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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

water color fun

I can safely say I haven't touched water colors since high school art class. But I think I have just found a new love for them.

See, what happened was, I decided it'd be a great idea for Charlie and I to make anniversary presents for each other this year. We started dating five years ago this past July 7th and I thought we should honor the date by exchanging something special. And since I'm flat broke and he has a tight budget now that he has a new apartment, making something seemed to make sense.

From the beginning I knew I wanted to make a book. I really like bookbinding and have gotten better at it since binding all the books for my senior project (nightmare). The only thing I didn't know was what the book was going to contain. I originally thought of some sort of scrap book of things I've collected over the years but couldn't find a good way to go about it. Then I thought of just photos with text. The thought of full bleed photos with text on top bored me to tears though. Then I had the brilliant idea of combining my first two ideas and taking polaroid photos and then sewing them onto the pages combined with text to give it a more scrapbooky feel.

That was my favorite idea. Until I looked up the price of polaroid film. *facepalm*

When I figured out I could just get him a nice gift for the couple hundred dollars the film would've cost, I realized it was time for a new plan. I decided to illustrate the book. This doesn't seem like a problem unless you know how I feel about drawing. I actually do love it, I'm just no good at it. And I totally admire people that are good at it. I'm actually going to save that for another post though because I have too many opinions and complaints for this already growing post. But I'll try to keep it witty and lighthearted, I promise. ;)

So, as I will explain in my I Hate Drawing post, I have big issues with letting loose when it comes to drawing, and not being a totally anal retentive perfectionist. I think I'm getting better at letting go though, and the water colors helped. I've always liked painting because it's not so precise. Unless you're one of those people who makes paintings that look like photos. Which I am not. So I just told myself I'd do a simple sketch of the illustration I wanted and then have fun painting it up.

So far it's coming out pretty much the way I wanted it to. It's very relaxing and mistakes are easily fixed with a few more brushstrokes. It's nothing museum-worthy, but it's exactly what I wanted. Fun, pretty, and easy. We're obviously a little late on exchanging the gifts but I'd rather take the time to do it right than worry about deadlines. It'll kind of be like having a second celebration anyway! :)

So what have you made for special people in your lives? I need more ideas because I do love making things for people. Any inspiration is greatly welcome. :)

Have a great week!


  1. i'm trying to get into book binding - it's challenging at the beginning! but it's fun too :)

  2. Oh my gosh, I love your style! It's so whimsical and cute. You're excellent! :D

    As for me, I do mostly drawing. I can't paint - in any way - so I draw! I'm working on becoming a professional work from home artist. ♥ I draw mostly cartoon inspired pieces, you can see what I do here:

    When Jen and I were long distance and even now, I LOVE making her hand-made cards. I also surprise her and family members with poetry written about them, including a fun haiku!

    I love giving really personalized gifts! ^_^


  3. Kate.. definitely try it! It is challenging at first but there's some amazing stuff online that really helps! I pretty much learned to do a coptic binding just from online tutorials.

    Angie.. I love how you draw people! This project is the first time I simplified how I draw people because I knew if I didn't I'd spend forever trying to perfect them. They're kind of goofy looking but they make me laugh so I guess that works! And you're totally right.. personalized gifts are the best!

  4. you are a creative goddess Jess! what a wonderful job you did, i love it! i wish i could droor but will stay with illustrator for those kinds of things. stick people is the extent of my creativity but how i adore seeing others, like YOU, excel at it.

    wondrous, keep it up! ♥

  5. I love that house! Watercolor is so great, I suck at it but I love to do it. I think if you like it, you should do it. Who knows you may get better! (even though I think those illustrations are just darling!)

    Moe @ est 1839


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