As I mentioned previously, I am doing four year-long courses this year so of course I am behind in all of them haha.  So naturally instead of doing one of the January lessons yesterday I decided to do a February lesson because I liked it and also because it was February the 1st and that was Imbolc, or the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  So although it may not seem like it, we are in fact halfway to Spring, which makes me feel warmer already lol.  It was also St Brigid’s Day and this page was celebrating Brigid in her many forms, so I decided to work on this lesson instead of the others.  I will get to them all at some point, I already have one in the works that I might be able to finish today/tonight.

This is a lesson for Book of Days which is a year long art journaling “deep dive” by Effy Wild. For this course I am working on A3 sized paper folded in half to make A4 sized pages, (US letter size).  As this is a class lesson, there is no tutorial, just my initial drawing and lots of photos of the end result.

I started out by sketching my girl who would be representing Brigit.


The class lesson was all done in acrylics but I decided to do my version in watercolours including these metallic watercolours.  I also had my favourite gold ink and a gold pen as I was also thinking about the current challenge over on AJJ which was all about metallics.  I knew this page would have lots so I snapped a pic so I would remember later what I was using.


I painted her hair in Alizarin Crimson which looked a lot like blood when it was wet and I was a bit worried about the colour but it turned out fine.  The background is painted in Green Gold and her dress is Cobalt Turquoise using a Pitt Pen.  The candles are painted in acrylics, Nickel Azo Gold, then Pitt pens for the flame and wick and gold ink for the glow.

 

All the little triangles are done with gold pen and an old stencil from a geometry set.

 

After I had finished painting everything and adding all the finishing touches, the final thing to do was add some journalling in her lovely hair.  This was the part I was dreading because I tend to mess that up and I really didn’t want to ruin it after all this work.  I used the same gold pen and went very slowly and tried to keep it straight (didn’t manage that lol) but at least I didn’t make any mistakes.  The words are a few lines of a poem to Brigid to welcome Spring.  Here’s a link to the poem, which seems to be anonymous.  I skipped some of it due to lack of space.


The gold on her dress is also acrylic ink and I drew little spirals in black pen to give more detail to her dress.


I added some Celtic knotwork and spirals on the corners by hand,but I really should have spent more time on this to make it less wonky.  I kept forgetting which direction I wanted the spirals to go in, just don’t look too closely at them lol.  I added all the candles, because although we are wishing for Spring and it is getting lighter every day, it’s still pretty dark and cold here, so she would need a few candles I think.


A few more little touches and she was complete.  Here are the photos taken last night under lights on the left and this morning in daylight, on the right.  I feel that the background and candles are a more accurate colour in the nighttime photos, but her hair, dress and face are more accurate in the daytime photos, but of course that can’t really be true so my eyes are playing tricks on me.

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And that’s the finished page.  Happy Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day, Candlemas or whatever else you want to celebrate at this time of the year – even if it’s just the idea that we are haltway to Spring!  Let me know what you think in the comments and as always, thanks for reading!

 

Challenges

Art Journal Journey – February ChallengeHeavy Metal – all my metal is gold again, gold writing, gold on her dress, gold on the background and on the candle flames.

Ingredients

My handmade journal (A3 paper folded in half to make A4 size pages)
watercolour paper, watercolour, metallic watercolour, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, Pitt pens, paint pens, stencil, black pen, gold pen,

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16 thoughts on “Brigid – Lady From Winter’s Dark

  1. Bleubeard and Elizabeth says:

    Now that I know you have moderated your comments, I can go back and see what I have missed. Had you not moderated them, I don’t believe you would have ever looked this far back.

    I was really impressed with your lady and her long flowing hair. I like how you positioned the quote on her hair, too. But most of all, I like how you took a photo of the products you were using so it would go well with Valerie’s theme at Art Journal Journey. I also love, love, love the candles. Hope you enjoyed and celebrated St Brigid’s day. I’m looking forward to spring, too.

    • Empire of the Cat says:

      thanks again Elizabeth. Yes comments are moderated, otherwise spam can get out of hand, but I would have still been notified of the comments even if they were posted instantly. Thanks for all your kind words, I wasn’t sure how the candles would turn out but they did look like candles in the end, so I was OK with them. Roll on Spring!

  2. Nancy Williams says:

    Oh my gosh, I love this, Elle. Her hair is totally fabulous running across the pages and serving as a backdrop to your fun words. Love her eyes too. Everything about this is happy and fun. Such a positive way of looking at this date – halfway to Spring. Lovely pages and girl.

  3. Valerie -Jael says:

    Hi Elle, this journal spread is absolutely magnificent. You used wonderful colours and the face is superb, and the deep symbolism makes it perfect. Thanks so much for joining us again at AJJ, much appreciated! , Valerie

  4. Erika N says:

    She’s gorgeous Elle. Love the old triangles. I’m not familiar with Brigid so I am off to look her up. Thanks so much for joining us at AJJ and Valerie’s challenge. Hugs-Erika

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