As has been my trend lately, I’m still playing catch up on blogging about my art journal pages.
Today’s layout is one I finished last weekend. It was in line with my Wanderlust class and it was week one. The instructor in the class put together a beautiful layout and her instruction for the class was to think of your “word for the day”.
I was feeing fairly introspective that day and have also been thinking about my year ahead and what I’d like to see happen in the different aspects of my life. I keep feeling a lot of hopeful expectation lately so I chose the word “Optimistic” as my word for the journal layout, and that is my overall word for 2016.
This was my first time working in the altered writing journal I purchased from Hallmark. I think it held up pretty nicely, with the exception that the wet media from the Brushos seeped through many layers along the spine. Not that I get really upset over that. It’s an art journal, after all, and I sort of expect a bit of untidiness. I can paint over what I don’t like in future layouts.
All pages in this journal were prepped ahead of time by gluing them together in sets of four to create a sturdier base. I’d recommend a similar course of action if you plan on altering any books with lightweight paper stock for art journaling.
This layout started off with my painting a light layer of Liquitex white gesso over the background to kind of cover up some of the lines on the page a little. I didn’t mind if they showed through here and there, but just wanted to tone them down a bit.
I then decided to splatter on some Liquid Frisket (masking fluid) to see if I could get some interesting effects out of it. I used an old brush I don’t care about (same brush I use with gel medium) and splattered some of the masking fluid on the page in the middle, horizontally, being sure to wash the brush quickly after.
Once that dried I decided to play with my Brushos. I dabbed down clean water with a paint brush first then sprinkled on the Brushos in Purple, Crimson, Scarlet and Ost. Blue. I kept dabbing more water and sprinkling more Brushos until I felt I had done enough, then dried the page. Like most watercolors, Brushos tend to dry lighter than how they appear when wet. I removed the dried masking fluid to reveal some clean spots in the middle of the page where the splatters had been.
My next step was adding the torn bits of music paper. I downloaded some free music sheets from online (just google “free sheet music” and you’ll find a ton of sources.) I printed a couple sheets then gave one sheet a treatment with Gelatos in Iced Chai, Snow Cone, Black Cherry and some red that for whatever reason that particular Gelatos set does not have names printed on the tubes.
I wet the page down and smeared the Gelatos with my finger. Because this was typical printer paper, the Gelatos didn’t quite spread very well (should have gessoed the page first). After a while, all the water I added also saturated the page pretty good and made the paper very soft so I decided to give it more interest and crumpled up the page while it was wet then spread it back out and hit it with my heat tool.
Once these were dry, I tore the page into pieces then adhered a few pieces in random spots to the layout with Golden Sot Gel Matte.
I took one of those torn pieces and flipped it over to use for the space for my “Optimistic” word. I took some Distress ink in Seedless Preserves and hit the edges with it.
I wrote the word “Optimistic” on the piece using my dip pen and blue ink. The paper was still just a slight bit damp, so it made the ink bleed a little. I sharpened up the word by writing back over it later when the paper was truly dry with a blue Sharpie pen.
I also had a bit of ink left over on my dip pen after writing the word “Optimistic”, so I used up the rest of that ink by splattering it on the layout and also drawing little tiny hearts here and there.
The page needed more movement to it, so I drew some swirly vines traveling from left to right across the page on a slight diagonal. I used a white Uni-ball Signo pen to do this, then used a Bic Mark-It marker in a dark purple color to sort of highlight the vines a little better so they wouldn’t be completely lost.
I stamped a couple swirly images in random places on the layout, as well, with Distress ink in Seedless Preserves and a fluid chalk ink in a light lavender color. You can barely see the latter, but that’s cool. I like slightly hidden elements on my layouts.
I was just about finished. I just needed to add some depth behind where the “Optimistic” word was going to go, so I figured out where I wanted to place it then used one of my Faber-Castell PITT artist pens in a dark blue to scribble a drop shadow behind where the word would go. I softened its appearance by quickly smudging the ink while I scribbled it on. This is a technique you can really only achieve decently over non-porous surfaces, and the gel medium I had used to adhere the music paper with helped create that.
I adhered the word to the page with a Martha Stewart glue pen – I didn’t want to have the piece completely flush with the page, so that’s why I chose the glue pen route – the edges are free-floating above the page and makes it interesting.
I’m pretty satisfied with the layout. Not one of my absolute favorites, but I don’t dislike it, either. I really do appreciate the message it provides, however.
List of materials:
Altered Hallmark writing journal
Liquitex white gesso
Torn sheet music
Golden Soft Gel Matte
Uni-ball Signo pen
Bic Mark-it marker
Faber-Castell PITT artist pen
Martha Stewart glue pen