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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Into the Mystic

A Million Realities


for Sunday Postcard Art

Several of you lately have asked about my journal pages: “Are they digital?” “Are they photographs or paintings?” So, here’s a step-by-step description of how I make these hand-colored pages. Normally, I have several pre-painted pages in my journal ready in whatever colors that are currently inspiring me. You can see that I’ve definitely been in my red phase lately. I start by painting over a page with water to make the paint go on smoothly, and then I squirt paint directly onto the paper and spread it out with my favorite big brush. I’m so impatient that I use a hair dryer to speed up this step. Next, I paint over this layer with other colors, using whatever is handy on my table as a tool: sponges, crumpled up paper towels, bubble wrap, stamps. I even finger-paint. After that’s dry I go back in with my favorite thing: watercolor crayons. I just scribble on my page in strategic places and then wet those areas with a brush, blending the paint somewhat. I often go back in with more acrylic, if I need stronger hues. For intensity, I do this until I have many layers of color. When the last background layer is dry I color around the perimeter of the page with a black watercolor crayon and blend for depth. Sometimes I then cut my page into postcard size pieces, as I did here.

Then, I look through my stash of f photos for a shot with lots of black areas (for journaling later). Once I’ve chosen an image, I color copy it because copy paper takes paint much better than slick magazine pages do. Next, I trim the picture carefully and begin to alter it with acrylic paint. For this step, I don’t add much water because water tends to make the original ink run. After I’ve done most of my painting, I allow the image to dry and glue it onto the background. I drybrush paint around the edges of the photo to make it appear to be a part of the page, and I even use watercolor crayons or Prismacolor pencils directly on the photograph and surrounding areas to add texture.

The last step is adding text. I’m still a little self-conscious about my own writing, so quotes are perfect for me, and usually I already have one in mind while I’m creating my page. Most of the time I put the lettering on the background using a white Jellyroll pen, and then I outline each letter with a black Uniball fine tip marker. If I do personal journaling, I write that in the black areas of the page, using my white gel pen.

I have really had fun with my art journal, since I started it in July. I've learned so much about color, composition, and process, and my journal has helped me solve many art and non-art problems. And, if I'm in a rare bad mood, journaling changes all that before my first layer is even dry!

If you are an aritst and don't have a journal, I hope you'll start one and enjoy it as much as I have mine.

Love,
Alberta

22 comments:

herminesplace said...

Fantastic

Taluula said...

Alberta thank you so much for the tutorial. I just can't seem to pluck up the courage to start a paper journal, and I'm not sure a digital one has the same effect, but may be this will get me started.

Love your postcard too.

Sija said...

Gorgeous!

Virginia said...

Wonderful.

afiori said...

I love reading about the process of other artists!!

♥ visit me at www.afiori.com

Giggles said...

Thank you so much for sharing your process!! I love all of your color compositions. This one just pops out at me! Love it!

Hugs Giggles

Mary said...

Gorgeous! And thank you for sharing about your journaling process.

~Barb~ said...

I love reading about other's journaling process. I'm a beginner at art/visual journaling but I'm learning so much and have found just how cathartic and wonderful of a creative process it really is.
Peace & Love,
~Barb~

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

WOW Alberta! Love this!

Fraenzi Firlefanz said...

Your artwork is fantastic !!

Audrey said...

Gorgeous! Thanx for the tutorial!!

Stempelchaotin said...

OMG this is absolutely striking.
Unbelievable and cool card.

indybev said...

How generous of you to take the time to share your process with all of us who admire your work. I am on my 13th journal, but I can't get over my obsession for keeping the pages nice and flat---hence I don't use much paint at all. I'm wondering what sort of journal you use (e-mail me?). You are such an inspiration! I'd love to be able to sit and watch you create. Thanks again!

J and Z said...

she might be my favorite one ever! awesome and so nice of you to share your technique!! great quote too...

Femmy said...

Brilliant!!!

Ozstuff said...

Alberta, this painting is absolutely scrumptious. Quite the most gorgeous thing I have seen in a long while - er, no, since I saw your "Dreamer". And thank you so much for your fantastic tutorial. You are causing me to think about weaning myself off digital!!

Mandy C said...

absolutely gorgeous! you have such an original take on the themes we have.

Lisa said...

Thank you for this awesome tutorial! My process is similar but your results are just stunning. I had the best white zig painting pen and I've lost it. :( boohoooooo I miss it every time I journal. I know it's around here somewhere!

Janet said...

You KNOW I love your art and this one is fantastic!

Thank you so much for sharing your technique with us. I've been struggling with my art journal for quite sometime....hopefully this will help me break through.

Shelly said...

This is fantastic !! Great colors . . . an eye-stopper of a piece.
Thanks for sharing your technique.
:-)
Shelly

Rosie said...

I love this postcard Alberta! It's fabulous how you go from blank oage to this - thanks so much for sharing your creative process - and more so for the eye-candy you always produce.

roc said...

this is really an awesome piece of art. you are such a wonderful artist!