Finally! I finally felt like doing something a little more substantial than mindlessly painting some backgrounds in my day planner! I want to participate as much as possible in the Documented Life Project. This year they are concentrating doing a full-sized journal page(s) as opposed to just creating a planner/journal. They are all such great artists that I know that this year is going to be even better than last year–and the ideas were overflowing then! They take 4 artists that create journal pages based upon a predetermined theme for that week. They are all so loose in the creation of their pages and they often such bold colors–much bolder than anything i am used to using. It is has inspired me to try to use brighter, bolder colors sometimes when I am able to push out of my comfort zone a little more.
The first week theme (yes, I’m just a LITTLE bit behind! LOL!) deals with the overall monthly theme of conquering the blank page along with the Week 1 challenge of somehow incorporating book paper into your page with a journal prompt of setting goals. There were some great ideas by the artists and many more on the DLP Facebook page. I decided that I liked the one that Roben-Marie Smith demonstrated by very deliberately adding “book pages” and other papers to the journal page and then building from that point. I followed her method pretty closely (I’m still learning…)–mostly because I loved the results that she achieved with her pages. I am using the recommended large (~9×12) Dylusions Journal for my journal surface. I found after doing this set of pages that the paper is hardy enough to support a lot of wet “stuff” and still keep its composure pretty well. I have not been disappointed with it yet. We will see if I still feel the same after I’ve done several entries. Here are my “book papers” glued down to the journal page.
Next, gesso was added to the top of the paper to add interest, texture and to somewhat cover the patterns of the paper itself. I used Liquitex gesso for this step but any will do. The Liquitex has a pretty gritty texture. It is good for “grabbing” other mediums that will be added to the page in later steps. I also added a very thin layer to the left side of the spread. I like to do two-page spreads. I guess that is influenced by the OCD part of my personality that likes things that are in harmony in the same space? In the second photo below, while the gesso was still wet, I used a rag to remove some of the gesso so it was left thicker/thinner in spots than in others.
Next, I used a pen to add some markings to the page. Had I been able to work a little more quickly, the pen would likely have bled some into the next step which is adding color to the page. Robin-Marie used watercolors on the gesso which I have rarely if ever done. So, of course I HAD to try it. I created my own color palette with some Daniel Smith Fine Watercolors. I like them a lot. They perform very well–at least as well as I know how to use them–and they are kind of middle-of-the-road in price. They certainly are not cheap but they are not the most expensive either.
I used the colors pointed out below to paint over my page. I like when they start blending and making third colors. Many people do not like the brown that results when the wrong colors overlap. However, I sort of like it (I love earth tones!) as long as it doesn’t dominate the page.
Next, another generous dabbing of gesso over different parts of the page. I thought this would be difficult for me but I think it ended up looking OK. After the gesso, then some “marks” were added with the black Stabilo All Marking Pencil and then traced with a wet brush to bring it to life a little more on the page. I love how these pencils look when you wet them.
After this point, Roben-Marie added a decorative flap to “hide” her goals for the year. I had already done the “goals” prompt in my planner earlier but I did like the idea of adding a nice flap to the page. I decided to do something a little different from what she had done. I decided to use a stencil (StencilGirl Mod Ovals and Circles Large Stencil, designed by Lizzie Mayne) that kind of kept with the circle/oval thing I already had going on the page. The second photo below is of the finished book paper on some black cardstock that I used to give it some strength and to increase the size of the flap.
All that was left was to add the flap to the page and to add some color to the facing page. This was was done by using some decorative tape and more watercolor and Dylusions Ink (color: Pure Sunshine).
I will go back in and add my personal journaling later. (I get to keep some secrets for myself!) I really had a good time doing these pages. The ending texture is simply luscious!!
If you want to see someone actually going through the steps in a video format, click on the link to Roben-Marie’s example near the beginning of this page. I promise that you will not be disappointed! Happy journalng!