For a long time now, I have been admiring art journaling pages, created using a variety of mixed media techniques. In particular, I enjoy the layouts created by Vicky Papaioannou and often watch her videos of how she creates her art journal layouts.
Over a little while I have been collecting various supplies–gesso, gel medium, molding paste, distress paints, gelatos, stencils and just recently purchased a Moleskin Art Plus Sketchbook. It was a 5.5 x 8.5" in size.
Finally, I decided I was ready to take the plunge! Now, what to do a layout about?
A lot of art journal layouts start with a prompt of some sort. It could be a theme, a technique, a quote, etc. I decided to use a poem.
Back in my teaching days in Sagkeeng, the English teacher at the high school presented a wonderful poem written by Langston Hughes to the class. The poem was called "Mother To Son" and basically the mother was encouraging her son to keep going when the going got tough and the poem used a staircase as a very effective metaphor.
To start the process of the layout, I used Soft Gel Matte to glue two journal pages together for either side of the layout. I used my Heat Tool to dry the pages and then covered both pages of my layout with the same gel and adhered some Tim Holtz Tissue Paper to both pages. Gel was also brushed over top of the tissue. I dried this and then trimmed off the excess tissue paper.
At this point, I used old pages from a magazine to put between the pages I was working on and the other pages in the book.
Next, I brushed Liquitex Gesso over the tissue, alternating with a bit of water. This served to make the print from the tissue recede without covering it completely.
I then began to color the background of the layout. I wanted a dark purple but the Seedless Preserves Distress Paint I had seemed a bit bright so I thought I would mix it a bit with Spun Sugar. I dabbed on paint and spritzed with water and then used a brush to apply it to the pages.
The color was still too bright. I thought I could "dirty up" the color so after drying it, I brushed on some Gathered Twigs Distress Ink. That helped a bit but in restrospect, I probably should have laid down some black paint and then applied the purple on top to make it the dark purple that I had wanted. This is where my lack of art training failed me!
Next, I added a border around my pages by brushing on Vintage Photo Distress Paint around the edges and brushed it with a wet brush. I dried and then repeated this step. I also brtushed Walnut Stain Distress Paint around edges and brushed with a wet brush; dried again with my Heat Tool.
I used the Tim Holtz Clockwork Stencil with Black Soot Distress Ink and dauber to add some interest.
I mixed Light Molding Paste with Tarnished Brass Distress Paint and used the Tim Holtz Burlap Stencil to add texture to the pages.
I printed the poem on Whisper White card stock and cut out each line of the poem. I first brushed gel medium over each piece to prevent the ink from running but still some of it ran. Next time I will try to seal it by using Distress Micro Glaze by Tim Holtz.
I inked each line of the poem with Antique Linen and inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress inks. Gel medium was used to glue all the lines down and also cover them with the gel.
I used one of the border stamps from the Indigoblu Rugged Edge Stamp set with Ranger Archival ink to add a border to my pages. I also added a border of Black Soot Distress Ink to the pages before giving each page one last coat of gel medium (This is where I definitely made an error! Note to Self: Do not put gel medium over molding paste!)
This was definitely a learning experience for me! With the exception of the crackle paste issue and brushing the gel medium over the molding paste, I'm pleased with my layout! I look forward to creating my next one soon!
Have you tried art journaling?Leave me a comment below!