Art Journal: Heart Work

I am so glad summer is here! Time to get out of the classroom and into my paints!

Today’s post is a throwback to an art journal page that received a lot of positive feedback on my Instagram and that I wrote about here. Here’s a process post so you can get an idea of how I work, and so I can think through some new ideas for the summer! Enjoy!

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All of my art journal work happens in my Canson XL Mixed Media Pad which I covered some time ago with this great “Shine” paper.  For this project I turned to a fresh page and covered it with matte Modge Podge.

Then, I wrinkled up some tissue paper that I had received as wrapping paper on a purchase from my favorite Etsy store, By The Well 4 God.

[The shop owner, Lori, always wraps things in great patterned paper, which means I’m always saving pieces for future project!]

I quickly stuck the crumpled tissue paper to the page. Once the tissue paper was spread across the page, I added a bit more Modge Podge with my fingers to make sure it was secure.

I typically work on several pages at once, but this one was pretty wet already so I set it aside to dry, then I used scissors to trim the edges to fit the page when it was ready. What to do next??

I knew I wanted to add some color, and Distress Ink, one of my very first art supplies, is still my go-to for color. I held my journal up at an angle over a towel and swiped a section at the top near the spiral with each of the mini Distress Ink pads. Then I sprayed the ink with my water mist bottle and watched the colors run down the page. [Very satisfying I must add.] I continued to swipe and spray until I had the color saturation I desired and then gently set the journal down to dry again.

 

 

I knew I was not finished, but I was a bit stuck with what I wanted to do next. So once again I set it aside until I was inspired by some hearts I was working on for my cardmaking. I got out some computer paper and cut out some hearts of various sizes using the templates I already had lying around. I arranged the hearts on top of the page until I settled on three with a layout I liked. I wanted to make sure each color was represented in the design.

Then I used my black Pitt Big Brush pen to trace the outline of the hearts onto the colored tissue paper. I applied a thick coating of white gesso over the entire page, except the hearts, using my fingers to get into all the creases and crevices the tissue paper had created. Here’s a close up of the gesso around one of the hearts:

The last stage of the project was to decide on a background color that wouldn’t compete with the hearts. I was inspired by DianaColors to try gray. I mixed together the gray acrylic paint I had with a little bit of white and applied it over the gesso with my fingers and a makeup sponge.

I really liked the concrete-like texture the makeup sponge gave me, so I dabbed on more white in a few areas while the gray was still sticky. I also used the edge of a paint card to drag a few lines in the paint to bring out a little of the color beneath the gray. I smeared on just a little black paint on the edges as well.

For the finishing touches, once the page was dry, I outlined the hearts again with my black brush pen to help them pop (and correct my aggressive painting!).  I added a few pieces of Tim Holtz Small Talk that spoke to how I was feeling (for more, see my previous post).

This was a great project to get messy with. I had a lot of fun painting over several days. I think I am going to see what else I can do with Lori’s tissue paper this summer. Maybe canvas next???