Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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#IFJM2017… the Wrap-Up!

April was ab-so-lute-ly crazy around here but now it’s May. I’ve had a vacation away and have had plenty of time for reflection on my latest fake journal experience.



  1. Use my 11 in. x 14 in. portrait-style Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal. I’ve had it for years and it was definitely time to see if I could be comfortable using such a large format sketchbook. It’s so large that it was impractical to carry it with me therefore it limited my character to working at home.
  2. The theme for this year was Details Matter. I chose to incorporate this by working on portraits and proportions. I decided to include the pencil and ink thumbnails and observations my character made about the drawings.
  3. All the portraits were done with gouache, some over ink drawings, and later, over pencil sketches.
  4. Journaling would be partially about the painting and partially about her life, with no defined story line needed.
  5. Dates were stenciled onto the page with dilute acrylic paint through freezer paper cut-outs. (Note… do not iron freezer paper onto the pages, even lightly… it does not react as it does on fabric!)


What I Learned:

  1. I used the book, Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker as the basis for the detail sketches and proportions. (this is an amazon link for reference only… I receive no commission.) I became more comfortable drawing correct facial and head proportions although profile silhouettes are still a challenge. On the other hand I feel I improved my drawing of 3/4 poses.
  2. I learned that I really prefer working with fresh gouache. I still need to get over what Roz Stendahl alludes to regarding the tyranny of my internal critic and the issue of scarcity. I just need to put out plenty of paint and not be afraid to use it!  Thanks goodness I did get better at this over the month.
  3. I love handling this journal! It’s a beautiful artifact; it has size and weight and a certain presence that my previous, and smaller, fake journals don’t have. But that size carried a big weight as the month went on. I would have preferred to take it out of the house and work on it elsewhere but it was just too big.
  4. My character almost always worked on her journal after dinner and this was so unlike my own work process that it created dissonance in my life… not enough to make me stop, but enough that I was acutely aware that this journal wasn’t being kept by “me”!


I created a video flip-though which you can see either in this post on my regular blog, or though this link on YouTube.

My thanks to Roz Stendahl for coming up with this project and kudos to all the other creative and imaginative artists who participated this year.  You can get links to their journals and find out more about IFJM, International Fake Journal Month by checking the sidebar at Roz’s Fake Journal Blog… Official International Fake Journal Blog.


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2017 IFJM Planning

For some odd reason, the blog aggregator I use didn’t collect my own post from yesterday, hence this test post. 

Now I could have just written a nothing post but I figured that if I was going to do it I might as well make the most of it!

This spread is from my latest journal, a Pentalic Aqua Journal, where I collaged Roz Stendahl’s 2017 theme image next to where I wrote about my plans. 

Soon the challenge begins!

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More Fakery… 2017 Edition

“Life is too short for fake butter, fake cheese or fake people.” *

But obviously not for fake journals!

My character isn’t completely fleshed out yet but she does have a HUGE sketchbook ready to go. 11 x 14 inches… Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal… Portrait format.


And gouache!

This will be my sixth consecutive year participating in International Fake Journal Month. If you want a great introduction to the concept I recommend you watch the interview Diane Gibbs of Design Recharge had with Roz Stendahl, the brains behind IFJM. 

Be sure to check back in with me to see what I do with this year’s theme, Details Matter. Don’t miss out on the fun! 

*originally found on Twitter…