January 18, 2009

Soul Journal – Day 17

Posted in Art, Art for beginners, Art journals, Beginner's art, Collage, Learning art, Soul Journal at 1:54 am by amateur-in-art

You can see the prep work for today’s page here.

Today’s assignment is more college potpourri.

1) I started with a wash of paint, and laid it on with a little more color on my right page than the left. Drat! I forgot that the page numbers I wrote on prep day were not permanent.
2) Next, sew an item. I used embroidery thread to sew on a button. I painted on the back of it where the thread was on my upcoming page for the next Day using gel medium to seal, so it would not come unfrayed.

3) Trace your hand. I used my handy-dandy new permanent markers on this one. And I wore a latex glove. Boy am I glad. There was a lot of ink on it. (and the glove actually looks pretty cool. I think I will save it and use it in something. I’m not sure how many times I traced my hand – but probably about 12 or more.

4) Use a crayon. I chose red. My paper had some great grid-like texture to it, plus w/the gesso on the pages, this actually ended up giving not only a nice tone and color, but really showing up the texture in places, too.

Here’s what it looked like after I did the steps above.


Because of the hard edges on the strips of paper that were my base and background, some of the lines of my hands got really straight in places.

5) Next, add meaningful words.

6) Blob on acrylic paint. I used droplets straight out of the bottle.


I like the way this is looking.

After blobbing or dropleting, we were to close our book and let the paint squish on both pages. I decided to go it one better and put a weight on my book and also wait five minutes. That, I think, was a mistake, because the paint actually pulled paper off of the opposing page when I opened it back up.

7) Paint with a fork. This, I liked!


The big white rectangle in the middle of the left page is one of the places where the paper pulled up during the paint squishing. The white stripe near the middle of the book on the page on the right is just a heavier area of “fork painting.” I don’t really care for the blob-squish look – I liked the droplets much better. But onward I go.

8 ) Fill the pages with numbers. I used typewriter-style stamps with dark brown ink. I used numbers 1-5 on the left page, and 6-0 on the right page.


I liked this OK, but felt like it was now too cluttered. I wanted to keep up the number theme, and decided to use bright color and big numbers to punch it up. I chose 3 and 4 since these were pages 3 and 4 of this series.


Except now my brain sees that as “34” not 3 and 4, and it is just too LOUD.

Thus began my quest to tone it down. So here’s what I did next.

I had been wanting to try the “bubble wrap” technique of painting, so figured this would be a good time to try. I used a foam brush to spread the paint on the bubble wrap – and this worked very very well. The foam brush is perfect for this, because it hits only the upraised bubbles, and doesn’t get lots of paint down in the in-between-bubble space. It is very subtle just about everywhere except on the big numbers, where you can see the bubbles pretty well. They look a lot like just more of the number-stamps, almost, because they are about the same size.


Well, I’m still not liking this. I used another color on bubble wrap again, thought it was an olive color but turned out to be a pretty bright yellow-green. Then I took a couple of flourish stamps and stamped in a couple of different colors, a dark blue and a dark purple. Then I dabbled white paint using my fingertips (latex glove) on the left page, and did a little more fork painting on the right page. I still wasn’t happy, and so I did one more wash over it all – a big mistake. My pigment ink had not dried, and the number stamps, though I used a dye ink, were not permanent. So everything went mushy then. The interesting thing, though, was that even though my (stamping) inks started running – the wash process at this point actually brought out a lot more things up from the background. Like some of my words became more visible. So did my handprints.

My final addition was a scrap of punched foam. I put it under the button, so it sort of looks like a weird ribbon or something.


I have to say I like the process on all of this – but I sure haven’t been very pleased with the outcomes on either today’s work or yesterday’s. Of course, it is mostly all my own fault, because I think what is causing a lot of the problem is the whole permanent vs. wash of paint issue. The good news is I’m learning that many things I thought were permanent are not – but at least I am learning and will know for future. It was also a good thing to learn that a wash can also bring out things up from the background. And, I guess I finally got what I was wanting in at least one regard – my big giant numbers have now nearly faded into obscurity.

As a background, I like this page. I suspect I will probably come back to it at another time and make something out of it. But right now – I feel like I have overkilled it at least three times – so I need to walk away from it, for now. I must admit I don’t care for it much, as an end result.

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© amateur-in-art, 2009



  1. Diane said,

    I’ve had page like that – and just moved on. I think at some point this spread would look good with a reverse stencil technique done on it.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I was hoping some of my readers might offer suggestions on what the next iteration of this page might look like.

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