There’s not many journals that won’t benefit from an undercoat of gesso. A thin layer helps seal the page, stiffen it and provides an excellent tooth for subsequent layers to stick to. A thicker layer adds texture and depth to the page.
This page is in the journal I’m testing, and started off with a gesso undercoat. Several layers of thinned Dylusions paint forms the weathered varnish, then some metallic gold paint with an image transfer over the top for the brass knocker. The ‘carved’ text is also an image transfer. Shading and ageing achieved with a combination of Pitt Artist Pens and Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Everything sealed with DecoArt Americana Spray Seal (Matte) – which just about fixes the Distress Ink enough to finish with a final sealing coat of DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish.