Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Luscious, Lavish, Layers

Using lots of layers makes for rich, interesting, journal pages.  There are many different techniques to achieve multiple layers, and I'll review a few of these in this journaling spread.

I began this spread by applying heavy bodied gesso to both pages using an old credit card.  After the gesso dried, I applied a watered down blend of yellow ochre, yellow, and orange acrylic paint as a background to unify both pages.  I rubbed the paint in with paper towel, blotting it off in places.

After the background dried, I began adding stripes of different colors.  As I added each stripe, I dipped my finger tip into rubbing alcohol and mixed it into the paint in different ways to experiment with texture.  (I'll do a post about using alcohol later.)  Once that dried, I decided I had to do something to obliterate the "stripy" look of the pages since I'm such an "organic gal".  I took some autumn images from a magazine and Mod Podged them right side down onto the pages.  When dry, I dampened the images and rubbed the paper off exposing the transfered image.  (I'll do a post about that process, too!)  I cut out one of my autumn leaf rubbings and also applied that with Mod Podge.

"Happy Skeleton" by Beth Nash and "Thanatos with Cigarette" by John Sokol

I still had no real idea of where I was going to go with these pages until I walked through the dining room and noticed a couple extra postcards from the gallery show I was in.  That's when I had my "A Ha!" moment.  I thought the smoking skull would look great on those pages.  I only used one postcard.  After strategically tearing the sections I wanted to use, I carefully peeled the back of the paper off.  I like doing this because it helps integrate the collaged paper into the background better.

As I was experimenting with placement of my torn postcard, I realized that I needed some more images.  I decided that I didn't like the blue skelly image on these pages, so I went to the computer and printed pictures of Keith and myself dressed in our Halloween costumes.  After playing with the arrangement, I also adhered these images to the page with Mod Podge.  I could have declared my spread "finished" at this point, but I wanted to add more elements to bring more cohesion to the pages.

I like to extend at least one element on a page into the next page.  This helps to carry the eye from one page to the next and further creates a total composition.  Another way to add cohesion to all of these separate elements is to extend the imagery.  Here, I've extended my veil into the next page.  Keith's image is actually a rectangle.  I extended the image by sketching in the top of his head and extending his nose and mustache into the surrounding area.  Linking the top of his head into my veil helps to visually carry your eye around the pages.  I added the skeleton near the leaf because I need a fifth face to make the composition balanced.  The ribcage element in the upper right was also placed for balance and repetition of shape.  I added all of these elements with Neocolor II watersoluble wax pastels by Caran d'Ache.  These pastels are worth every penny.

I used a similar technique with the blue skelly painting from the postcard.  You may remember seeing this background from an earlier post.  Here, I applied the postcard image with Mod Podge, but instead of collaging more elements, I decided to play with the mask from the original image.  I drew those in with the Neocolor II also.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your art materials!  The more you play with them, the more you learn what the can and can not do, and hopefully, you'll get some surprising results along the way!  Don't forget to incorporate items from daily living, too.  Whatever you're doing today, "Celebrate, LOVE, and Create!"


The moon hovers above golden trees in the glow of an approaching sunset


  1. thanks for sharing these fantastic techniques and theory Angelia. I love all of those layers you have in there and how you have tied them all together.
    Great photo too. I love photos with the moon in them

  2. I look forward to that post on rubbing alcohol after seeing how fab these pages turned out!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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