Tag Archives: preparation

The Beginnings of an Art Journal

I’ve been a naughty blogger and haven’t been updating on my artistic pursuits. Shame, shame. Part of it is I’ve had some distractions, although artistically oriented. Part of it is, I’ve had this post in mind and wanted to get it done before I moved on, but I was too lazy to get to a scanner.

Back in January, I started preparing background pages for an art journal. Since I am notorious for starting a journal and leaving most of it blank, I decided that instead of starting with a book, I’d make the book as I went. I cut paper into 7×5 rectangles, gessoed both sides, and started preparing backgrounds onto which I could paint, draw, collage, write, stamp, etc. I wanted them stiff, so I could bind them with binder rings and not have to worry about the logistics of construction while working on the pages themseves. I may only use one binder ring in the corner, I may use 3 along the side, or 2. I’m really not sure.

Here is a sampling of my backgrounds, as they are at this point.


Technique (Or lack thereof…)

For the fun of it, I’ll share my process, unplanned though it was. Once I had the paper cut, I started out with pretty generic, boring gesso applications, via paint brush, then started to get more creative. I dug out one of my old college ID cards to use as a palette knife (you know you’ve moved on when you use your ID to spread paint/gesso). I tried spreading it in glops, drawing in it, writing in it, making designs with the brush, and anything else I could think of. When all pages were dry, I used my very expensive, professional grade watercolors (also known as a cheap crayola kiddie set) to paint the pages. Watercolor behaves interestingly on a gessoed surface. It moves around quite a bit, as the surface isn’t as porous, and when dry, has a matte finish. Its easy to rub off or move around with a damp cloth or paint brush, and splattering paint onto an already painted page yielded some nice results.

The trouble is, when you put mod podge over it, it disturbs the paint as well.Mod Podge also makes the colors a bit brighter and shinier (even when using the matte variety). Some might like the brighter colors, but I like more muted colors, and I prefered the matte look. In the future, I will probably get out my acrylic paints and skip the watercolors, but I was lazy. Its so hard to pull out too many supplies when I know I only have a few hours before it has to be put away. Oh well. It was a learning experience. As stuff is going on top of it, I suppose it doesn’t much matter if its too shiny or if my textures were altered. I had fun at any rate. Feel free to try the same. Expect to see development on these pages from time to time.