Monday, March 10, 2014

Back again

After our little fright yesterday,  all is safe.  Luckily the weather yesterday was not as extreme as it is today.  It is very hot with a hot wind.  Autumn is still a few weeks away yet, I expect.  The CFA are still working, but it is all under control.  At this time of year, it takes weeks sometimes for fires actually to be extinguished properly,  but we are safe although watchful of course.  Thank you all for your thoughts.

Obviously I did not get around to doing digital drawing this week, but I will get back on the wagon next sunday

Anyway,  I told you I had been bogged down with homework, and my little break each day has been to watch Julie Fei fan Balzer's Webcasts,  which you can see recordings of here.
It was a great series and I loved it.  And as I was thinking about it this morning, I had one of those aha! moments.
In one of the courses,  I had been thinking a lot about landscape and last night whilst I was watching fire watch warnings,  I sketched quite a number of landscape thumbnails.
Here are a few.  I did pages and pages.  I wanted to see what different compositions I could come up with.
Whilst I was watching Julie this morning,  it occurred to me that I could make some little stencils to make little prints of these.  So I did.
Here are some of the images I got.

At this stage I have only got basic landscapes, but later I will add trees and grass and flowers etc in the foreground, but I had to stop because the paint was drying before I could get it on the page.  Too hot!
Here are some more
At least they will be dry when I get back to them, no worries about that!
I did forget to take photos.  You know you get going and everything flies out the window,  but basically here are a few of the shapes of the stencils I created
These are the basic frame shapes I was interested in.  Well used now, as you can see.
Because I was using an altered book backgrounds already slapped on,  I started by stenciling the frame shapes in gesso
Then I   put in some sky with blue paint at different heights and levels  and when that was dry I used some of 
The stencils above to put in the horizon.  I did make a cloud stencil, but I didn't actually like it, so I put clouds in by hand with a bit of gesso.  Lastly,  I put in a green foreground.  
 I also made these - trees and rocks and a few little flowers I cut with a die cutter.  
This will be the next step, to add the foreground elements.  I didn't make grass shapes or bush shapes, because I think it will be easier to put them in with a brush.

I was quite pleased with this result and think it will be a useful tool in my course,  and also in the workshop I will be attending at the Quilt convention next month.
Although I have done landscapes in paint and fabric for many years,  I have never studied the compositions and elements as closely as this and these little stencils will help me create lots and lots of different ideas for new work,  and in a simple and pleasing way, because keeping it simple is the best way,  but you will have to agree,  these are much more interesting than the sketches and are more likely to inspire me!

Happy creating!


  1. Oh so good to see you back. Wow sure sounded like the Santa Ana winds we have here is So CA every year. We live in the middle of the valley so we don't usually get the fire close enough. We only got the threat of an evacuation once. I can understand how intense it can get.
    Glad to have to back and were able to get so much done.

  2. I'm delighted that the huge threat has subsided, at least for the moment. I've always wanted to make my own stencils, but never had the right materials for them. I like your creativity, even in the face of danger.

  3. What a great idea to make landscape stencils!

  4. Very neat post. Thank you for sharing your process and all your landscape photos. I will check out Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's link. Hope you keep safe from all the fire threats and that you get rain and cooler weather.

  5. Glad to hear everything is under control again .... These little landscapes are such a great idea. I really like the composition.


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