Every now and then it helps to have a topic to get you going on a page. I recommend making a list of things about you when you start your journal, and if you ever get stuck in a journal block you can reference the list to see if anything inspires you. Typically I will give out one or two journal assignments to my students over the course of a semester or year. One of my standard assignments is to create two pages, one should be a low-light of your week, the other should be a highlight.

This page is my low-light of the week. I have four sinks in my classroom, and I love my sinks. I really appreciate them because in the past we have had two art teachers at my school, and one always had to be in a room without a sink. If you know anything about teaching art you know that a sink is practically a requirement. So, I really do appreciate my sink… However in addition to my long job list as artist, teacher, maid, and counselor, I also have to add plumber. Some people don’t understand that you can’t shove every unused art material down the sink… You really need to throw excess in the trash (or even better save it for later or just don’t start with an excess) before you rinse off brushes, etc. Every now and then (and by every now and then I really mean at least once a week) one of my four sinks gets clogged, and fills with water, because people want to use the sink even though it obviously isn’t draining… and I whip out my plunger and get to it.

Even though unclogging my many sinks is a low-light in a way I can still look at it as a highlight because once all the nasty stuff is out of the way sometimes beautiful splashes of paint remain. I hate clogged sinks, but in a way it can turn into a work of art.

I used gesso to create a hazy base, then I drew the sink outline with pencil, and added value to create depth. I also used India Ink in the dark areas to emphasize the darker value. After I added all the shadows I went back with gesso to emphasize the highlights. To create the paint splatters I used bleeding tissue paper and blew it to create the splatter effect.

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