It is already time for our April plan-with-me! With spring around the corner I am taking on a bumblebee theme with lots of color. It's been quite a year since the April 2020 video. I took some time away from journaling in the summer months but am glad I've stuck with it. It is perfect for when you work from home or are self-employed, it keeps me motivated, inspired, and organized. It can be whatever you want it to be too, whether that is a calendar or motivational journal.
Follow along for step-by-step instructions:
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Faber-Castell Pitt Pens: #272 Warm Grey III, #157 Dark Indigo, #177 Walnut Brown, #146 Sky Blue
Tombow Brush Pens: Lamp Black #25, Cool Grey #45, Sand #992, Holly Green #312, Yellow Gold #026, True Blue #526
The bumblebee theme has been requested quite a bit and I finally decided to brave it! I marked out the dutch door and a circle to start with the wreath. The wreath is a very simple form - once you trace a circle just go around placing all the little leaves with different colors. I started with the blue and gray marker and then used the Archer & Olive markers for the smaller leaves. It is such a symmetrical, easy-to-achieve design, that I end up going back to wreaths again and again.
I was nervous about drawing the bumblebee but it wasn't as hard as I thought! So I tried to make this really approachable. Starting with an oval for the middle body and a semi circle for his head I added everything from there to keep it centered and symmetrical. I used teardrop shapes for the wings, and they don't match perfectly, but the dot grid can help with that too. The bottom is almost a heart shape to finish off his body. He has two sets of antennae and then two legs at the top of the heart on each side.
The bumblebee really comes together when you add color! I used two grays, lamp black, and a yellow gold marker. Starting with the black and yellow, I colored him in using vertical lines to create that fuzzy bee look. I used the dark gray to shade his middle body, but this could have been all black. The light gray was to give definition to his wings and to his stinger. Next, I used pen to add that sketchy black line to give him definition and help the image pop off the page.
As a reminder for patrons, I always have the cover page available as a printable so you can print it out and use it in your own journal.
Of course, underneath our cover page we have the month-at-a-glance! My little calendar peeks out and theres room for my goals and quick to do list with an illustration. I started off by tracing some honeycomb in, the perfect accompaniment to the bumblebee. The brush markers work perfectly since you can trace those clean lines and then fill them in with color.
Using the same color palette as the cover page, I did a simple floral overlapping the honeycomb. I started with the dark blue and slowly added more leaves, keeping it very simple and basic. Instead of doing another bumblebee, I used the same yellow to draw in a couple of flowers. I added a black line around the flower and just a few of the larger leaves for more detail and contrast.
This page got a little busy, I don't know how happy I am with layering over the honeycomb. But, it is a journal and it doesn't have to be perfect! If you have an idea, try it out! If something gets way too busy you can always add some washi tape or a piece of ripped paper overtop for a color block.
For April I am going back to a two-page spread! I have the calendar on the left and some extra room on the right. After marking out the grid in pencil, I traced a circle and blocked out the rectangle in the bottom right before starting in pen. If you know me, you know I don't like rulers! They slow things down, and I like the nearly-straight lines I create by pulling the pen towards my body.
I used the same title for April as I did on my cover page. Writing it out in pencil first, I traced it a couple of times in gray marker to thicken it up. On the right-hand side I added the shadow with a 01nib pen. I filled in the top bar with my lamp black marker and used gel pen for the days of the week.
I used the same gray to fill in the square in the bottom right. This will just create a nice area for notes or any type of list you want to create. Brush lettering can be really easy when you have the right markers! When you are pulling the brush towards your body, you will add pressure to thicken that area. The rest is written out with the finer tip of the marker to create the cursive title.
For the wreath, you will follow the same pattern as before. Starting with one color, go around the circle adding one leaf shape or floral at a time. I stuck with the same color palette and added some yellow flowers in here as well. This time I also added some black to tie it into the rest of the calendar page. Inside, you can write whatever you would like!
I loved the weekly layout last month and am using the same design again. I used different florals each week to mix things up - try to have fun with it! I start with 4 rectangles (11 squares across in an Archer & Olive notebook), and mark center to divide those into 8 rectangles. Creating a wider margin, I erase the middle of the rectangles so I have a gap for the florals and won't accidentally go over it in pen. I go over the rest with my fine liner, add the days of the week and the title, and designate the last space for notes.
It is a really simple set up, and leaves space for a creative illustration in the middle. I changed up my color palette by adding the green and sky blue, but still matched it with the grays and dark blue from before. Working through the middle, I approach this a lot like I do the wreath. I started with blue flowers, working with one color and one shape. Next, I added the blue leaves and then the green, working towards adding in the smaller and lighter elements as I go.
After I had a nice line of florals right through the middle, I added my bumblebees. Since they are so small, they are much easier to draw. I started with the black head, added two lines of yellow, and connected those with two lines of black. Add antennae and a leg or two, if you want, and sketch in the wings using the warm grey and fine liner. When it is so tiny you don't have to worry as much about the details as long as you get the shape right. And, that is our weekly spread all done!
I hope you liked this month! I enjoyed having the same color palette all the way through and love the big calendar with all the extra space. Have fun with it, and get creative!