Art Journal Basics class -the preparation

A few months ago when friends were gathered at my house they were having a mooch at my Documented Life Journal and expressed a wish for an art journal class. I had a little think and decided to agree to do one. Of course that meant several sleepless nights going … Ooh I could do this or I could do that … Only to remember most journal pages take a while to do, and time to dry, so that did limit what we could achieve in a couple of hours of crafting time. So a couple of days later I set to with my idea and worked out if it was possible to create something in a couple of hours that showed some techniques and basics for them.

I started with a quote…

We can complain that a rose bush has thorns, or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses…. Abraham Lincoln

I figured this had a lovely message and also had a visual message to be followed as well.

I took a sheet of thick watercolour card and cut it to 8×8 and then thought about what colour the quote made me think of. I decided on red and spritzed spray inks in red, pink, purple and orange/copper and swished the paper through them to give a good blended coverage.


I do love the finish that Dylusions inks give when doing this. So different everytime. I also spritzed some water to remove some colour in places … Although by the time the page is finished you can’t see any of this … But still it’s all part of the process.

Next I took a rose stamp which was a freebie with Craft Stamper, and stamped it down one edge in Archival ink, and also lots of times onto old book print. I then took a script background stamp and stamped that down the other side, along with the harlequin stamp and the sun shine stamp. Next it was time to add some paint. I actually started with a layer of gesso thinly brayered across the page. Then added some of the book print roses which I had cut out. To these I added some dark pink/maroon paint with my fingers, and some grey gelatos. I then added more white by using Distress Stain. I actually had a big accident with this as I squeezed the bottle and the dabber came out and flooded the page with white. Fortunately most of it wiped up … It is just a shame I wasted most of it!

Next I added more of the grey gelato and some more of the pink and maroon paint.

I also added silver paint down the edges, and made marks using lids and edge of credit card and the paint. As per usual I forgot to take any pictures of these stage … So my next picture includes, stamping with paint/ ink and using masks to push paint through and ink through. Oh and stamping the number/alphabet stamp with distress stain too!


At this point I had been working on the page for about an hour and a quarter. So time to move to finishing touches if this is to be a class.

I handwrote the quote (my printer wasn’t switched on so couldn’t be bothered to type it up instead) and then edged each piece, and sprayed with some ink. Next I took the remaining book print roses and coloured them with some gelatos and the spray inks. I added more copper to them to make them stand out a bit. I then layered these up … One of them has several layers to make it more dimensional, and rubbed some stickles over them once they were adhered to the page to give them a sparkle.


So this was my sample for the class. It meant I had finished a page under 2 hours with some basics in there. I could rule out certain techniques due to drying time, but this sort of thing was definitely doable.

A week or so later I decided to try the same process again but using different stamps for the background and different colour scheme. This time yellows and oranges. I didn’t do process pics as I forgot and just immersed myself in the process. I also didn’t get round to adding a quote at this point!


So in prep for the class I chose a few different quotes, and have printed them up in readiness. I also thought I would let people choose their own colours rather than dictate to them … After all I had started out choosing red for my first one, and it ended up very much more pink!

For me art journaling is so much more about the process rather than the end result. The hope is that the end result is good, but it isn’t a given, and shouldn’t be given as much consideration. But that’s just me!

Hopefully the girls in the class will take their enjoyment from the class and find their own way of art journalling … Given a few of them mainly like clean and neat things, it may well not be their thing! But company and playing with stuff should hopefully make it an enjoyable evening regardless!

Will post the result from the class in another post!

Happy crafting!


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