Guest Author - Christine Sharbrough
Inexpensive, easy to clean up, and ultimate blendability make acrylic paints a great choice for art journaling backgrounds. The first step in creating a background is to choose the colors for the design and feeling of the page that will be created.
If seeking a background that will not overshadow the foreground imagery, choose complimentary colors in muted tones. Copper patina and a pale yellow are one example of colors that work as a muted background. If seeking a brighter combination, cherry red and navy blue scraped onto a page leaving some white can create a very patriotic background.
Paper is important. Acrylic paints can be heavy, if they are thinned with water to make a wash, they can warp thin paper. Strathmore makes mixed media art journals that are perfect for a variety of projects utilizing a variety of paints, both thick and thin.
Squirt three or four nickel or quarter sized blobs of the first color of paint on the paper, depending on paper size. Using your fingers, a damp sponge, credit card, or large foam brush dampened with water, spread the paint around the entire page. Do not worry about covering it evenly, texture is part of the design. Next, repeat the procedure with the second color. Be sure to bring the color to the edges of the paper.
If you have a heat gun you can dry the page, or you can leave it to air dry. A heat gun is not necessary if you have a hairdryer, however, be wary of how much you blow around. Spread the paint until you are satisfied with the result. Some of each color should show through. If you are using the background color of the paper as part of the design, you do not have to be so heavy handed with the paint.
If you dry the pages as you create them, you can create several sets of pages at one time. This will enable you to sit down and focus on journaling whenever you feel the urge. Enjoy!
Acrylic paints, inexpensive craft store versions work well
Paper, preferably suited to mixed media
Color wheel, if you need help choosing complimentary or contrasting colors
Heat gun or hairdryer