NEC in November.

    Look after yourself and let Dave spoil you as you so richly deserve to be spoilt for all the joy you bring everyone with your daily blog.

  21. Wow Barbara this is amazing! What a great way of spending time. Look after yourself as you've had some very busy weeks. I bet the holiday with Grace can't come quick enough. Thanks so much for your blog, I look forward to reading everyday. It's also great to see that you have the spectrum noir accessories too – I really enjoy using the pencils. Hope you have a lovely evening xx

  22. Hi Barb,
    This is fabulous. I love the sense of depth that you have achieved with the charcoal. The colours are gorgeous – very autumnal ( my favourite season). I will have to get the charcoal pencils and then I can have a go at this as I have everything else. I love your blog, I have learned so much from it ,along with the classroom and Catterick. All I can say is thank you so much for taking some of your precious time to write it everyday. Love Alison xxx

  23. Well Good Evening Barbara
    Am still gutted I did not make it to Ally Pally…was so looking forward to catching up with you 🙁

    Anyway less time dwelling on what didn't happen and more on your art work of today – love it!!! and how relaxing that must have been for you today – just the very job!!!

    Looks like you have a wonderful weekend – so make the most of your rest – hope you managed a walk along that old railway line today – been a lovely day today

    Much Love
    Kim xx

  24. Hello Barb – well what can I say except absolutely beautiful, amazing colours, and just so many ideas rushing through my mind. Glad that the show, although busy was good, lovely pic of the ladies. Well done Tracie. And thank you Barb for so much inspiration and for sharing your time with us.Bx

  25. Yet another stunning card with great techniques. I look forward to reading you blog every day, as it's so inspiring and makes me laugh. I really appreciate all the extra time you spend sharing all your techniques and adventures!

  26. What a lovely project and I'm so glad you had a nice time playing. I've been crafting this afternoon too. I love your blog and reading it is one thing I do every day, so thank you!

  27. Great ideas, now I know why my cut and dry was nt working so well, thanks Barbara. In love with my charcoal pencils, haven't tried them with paper stumps yet but will do. Your blog is read religiously every day. Comments don t always work so please don t think it's because I haven t read it. Compulsive viewing while unwinding while in the bath after work… now! Trick is not to drop the iPad 😱

  28. Hi Barbara,
    I love reading your blog, its my fix for the day! Lovely card, especially the beautiful blend of colours you get from using the handmade ink pads and of course your getting double duty out of your stash.
    Rest up after a busy weekend, looks like you had fun with my mates from the Clarity East Midlands group, looking forward to seeing what Saz has for us!

  29. this is really great. love this concept. looks awesome. it's good to be with yourself at times. and you know that voice of yours sure knows what it s saying! not like the ones at work….. oops….. hugs xx

  30. Stunning card, beautiful colours, Barbara. I'm a great fan of pencils (Faber Castell) and paper stumps but must now try charcoal pencils too. Enjoy your winding down.

  31. Hello Barb. You are a little bit of crafty sanity in a mad world! I too have had a quiet day today after giving a party for sixty 18 year old for my daughter. Just about recovered now and happy to see what you've been up to. What a lovely idea for smudging charcoal. Must give it a go. Glad you had a restful weekend 🙂 xx Margaret Col.

  32. Hi Barbara. This is beautiful and I can see why you were absorbed in it today- what a great way to relax after your busy weekend. I like the technique with the charcoal and paper stubs, what depth. My daughter has got an electric eraser (I know how posh!) think it's by Derwent which she uses to add shading etc, her art teacher loved it!! Thank you for your daily blog, you make me think, you make me laugh, you make me want to try new things and you make me want to have everything! It's a great blog and I try to read and comment every day, so you know there are people out there. I hope you have had a relaxing day and the chilly morning and evening doesn't deep into your new loft room. Take care and sleep well. Love Diane xxx

  33. Loved the leaves and the card. Can't buy the leaves today, going on a 'jolly' (holiday) with my other half, be back in time for Port Sunlight. I'll add them to my list to buy, and hope that I don't weigh the car down too much with my purchases.

  34. I think Blogger and Facebook have both got it in for me today. I will try again. I may not have been very good at leaving comments just lately, bu I have definitely been reading it each day and loving it all. The varied and soft colours of those leaves are so beautiful and added to it one of my current favourite sentiments. Then you add my favourite charcoals (let's face it, I love all things Derwent) to produce those subtle shadows. Beautiful! xxx Maggie
    PS don't forget you have one of those gorgeous electric erasers from Derwent which can get into the tiniest space to remove even a tiny dot. xxx Maggie

  35. I generally read your blog in the evening, or sometimes when I go to bed, but I do read it every day. It gives me much enjoyment, makes me smile, and gives me that happy feeling of having spoken with a good friend. I love today's art work, love Autumn, love leaves. I have all the required tools, apart from the leaves stamps, and I'm off to rectify that right now x

  36. Love it! Autumn is my favourite time of year, just love the colours and you have captured it perfectly.
    I lose the hours when I escape to my tiny craft room (so jealous of your mew space).
    Thanks Aileen x

  37. WOW ! Superbly stunning piece of art if I may say .
    I love how you bring things alive with light and shadow and I am still working hard to teach myself the art of shading etc. all your hints , tips and guidance are so helpful and much appreciated.
    As to your comment about you appreciating us all reading your blog , I wish I could put in to words how much I apprechiate your time and care in doing it as it is the one bit of my day that makes me smile and gives me some inspiration away from work and helps me grow in my approach to my crafting – you are food for the heart, soul and mind .

  38. Barbara that is just beautiful!
    I need a play day or two where I can just get all my arty stuff out! Won't be too soon! But here's hoping it won't be too far away!
    Love and hugs to you xxx

  39. Wow, that's really lovely, the colours are great and no two would ever be the same would they! I have been really busy so have missed reading your blog everyday but then I can enjoy reading lots all in one go to catch up!Wxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *