Monday, January 20, 2020

Art Journaling on Clean-Up Paper

Hi all, it's Gwen here with a new project and tutorial focusing on paint and texture. I frequently create art journal pages on top of pages in my journals where I've cleaned off my paint brushes, rubber stamps, and stencils. Cleaning off your tools in your journal is a great way to get over the fear of the blank page, plus it gives you a nice foundation to build on and you can get a lot of texture from the layers that build up before you ever start to work on them. 

To start this page, I opened one of my current journals to a page where I had a pretty good amount of paint and imagery on the background from cleaning excess ink off of my rubber stamps from PaperArtsy.

I was thinking for this page that I'd like to do something with large circles going down the middle, so I cut a quick, large wonky circle stencil and mask out of a piece of copy paper and then used a pencil to trace around the inside of my "stencil" to get the general layout before I started painting.

Once I had the positioning down, I got out a few colors of PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic paint and filled in the three circles, blending them together to get a bit of a shading effect.

With the circles painted and dried, I decided that I wanted to add some solid rectangles behind them and took out some contrasting colors of paint to add those in. 

Next I took my handmade stencil back out and used it to mask off the areas around the blue circles and then stenciled on top of the circles using my Decorative 6-Petal Flower Screen, Decorative Flower Stamen Medallion, and Art Deco Sun Medallion stencils.

When that part was dry, I switched to the mask part of my handmade stencil and used that to cover my stenciled blue circles and then added pattern over the painted rectangles using my Collage Textures & Patterns, Leaves and Collage Textures & Patterns, Medieval Cyrillic stencils as well as the 9x12 stencil from my Ceramic Tiles StencilClub set.

From there I just pulled out some black and light green-gray paints and a fine round paintbrush (I like size 0 or 1) and added some outlining around the different sections. I didn't want perfection... I like the slightly off-kilter look and allowed my lines to be a little wobbly and to have varied thickness. (AKA, didn't worry when I couldn't paint a straight line. I just emphasized it even more!)

Next I took my Chinese Garden - Buddha stencil (the original 9x12 size) and added the word "balance" to my page as a title... something I'm definitely thinking a lot about in 2020.

I used a few different pens to add some scribbly journaling around the circles, close the gaps in my stenciled title, and add a few other marks to the page. I also used a bit more paint and a white gel pen to fill in the closed areas in the letters of my title. I really like how the marks on top of the layers of stenciled shapes give a sense of texture without any of the bulk in my journal.

It felt like it still needed a bit more, so I pulled out one of my first PaperArtsy stamp sets, EGL03, and used that to stamp a mini medallion in the center of each circle. (This stamp set features several of my medallion stencil designs in mini format and they play together beautifully!) 

I stamped the image with black pigment ink and then heat embossed each one with my Wrought Iron Boho Blends embossing powder from Emerald Creek. I love that little bit of texture and dimension that you get from heat embossing.

Added a little brown and black ink around the edges to frame the page and I called it done. 

I hope you enjoyed today's project and tutorial and that it gave you a few ideas for using stencils and paint in your art journals. And of course, if you try this at home, make sure to link me up so I can see.

Until next time, happy stenciling!


  1. Gwen, this is gorgeous! One of my very favorites❤️

  2. I love this - right down to the off-center 'Balance'! Beautiful layering and colors!


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