I’ve been working on canvases for the past few projects, and decided I wanted to jump back into my art journal for the next one (this one is by Ranger). When I work in my journal, I do pages back to back (the second page of one layout shares the first page of another). For me, I think doing it this way makes me less prone to feelings of “I need to do this so X will like it”… X being anyone other than myself. (that all made sense in my head…but my head is a strange place). It just takes the pressure off me to produce something I think others will need to like. Anyway….here are some pictures of the process up to it’s current point.
It always starts with a blank page, and I always seem to forget (even this time…this isn’t actually the blank page for this layout) to take a picture! To begin I spread some heavy white gesso on both pages. Usually I tape the center (with masking tape or washi tape), but forgot this time. I used a palette knife to roughly spread the gesso…this provides LOTS of great texture.
After that dried completely, I chose a stencil I made (I make my stencil designs in Adobe Illustrator and then cut them with a Silhouette machine), and sprayed Dylusions Ink in Cherry Pie, and (I believe) Squeezed Orange, letting the colors blend.
You can see the texture created by the gesso (so wonderful) and the blending of the inks. I let the pages completely dry (actually I had to leave for work) before moving on. A note here about the Dylusions inks: since they are water based they will continue to blend (especially on non-porous surfaces like canvas) if you add water again. If you like that look great! You don’t need to do anything, just keep going. If you want them not to mix with future layers, a good idea is to spray them with a fixative (I use a matte fixative) before continuing.
When I got home from work, I had a few minutes to play some more. I added some stencil, stamp, and bubble wrap accents in white. Then I mixed some Liquitex ink in magenta and Naphthol Red Light fluid acrylic by Golden, and used a water brush to just have some fun. I painted some circles and the just let myself do whatever. The water brush is nice because you can make it run and mix easily. (sometime, before this point, I had smooshed some Golden cobalt turquoise fluid acrylic into the page. Those are the darker areas). Then I let everything dry….my journal can get very wet at times!
After everything was dry, I took some heavy gesso and pushed it through a stencil to add interest and texture (using a palette knife). In the top right, and lower left, I tuned the gessoed stencil over and pushed it into the page, just to see what would happen (and to get some of the excess gesso off the template….I don’t clean my stencils very well). I also mixed some of the gesso with the pink/red I had used earlier and pushed that through the stencil, again, just to provide variety…it’s all about EXPERIMENTING!
To add some color pop and contrast, I used Liquitex Basics acrylics in Bright Aqua green. This is a medium body acrylic so it’s a bit thick. I played around with my fingers and sprayed it with some water…blotted it with a paper towel, and basically made a mess! I tried to keep a balance in my layout with how I laid down the color. You can see it kind of moves from lower left to lower right. I love the mix of warm and cool colors. Here are some close ups of the texture:
There you have it! My newest art journal spread up to it’s current point. I’m letting it sit for a bit, as I decide what I’d like to do next. This is my usual process…work….sit…..work….sit….work…sit….until I finally get it where I want it.
What about you? Do you work all at once? Or do you work and walk away for a bit?
Hope you have a wonderful day!