Happy Tuesday to everyone! It’s time for me to share some art journaling pages I’ve been playing with this week. I started with random backgrounds on several pages…collaging in some papers and painting with whatever colors I had lying around. The nice thing about art journaling is not having to plan anything really…just let your hands create and lead you forward naturally. Last week I created a super bright collage of flowers, so this time I went with kraft paper and more muted earth tones, even though I couldn’t help putting in some bright red! I first glued papers onto my pages, then rubbed paint around with my fingers. It’s fun to just put down layers without thinking much of how I was going to finish it up…after everything was dry I could go in with pen and ink for details and journaling.

This first spread still has the flowers and brightness of Spring incorporated…I guess I can’t help it. I was listening to the podcast by Jamie Ridler interviewing Carmen Torbus while working on this…hence all the positivity! You can see the photo of background alone up top and then my random doodles that were added in. I was using a new black pen that turns out to be super super inky, which I like for how true black it is, but the inkiness actually flicks around because of the texture from the paint…pretty weird!

You can also create cool textures on your backgrounds if you use crinkled paper to take away some paint from the surface when it’s all still wet. That’s what I did below to get a speckled wall type of texture all over my pages.  It’s pretty rough and crazy looking, but sometimes you can also find interesting shapes in the textures.

I actually made myself a doll template to play around with because it helps me visualize various positions for drawing. I know you can buy one of those real wooden dolls for modeling, but it’s just as easy to make yourself a paper doll and put it in different positions. Feel free to download my PDF doll template for your personal use. This little activity turned into thoughts about not liking dolls in general – they are scary to me! I never played with dolls as a child…never owned a barbie and was much more into plushies or playing with plastic figurine toys. Maybe because I have older brothers and it was easier to just play along with their toys!

In the end, I don’t feel totally satisfied with these pages yet, but I know I can always go back and add to it. Always remember that you can keep working on pages for as long as you like, in whatever order you like…that is the beauty and freedom of having a personal art journal. It’s definitely my place to play with freedom and without the pressure of having to finish. I also started another background…not sure where it will take me yet…

I hope you will experiment with playing in an art journal and making random backgrounds – in fact many people work on backgrounds all the time and fill them in when they feel like it at a later date. It’s definitely fun and liberating when you can just play with color on a page and not have to think about composition or the final layout. I do that often when working on other pieces and have leftover paint to just smear onto pages. There are also plenty of techniques to explore in creating backgrounds…try them out and have fun!