Bible Journaling: Psalm 136, Psalm 139:14

It’s still busy at The Studio, as there’s a That’s Crafty! One Day Special on Hochanda on 8th/9th December. That means I have six hours of live TV to prepare for – samples, show prep and lots of mental rehearsal! There are moments, though, where drying time gives me the chance to have a bit of ‘me’ time – and I’ve done a couple more Bible journal pieces. I have a couple of favourite verses from the psalms – Psalm 139:14 is one. The opposite side is the refrain in Psalm 136, used for page balance.

Psalm 136 - Psalm 140

I experimented with a different medium for this double spread. By using Derwent Inktense pencils on clear gesso/matte medium mix, you can direct the concentrated colour and use a dilute wash to create the background. For those unfamiliar with Inktense pencils/blocks, they are a richly pigmented colour pencil, which when wetted on or off the page become more vividly saturated and easy to blend. Once wetted and then dried they become waterproof – so much so they can be used to dye fabric too.

I topped off the text with some Stickles glitter glue to add a little glitz.
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Bible Journaling: Isaiah 61 & 63

Whilst some things I am making, that I can’t tell you about yet (but it has something to do with upcoming TV appearances), are drying, I have started to dabble again with doing some art journaling in my NIV journaling bible. I turned to these passages in Isaiah and picked out a couple of verses to concentrate on. Today I had a little experimentation with things to seal the page to prevent bleed through.

Isaiah 61 & 63

For the left side, I used a wiped-on layer of matte multi-medium, heat dried. For the right, I didn’t prep the page at all. Add some pigment inks for background colour, and watch them slide right off the multi-medium… it just has no tooth at all. It did, however, seal the page very nicely and not too much bulk added. I got around it by applying some ink, drying with the heat tool and then reapplying the ink. I sealed the pigment in with a spray fixative before using a Posca pen to add the text.

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Art Journal Page: Frozen Fractals

Last Monday was my regular art journal session at The Studio. We took the theme ‘baby, it’s cold outside’. Coincidentally, it was one of the coldest evenings of the autumn too. The theme called for cool colours, shimmer and sparkle to evoke frost rime on windows and icy surfaces:

art journal frozen fractals

I started with layers of gesso, creating ridged fans/feathering by jittering the edge of a palette knife to make the texture. Sprinkle a little Ultramarine Color Burst. Add more layers of gesso and then iridescent medium. Stamp with archival inks before adding the quote. Smear some Stardust stickles over the page and set aside to dry. I think the quote source is fairly obvious and just fits the theme perfectly!

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Art Journal Page: Large Scale Layout

In tonight’s art journal session, we’re going to look at using large scale layouts. Though we will be working in our normal journals (mine is A4 spread), we’ll be using 12×12″ stencils and very large stamps to build our layers, only adding detail towards the end. This exercise is designed to encourage the breaking down of large patterns into manageable chunks… a lesson for life too!

Large format layout

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Commission: These Boots

Building on my recent commissions, I’ve had another commission to do a further painting. This one is to distract from the side of a cupboard installed in a boot (utility) room. The picture will be face-on as you enter the room from the kitchen area.

So when it came to subject matter, it seemed obvious to use the boot as a theme. Wellingtons aren’t particularly in keeping with the area, but being on the edge of Snowdonia, walking/hiking boots seemed very apt. I’m fond of the recent trend toward including typography in images, and a classic lyric popped into my head…

commission: these boots

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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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Art Journal Page: Deep Waters

It was a ‘watersolubles’ theme at Art Journaling last night. In between diagnosing a broken Mac (it was one of the RAM cards that died) and having the car serviced (it was a VW diesel engine…), I grabbed an hour or so to do an inspiration page:

It reminded me that all watersolubles are not created equal, with some water-soluble wax crayons barely moving when wetted, even on watercolour paper, and others wandering off and doing their own thing quite happily. It also is worth noting that, to get best effects, you should gesso or otherwise seal your journal page unless working in a watercolour paper journal.

In the above example, I used the blues on watercolour paper before drying and cutting out the letters on my Silhouette Cameo. The background is a combination of colour and graphite watersolubles over gesso, overprinted with acrylic paint. Handwritten text and outlines finished off the layout.

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