Art Journal Page: Marvellous Mandalas

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.

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Art Journals: using acrylic covers

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.

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Work on the reverse side for all the following steps
  • Place the snowdrop stencil in position and fill in using Posca pens
  • Dry, then place the TIME stencil upside down and sponge through ivory paint
  • Dry, spritz with gold mister, dry
  • Meanwhile, print texture stamps onto large Rizla papers using Chartreuse archival ink
  • Heat set the ink, then using decoupage glue/multi medium glue overlapping layers of the printed papers
  • Once dry, any paper over the edges of the cover can be sanded off

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Working on the reverse, add alcohol inks until you are happy with the coloured layer
  • Place the JOURNAL stencil upside down and sponge a layer of Jet Black archival ink through onto the alcohol ink
  • Remove the stencil and then rub away the black in with a clean cloth/kitchen towel
  • Repeat inking steps if you want to remove any more of the alcohol ink
  • Now spritz with a water-based varnish (e.g. Pentart spray varnish) to seal the ink
  • IMPORTANT: allow to fully air dry, do not heat. Repeat varnish layer
  • Spritz with Pentart Mirror Mist and heat dry immediately to stop the mirror mist weakening the varnish beneath
  • Seal the mirror mist with the same varnish and finally apply a layer of black acrylic paint
  • Peel off front film to reveal your results

  • Peel off the protective film from the reverse of the cover
  • Working on the reverse, and using the word stencils the wrong way up, sponge your main colour onto the acrylic; heat dry and repeat directly over the top.
  • Next, sponge your shadow colour through the same stencil, slightly offsetting from the first colour
  • For the water effect, first dilute some white gesso/primer
  • Working quickly, cover the whole sheet with a layer of watery paint and then dab isopropyl alcohol into the wet paint – it will push the paint away and start the effect
  • When you are happy with the effect, heat dry in a well ventilated room
  • Repeat with a light shade of blue, and then another darker shade of blue
  • This technique will work over any sealed surface, but does rely on the paint being thinned and still wet
  • Try adding text to the front of the cover as well, this time starting with the shadow colour and working over the top with the main colour

Bonus post

Later this week I will do a separate post explaining my ‘now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t’ technique that was a wee bit rushed at the end of the second show:

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Tangle Pattern: Pub Carpet #1

I came to add this post a couple of hours ago, only to find that at some point my website had fallen over (one too many at the pub?). After getting a friendly support guy to rummage around under the bonnet, I appear to be up and running again. If you notice any glitches as you browse, please let me know!

Any hoo – back to today’s post. A long while ago, I took a photo of a traditional alehouse carpet thinking I would be able to get some tangle pattern inspiration from it. It has remained on the side of my desk for all that time. In an effort to tidy away such collections of ‘stuff’ I sat down and started sketching. Here’s the first tangle pattern, minus the beer stains 🙂

pub carpet

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Art Journal Page: Beautiful Art

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:

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Bible Journaling: Psalm 72 vs.18-19

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.

Psalm 72: 18-19 bible journaling Continue reading

Art Journal: American Adventures [Travel Journal]

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 🙂

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