Art Journal Step by Step: Without the Dark Page

You Tube is a great place for artistic inspiration.  I’ve taught my geek stuff via YouTube videos for years, so when I wanted to explore techniques for my art journal I naturally turned to the search bar on YouTube to look for ideas.  And boy did I find inspiration!  As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve become a huge fan of Vicki Papaioannou and her walk-through videos of both her art journal pages and some pretty fabulous cards. And she isn’t the only inspiring mixed media artist sharing their talent and techniques via video.  Rach of Artful Evidence and Erika Winterlia of Winterlia Design are two  more artists I’ve enjoyed watching as well.

After watching a bunch of videos I was ready to try some new techniques and start filling up the pages in my art journal.  After my Halloween pages I’d been kind of stumped as to just what direction I wanted to go, but seeing these artists in action I realized I could give myself permission to do whatever my creative spirit wanted. That’s the point of an art journal. It’s therapeutic but it’s also creatively freeing.

**Note: I’m currently working on finding an ideal set up for my tiny craft space that will allow me to create my own videos. Hopefully by the new year I’ll be posting videos rather than just pictures.**

When I started this page I knew I wanted a night sky, some stars and a big, yellow moon.  I created the background by applying my Artist’s Loft acrylic paints in blue and black with a damp baby wipe. Starting at the top I used the blue and then blended the black in at the center, working my way down until it was mostly black at the bottom. Once dry, a quick coating of Faber Castell Gel Medium sealed the paint and gave me a matte, yet non-porous finish for my background

Next I pulled out my Dylusions Letter Jumble Stencil and my Ranger Texture Paste to add some dimensional letters to the upper right corner and lower left corner of the layout. I always speed up my drying time on paint, gel medium, texture paste, etc. With my embossing heat tool.

Once the letters were dry I watered down some white acrylic paint, loaded a small brush and spattered my page by tapping the brush handle against the handle of another brush to create my stars.  At this point, my creative muse decided on a quote to use on the layout. “Without the Dark, we would never see the stars” has been one of my favorites for awhile, and the background seemed like this would be a fitting addition to the layout.

I stamped the first part with Jet Black Archival ink and the second part with White Stazon using the Tim Holtz Worn Text alphabet stamp set. I used my Pitt pens to fill the letters in since I didn’t really want the grunge look.  I then highlighted the letters, the black with white highlights and the white with black highlights.


It was time to add my big, yellow moon. I used my old CM Cutting System to cut a circle out of Yellow cardstock by Recollections. (It’s not ideal, and I’m leaning toward purchasing a magnetic platform for my Big Shot and purchasing some circle Framelits, but until then it gets the job done when I don’t want to pull out the Cricut Explore for a one or two item project.)

I used a Buttercup Yellow Copic marker to shade the edges of the moon and then glued it in place using my gel medium. I printed out a cute little owl I had in my clip art files, used my white Gelly Roll pen to add a little definition around his eyes and then glued it down with gel medium as well.

My next step was to water down some gold paint and splatter it on top, covering my moon and my owl to mask them off while doing so.  I added shading around the words and the textured letters with my gray Pitt Big Brush Pen, blending it with my finger and did the same to the very edges of the moon in places with my brown Pitt Big Brush.

Finally I added some clear rhinestones and a few metal stars with Glossy Accents to add a little ‘bling’ to the pages.


I think these pages are the perfect example of how you can be inspired by another artist, yet still maintain your own creative style in your artwork.  What do you think?

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