BIG Changes

Once upon a time, people followed this website closely. They were eager for new articles, because art journaling, ATCs, and mixed-media art were brand new and I was one of the few artists talking about them.

Today, most people land on this website from a search engine like Google.

I’m revising and updating the site so Google recognizes what’s here (and what isn’t). This site has hundreds of articles… yes, that’s a lot of content. And much of it is still useful.

I’m playing with different names for this website. See the About page if that seems baffling. The URLs will still include Aisling.net as the domain, but you can also get here by typing in ArtAndSomething.com. (You can use all lower-case letters, if you like.)

My ArtistsJournals.com content will be moving here, too.

And old, still-helpful blog articles will appear here, as well.

But wait… there’s more!

As I launch my new book series later in 2020, you’ll see that info here – and some related freebies – as well.

2020 is going to be a very cool start to a brand new decade. I hope you’re as excited about it as I am!

Free “All You Need is Love” Posters

To celebrate moving this website to better, more powerful hosting (in July 2019), I’ve created three free posters you can download and print.

They’re PDFs. Each is designed to print on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, with a small margin around them for matting. (The photos show what they’ll look like, framed.)

Click on any image to download it from Google Drive. And yes, they’re free. It’s okay to share these with friends… just don’t use them commercially, okay?

All You Need is Love - red heart, black backgroundClick to download red heart poster.
(Photo courtesy of Designecologist.)

Click to download poster with greenery heart.

Click to download poster with wood background
(Photo courtesy of Brigitte Tohm)

And, if you like these (and want more like them), I hope you’ll leave a comment, so I create more for you.

Art Journaling with Resist Methods

In art journaling, “resist” is a way to keep paint – and some other products – from sticking to the page. Other terms for this include: mask, masking fluid, and frisket. (You’ll see many different products at Amazon.com.)

Some resist techniques are simple, like using a white crayon on a white page. Watercolors, acrylic paint, most (not all) rubber stamp inks, and so on… they usually won’t stick to any area where the crayon wax is.

This short video shows one way to use white crayon as a resist.

Here’s another short video with some good suggestions if you’re using a white crayon as a way to keep part of your page white:

Remember that once the wax crayon has been applied, that area on your artist’s journal page won’t accept water-based media, ever. Even if you try to wipe the crayon lines off… the paint (or rubber stamp ink, etc.) probably won’t stick.

White Glue Mask/Resist

In this video, you’ll see one of Traci Bautista’s products mentioned. It’s a decoupage product, Collage Pauge, that can be uses as a resist. However, as the video explains, you can use white glue for the same purpose.

Alcohol Resist

Other resists aren’t necessarily as waterproof as crayon. Alcohol is an example. Though it can be 100% resistant to water-based pigment, sometimes it isn’t. Also, it can be harder to control than white glue, white crayon, or products designed for use as resists, masks, and friskets.

Embossing Resist (with Heat)

If you have embossing supplies, this is an innovative way to use them in your art journal, as a resist.

Resist with Adhesive Letters or Decorations

This is a fun, kind of reverse-resist approach to art journaling. First, you paint a colorful layer. Then, you add the adhesive-backed letters or shapes. (I’d use inexpensive letters, and don’t push them down too firmly.) Then you paint over the whole thing with white (or a color), and then you peel off the letters/shapes you’d stuck onto the page.

I think these ideas are kind of wonderful. I already knew a few, but – watching these videos – I’m inspired to revisit them, and try the new resist techniques, too.

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

As we trek through 2019, I’m continuing to redesign this website. I’d thought about making this a blog again – since that’s how this site started – but then I realized it’d shift the emphasis away from my main goal for this site: To put creative ideas, tips, and resources in the hands of more people, whether or not they consider themselves artists.

So, in the coming weeks, I’m hoping to restructure this site so it’s easier to find the kinds of information and resources you’re looking for.

Easter Egg 1 - 2019Expect more freebies here, as well.

Today, I’m sharing five different coloring pages. They’re 8.5″ x 11″ PDFs you can download and print.

All five are kind of hippie-style, as that’s what I enjoy drawing.

Here are the links at Google Drive: Easter Egg 1Easter Egg 2Easter Egg 3Easter Egg 4Easter Egg 5.

P.S. Want to share this link? Here’s an easy way to remember it: http://bit.ly/EasterEggs4u

 

Cute, Sweet, Illustration-Style Art Journals

Jane Davenport has inspired many people to create elegant and charming illustrations in their journals. She’s made this easy with how-to books, as well as useful & innovative art supplies.

Here’s her story, in her own words.

I bought one of her books, Beautiful Faces, because I felt like I was getting into a rut with my usual illustration techniques. (Generally, no one is likely to call my journals “cute,” but sometimes I’m aiming for pretty… and needed some insights. Jane’s book definitely helped.)

It’s just one of Jane’s many books you’ll find at Amazon.

Next, in this demo, she shows how to use her die-cut embellishments. Wow! (I can see ways to use them in some Goth- and Steampunk-style artists’ journals, too. Purples, metallics, and so on…)

And here’s Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts) demonstrating some of Jane’s art supplies. She starts with a blank page, then sketches in pencil, and then… well, you’ll see. (I’ve started the video at the 23-minute point. If you want to see the full unboxing, start from the beginning.)

If you like Tamara’s approach, take a look at the sample projects on her “Create Your Life” book page at Amazon. Those ideas may be all you need to start experimenting with new drawing, painting, and mixed-media techniques, right away.

But… no matter what your art journaling style, if you’re including your own illustrations, consider those materials and techniques.

Personally, I’m experimenting with magazine photos, pasting them (with gel medium) onto a painted page, sealing them with more gel medium, and then drawing & painting over them. Lots of layers. Not necessarily sweet or romantic, but these techniques & materials can work for more extreme artists’ journals, too.

Art and Inner Critics: Danielle Krysa

If you’re fighting the snarky critic in your head (or maybe a few around you, in real life or online), Danielle Krysa’s TED Talk is powerful, and kind of painful at times. Watch it anyway.

And here she is, in her studio. I love the honesty in this.

She has an intriguing blog: The Jealous Curator/blog. Go see it.

Danielle also records podcasts with fellow artists & creatives. So far, she’s recorded over 150 of them, which you can access at “Art for Your Ears.”

Of course, if you’d like to see her books… well, she has lots of them for and about artists. Some are advice. Some are insights. Some are how-to. Here’s the Amazon link: Books by Danielle Krysa.

Ideas for Mixed Media Maps and Landscapes

Drawing maps and landscapes for your art journal.Maps, cityscapes, landscapes… they’re not just for travel journals.

There are many ways you can include them in your personal art journals, too.

First, here’s Brie Hatton demonstrating urban sketching in her art journal. For many people, this is the easiest way to draw and paint local scenery in a journal. You can go for a walk, or sketch what’s outside your window.

The full video is about six minutes long, but I’ve set this to start at the four-minute mark. At that point, she’s done a light pencil sketch and has started using a marker over it, for her final lines. That’s what interested me the most: how she completed her sketch as a finished art journaling page.

Full video link: https://youtu.be/EfzEjku3ev8

The pen she’s using for the final, darker lines is a special Sailor Fude pen you can find at Amazon.

Rainbow colors dividerMaybe drawing isn’t what you had in mind, but you’re still intrigued by landscapes.

If you’d like to create fine art abstract landscapes in your artists journal, I think Cathy Mevik’s demo will inspire you. If you’re not a painter, don’t let this scare you; I think anyone can create landscapes like these.

The video a little over 11 minutes long, but – for those who’d love to paint like this – it’s time well spent.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/HCYfAHVePMo

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At the other extreme, here’s what James Gulliver Hancock draws. It’s a two-minute video, and he explains why he draws buildings, and what he learns as he draws them.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/360r-iyK_Eg

Rainbow colors dividerAlso, I kind of love that one of his books – with buildings and maps – became an interactive exhibit. This half-minute video is worth seeing:

Video URL: https://youtu.be/DwETY_OK86w

Rainbow colors dividerIf you’d like to explore making maps, this book looks fascinating.  As soon as I saw this review video, I ordered the book. (The video is eight minutes long, but you’ll get the general idea in the first two or three minutes.)

Video URL: https://youtu.be/eKVdfRl05S0

If, like me, you must have that book, here’s the Amazon link: The Art of Map Illustration

Rainbow colors dividerIf drawing and painting aren’t your strong suit, don’t despair. You can still bring maps and architectural designs to your journaling.

Here’s a landscape-y, map-y kind of art journaling demo. It’s by Carolyn Dube, and she uses a stencil, some acrylic paint, and a pen. The video is about four minutes long, and – once you get the idea – you can fast-forward through it to see how she completes it.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/ZUXK1HkFhiI

The stencil is by Maria McGuire for StencilGirl, and you can find a similar stencil by her – and other StencilGirl artists – at Amazon.

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And finally, for oh-my-goodness inspiration…

At first, Blythe Scott’s work may look like modern landscapes but, close-up, you’ll see mixed media elements. She’s using some materials that never crossed my mind, and they could go into a mixed media artists journals, too.

This five-minute video includes breathtaking outdoor scenes, how her art is inspired, and some great insights about studio work, using drawing, painting, and mixed media elements.

https://youtu.be/p5_oOuzpAUQ

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Collage Layers in Your Artists Journals

Collage layers in your art journal - how-to videosSome artists – including me – like to use layers/collages in art journals and other mixed media art.

This first video is by Samie Harding. It’s from 2007, and the video quality (and sound track) reflect that, but to watch her work… wow! In a little over four minutes, you’ll see all kinds of techniques you can experiment with, yourself.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/sORR079femU

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Five years later, Samie produced another version of that page, with the same materials. If you'd like to see it, it's about 10 minutes long, and at https://youtu.be/qlIFw6NHuFg (I prefer the older video, but that's probably a matter of personal aesthetics.)

Rainbow colors dividerIn the next video, artist Robert Burridge – in a  “BobBlast” – shares how he layers his collages. His video is three minutes long and filled with ideas for using paper elements, gel medium, paint, and stencils.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/FA3revJTO6A

Rainbow colors dividerAnne Bagby created some amazing mixed media work, including art journals. Her layered collages and journals have an extraordinary depth. In many of them, her use of cut paper unifies her designs. This five-minute video shows how she used quilting supplies to cut paper strips for a crisp, even effect.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/SICVXhn0V-A

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To learn more about Anne’s techniques – with lots of photos from her gallery work – this 17-minute video is inspiring. It’s sort-of an illustrated podcast. (Don’t be put off by the opening. The video is filled with photos of her mixed media art. Absolutely astonishing. I kind of drooled over my keyboard, watching it.)

Video URL: https://youtu.be/SRk2cn5rTJA

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And, finally, here is an intriguing video by collage artist Michael Madzo. He’s working with his own paintings, paper elements, and gel medium, he’s also using sewing to bring added depth and meaning to his work. Though many artists don’t work with their own fine art paintings, Madzo’s techniques and concepts might spark some of your own collage ideas. The video is about five minutes long.

Video URL https://youtu.be/bR0abMN3T0I

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Finding and curating these videos, I found myself being tremendously inspired to revisit some of my own past paintings (ones that I wasn’t happy with) and see if some of these materials & techniques might bring new life and fresh energy to them.

Also, I’ll admit that I’m looking at some framed canvas images – posters, sort of – that we’d bought at IKEA, just to decorate the walls, short term.  They might make wonderful starting points for mixed media embellishments.

Art Journaling Background Techniques

Sometimes, our art journals begin with a background. Those colors and textures inform everything else we do with the page.

Here are a few videos that may inspire you to try new background colors and techniques.

The first is by Purdy Creative Things. I love the variety she achieves, so quickly and with such simple techniques.

Next, this 8-minute video by Mercurial Milk presents some juicy colors and varied ideas, with useful tips for five different art journaling backgrounds.

The next video is by Maremi’s Small Art, and she shows how to create a textured, magical art background.  This video is nearly 10 minutes long, but worth watching, even if you skip ahead as you understand each step.

The next video is by that same artist. It includes several one-minute background techniques. All of them are simple and use just a few colors and tools.

The video is about 7 1/2 minutes long, if you watch it all the way through. The techniques are repetitive, but each background is unique. I think the variety will inspire you to try some of her ideas, yourself.

And, in Mark Montano‘s video – about 4 1/2 minutes long – he assembles completed artist’s journals pages.

I’m including this video because many of his techniques are fast and easy ways to create vivid, unique journal page background, too.

After watching these, I’m ready to work on my journal. I hope you’re excited about these materials and techniques, too.