Playing with craft paint and paper

Boy, today is a good day to sit indoors and play. I’ve really taken a liking to art journals over the past couple years. I’ve been teaching art journal classes as well. I think what I enjoy most about the craft is the freedom to play. There is no right or wrong, no special tools required, and there are no steps to follow to get it right.

I tend to play with the myriad of products already in my stash. Those can include scrapbook paper, old book pages, acrylic paints, Distress Inks, Alcohol Inks, etc. Lately it’s been the Americana acrylic paints from DecoArt. They’re relatively inexpensive and they’re readily available at any craft store and even some big-box stores.

It’s fun to pull out a pile of stuff and just mix it up and see what happens to the paper. One idea leads to another, and another, and another.

Here’s how it usually happens. I squirt some paint on my non-stick craft sheet and spritz it with plain water. This makes the paint a bit runny and easier to blend.


I place my pages face down into the liquid pool and gently turn it and swish it a bit to get this.


These pages can either be spritzed with more water to make the paint run or heat set as-is to add a bit of texture. Aren’t those swirls so luscious? Next I’ll add in some stamping – not too much, just a little, using a waterproof ink (I like Ranger’s Archival Ink in Jet Black). Using a peeled back piece of corrugated cardboard dabbed in some red paint, I’ll add some bold lines randomly on the page; trying to maintain some balance.


I can create even more texture by using gesso through a stencil like I did here with the small circles. I prefer gesso over modeling paste sometimes because it still gives me texture without so much thickness. These books can get pretty thick quickly!


So, I’ve toned down the colors quite a bit by washing a soft blue over some of the page. I’ve added a bit more stamping along with some gold paint – I love a pop of metallic! This is my background for a journal page. I like to add photos to my art journals, after all, I started out as a scrapbooker. I love these backgrounds mixed with photos to tell a story.


My next art journal session begins Monday, Oct. 22 and runs for four consecutive Mondays from 6-8 p.m. Fly Away is the theme for our next round of art journal pages in Brighton. Join us! Register or find more information in my online store. Classes are taught at the CoBACH Center in Brighton and we’re trying to get them going in Holly at The Vintage Farm House. If you’d like to see more of what the students are doing in class, visit my Facebook page and give it a like –

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