I taught the basic techniques of these spreads to my Friday Follies monthly club of ladies yesterday.
As I told the ladies yesterday, the intent is not to copy my pages, but to follow the techniques using their own color choices, stamps, and stencils. As I share the steps with you here, I encourage you to do the same.
Okay, here we go. Be sure to click on any photo for an enlarged view.
Start by applying a thin coat of white gesso to your pages and let dry. Then select three compatible colors which appeal to you. Dab (don't spread) the paint on quickly with a wide brush working top to bottom, then use your fingers to quickly (and messily) blend the colors to fill the white spaces.
Don't fuss with this step. I moved very quickly and didn't think too much about this step. People tend to judge their work in the creation process. "Maybe that blue is too dark..." These types of thoughts. I ask that you don't do that. Just keep going. The reason is that even though you may be going into things with a plan in mind, it's quite possible that what you do in the process might take you somewhere completely different. This is the JOY of discovery and art journal play.
Select a few coordinating washi tapes, preferably different widths. Quickly start sticking and ripping across the top. Trim the pieces that hang off the top edge later. Just go-go-go. I watched a class member taking this step very slowly as she trimmed each piece of washi very neatly as she placed it. Too fussy. The random, quick action of doing this creates a more natural look. Work quickly and don't think too much as you do so.
Select a background stamp that works with your theme and feel. I like circles. They have nothing really to do with hot air balloons, except maybe they mimic the shape, I just like them. Lightly brush white paint with a foam brush (or foam pad on a blending tool) onto your stamp and randomly stamp across the bottom of your spread. Dry.
Select a stencil of your choice. Again, I went with circles. With the foam pad, soak up some paint off your non-stick craft sheet for even coverage, then gently tap and turn (don't swirl) through the stencil onto your pages. I used paint as opposed to Distress Ink for stenciling, because I'm working on a dark area, and therefore need an opaque medium for it to show up well.
Onto a piece of tissue wrap (I like Tim Holtz new tissue on a roll) stamp several images with Archival Black ink and let dry. Cut around each stamped image closely. Brush gel medium (matte) onto the area of your page you wish to place a stamped image, then press the image into place and brush more gel medium over the top to seal it. Continue with all your stamped images. (My hot air balloons are from Hampton Art.) Brush an even coat of gel medium over the entire spread. Dry. I do this because it creates a sealed surface for anything I want to do next.
For added interest, add a contrasting color along the bottom, center and outer edges. I used a bright pink paint brushed onto a small floral cluster stamp. I also brushed the stamp with a little white paint so the color wasn't so solid. Move quickly and randomly and don't think too much. Dry.
Here's where you can step back and study things and decide what's next for you. But don't judge. Just see if there needs to be more. I decided that I wanted a little more whimsy in the stamped pink areas, so I added dots of yellow and coral paint with a small paintbrush.
Now decide if you'd like a title. Remember, this isn't a necessity. Just something you might want, but it's not a requirement. Some of my pages don't have any words at all. Just pretty images. Do what makes YOU happy, and stop thinking of what's right or wrong. I stamped Explore Dream Discover with white paint and outlined the letters with a fine black permanent pen. Then I decided to break up all the solid colors in the background with more stenciling. This time I used Distress Ink and the tiny arrow pattern stencil.
I felt like my hot air balloons needed a kick to really make them stand out, so I used Distress Crayons to quickly draw a halo around each, then my wet finger to spread and soften the edges like a glow. I combined yellows and greens for this.
As a finishing touch, I used Distress Markers to create a drop shadow on my title, and to color in my hot air balloons.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I share my other two spreads with tutorials for each as well.
Thanks, and enjoy your weekend!