Friday, August 27, 2010

Adding Texture and Some Journaling Ideas

I want to discuss a few ways to add some texture along with your color to your AB pages.  One way is with stippling.  For this you'll need stippling brushes and ink pads.
Load up the brush with ink (start with your lightest color).  Apply to the page with a pouncing motion.
Continue adding color until you're pleased with the result.  In this example I'm stippling onto unprimed paper, but you can gesso your pages first and then stipple.
If you think too much text shows through you can now stipple on some white pigment ink.
You can also add texture and color with paint and bubble wrap.  Make a "ball" of the wrap and hold onto it:
Dab it into some paint and apply to the page (this time my page has been primed with gesso) using the same pouncing motion as with the stippling.
Again, add color going from light to dark.  If you want to keep the colors separate, wait for each to dry before applying the next.  If you want to experiment with some blending, don't wait.
Another way to combine adding color and texture is with glazes (which we have talked about in previous posts) and a texturing tool. A texturing tool is not necessarily something you have to buy.  You can use an old comb, old toothbrush, a wire brush, to name a few, or, as I am doing in this example, a piece of corrugated cardboard.
First apply the glaze to your page (my page has been primed with gesso first, and the gesso is dry) fairly thickly, and don't worry about brush strokes.
While the glaze is still wet, use your tool to create a pattern.  I did cross hatching, but you can do lines in one direction, or swirls....don't be afraid to experiment.  If you don't like it, apply some more glaze and try again.
There are times when you will want to have some journaling on your pages, even if that just means a title or a caption.
I have heard from so many of you that you dislike your own handwriting, but I feel that it is important that at least some words come from your own hand.

I want to share with you a technique I've seen in many art journals that makes the written word part of the art, and anyone, regardless of their handwriting, can do this.
I'll be using the pages I just colored to demonstrate this journaling technique.

First, create some lines.  Yes, visible lines.  I've used a Sharpie water based poster paint marker.  I like these because they write over just about any surface, come in several colors, and won't bleed through to the other side of the page.
You will add your text by writing between the lines, making sure you hit the top line and the bottom line. The variation in the lines will make for some small and some very large letters.  I think it's an interesting artsy look, though of course not for everyone.  But try it!
Using the same technique, but drawing lines that are more uniform is a whole different look.
Try mixing up caps and lower case letter for a "ransom" font look.  You can write under or around your photos or other art.
I did the actual writing with another favorite writing tool....a Sakura glaze pen.  They also write well over most can even write on glass or plastic with them.  The other cool thing about them is that even when they are dry they have a wet look, and are slightly raised.  They also come in many colors.

You might remember that I used this technique on this page in my AB:
Back to the Sharpie poster paint markers....they too come in different colors, mostly brights, so they may not be appropriate for vintage pages, but if you have a colorful, playful page they can be great for your journaling.  And you can draw your lines straight, curved, or slanted to add to that whimsical look.  In the example below, the lines were created around a focal picture.  In addition to the Sharpies, I used glaze pens in different colors and some metallic markers as well.
Next week, decorating the covers of your AB....the last step!


  1. Another great tut. I am learning so much, but I still need to get started, i.e. find a book! Thanks again.

  2. Yet again...ANOTHER GREAT update on our AB steps....Thanks SO much ma'am!!!!

  3. Good stuff, and I really like that writing technique, very cool look.

  4. I think this entire journey has been outstanding - I'm so glad we have your blog here that we can go back and reference. Thank so much for each step.

  5. FABULOUS pages and WONDERFUL techniques!! THANKS so much for sharing, Eileen!

  6. I just started to blogger. Still don’t know how to search followers. I am middle-aged Japanese woman. I came your page through photojoy. I wonder I am doing the right thing?

  7. Hi eileen, im stopping by as you left a comment on owoh. you have lots of neat ideas on your blog , i will have to give them a try , thank you jenxo

  8. Your alterbook is really taking shape. I have some I've thought about doing, but have never started!!!

  9. ChowChow, I hope you come back to see if I answered, because I couldn't access your email to answer directly.
    I am pretty sure that the ink pad I was using at the start was Ranger's Distress Wild Honey.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. love your blog! just starting to journal..liking it!