My New Obsession

HANDMADE ART BOOKS. After the wrap up of the 365 paintings and a bit of rest, I remembered a class I really wanted to finish. Another one from my go-to teacher Carla Sonheim. Her little art books are charming. I wanted to learn a quick manual storyboarding technique for a few story seeds born from the paintings in 2013. This way I can visually sort through them and document which ones to bookmark for future projects. What you see here is a watercolor book in progress. It’s just practice. I have no idea where it’s going. The only thing just about finished is the cover. Her technique is fascinating. I created some free form watercolors on both sides of the paper. Cut the book for the best possible story scenes/shapes. I then find the images in each spread and carve away with pencil and paint until the book is done. This bird in the middle flap just ‘happened’ — I love those happy accidents. So scroll through. I’ll post the final book when complete.


Inner Fold Close Up

It’s just as much of a discovery for me as it will for anyone who views it in the end.

Book in progress

Book in progress

There are 10 layouts front and back throughout.


Cover Before

This was the cover blobs and puddles before I worked on it.


Cover After

Oops, I guess there is a penguin who wants to be in the story. It’s definitely a bird story. Looks like a curious rabbit as well.

Happy Monday!




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  • Lisha January 6, 2014   Reply →

    So wonderful of you to share your process. It’s lovely and whimsical 🙂

    • niya January 6, 2014   Reply →

      Oh thank you. Yes, it’s nice to slow down a bit, I can take the time to share more about the process. ; )

  • Verna Wilder January 6, 2014   Reply →

    ah! love the process and the “accidents” that are pure inspiration. Thanks for sharing the process, Niya.

    • niya January 6, 2014   Reply →

      Yes those happy accidents just delight the heck outta me.

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