Thursday 14 June 2012

An Art Journal page: from start-to-finish No.2

Hi again.

I shared my first 'Art Journal page from Start to Finish' last summer and according to my blog-stats it's been my most visited post ... which is really good to know.

It's also my most 'pinned' project on Pinterest too ... so I don't think it's too much of a leap to say that somebody out there found it worth reading / useful / interesting ... so I've made another one!

I hope this one reaches those who are interested too, so here goes:
Here's the finished page in question, so you don't have to scoot all the way down to the bottom to see how it turns out in the end!
Now let's go back ... and start from the very beginning ... because it's a very good place to start ...

Like all of my posts this week, today's project recycles rubbish.

This time, the rubbish in question was a hotel booking confirmation print-out which met with a watery end:
As soon as I saw the lovely effect the water had created ... I knew I had to turn it into a journal page!
So I did ...

Step 1 I applied Ranger Distress Stain [in 'Picket Fence'] very roughly and quickly across my journal pages:
My journal is made from handmade, absorbent paper, so I wanted to 'seal' the paper a little bit ... but I'm far too impatient to coat my pages with gesso and wait for it to dry.

Instead, the Distress Stain does a good enough job of making my paper nice and grainy while the sponge applicator means I don't have any brushes to clean up afterwards. [You can imagine how much I relish that task.]

Step 2: I used used gel medium to fix my water-coloured booking-form down across my pages:
Note the plastic glue-spreader. Again: because I'm too lazy to clean brushes.

Gel medium isn't essential to this process. PVA / watered down white glue and even a glue stick would work fine too.

There's just something a little bit smoother and easier to spread about the gel medium, which I like. Also, this particular one dries with a matt finish, preventing all those shiny edges and smears you can get with other glues.

Step 3: I softened the edges of the first layer by adding some snippets of vintage paper down the sides:

Step 4: I applied various shades of spray-ink through a sequin-waste stencil using Cut N' Dry foam:
Just because they're 'spray' inks ... doesn't mean they always have to be used by spraying them directly on to your page. Here I spritzed some on to a non-stick craft mat, picked it up with the foam and then pressed it through the holes in the sequin waste.

Step 5: I lightly spritzed through my favourite sunburst stencil with a complimentary colour:
For the record: I'm a useless stencil-user.

This is mainly because I hate getting ink on my fingers as that means I have to go clean it off and, as we've already discovered, I'm lazy. [And perhaps a bit of a control freak who doesn't like stained fingers ... but let's keep that to ourselves shall we?]

All of which means I don't like to get too close to the spray meaning I don't hold the mask / stencil down properly and never get a clean result. Fortunately I've made peace with my messy ways and I live with the 'arty' effects I end up with ...

Step 6: I scoured my collection of catalogues, brochures and vintage images looking for body parts to use in my focal point:

Step 7: I built up my feature character from more than one source:
When you're building up less than anatomically correct bodies it doesn't mean you shouldn't assemble its various 'parts' with a little time and care.

When the arms, legs, head etc are joined to one another relatively seamlessly, in roughly the right places it helps give the overall effect of creating a 'character' rather than being just some randomly scattered elements and odd parts!

Step 8: I returned to my vintage paper collection to find wording to fit with the theme and feel of the page:

Step 9: I then added some handwritten journaling followed by ink droplets in various shades:
And that's about it for the main page elements really.

There were a few final touches: a little doodling around the figure and the word strips along with a few stamped stars around the edges, but nothing major.

Here's the fished thing once again:

If you've never tried art-journaling I hope this helps persuade you that it's not as complicated as you might think when you're looking at someone's completed pages.

Give it a try, it's not a science, there's no possible way to get it wrong or even to be perfect at it. It's a messy, jumbly, hour of cutting + sticking and making yourself happy.

Go ... enjoy! [And let me know if you do].

Julie :-)
Drop by the shop for interesting vintage pages and images to use in your journal.


  1. Brilliant process been shown here. Love all the layers, a great way to recycle. Michelle x

  2. This really is so lovely Julie x

  3. That's a great description. I have a plastic wallet with thick card, blocks of paint (and BRUSHES!), some pens, magazine pages and gluestick. I take it to work and sit in my campervan during my lunch break, sometimes doing a page or background. Just wish I had more time to art journal, but at least I have these snatched moments.

  4. Can't wait to try this technique too! I really appreciate you dropping by and leaving such a wonderful comment on my art journal page. Now I'm off to go and Pin this technique. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for the 'steps' - a very good place to start! When I've cleared my table a bit . . . . . .


  6. great tutorial... I love it! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I found your blog.

  7. A woman afetr my own heart! I too use a lot of rubbish! No wonder I need a whole craft room to myself to save it in! Love the page! Patsy

  8. Julie, thankyou for your two great tutorials! They were so easy to follow and I have JUST done my first EVER journal page. Got a bit stuck on my 'straight line neat thingy' but soon loosened up! Relieved to hear you don't like mucky fingers either - those stains take some getting off. Love your pages and blog - I'm checking back SOON. Cath xx

  9. I love the idea of art journals (all journals really) but have been lost at where to start. Thank you for giving me a place to begin :)


  10. I've just found your blog by "accident", and I'm having a blast! Great ideas! Thanks for sharing...

  11. I'm obsessed with art journaling. I'm getting lots of tips from you. Thank you for sharing.


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