Art Journal Freedom by Dina Wakley
Published by North Light Books
If you love the freedom of style you see in Art Journalling but can never seem to replicate it in a successful way, it might be that your composition and colour choices are a bit off. This book acknowledges that this artform can be very much a means of personal expression, but it does all seem to go wrong, there is a way of rectifying those problems.
This is a pretty amazing book in terms of all the subjects it covers, the examples of work shown throughout and the wealth of knowledge that is imparted here. The book is split into 2 sections, dealing with Colour, and Composition. Each of these sections has 4 chapters each with a ‘Putting it all together’ chapter at the end.
It is incredibly informative, with in-depth explorations of each area. The Composition chapters are on Symmetry and Asymmettry, using white space as a way of creating a striking piece of work, how to work with dominant images, using the rule of thirds, and text. There is too much to list here, but any reader who is struggling with design and placement will really benefit from the tutorials given here.
In terms of colour, there is a look at how to use the colour wheel, creating a colour palette for different effects, using contrasting colours, inks, gel mediums, colours to create visual paths and also using black and white to compose work (rather than concentrate on colourful colours).
Overall, this is a book packed with incredibly useful information and filled with examples of the author’s work, of which there is a huge amount, and all used to illustrate the points being made. If you are looking to jazz up your sketchbooks, or experiment with Art Journalling, this would make a fantastic starting point, and one which the reader is unlikely to tire of.
Originally published in Workshop on the Web September 2013 issue.