The latest edition of came up and I began to consider if I wanted to do another sketchbook having done 9 previous ones, but while contemplating that, my right hand had already clicked that button, added digitizing to the sketchbook and bought my 10th one! I must be keen. When the sketchbook (sized 5” x 7”) arrived, it came with a page of themes you could choose from. Again I used my intuition only and grabbed the first one that got my attention: MELANCHOLY.
Like the sketchbooks I did in the last two years this one too has become a project in my capacity as monthly Guest Designer for StencilGirl® Talk and this is the step-by-step process:
1. Undo the staples on the sketchbook, set aside the cover for the moment and you will be left with 8 spreads. You will only work on one side of each spread and the first step is to gesso them all.
2. Using a brayer and a variety of paints brayer over the pages, mixing up the colors. Be gentle with picking up the paint with the brayer so as not to get too thick a paint layer on your pages.
3. Using a variety of Distress Markers, add colours to areas of the pages and with a baby wipe remove some of it through stencil .
4. Using acrylic ink in a variety of colors, brush it onto the pages (or use your fingers as I usually do) and again remove with baby wipes this time using .
5. Let some inks drip down the pages.
6. Repeat step 3, but this time only using Distress Markers in Red, Black and White.
7. Take some deli papers and spray paint (I used Liquitex) in blue, red and black and spray the deli papers using stencils , , and . Use black for this last stencil.
8. Cut out elements of the deli papers you made in step 7 and adhere to the pages using matte medium. Add a black circle to every spread but make sure you have 4 spreads with the black circle to the right of the spread, and 4 with the circle to the left.
9. Sew two sets of pages together, one with the black sun on the right and one with the sun on the left, with their white sides together. Make sure you have your pages both facing the right way up. I like to sew, but you could also use double sided tape or matte medium to adhere the pages together.
10. Grab your cover and paint it with black gesso.
11. With red metallic paint and using stencil stencil the front cover and then cut out letters spelling the word MELANCHOLY. Glue these onto the side of the front cover. Reinforce the spine of the sketchbook with black tape.
12. Take all sets of pages and arrange them in an order pleasing to you, while making sure the sun is on the right on one spread, and then on the left on the next one. The first page has no sun, but I have added a sun to the inside front cover on the left. The last page has a sun and I then added a building on the right, on the inside back cover.
13. Print out quotations about MELANCHOLY and glue them onto the pages.
14. Once you’re happy, make a template using plain white paper and the height of the sketchbook. Make 3 holes, one an inch from the top, one an inch from the bottom and one in the middle. Use this template to make holes (using an awl, or big needle) in the spreads as well as in the cover. Use a book binding thread (or cotton floss) threaded through a thick needle, go through all the pages and cover from the inside center hole, come out, go into the top hole, and go back inside the book all the way to the bottom hole, go out and back in through the center hole. Knot off the threads.
15. Do some outlining around the quotations and the buildings using black and white permanent markers.
© Frieda Oxenham 2018. To see more of Frieda's work, please visit her BLOG.