Trial Lesson: 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. 


Click on the images below to expand images and get details about they were created.

(NOTE: If you're viewing this on mobile, click on the image, and then if you don't see the written description look for a little white dot in the bottom right corner and click on that.)

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, and 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. 

INVITATION to Start Art Journaling!

Open your art journal to a blank page. Get out your paint, some sponges, some brushes, and some texture tools (scrapers, etc.). Let your mind relax and allow yourself to spend time just PLAYING with the art supplies. As in the videos above, follow your fingers. I invite you to NOT make a painting of anything identifiable. Just make marks, blend colors, and have fun.

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Want more? Want to dig deeper into your art journaling practice? Click here to register for Start Art Journaling! self-study e-course.