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Dreaming From the Journal Page: Transforming the Sketchbook to Art Paperback – May 8, 2012
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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.
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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.
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. For those of you who prefer using stitch as your drawn line you'll find directions for using your sewing machine to draw your images on cloth to create stitched outlines you can add color to later using the techniques from Chapter 3.
The last chapter is the "Throw Downs" chapter and it's here where Melanie encourages you to create journal pages rich with imagery and complexity by combining and layering the techniques that she's covered in the first four chapters of the book. You'll find single, double and triple technique challenges that are designed to help take the guesswork and fear out of where to begin and which techniques to combine with each other. The gallery of Melanie's work at the back of the book is rich with eye candy and is sure to inspire.
Melanie has an easy conversational tone that makes the book an enjoyable and engaging read and the entire book is illustrated with clear, bright, beautiful photographs of step by step directions, examples and artwork. This book is sure to become the one "must have" book for art journalers so whether you're a beginning or experienced art journaler I highly recommend adding this book to you personal library!