I warned you in my last entry that I’m trying to play catch up. :)
I began work on this layout earlier this week. I think it was actually on the day after I finished my Converging Nebulae painting. I was just itching to do a layout in my own personal journal before the next round of Pass the Journal books hit. This was all for me, greedy person that I am.
I was still feeling pretty influenced by Mimi Bondi’s background techniques so wanted to give it another go. This time my intention was to cover over a vast majority of the background, however, and let the background peek through on what would be the focal points of the layout.
For once I started a layout with something particular in mind!
I also wanted to do hearts in honor of this month being February and having Valentine’s Day coming up fast.
To start this layout, I pulled out my Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal and gave a new spread a light coating of Liquitex white gesso with a palette knife.
Once the gesso was dry after hitting it with my heat tool, I set about adding color all over the spread with Artist’s Loft acrylics in Deep Magenta, Brilliant Magenta, Brilliant Yellow, Aqua Green, Turquoise, Phthalo Blue, Metallic Purple and Metallic White. I dabbed the color on gradually and used my fingers to spread it around. I did this in a couple of layers, drying in between, in order to get a good bright saturation of color.
I dried the layout and then set to work stamping over it like I did in the New Beginnings layout with some ColorBox inks and Flutterby stamps. I took an extra step to also dab some Brilliant Magenta through a stencil using a sponge.
When all of that was dry I decided to do some actual journaling on the page with a silver Gelly Roll pen. I wrote a long stream of thoughts in random spots all over the journal, turning it so that my text was never all in the same direction. Because I already knew I wanted the theme of the layout to be “Rhapsody”, I just chose to write about things I was feeling grateful for and enthusiastic about.
The next step was the scary step for me. It was going to be to cover the majority of this beautiful background work so the focal pieces could pop.
I drew the hearts onto the layout first and then the word “RHAPSODY” as these were the elements I wanted the background to peek through.
Then I took a deep breath and covered over the rest of the background with the Metallic White acrylic paint. I used my fingers for the larger areas and then used a small paint brush to get into the narrower spots between the hearts and the letters.
It’s almost heart-breaking to cover all that work up! I’m honestly glad I took several progress photos so I can remember what it all looked like before I covered it. But I think the end result came out great, so covering the background was the right thing to do.
I used the white paint because I needed to neutralize the background for the colors I was going to use. Some of the acrylics can tend to be a bit on the transparent side so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to just make mud.
Once the white paint dried, I painted down a mix of the Brilliant Magenta, Deep Magenta and Metallic Purple. I at first did this with my fingers in random blobs of color, then decided I needed to just mix them all together on a palette and put them down on the page that way. I again used a paint brush to get between the narrow spaces.
After the paint was completely dry, I went back over the black outlines around the heart shapes and the lettering to clean up the edges. I then outlined those with a white Uni-ball Signo pen. The pen kept skipping for some reason, and I’m not sure if it was because it didn’t like trying to go over the acrylics, or if the pen itself is just getting old. I didn’t mind how the skipping looked, however, so I didn’t try to perfect it and solidify the lines.
I thought I was finished with the painting then but held it out at arms length and determined it still needed something more to pull it all together.
I decided to splatter some white gesso over the layout and then drew some wavy white borders around the edges, thinking I’d be satisfied with it then. Nope. How about some Distress Crackle Paint and some Ranger Glossy Accents? I painted Clear Rock Candy Crackle Paint over the top of the largest heart and then hit one small heart next to it with the Glossy Accents as well as the “RHAPSODY” lettering.
Even after that, it still wasn’t sitting right with me, so I decided to set it aside and come back to it the following day after work, which would also allow the crackle paint and glossy accents plenty of time to dry.
When I came back to the layout I decided it needed some shading around the hearts to give them depth because the painting, overall, was still feeling very flat to me. I added the shading via doing pointillism (or stipple in graphic design terms) with a black Bic Mark-It marker. If you’re not familiar, pointillism is a technique where you place dots all over an image – the closer together the dots, the darker the value, the further apart, the lighter.
I decided to fill a little more of the blank space with some text in white so I looked up the definition of the word rhapsody and wrote down its meaning on the page above the lettering. Above that I wrote “Love, Joy and Passion” and then beneath the “RHAPSODY” lettering I wrote “My rhapsody is art!”
This layout was definitely a process to put together. I’m really glad, actually, that it took me all these steps and a lot of down time and thinking time to come to some solutions to complete it. I feel I learned a lot from it.
Most of all, I don’t regret covering up gorgeous background I made because what peeks through in the final layout is just perfect.
List of materials:
Ranger Dylusions Creative Journal
Torn Random Text page
Golden Soft Gel Matte
Artist’s Loft Acrylics
Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic
Golden Fiber Paste
Uni-ball Signo pen