Advice to Newbies, Art Journal Pages

How to Finish Your Art Journal Page: It’s All About the Details


Today I finalized my word choice for 2016. I did this, not because other art journalers are doing it, but because it feels right for me this year. This year will be one of many huge changes. There is a high chance that I will be retiring from the teaching profession after 30 years. My husband and I plan to move to Vancouver Island for our retirement. This may also happen this year.  While all these things are things I want I know that the reality comes with questions, feelings of being overwhelmed and self doubt. There is a saying that says ” All great changes are preceded by chaos.” I just want to remember to trust that we are making the right decisions and if something is meant to be it will happen. I just have to trust and breathe.

But this is not the focus of this post. This post is about how to ” finish” your art journal page. Frequently on the various Facebook groups I belong to someone will post a page and say, ” I think I’m done, but it’s missing something.”  It is those little ” somethings”  that this article is about.

Here is my page prior to the addition of the little somethings. Beside it is the after all the little additions are made.

IMG_4649 [165700]                   IMG_2661

The first thing I did was outline/shade the flower petals and centers with my black Stabilo All Pencil. After drawing around each shape I activated the pencil with a wet brush. I colored around the page with the same pencil and activated it with a wet finger.  There are many different materials you can use to achieve the same effect including watercolor pencils, gelatos, Inktense Blocks or Pencils, Neo-color IIs or even a charcoal pencil. You can edge a page with acrylic paint or ink  on a makeup sponge or blending tool. I’ve seen others rub their ink pad against the edge of the  page  as well. Since this background is done with acrylic paint I could shade with a angle brush , acrylic paint and water as well ( throw back to folk art days).

I decided to outline my letters with white to make them stand out . I used my Posca paint pen. This can be done with gel pens, White uniball signo pen, or thinned white acrylic paint with a liner brush. I’ve even heard of people using white corrector pens for such detailing.

Since I felt “something” was still missing I decided to outline the flowers with the white Posca pen. Then I went around the edge with the white as well.

Final step, I splattered thinned white paint with a fan brush over the whole thing. I did this to ” lighten the page” and correct a mis-step I made earlier .Even before I glued the flowers on, I was tempted to do a white wash over the whole background as I found it was too dark.  It’s amazing what a little splatter will do. Don’t have a splatter brush, you can use any brush or even a toothbrush. If you haven’t splattered, you may want to practice before you do it onto a page. The good part about this background  is it is all  done with acrylic paint ,  so if something goes terribly wrong , which it did, I could wipe it off with a baby wipe and start over.

So, the next time you are wondering what’s missing from your page, try one or more of the ideas presented above. Come back here and tell me how it went.

VISIT MY AMAZON STORE- find those items in this post

 I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories.

Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.




11 thoughts on “How to Finish Your Art Journal Page: It’s All About the Details”

  1. Thanks for sharing these, I’ll have to remember these tips! It’s been awhile since I did any art (pretty much since high school ended many many many years ago!) and I’m trying to get back in to making art on a regular basis again this year.


  2. Good luck in your plans for 2016. I love Vancouver Island and think that would be a great place to retire. I have family living in Campbell River, Courtney and Victoria as well. I lived in Courtney and Cumberland when I was very young. I like your ideas about finishing a journal page.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s