Sunday, May 15, 2016

Art Journal Spreads 2 & 3

Hello again. Back today with two more art journal spreads and tutorials for ya. Sorry for the late post. Let's dive right in!

My mermaid layout is a whimsical, happy piece that reminds me to take in all the beauty around me and just breathe each day.

(remember to click on any photo for a larger view)

Begin by NOT putting gesso on the pages, but instead spraying two compatible Distress Stains. I used Salty Ocean and Cracked Pistachio. Be generous as you spray and then tilt your journal upright and let the colors run. Don't try to guide it too much. Just let it happen naturally. If your drops aren't running, give the journal a tap on the table to encourage them. 

After waiting about one minute, add a third color. This time I chose a very bold Dylusions spray, simply because i didn't have the bright pink color I needed in Distress. Dry this layer.

Use two compatible colors of Distress Inks to stencil some designs across the bottom of the spread.

Stamp a focal image. Here's a lesson I learned. My plan was to stamp the mermaid, then use the water brush to paint over her and dab with a paper towel to lift away most of the background color so she would stand out better. However, this was as light as I could get her with that method. On to plan B in a moment...

I didn't stress about her or the seahorse I stamped in the lower right corner. I just kept going forward, filling in the white areas with Mustard Seed Distress Ink and a blending tool.

Create some fun bubble-like images by scribbling a rough circle with Picket Fence Distress Crayon, then wet your finger and rub over it in a circular motion to get a slightly transparent bubble. Outline with a fine point white pen, if desired.

Texture paste through a stencil. Let dry and then rub a desired Distress Ink over the texture surface. Always remember to go off the pages with your design when you are stamping, texture pasting, inking, whatever. People tend to want to stay within those four walls. Don't!

Back to the mermaid. I decided to stamp her on white cardstock and color her with Distress Markers and the waterbrush instead. I did the same with the seahorse. Cut them out close to the stamped edge and adhere them into your spread. You can hand letter a title if desired using a white brush pen, or you can use stickers, stamps, or rub-ons are great too.

Here's a close-up of my mermaid once she was adhered to the page. To help blend her into the background more, I used the wire mesh stencil (which resembles a fishing net) to add some color and depth. See it on her tail and in her hair? 

This is what I aim for when working in my art journal. Layers. Lots of luscious layers. It just makes me happy.

My Friends layout makes me smile. I have some very good friends who I cherish greatly. Women are really some amazing people and without friends, I think we are less of a woman ourselves. That's why my title is Friends are Everything. They truly mean the world to me and I don't know what I would do without my woman friends.

Start the spread by adhering tissue wrap with gel medium (matte). Spread the gel medium over the top of the pages as well. Let dry then trim any excess tissue.

Select a solid surface stamp and stamp randomly in three opposing areas of your spread using clear embossing ink. (I used a set of 9 hearts) Sprinkle clear embossing powder and heat set the images. This now creates a resist. Select three colors of Distress Crayons and scribble in large areas to fill out the entire spread.

Spritz water on the page and push and blend the colors around with your fingers to soften. Right now, it looks like a hot mess, I know, but don't stop and think about it. Use a dry paper towel to lift any residual crayon off the embossed areas. Heat set the page until it's almost dry, but not completely. Lay a stencil (like my flower) in an open area then use a baby wipe to rub away the crayon in the stenciled area only. Cool, right?

Heat set the pages and once dry, select a main focal image stencil (like my friends here) then pick up some paint onto the foam pad of a blending tool so you have a thin layer. Tap and turn the blending foam into the stencil. Don't swirl. Repeat image, if desired. Then rub more of the same paint color around the outer edges of your spread and through the center with your fingers. Heat until completely dry.

Now select some stamps to start filling in open areas. I used the row of hearts and red archival ink, as well as a butterfly stamp and black archival ink. If you want to emphasize the resist areas, you can outline the images with a Distress Crayon then rub with a wet finger to blend and smooth out.

Talk about layers. 

If desired, stamp a title. I used two different alphabet stamp sets and archival black ink. Now you can step back and take a look at the spread and decide whether you are finished. I went back in and blended out some harsh looking areas with a wet finger to smooth the color transitions a little better. (Compare this photo to the one two photos up.)

I hope by reading my process it has helped some of you want to jump in and give it a go. It's nothing to be feared. And if you take it one step at a time and don't judge along the way, you'll be okay. And you'll have such a good time! 

What's the worst thing that could happen? 

You don't love it. 

My advice to you?

Turn the page.

And try again.


  1. Lovely work. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Lovely pages Annette, especially the mermaid one. Such lovely's like diving to the bottom of the sea xx

  3. Both pages are gorgeous Annette, although the first one has stolen my heart just a little... the colours are so beautiful, just like an underwater haven.

    The 'friends' one is wonderful too, for an altogether different reason, you are so right about having women friends and your page is a lovely dedication to them! x

  4. I love the Journal pages! And I just love the end of this post..."You don't love it? Turn the page"


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