Obscuring Text from stART Journaling: An Art Journaling Workbook

U2856_stArt_cover.inddstART Journaling: An Art Journaling Workbook edited by Kristy Conlin features some pretty awesome techniques for obscuring text in your art journal. Sometimes you just don’t the things you write to be visible, right? But we couldn’t fit all of the obscuring techniques in the book, so here’s a surprise for you: below are two text-obscuring ideas, one from stART Journaling and the other from Mixed Media Revolution by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson. Start journaling!


Obscuring Text from stART Journaling: An Art Journaling Workbook

(Technique originally published in Journal Fodder 365 by Eric M. Scott and David R. Modler, 2012.)

When writing in our journals about our most private and intimate moments, we may feel the urge to censor ourselves if we invite others to look at our work. Fear that they may read these passages and pass judgment on us can scare us into holding back and bottling up. In the spirit of letting go, write whatever you need to write, but as you dump the reserves and put it all out there, consider obscuring the text to protect your private thoughts. Think about ways the words could purposely get smeared or covered over in order to hide some of the deeper, more personal thoughts you may not be quite willing to put on full display. This way you don’t keep the things you need to say buried inside, and you can release them and move on. Consider using water-soluble materials, collage, paint, gesso and image transfers as ways to deliberately obscure your writing. Remember that it is not important that you can read your writing in the end. It is important that you get things out and release the troubles and anxieties.

Materials List:

water-soluble pencil or marker
journal with watercolor paper
watercolor paint
glue stick
translucent collage image
gesso or acrylic paint
image transfers

Obscuring 11.  Write with a water-soluble pencil or marker, and paint over the writing with water.


Obscuring 22. Cover with the translucent collage. If you are using a colored glue stick, it should, depending on the brand, dry clear.

Obscuring 3a

3. Use paint and vary the value and opacity.


Obscuring 3

4. Use gesso or acrylic paint to cover some of the writing. Consider varying the opacity.


Obscuring 5

5.  Layer on top of the text with a drawing, image transfers or opaque collage.

Bonus: Distressed Dryer Sheets

Heat Wave

Heat Wave
Sandra Duran Wilson

Originally published in Mixed Media Revolution by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson, 2012.

Used dryer sheets can be painted, printed on and even distressed. They can then be used as textural collage elements.

Dryer 11. Place the dryer sheet on top of plastic to protect your work space. Paint the sheet. Let dry.


Dryer 22. Use a heat gun to distress or melt the fabric. The areas free of paint will melt. (You should work in a well-ventilated area.)


Dryer 33. Apply gel to your surface and place the dryer sheet on top of the gel. Apply more gel over the dryer sheet and let dry.

U2856_stArt_cover.inddTo learn more about stART Journaling, click here.






Journal_Fodder_365_160To learn more about Journal Fodder 365, click here.






Mixed Media RevolutionTo learn more about Mixed Media Revolution, click here.







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