It is time for our November Plan With Me and I'm definitely excited for this new month's spread! November's birth flower is chrysanthemums and I'm working in a mushroom theme as well to round out my autumn colors.
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I started with my dutch door cover page, blocking out the space for a chrysanthemum and mushroom illustration. It came together pretty simply, starting with some cute little mushrooms in the front. Remember when you are drawing these they can be any shape and the stem can be thick or thin, straight or curving. You can check out the blog post on watercolor mushrooms for some inspiration.
With those in the forefront, I started filling out the space behind with leaves and the chrysanthemums. I just used circles to block out the spaces for the flowers before starting going over the whole thing with my brush markers. Having the color palette ready to go, I was able to just have fun and be sure that everything would work together. For the mums I used a scribbly curling line going around in a circle to fill in the space.
When you are creating an illustration of a big burst of botanicals like this, you want to remember to use different sizes, plus contrasts and angles. This will give your illustration a little whimsy, liveliness, and movement that is hard to achieve when everything is the same size. My last step was to use my Pigma Micron to add a sketchy black line to give it some detail and a more polished look. I used a white gel pen to add the spots on the mushrooms before erasing all the pencil. After adding the title and cutting it out we are ready for the under page.
This page should look familiar, I always start the month with my goals and focus and let the calendar peek through to the cover page. I also like to illustrate the flower of the month and here we will get a little more detailed than on the cover page.
I started by blocking out two circles for the size of each flower. Starting with a small circle in the center, I added lines to it to indicate very tight petals. Going around that circle I added very thin and imperfect petals. Go around and around adding more and more - they don't need to be perfect or even. They are shallow in the front and longer in behind, around the very outer edge some are falling away and going every which way to give a nice natural look. Going over this in pen it comes together very straight forward if you've set yourself up this guide. The leaves I kept really simple and added a little line shading to create some contrast between the leaves and petals.
I wanted to keep the calendar fairly large this month, still on one page but filling up the space. I like to record all my YouTube videos on the calendar so it needs to be of a certain size - each grid in my Baron Fig is 4 by 3. Once I block it out in pencil, I go over it in pen, and since I hate rulers, I instead do this by pulling the pen towards myself. I added a little illustration down below by penciling in some lines and then turning each one into a little floral doodle. It is really simple but still looks nice and sophisticated.
On the left hand page I glued in a piece of crumpled paper, for some extra texture and pattern. I stuck with a simple botanical silhouette. Its a great example of what you can do in your journal - you don't have to be a great artist to create something pretty while you relax and unwind.
I am most excited for this month's weekly spread which includes a dutch door! I saw this online and couldn't believe I hadn't created a spread with a dutch door before. The original was done by @bulletjournalbymarieke. It is the perfect place for a little to-do list or goals list. Last month I did a seven day layout and found that my weekends were wasted space since I don't use them as much. On this spread I included Monday through Friday and left lots of extra room for some illustrations. I kept everything in pen, sticking to my classic black and white. This year I challenged myself to do all color cover pages and include more color in general but as 2021 approaches I'm not sure what will come next.
Have fun with this months chrysanthemums and doodles!