Tuesday, November 20, 2012

art journalabella & tutorial

T minus 2 days and counting!  i made my last grocery run for turkey day cooking yesterday.  today - massive housecleaning and wednesday the cooking begins!  today is also pezza's last day of school and hubby's last day of work before a 5 day weekend.

we had Daisies yesterday and i discovered that a number of the girls in her troop actually live in our neighborhood!  i see future playdates!  our neighborhood is huge and has a shocking number of kids in it - we have 4 school buses for our neighborhood alone :P

i have a fun post for you today - at least i hope you'll think it's fun!  i mentioned yesterday i would be doing an art journal tutorial for my stamping bella challenge journal page.  i based my page on a meme floating around on facebook recently that is so totally where i am at on most days:

the stamping bella stamp is an oldie but goodie - stamping bellas were some of the very first stamps i ever got!

i stamped the image on a page in my sketchbook and colored it with Prisma pencils.  i added some final sparkly touches with my Spica pens because Bellas simply MUST sparkle 

My background includes layers of yummy sparkle too - so lets see how to do this page!

The key to art journal/mixed media is in the layering.  but staring at a blank page can be intimidating!  so i started with some pages from a music book and a french book

I use matte medium as a glue and i love it.  i put some on my journal page, lay the book page down and then brush another thin layer over the top.  this also helps seal your page so wet media doesn't soak through.  whether you completely cover the whole page with matte medium or not is up to you.  if your page was gesso'd first then it is already sealed.  but know that your next layer of color will look different over the matte medium covered areas and the areas with none.  and that can be perfectly fine - just adds interest!  i covered mine completely for this page.

next we need to add some color - but what colors?  color choice is critical because it can make or break your page.  i have some color scheme references in another journal so i referred to those.  a FABULOUS place for color scheme ideas - Design Seeds.  I will often print out ones I like and then experiment with different mediums to replicate the colors for future reference.  Another great source - your patterned papers which is what I used here

my sample splotches were done with Twinks but in this piece i decided to use something kinda new to me - Neocolor II artist's crayons - i grabbed a bunch that looked like they would work for my color scheme and then scribbled a bit on scratch paper to make my final choices

then i simply scribbled big patches of color over my book pages

 they are water soluable and some are even metallic.  they are a quick easy way to get some color onto your page.  Next i just dipped my finger tip in a bit of water and smeared the color (Em's challenge on stamping bella was to use your fingers!) 

i did each color seperately and just blended the edges a bit - otherwise i would have ended up with a page that was all one color and quite possibly the color would have been mud

so we now have TWO layers on our page!  but we need more!

I have added TWO more layers here.  I like a page with a bit of texture BUT anything you do after that will be lumpy and bumpy so on this page i did one more flat layer first - the larger sort of glowing circles.  SUPER easy - bubble wrap stamping with Nutmeg Silks acrylic glaze.  to do this I just cut a piece of bubble wrap about the size i want.  then i put a bit of Silks glaze right on my craft sheet and spread it out a bit - you want a thin layer, not to thick.  now press your bubble wrap into the paint - you may need to press, lift, move a couple times to get it on all the areas you want.  then just lay it onto your page and press gently then lift off.

My final layer is the raised burgandy metallic tiny dots.

i NEVER get tired of that!  it is Viva Decor Modeling Cream in burgandy.  those crisp raised edges just make me happy!  so how do you use it?  easy actually!  in this case i wanted tinier dots than my bubble wrap so i dug up some sequin waste and used it as a stencil but ANY stencil will work.  Next I placed the sequin waste on my project and used a plastic pallette knife (or you can use an old gift card) to smooth on the modeling cream.  this can be a bit tricky at first so you may want to practice but you will pick it up in NO time!  really the less you mess with it during the smoothing on process the better!  i did place my image and wording on the paper before doing the modeling cream so i could be sure i did not put it where i was going to glue those things on or they would be lumpy and difficult to glue.

I edged the pieces with distress ink so they wouldn't be stark white against the backgroun but distress ink is water soluable so when i used the matte medium to glue them down i had to be careful not to get it on the front.  of course i could have also sprayed them with Workable Fixative which would have sealed them and that is a great trick to use anytime you have a water soluable layer and you want to work on top of it without messing it up!  i wanted to set the image and words off a bit more so i used a black pen and just drew lines around the wording and doodles around the image.

so what do y'all think?  who is ready to dive into their art journal?  and though I don't have any (yet) Em at Stamping Bella has added some great art journaling stamps to her vast array of stamps - you should check them out!


  1. Thanks for this tutorial! You really break it down in a great way. And the page is great. I will be looking at your blog for some more inspiration.

  2. You make it look and sound so easy! Great page!