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Dreaming From the Journal Page: Transforming the Sketchbook to Art
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Dreaming From the Journal Page: Transforming the Sketchbook to Art [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Testa
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Transform your sketchbook to art!

The artist's journal is a great place to start a library of personal marks, doodles and ideas. The reader is introduced to basics such as choosing a journal and then immediately guided into techniques such as color mixing, drawing and a variety of surface designs. The reader is encouraged to experiment and play in the journal to try out new directions for creating works of art. The art journal becomes the starting point for bigger projects.

In addition to step-by-step techniques for working in a variety of media, each chapter features one or more jumping-off points to show the reader how to move out of the journal and onto an actual project. In the final chapter, Melanie steps out three journal spreads to show how many techniques learned previously are layered and worked together. By using the art journal in this way, the reader learns confidence in developing their ideas into tangible works of art.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melanie Testa is an accomplished textile and quilt artist. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Textile/Surface Design and exhibits her fiber art at various galleries and quilt shows around the country. She is the author of Inspired To Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery (Interweave, May 09). Testa often begins her work by sketching in journals using paint and pens, then interpreting her ideas into her fabric works of art. She teaches workshops at major art retreats and other venues nationwide.

Product Details

  • File Size: 6499 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (April 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IX1V6E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book covers everything you'll want to know about how to begin your art making journey through the pages of your sketchbook. Broken into 5 main categories opening with a chapter on "the what" Melanie starts with a choosing a journal, paints & brushes, pens & pencils, glues and more. You'll find a very helpful chart that cross references techniques with both paper and cloth so you can see at a glance which techniques are compatible with paper or cloth and in some cases both.

Chapter 2 is all about color and she has several fun and easy exercises designed to help you get to know the colors in your paint box and how they interact with each other when mixed. Learn wet and dry techniques for working with watercolor and for those who want to incorporate textiles into their art journaling she has directions for easy low water immersion fabric dyeing techniques that include how to create two color gradations and how to create your own hand dyed color wheel.

Chapter 3 is jam packed with techniques that include working with resists such as frisket and mediums, transfers using tracing paper and saral paper, carving your own stamps and making them from fun foam as well as working with a ruling pen and stencils and more. You'll also find a section on soy wax and how to use it as a resist on both paper and fabric.

There are tips and techniques for drawing covered in chapter 4. She starts with some simple loosening up techniques and learn some easy shading techniques and then moves into some fun and easy drawing exercises that are sure to inspire you to pick up the pencil and start drawing.
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Her work is Amazing May 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Author's style is simply stunning and incredibly original. I am very inspired by her work and the way she views life.

I am giving the book 3 stars because there is nothing particularly new here and it is a technique lightweight.

BUT if you want inspiration and/or you don't already own many mixed media technique books this book is very sweet and will likely make you very happy.

I happen to have many many mixed media books so it isn't really pushing me to further places...

Please do not consider this a negative review. I want to help get this book sold to those who will really appreciate it. If you love eye candy and inspiration and love to collect these lovely books, I do recommend it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Art book May 9, 2012
By L. Chin
I consider myself an intermediate artist. I've drawn for years but am still learning. I feel as if a beginner or advanced artist could pick up Melanie's book and learn something new. Melanie takes you through everything you'd like to know about creating your own art journal. She introduces the reader to the materials they will need (and even recommends inexpensive options for those who still aren't sure if they want to invest a lot of money) , how to work with color, techniques to use and exercises in drawing. Some of the best parts for me are the explanations of different grades of paint (I knew professional grade paints were the best but didn't know why!), and papers, as well as the drawing tips and the challenges that help pull all these skills together to make awesome art. Melanie is an accessible artist who loves to share and help others become better. I think this comes across well in her book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A luscious read, highly recommended. July 10, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just received my copy of Dreaming from the Journal Page, and it is just beautiful. Gorgeous photography on rich, yummy paper. The beauty of the pages, along with the new (to me) and unique techniques (including paper-to-cloth) make this book a keeper for my self-limited bookshelf.

How to choose a journal, best mark-making tools, and different types of glues compose the first part of the book. Color theory and techniques are next, with very easy to understand explanations. Some of my favorite techniques are creating easy and inexpensive resists, different types of transfers, the ruling pen (yay!), collage, stamps, stencils, and soy wax ... the last of which I haven't tried yet.

Finally, there is an excellent drawing section, based on Melanie's own artwork and techniques, and several interesting challenges.

I must take one point off my otherwise 5-star review, only for the small font used. I'm sure this was an editorial decision, not the author's, but these aging eyes need a little larger text, for more comfortable reading.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some original techniques and gorgeous pages September 17, 2012
I already have an enormous amount of books on art journaling, but I keep on buying more as long as the publishers keep on supplying more. Not all of them are of equal quality and not all of them bring something new to the table. Still I keep buying them, because I love art journaling and any new work will still inspire me even if maybe the content does not always offer new information. I guess you could say I'm an art journal book collector and I'm not ashamed to say I will probably be buying many more.

All that said it is always pleasant to see something new in a book on art journaling and I think if there is one real positive thing I'd like to state about Melanie Testa's Dreaming from the journal page it's that she shows some techniques and ideas I'd never seen in other journaling books. I'd say that's a big plus for the book to begin with. Examples of techniques I'd not seen before: soy wax resists, working with a ruling pen or how about information on dyeing fabric. In a journaling book! I think that's pretty cool.

Testa's book can best be viewed as a treasure trove of techniques that we as journalers can use to our heart's content. She gives examples of the single techniques and later on in the book also examples of how to combine two or more techniques into an interesting journal page. And her pages certainly are interesting, or should I say dreamy? I think Melanie Testa may make some of the most beautiful journal spreads I've ever seen.

This however does lead me to some ... no not negative...some lesser points. You can read this book front to back, but you still will not really know how Testa comes to her own beautiful journal pages. I think this is a missed opportunity.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book and excellent service
Published 2 hours ago by Susan salyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 25 days ago by cesar medina
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming
I like this book because it has lots of ideas, many examples and a wide variety of techniques to create a great Art Journal
Published 3 months ago by CU2
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book for inspiration
This is a great book for inspiring you to do art, start a journal, or restart, designing, or making a gift--I could go on and on. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Pugfish
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I am a great admirer of Melanie Testa but this book highly disappointed me... Some pages are totally useless bearing no more than a few words, there are instructions for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paola65
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love this book, it has great pictures and it has a lot of different art ideas that i can't wait to try out. I am definatly going to check out to see if the author has more books.
Published 7 months ago by Janet_M
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money
I could have slapped together the same book In two hours. It was a rip off. Anyone who had taken Art 101 would have learned the same thing on day one of class.
Published 10 months ago by Rachel Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice book
Actually bought it for the kindle and I wish I'd bought it in paperback form instead. It's a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations. Read more
Published 11 months ago by MyLittleBit
5.0 out of 5 stars lots of information
This book is full of great information and exercises to get a person started on the journey. It is a nice place to enter art journaling.
Published 12 months ago by D. Beirwagen
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring a newbie to journaling
I like the easy to understand directions. Also how at the end of the book the author shows how her journal pages inspired other forms of art.
Published 13 months ago by laurie grawl
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More About the Author

Melanie Testa is an accomplished textile and quilt artist. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Textile/Surface Design and has taken many courses from well-known quilt and surface-design artists including Ann Johnston and Jane Dunnewold. She exhibits her fiber art at various galleries and quilt shows around the country. Melanie teaches the techniques used in her art form both locally and nationally. Her articles have appeared in Quilting Arts Magazine, the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) Journal, and on Quilting Arts Television. She lives in Brooklyn New York.


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