Hello my sweet honey bunnies!
Today is monday and it's been a week since I wanted to show you my newest journal which actually isn't a custom order but a product of my own heart, mind, soul and hands! Yay! First one this year together with the necklace I made last week.
Exclusively here in my blog I would like to share all work in progress pictures so you can see how I started and where I ended up. Of course I would appreciate if no one uses this as tutorial and makes an owl like this. No copycats allowed :) Just love and respect, okay?
So everything started with a morning where I were laying on my back in bed and I saw a vision of an owl, just an owl with goggly eyes staring at me from the leafy forest. I jumped up, dressed myself, got all the clays out, all the tools and things... then somewhere in the process I brushed my hair and had a breakfast (can't remember when and how.. I think Ash looked after me all that day as I told him that today I am in a creative trance mode, meaning I am diving into something for all 100%).
I made the eyes from a 12mm big glass cabochons which I have quite a lot as I like making my own custom made eyes for creatures I make. For these particular eyes I used Precious Metal by Viva Decor and Perfect Pearls in ocean blue and gold colours. I also used gold acrylics on one eye to make an appearance of a falling stars reflecting in owl's eye. For some reason I decided to do it only with one eye.
Then of course I started my work on the journal where I cut the right size of clay sheet for the base and placed it on the ceramic tile. I struggled a little bit to see how the face will look like, but I had a sketch of an owl which I took from google. I liked how the feathers were assembled and I decided to use it as a reference. This owl was drawn by amazing artist Ben Kwok. His art is truly amazing! I liked how the feathers are looking like Native American head piece and it really inspired the colour theme as well. I used Photoshop to play around with colours and get some sort of understanding of which clays I am planning to use. Unfortunately for some reason I can't find this picture anymore on my computer. But anyway. So I decided to cut out little clay shapes to zone out the main head parts of my owl. This way it is always easier to work and you can lift up some important parts to give it a more of a 3D look. I always start from the house or eyes and so I started my fine work with building up the layers of feathers in deep blues and green with a hint of brown. I sort of wanted to reflect the eye colour on owl's feathers next to his eyes. I formed this sort of feather ornaments on both sides and moved onto the forehead and nose.
It wasn't easy to use bold and bright colours and when you play with raw clay sometimes it looks quite ridiculous and so my owl started to look like a chicken. I sort of had my concerns but I trusted the spirits that were guiding me and I always knew that the redness can be taken away by shading and adding pearls or some other paints or effects, like matt black mica powder for example.
When the eye lids were put into place and two main feathery eye brows formed a full correct composition, then the owl started to look serious by all means. Even with the massive red headpiece it looked good, sort of royal, like a shaman, the head of the tribe. I was happy with the result. I struggled a lot to understand how feathers would go around the nose and owl's neck and so I jumped onto working on his body hoping that the inspiration for the face part will come at the right moment.
I truly believe that the process of creation can't go without trusting your guiding spirits. Sometimes you do things you haven't even planned at first and when you start to head towards some nice, but completely different direction, the understanding that it's not actually you who is in charge of creation but the God inside you, quickly settles in your mind. I honestly truly believe in it. I believe that I am only a tool. God expresses himself through me and tells me stories of beauty, shows me how he likes to create, how he likes to innovate.
And if to be completely honest, call me crazy or what, but I pray before I start any work these days and I am asking for help, guidance and inspiration.
So... I made quite a few gradients in the colours I felt are good for this sort of artwork and there were white perlescent - turquoise perlescent, golds to golden greens ( premixed with mica powders first)... Greens to turquoises. And then of course I cut each little feather with a scalpel separately and I made a texture of each feather also separately with the same tool. I love feathers and it's never enough feathers in anything I do in my life. I wear them, I draw them, I clay them and even have boxes of raw feathers from different birds hanging all over my place.
In the end I filled in the owl's face with brown and gave it a fluffy texture. I worked on the background too. I engraved leafs and branches into clay with a carving tool and coloured those with eye shadows ( mate colours with no shimmer).I also used black matte mica powder to calm down the reds on owl's head and to add up some shadows on the brown part of owl's body. I sort of wanted to give it a colourful depth.
After all was baked I used black acrylics to make it look older, deeper, a bit darker and, as I always call it, more serious. And so here is the result! Enjoy and I hope you like me telling you how I make my journals. Please let me know your thoughts as writing this post took some time and I want to know what you think.
Thank you very much,