“Journey’s End”

journey-1 journey-2

This is the offical final layout inside my Canson Mixed Media Sketchbook!

I am currently working on the cover design and then I get to call this, my second art journal, fully complete!

It is difficult explaining the feeling I have when setting forth on this and seeing it through to completion from start to finish. Maybe it shows me that I am really serious and dedicated with this instead of viewing it as just a hobby.

While it will always be fun to me, it doesn’t feel like a hobby. It is creative work manifest and my honoring my creative streak by giving it a place to come out and shine.

I absolutely loved working on this layout and I learned a few techniques I enjoyed that I will carry forward into other layouts for sure.

I am still in the mood to do sort of distressed, metallic looks, so that’s the approach I took for this layout.

IMG_0194I began the layout by putting down some of my Tim Holtz Idea-ology Postale tissue wrap. Instant interesting background. I then took a baby wipe I had used from my previous layout to clean up and tore it into some pieces and adhered it to the page with Golden Soft Gel Matte. The baby wipe was dry by this time, of course. But it made for some really interesting texture. It is very cloth-like. After I had those pieces stuck to the page, I spread some Liquitex white gesso over the layout with a palette knife to create additional texture then dried it all with my heat tool.

I painted over the layout with Artist’s Loft acrylics in silver, gray and metallic black, keeping the brush very wet to give the paint a bit of translucency and to allow it to blend nicely with other paints. At one point, I had put down a bit too much of the metallic black, so I softened it up and removed some with a baby wipe.

IMG_0195I was thrilled with how the background came out. I loved the textures going on, and how some of the old paint from my previous layout on the baby wipe was peeking out. I really did get the distressed industrial look I was going for.

By this time I had formulated what I wanted the sentiment of the page to be. I wanted it to reflect that it was the final layout in the journal but that there is an anticipation of more to come. I love the saying about another door opening when one shuts so I used that as the sentiment for the page, with a title that says “Journey’s End”.

IMG_0196I wanted to represent a door on the page, so I took out a neat bridge score card to use as the base for the door shape. I had purchased a set of the cards from a Hallmark store a while ago with the full purpose of using them somehow for art journaling. I prepped the card by smearing white gesso over it with a palette knife, drying both the front and the interior. At one point, when the interior was maybe 70% dry, I closed the card up, pressed it down really good and then opened it – the parts that hadn’t dried yet stuck together and then created an interesting pattern when I pulled the card back open.

Here’s where more magic happened and I discovered a layering combination of paints that is just beautiful.

I wanted the door to be blue so it would stand out on the layout, but I also wanted more of that sort of distressed metallic appearance.

I approached this by painting down a layer of turquoise and phthalo blue, then brushed over it lightly with a little metallic black and then hit it with some copper.

This was one of those moments where, when the paint dried, I looked at it and said out loud “holy crap that’s beautiful!”

It’s hard to explain what the effect looks like to me. It reminds me of some of those druzy gems you see that have a blue and copper hue to them. Or almost hologram-ish in ways. I can’t put my finger on it, but I know I’ve seen the appearance before. It almost reminds me of oil slicks I see on the ground that have been there a while and have been hit with some water. They take on an interesting, colorful sheen. If you know of what I speak and you know the exact term for it, feel free to share it below.

IMG_0197Regardless, I was extremely happy with the results of the paint combo.

After the paint dried, I drew “planks” on the door and a little doorknob and keyhole so it would look more door-ish with my sharpies. On the interior, I wrote the sentiment “As one door shuts, another opens.” using my white Uni-ball Signo pen.

I wanted the door to have something interesting to anchor to, so I dug through my stash of miscellaneous ephemera and came across a set of chalkboard gift tags I had purchased a long time ago in one of those dollar bins at the front of Michael’s. I stuck it to the page with gel medium and then adhered the door over the top of that.

I took out a piece of turquoise blue card stock and wrote “Journey’s End” on it with my sharpie then cut those pieces down and distressed them with a very light touch of Walnut distress ink then hit the sides with black Archival ink. I glued those to the page with more gel medium, then hit the edges of the door with more archival ink. As a final touch put a little gem where the door knob would be.


journey-4And there you have it. My final Canson mixed media sketchbook layout.

You will no longer hear me moaning about wanting to get finished with the Canson. You’re welcome. ;)

Hope you enjoyed the layout. Please leave a comment, like or share the page! Thank you!

List of materials:

Canson Mixed Media sketchbook
Tim Holtz Postale tissue wrap
Sharpie pen
Torn baby wipe
Liquitex wite gesso
Golden Soft Gel (Matte)
Artist’s Loft Acrylic paints
Bridge score card
Chalkboard gift tag
Neenah card stock
Uni-ball Signo pen
Distress ink
Archival ink

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