TECHNIQUE:

PAINTED BACKGROUNDS

In my studio, I always direct my first time students to the paints. There's something very satisfying about playing with paint, and it's so easy to get a page going in a matter of minutes. You can leave behind a concern about words or images and just turn to color and texture. So that's where we're going to start!

There are so many ways to create a painted background. I want you to explore as many as you can come up with. Here are some ways to do it:

FINGERPAINT: I call this "Getting rid of the middleman" and it's super satisfying! Dip your hands in paint and get creative. You can really feel your energy surging in your hands when you put down the brushes and let your fingers guide you on the page. 

FINGERPAINT: I call this "Getting rid of the middleman" and it's super satisfying! Dip your hands in paint and get creative. You can really feel your energy surging in your hands when you put down the brushes and let your fingers guide you on the page. 

SPONGES: Try out make-up sponges, natural sponges, and kitchen sponges for blending and moving paint around on the page. Use sponges to paint one or more colors in the background then cover with more sponging. Try using wet and dry sponges to see how that makes a difference.

SPONGES: Try out make-up sponges, natural sponges, and kitchen sponges for blending and moving paint around on the page. Use sponges to paint one or more colors in the background then cover with more sponging. Try using wet and dry sponges to see how that makes a difference.

SCRAPERS: Use a credit card to spread the paint or some other kind of hard edge. Explore different edged scrapers (also from the hardware store) or try an old hairbrush or comb. You can also make a cool edge with a piece of cardboard and a scissor or knife. Try a skewer or toothpick or dried up ball point pen to scrape into the wet paint as well.

SCRAPERS: Use a credit card to spread the paint or some other kind of hard edge. Explore different edged scrapers (also from the hardware store) or try an old hairbrush or comb. You can also make a cool edge with a piece of cardboard and a scissor or knife. Try a skewer or toothpick or dried up ball point pen to scrape into the wet paint as well.

BRUSHES of all kinds: Bristle brushes (long, short, flat, round, fan) and foam brushes are great to experiment with. Also try out rough chip brushes from the paint department at the hardware store.

BRUSHES of all kinds: Bristle brushes (long, short, flat, round, fan) and foam brushes are great to experiment with. Also try out rough chip brushes from the paint department at the hardware store.

And one more thing...

Explore LAYERS!

Once you've tried out each of the above materials, try mixing it up.

  • Paint or scrape a background, then dry it, then come over it with sponging or fingerpainting.

  • Try layering over dry pages and over wet. What happens?

  • Try using a water spray bottle, too.

  • Try wiping away the paint with a baby wipe.

  • Try using a dry brush and a very wet brush.

How is it different? And how does it feel when you experiment with the materials? 

 

Here are two videos with lots of great technique examples. I promise that I had no plans but just followed my fingers, the brush and the colors around the page to see what would emerge. 


Next steps

You've created some backgrounds...now what? Well, over throughout the course, I'll be teaching you all kinds of methods for creating interesting and personal art journal pages. For now, at these beginning stages, you have a few options:

1. Leave it as is...just some backgrounds waiting for "content" to be added later. (I always use up my extra paint by wiping it on pages further along in my journal. Then they're ready for a future date and I don't waste my paint!)

2. Keep working on a page and see what feelings rise to the surface. Continue to use color and visual texture to express those feelings.

3. Add some images (with collage? rubber stamps? draw them with a Sharpie or a pencil?) AND/OR words to express that.

 

Sharing your journal pages with our community.

Once you've finished your pages, it's time to take pictures of them, upload them to our Facebook private group page and then check out everyone else's work, too!

Here's a quick photo tutorial on photographing your pages. 

Hold your smart phone (or camera) horizontally over your open art journal page.

Hold your smart phone (or camera) horizontally over your open art journal page.

You'll get less distortion of the image if your camera is level with the page. If it's not, the pages will slant in or out at the edges.

You'll get less distortion of the image if your camera is level with the page. If it's not, the pages will slant in or out at the edges.

I love taking photos of my pages and sharing them. I hope you do too!

I love taking photos of my pages and sharing them. I hope you do too!

I like to use a black background under my journal when I photograph the pages. Less distracting.

I like to use a black background under my journal when I photograph the pages. Less distracting.

 
 

Here is a a video tutorial on tweaking (cropping, rotating, adjusting lighting and color) your photos of your pages. Not required, but nice if you have the time, so that we see them in their best light! 

 
 
Welcome to Art from the Heart! In this course I'll introduce you to the heart-centered practice of art journaling. Take your time going through the lessons. There are no deadlines. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Please share your photos, questions and comments in our private Facebook group. If you don't "do" Facebook, feel free to email me your questions and photos!

Welcome to Art from the Heart! In this course I'll introduce you to the heart-centered practice of art journaling. Take your time going through the lessons. There are no deadlines. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Please share your photos, questions and comments in our private Facebook group. If you don't "do" Facebook, feel free to email me your questions and photos!

© 2017 All Rights Reserved Please note that all content in this course is mine and cannot be used or sold elsewhere. Content theft, unfortunately, is real, but it is my hope that anyone taking this course does so because they want to learn the material and not because they want to copy and sell it themselves. Thank your for your consideration of the hard work and experience I put into all of my classes. 

© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Please note that all content in this course is mine and cannot be used or sold elsewhere. Content theft, unfortunately, is real, but it is my hope that anyone taking this course does so because they want to learn the material and not because they want to copy and sell it themselves. Thank your for your consideration of the hard work and experience I put into all of my classes. 

In our next lesson we'll dive into the topic of how to approach the page.

(You can access all the lessons in this course with the dashboard buttons on the righthand sidebar of this page.)