*A guest post by Art Journal Kickstarter contributor Marianne Goodell.
There are several techniques I like to use when painting journal covers. One of my favorites combines using prisma colored pencils as an underpainting and glazes of acrylic paints for the top layer. This technique gives a richness and vibrancy to the painting. This technique can be used on a variety of substrates, but I have achieved my best results on duck cloth canvas.
Duck cloth canvas (19” wide x 11” tall for a 6×9” journal)
Graphite pencil (for sketching)
Acrylic Glazing Medium (either satin or gloss)
Water in a cup
Gelly Roll markers
Assorted paint brushes
Step 1: Cut the canvas to the desired size.
Step 2: Spread a layer of gesso over one side (I usually use an old credit card to spread the gesso) and let it dry. The canvas is very porous and it must be prepared to receive paint. Spread another layer of gesso over the first layer and let it dry.
Step 3: Lay the canvas flat and draw the fairy and background with a graphite pencil
Step 4: Gather the desired colored pencils. NOTE: Some colors (mainly any color that has a red base) will bleed through the fixative, acrylic paints, and varnish. I used a magenta and it bled through my entire piece. I found that it added an interesting effect, however. But, if you do not want colors to pull through, stay away from bright reds, pinks and purples.
Step 5: Using Prismacolor pencils like watercolor pencils, dip the pencils in water and then color your drawing. You can tell when you need to re-wet the pencil because the color will no longer flow. Re-dip the pencil into the water and continue coloring your drawing. NOTE: Your canvas will become very wet by the time this process is done. Also, note that the colors will move and bleed into one another. This process works well if the colors are bold and bright. By the time you are finished with this process, your canvas will be dripping wet. Dry your canvas completely. I dry it overnight to assure the colors will set into the gessoed surface.
Step 6: Using pages of an old book, cut out several rectangles to be used as the houses in the background. Lay them out on the horizon line. Once you are pleased with the layout, glue them to the canvas with matte medium. Let it dry.
Step 7: If you don’t want the colors to move when you add the acrylic paint, you can spray workable fixative over the entire piece to affix the colored pencil to the canvas. (I like my colors to move around so I don’t do this step.) Gather your acrylic paints and glazing medium.
Step 8: Apply Thin Layers of Paint/Glazing Medium Mix 2.jpg] Using acrylic paints mixed with glazing medium (a 50/50 mix), paint over the colored pencil. The dark colors will be softened by the acrylics. The glazing medium will allow the colored pencil to show through. I added several thin layers of acrylic paint until I was satisfied with the coverage. Paint the sky, the houses, the fairy, and the trees in this manner.
Step 9: For the wings, water down white paint until it is very liquid and transparent. Draw the wings with a white colored pencil and then paint a light layer of white paint. You may need one or two coats for adequate coverage. Dry the entire piece thoroughly.
Step 10: Using Gelly Roll pens, add embellishments to your painting. I drew swirls in her wings and under one of her eyes. Paint or draw a few stray hairs. I used a glittery copper paint to add a few highlights.
Step 11: Spray the entire piece with varnish. (Remember, any red-based prisma colored pencil will bleed through, it may have looked covered with the acrylic paints, but it will pull through once the varnish is sprayed)
Enjoy your new creation.
For more amazing art journal pages, check out Art Journal Kickstarter! And here’s some special advice straight from Marianne Goodell: Ignore the voice that says you can’t, and do it anyway. The difference between people who can do things and who can’t is that the ones who do ignore that critical voice.
I love to make things and I have done so for as long as I can remember. I have drawn, painted, knitted, crocheted, beaded, worked with stained glass, enameled, and fabricated and cast jewelry.
I am currently focusing on mixed media art, making journals, fabricating jewelry and enameling. I enjoy drawing and painting stylized girls using mixed media and I absolutely adore making journals. I have not been formally trained in art, but I’ve had the privilege to apprentice under a jeweler and watercolorist. Most recently, through the internet, I have expanded my knowledge with online courses and YouTube videos.
When I’m not busy with my art, I hang out with my family, attend yoga, hike in our beautiful mountains and sit in the sunshine (weather providing).