- Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Inks – Prussian Blue, Purple Lake, Turquoise & Dutch Blue Pearlescent
- Spray Bottle (I used mini misters but any will do)
- Photocopy paper (thin & white)
- Big Paint Brush
- Magazine picture of a dress for reference (if needed) – I like long dresses (folds & no legs!) and pictures with just one hand showing to make it easier to draw
- Transfer Paper or Tracing Paper
- Golden – Gel Medium
- Tombow Pens – to match the inks you use
- Pencil to draw details
For my post today I’m going to take you through how I make my layered, translucent, mixed media backgrounds.
When I first started art journaling I really struggled with making a background that had enough interest but didn’t take away from the subject and writing. Over time (and a lot of awful backgrounds!) I worked out a process that allows me to create something with layers, white space, muted colours, texture and translucency – all the things I love. If you like these things too I hope you’ll take the time to watch my video below.
- 300g Watercolour Paper
- Spray Bottle of water
- Paper towels
- Distress stain (I used Tea Dye) or any other water based paint/stain/spray
- Washi tape in 2 colours/designs
- Acrylic Paint
- Palette Knife
- Ephemera/collage papers (you can use ANYTHING that goes with your colour scheme)
- Tissue paper
- Matte Medium (this isn’t mentioned in the video but you need it to glue your papers)
- Stencils (I used this one)
- Liquitex Metallic Ink or FW Pearlescent Ink
- Rubber Stamps (this is the one I cut up – Darkroom Door Flower Garden)
- Ink Pads (I used Sepia)
- Your favourite Pens for lettering
Here are some points to think about as you create your background:
- Think about where you’re going to put your subject and leave that bit white. Don’t be afraid of white – it makes all the other colours pop!
- I like working with complimentary colours (brown & blue are opposite each other on the colour wheel) and tend to just use variations of the two I’ve picked.
- Start with a water based layer on gesso (so it moves around) that will bleed up through the layers.
- Do a couple of transparent layers (distress stain then washi tape) then a couple of opaque ones (acrylic then paper) then a couple more transparent (tissue paper then stencils/stamps)
- Make it look messy.
- Use gesso to pull all the different bits together and to tone things down at the end if anything is standing out too much.
I hope you enjoyed the video and have learnt some new techniques for layered backgrounds. If you have, I’d love to see your work on the Lulu Art & Friends facebook page. To keep in touch with what I’m doing you can follow my blog at kookymakes.wordpress.com.au or like my facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kookymakesart
Thanks for reading and watching. 🙂
- 300g Watercolour paper (e.g. Strathmore pad)
- Dylusions ink sprays in all the colours!
- Spray bottle with water
- Paper towels
- Stencils (including various Artist Cellar, The Crafter’s Workshop & Tim Holtz layering stencil)
- Twinkling H2O’s
- Dip pen + acrylic ink (or other permanent pen)
- Paint pens (for lettering)
- Keep to just a few layers.
- Keep cool and warm colours separate
- Dab the ink off between sprays
- If colours start to get muddy dab them off with the paper towel
- Use sprayed water to make colours less vivid or to remove/reduce colour you don’t like the look/placement of.
- Work round the piece.
- Leave the piece to dry completely before you go in again with more colour!