Monday, August 05, 2013

Some Art Journaling Basics

Thanks for your interest in my recent adventures in Art Journaling.  I've had some questions about my journal and some of the products I use.  I hope you'll find this video helpful!



Here are some Basics.


Gesso: A ground for other mediums.  Think of it as a base or primer. It is used to cover canvas and contains chalk. Can be purchased in White, Clear and Black.
  • I personally like how watercolors look on top of it, I also use it to create brush stroke type texture. 
  • Can be used with stencils (as a thin paste) when used with a putty or artist knife. 
  • It can be used to cover over other colors.
  • Can be used as a paint or white can be used to lighten other paints.
  • It "thickens" cardstock when it is well coated.
  • Dries with a matte finish.

 Matte Medium: Used as a glue or sealer/ light body
  • Perfect for collage and adhering papers.
  • Dries clear.
  • Depending on the brand and type, will dry glossy, matte or semi-gloss.
  • Is acrylic based, can use acrylic paints over it.
  • Watercolors will dry on top but not as rich in color.
  • Spray colors will resist it and will not hold.

Gel Medium: Used as a glue/ photo transfer/ heavy body

  • Perfect for glueing heavy papers.
  • Great for photo and paper transfers.
  • Dries to a matte finish.


Mod Podge: Used as a glue.
  • Latex based, waterproof, stays pliable. 

Journal Making:
I made my own journal from cardstock, 80lb specifically.  Neenah is a great choice of cardstock. I also have a few sheets of watercolor color paper mixed in which I believe is 110lb.  I researched book binding through videos on You Tube and found a series from CraftyLoops to be the most helpful.  She really takes the time to explain how to successfully create and sew a journal together. 

HERE is a link to CraftyLoops entire Journal making video collection

As we get into more techniques with journaling, rest assure, I'm hearing you and will do my best to answer any questions you have.

Now get out there and do some ART!

:o)




7 comments :

Froggietalks said...

Thanks for the info Shari! I now have to go and make myself an art journal :)


I just discovered yesterday that you can actually buy Gesso that is coloured with pigment. There was a Japanese company that was going to sell it, not sure if it's in North America yet, by Holbein. I am hoping to hit the art store in the City near me next time I'm in, and see if I can get any coloured Gesso.

Barb said...

Awesome post, Shari! You inspire more with each page you share, and all this info helps so much too! I finally created my first page - yay! Thank you for the inspiration and your amazing talent! :)

Barbara said...

Thanks, Shari! I haven't actually started my journal yet, but have been thinking about it! I truly am going to begin soon!

Janet a.k.a. swanlady21 said...

Thanks for the clarification. Have you found that some inks don't "stick" to the gesso? Should one only use paints on top of gesso? When I have used distress stains or ink and even memento inks, it won't stay on - one swipe and it would be off. On this page, I could not get the blue a deeper colour. I think the dark spots are only where the gesso was thin or not having good coverage.
Looking forward all and any new tips!

Bridget said...

Your videos are always full of great inspiration for me. Actually, watching them and others on YouTube finally spurred me to not just watch but actually create! I have truly enjoyed making an art journal and consider it my own sort of art therapy!

One thing I found out - if I use matte medium as a glue, I have to be careful that what I'm gluing "it" (whatever needs gluing) to won't smear as the matte medium will activate certain inks (Distress Inks and the like). Learned that the hard way, though the project wasn't ruined, just slightly altered. If I worry about that or am unsure, I use Tacky Glue instead.

Do you ever use a spray fixative to seal your pages? Any brand recommendations?

Dotty Jo said...

Thanks Shari, I've just bought Modge Podge and Gesso and feel more confident to try them out following your video! Jo x

CraftyLoops said...

Thank you very much for the shout out for my bookbinding tutorials....it was very kind of you. Lee aka Crafty Loops x