I’ve been experimenting in my journal again featuring some new and old stamps from Concord & 9th. Once again I had an idea in my head and although this does not look like my original idea, I’m very happy with the vibrant look of the massed flowers. I haven’t put any words on this page yet and possibly wont. Now if you are not an art journal type of person, hang in there, I have cards made with the new ‘fine line florals’ set coming over the next few weeks.
As I mentioned last time a couple of my journals do not have watercolour pages, this one is drawing paper. Sometimes I paint my pages with gesso or absorbant ground before I start or glue other papers to the page. I’ve also glued two pages together a few times to make sure liquids don’t soak through the page. The glued pages are very bulky and bumpy though so I don’t think I’ll keep that up. With this page I wanted to see if I could add watercolouring to an untreated page without it soaking through, breaking down the page or seeping outside the stamped images. Even though I love watercolouring with distress inks or stains I thought they might be too wet. I decided instead to used inktense pencils as I hoped to get vibrant colour with limited water. I tried picking up colour from the pencil lead with a wet brush and painting it into my stamped images as well as colouring the image with the pencil then adding the water over the top. I preferred the look of the former method. When I coloured directly on the page it was more likely that I would end up with shading lines or the colour would seep outside the stamping once I added water. I did get some paint soaking through the next page of the journal so I’ll cover that up with my next spread.
The big flowers are part of a large multiflower stamp from the new C&9 set, fine line florals. I stamped it three times on my journal double page but the page doesn’t sit flat so I was not able to get perfect prints. I was using the fiskars stamp press on the flatter right hand page but used my hand to press the stamp on the bumpy left hand page and tried to do the stamping across the centre of the two pages in two steps while masking the left then right. I kept going even with my patchy stamping and used micron pens to add in missing lines and trace over the pale stamping. I wondered whether the lines I added would be obvious but once all the colour was added it was hard to tell the difference between the stamped and the hand drawn outlines.
The other stamps in my floral explosion are a feather from the C&9 ‘feathered’ set and leaves, flowers and little sprays from the C&9 ‘songbird’ set. I did several layers of colour on the large flowers, letting it dry after each one but just one layer on the leaves, little flowers and feathers. The dots were distress inks sponged through a homemade die cut vellum stencil made with C&9 ‘dots and hearts’ die.
I also did quite a bit of splattering by flicking a wet brush across the lead of the inktense pencils. I added black outlines as I did the watercolouring but when all the painting was finished I went over the centre of the flowers drawing little circle centres with the micron pens and adding little white dots here and there with a white gel pen. To frame the spread I drew a squiggly frame with in black then added some black soot distress stain splatter here and there.
I had fun with this spread and learnt a few things along the way. Hope you are having a great day; thanks for spending some of it here on my blog.
Are you a wee bit surprised to see a journal page here? I’m surprised myself, surprised but pleased. I really enjoyed dreaming it up and making it. It didn’t end up looking as I imagined but that is the way with journal pages is it not?
This art journal is a Fabriano journal; the paper is nice and thick but not watercolour paper so I painted over it with absorbent ground first. Then I grabbed a bunch of stamps from Darkroom Door along with three light coloured oxide inks and stamped mesh, stone and woodgrain texture stamps over the background. I spritzed it with water to soften the edges of the stamped images and dabbed some out too to make it subtler. Even after adding some water it was still bolder than I wanted so I painted another thin layer of absorbent ground over it.
I filled the bottom of the page with repeat stampings of flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘tall flowers‘ set in distress inks then blended some of the big flowers with water. They don’t blend as well as they do on watercolour paper but the effect is still nice.
I added grass and flowers from the DD ‘ nature walk‘ set, also in distress ink then a border with the mesh texture stamp in black soot oxide ink. It was a bit bolder than I wanted so I spritzed then dabbed with a paper towel ( as you can see I’m a fan of the ‘spritz and dab’ ). I splattered wild honey, forest moss and dusty concord diluted ink over the whole spread and it ended up looking like confetti. To boost a few of the flowers I outlined them with fine tipped black markers.
I wrote psalm 18:36 with a brush pen leaving a space to stamp the word ‘steps’ with the DD alphabet medley stamps. I find choosing words for a journal page tricky, which words and how to add them. But the beauty of a journal page is the experimental nature of it. If I don’t like something on this page, I’ll try something different on another. Once the ink had dried I sealed the large flowers and the lettering with distress micro glaze.
Do you have any art journallers you would recommend for inspiration? I already follow Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Vicky Papaioannou and Maremi SmallArt who all have different styles and inspiring journal pages.
I’m hoping to create in my journals more often and will share pages here if possible. Even if you are not an art journal person the designs can usually be converted to a card and sometimes start out as cards anyway!
Art Supplies (all Darkroom Door stamps are linked in description)
It is over a year ago since I completed a page in my art journal so it was a good thing when I was asked to create an art journal video for the Penny Black blog. The latest release from PB, Artistic Endeavors includes some beautiful stamps designed with journaling in mind. The page I created last year was a Narnia page so I decided to stick with the literary theme and make another book inspired page. My inspiration this time is ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’ by Gene Stratton-Porter. I read the book quite a few years ago but really enjoyed it and could see the butterfly and figure stamp working well on such a page.
The main character, Elnora, catches moths to sell to collectors in order to support herself through high school. She lives on the edge of the Limberlost, a forested and swampy region where she finds the moths she later sells. I know these stamps depict butterflies but I chose to exercise some artistic license.
Because I wanted to watercolour both the butterflies and the girl I stamped them on watercolour paper, painted them, then cut them out so I could attach them to the page.
To add texture to the background I glued torn strips of tissue paper all over it then did partial stamping with a script stamp and a leafy stamp.
Journal pages take me a long time so despite the fact that I sped up just about all the footage, it is still on the lengthy side. I hope you enjoy it and, maybe like me, get inspired to pull out a neglected art journal. Or perhaps you’ll go and check the book out of the library…
Edited to add: In the video I mentioned learning a lot from Vicky Papaioannou; her videos are here:https://www.youtube.com/user/vickypgr
Stamps: Muse, Script, Verdure, Butterfly trio (PB)
Art Journal: Fabriano 24cm x 15.5cm
Art supplies: Faber-Castell gel medium , Tsukineko Versafine Onyx Black ink , clear embossing powder, Ken Oliver Colorburst powders (merlot, violet, ultramarine blue), Ken Oliver liquid metals (platinum, verdi gris, ultramarine blue), Faber-Castell Stampers big brush pen, lead pencil, Pigma 0.3 micron pen, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (medium flesh, brown ochre, juniper green, ochre, burnt ochre, venetian red, delft blue, warm grey 3), tissue paper, Dr Ph Martin Hydrus liquid watercolours (Hansa yellow light, phthalo blue, phthalo green, carbon black) Art glitter designer dries clear adhesive, Ranger distress micro glaze.