Things not what they seem . . .


Sometimes, things are not what they seem, and on my recent road trip, I ran into a couple of good examples of this that I wanted to record in my trip journal. By the time I got done with the page, I had used some interesting techniques that I thought would be worth sharing with you.

The first thing was a tree. We saw it while getting gas before we ever left Santa Fe. . .


If this tree looks a little strange to you, there is a good reason. It is not a tree at all. It is a cell tower dressed up like a tree. Not bad, but a real tree would look like this . . .


However, you gotta hand it to them – the pretend tree certainly looks better than a big pole with lots of metal boxes on it.

The second strange thing came up when we were just about to Albuquerque, and I saw this . . .


That doesn’t look so unusual for the Southwest, right? Just a lone pueblo building on a barren plain.

However, that really was the Sandia Casino and Resort, which looks more like this . . .


It’s vast and huge, and not at all isolated. It’s all a matter of where you are looking from. Driving southbound on I-25, for a brief moment, you get the simplified version.

So, I wanted to put these two subjects in my journal, and usually, I would sketch and paint them.

But I was feeling very lazy, and I didn’t want to draw everything to scale etc.

So, first I turned to my iPad where I had imported the photos (actually shot with my iPhone from the car).

There is an iPad app called Artist’s Sketch that does a very good job of turning photos into sketches. There are lots of iPad apps that do this, and you can do it with filters in Photoshop and Elements as well, but I like this app the best,


So I turned the two photos into sketches that looked like this . . .


I then flipped them and printed them onto Sheer Heaven . . .


Once they were transferred into my Stilman & Birn Beta journal, all I had left to do was paint . . .


So, the message here is that if you are too lazy to draw something like I was, or if you aren’t all that happy with your drawing skills, but like to add color, this is a perfect way to get anything from a photo into your art journal – as an illustration.

Try this – it’s fun!

10 thoughts on “Things not what they seem . . .

  1. Kathy Berger

    Love, Love, Love this idea! Going to have to get some Sheer Heaven so I can do this to photos I take on my trip east this summer! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. linda g

    very cool! I hope I can figure out how to do something similar with my Samsung S3. I love taking pictures with it and would love to do sketch versions on cards for my garden club.

    I already have the Sheer Heaven!
    And I love whatever….whenever!

  3. jessica

    Linda, don’t even know what a Samsung S3 is, but if it uses Android apps, I am absolutely sure there must be one that turns a photo to a sketch. Search the Android apps for “Sketch” and they will usually come up.

    Also, if you have Photoshop or Elements, look under Filters for the Group called “Sketch” and try them. You also need to be able to flip the file horizontally.

  4. Jeanne

    What a great idea! Yet another great idea, I should say. This is a real boon for someone like myself who can’t draw. Well, draw something that looks like what I intended it to be. I went right to the App Store and downloaded it. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

  5. vickiee

    Jessica – can I use Sheer Heaven in a laser printer? Or must it be a water-based ink printer?


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