Tuesday, 23 September 2014

As it happens, journal page from start to finish.

It's been a very long time since my art journal came out to play and this page is the second in as many days.

I've been promising to post a journal page for absolutely ages now and after a couple of requests recently I thought I'd take step photo's of my process and try to explain the thinking behind the art. It's a bit photo heavy so I apologise if you don't make it to the bottom of this post.

Now don't be fooled, I'll be totally honest with you and this is a second chance for a page gone bad. The original was doing ok until I tried adding an image transfer which didn't work and the whole page just started to go pear shaped. I'd even gone as far as to fold it in half (see the crease down the middle) and put it in the waste bin but something nagged at me as I did really like the silhouette cut from a book page.

I rescued it and spread gesso over with an old store card. I love gesso, it's brilliant stuff. You can add texture into it, paint it on an absorbent surface to give paint longer time to dry, use it to add tooth to a slick surface for painting on or as I did just covering up stuff. Gesso is my friend.

Now to start adding layers and for me a page isn't a page without some texture somewhere so out came the paste and a stencil. I used a Sarah Hurley honeycomb stencil  and spread the paste with a knife just like buttering a piece of bread. I didn't cover the page with paste and I only randomly picked out parts of the stencil to use.

After a cup of tea it was dry enough for the next stage. I love circles and loosely drew a few around the page. They were more of a scribble than anything else.  

I added some colour using one of my favourite colouring mediums, Faber Castell Big Brush pens. I love these pens as once dry they're pretty permanent but while wet I can smudge them with my finger. I used two colours starting with a grey but while I liked the colour it wasn't strong enough so I turned to the blue.

The page  needed some more colour so I used a lime green acrylic paint. I did start by just rubbing the paint with my finger across the raised parts but ended up rubbing and wiping all over. I like to use my finger for painting a lot, it's sensitive to texture and loads of fun. The baby wipe is for taking off excess paint and spreading the paint around.

The next layer was some stamping and I used the Woodgrain background stamp without a block and some Stazon ink to add a few marks around the page. Not using a block results in a more random image and I was happy to find that the finished image was more like stripes than a woodgrain.

I also used the little circles from the Zendoodle borders and shapes set but this time I did use the block as they're quite small.

I needed to define the circles more so I drew around them with a black fine liner pen. I also sketched around the figure to make her stand out a bit more and added some touches of white with a sharpie pen.

I felt the page needed another colour to balance all that green and blue so I used the silhouette as a journaling spot and painted it in with red paint as a contrast to the much cooler greens.

A few more marks with the white pen, some ink spots and the phrase which I'd originally tried to stamp directly onto the page but ended up having to add it on a strip of paper after it didn't stamp evenly. I also added a few red dots of paint into the circles just because it was in front of me on the table.

Congratulations if you've made it this far without falling asleep. I hope I've inspired you just a bit.

Jaine x


  1. Certainly did make it to the end Jaine, it was fascinating. I'm no where near brave enough to tackle a piece like this, and I've often wondered about the thought processes behind them - as I always love the outcomes.

    One question though, do you work on paper then stick into your art journal? or do you work directly into the journal itself?

    Looking forward to your next one ;-) x

    1. I usually work directly in my journal but this page started out as the mop up paper from using spray ink which I then decided would make a journal background. I added the silhouette figure to it and loved it then made the boo boo to it and hated it. So after rescuing it from the bin I stuck it into the journal to give it a second chance. Hope that answers the question :)

  2. wow what an amazing journal page and thankyou so much for the tutorial! x

  3. This really makes me want to get gesso and get painty Jaine. I love the finished page it is so pretty xx

    1. Thanks Carol. You should do it, it's so good for you.