Friday, March 22, 2013

Creating An Art Journal Page::Spring Fling Project

When I first felt the desire to create art journal pages I was really stumped as far as just how to do it.  My first attempts had so much color on them they seemed too dark to me.  After taking some classes and watching a lot of YouTube videos I feel like I've made a lot of progress.  At least I am happier with my results.  Today I'm going to show you my process, everyone has a different process, but this is how I do what I do.  My products for this page have been very generously supplied by Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts.  This is my third project for them this month as an "AIRs" (Artists in Residence) team member.  It is my themed project for the month of March called "Spring Fling".  This is a VERY long post so please grab a cup of coffee or tea and put your feet up.

I started with a 9" by 12" piece of watercolor paper 140# and coated it with a light frosting of gesso, allowing it to dry before proceeding.  I recently purchased some Yellow Ochre Pan Pastels and couldn't wait to use them so I applied some on the paper with a dauber applicator from Imagine Crafts.  After rubbing this into the paper I sprayed it with water and some Dandelion Fireworks! spray and Tangelo Fireworks! spray.  These sprays have a concentrated color with a little shimmer to them.  I sprayed some additional water on these colors and let them move around on the paper by lifting the paper and turning it.  After blotting the excess ink and water off I used a heat gun to dry the paper.
Next I put a small amount of Liquitex Titanium White Acrylic on the page and spread it all over with an old credit card.  Using a baby wipe I lifted off some of the white paint until I was happy with the color.  Memento makes some lovely colors of ink and for this project I used Peanut Brittle and Morocco on a stamp called "Geometric Swirl" by Rubber Stampede.  I just randomly stamped the image and the colors on my page.
I used TCW's lacy stencil and a chevron stencil to spray Tsukineko Walnut ink and Willow Walnut ink onto the paper.  After spraying these and blotting the page I dried it thoroughly with a heat gun.  I added Cottage Ivy Fireworks! spray onto the page and used a paper towel roll to towel it off.  Since I wanted more of the green I used Memento's Cottage Ivy ink pad and applied a touch more with my dauber applicator.  I blended it in with a baby wipe until the color was just what I wanted.  In a few areas I added white gelatos and orange gelatos for more color.  These can also be blended with water or a baby wipe.

Using Dyan Reaveley's small diamond stencil and some gesso I added a little more interest.  Not completely satisfied I used a circle stencil from the local office supply store to apply some more gesso in the upper left corner.  After the gesso was dry I laid the same stencil back over the white dots, moved it off center just a little and sprayed the Cottage Ivy Fireworks!, blotted with a paper towel roll, dried with a heat gun.  When this was dry and the stencil had been cleaned, I laid the stencil on the green dots and sprayed the area again but with the Willow Walnut Ink spray.  I carefully removed the stencil and blotted it with the paper towel roll, then dried it even more with my heat gun.  Bringing out the Memento inks again I applied more Peanut Brittle and Morocco inks to the edges and blended them with a dauber applicator.

For more texture and depth I made small lines on the page with an old credit card.  Using StazOn Cotton White and Ivory Black Opaque Inkers I dipped my credit card edge in each and made small marks on the paper.  With an old lid dipped in Golden Gold Interference paint I added circles for a metallic pop.  At this point my page is pretty much layered and ready for the focal point.  My focal point is a piece of clip art from made by itKuPiLLi imagenarium.  She was giving this away as a freebie on the site last month and her work is incredible!  There is a quote included that says "Love of beauty is tasted.  The creation of beauty is art." by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I tore this out, edged it with some of the Walnut Ink spray on an applicator and set it aside.  After cutting out the lady I used Matte Medium to adhere the image
to the page.


I had some white self adhesive pearls by Queen & Co in my stash so I applied those to her hat band and a stray one to her necklace.  I felt like she needed a little more detail on the hat so I stamped a flower on white card stock with clear embossing ink three times, applied Detail White embossing powder and melted it with my heat gun.  When this had cooled completely I sprayed the Lilac Walnut Ink spray on the flower images and wiped the excess off with a paper towel.  I applied a tiny bit of Goosebumps in the center of each flower and set it aside to dry before trimming it out.  Then I glued the flower down with a piece of black grosgrain ribbon underneath.

The sheen on her hat is some leftover Gold Interference paint that I had on my craft mat.  I decided that Spring time always makes me think of traveling to far off places so I stamped some faux postage in Black StazOn ink randomly around her image and a few stamped cancellation marks for good measure.  To get more depth and definition around the image I applied some Black Gelato and blended it down with my finger and a damp paper towel.  When I want to journal but have absolutely nothing to say, at this point you're thinking "after this long winded blog posting how could she think she has nothing to say?", that's when I use a quote from someone else.  Happily for me this quote was provided in the clip art.  I wrote the words of this quote that I glued to her shoulder all around the image with a Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen in White 101.  A little distressing around the edge of the piece with VersaFine Olympia Green and an Ink Blushers applicator and Voila!  My art journal page is completed.

I apologize for the length of this post but you can't fake the layers on an art journal page.  Just remember to dry everything between each layer and enjoy yourself.  You could easily turn this into a calendar page by using the small transparent calendars and applying that to her shoulder instead of the quote.  The beauty of journaling pages is that it is all about YOU and what YOU like on your page.  There is no right or wrong.  You might have noticed how similar this page is to one that I did last week.  It just shows you how the central image can be the same but the colors and theme are completely different.   So if you have an image that you love to use repeatedly, feel free, just mix it up a little.  Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today, I really appreciate your visits.  If you have time to leave a comment please do, I love to hear from you!  Here is a list of all the products I used on this project.

Watercolor paper 140#
Matte Medium
Yellow Ochre Pan Pastel
Imagine Crafts Dandelion Fireworks! spray
Imagine Crafts Tangelo Fireworks! spray
Imagine Crafts Cottage Ivy Fireworks! spray
Liquitex Acrylic Titanium White
Memento inks in Peanut Brittle, Cottage Ivy & Morocco
VersaFine Olympia Green ink
Black StazOn ink
Imagine Crafts Willow Walnut Ink Spray
Imagine Crafts Walnut Spray
White, Orange & Black Gelatos by Faber-Castell
StazOn Opaque Ivory Black & Cotton White Inkers
Golden brand Gold Interference paint
Faber-Castell PITT white 101 pen
Queen & Co self adhesive pearls
black grosgrain ribbon
Embossing ink and White Detail Embossing Powder

Paper cutter
old credit card clip art
Stencils of your choice
Stamps of your choice
heat gun
dauber applicators
Imagine Crafts Ink Blushers sponges
Spray bottle of water
paper towels
baby wipes


  1. Renee, It is gorgeous! I love all the details and the romantic elements! I love what you shared :D

    Thank you-when time permits I might give this a try! You gave us great instructions-

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous!! I love this muted color palette, it's my favorite!

    **I finally found your blog again! As usual I clicked on your comment on mine and it took me to nowhere..but recently I asked Ellen if she was able to see it and she sent me your link and here I am. I truly have NO idea why I haven't been able to see your blog from mine? Please forgive my technical deficiencies because I love your blog so much and am so happy to find you again!

  3. That background is gorgeous and so is she! Fab piece!

  4. This is a fabulous project and a very remarkable page in my opinion, WOOOW !!!! I will keep your step-by-step in store as I really enjoyed it, thank you very much for sharing it with us ! Do you think the wonderful lady image is still available for free ?.. Greetings, Coco x

  5. Stunning! I adore your beautiful layers!

  6. What a gorgeous page... love how you built up that background and the way you journaled around her.

  7. This is so pretty, you are very talented.

  8. I've been tinkering with art journaling and your page is stunning and so inspiring to me. Thanks for the very clear and concise instructions too!