Sketchbook Pages: Lines and Crystals!

Hello friends! Today I wanted to share a bit of what I’ve been up to lately.  Things with the babies are settling down, and I’m starting to actually have a bit of *gasp* time for art!! Crazy, right? Let’s not talk about it too much or I might jinx myself!

Today I just wanted to share a bit of what’s been going on in my sketchbook, and a few thoughts on a couple new series of artworks I’m going to be starting.

So first, to expand on my one minute painting exercise I shared with you a couple weeks ago, here’s my little collection of lines and dashes I keep in my sketchbook for reference.  I add to this whenever I find new lines that I like:

collection of lines in a sketchbook

I love having reference collections like this in my sketchbook because it gives me something I can quickly flip open to for inspiration if I’m in the middle of drawing or painting and my mind goes blank.  Or if there’s a certain pattern or shape that I know I want to add to an artwork, but I just can’t quite remember what exactly it was, I can open my book up and see my library of lines and shapes that I like to work with.  It helps me keep track of the shapes and things that I like, which in turn help me develop my artistic style, because I’m logging and collecting the things that really speak to me.

So switching topics to upcoming artworks, I’m really excited to share a new series of watercolors that I’m going to being working on soon! I’m going to be painting a series of birthstone crystals with their associated zodiac constellations.  I love astrology and have been wanting to incorporate that into my art for a long time now, and I think this is the perfect way to begin.

But I’ll be painting each birthstone as the rough rock, not as the polished gem we see in the jewelry stores everywhere.  I want to paint the crystals in their true to nature, beautiful rock forms, which I think will look awesome with the constellations inside them. So here’s a couple I’ve started with in my sketchbook:

gemstone sketches
Rough sapphire and aquamarine (Sapphire is my birthstone so I was a little biased in which one to start with!)

I just looked online and browsed various sites that had images of the crystals in their rocky natural states.  I actually think these babies look prettier than they do when they’re refined and polished.  Sapphire was never really a stone I found myself drawn to, I guess because that royal-navy blue color of the September birthstone just wasn’t my style.  But after seeing this stone in it’s natural state, it’s so beautiful!  So I will be drawing all of the stones in their rough forms. I might also use some alternate birthstones based on their look or colours as opposed to the usual birthstone associated with that month, though I haven’t fully decided on all of the stones yet.

And as you can see in my little notes underneath the crystals, I will be doing each stone in two versions.  This is because our birthstones and zodiac signs overlap.  The stones go by month, but the zodiac signs are divided by the 21-22 of each month.  So you can have one birthstone, but be one of two zodiac signs.  My birthstone is sapphire for September, and I’m a Virgo, but if I was born later in September, like say on the 27th, then I would be a Libra, but my birthstone would still be the sapphire.

So I’m going to paint the crystals in watercolor so they can be all pretty and faceted-looking and shiny, then I think I’m going to scan them and add the constellation to them digitally.  This way I can use the same crystal image, and just change the constellation to make the two versions.  This way everyone can be fully represented by their exact birthstone and zodiac sign! (And in making two versions of each stone to precisely represent every birthday, I’m probably living up to that Virgo perfectionism. So win-win).

So that’s my plans for my next series of artworks! I’m really excited to start painting these, and when they’re all done (all 24 of them!) I have another astrology-related little series planned, but I’m going to keep that one a secret for now 🙂 So stay tuned to this blog for progress pictures and I’ll probably do a couple videos filming the painting process of at least a few of them.  I’ll also have some pictures up on Instagram as I complete them.

So that’s all for now! Leave me a comment below if you’re excited, and what’s your zodiac sign?? I’d love to know! Thanks for stopping by, and till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3

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