Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - student project

I'm adding lots of notes and personal observations so apologies for all of the words if you're here just to see pictures! :)


Day/Page 1. "Currently Listening To" -drawn at the dining table, mid morning

Feeling pretty rusty but decided just to go for it and not sketch anything out. 

I ended up liking my color choices and loose drawing of the owls. 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 1 - student project



Day/Page 2. "Recently I Learned"- drawn at the park on a blanket, afternoon

Felt a little nervous again about messing up the whole page but excited to get started. Decided to try drawing a person and spent several minutes picking out a limited color palette based on the subject matter. Again, went for it without sketching because being totally accurate didn't feel like the point of this page. Wanted to concentrate on the colors and problem solving pertaining to the composition as I went. 

The composition isn't great but I'm ok with that and also proud of myself for drawing the face without sketching first. Big deal for me to accept the results without judging too harshly. I kind of like the weird color combo. Drawing on a blanket is uncomfortable!

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 2 - student project



Day/Page 3. "Creating With"- drawn at the dining table, late night

I always forget how much I love drawing with markers until I stop for a while and then use them again and have that surprised feeling. Not just the feel of the pigment spreading out on the page, but I actually like the built in limits of not being able to re-do things and being forced to be more accepting of the results.

I decided to experiment with sketching this one out first to see if I ended up with a better composition. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it, just lightly drew in with a pencil. One of my goals for this project is to just create more. The way I'm going to achieve that is to stop thinking so much and just take "action in the face of uncertainty" (part of a Jonathan Fields quote that I read in an Austin Kleon book).

I'm happy with my color combination. I did not stress about it, just grabbed a green that I liked and quickly picked a couple more to go with it, aware that I needed some different values to keep it interesting.

All day I had simultaneously been looking forward to working on this page  and nervous to start. I got in the zone pretty quickly even though it was late and I was tired and started to really enjoy it. I think my brain really needed to do this to destress from all of the political chaos on my mind as well as life's usual pressures. I'm really looking forward to Day 4.

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 3 - student project



Day/Page 4. "Latest Reading Material"- drawn on the sofa, night

It was a long day and I felt myself procrastinating starting this page. I was already a day behind so I knew I had to do it or I'd get way off track with this challenge. I had to remind myself it didn't matter how it turned out, just that I kept up my momentum of showing up got it done.

I like the colors I used. The ochre feels earthy and I like it with the pink and I feel like there is enough contrast to keep it interesting.

Lettering is not my thing so that felt challenging.

I think adding the glasses, earbuds and magazine cover kept it from being too rectangular.

I like the stylized look of the glasses. I've been trying to un-train myself from automatically drawing things realistically. 

I didn't sketch this first so I think it turned out ok considering. Overall, I'm happy with it and proud of myself for just doing it. 

 Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 4 - student project


Day/Page 5. "Ingredients to My Mess"- drawn on the sofa, morning

I was just waking up and drinking my coffee when I started this. I felt a little stressed making this due to the subject matter and my uneasiness with my color choices. Choosing colors can be challenging for me. I am going to keep trying odd combinations just to see what I come up with, even though that's uncomfortable.

I don't like the colors. The swatches looked better than the end result. The yellow and aqua are too close in value and the berry color looks harsh and garish by contrast. I think I needed a better medium value for it all to blend better. In real life, the yellow is more of an orange and looks slightly better with the aqua than it does here.

My other challenges were the pan (how to color it- more solid? still not sure) and the lettering. My black brush pen was running out of ink and I found my spare at the very end. I also smeared some lettering because I forgot putting alcohol based markers over water based can do that.

Overall, I like the hobnail glass and the paper bits and I'm glad I added a little bit of humor to the paperwork and receipt (even if it's only funny to me). I don't love how this turned out but I learned from it, so that's important. 

A big reason I'm doing this class is to challenge myself to be consistent with making and accept the results when they don't meet my expectations. If I want to grow as an artist, I have to stop letting that disappointment become a roadblock and source of fear that prevents me from immediately showing back up and making something else. 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 5 - student project



Day/Page 6. "Daily Routine"- drawn on the sofa, morning 

I wasn't sure about this color combination about 15 minutes in, but in the end I think I like it. I like that this page made me think about whether or not I was choosing what I was doing with my time or letting it just happen. I think I need both to be happy and healthy and productive.

I like the combined elements of un-outlined color shapes and unfilled thin black line shapes (I will try that more often). I don't like the sofa drawing but I do like the french press and sketchbook.

I squeezed in the two negative things - stress eating and screen time- because it was important to me to be realistic and honest.

I did not spend as much time on this page as some of the others and that was my goal. I wanted to see if I could create something satisfying in a shorter amount of time even if that meant less planning and details. I'd like to limit my time even more to see what happens. 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 6 - student project



Day/Page 7. "Current Cravings"- drawn on the sofa, night time 

I have fallen a little behind due to not feeling well and lots going on. This particular night I caught up on two pages, days 7 and 8.

On earlier pages, I didn't watch the time at all but since I knew I wanted to finish two pages tonight, I tried to loosely limit myself. I think I took a little less than an hour from the time I gathered my stuff and finished, including some small interruptions.

I chose the color combo based on knowing I'd need to draw lettuce, orange juice and the sun/sky and I like the way the shades came together.

I also used more stylized lettering that I've used before in my work and I like the fun tone it created.

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 7 - student project



Day/Page 8. "I Keep Wearing"- drawn on the sofa, late 

I chose this color combination one day recently, not intending it for a specific page. I used it here because it was one less decision and I love it. The mix of light, medium and dark is just right (to me).

I like the mix of lettering and the composition.

I added some squiggly lines and hearts because it seemed like there was too much white space at the bottom. Actually I don't think there was; I should have taken a break before adding the final details. Now it looks like the cardigans are smelly trash with flies hanging around- lol! But it doesn't bother me too much.

There was also a moment when I thought I had ruined the earrings which were looking pretty good. I added the black outline around the smaller disc and regretted it. At the risk of over-working things, I added the white gel pen and was happy to see that helped salvage it.

I have a hard time deciding when to outline something with black and when to leave it as a solid color. I'm still working that out in my style and it's just going to take more practice.

I am noticing every time I sit down to work on these journal pages that I feel nervous and (usually) excited, and as I get into the illustration, the nervous feeling melts away for the most part. I feel a sense of satisfaction that I'm completing things more regularly and I know it's helping shape my ability and character as an artist.

I think I heard Dylan say something about being persistent even if you haven't been consistent and that speaks to me where I am right now.

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 8 - student project



Day/Page 9. "Self Care Necessities"- drawn at the dining table, late morning 

It probably seems weird that I'm recording where I drew these but I want to see if it helps me understand where and when I create the best.

I never thought about my self care necessities before, so again, I love the way this journal challenge encourages me to think about not just my art, but also life!

I don't have strong feelings about this page. I like the glass on the candle, the pillow crease and the soft color palette. 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 9 - student project




Day/Page 10. "Grocery Run"- drawn at the dining table, night

This was a fun page! The color palette really surprised me. It's not a typical choice for me but I chose it based on the subject matter and I like the way it worked out. I keep trying to have an open mind.

I also just like the way all of the elements came together, including the stylized food and lettering. I'd like to try illustrating more food.

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 10 - student project 



Day/Page 11. "Favorite Corner"- drawn at the dining table, morning

(The photograph has a weird tan color cast because I took the photo inside in on a cloudy day.)

I spent a lot of time on this page. It felt very personal and included some sentimental items and I felt this inner responsibility to represent them in the best way possible. Also, I was intimidated by drawing the lamp pattern! I think it may have worked a little better to have been looser with the pattern and not fill in all of the geometric lines but I was distracted by getting them accurate. I think this is something I do a lot. Trying to make things accurate can be a road block for me so that's part of why I'd like to develop a more stylized approach to use when I feel like it. I think I could move faster and make more art if I'm not worried about getting every little detail exactly right.

I went back to sketching this out first, after not pencil sketching the last few pages. Actually, I drew the whole scene as it was in the room and decided not to use that drawing so I went back and just pulled the main elements. I found on the other pages I liked it best when there was variation it the sizing- some big, medium and small.

I was afraid to crowd the page so I didn't add any extra wording on this page but I think it would be nice to point out some of the special things, like the Wandering Jew plant that my daughter propogated last year in horticulture class, or the photo of her picking up an Easter egg, and the photo of my son lying down on a chair at a friend's birthday party.

I'm happy with this page overall and also the color palette (which I took quite a while to decide on). 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 11 - student project




Day/Page 12. "Toiletry Bag Favorites"- drawn at the dining table, afternoon/evening; did the same day as page 11

This one was challenging for a few reasons.

I wanted to show the fragrances which meant showing the glass and I maybe got a little carried away with that. I tried to show so many items that there wasn't much room for extra text. I could have done better with the small text but I think I was tired and needed a break so I just rushed it. I'm pretty satisfied with how the lettering on the products are shown.

I wanted an earthier purple but didn't have one. Even so, I'm ok with how the colors turned out. I think it works for all of the items I needed to show.

The parts I like best- the dark pink Kenzo perfume bottle and the Carthusia bottle, the eyelash curler and mascara.

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 12 - student project




Day/Page 13. "Reliable Recipe"- drawn at the dining table, night; did the same day as pages 11 & 12

I knew going in to this one that I was getting really tired especially after already catching up on the other two pages the same day. I had to stop to make dinner and a few other things, so I was concerned it might get rushed and turn out terrible. Because of this, I chose to sketch the food items on the right side first. Then I went ahead and added all of the lettering in ink and made a couple of adjustments to the pencil sketch as needed before coloring in.

I think because I was tired, I overdid the lines on some of the vegetables (especially the onion) and should have taken the time to use photo references instead of going by memory. I might like to see a few sprinkles of spice towards the top of the recipe.

I'm pretty satisfied with the lettering, composition and earthy color combination. I like the way the fennel turned out.


Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 13 - student project



Day/Page 14. "#obsessed"- drawn at the dining table, night

I felt nervous about this one because I knew it was my last and I didn't want it to fizzle out at the end. I'm not feeling particularly obsessed with anything right now so I kinda had to rack my brain on this one!

I liked the colors I ended up using on this one and the cake of course.

My favorite part of this class was the reflection that each page made me do and the challenge to my hand lettering skills, color choices and composition.

It was so fun to do the illustrations in marker and I will definitely be doing more of it.

I'm SO happy I completed this course. 

Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts - image 14 - student project