Category Archives: Artwork

Colors and Crayons and Designs

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For those of you still interested in hands on, and free design and illustrations added to your handcrafted books and journals, here’s an example of a photographed shadow that quite easily could be used as a model to draw a book cover, or page, design. If you can click a basically-shaped shadow with your camera, you can reproduce it by using your view of the shape to draw it on paper. Then use your imagination to add to it with surrounding colors, colored lines, etc. in any manner you wish.

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Make use of the renewed coloring book crazes!

If you enjoy the art of coloring, crayon productions are another way to add dimension and interest to your handcrafted book pages. Crayons certainly have made a comeback in recent years in the adult world with the outpouring of nerve-soothing design coloring books.

But you can use the old-fashioned coloring book, also, as ABOVE. Always make the picture your own, using your imagination in the way of lines, fill-in, and color choices. If you are a pure journalist, colored designs, as well as black and white ones, make wonderful additions to your story lines.

There can be much more going on, here! Let your mind roam…

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Photos and Designs from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Roughcraft Art–Stencil Centered

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As I’ve indicated before on this blog, I am not a true drawer, or illustrator. What I do is work with what is available and make it my own. Stencils and geometric designs are a large part of my artwork, as are spirographs of all types. For my short stories, and my longer homemade books of Fiction, I love to incorporate story-related stencil- geometric- and spirograph-centered creations, which I refer to as my invented Roughcraft Art.

(BELOW): Here is an example of a stencil-centered, geometric horse:

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I scanned the art piece twice, once (ABOVE) in full page, and again (BELOW) to demonstrate more closely the technique of presenting stencil-centered objects.

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The paper material on which this drawing was done is old-style soft, light brown wrapping paper, such as was used to wrap bundles of newspapers for delivery. As a once-upon-a-time local newspaper route delivery woman, I have mounds of this wonderful paper available. It holds colors true for ages without being under glass. Markers, paint, crayons, white-out, colored pencil, and ink all work wonders on this brown paper’s surface. The latest wrapping paper used now is more harsh, and I haven’t experimented with it to date.

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Credit:
Drawings scanned from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

 

Page Borders and Backgrounds

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Book page design ideas are endless. For my homemade books, I use a variety of typed, or easy flowing border designs in black and white, or in color, and some full page creations that easily can be typed, or written upon.

If, like me, you enjoy the old fashioned artwork done by hand and created with basic ideas, here are some ways you can rev up your pages for that homemade book.

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(ABOVE): This is just a little handiwork border with a stenciled “page” number space in the lower right corner. The actual number could be added via stencil, also. Perhaps something smaller could be stenciled into the round of the curve to the left of the word “page”, or a hand-written numeral might be inserted.

(BELOW): Here’s an excerpt page with a created border for the left hand side of the pages from my “Dear Diary” adventure drama novel entitled “Out of Vermont”.

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(BELOW) is a straight, mixed color border, easy to duplicate to use for many pages. I used this in portions of my novelette “Triple Crown Run by Smarty E. Jones”.

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(BELOW): For my first edition of “Interlock”, a novelette thriller, I used a simple letter page border. The (excerpt) page shows BAT, for BAT Publishing, stretch-spelled from top to bottom of the page and from side to side. The name of the novelette, the page number, and BAT Publishing’s (then) address are shown at the bottom of each page.

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(BELOW): Using dashes, or pluses, or stars provided on your keyboard, you can fill

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an entire page with same, then make copies of it to use as background pages for your typed, or written story. Scanning the finished background page onto your computer, then printing it to make copies will lighten the background nicely.

(BELOW): See how typing across the processed background page is easy to do.

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Another page background that can be developed is shown (BELOW):

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This was created by making a copy of a pink sheet of paper that I enclosed in a soft, slightly wrinkled plastic magazine sheet protector. I then made copies from the copy. It, too, can be quite easily typed across and then copied again with the words intact to make multiple pages for multiple copies of your book.

I can create a different color, of course, by simply putting a different color of paper into the sheet protector.

As many of you probably use modern computerized techniques to edit and create images and whatnot, the versions I describe here may seem tedious.

But creative, stay-at-home personality types may find them interesting for low tech projects.

I refer to my techniques as simply “homemade”, and I enjoy making the creations, because I also put a lot of love and enjoyable work into “making” my stories!

(BELOW): This would be my idea of a high-tech homemade border, using the preciseness of a stenciled spirograph! Just create and fill in the color schemes.

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You could use this stenciled spirograph border on the right, or the left of the full page, and, although it is a larger design, still have plenty of room to type, or write your page’s lines.

Your story idea, your story designs, your homemade book. There are no limits. Just have fun!

(For more book design artwork by the author see also the novelette “Factory Tails”: http://www.factorytails.wordpress.com )

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Credit:
Artwork from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

 

 

Personal Pictures Enhance Your Story

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I’m so pleased to share this picture!

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It was sent to me in 1973 as a Christmas card by a dear friend, Anita K. Dennis, who at the time was living in West Africa with her Mende Tribe and college professor husband, Ben Dennis. He is in tribal dress, with Anita standing next to him on the right. Anita is holding onto their son, Ben.

In 2014, Anita published her book “Beyond Myself The Farm Girl and the African Chief” and a snapshot with a slightly different angle than this one was chosen for the cover of her volume.

Never throw away old pictures, writers! They easily could find their way to a gratifying ending!

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Also, see Chicken Soup for Buckeyes to read “A Story Behind A Book Cover Picture”!
http://www.chickensoupforbuckeyes.wordpress.com/2015-02-14/a-story-behind-a-book-cover-picture

Anita’s book, “Beyond Myself The Farm Girl and the African Chief”, is available on Amazon.com

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***Credit:
Two views of my Christmas card gift photo (taken in Africa) of Anita K. Dennis and her family sent to me in 1973.

Other Dog Art Forms

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Somewhere along the way as I owned a Newfoundland dog and began writing the novelette “Factory Tails: All Good Dogs Walk on the Left”, I began to experiment with loosely drawing Ebony’s head and giving it a geometric-like background effect around the image.

One of the results is this drawing of “Rocky”, a main character in “Factory Tails”, and another version is offered below.

“Factory Tails” is a world in which dogs are the protagonists, the antagonists, and…well, dogs are all the characters in this story told in a time when only dogs remain on the Earth. Just like their human predecessors, these dogs compete for work and retirement benefits in the factory, Big Blackie Biscuits, the only working industry in the country.

You may read more of “Factory Tails” here.

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*******Credit:
“Factory Tails” and the artwork in this blog are part of the personal and copyrighted work of Barbara Anne Helberg

A Word About Writer’s Block

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Most of us on WordPress live a potential writer’s life. That is, some of us write all the time for a living, and others of us write when we have time because we love to write. We find places to write.

And some of us suffer bouts with writer’s block.

I never have had writer’s block. Nothing ever has stopped my blabber-pen!

However, I believe I do things with my writing that may unconsciously prevent writer’s block, that effectively allow me to avoid the pitfall of mental blockage.

Photography and artwork are part of that unconscious effort. I like to take pictures; the one displayed here was taken in the 1980s. (Non-digital, it uploads with no difficulty onto the modern writing sites by the way.)

When people talk to me and ask, “Where do you get your writing ideas?”, I’m sure my expression is one of incredible disbelief! That’s because I’m thinking, “What? Are you kidding? Look around! The answer is ‘life’ in all its ups and downs!”

What do you see in the above picture? Or is it just obvious to me that a storyline jumps forward here because I’m a farmer’s daughter? Old pictures, and pictures just taken, as well, and artwork are powerful forces to use to avoid, or to overcome, writer’s block. Look at pictures. Do some artwork, which, after all, doesn’t have to be Picasso-esque!

Those things help unblock the stopped words.

Never pass up the opportunity to write down your thoughts as they come to you! Keep a writing journal. Everything that can be called an idea is worth it’s weight in gold to a writer. And the more a writer observes and records, the less credence writer’s block will have to exist in his world.

See also: http://www.storypromptsdeluxe.wordpress.com

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*** Credit:
Top Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg
Photographed Book Cover of “The Creative Writer”, Edited by Aron Mathieu, 1961, published by Writer’s Digest, Cincinnati, Ohio

Equine Geos

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In experimenting with my own artwork for my fiction stories, I’ve found that using simple geometrics is a good place to start.

In the artwork above, I used geometric figures over stenciled horses to complement one of my novelettes, Triple Crown Run by Smarty E. Jones, which will appear later in another of my blogs.

I enjoy using colored pencils, markers, and color, or gel, ink pens, as well as black and white drawings for my projects.

Below is another piece of handcrafted artwork which I created for “Factory Tails“, which can be read in chapters here.

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Creating my own artwork is something I like to do. It enhances my own enjoyment of the writing project at hand, and creating it is a relax mode for me as I roam the woods of wordsmithing.

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Artwork from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg