Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Art Journaling Wednesday-Adding Layers

Hi y’all. I hope your mid-week is going wonderfully and life is treating you with an abundance of kindness.

I’m sure most everyone pictures Florida as the land of sunshine and oranges but it isn’t so warm and sunny here in beautiful Florida this week. It even dropped down to 30° F last night and it’s still quite brisk today.IMG_1275

I am seriously loving it because, unlike my hubby, I love having true seasons. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas time if it’s 70°F outside. Not that I want to battle snow or anything but a nice chill in the air is great to me for this time of year.

I’m proud to say that we are even putting our Christmas tree up this evening. I used to really love the holidays but it’s not been the same since I lost my Mom and Dad. Now, with the grandboy living with us, I need to try and get into the spirit, don’t I?

In other news...

I have been struggling with what to cover this week for our AJ Wednesday get together. You see, I am no expert in the art journaling world; I am just insanely passionate about it. I study and play and think on it all the time...seriously, it is my thoughts and focus every single day.

With that said, I feel the need to remind you that everything I say, offer, explain, suggest or instruct here is just my point of view, not some absolute definition. I am just trying to follow my heart and offer suggestions and maybe some inspiration to get others out there diving into art journaling bravely and with crazy passion. (I guess I’m worried that some of you might not like the steps or direction I go with my posts...but I have to get past that and just keep on doing what I feel is right.)

Anyway, let’s move on...

Now that you’ve layed down a base-coat of color in whatever way feels right to you, it is time to start adding depth with layers. There are many ways to do this, such as:

  • Add a light layer of titanium white (more opaque) or zinc white (more translucent) with a brayer, fingers, sloppy brushed, or scrape it on with an old credit card. This tones down bright colors or papers and can make a page feel more cohesive.
  • If your first layer is acrylic paint, try spritzing a fine mist of water over the page, let it sit for a few seconds then scrape with a credit card. It will remove bits of paint leaving you with a unique look. (This beautiful background by Gretchen Schroeder—>)
  • I love to add splatters, drips, dots, runs of paint or ink in contrasting or coordinating colors.
  • Stamping images or flourishes. I tend to use Staz-On ink pads because, once dry, they don’t run but beware, they do bleed through paints applied over them.
  • Paint smudged through stencils, punchinella, drywall tape, etc. (This great –> background by Kim Hesson.)
  • Watercolors, watercolor crayons, water-soluble oil pastels or watercolor pencils...activate them with water, a baby wipe, or a damp paper towel...or smudge them with a rag or your finger tip. Work that color, baby! lol
  • Bits and strips of washi tape here and there.
  • Doodles and flourishes drawn in black, white or coordinating colored markers or pens (I love my Perma Ball pens and Gelly Roll or Souffle pens for this.)
  • Bits and pieces of magazine images that you like, glued down with a good glue stick or gel medium.
  • More layers of paint in dribbles, dots, flecks, smudges, scrapes, splatters, rings (made with caps/lids dipped in paint then stamped on your page) and brush strokes.
  • Spray mists, inks, your own homemade spray colors, or spray watercolors.
  • Bits of torn tissue paper (solid or prints) glued down with gel medium.(-> This gorgeous background by Kate Crane aka TheKathrynWheel)

These are just a few of my ideas and techniques for adding layers. Doing any of these to your pages will help to add depth and interest.

In doing these layering ideas, please trust your self. Your eyes can be trusted to let you know if something you’re doing is working or not; whether your color choices are working together or not.

So many of us want someone to tell us if we’re doing things right or if our journaling pages are okay. Believe me when I tell you that you can trust yourself. Whatever you are doing is perfectly fine. I just want you to have faith in yourself and your abilities. Have fun, try things you think might work or color combos you might never have thought of before.

Get in there and play your heart out, fellow art journalers...enjoy yourself between the pages.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,


  1. Lovely backgrounds . . . sometimes I like my background so much I don't want to add anything else!

    As for welcoming the chill in the air at Christmas time, there are a whole lot of us in the southern hemisphere hoping for a lovely hot summer's day!

  2. Playing with paper tomorrow :) snowed in a bit so a good chance. I enjoyed the video by Teesha and I like the page above by Kate Crane. I bought a calendar a couple of days ago and put some gesso on a page today--slow start :) see what happens tomorrow.

  3. Thanks again for another informative and helpful post. I have journals full of backgrounds, I've spent hours playing with acrylic paints, neocolor crayons and watercolors. Some even have scrap papers glued underneath as a first layer so you can see the writings and scribbles showing through. BUT then I get stuck! I just cannot move past this point, it's most frustrating. I even glued on some girls I painted onto the backgrounds but then again, stuck! This post is really helpful, thank you!!

    Could you please do a post on the next step of doing a background, then sticking on a painted face or magazine image and what to do next, like how to blend it all together please, at some stage?
    Michelle in Australia xxx


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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