We are right at the edge of the NEW YEAR! I love new beginnings, I don’t personally make new years “resolutions” but I do set intentions (usually focused around art) I also love starting new sketchbooks in the new year! I was looking through my stencils and decided to take one of my blank sketchbooks (I have a huge collection of sketchbooks waiting for a purpose) and turn it into a Chinese Zodiac theme sketchbook! Astrology and astronomy are interests of mine and 2017 is the year of the Rooster! I got out some red washi tape, gold, black and white gesso, a few stencils and got to work making a fun custom sketchbook! Check out the supplies below and lets get creating!
TCW White Gesso
TCW Gold Gesso
TCW Black Gesso
TCW639 Brazen Star
TCW2149 The Sea
Washi Tape (I used red)
White Gel Pen
Large, Medium & Round Detail Paintbrushes
A Sketchbook with a Blank Cover
Before we get started how about a little background info about the Rooster Chinese Zodiac sign. The year of the Rooster officially starts on Chinese New Year’s day which is January 28, 2017. Those born in the year of the Rooster are said to be active, amusing and popular among the crowd. Roosters are talkative, outspoken, frank, open, honest, and loyal individuals. They like to be the center of attention and always appear attractive and beautiful!
Now onto the project!
To start I used TCW White Gesso to cover about 90% of my blank craft colored sketchbook cover. I brushed it on and left a little variation in the paint to add interest.
Next I added red Washi tape to the edges to give it a clean finished look plus the red & white look really great together and red is a lucky color for the new year.
I let the gesso dry completely before I sketched out my rooster. I used a really light touch of the pencil so that I could erase and redraw to get my rooster exactly where I wanted him. I pushed him to the right a bit so I could add some lettering on the left.
Once my sketch was done I used TCW Black Gesso to fill in the body. I used a detail brush to get right along the edge of my sketch and a bigger brush to fill in the main body section.
Once the black gesso was dry I used a small round brush to add some red paint to the detail areas of my rooster sketch. I chose Blick Matte Acrylic since the black gesso dries flat I thought it would be a good match.
I finished up the base paint of my rooster with a touch of orange paint once the red was dry. I then went back an tweaked all of the colors to help fill out the shapes a bit more or adjust any rough edges.
Since the black gesso dries so flat and smooth I used my favorite white gel pen ( uni-ball Signo ) to draw in my detail pattern and tail feather lines. Once I got these initial lines down I waited until they were dry before using stencil TCW2149 The Sea to create the roosters wing. Below you can see how I placed the stencil and then repeated and closed out a few lines it to finish out the full wing.
I enjoy looking for different ways to use the shapes in my stencils. This fish tale made a perfect wing and the curved lines feel ornate and interesting.
Next I used TCW2149 The Sea to create a scroll work look at the bottom of my design. This gives the rooster a type of ground to stand on and it works with my Chinese theme.
I added 2017 in the blank space I left at the beginning to go along with my new years theme and I also tried to mimic the fluid feel of the stenciled scroll work at the bottom to help it feel like it is part of one design.
To finish off my cover I used my round detail brush to add a patten to the cover using TCW Gold Gesso. I started at the top and used the side of my brush to make each mark. I like how the variation of the marks brings interest to the cover but the pattern still creates a uniform look.
I love how this project turned out and as you can see the colors go along with the overall Chinese New Years theme. I would love to see how you celebrate the new year and what sketchbooks, journals and books you will be using come 2017 so be sure to share your creations or thoughts on The Crafter’s Workshop Facebook page or by tagging The Crafter’s Workshop on Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest! Also tag me @Drawriot if you share on Instagram! Until next time, keep creating and Happy New Year! 😉
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. This post also contains affiliate links. The opinions I share are solely my own.
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member