Art breaks!

I’m trying to have more balance in my life, and art breaks are a part of that. It’s not a break if you just do a different kind of work for a bit. Stopping to sketch, do a zentangle, letter a little, embroider or whatever engages my brain in a totally different way. I have sketchbooks at work, at home, and usually in my purse. Try it out – doodle, grab a coloring book, have a little handwork project, and do something creative with your afternoon cup of tea.20131008-162415.jpg

I try to take at least one art break a day at work. Since lettering in a square involves at least minimal design and thought, I’ve decided it qualifies to meet my challenge of making a few small pieces a week for my art journal. There’s definitely more design in them than writing lines of alphabet necklaces and quick brown foxes. I did a page of them at work over a few days and brought them home to cut out and mount in the book.

All that smudging? That’s what happens when you spray fixative on them without checking to see if they’ve smudged even a little in transport. Fixative makes any penciled lettering much darker, so suddenly a “nobody will notice that little mistake” thing becomes prominent. Glad I learned it now instead of on something I spent a lot of time on…

The nice thing about fixative sprays and doing fine lettering in pencil is that the darkening works on colored pencil as well as graphite, meaning you can keep your hairlines and not have to go over them to add weight for readability. So far, as long as it’s been pretty readable, the coat of fixative has made it pop just enough to push it where I wanted it to be. Oddly, the watercolored part beneath doesn’t seem to get darker along with the pencil.