Altered Book: Wicked Black

✮✮✮  from november 2009 ✮✮✮

above, very wet paint (check out the paint bokeh)


20x12" art journal spread from altered book project "tekenfilm"

Here's how to create this art journal background with black gesso:


  • A piece of watercolor or bristol paper or an old hardback book
  • Black gesso (i.e. store brand)
  • Fluid acrylic paint (i.e. Golden Fluid Acrylics)
  • Paint brush or chopstick
  • Old credit card


1. Paint most of the page with any color of fluid acrylic paint. I used turquoise. Neatness irrelevant.

2. Let the acrylic paint dry completely, so that touching it makes no mark, to ensure the next layer doesn't blend with the first.

3. Paint the page with black gesso, a decent layer, smoothing with a credit card.

4. Let the gesso sit for up to 5 minutes.

5. Drip one color of fluid acrylic paint randomly on the page. I used magenta.

6. With the back of a paint brush or a chopstick, draw swirls, twirls, symbols, zig-zags and doodles, even tiny secret messages, in the paint.

7. When you like the look, leave the page open and allow it to fully dry overnight.

8. Wow! A wickedly mysterious art journal background.