Monday, February 28, 2011

Coptic book binding

Tonight, with the help of some YouTube videos, I taught myself how to make my own hard cover sketchbook using the coptic binding method.

It did take a little bit of time but I'm pretty happy with the result.

I started out by cutting my 'signatures' or pages from watercolor paper, black card, brown paper, and some grid paper. I made a hole guide and punched holes in the crease on all of them. I tore the edges using a ruler because, well, I like an unfinished edge.

I cut my covers out of mount board because it is light and sturdy, but still easy to cut through. I covered the pieces with paper (I recommend spray glue for an even finish), then I used my boyfriend's small hand drill to make holes in the covers.

Then I watched this YouTube video to learn how to do the stitching, and very own sketchbook!

I'm planning a few more in different designs, including a brown paper sketchbook (they are always so hard to buy)! You can find all the ones I currently have for sale on the Brown Paper Bunny Etsy store.

Here is my finished product. I promise not to take any more video with my iPhone, I'll use my proper camera next time!

I'm planning on making a lot more videos, so why not subscribe to the Brown Paper Bunny YouTube Channel.

And don't forget, you can also chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to the Brown Paper Bunny email

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Water Paper Paint: Project 18 Tiny Art

Project 18 in Water Paper Paint is about making Tiny Art or Artists Cards. I made this little piece on a small, square piece of 300gsm watercolor stock, using watercolors, iridescent medium, and ink.

I made it for my US pen-pal, so I'm off to the post-office to send it now. :)

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Water Paper Paint: Project 3 Dabbing

I'm jumping around a bit in the book, but today I had a go at Project 3 in Water Paper Paint, Dabbing with different materials.

I think I needed to use a little more paint, or highly saturated color to get a more noticeable effect. I used a crumpled tissue and a wadded up piece of paper to make some texture effects in my wash. Once that was dry I used ink to draw in the little Lego man in his little paper boat.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Monday, February 21, 2011

Notebook Project sketches

It has been a while since I uploaded anything from my Australian Artist Notebook Project book. Seeing as it is due to be sent off soon I thought I better get to it!

Here are a few rough sketches and other things that I did as I was working out ideas for greeting cards:

I also did a quick watercolor sketch the other day. She is meant to be winking, but it really didn't turn out quite right.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Stormy Easter

This little guy is cute, geeky, and more than a little confused. What Lego Stormtrooper would want to be the Easter Bunny!?!

A little Easter card I made. I think my inner geek is starting to show through, uh oh.
I drew him using watercolor and ink. My new watercolors and brushes in fact. How exciting. :)

If you want a copy of your own, check out Brown Paper Bunny on Etsy.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Water Paper Paint: Projects 20 + 24

I've skipped ahead a little in the book Water Paper Paint to do Projects 20 and 24 for this week's Illustration Friday theme 'Layer'.

Project 20 involves using opaque and iridescent watercolors, so I mixed a little iridescent medium in with some of my colors as I layered them.

Project 24 was about writing with watercolor and using masking fluid to keep some areas preserved as washes and colors were layered on top of each other. The final step was to write in watercolor and add a simple line drawing using ink.

I typed up a little bio and I'm sending this off with my Mixtape Traveling Journal as my artist bio card.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Water Paper Paint: Projects 1+2

At lunch-time today I needed a little break from the computer so I started on Projects 1 and 2 from Water Paper Paint. The first exercise is playing with wet onto wet, the second with wet onto dry (paper, and as a wash or glaze over dry paint).

I had fun just mixing up some of the colors, and watching them run together in the first one. I did these in my Australian Artist Notebook Project book, which really isn't all that suited to watercolor. I may try these again on some good watercolor paper.
Project 2 'Dabbing with different materials' is about texture and pattern. Can't wait to give that one a go!

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Mail box

On Friday I collected my mail from our post box, and found that it was full of real mail. No bills, no junk, no pre-approved credit cards, just loads of beautiful hand-written mail!

Some were postcards from people all around the world, via postcrossing, some were valentines from our little swap, and one was from my new pen pal.

I say bring back the snail mail, there is nothing like the wonderful surprise of getting real letters!

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Traveling journal

I've started a traveling Moleskine Japanese Album journal with two lovely ladies in the US. We all did the Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project and wanted something else to do now that it has finished up.

Here are my first two spreads. The first one is Canberra, my home town, which I did in watercolor and ink. The second I experimented with brush and colored ink, which unfortunately went straight through the card stock.

The common theme for all entries is the color blue. It has to have some blue or predominantly blue. Also, the idea is that you would continue on from some horizon line or element on the previous page. For example, my grass continues on from the pavement in the previous spread.

Each person has one month to complete two double-page spreads and then send it on. (We won't include shipping time in the one month).

Participants are:
Don't be sad that you've reached the end of the post... Come keep me company on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. And don't forget you can also subscribe to the Brown Paper Bunny email

Glow in the dark mix tape

I used my lino cut and some glow-in-the-dark block ink to make a series of glow in the dark mix tape prints. After a few minutes in the sun they glow really brightly. It was fun turning off the lights when I was done and seeing them all glowing on the table as they dried.

I went around the edges with black ink so you could still see the design in the daylight.

I've put one of the prints up for sale in the Brown Paper Bunny Etsy store.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Book review: Water, Paper, Paint

I was asked if I could move my review of Water Paper Paint: Exploring creativity with watercolor and mixed media by the incredibly talented Heather Smith Jones to the top of my book list, after my recent round of acquisitions. It was perfect timing too because I just started taking a watercolor class.

Heather covers so many techniques in her book, which could be used for more traditional watercolor paintings, or for my favorites, mixed media drawings/paintings. There are also loads of great projects and exercises, which always gives me the push I need to actually try the techniques discussed in a book. So I'm going to go through them and post up my experiences! So stay tuned.

I've bought a few watercolor books lately, and this is by far the nicest. It is easy to follow, has loads of information, and it's fun!

The book has also prompted me to read Heather's blog and look at more of her work. Cloud of mercy is one of my all-time favorite pieces. It just does something for me. In fact, I'm going to purchase it right now!

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Watercolor class: Lesson 1

I had my first watercolor class last night, at the Canberra Institute of Technology. It was a lot of fun, but I realized I've been using substandard materials. I didn't think it would make that much of a difference, but when you get your hands on good quality ($200+ Russian Sable) brushes, paper and paints, you really really notice it. So I have a list (and possibly several hundred dollars) of things I now want to buy.

We mostly covered the basics of paper stretching, different brushes (round, flat, angled, needlepoint, mop etc), different types of paint, and all the other equipment you can use to help achieve textures, or fix mistakes. Who knew that old gym membership cards, and chopped acrylic brushes could be so handy!

Then we moved on to some basic paint mixing and brush experimentation using a few key colors.

I'm a bit disappointed that our class choices are going to be limited to focusing on landscapes or botanical illustrations and that we will not be doing pen and ink with our watercolor because it isn't 'true' watercolor. But I guess I suspected that would be the case, and I'm doing the course to learn more technical skill so I can then go out and break all the rules...on purpose. Next week we'll be doing some actual painting, some leaves, and color palette work. Stay tuned.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I made you a mix tape

For Valentine's Day I've been working on a lino print for my boy. I thought about making him an actual mix tape but he wouldn't have anything to play it on, and a mix CD just isn't the same. So I thought this would be cute.

I've been trying to work on it in secret whenever he is out of the house, so it's taken me a little while to complete. But I finally made a print and I also used glow in the dark paint to print it onto a blank t-shirt for him.
I made a few extra prints as part of a limited edition, which you can buy on the Brown Paper Bunny Etsy store.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Featured on Epheriell Designs

Recently I was lucky enough to win a three-month sponsorship spot on Epheriell Designs, the blog by the lovely Jess Van Den.

Today she posted up a little feature piece on Brown Paper Bunny, so if you haven't read it yet...what are you waiting for!

Sponsor Love ~ Brown Paper Bunny on Eperiell Designs

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Amazon, are you Santa?

I know it is February, really I do. But this week has felt like Christmas. Between the boy bringing home SIX kilograms of Comm Arts Design and Illustration Annuals, and a massive Amazon box being delivered (that I'd forgotten I ordered) I am overwhelmed with lovely things to read and look at.

Here are just a few goodies:
This latest batch of books is so fantastic I think I'll have to do a couple of little reviews over the next few weeks. Let me know if you are keen to hear about any of these in particular and I'll rush them to the top of the list.

Fashion Illustration:




Now if I can just find time to read them all....

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Awkward Valentine printable

Hello there lovelies,

Just to say thank you, Brown Paper Bunny email subscribers will get a free 'Awkward Valentine' printable with their newsletter this week.

Let's just say there are buttons, and inappropriate comments, and all round Valentine's awkwardness. Enjoy!

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Hippity hoppity

He may not be the Easter Bunny, but this little Dalek doesn't want to miss out on all the fun....if only he could hop.
Done with ink and waterolor on Italian cotton card stock. Don't send boring cards with photos of rabbits on them this Easter. "Exterminate...oh, I mean hippity hoppity..." Available from Brown Paper Bunny on Etsy.

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Monday, February 7, 2011

Drawing this love: 656

I completed another frame for Drawing this love yesterday at the Monday Canberra Comic Meet-up. Nothing better than sketching while eating frozen custard filled with cookie dough and Maltesers. Yum!

Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Canberra Comic Meet-up

Comic Book Guy.
On Sunday afternoon I went along to my first ever Canberra Comic Meet-up at the Wig and Pen. I found these guys when I was looking for local zine makers (thank you Twitter...the source of all knowledge).

We sat around, sketching, chatting, having a drink. All in all, very civilized. So if you live in the area and would like to come along there are monthly meet-ups in addition to weekly ice-cream drawing sessions at Rubees in Belconnen (7:30 on Mondays).

You can find the Canberra Comic gang on:
 And a few of them have some cool blogs too:


Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Random acts of kindness

    If you've been reading the blog this week you will have already seen my other two cards 'Daleks need love too' and 'You light my heart on fire' for the Creative Collective February Challenge: Random acts of kindness.

    These are the last three I whipped up:
    1. Fly your flag for love
    2. Sweet on you
    3. Love birds

    I made all of these using watercolour and ink on Italian cotton card stock.

    Wonder who will find them!

    Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

    Robot love

    I have been in such a robot sort of mood lately. And by that I don't mean I have just been going through the days on autopilot, or needing to oil my joints more than usual. I mean that I'm totally crushing on all sorts of lovely Etsy robots. Felt robots, paintings, jewelry, cards, robots made of forks!

    So I put together a little Robot Love treasury. Hope you enjoy it and come across some groovy new sellers you might not have seen before. Click on the image to view the original and browse the featured sellers' stores.

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Daleks need love too

    Birdie from Birdie's Nest commented on my Robot Crush and said that she'd like to see Daleks in love. Well Birdie, ask and you shall receive. Because hey, Daleks need love too.

    I'm also going to use one of these little cards as the second of my Creative Collective Random acts of kindness valentines. And if you don't fancy stalking me for the next few days to see where I leave it, you can get your very own at

    It is a hand-drawn card using ink and Italian cotton card stock, with a watercolor heart painted in.

    Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    You light my heart on fire

    Hi guys! Here is my first creation for the Creative Collective February Challenge: Random acts of kindness. Technically it isn't a card, but hopefully I will be forgiven for that.

    The idea is to spread the love around, hand-make five cards and leave them around your town.

    I decided to make a little matchbox Valentine.First I covered the matchbox in adhesive paper, glued a smaller strip of patterned paper around that, with a little heart paper fastener stuck to the front.

    Then I cut out little pages from light-weight watercolor card, and wrote a little message.

    I bound the pages together by clipping them all in place, covering the spine in flexible, acid-free glue, and sticking on a bit of brown paper to hold it all together.

    I also made a teeny-tiny brown paper bunny to put in the box, and tied a ribbon around the match. The plan is to add a little tag to the outside that says 'You light my heart on fire'.
    It's a bit small, but here is the message I wrote inside the little book.

    Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Taking stock

    Today marks the anniversary of the start of my creative journey. On this day in 2010 I joined up to my first art class, Suzi Blu's Petite Dolls in her online art school. Suzi taught me a very valuable lesson...not to be afraid, to have fun doing whatever you want, and don't worry too much about the outcome. She also encouraged finger painting and making a mess.

    It's funny, I feel like I've come a long way and acomplished a lot of the goals I set for myself this year (and picked up quite a few new ones along the way) but at the same time it feels like I've not moved at all. I'm still such a long way from where I want to be, but I'm trying to work out the steps I need to take to get there.

    I sure have had a bucket load of fun this year though, creating all manner of things I would never have expected, and meeting so many truly amazing, creative people out in the big wide world.

    Today is another first, I have my first ad up on the new Creative Collective blog and also on Gnomeangel. I might be jumping the gun by advertising before I have really established my online store and worked out where I want to take it...but that's me. I'm impatient. Sometimes I'm a planner and list maker, other times I just want to jump in and learn along the way. I suppose this is one of those jump in times.

     Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny email

    Drawing this love: 363

    I've just completed another frame for the music video by the Bright Knights. The video is for the song Drawing this love and involves people downloading a frame from the video, hand coloring it and uploading it again.

    My first frame was number 220. Which I just filled in quickly with watercolor. This one was frame number 363 and I used colored pencil and chalk pastels.

    If you'd like to participate, visit I know they need a lot more people to help finish it off!

    Subscribe to Brown Paper Bunny by email


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...