I recently took delivery of a new Dylusions art journal – the 8×5″ landscape format – and last night I took the opportunity to experiment with a 3×5″ Gelli plate and some DecoArt fluid acrylics. Bubble wrap of two sizes and a mosaic stencil added a bit of pattern, and then rubber stamping with acrylic paint added the highlights. Finally, some cut letters as masks and a sponged layer of acrylic paint finished off the page nicely.
I promised to share my ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ technique for acrylic covers that didn’t quite get finished on air during my last Hochanda shows for That’s Crafty!. Below are some instructions along side the pics I took prior to the shows, and below those is a short video I have done to try and explain it a little more clearly! Apologies for the outside noises on the video – they’re wind chimes and a radiator warming up, if you’re wondering.
The theme for tonight’s art journal session at The Studio is ‘marvellous mandalas’. I have played on various software platforms and drawn my own mandalas, but the example below is ripped out from one of the many ‘adult’ colouring books available. I remembered that I had a couple of sets of Chameleon pens, so used those to colour in the mandala (that’s how I got the shading). Bit of gluing and cutting out of letters and my sample was done… though it took a fair bit longer than I expected – I think it’s the pausing to do the whole Chameleon effect doubling the colouring time. Very calming though, all that pausing.
Colouring on white paper and then cutting and pasting onto the black background seems to make the colours pop far more. A little more thought and time would have resulted in better placement of the quote, but it’s not that bad.
I was on Hochanda this week demonstrating techniques for using the acrylic covers effectively, for the A4 and A6 journals from That’s Crafty!. As always, there is too little time on air to fit in all my ideas, and only just enough time to fit in all I had planned! What follows below are photos and quick explanations of how to do your own. I really need to remember to take step-by-step photos as I make so that I can do a proper tutorial post! First is an unbroadcast cover, then the mirrored cover that didn’t go so right when rushed, and last for this post is the bubbling water effect shown in my first hour.
The first Monday of the month sees my monthly art journal evening at the Studio, and next week the theme is ‘never been used’. I’ve asked studio guests to bring something from their crafty stash that they have never used, and we’ll be incorporating them into our beautiful art journal pages.
In prepping my sample for the session, I came across an embarrassment of unused kit deep in folders, drawers and baskets. I think I will need to do more of these! I know I’m not alone, so what do you think – anyone fancy a ‘never been used’ challenge blog?
Here’s my show page, worked in my very first art journal from 2011 on a background that I’d not yet used:
I’ve taken a break from spring cleaning the studio… how come when ‘tidying up’ things look even worse than when I started? I merely whisked a cobweb away with a damp cloth, inadvertently cleaned a section of paintwork, wiped a little harder, and it ended up with me repainting that section later that morning. I think I will get the feather duster out next time.
As I say, I’ve taken a break and used the opportunity to do more bible journaling in my NLT Refections bible. This time I’ve broken away from the main margin and added typography to the white space on the page proper. Not sure this one works too well with the colours I chose, or the grey background – but then that’s what practice and experimentation is for! I think the use of white space works better – and that’s probably more obvious when the passages have the short poetry style formatting. It’s not going to be as easy to use white space when there isn’t any… and that’s where the next artistic bravery step comes in – illustrating over the text itself.
It’s taken some time, but I’ve finished the journal I handmade last year and finally got round to taking and editing the photos of the finished article. I intended to journal each day before going to bed, but got a little behind whilst in New York as our room was so small that there was actually nowhere to work on a flat surface, and there was no communal area I could use either. Consequently, by the time I got to Boston, and there was space to work, I was already five days behind. Then life on the road for the final few days also meant I was doing other things at the end of each day. So it meant finishing off the work once I got home, but that brought back good memories of a lovely, and much needed, holiday.
As a format, the piano hinge worked very well – I was able to slide out each of the sticks in turn to work on the pages individually, which was far easier. The fold out sections added a little more space, and the wallets somewhere to put the various bits of ephemera that I collected along the way. With techniques from collage to napkin decoupage, hand drawn typography to watercolour illustrations, it was fun to put together. I would have liked to do more urban drawing, but for speed, mini-photos had to suffice.
Sit back, with a cuppa of your choice, and holiday vicariously as you work through the journal 🙂