Keeping a Watercolor Diary

This week, I show you my Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and share a bunch of art journaling ideas for watercolors.

Art journaling with watercolors. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her Moleskine journal, full of ideas!

I call my sketchbook a watercolor diary because it has become more than just storage of watercolor sketches. I have recorded many everyday moments and memories into it, and it has become a companion that is always easy to pick up and spend time with.

Watercolor Diary – Watch the Video!

I have included a lot of sample pages in this blog post but watch this recording of a live broadcast to get more out of them!

About 17:30 I talk about daffodils, but I mean dandelions, sorry!

Watercolor Diary – Sample Pages

Here are the pages of my art journal showed in the video.

Familiar Place

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Long Path

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Everyday Observation

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Story of a Flower

This should read “Dandelion”, not “Daffodil”!

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

This Place Looks Like That Place

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Inner vs. Outer

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Travel Memories

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Inspiring Cultures

Watercolor art journal spreads by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Souvenirs from the Land of Imagination

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Trip to the Museum

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Organizing the Order

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Abstract Garden

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Flowers in the Wind

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Abstract Buildings

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Kneeling Down, Looking Up

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Image Collection

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Focusing on the Air

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor collage by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Making a Pair

Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Crazy Journaling

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Watercolors and Colored Pencils

Watercolor art journal page by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Rainy Day

Rainy Day. Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Morning Dew

Morning Dew. Watercolor art journal spread by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her watercolor diary for more ideas!

Take Yourself on a Picturesque Watercolor Journey

My class Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach.

Watercolor Journey, an online watercolor art class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!

Connect the dots between watercolor techniques and creative expression – Sign up for Watercolor Journey!

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as a Watercolor Diary

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

In 2015, I recorded one of my most popular free videos called Farewell to Summer with Watercolors. At that time, I was practicing basic watercolor techniques and wanted to see how they would fit with the process of following a reference photo.

Paivi Eerola and her watercolor painting.

Now when I am preparing for the new class Watercolor Journey, I went to my archive and looked at that piece again. I was interested in the actual location more than the techniques – how our front garden had changed during the years and seasons, and also: how it’s going to change as we currently have big plans for the garden.

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an Art Journal

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

This spring, I have realized that there can be a straight-forward but hooking connection between watercolor painting and memory keeping. I picked up an old Moleskine Watercolor Notebook and started making little watercolor sketches that record either the outer or the inner world. This kind of creative play between the reality and the imagination make the most out of watercolors and their many techniques.

Moleskine Watercolor Notebook as an art journal. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

My watercolor diary – as I now call it – is not just a technique sketchbook. It’s a nonlinear expressive journal that is sometimes very grounded, other times more other-worldly. I have a couple of rules that I try to follow on every page:
1) Don’t pencil-sketch the page before painting.
2) Get creative and let loose in one way or another.

Live Broadcast – Keeping a Watercolor Diary

Next week, on June 13, I am showing this small art journal and sharing some ideas on what to put on the pages. Come and join this live broadcast, save your spot here!

Keeping a Watercolor Diary, a live broadcast about creating art, June 13, 2018

Watercolor Journey – Early-Bird Sale Ends on June 10th!

Before we meet, do sign up for my new class Watercolor Journey before the early-bird sale ends on June 10th (midnight, PDT)! Watercolor Journey is especially for you who admires traditional watercolorists but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach. If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class!

Watercolor Journey, an online art class by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet

Connect the dots between watercolor techniques and creative expression – Sign up for Watercolor Journey!

New Class: Watercolor Journey!

Resort of Imagination. A watercolor painting by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her class Watercolor Journey for expressive watercolor techniques!

I am excited to launch a new class called Watercolor Journey!  It will start on July 1st but do sign up now because there’s an early-bird sale going on!

Why This Watercolor Class?

This watercolor class is especially for you who admires traditional watercolor paintings but who wants to be more loose and contemporary in your approach. If you find sketching, perspective painting, careful shadowing and copying boring, but want to learn tips and tricks to let watercolors do half the work for you, you don’t want to miss this class! Watch the video and see more information here!

Art Community for July-September Included!

This watercolor class automatically includes the access to my art community Bloom and Fly as well. In addition to the course material, you will also get access to the lively Facebook group with weekly feedback events, and monthly live sessions.

 

 

Gelli Plate Meets Fine Art – Monoprinting Ideas for Art Lovers

Nostalgia, an acrylic painting using a Gelli Plate on the background. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog post for more Gelli printing ideas!

Old paintings are full of nuances and flow that we often don’t see when focusing on the subject only. This week, I am a rebel and use a Gelli plate for bringing up those elements. The Gelli Plate, like any mono-printing tool, is a bit clumsy for adding details.  But also full of potential because you can easily produce repeated motifs that are not exactly similar. It enables you to add diversity and uplifting rhythm to your art without extra efforts.

Gelli Plate Meets Fine Art – Watch the Video!

This video is a replay of a live broadcast where I am sharing my secrets about the process.

I also include the images and the summary here in this blog post so that you can more easily refer back to these instructions.

Project 1 – Expressive Portrait on White Background

Supplies: Gelli Plates (mine are 8 x 10 and 3 x 5 inches), watercolor paper, brayer, brushes, any blunt stick, acrylic paints, glazing liquid (or gel medium).

Gelli printing ideas by by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog post for how to create fine art with a Gelli plate!

This project started by intuitively adding layers with a Gelli plate on a white watercolor paper.

Gelli printing techniques by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

My only intention was to make a mess that has enough diversity so that I could see something appearing.

Gelli printing techniques by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See how she finished this project!

The big spot looked like woman’s face to me, so I made a stencil by quickly sketching one on paper.

Drawing a stencil for Gelli printing. See how she continued this project with a Gelli plate!

I added more elements and shadows, so that worked one area at the time.

Monoprinting ideas and techniques by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog for more ideas and the finished pieces!

When the big elements were in their places, I changed to a smaller plate and added more details.

Using a small Gelli plate as a stamp. See Paivi Eerola's blog post for more ideas and instructions!

Here’s the monoprint before I changed to painting with brushes.

A monoprint in progress. See how this project was finished!

Using Botticelli’s Madonna of the Book as a loose reference, I painted the face and some details with fine brushes and thin layers.

Painting on a Gelli print. See the blog post for more info! By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s the close-up of the face. I realized that the eyes look to a bit different direction, but I didn’t want to change that because this piece is called Nostalgia. I think it’s a mixed feeling because then we are admiring the past, but at the same time, being sad that there’s no way to travel back in time.

A detail of Nostalgia, an acrylic painting using a Gelli Plate on the background. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog post for more Gelli printing ideas!

Here’s the full painting again.

Nostalgia, an acrylic painting using a Gelli Plate on the background. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See her blog post for more Gelli printing ideas!

Do you like this one? The original piece is for sale in my shop!

Project 2 – Floral Still-Life on Black Background

This piece started by adding a layer of black gesso on a watercolor paper. I had a clear goal from the very beginning – to create a floral still-life honoring Dutch Golden Age paintings from the 17th century. I also wanted to use Gelli plates only and see if it’s possible to create a detailed piece by mono-printing only.

Monoprinting tools, techniques and ideas. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

The first layers were very subtle and translucent. The idea is to build depth by slowly increasing the brightness of the mono printed layers.

The beginning of a monoprint. See how this piece progressed! By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Like in the previous project, many layers only had few elements. I like how detailed they look when adding lines with the stick on the plate.

Flowers and leaves on a Gelli Plate. See the blog post for more monoprinting ideas and how this piece was finished. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I also made a paper stencil for this project. At this point, I changed to a smaller plate.

Using a hand-cut paper stencil with a small Gelli plate. See how this floral still-life came out! By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I used paler and darker tones of pink to make a flower. It’s also handy to stamp the same flower several times.

Monoprinting flowers with a small Gelli plate. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See how this piece was finished!

Dots and splashes of paint all add up. I also like to use cotton cloth for making a sharp edge to a free-form shape.

Gelli printing ideas and techniques by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

When using a little too much paint, it forms “skins” that look like intricate leaves. It was also fun to add a surface pattern to a vase.

Paivi Eerola's still life in progress. She made this with Gelli Plate only!

I used dark browns and black to tone down some elements, and white to highlight others.

Adding finishing touches to a Gelli print. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

Here’s one of my favorite details:

A detail of a painting made with Gelli Plate only! By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See the process pictures!

Another one, showing how the vase glows.

A detail of a painting made with a Gelli Plate only. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. See how she made this from start to finish!

Here’s the finished piece in full size:

Old Holland by Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet. Made with Gelli Plate only!! See the blog post for process pictures!

What next?

Continue to create with Paivi: Subscribe to my weekly emails
Learn the basics of mono-printing and create your visual wonderland: Buy Collageland
Stop the stiffness – let Paivi help you to move forward: Join Bloom and Fly

Subscribe to Paivi’s weekly emails – Get a free mini-course Loosen Up!