I’m playing catch-up again on my blogging about my art projects. I have been busy these last couple weeks between finishing the Converging Nebulae painting, sketching up a storm in my travel Moleskine, doing a layout in my Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal and doing another layout in another person’s journal in the Pass the Journal group.
I’m going to attempt to go back in chronological order of completion for this, however, and touch down first on the second journal I’ve worked in for the Pass the Journal group.
The journal this time was a hand-made journal, which was fun to open up and browse through, seeing what kind of stock its creator had chosen to use for the paper and how she put it together. It looks like she pulled a bunch of junk mail together to create the journal, which I thought was pretty cool. The paper she chose was fairly thick. Not mixed media thick, but thicker than say, typical printer paper.
I decided not to glue the pages together as the owner mentioned there was just enough paper in it for a full spread for each participant in the group.
I was tempted to allow some of the print on the paper show through my design at first, but what happened ended up being my usual course of action with art journaling: I threw color down on the page and it developed a life of its own—and that life did not include the text from the pages peeking through.
So for this layout, I ended up gessoing the spread pretty generously at first since I didn’t want any work I did on it seeping through. For this I used Liquitex white gesso.
I then set about playing with color. I was feeling like working in blues and yellows again (I’ve been doing that quite a bit lately, I realize,) so I chose to work with some of my Artist’s Loft acrylics in Brilliant Yellow, Turquoise and Pearl. Naturally at some of their overlap points they converged to create green.
Next I did some stamping on the layout using my ColorBox inks. I primarily used the blues in the palette and a little green. The stamps I used were from the Flutterby collection and they have a pretty swirly design with little butterflies and dragonflies. I actually put two separate stamps together on my acrylic block and stamped them at the same time. These were mostly going to be more background images than any sort of focal point so it didn’t matter to me if they were both stamped at the same time. I also used some Salty Ocean Distress ink over a stencil design for more added interest.
I really have to confess here that the background work of this layout was heavily influenced by Mimi Bondi’s work. I love her approach with color and layering so I definitely wanted to experiment with it. I recommend you go check her out. Her art will blow you away.
I allowed the layout to dry pretty thoroughly before I moved on to anything further. At this point I was also trying to let ideas form for the focal point of the page. The journal’s owner had requested a theme of “New Beginnings” so I was trying to figure out what would work.
When I finally had an idea of what I wanted to do, I got to work on the focal pieces. I decided to go with large roses on the layout in similar colors. In hindsight, the more I look at the layout, the more I think it’s too green and yellow and I should have maybe made a white rose or something to break it all up. However, that’s the process of art, my friends. You make something and then learn from it and then remember it and apply what you’ve learned the next time you do something similar.
I drew the roses onto a couple separate pieces of scrapbook paper with a Sharpie pen, as well as the leaves. I shaded them in with hatching at first, but felt the color was still too flat for my taste so went back over the shaded areas with Derwent Inktense pencils in darker hues that would match the paper, then brushed over the pencil marks with a damp brush to create additional shading and color depth.
I cut the roses and leaf shapes out of the paper and then placed them onto the layout to figure out how I wanted them to sit. By this time I figured out I also wanted a strip of scrapbook paper to run along the horizontal center of the layout. I decided, as well, that I would write my sentiment there.
Before I glued everything down, I added some shading by painting some ColourArte silks in Black Emerald over the areas where the roses and paper strip would be attached. The silks add a little extra shine to the page, as well.
Once the silks dried, I adhered everything down using Golden Soft Gel Matte. I painted over the top of all the paper, too, to help seal it, then when the gel medium was dry, I traced around the flowers and leaves with a white Uni-ball Signo pen.
Next, I wrote down my sentiment. I just came up with something in my head that would unite the roses with the “New Beginnings” theme. I wrote in loose cursive script: “Life unfurls and reveals its beauty like a rose. To new beginnings.”
The layout needed something more so I pulled out some border stickers I had purchased a long time ago when I was working part-time at a scrapbooking shop. I put a strip of little blue flowers down beneath the strip of paper with the sentiment on it then strengthened their bond by going over them with more gel medium. I also added some splatters of white gesso to the layout, covering the roses and sentiment with scrap paper so the splatters wouldn’t get on those.
I gave the roses some literal sparkle by painting some Faber-Castell Glass Bead Glitter Gel over them. My final step was inking the edges of the layout with some black Archival ink to help pull everything in.
List of materials:
Hand-made art journal
Artist’s Loft Acrylics
Gelly Roll pen
ColourArte Silks acrylic glaze
Uni-ball Signo pen
Derwent Inktense pencils
Recollections scrapbook paper
Faber-Castell Glass Bead Glitter Gel