Creative Colour Chart using Jane Davenport’s Bright Set

Looking for ways to create cool color charts?  Then have a look at this idea using supplies from Lulu Art of course!
Colour charts – I love to make them but often seem to fall into the trap of having them be purely for ‘utility reasons’ – I can be a little too practical on occasion.  So I’ve been looking at ways to make them more exciting and interesting while still retaining their original purpose – to show off the colours in each set. While searching on the net I started seeing these amazing watercolour skylines that are practically ready-made colour chart ideas!  I knew I needed to try something like this with one of my watercolour sets and what better than the Jane Davenport Brights Set, available from Lulu Art of course!

So I’ve sketched an imaginary city into my art journal (the skyline is a mish-mash of different skyline elements from all over the world) and added some text which I’ve protected using Holbein masking liquid.

Now time to have a little fun, just by eye (though you can use a pencil if you like) split your image into the number of colours you have in your set.  Add your colours to the image one at a time, mixing one colour with the colour next to it (just a little where the colours meet) as you go.  Try to work fast as these can dry fairly quickly.

Add water or salt to create patterns and variation, though you will get the best results with this on watercolour paper (which isn’t what I’ve used).

Then let the colours drip down the page – you can encourage this with a little water if you like and then drop in some of the Gold Gansai Tambi Starry Colours paint into your puddles and leave this to dry.  Add a few splashes or splatters of colour over the page both over the image and around it (you get some amazing things happening as the splatters hit the wet paint) and leave the entire piece to dry.

Add a little doodling to highlight some of the amazing patterns and then remove the masking liquid.

Write the names of each colour onto your page – it is a colour chart after all!

Not only do you end up with an amazing colour chart but also a fun and funky journal page.

I’ve made a quick video to show you set by step how this colour chart came together.

SUPPLIES

I hope you have as much fun with this idea as I did 🙂

Kate

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Decorating Canvas Notebooks

Today we are going to check out 5 simple techniques for decorating notebook covers.  So why do you need special techniques for notebook covers?  Well most of us are actually using the notebook, so the cover needs to be sturdy, and easy to slip into a bag or a bookshelf with other items.  If you have 3d flowers or embellishments that protrude too far these can become ripped off, snagged, damaged or at worst damage other items!  So it’s best to keep working notebook covers as flat as possible!

ADDING COLOR

Ah, so many choices when looking at how to add colour to a journal or notebook cover – the options are mind boggling!   But no matter what you decide to use, priming your cover with a nice even coat of gesso is a must – white gesso if you are planning to use pastels or want bright colours or black gesso if you are going to be a little more adventurous!

My favourite and most trusted options when working over gesso are acrylic paints, sprays, and inks as each work beautifully for adding colour – though they do have slightly different properties and looks.

  1. Acrylics enable you to control the opacity (how see through something is) by using as it or diluted with water.  Acrylic paint can be painted direct from the tube for maximum opacity, but it can also be spritzed with water to encourage the colour to spread.  It may spread a little or a lot depending on the thickness of the paint and the brand eg: Fluid acrylics spread easily when sprayed with water and Jane Davenport Acrylics require a little more encouragement.
  2. Inks by definition are thinner,  usually more transparent and can be added straight from the bottle and will spread and drip easily, or add water for a more watercolour like look.
  3. Sprays – well we all know these spread, run, drip and blend – spritz away – many are transparent (though check first as there are a few opaque sprays on the market) and often they don’t even need to be spritzed with water to spread and wick out!

ADDING DESIGN ELEMENTS

Flat design elements are a must on working notebook or journal covers!  Some of the amazing ways I have found to add flat design elements are to use punchinella, stencils and masks, writing with paint (either with paint pens or paint in a fine tipped bottle), stamping, foil and embossing powder.  All of these things can add interest to your flat design without adding bulk or creating issues later.  So let’s get to those 5 Fabulous Techniques for Decorating Notebook covers…..

1. Paint and Spritz

Ultra fun and ultra messy, this technique is addictive, unpredictable, colourful and perfect for backgrounds!  The only trick is not to cover your whole background – leave a little white space (I struggle with this as I want to add more and more pretty colours!).  Basically, add little dots of paint and spritz with water.  Just do one colour at a time to keep it crisp and clean or add multiple colours for colour blending.  Let the color spread, drip and run until you are happy with how it looks.

2. Stenciling

This really had to be here, whether you are adding delicate designs of creating bold marks there will be a perfect stencil out there for you!  Some of my favourite stencils are from Donna Downey, The Artist Cellar, The Crafter’s Workshop and Stencil Girl.  But there are also so many other amazing brands and companies out there!  To keep this specific cover looking bright and clean I used a different paint colour for each different stencil design.

3.  Stamping with Paint

This is fun and works really well on canvas notebook covers!  Make sure you are using a stamp with nice thick, bold lines or designs as anything too fine or detailed will end up looking like a blob.  Text, geometric shapes, leaves etc all work really well when stamping with paint.

4. Adding Free Form Painty Handwriting

This adds a touch of imperfection and a little unpredictability to your cover.  It can also be incredibly scary and go wrong really fast, so make sure you have practised on a piece of scrap paper first before you begin working on your actual cover.   Using either paint pens or thinned down paint in a fine tip applicator bottle, be brave and add doodles, patterns, designs or even handwriting.

5.  Bling it Up

This last step may just be the most important!  This finishing touch can make all the difference to the overall look and ‘togetherness’ of your cover, it really is amazing how important this last step can be.  In this case, it adds a little shimmer and shine to the cover and the shimmer of the metallic helps to enhance the other colours on the journal cover.

and how does the finished cover look????

Like a rainbow at my fingertips!

I’ve also filmed the whole process so you can play along and create your own version!

 

SUPPLIES

I hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas,  and have fun decorating some of your notebooks.

3 Ways to Decorate your Traveler’s Journal Inserts

Hi Lulu Art creatives, Kate with you today and I’m so happy because I managed to get my grubby little hands (literally – I’ve always got paint or ink somewhere) on some of the fabulous new Prima Traveler’s Journals in the Lulu Art store – my current favourite is the Nomads set!  Each set comes with some plain notebooks tucked inside and well you know me, I couldn’t just leave the inserts undecorated!  So, I thought I’d show you 3 different ways to decorate your Traveler’s Journal inserts to create 3 completely different looks.

I’ve grabbed 3 journal inserts to play with, a Prima Weekly Journal Insert (Black Cover), a Prima Journal Insert – Scribble Lines Floral (Blank Pages) and a plain Kraft cover blank insert.

You can see how each cover was created in the video clip below, I hope you find a style that suits you.

Black Journal Insert | Bold and Bright

I thought I’d keep this journal reasonably simple and of course, flat so I can fit as much into my Traveler’s Notebook as possible.  This black journal from Prima has some really pretty foiled lettering which I’d like to match using Art Alchemy paints from Finnabair.  So grab a stencil, some metallic paints and let’s make this cover sparkle and shine!

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The first look we are going to create is BRIGHT and BOLD using molding paste and paints.

The plain black journal insert is getting a rather colourful upgrade!  I’ve used Light Molding paste and a stencil, combined with some amazing art alchemy Metallique paints to really change the vibe of the journal cover.  Finish with a touch of gold wax and some splashes of Lindy’s sprays and your journal cover will shine.  I’ve shown you exactly how to do this for yourself in the video clip.  Now, this is a multi step process, so you may need to have a few coffee breaks while decorating your cover like this.

 

Believe me adding the gold wax paste as the final step completely transforms the look and brings it to life, just use a light touch and don’t add too much!

Floral Journal Insert | Girly Collage

For the floral journal, it’s already super pretty it just needs to be personalized a little, this is a great opportunity to play with ‘pretty’ things and create a collage on the front that works in with the journal cover.  For this cover, I’m going to play with some collage papers and washi embellishments from Jane Davenport!

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I couldn’t help myself – I’ve been itching to use some of my Jane Davenport collage papers and thought that this was the perfect way to start – doesn’t it make the Prima journal insert look cool and fun!  All it took was a little washi tape, a little cutting and a swish or two with a few paint pens and there you have it, custom cover!   Don’t worry I’ve explained everything in the video step-by-step.

If you are new to art or journals you might like to leave your cover right here.

BUT, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous and would like to customise your cover further try adding a soft halo of Light Patina Metallique paint and some drops of Liquitex ink, there are so many options when decorating your own covers!  In person the shimmer on the metallique paint is stunning!

Kraft Journal Insert | Vintage

This is screaming vintage theme, so let’s go with that!   There are so many fabulous vintage ephemera pieces available in the Lulu art shop that I’m kind of spoiled for choice but I’ve managed to narrow it down to some stamps, vintage papers and a whole lot of Tim Holtz!

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Oh, this was fun – though a little more challenging than my usual collages as I was trying to keep everything very flat.  All you really need to create this is some vintage papers, vintage ephemera, and a little distress ink.  This cover is all about Tim – Tim Holtz products that is – and what a great way to finish my trio of decorated travelers notebook inserts!  The kraft coloured notebooks are perfect for vintage or travel themed layouts or styles

Up close you can see there is a hint of glitter.

 

Go grab your favourite supplies from Kylie over at Lulu Art and get decorating!

 

Creating a Boldly Coloured Art Journal Page

Hello there Lulu Art fans, it’s Kate here with you today and I’m being brave and stepping out of my comfort zone a little to share a bold and vibrant page inspired by the art of Tracy Verdugo.  My art journal spread was created using an array of my favourite products from sprays to paints – from the Lulu Art online store of course!

The basic idea for this page is lots of layers, LOTS of LAYERS, each one different to the last using different products for each one!

Start by coating your page in gel medium and adding colour using Lindy’s Starburst Sprays while the Gel is still wet.  Once dry, use a water brush to add in a little Dina Wakley acrylic paint in several colours, drying between ‘unfriendly’ colours eg: green and orange, also stipple on a little paint through some Punchinella for extra interest.

Then add some extra shimmer by adding glazes and small designs with Metallic Accents paints, vary how thickly you add this.

Spray the facing page with water and spritz and flick on some of the same colour sprays (Time Travel Teal, Shaby Turbine Teal and Hi Maintenance Magenta), to create a lighter but coordinating background.  Keep working on the other page while this dries.  You will notice a huge difference as to how these behave and look, when applying over gel medium vs wet paper.

Using a pencil or chalk, lightly sketch designs onto your painted page, make sure you include the best bits with the most interesting colours and patterns into your designs.  Then use a fine tip white paint marker to trace over your design.

Fill in the areas between your drawings with white Gesso and dark colour acrylic paint (I used Night from Dina Wakley).  You can also add in another colour if you like – I used Magenta.  Mix and blend the colours for more interest to your background.  Add more white for a pale background and more of the darker colours for a bolder background – both look amazing.

Outline and embellish your designs using fine detail paint pens in both black and white to make your designs really POP.

Using black gesso and a bold quote stencil – this one is from Donna Downey, add a quote to the facing page to finish your journal spread.

 

And up close the finished elements look like this – no editing or enhancing required the colours really do look just like this…

You can watch the whole process start to finish right here – so you can follow along and create your very own page 🙂

SUPPLIES

 

Have a fabulous and creative day

Kate

Textured Mixed Media Card with Rust Paste

I’m back with another Mixed Media project for Lulu Art!  Today we are going to create a mixed media card from vintage papers, scraps and the fabulous pastes and paints from Prima and Finnabair – go grab what you need to create this from the Lulu Art Store!

There are a few steps involved in creating this card – but each step is so simple you will easily be able to follow along and create your own version, plus it helps that there is a start to finish video at the bottom of each section.  Why so many steps, because each element helps build texture and layers of colour that you could just not achieve any other way (believe me I’ve tried!)!

Basic Process

Glue vintage papers onto a piece of thick base card using Matte Gel and allow to dry.

Scribble Neocolor in Gold and Ochre over the paper, spritz with water and spread with a paintbrush – this will add a more vintage look to the papers and give a consistent colour.

Add layers of paper, ephemera and material using Matt Gel and then add even more texture using stencils and Light Molding Paste.  Once this base layer is dry add Liquitex ink in Transparent Raw Umber to darken the background and collaged elements, spritz with water to vary the strength of the color.  I left it dark on the material and lighter on the background.

Using the dry brush technique, add a light layer of gesso over the background – you could stop right here it’s so pretty!

Add some stamping and stenciled images for a little variation, using Distress Oxide and Archival ink pads.

You can see exactly how the textured mixed media background was created in this process video.

 

The create the embellishment collage, add a layer of 3D elements (make sure these are chunky, eg: flowers, buttons, leaves, papers, vintage or ornate metal embellishments).  You can purchase pre-made embellishments or create your own, I’ve used a combination of purchased and hand-made elements.  Arrange in a pleasing layout and then glue onto your background.

Carefully cover all of the embellishments in Rust Paste – Dark Brown, make sure to coat the top and bottom of flower petals, also brush a little of the paint over the background.

Then using a fine brush or sponge (or both) add the yellow and orange Rust Paste and Light Patina and Turquoise Metallique Art Alchemy paints.

To finish the card panel add Light Patina and Turquoise Metallique paints to the background and spritz with water to make the colours run.  This visually separates the background and the embellishment layers, plus it looks so pretty!!!

Add some mini beads and text embellishments, mount the panel onto neutral coloured cardstock to finish, then sit back and admire the pretty colors – and they really are VERY pretty colours!

You can see exactly how each layer and colour was added to create the Rust Effects on the embellishments in this video.

 

and here are a couple of close-ups so you can see how absolutely yummy this looks.

 

SUPPLIES

Recycled Packaging Art Journal Page

Hi Lulu Art Fans!  Kate (aka Sparkle Tart) here with you on the blog today with a cool idea for using some of that gorgeous packaging you get on your art supplies!  Today I’m going to let loose my slightly WEIRD side!  I hope I’m not alone when I buy a new art supply and spend a minute or two marvelling over the beautiful packaging.  I mean that’s not so weird right – they MAKE the packaging to be attractive, eye-catching and pretty so we want to buy the product!  Well, my latest purchase of a Black Dylusions art journal from Ranger had packaging just too pretty to throw away – so I decided to incorporate it into my journal as the very first page.

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BASIC TECHNIQUE

Cut packaging into a variety of interesting shapes and glue onto your pages using Matte Gel Medium.

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Use a Dylusions stencil (I picked patterns that were similar to the images in the packaging, and the shapes I cut out) and Black Gesso to break up the shapes of the packaging by adding stencilled images over both the packaging and the background.  Then get in there with the paint left on the brush and really scruff up those edges!!

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Add texture using Light Molding Paste and stencils, you can use the same ones you used before or introduce new images.  You are again aiming to break up the background and blur the line between the collage papers and the journal page.  Also smear a little of the paste around on the page to create interesting texture and a bit of shape to the page.

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Add colour to the Stencilled shapes using acrylic paints (Golden and Dina Wakley) – choose colours that compliment, though stand-out, against the background – make sure there is some variety in the paint you use, for maximum interest.   Try adding one colour while another is still wet, for interesting blends and then let other colours dry between layers for a different look.  Also flick a little of each colour over the background to scruff up that clean black paper.

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Add some of the  Gansai Tambi metallic paints onto and around the textured elements.

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Add some of the art alchemy paints to both the images, the texture and around the patterns and make sure whatever you do on one side you add a little to the other side as well.  Look at the amazing shimmer from the Art Alchemy paint – super gorgeous.

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Once all the paint is dry, highlight some of the texture on the page using a gold wax paste and add some white paint pen and embellishments to really make the design pop.   Leave some of the paint pen as white lines and use your fingers to blend other sections into the background.

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And your finished pages might look something like this, a blend of packaging and new texture, metallic and bright painted elements.  If I hadn’t told you I was using packaging you would never guess!

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Here are a few close-ups so you can see the yummy details.

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You can watch this page being created in the video clip below.

SUPPLIES

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Artist Interview – Kate Palmer

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Today it is an absolute pleasure to introduce the very first Lulu Art Design Team Member for 2017.

Introducing Kate Palmer, otherwise known as SparkleTart. I’ve known Kate for quite a while now and have followed her along her creative journey. I’m sure you’re going to love her.

I asked Kate to tell me about herself and asked her a few questions over a virtual coffee.

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A bit about myself

Where do I begin, I’m a 40- something artist/crafter who likes to collect fabulous supplies.  My husband called me a ‘Sparkle Tart’ and now everyone else does as well.   I live in Townsville in QLD and spend my days working at James Cook University in Tech Support and Communications (yes I’m a total computer nerd!) and the people I work with have gotten used to seeing me with the odd bit of glitter somewhere – that stuff gets all over.  I get a great deal of joy from pottering about in my studio and from explaining to others how to use their supplies to create amazing art (perhaps because I used to be a teacher!), for some weird reason I also LOVE organising and cataloguing my art supply stash.  I don’t have one specific style, as I adore learning and creating too much to have settled into one particular look.  I adore mixed media (even before I knew it had a name!), in particular, I love mixing watercolour and acrylic products and techniques with everything.  If I’m being honest, often I just have a ball just messing about in my studio.  I really hate doing the exact same thing more than once, so am constantly evolving and trying out new ideas, supplies, and combinations.  I mostly create Art journal pages, cards and the occasional layout, canvas or off the page project and enjoy incorporating techniques, doodles and of course, there is always a little bling tucked away on my pieces somewhere!

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How/When did I get interested in art?

My grandparents had a ‘busy table’ and since they were quite traditional (kids were supposed to be quiet), I spend a LOT of time at the busy table.  There was a great supply of pens, pencils and paper and I was happy to create for hours.  My Grandpa would often sit there with me and chat as I would draw – I love those memories.  I continued to create during Primary and High school, but began to feel inadequate and compare myself to others – one of the killers of creativity.  I would say my passion was rekindled while taking my very first art class, which was a requirement for my degree in Education.  I had the opportunity to get inky, try new ideas and I found my passion rekindled (I ended up being the class tutor the following year).  Since then I haven’t stopped creating and am so grateful to have this back in my life.

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One of the first things I drew or painted?

I’ve been drawing since I can remember, the first specific thing I can remember trying to draw was ET after my Mum and I went to see the movie for my birthday. I can’t say it was a huge success. Everyone thought it was a teddy bear but for a 7 year old it was pretty momentous!  After that, I went through a horse phase for about 3 years – I think I drove my parents just a little nuts!

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Favourite piece of work that I have created?

This changes with the day. My current favourite is my watercolour galaxy – probably because Karl Urban signed it and said it was ‘Very cool’ – sigh – I DIE!  You can see it here:  http://www.sparkletart.com/rsr/2016/10/how-to-create-dark-watercolor-glalaxy-with-amazing-patterns-for-a-star-trek-journal-page.html

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Favourite Artist?

There are sooooo many artists I admire, but if I have to pick just one it would be Leonardo DaVinci – he appeals to both the artist and the science nerd in me.  I would love to go to the DaVinci museum one day.

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What’s the best thing about being an artist?

Oh gosh, the freedom to create whatever your little heart and hands desire.  When things go right the amazing moment when you sit back and look at something and realise that I made THAT!

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Do I play music while I create and what inspires me?

Sometimes. I also create with a movie playing in the background or while singing to myself.  As for what type – Everything. It changes with my mood – I love pop songs, zen music, 80’s Rock, a little classical and some blues on occasion.  My taste in music is a bit like my taste in art – pretty eclectic!

Favourite thing to include in your work?

Colour and tiny elements, patterns or textures that you can only see up close and in person.  Sometimes it’s metallic powder, tiny gem stones, small doodles, just little touches that make things feel finished for me.  Though I also rarely finish something without adding a little sparkle somewhere!

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What do I do when not creating?

I love to read, potter in the garden (I grow orchids), I love movies, I plan and organise, and I’ve even been known to play the odd computer game (dragons and treasure are mandatory).

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Favourite products to use?

Sparkles, paints, mica, sprays, embellishments, ink – if it sparkles I LOVE it!  Don’t make me pick just one, though I do love my sparkly sprays and powder paints from Lindy’s if you force me to pick a favourite.

Tips or inspiring words to share?

Focus on making your art interesting and enjoyable, rather than perfect!

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Where can you see my work?

Blog:  www.sparkletart.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/CraftyKatePalmer

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/keepitsimplysparkly/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/k8palmer/

Upcoming classes?

I’ve got 2 classes on the go right now

Creative Cardmaking Basics – hosted with Big Picture Classes online – You don’t need every tool out there to make beautiful cards! Kate Palmer encourages you to take your basic supplies further by teaching you 14 amazing techniques using dye ink pads, stamps, embossing powder, paper and embellishments. She walks you through each technique with a detailed video, sharing helpful tips that will help you master each one. You’ll wrap things up by combining what you’ve learned into a series of cards, and leave the class with a creative arsenal full of clever techniques.

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K.I.S.S.ing Class (free) on YouTube – That’s Keep It Simply Sparkly for those who need to know.    Every week there is a new video, looking at SPARKLY PRODUCTS, ways to use them, swatch them and make them SHINE on your cards, layouts, pages, art journals and mixed media pieces.  Let’s have a little fun and Make Your Art SHINE!

 

I hope you enjoyed getting to know our first Lulu Art Design Team Member. Pop back tomorrow to see Kate in action when she creates our very first tutorial for 2017.

Happy Creating,

Hugs,

Kylie - Signature

Lulu Art Supplies Store

Kylie Fowler Website