Art Journal Tutorial: The Purple Page

You can throw whatever you wish in your journal and mix it all together. There's no magic potion or formula. I get a lot of questions about how to incorporate words on an art journal page, and there are an infinite number of ways to include words in your journals! Perhaps I can help you frame the questions and give you a bunch of starting points for your game of hopscotch? 

In this video, I share ideas that can be used as launching points for your own pages. I like to focus on techniques that are flexible and can be morphed and used to create what you feel like creating. 

 Purple Page tutorial, art journaling in an altered book with acrylics, neocolors, washi tape & hand-lettering. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Purple Page tutorial, art journaling in an altered book with acrylics, neocolors, washi tape & hand-lettering. Artwork by Tammy Garcia.

Here's the plan!
Work over the course of two days on a two-page spread in your journal. 

Day #1: Paint your pages with heavy body or fluid acrylics. Add stamping with a rubber stamp or a hand-carved eraser stamp. On one side, adhere strips of painted papers, washi tape, strips of patterned card stock, maps etc. 

Day #2: Hand-letter a quote/lyrics/phrase on the opposite page and embellish around the letters with colored pencils or Neocolors. 

You'll want to wait until your paint is dry before writing with pen or markers. A thin coat of acrylics applied with a brayer dries fairly quickly. A few hours, perhaps. It depends on the humidity, temperature, thickness of the paint, etc. A thick coat of acrylics or acrylics layered with paper collage can take longer to dry. 

In the video, I create a 2-page spread in a children's book. We had a lot of fun with this book and now my kids are teens and don't want all of their books so I confiscated this one because it had fun cartoonish backgrounds. 

If you are using paper that is at least the weight of heavy card stock, you do not need to prep your paper. Even if the paper is glossy. Just start with acrylics and skip the gesso.

Here are the ingredients, if you want to play with these techniques. 

Fluid acrylic paint, any color plus white.
Rubber brayer, i.e. Speedball 2" soft rubber brayer.
Plastic lid for rolling the paint with the brayer.
Papers for collage.
Liquid adhesive, i.e. Golden Fluid Matte Medium
Junky brush for the adhesive.
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II wax crayons, a dark color.
Heavy paper or an old book.
Black permanent marker, thin to medium nib. I'm using a black Uniball Signo UM-153.

The purple page is closer to periwinkle or lavender-blue; the background is painted with a brayer, with washi tape collage on one page and a wide open space on the opposite page just perfect for a hand-lettered quotation. I wrote a quote about habits and drew with around the letters with Neocolors to make the letters look like they were floating on a sea of color.