Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tutorial: Art Journal Page

Last week I shared an art journal page. 
I had originally planned to post a tutorial
for making that page, but when I got the 
paintbrush in my hand and started 
creating, I completely forgot to take
 scans of the steps to complete the page!

I also realized that not everyone likes 
their own handwriting, or wants to take
the time to draw fancy letter styles.

So here's an Art Journal Page Tutorial
  with a variety of ways to add text, 
other than writing in your own handwriting...

"GOOD DAY" Art Journal Page Tutorial~
  • Art Journal of your choice; mixed media or watercolor paper is good, but not essential
  • Permanent (waterproof) marker or pen, in medium and fine point sizes
  • Watercolors and water
  • Paintbrush: 3/4" flat
  • Highlighters
  • Your choice of text - words/phrases
  • Scraps of a variety of papers: scrapbook, book text, painted scraps
  • Scissors and adhesive (I used Aleene's Tacky Glue)
  • Ideas for wording to be added to the page
•  •  •
My first step was to think about what
words or phrases would be included on 
the page, and determine the number of 
sections into which I would divide the page. 

I drew a border around the page: a
variety of wiggly lines, curlicues, 
marks and dots. I didn't try to be
necessarily balanced or 'even.'
I used a medium point permanent marker,
 over which I can use water media
 without smearing the ink.
I divided the page into the number
of phrases in 'my list' for a Good Day,
again making different little patterns
that are easy to draw. You could 
also just use 'straight' or wavy lines
as dividing borders.  Those who like
to Zentangle could really showcase
their abilities here!

I applied light watercolor washes to
the page,and chose to vary the colors
from section to section.  This is a Canson
sketchbook, so the pages aren't intended
for water media.  Some buckling of the 
paper occurred, but I just tried to use as
little water as I could. After it dried, just
closing the book flattened the pages again.
I used Prang pan watercolors--the kind
you can buy for elementary school kids,
and a 3/4" flat paintbrush to fill in
 the areas quickly.

For the lettering, there are a variety of 
ways to add text on the page:
  • --Your own hand-written cursive
  • --Your own hand-written printing
  • --Letters cut from magazines or newspapers
  • --Computer generated words or phrases
  • --Stamped text using rubber stamp letters
  • --Words cut from a book, or junk mail
  • --Lettering from scrapbook paper
  • --Letters from sticker sets or rub-ons
  • --Stencil lettering
  • --Use a typewriter to type words on a separate paper, then cut and paste the paper to your page
I didn't have any stencils small enough
 to fit on this page, but I did have some
 scrapbook letters that I cut out, and 
stickers--used in the last line.

This is a place where you could 
call your art journal page 'done.'
But I find that adding doodles, shading,
and decoration is my favorite part of
the process!

A view of the Bic highlighters I used,
and my morning cup of Mocha coffee.

I added highlighter (above) to some areas
to brighten up the page, add shading
and accents.  I also decided I needed
to clarify what I meant by
"accomplish something,"  so
 there is now another line in parenthesis
below it. Keep in mind that housework is 
the last thing on my daily 'To Do' list...ahem!

 This could be another 
point where you could call it 'done.'
but I want to create some
simple flowers for filling in some
spaces, so let's keep going...

I made some 'flowers' from
a book page. You could also use
ledger paper, scrapbook paper, or
any painted paper scraps.

Draw simple oval shapes with the
medium point permanent marker.
Then add color using watercolors,
or highlighters.  I used highlighters.

Be sure to draw your flowers in
a size that will fit your journal page.
Using highlighters, overlapping colors
can give you additional colors. I didn't
have a purple highlighter, but overlapping
pink and blue gave me purple. You can
add more details with a fine point
marker now, or later when you've 
adhered the flower to the page. 

Cut out the flower heads with scissors.
I cut several 'outside' the outlines, letting
the text create an additional border.
Adhere the flower heads to the page
where you like, draw in stems, and
accent stems with green highlighter.
At this point you could also draw leaves, 
but I drew leaves on the text page
scraps, cut out, and adhered
them also.

Beneath the top flower heads,
I didn't feel there was enough room
for leaves, so I drew in some 
curlicues and dots.

Another option for adding a decorative design is
to add some stamping. Since I am not confident
with my 'stamping abilities,'  I usually just draw
or doodle where I want to add designs.  It's your
Art Journal...do whatever you like best.

 For additional decorative motifs, research symbols in the assorted fonts of the word processing program on your computer. Look for symbols that might be fun to use on your journal pages. If you have any version of 'Wingdings' you can find a wide variety of symbols to use as 'fillers' or design elements. I printed out a page full of assorted motifs on white card stock, so I can have them on hand for future projects.

I chose a leaf design in Wingdings 2. (above)
 I made sure to include the reverse design 
in the motifs I printed out, so there would 
be a mirror image on opposite sides. I chose
to leave these uncolored, as I felt the black
and white went well with the striped scrapbook
paper on which I mounted these words cut
from an old book.

I rather wish I hadn't added the highlighter
to the word 'Art'...but it will do.

When I was looking for words to cut from
an old elementary school Health textbook,
one of the things it mentioned for the children
was being safe.  I rather take that for granted.
But I really shouldn't. Not everyone feels
safe...even in their own homes.  So
I decided it was a good reminder to 
include on this page.

Once I go to bed, I usually sleep fairly
well. But I am notorious for staying up 
late.  I've discovered, though, that 
many people don't feel as though they
get enough sleep. So again, I am fortunate.

Lastly, sign and date your page.
It's a helpful step in seeing 
your art work progress and change
over time.  Also, it's important
to have that signature to signify
your copyright of the work.

It's a good day when I finish
a blog post, and actually create
the tutorial that I had intended! 
Linking up for T Tuesday
with Bleubeard and Elizabeth.
Join us for a beverage...

What makes a "Good Day" for you?


  1. This is a wonderful tutorial, Dianne. I am sure that there are several who will want to emulate this style of art. I'm not one who likes to journal (perhaps that's why I never got hooked on scrapbooking), but I love how you showed your process, and how to make art when you don't care for your own handwriting. And you did it all over your morning coffee.

    BTW, who needs sleep? I don't seem to. Glad you get yours, because the older I get, the less I need. And I thought four hours was long before.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial (and your coffee) with us for T this Tuesday.

  2. I think this is a tutorial that will be helpful to me as I stick my toe into the waters. Even dealing with something as small as the ATCs, I see that this as a workable plan. I do like the style of it. Thanks! Happy T Tuesday :)

  3. Lovely art journalling page and thank you for the step by step tutorial, will be giving it a go in the next few days as it looks like a fun thing to try!! Happy T day to you!

  4. Thanks for the tutorial with all of your wonderful ideas, lots of inspiration there! Coffee is als an inspiration for me! Happy T Day and have a great week, hugs, Valerie

  5. Super Great tutorial Dianne!!! LOVE how you showed each step, I'm notorious for getting the FIRST photo taken, of a project, then completely ignoring the camera once I get going.....LOL

    Sleep is a little over rated. I like to stay up late and also get up early, then there are days I crash and do sleep so that I can start all over again....

    Happy T-day

  6. Hello and Happy T Day Dianne! How pretty your page came out and you explained it SO WELL!! Thank you!

    I like all the steps and when you said this is where you could be done, that is me always done. I can't think of another step or I'm afraid of ruining what I just did so I stop. Not you though, you kept it going and made it even prettier and more fun. Those cute added flower bits are perfect and would be good for any journal page.

    What's on my "good day" list: sunshine, not hot or cold, time for crafts and family and walks outside. If I have all that I'm pretty happy, it's the little things that work for me.

    We are enjoying just right weather here so I hope you are too. Only a little bit of leaf changing and amazing skies each day.
    Enjoy your week and thanks again for this, it's motivating me to try a page too!

  7. What a fabulous tutorial, thank you very much for sharing it and all your hard work involved in creating it. I love the lettering and the colours you chose. Such an inspiring post :D Happy T Day :D

  8. Really great tutorial !!! Lovely completed page too. I almost always forget to take progress photos too :)
    Have a great week!!!!

  9. Love,, this Dianne. Thanks for the tut. That is my idea of a wonderful day also.hugs, Jean

  10. Great tutorial! I shall try this as I really don't like my writing! Chrisx

  11. Thanks for doing this tutorial Dianne! Great job! And even though I've watched you put a page together in person, it still helps to have the steps you go through AND to know it is OK to stop whenever you choose! I have to say that web photos never show the beautiful highlights of the fluorescent highlighters and sitting next to you while you used that yellow one on Saturday was eye-opening for me. They really pop the page!
    I'm sure you've told me this a bazillion times already, but WHICH permanent black marker do you like best for water coloring over top of?

    1. I usually use a Sharpie pen, which doesn't bleed through the paper.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Nice tutorial! Pretty, colorful page and I like how you divided it. The addition of the highlighters and flowers really brightened it up even more. Happy T-Day! :)

  13. An amazing tutorial Dianne! Thank you!
    Your art is wonderful!

  14. Thanks for the tutorial!Love your aet!I am your fan!Happy T-Day! :)

  15. I meant to drop by sooner, but life got in the way. I answered your question about the size and such of my 7 Continents AB on my blog post today: http://alteredbooklover.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-largest-city-in-brazil-in-my-7.html

  16. Love your page! and thanks for the work through too, it is great seeing all the steps. Kx


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