Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ART JOURNALING: The Learning Curve

(transferred from kaywallacescrapbooking.blogspot.com, dated 6-30-2012)

A learning curve might be described in a graph that shows one's rate of learning.  In a perfect world, that curve would not be a curve at all, but a straight line always moving in an upward direction.  Well, with this art journaling page, that straight line took a dip for me!  While I am definitely pleased with the final outcome, I learned in this process more about what *not* to do than what to do.  But, this is not without merit.

First, the big reveal, then the steps I took to get there:

After covering my page with Gesso primer and heat drying it, I got out an old stencil acquired silently from my husband.  I had watched a video about adding acrylicGesso (this one is not a primer but a gel medium--the consistency of a soft paste) to an art journaling page, and I felt ready to try it!  After placing the stencil on my page, I used an art palette knife to cover the graduated circle portion of the stencil with a pretty thick coat of gel medium.  This was my first of several errors!

Knowing that it would likely take forever for these five fat circles to dry, I moved on to other elements.  I got out my brand new box of water color crayons from Stampin' Up!  I have actually had this box of crayons for about five years, yet had never used them.  I felt like a kid again grabbing whichever color caught my eye and scribbling back and forth of my page!

Next step was to add the water to my page to blend the colors.  I began by dabbing my finger in the water and swiping across the page, dragging the color with my finger.  I guess my thought was that if coloring felt so good, would finger painting now also feel good?  Another mistake!  My finger dried out almost immediately and the "finger" painting came to an abrupt halt!  I grabbed a paint brush, dipped it in the water and things went more smoothly from there.  

I have been careful with my photography so that you would not easily notice that the number of circles created with the acrylic Gesso and stencil has gone from 5 to 4!  I made the mistake (yep, another one) of grabbing the upper left-hand corner of my page to move it and squished the largest circle at the top.  I pondered for about 3 seconds on how I might "repair" it, but grabbed that palette knife and just started scrapping it off the page.  Well, along with the Gesso came some of the paper!  I needed to cover up this mistake, so tore a piece of patterned paper and adhered it over the space, then added a piece of tissue paper over that.  I then added another piece of tissue paper to the lower right-hand side for balance and hoped it looked like it was always part of my master plan!

OK, moving on again.  I have shown you how to do the bubble wrap stamping before, but since it is one of my favorite techniques for adding a bit of interest to my page, I grabbed some bubble wrap and green ink.  What I have learned since the first time I used bubble wrap is that a quick-dry technique is to blot the stamped image by rolling a paper towel roll over it.  Doing this leaves a bit of wet ink on the paper towel, which you can now roll over a different part of the page for a lighter imprint.  Scroll back up to the finished page and you can see the "second printing" through the center of the page from the top almost all the way down!  Love this look!

 The title or message for this art journaling page comes in the form of a sticker.  It adhered well to the page, so I decided not to add any topcoat, but did use a brayer to make sure the edges wouldn't lift.  

While I said in the beginning of my post that this project created a dip in my art journaling learning curve, I want to encourage you to try new things without being fearful that they won't be perfect.  I admitted to a fellow crafter recently that I did remove--ok, ripped out--my first attempt at art journaling and threw it away.  Subsequently, I have created pages of which I am not really "happy," but, still, I created them so I am keeping them.  If you are creating an art journal, I would love to see it.  In the meantime, thanks for visiting my blog.  Please take just a moment to leave a comment and let me know you were here.  If you like what you see and are not already a follower, please join and select the "follow by e-mail" option.  That way, you will receive an e-mail notification when I update my blog!



  1. Happy Art blogging Kay!

  2. I am so glad you started this Kay! I have been eye balling your art journal and just never knew what to do for my own. You may just get me to start mine!! HUGS!!

  3. Hi Kay...I will come back for visits often...seen some great tips already!

  4. Hi Kay! I don't have an art journal so I am looking forward to seeing more of yours. Maybe I'll get one started.

  5. Oh Kay this is just wonderful. I have played with several pages and they have all ended up in the bin... :( I will keep playing and hopefully I will keep one soon. :) love yours though.

  6. So artistic, Kay....a wonderful adventure you are setting out to explore in depth! Enjoy!!

  7. Love the new blog Kay and love this project! I have also been trying new things lately and I really do enjoy the artsy style and crafting!

  8. I have just subscribed to your RSS feed Kay as I find that suits me more than following.
    Love seeing what you are doing with art journalling. I haven't done any lately but will get back to it at some stage LOL!!
    Julie Balzer says there are no mistakes.....only creative opportunities!!

  9. I just realized this blog was different than your scrapbooking blog, duh. No wonder I haven't been getting the updates. I am on a learning curve in this art journaling thing. I have been watching Christy Tomlinson lately. I like her style.
    Great page.


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