I’m on a roll this weekend. So helpful to have a full four-day weekend – gives me plenty of time to take care of necessary tasks as well as put in some play time with my art journal.
The funny story to this particular layout is that I wanted to knock one out so I could finally clean my office / art room. Yes. I had to get messy so I could finally clean! Logic.
I also wanted to just get in and play without any particular goals in mind this time around. And boy, did I ever. This is definitely a mixed media piece.
I was feeling particularly inspired by a couple of YouTube videos I had watched by a couple of my favorite art journalers (journalists?).
I took the idea MixedMedia Jenn had in her Artful Delight video to do a bunch of journaling on the base of the page in my own handwriting. For this I pulled quotes from my Simple Abundance book that I found interesting or inspirational. I wrote them in my normal sloppy cursive using a Sharpie pen.
I was also feeling inspired by France Papillon’s latest layout techniques she shared on her Take a Chance video, so I mimicked some of it with the torn pages, textures and drippy, runny paint on the edges.
I have some progress photos to share, including one that is a rare shot of how messy my workspace gets while I’m doing art – especially mixed media art.
So here are the steps I took as best I can remember.
Hand-wrote quotes in cursive in various directions all over the blank page with a Sharpie pen. Glued down a few torn book pages with Golden Soft Gel Matte, and then also a few torn pieces of paper towel that I had used earlier for cleanup. This page is definitely all about texture, texture, texture.
I then smeared some Liquitex white gesso in places on the page with a palette knife, making sure to leave large peaks of the medium. I gave the page a good drying with my heat tool, then added more texture with a honey-comb type stencil and some Faber-Castell Whipped Spackle.
Once again, I dried the page with my heat tool, noting that in some places, if I held the heat tool too close for too long over the Whipped Spackle that it actually made it blister and bubble. I thought it was kind of cool so I did it on purpose in a couple spots.
It was then time to start adding color to the page. I wanted to go with purples and pinks. I used my Artist’s Loft acrylics for this, painting on the edges with a really wet brush and then squirting the edges with my spray bottle to get the paint to run. The fun part was seeing how the paper towels I had stuck to the page absorbed a lot of the paint when it was dripping down the page. Unexpected but cool results.
I did this several times on both the left and right edges of the layout. And because I didn’t want to waste any paint, I occasionally took my paintbrush with the remaining paint really wetted down and just brushed it across the layout in various spots. I dried the layout again and then added a little sparkle with some gold glitter paint I had purchased from Target back in the summer. It’s clear paint with gold glitter in it. I touched it to a few spots on my page and then dried the layout again.
At this point I decided I should get a focal piece on the page. I grabbed some leftover cuttings of watercolored paper I had used when making the “Saved by Grace” coptic stitch journal and decided on one largish piece to use as an anchor for the focal piece. I adhered it to the page with the gel medium, and then later had to go back (because of all the texture underneath it) and re-glued behind it with some Elmer’s Craft Bond glue.
I took out some butterfly garland I had purchased during the summer at a gift shop and used one of them for my layout. If it looks familiar, it’s the same butterfly I’ve used in my “Hello” layout a long time ago. I clipped the wings off of the plastic bug piece and set them aside. I didn’t want the pink piece of paper to be just pink so I stamped over it with Ranger Archival Ink in black and a butterfly stamp image from the Flutterby collection, stamping the image a few times around the layout to remove as much ink as I could from the stamp.
The focal piece needed still more, in my opinion, so I took a strip of washi tape and taped it down the right side. Then I took my Recollections black spray ink and sprayed a spot on the upper right of the anchor piece and then in another random spot on the left of the whole layout.
I drew the butterfly’s body on the anchor and then adhered the wings to the page with Elmer’s Craft Bond glue.
At this point it was time to add a sentiment to the page. I didn’t really feel like doing any hand lettering this time (I had plenty of it going on in the background, anyway.) So this time I just typed out the sentiment in a nice font on my computer and printed it. Confession: I don’t normally like this “ransom letter” kind of approach to adding words to the page. I think part of it is because I typically see these little notes pasted to pages with such loose leading (the space between lines.) I like my “type” nice and tight (it’s a graphic designer thing). So that’s why you see I have my text arranged so close together. I adhered this to the page with more gel medium.
I then added final touches to the layout by adding another layer of randomly smeared white gesso, hit all the edges with more Archival ink, and as a final touch added Ranger Glossy Accents to the butterfly’s body. Interesting to note that the Glossy Accents made the overrun of Elmer’s Craft Bond glue go opaque (the glue had originally dried clear.)
Hope you enjoyed the layout. Please leave a comment, like or share the page! Thank you!
List of materials:
Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Torn book pages
Torn paper towel
Liquitex wite gesso
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Artist’s Loft Acrylic paints
Gold glitter paint
Faber-Castell Whipped Spackle
Elmer’s CraftBond tacky glue
Ranger Archival Ink
Ranger Glossy Accents