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Posts Tagged ‘Art Journal’

Welcome Back

At the beginning of the month as part of the stash dive I wanted to have another go at art journalling. Here is the first page of my new art journal.

Art Journal page; I give myself permission.

Art Journal page; I give myself permission.

Isn’t it a great quote? I read this on Suzi Blu’s blog several years ago and it has made a huge psycological difference to sketchbooks since. Now I have permission to stuff up it takes the pressure off and you can just create. I’m making individual pages so I can stamp off the page and also work on more than one page as an earlier one dries.

If you want to try art journalling, do give it a try its a lot of fun if you just do what you enjoy and don’t put too many rules round it.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

There are plenty of online classes for art journalling and lots of You Tube videos about art journalling, but I couldn’t find any to help me choose a journal design. With this tutorial rather than point you at a journal design that I like, I wanted to give you the information that will help you make your own choice, based on the kind of journalling you do.

In this way you get a journal that will work for you, rather than be a chore to use and perhaps put you off journalling altogether.

What do you want to use on your page?

If you use dry media; like pencils and only limited ink, just to write your journal, then lighter cardstocks like Cartridge papers may well be suitable for your journal pages. On the other hand if you like to layer on lots of inks, paints, glues and glazes, then a heaver weight card would be best. Try out a variety of watercolour cardstocks as these will take all kinds of media.

How do I find out what card is suitable for my needs?

Theres no quick answer to this, it is a matter of experimentation. Art shops often sell individual sheets of cardstock and papers and this is an excellent way to try a good variety of surfaces, with the materials you wish to use on it. One tip though, if you are buying a selection, do make a note of what card is what on it, before your leave the store. That way if you find a favorite, you will know which one it was :)

What kind of journal to buy?

When you have decided on which surface you like, you can then choose the kind of journal you wish you use. Watercolour papers are often available as pre bound books, either sewn or ring bound. It is a matter of personal taste and what suits your style of journalling. I have experimented with bound books, spiral bound books and loose sheets. These are a good way to go if you want to start journalling right away and don’t have the tools or time to create a journal from scratch yourself.

Sewn bindings

If you like stamping on to your pages, the sewn bindings can be great as you can get right to the inside edges of the page. The disadvantage of this kind of book is that if you like lots of bulky layers or dimension to your pages, then the pages will quickly get too bulky for the spine of the book and it won’t close properly.

Sprial or ring bound books

Spiral bound books are great if you like dimension on your pages. There is a lot more scope for the pages to increase in bulk with this kind of binding. The disadvantage is that if you like stamping in your journal, then personally I found the wire binding in the way and restrictive in where on the page I could stamp, without bumping into the binding. If you aren’t needing to stamp to the inside edges of the pages, then these kinds of journals are great.

Loose pages

If you are new to journalling and want the option of ditching a page to start over if it goes wrong, then this is a great way to go. I know there are going to be purists that hate me for saying that but you know what, lifes too short. You do learn as much from a page that goes horribly wrong, than one that works, but you don’t always want it there looking at you ;)

I found using loose sheets, that I punch for binding later, a great work around for the issue of stamping to the edges of pages. I can chop and change papers during the book if I am using different media and stamp where ever I like. For me this is the way I’ll be journalling for a while, at least till my confidence improves. Its not for everyone but for newbies like me, its a great way to find your feet and have the freedom to change your cardstocks as you experiment, while finding your own style.

Making your own journal

The advantage of binding your own journal, is you can tailor it to the size, shape and binding style that suits you. It can be as simple or involved a bind as you like, depending on the tools you have to hand.

If you like your pages joined, more like that of a traditional book, I’d recommend going with a Long stitch binding style. You still have the option of pages right next to each other for double page spreads, but the bind is also good for allowing for extra bulk that layering would create.

 Spine detail showing the longstich binding

 

Inside the book
Coptic stitiching is another great binding style to use, as like longstictch, it allows the book to open completely flat. Coptic stitching won’t easily accommodate as many layers as longstitch, but if your journaling stlye isn’t heavy on bulky layers then it is ideal.
Spine detail of Coptic stitched book covers are alcohol ink onto gold mirror board

Another binding style that may be useful, is by using pre made wires. Either using binder rings or by pre punching your pages and binding them at the end. Both these style of books will give the option of single pages and allow for additional bulk as your journal grows. Binding at the end will allow you to create right up to the edges of the pages, without bumping into the binding wires ;)

BIA Calendar Tutorial BIA Calendar Tutorial

Later in the year, once the brighter weather returns, I hope to make a video tutorial of how to create your own  art journal. Until then check out different cardstocks till you find one you like so you are ready to get binding.

Bear in mind that I am still new to art journalling, but if you have questions, I’d be happy to try and help you out. Just leave me a comment :)

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

 

Today I would like to share some pictures of the cover that I painted for my art journal. My Journal is A6 in size and made by Daler~Rowney. Originally the cover was black, the paints used were Golden Fluid Acrylic, Ranger Acrylic Dabbers, Daler~Rowney White gesso.

 

Here is my art journal with painted cover

Here is my art journal with painted cover

 

Decided to add some dimension using grunge paper die cut from a Cuttlebug snowflake die.

 

Adding dimension with Grunge Paper snowflake

Adding dimension with Grunge Paper snowflake

 

 

Here is a close up of the painted snowflake.

 

Here is a close up of the Grunge Paper snowflake.

Here is a close up of the Grunge Paper snowflake.

 

At some point I will add a title, probably using die cut letters. Not yet decided on a title, so I’m leaving my options open at this stage.  So what do you think? Do you like my snowflake? Let me know your thoughts, a tutorial on how to achieve that painted effect on the snowflake could be arranged ;)

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

 

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Regular viewers of this blog will have noticed that I have taken quite a liking to Grunge board in the last few weeks. I decided to experiment and see if grunge board was a suitable weight for a book cover, it was a success and today I’d like to share some pictures of the results.

Grunge Board Book 1

Grunge Board Book 1

I painted the Grungeboard using the same techniques as I showed in the garland tutorial last friday. The board does distort as you heat it, but if you are careful and pin it flat while it is still warm and hold it flat till it dries it is possible to minimise the effect. I coloured natural linen thread with dye ink to match the colours on the covers. The exposed stitching on the spine really stands out well against the darker edges of the covers. The book opens completely flat, which makes it a joy to write in.

Inside covers of Grung Board Book 1

Inside covers of Grunge Board Book 1

Here you can see that I painted the inside of the covers in a similar way but used a text stamp in the background. I love this effect. The stamp is made by Hero Arts, I believe it is called ‘Old French Writing’. I’m really pleased with how this turned out. It’s hard to show how antique this looks in a photograph, in real life it looks like antique brass.

Front & Back covers of my Grunge Board Book

Front & Back covers of my Grunge Board Book

Here is a view of the book, to show the front and back covers together. The stamps on the cover were from Creative Expressions ‘Holly’ plate. This is the same plate that had the small holly and poinsettia designs which were used in my Grunge Paper Garland tutorial, last friday. I used Fluid Acrylic paint by Golden for this project, the Interference Gold fine mixed into the red and green paint, gave them an iridescent look too. It is very versatile paint and well worth the investment.

Modify the stamps used on the cover and select a watercolour paper and this would make the perfect art Journal for a creative friend. The Coptic stitch binding, means the book lies completely flat in use, making it perfect to paint or write in. Make sure you wax your thread well and it will seal in the colour if you died the thread. Waxing the thread also means it will resist paint etc, when the book is used as a journal.

Links

For suppliers of these Golden’s paints in the UK, go to Jackson’s Art supplies. There details are listed in the Art links area of the side bar of this blog. There is also a direct link to the manufacturers of Golden paints in the side bar, you will be able to find a colour chart of available colours in the Fluid Acrylic range on that site. I adore these paints.

Grunge Board is made by Ranger, under the Tim Holtz ‘Idea ology’ line. Check out the Stamping Links in the side bar, for the link to Ranger.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Firstly, I should just point out, that I have only been art journaling for a short time. I’m soo not saying I’m an expert, but when I first started what I really wanted to know was, what do I need to get started. A shopping list if you like, of what materials I would need to begin. So for anyone else just beginning, here is a list of the things I use often and the reasons I chose them. Bear in mind your own choice of kit will depend on what kind of products you like to use and what is available in your country.

The Journal

I chose an A6 ring bound journal. Mine is made by Daler Rowney.

The reason for this choice was that it was large enough to play, to have room to write, draw, stamp and paint but small enough to be very portable and not too intimidating. The ring bound style means the book opens flat, but because the rings make a large gap between the pages, I don’t have to do a double page spread with the page next to the one I’m working on. The ring bound style allows you to tear out a page if you want to, and to add glued in images without too much bulk being added to the spine.

Pens

Faber Castell Eco Pigment pens in black sizes 0.3 and 0.7. These are light fast and permanent, this means if I add water over drawing or writing that the ink stays put. Chosen as I already had them!

Zig Writer Black.  Archival pen, as above it is waterproof once dry, light fast so it won’t fade over time. This pen has a fine 1.2mm nib on one end and a bullet nib of 0.5 on the other.

Uni-ball Signo fine gel pens 0.7 nib in gold and in silver. For highlighting

Ranger Gel Pen in white, also for highlighting but useful for writing over a dark background.

A Staedtler Mars.780 Clutch pencil. This is perfect as you can store spare lead in the barrel and the end is removable and contains a sharpener. So you can sharpen your pencil with out having to hunt for a sharpener. Great for travel

Colour

Caran D’Ache Neocolour II watersoluble wax crayons. A set of 10 for travel.

Lyra Aquacolor water soluble wax crayons, a set of 48. Great for laying down large areas of colour really fast. Scribble on a scrap sheet of card/plastic and use a damp brush to pick up colour for small detailed areas. Can be used dry for a crayon look or add a small amount of water for a painted look.

Crayola crayons set of 24, just because they are fun.

Faber Castell Albrecht Durer water soluble pencils. Better for smaller areas or detail work. Can be used as a regular pencil or add water for a watercolour effect.

Paint

Daler Rowney Cryla Artist Colour Acrylics. I already had a started set of 12 of these, so they weren’t bought especially.  These paints are creamy and lovely to use, add water and you have a fast drying watercolour look, use them straight from the tubes for a dense colour that you can scratch into while it is wet, or stamp/write over once it is dry. Very versatile paint and stored correctly lasts for YEARS. I bought the set I’m using for my late father well over ten years ago and they are still fine.

Before you buy cheaper students paints do consider purchasing a small starter set of quality paints. I’m not being a snob, its just that students paints contain more filler than pigment. This means that you use far more paint to get a layer of colour, that is much easier to achieve with the artist quality paint.

Daler Rowney Gesso Primer in white. I chose this over other brands as I already had Cryla paints and this pot says it ‘goes with’ the Cryla’s :) I use this watered down, over a background of watercolour pencils/crayon to seal them in. I saw Milande use this with the watersoluble wax crayons and it blends the pigment but doesn’t wash it away as can happen if you use too much water with the crayons. You can add more layers of colours over the top without disturbing your base colours and it dries fast.

Ranger Acrylic Dabbers. I have a few earth tones as well and silver and gold. Love these for a simple way of adding depth and texture to projects. Also great, if tubes of paint intimidate you!

***Remember with acrylic paints, that you must keep your brushes in water or rise all the paint off them before leaving them or storing them. If you leave paint to dry on your brush it will dry rock hard and the brush will be ruined. ***

Brushes

So far I have only a few brushes for acrylic.

  • Cryla C15 a 6mm flat brush.

For blending my watersoluble wax crayons and pencils I use

  • Daler: Dalon 88: 3/8″ Flat brush 50857159
  • Daler: Dalon 77 No 6 Round brush 50857029

Again these were bought for my father ten years ago, so look after your products and they will serve you well.

I use the Winsor and Newton ‘Cotman’ range of brushes for more detailed work, as I’ve found these brushes hold their points better than the round Dalon ones. Personal preference with all things though. Cotman is W&Ns student range of products for water colours, these brushes are entirely synthetic fibres. Don’t wreck you nice Sable brushes on wax crayons!

The whole lot fits in a really small hobby case from the DIY store.

Added Extras

In addition to these ‘essentials,’ I use the inks and stamps that my rubber stamping hobby has accumulated over the years. I use Tsukineko Versafine ink in Onyx Black for stamping over gesso etc. It is a pigment ink and a really strong black.

For strong titles I like Hero Arts alphabet stamps, my personal favourites are

  • LL031 Elegant Letter set
  • LL029 Legacy Letters. This has a nice broken texture which shows colours through from the background page, nice for grunge styles
  • LL761 Printers Type, LL762 Printers Lowercase. A nice clear font in a classic style.

 

Hope that has helped you out :) There are plenty of different styles of art journalling and it is a very personal journey. Your own choice of products will depend on what kind of art you like and wish to create.  

The most important thing is to have fun, enjoy the journey and remember this one is for YOU. Do what you enjoy in this journal, no one said you have to show anyone else what you create. It can be as personal as a written journal/diary, or just a place to try out ideas.

Links

For some excellent tutorials for art journals do check out Julie Prichard’s blog The Land of Lost Luggage.

Julie’s Tutorials.

 

Best wishes and thanks for reading

See you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I would like to share some pictures of an art journal I made. Before I had my own leather, I bought a bag of scraps from Jackie to see how I got on. Amongst the pieces she sent me was the most gorgeous sulphur yellow piece of leather. I have been saving this for ages and finally decided that it would make a very good art journal.

 

The other think I wondered whilst looking at this lovely piece of leather was…. would acrylic paint dry on the unfinished side of the leather. Jackie had coloured the piece yellow and the reverse side was still natural leather. In the interests of trying new things, I applied a couple of coats of Cryla acrylic paint to the piece to see how it would get on.

Un-finished (suede) side of leather, painted with acrylic paint

It looked very nice, but was a bit ‘bright’ considering the outside was such a strong colour. Next I wondered if alcohol ink would dry on top…

Painted side of the leather, after alcohol ink has been applied

Painted side of the leather, after alcohol ink has been applied

 

 

So I put a couple of coats of alcohol ink on top and really liked the result. A very interesting alternative to marbled end papers I though.

 

The assembled book showing alcohol inked inside cover

The assembled book showing alcohol inked inside cover

The assembled book showing alcohol inked inside cover

The assembled book showing alcohol inked inside cover

The paper in the book is water colour paper so it would hold up to washes of watercolour or acrylic paint. I assembled the book and bound it using Long-stitch, which is perfect for this as it opens completely flat. I am very pleased with the finished book…the only drawback is….I like it too much and worry about using it! DOH!!!!!!

Let me know what you think.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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