Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Five Ways to Rescue an Art Journal Page

If you're like me, you sometimes abandon an art journal page or project because you think it can't be saved.  Recently, I had just such a page, and searched "ways to rescue an art journal page."  Funny enough, the search led me to MY OWN POST from about a year ago!

Since I didn't even remember I had created it, I thought it would be useful to repost it!  Enjoy.

We all have pages in our journals that we hate.  Either the page didn't turn out as we planned, or we had an "accident" on it - something spilled or a product was expired and didn't react as it was supposed to.  Here are five ways you can take such a page and turn it around. 

1.  Make your background your foreground.  Use gel medium through a stencil, let it dry, and then gesso over the rest of the page.  Wipe the gesso from the gel'd areas with a baby wipe, leaving your background peeking through.  You can add journaling over the gesso, or just keep going with another technique.   

You can watch a video of this process here by Peerless Designs.

Stencil used: Eastern Lotus and Leaf Repeat
 2.  Add lots of layers using the same stencil or stamp.  Using the same stamp or stencil, first do a layer of really dark color.  Then use a lighter or neutral color.  Finally, use a very light color, like a Titan Buff or white.  You will get lots of depth using one tool.  Then add a sentiment or embellishment, and voila!

Stencil used:  Herbs and Doors & Windows

3.  Tease out hidden elements.  Hold your page far away from you and squint.  Are any hidden shapes peeking through?  Bring them out.   Here, I saw a face peeking through the leaves and brought her to the front.  (For more on this technique, as well as my tips and tricks for painting faces, check out my online class - Facing Faces!)

Stencil Used:  Curvy Stems by Terri Stegmiller
4.  Push your page to the background by adding elements in complimentary colors.  See how the orange flowers seem to jump forward?  You can do this with paint, ink or collage.  (This page is a demo from one of my Floral Canvas Class.)

5.   Just keep going.  Keep adding layers.  Remind yourself that no effort you make in your artwork is ever wasted.  Something you initially dislike may hold the kernels of something you may eventually love.   That's what happened for me with this 2013 journal page.  

Here's a video of how it happened. 

You can also watch Rescuing a Journal Page on YouTube.
Here's what my worktable looked like as I experimented with all these techniques!

I leave you with these words from one of my favorite books - The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster:
“You may not see it now," said the Princess of Pure Reason, looking knowingly at Milo's puzzled face, "but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in the pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.”
Words to live by! 

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  1. Thank you !! I've been suffering from this malady and will try out your remedies !

  2. AWESOME tips. Thanks for sharing them again. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Great post,or repost Jessica! LOL
    Some ides & tips to try for sure. Thanks for sharing ")
    I love that passage as well- very beautiful


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

jessicasporndesigns (at) gmail (dot) com

Thank You!