I really wanted to learn how to do the exposed spine binding, searched the internet and youtube and got help from Sox too. Did a little practice piece using plain old copy paper and coaster covers. For my journal I'll make the signatures from good quality watercolor paper. Here is my first attempt. Several oopsies, which I'm sure the more practiced book binders out there will see immediately, but frankly, I'm happy enough with it to feel confident that I can use the technique in my journal without totally making a mess.
Since it was a practice piece I just used some seam binding and black button thread. I'll look for something better for my actual journal. Another look at the spine:
What I really like about this way of binding is that the book lays flat regardless of where you open it. Really handy since many artists will be working in it, and it will get thicker and thicker......
As soon as I decided I could make my own journal this way, I began working on my cover. (My journal will be 6x8"). Just about everything on it (besides the bit of fabric and beading) was created with stencils....even the figure, but more on that later.
Of the many many techniques I learned at the May Lynne Perrella workshop in Connecticut, was how to use photocopies of images to create custom stencils. Even if you are drawing challenged, using this technique allows you to create an image which is unique, all yours, and far far beyond a simple altering of an existing image.
I'll give you the short version, but I strongly urge you to get yourself to a Lynne Perrella class if at all possible. It will change you and your art forever!
You find an image you like, and make multiple photocopies of it. On one, you cut out the image completely. This gives you both an outline of the image and a mask to use later. On the rest of the copies you cut away small sections....maybe the hair on one, part of the shirt on another, etc. Be as detailed as you want. You could use 10 or more copies if you like.
What I did was first use the outline page to fill in some color with my portfolio pastels. Then I used one stencil after another to fill in with various paints, inks, etc. and a whole lot of commercial stencils. I love those from Crafters Workshop and use them all the time. Absolutely the only free hand painting I did was the loose outlining of the figure, which I did with a very small brush and black Golden fluid acrylic. Even the facial features, tiny as they are were cut out from a copy with a very sharp craft knife.
To do the background, I placed the mask over the figure and just added color and lots and lots of stenciling. In addition to the commercial stencils I used sequin waste, which comes in many shapes and sizes.....not just the round. The tiny gold stars on the bottom of the geisha's dress were made with sequin waste and gold paint.
At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to make the time to participate in this project. Now I can't wait!
And by the way, even though the "stencils" are made of copy paper, they last. I think all the layers of paint and ink and pastel just makes them stronger.