Without the Night, We’d Never See the Stars #ArtJournal #Squirkling #Clairefontaine #Exaclair

I’m not a fan of the Twilight saga, but I do like this quote.

I’ve been playing around with squirkling again.  The more I use this method of scribbling the more I appreciate what can be done with it.  I decided to expand on the 15-minute art journal page I did last week and put a little more planning into a page.  Not much.  This page still only took about 20 minutes and most of that was because I thought a little more about where I wanted the various colors.  If you are interested I put my thoughts and process below (with some photos this time).

Sharpies-blue, purple, red, yellow  (any permanent ink pen will do, but a smaller pen tip will take longer to fill in the background, and a larger pen tip might not leave enough white space)
Art Journal (this is made with Clairefontain Japon Calligraphy paper.  Any paper will do, but remember, if you use Sharpies, the ink will bleed through to the back, and may stain anything beneath).
Liquitex Interference Violet Acrylic Paint (Interference paint is translucent allowing detail to show through from layers beneath.  It also has mica so it add a glimmer.  Any paint that is translucent will do–watered down metallic acrylic or even watercolor like Twinkling H20s.  Test before using if you are sure how opaque your paint is)
Sakura Gellyroll pens-Classic White, Moonlight Yellow (any white/yellow gel pen that will show over dark.)

Definition-White Space.  If you deliberately leave the color of the paper showing so that it becomes part of the drawing/painting, this is called ‘white space’, even if the paper isn’t white.

This really is a scribbling process.  I bordered the pages with the blue and purple Sharpies so don’t have to scribble right up to the edge.  This also helps make the finished piece look more complete.

I knew I wanted the city in the middle so I scribbled some yellow in a half-circle towards the center of the spread.  Then I scribbled with the blue Sharpie.  I covered the whole spread but left lots of white.

Next, I scribbled some more.  I filled lots more of the white space around the outer edges of the page with the purple Sharpie.  I did scribble in the center area as well, but didn’t fill in as much.

I switched to the red sharpie and used it at the top, and at the sides to establish a horizon line. There is still lots of the paper showing, but it’s now scattered and in small bits except in the center.

Hopefully, you can see the pencil line here.  I drew the outline of the buildings.  It doesn’t show up well, but is enough to help guide.  If the color was just too dark, I could outline them with a gel pen, but I prefer not too as it will leave a more definite line, which I don’t want.  Others might though.

Alternating between the blue and the purple Sharpie, I scribbled some more using a lighter tighter scribbles until the buildings and the hill they are on were roughly filled in.

I meant to take a picture of the next step but got too involved with what I doing.

I didn’t feel there was enough ‘glow’.  The art journal paper is an off-white, which may be the reason.  Anyway, I decided to fill it in further with the yellow Sharpie.  There is still some white space, but not too much.

The light source for this drawing is from behind, so I took the red sharpie and scribbled a small stripe of red about three quarters of the way up each building, then darkened about a quarter of the bottom for each.  I scribbled shadows on the ground.

Starting at the horizon line, I painted around the buildings with the interference paint.  Once it was dry, I added the tower windows with yellow gellyroll pen.  Using the same gellyroll, I scribbled a thin line of light between the buildings and at the bottom of the shadows and along the top of the hill.

I used the white gel pen to write the quote.

It really does take longer to write about it than to do it!


  1. Thanks for the great explanation and the detailed steps. The piece is very eye-catching, but is more amazing after seeing the process. “Beauty out of Chaos” is how I might describe it. Excellent work! Thanks for sharing.

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