Friday, July 17, 2009

Soul Journaling Prompt: Easy Backgrounds (part 1)!!!

For this prompt I’d like to share a few of my favorite backgrounds. Having multiple finished backgrounds done ahead of time is a great idea when journaling so that when you have the urge to write or draw or make a page, you can do so without worrying about having to prep you pages first. Making a bunch of backgrounds in your journal before you go on a trip can also be helpful for spontaneous art making and journaling. I always have 4 or 5 pages prepped and ready to journal on…more if it’s a long trip. :)

To start, I want to show you my most basic technique for priming a journal page and getting down a fast and easy background. This is the type of background I use all the time and is a great base for jumping off of with all your creative ideas!

Sarah’s must-have, easy-peasy basic background:

To start, glue down random ephemera onto your pages. Don’t use anything precious and do this in a fast haphazard manner. Ephemera can be pages torn out of old phonebooks, textbooks, dictionaries, sheet music, or any other papers you have lying around. This is a great way to use up small scraps of scrapbook paper and junk mail too. If you are using a thicker paged journal such as a watercolor book you don’t need to cover the entire page with ephemera. However, if you are using a thinner paged journal, take the extra time to cover all of your page to help reinforce it. Use any kind of glue you have handy to stick them down and don’t worry about them being perfectly flat. If they dry rippled it will just give you extra cool texture! ;)

When your pages are dry, dry brush a coat of gesso on top. “Dry brush” means to use a light coat and a dry (no water) paint brush to apply your paint. The gesso will give a light tooth to your pages and is a fabulous primer to protect your papers from sloppy paints and messy work later on.

Tip: Pay special attention to the crease of your book, giving it a second coat of gesso for good measure.

While still wet, draw or scratch into the gesso with the wrong end of your paintbrush or any other objects handy. Allow to dry fully. A hair dryer on low can also help speed up the drying process

Now choose 1-3 of your favorite mixable paints. For this, I chose green, blue and brown. They look nice separately and are fabulous when mixed together. If you are new to mixing paints try choosing a favorite color such as red and then using tints of red: made by adding black (or brown) and white to the red. This way you will have a red, pink, and deep red background. You can also experiment with color mixing and see what happens.

Tip: The more colors you mix, the better chance you have of getting a muddy brown color. When choosing colors from the opposite side of the color wheel to mix, such as purple and yellow, you will also get muddy brown. Instead, try colors next to each other on the wheel.
I added a dot of brown, blue, and green to different spots on my pages and then added water. I allowed them to mix and pool in random places.

For extra pizzazz you can add a drop or two of interference paints with water. Here I have added interference blue, and though it is hard to see in the photos, in person it is very sparky and pretty. Allow this to dry fully and you’re all ready to add art to your new background! ;)
To get the free easy to print .pdf file of this and other new prompts join our inspiring Soul Journaling Community at:
The following bonus backgrounds are also shown with instruction as part of the same easy to print file on our group. Come join the fun! :)

Here's wishing you a wonderfully creative day!


Ginny Gaskill said...

I love your background pages. Thanks for sharing your technique.

...Cindy... said...

This post is perfect timing for me - I was planning to spend the weekend making backgrounds for future journaling! Thanks for sharing, Sarah! You're the best. :)

Seth said...

Thanks for posting this info about your techniques and all the extra hints!

kirsticoo said...

OMG... this is wonderful.. I am absolutely loving it!!! Thanks for sharing this with us lesser said...

the background was really awesome, it really matched with your main theme .. good work Sarah

Colordavid85 said...

These wallpapers are great, I will use them for my phone, I also want to share with you the hacker wallpaper I just found.