My First Art Journal Pages

What an adjustment for me - Art Journaling. Using bright colors, not over-thinking it, not finishing it in one sitting. All foreign ideas to me. But you know what? I really enjoyed it! The part I really REALLY liked was not worrying about finishing it in one sitting. It's a mood thing for me, as I am guessing it is for most art journalers. I started putting some color down and moving fast so I didn't think too much. I tore tissue wrap and slapped it down! I grabbed Dylusions sprays and some stencils! Rub-ons were next! Then stamping! I was on a roll. But then, something told me it was time to stop. Step away. And I did.

Then tonight, a few days later, I was in the right frame of mind again and wanted to add more. Stamping positive phrases and cutting them out was what I had in mind. I wanted this first spread to be motivating. I wanted it to talk to me when I open my journal each time without a plan, or with a slight fear of where to begin, and I wanted it to reassure me.

So here it is...

(please click on the photo for a larger view)

There are several techniques that I learned at Ranger University here. So let me share...

On the journal page I tried out Dyan Reaveley's "Dylusions Ghosting" technique. I misted the page with water, sprayed several Dylusions colors and allowed them to settle and blotted the excess. I took a small plastic cup and dipped the rim in water and pressed it onto the page. I let that activate the inks, then blotted the excess to expose the ghosted circles you see here.

Here the technique is "Building Layers" and follows the same basic idea as above. I first laid down a stencil on this page and sprayed water first then the pinks and oranges. I lifted the stencil (and pressed it down on the other page which you'll see in a sec), blotted the excess, heat set it, then sprayed the yellow. Blotted again. If you know Dyan and her kitchen roll, you know it's an essential tool.

Because the stencil from above was still wet, when I laid it down onto another area it created a watermark effect in the colors on my page.

Here was a happy accident. I had used Studio Multi-Medium (before the pink layer) to adhere the tissue wrap to the page, then I swiped it sloppily over the top of the tissue wrap as a sealer. When I went to spray and pink, the dried multi-medium created a cool resist effect. I would like to think I created this technique, but I'm feeling pretty sure it's been discovered before now.

I love how there is so much depth and layering on the tissue wrap. You see some colors coming through from underneath, and other colors are on top.

When learning about the properties of different types of inks, sprays and stains, we got a better understanding of what type to use in different situations. For example, the hand is stamped with Archival Ink to ensure it didn't react with the water based inks below it and to allow more layering over the top without bleed.

For the word strips on my pages, I used a technique Tim Holtz taught us called "Distress Paint Stamped Resist." I used Tim's "Way With Words" stamp set and rubbed Picket Fence Distress Paint on them and stamped the phrases on several manila tags. I heat set it, then rubbed over the top with several Distress Stains.

I gave it a generous spritzing of water and let the colors flow and run together.

Once the tag was completely dry, I stamped the same phrases slightly offset using Archival Black ink. Then I cut around the phrases and stuck them all around my journal pages.

I inked the edges of each cut-out phrase with Vintage Photo to help them pop. I knew I could use a water based ink like Distress because I was done with my page and am not going to add more water or sprays.

Even now, I look at it and wonder if I'm done. Maybe I am. Maybe not. For now, I am. But who knows?

Many of the fantastic products I used on these pages can be found in the eclectic Paperie store. Just click on those little linkies below and they'll take you there.


  1. Looks great! Looks like it is fun!

  2. This fabulous! Thanks for sharing all these techniques!

  3. Love it and thanks so much for sharing those techniques x

  4. Stunning spread and thanks so much for the clear description!!

  5. I really enjoyed your post today. Thank you for sharing your pages and the techniques used. My favorite is the saying about life not having to be perfect. Now, got any good ideas for the alcohol inks? I have a bunch of them and no idea of what to do with them. Lol

  6. Beautiful, Annette! Isn't it a fun adventure? Journaling was something that I didn't think would really appeal to me but once I started, I can't even stop! Wonderful work, love it!

  7. I love your page ! I'm new to the art journaling also and I'm amazed at how much I'm enjoying it. Thanks for some tips

  8. What a fabulous page spread... glorious techniques and, most of important, full of life and colour!
    Alison x

  9. Fantabulous, Annette! So glad you are journaling... your pages are gorgeous.

  10. OMG your pages are amazing! Keep going!

  11. want to rush right over the the Fun Room and try the offset word stamping technique....way cool.


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