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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Alcohol Inks

I have been given a gift of some Yupo paper this week, and have been playing with my alcohol inks. Yupo is a synthetic watercolour paper, made of polypropylene, it is smooth, matte and non-absorbent so perfect for alcohol inks. 

I found a lady on YouTube who creates Dreamscapes with Yupo and alcohol inks. Her name is June Rollins, here are some of her artworks:

Guess what, no brushes needed!
If you have alcohol inks, but no Yupo, you can try the techniques on Glossy paper instead, it works fine!

If you have no alcohol inks, why not try creating a similar Dreamscape scene using watercolour paints. Be brave with your colour choices.

Here are the two videos I found the most helpful:

A couple of other ideas I figured out:
  • use a straw to blow ink or the alcohol around
  • use a toothpick to apply ink or alcohol in fine lines

Here are my Yupo paper Dreamscapes. They are sized 15.5 x 11.5 cm (quarter of A4):

Colours I used: Sunset Orange, Butterscotch, Aqua, Mermaid, Stream, Lettuce, Wild Plum, Cranberry, Eggplant and the Metallic Mixatives Gold and Silver.

 and this is my first practice go, done on glossy cardstock

You can see the difference the Yupo makes to the vibrancy of the inks. 
I still have another whole piece and a half of Yupo left to play with.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Art Prompt: Use your fingers

This month I am going to encourage you to put the brushes away! Let's experiment with different ways of getting colour onto journal pages.... with our fingers. 

  • Some art products contain toxic ingredients, always read the labels for safety warnings that recommend avoiding skin contact.
  • Always wash your hands well with warm water and lots of soap after your art session. Use a nail brush to ensure nothing is left around your nail beds.
  • If you have sensitive skin, wear latex gloves.
  • You can use a silicone-based barrier cream before getting your hands painty (e.g. Winsor & Newton Artguard or Avon Silicone Glove Hand Cream)


Oil Pastels are probably my favourite medium to use with my hands. They don't create dust like chalk pastels do and even though there is a noticeable difference between the cheap ones and the expensive, for playing in an art journal the cheap ones are awesome!
Grab a big $5 box from art section of a discount store and get colourful. I love how I can create seamless transitions from one colour to another. If your pastels aren't blending smoothly (sometimes happens with the cheap ones) dip your finger into a bit of baby oil will help. You can also use paper stumps and tortillions to blend smaller areas of colours.

Because they aren't a wet medium, you can use them over more delicate surfaces, like the book pages in the videos above. They are also opaque, so will cover anything that is underneath them. They can be layered on top of each other and then removed strategically to create patterns or an image (called the Subtraction Method).
If you want to put something over the top of them, use acrylics or oil paint. Water-soluble mediums won't stick to oil pastels, and you can use this feature to your advantage:

Until next time,
Happy Arting!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Art Prompt: Terrific Texture

I love texture! We usually think of texture as something we feel with our sense of touch, but in art texture is also something that we can see. The artist I think of when I think 'cool texture' is always Christy Tomlinson. Her art is free and playful and happy. She doesn't over-think, she seeks beauty in imperfection and she uses her hands. Love her style!

This video shows her creating a canvas, but the texture techniques she uses are so great to use in your art journals. A collage of ripped paper, random stamping and some finger painting brings instant interest.

Enjoy the video:

The Prompt for this week is: Flowers.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Art Prompt: Paint the Rainbow

Hello Artists!

Finally back with you after a week of 'flu confined me to bed. Several different prescription medicines later I am approaching human. I even managed to sit upright long enough to start this page in one of my journals:
I love that Prima stencil!

For this week's Journal Journey Prompt, I am sharing one of my favourite videos from Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday series. She uses Gelatos to make a beautifully colourful background and adds a really great quote: "Too much ego will kill your talent"

Share your journal page based on this week's prompt in the Facebook Community. Look forward to seeing you there. 

Until next time,
Happy Arting!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015


A brief history of mono-printing and some technical information.

** Psst! If you don't have a brayer go to the hardware store and grab the cheapest foam paint roller that you can find (a small one), it will work just fine!**

Free and Easy Mono-printing Methods

1. Plastic Bag Printmaking with Alisa Burke:

2. Mono-printing with recycling. Any smooth, non-porous surface can be used as a mono-printing plate. Things I have used include: plastic packaging from stamp sets, plexiglass,a glass cutting board, glass from a photo frame* and a non-stick craft mat. This video demonstrates the basic principle, and suggests other surfaces that are suitable: 

People have used this technique for hundreds of years, with printing plates made from wood, stone, tile, glass, ceramic, marble, and metal. Have a look around your house and garage and see what you can find that might work.

*Safety First: Leave the glass from a photo frame as a last resort, PLEASE. To make it as safe as possible, use masking tape on the edges and place an X from corner to corner on the non-printing side. Make sure the surface the glass is on is flat, with no humps or dips. There is always a chance that the glass will crack and cut you. 

Gelatin Printing Plates

Because of the soft surface, a gelatin printing plate can pick up more details than a rigid surface like plexiglass. This makes it perfect to use your stencils on. You can make one very inexpensively and kids really love it as well.

Basic Gelatin Plate and How To Use:

 Gelatin & Glycerin Plate: The Hectograph

Download a full PDF with the recipes, instructions for making and storing from the Files section of the Facebook Group.

The Buy-rather-than-DIY Option: A Gelli Arts Plate

  • Permanent and Stable
  • Stores at room temperature, no risk of molding
  • Durable, won't wear out
  • Both sides are perfectly smooth
  • Can be expensive and hard to get outside of America (I paid $70AU for an 8x10 plate approximately 18 months ago. This plate retails for about $30 in the US)
  • Can't be melted down and re-poured if accidentally damaged
The Gelli Arts YouTube Channel is a goldmine of ideas and techniques, no matter what you use to mono-print.

Lots more mono-printing tutorials are saved in this You Tube playlist

One last video that demonstrates the enormous potential in a mono-print series made with paper masks:

Saturday, 18 July 2015

My Art Journal Covers

This is a few of my art journals. I work in many different books as well as on loose paper. I am showing these ones to show the variety in their covers.

I use the envelope journal as a kind of keepsake diary, so I want to be able to take it with me if I go away to put ephemera and memorabilia in. I made the cover as simple as possible so it would go in a bag easily. Here is a great Coptic Stitch tutorial:

Here is the tutorial I based the above book on:

 Here is the tutorial I based the above book on:

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The future of Journal Journey

I am home with a sick child, and the forced break from normal has allowed me to think about where we go from here? I more specifically, Where do I take us from here?
When Journal Journey was born there were three of us to share the load, create lessons and participate in the Facebook group chat. Life being what it is, my fellow Guides had to prioritise health, family and paid work. Now I find myself in the same dilemma.
Returning to full time work was supposed to be a temporary change, but another opportunity has presented itself and I am very excited to be taking on a new challenge in my job. I simply no longer have the time to put together the lessons as they have been.
I am not giving up on Journal Journey! I just want to have more time to participate in the Facebook group because all of you are the reason I enjoy it. So I am not going to be doing the PDFs, I won’t be doing my monthly lesson any more, and the lessons will be considerably shorter.
My new plan is this:
  • Every weekend I will post one technique video and one page prompt.
  • That post will be pinned to the top of the Facebook group for the week.
  • I am encouraging you all to share the Art Journal resources that you are enjoying! Videos, blog posts, tip and tricks, post them all.
This way I can spend some of my weekend PARTICIPATING in the Journey, rather than just writing blog posts. Truthfully, I haven’t Journalled in over a month now, and I MISS IT. This is the reason you haven’t seen anything from me, I haven’t created anything. 
Thanks for understanding! Big hugs...