Quickie layout to share with you this evening. I’m excited to share I have just four layouts left to do in my Canson. I’m finding the Canson’s getting more challenging to work in as the bulk adds up from previous pages. That’s the case with any art journal with heavy layers of mixed media, however. My first art journal – the Moleskine – got crazy thick and required a spine adjustment when I was done with it.
I’ve been noticing at times that my art journal really doesn’t hold to any specific theme. I have a lot of differing scenes, themes, techniques, subjects, etc. Part of me was lamenting that I should be sticking with a particular look and honing it – practice, practice, practice that one particular technique or style, etc.
But then I thought of my art journal as a place to play. And learn. And experiment. This journal really reflects that, I think. It has so many different layouts in it that were all approached in so many different ways.
I hope this encourages those of you getting into art journaling. No – art journaling doesn’t all have to be mixed media in bright colors with paintings of birds or flowers or mopey-eyed girls. It doesn’t have to be full of masterpieces or disasters, either.
It can be pencil drawings, ink drawings, single-media paintings, maker drawings, collages of images cut from magazines, washi tape, chipboard, muted and subtle or bright and exhilarating. It can be a mix of all of it or just a few things.
It’s what works for you (and if any of the above mentioned layouts are your thing, then that’s fantastic, too! Do it!)
I’m glad I’m doing this because I know in the long run, I am learning things. And I think that’s what my art journals will primarily always be about – learning and practicing new things.
Tonight’s layout is one such experiment. I was inspired by watching the late Bob Ross do one of his amazing paintings on YouTube. I’m so glad they put his stuff up on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. I remember watching him in sheer fascination as a child. I wanted so bad to pull out oil paints, too, and do what he was doing.
I actually have yet to get into oil paints. I played with them a bit during my high school years. But they take so long to dry and are so messy to work with. It’s one medium I tend to avoid. Perhaps one day when I can establish a better studio where I don’t have to worry about paint flying everywhere and have room to let pieces sit out and dry for days, I’ll get into oils. Watercolors, however, are super friendly for me in my nice converted bedroom studio. They’re easy to clean and dry fast. So I love them. And I love the way the colors have a mind of their own on a wet piece of paper.
So, while this painting isn’t done in oils like Mr. Ross’, I feel it still accomplished a very close look to what he demonstrated.
I covered the entire layout first with Faber-Castell chalkboard paint (in lieu of black gesso demonstrated in the video since I didn’t have any black gesso.) I dabbed on Liquitex white gesso using a wadded up baby wipe. I then painted the trees on the layout using Artist’s Loft black and gray acrylic paints and more Liquitex white gesso. The bushes were accomplished using a foam brush using the same acrylics and white gesso. I painted additional sticks over the bushes in black acrylic.
This left for a very beautiful tonal black and white painting in and of itself. I was very tempted to leave it as it was. But decided to take it all the way and see what adding color would do.
Once the page dried, I then painted over the top with a glazing of Grumbacher Academy watercolor paints in phthalo and ultramarine blue, lemon yellow, and burnt sienna.
So cool seeing this turn out so similar to Bob Ross’ painting. And I didn’t require oils to do it, either!
This is a technique I will certainly tuck away for future uses. As a note, I recently purchased a black page Moleskine “album” that I’ll be using for future art journaling pages. This layout would work very well with that.
Lesson for the day is think outside the box a little – if you see something done with a particular medium that you do not have, give it a try with something else that you have on hand and know may have similar outcomes. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Hope you enjoyed the layout. Leave a comment below or like the page and share with your friends. :) Thanks for reading!
List of materials:
Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Mod Podge (to glue pages together)
Faber-Castell black chalkboard paint
Liquitex white gesso
Artist’s Loft acrylic paints
Grumbacher Academy watercolors