Thursday, March 8, 2012

Using Backgrounds You DON'T Love When Art Journalling

I thought I'd use this post to answer a few questions I get asked over and over again in comments and via email about my art journalling.

The first is something to the effect of "What paper is that in your journal. I love all the pretty colors? Who makes that?" Um... I do. This is what my journal looks like:

And just in case you don't believe me (and several people haven't) , here's a page with the background done... see, white pages come next. 

"What do you mean, 'You make backgrounds?'" Well, I fill up those lovely white pages with whatever I feel like doing at the time. It's nice to get rid of all that white. My method is to brush gesso on the raw pages and let it dry. I do this so the supplies I use on top smear around and blend better. It also gives the page a little tooth.

Here are some backgrounds in my art journal waiting to be called into action.

Which brings me to, "What do you do when you hate a background?"

You just need to have a little faith. 

Which brings me to today's page and the awful, embarrassing atrocity it started out as.

You're welcome. Now that we've all had our laugh today... I tore off the tape. It didn't work.

Then I sanded off all the gel pen scribbles. 

Wipe the mess off with paper towel. Already it's looking better. Still bad, but better.

Next Question, "What is punchinella/ sequin waste?" Only the BEST thing to hit crafting in the whole wide world! It's what's left over when sequins are made and it's an awesome stencil. I get mine from Gauche Alchemy and use it, literally, at least five times a week. Seriously! They're having a 10% off sale right now. Go shop.

Mine is all stained and grody... just the way I like it.

Which leads me to the rescue mission of getting this page to normal.

Apply gesso through the punchinella with a brush, credit card of palette knife. Move the punchinella as needed to cover as much of the page as you'd like.

Dry it with your heat tool. My gesso is cheap so the color shows through... I kinda like that for this page. Now the house, flowers and sun are nice color accents.

Next you need to add color. I'm trying to get familiar with with my new Derwent 12 Inktense Block Tin Setso I'm making using them a priority.

To add color with intense blocks, all you do is rub the block on your page and then add water with a wet paintbrush. A little Inktense goes a really long way on the gesso.

To keep things simple I stayed in the blue/green family.

To add depth, I rubbed a little navy around the edges. Contrast always makes a piece better.

Now I need something to make my list on as the background is too bumpy to write on. Every year in January I paint over all the pages from last year's calendars. It's a great source of interesting paper and only costs you the paint. 

I cut it down to 8.5x11 and typed up my list.

Cut your list into strips and decide where to place them.

Mod Podge them down and add some outlining. Done.

(click to see it larger)

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Robin said...

Wow these are awesome..they look great and the tips are wonderful..Thanks you..!

Godelieve said...

Really inspiring Nicole!!

Mim Smith Faro said...

Don't you love it when people don't believe you actually did it yourself!? Love this tutorial.

Carmen said...

Love, love, love punchinella and like you - they are my favourite stencil and mine too are all grungy and rainbow coloured now. So pretty!

Love your list of NO's. Think I need to do something like that.

Great idea about cutting down the calendars!

Maggi said...

I just LOVE this breakdown on your backgrounds, very inspiring! I just got some chalk pastels, I need to try them on some backgrounds!

Jan T Baillie said...

I wondered what would happen if I spent lots of time and then hated the page! Now I'll have a second go. Thanks.