Friday, 8 July 2011

Time-saving Art Journalling - Making Multiple Backgrounds

Are you full of ideas for your art journal but you somehow lose the plot by the time you have made and dried your background? Daunted by those plain white pages? Cannot find anything to inspire you?

Then here are 2 time saving tips to get you going...

1. use up your left over materials.

In Pam Carriker's great book, "Art At The Speed of Life", she suggests using any bits of left over paint to make background to journals in a kind of production line.

With the Moleskin Journal - a lovely but hitherto unused gift, I dabbed left over acrylics onto double page spreads so I no longer have an intimidating white space...

In the brown page on the right I used a baby wipe to  rub dilute acrylic onto the empty page 

and with the final one I used a baby wipe again to dab thicker acrylic all over the page.
 2. Watercolour washes

This involves making a series of wet water colour washes and literally letting them drip, spread and otherwise make their own way across damp watercolour pages.

You can hold the page up and let
the wash run down the pages...
and you can rotate the pages to get a horizontal or vertical effect

You can choose a colour palette for the whole journal or for each double page spread.

You can also drip paint  into the wet page so it makes a kind of ink blot pattern or a more "puddled" effect.

You can also use this on sheets of water colour paper or water colour blocks (better as they do not cockle) and you have ready made background for art projects like atcs, chunky pages, gothic arches and so on...

The resulting pages from both techniques give a great jumping off point for collaging, painting, adding effects and written journalling... and get over the twin deterrents of scary white pages and/or having great ideas but having to wait until you have made and dried a background.

And the randomness of the end results could also be quite inspirational too!!

So for my art journal every day in July,  I will show some of the ways these background pages evolve into journal pages...


  1. Great ideas! I've got a few backgrounds done, so now I am trying to decide what to do with them. I'll look forward to seeing how you work with these.

  2. Thanks so much, I have got underway now!

  3. I realise this post is old, but I'm new to art journaling. I wanted to say thanks for posting your pictures and instructions.