For Prompt 4 of the Get Messy Season of Season, I chose to focus on transformation. Going from one part of our life to another and what is means to us as human beings – or at least to me.


Part 4 Transformation.jpg

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  • my Get Messy altered book
  • black gesso
  • white gesso
  • Prismacolor Premier white colouring pencil
  • Posca paint pen in white and black
  • Singer handheld sewing machine with white thread (even though it didn’t work and I had to give up that part)
  • Winsor & Newton Designer gouaches
  • stiff brush and round brush
  • heat tool
  • graphite pencil and eraser
  • Faber Castell Pitt Brush pen in black
  • Staedler pigment liner 0.4 in black
  • Gelli Roll pen in black



I started by gessoeing my double page spread, one half in black and the other half with white, mixing the two in the middle to create some kind of a gradient. I dried it using my heat tool, first because I don’t like waiting for things to dry, and also because I had applied a generous amount so I wanted to speed up the drying process so that I could move on.

Once my pages dry, I applied some more white gesso to lighten up the right side of my spread.

Using my white pencil, I started sketching roughly my cocoon. I then used my handheld sewing machine to outline and fill my cocoon with white thread to create texture, or at least that was the plan! Unfortunately, I kept having issues and all the sewing machine did was jam and tear my paper. I fixed my torn paper with a bit of white paper bag glued with Mod Podge at the back, and adding black gesso of the side of my spread so that it didn’t show. For some saddening reason, sewing machines and I don’t get on!
My remedy to this to create a similar effect of texture to my cocoon was to use my white paint pen and scribble, after reshaping it with my white pencil first.

Using a graphite pencil, I quickly sketched a representational image of myself, with butterfly wings to symbolise transformation. I went over my outlines using my Pitt brush pen, which gives stark contracts against the white-ish background. I thought at first that the lines were a bit too thick and that I should have used a liner instead, but, looking back on it, I think it gives a very illustrative effect, which I have grown to love. I also created the simple outline of a sun, without the rays, as it would have made the page too busy.

After finishing creating more contrast and texture on my cocoon with my white paint pen, I created my journaling on a path, from my cocoon, in white on black background, into my figure and the sun, in black onto the white background. It linked all the elements on my page together instantly.

I ensured that my black ink was dry (with my heat tool) and started colouring my butterfly figure with various colours of gouache. I also coloured in my sun.

Using my white colouring pencil, I created flying trails for my butterfly figure, and highlighted them by creating a trail of white paint pen dots along it.

I also created some highlights on  my butterfly face.

Once all my gouache layers were dry, I went over some of my outlines again where I went over with gouache, to tidy up my lines,  and used my white paint pen and black liner and gel pen to create some patterns inside some of the shapes.

I am not a big fan of white space, even if I greatly admire it in other artists’ work, such as Dina Wakley’s. Evidently, the bottom right space looked too bare to me and I created some simple scribbly flowers, which I then lightly painted with gouache to add some colour and pop.