Black acrylic background and popping colors

Paint some pages in your Art Journal black and come over to the dark side with me!

Come over to the dark side... (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Gee, my black paint was starting to dry in the tube, it was about time I got around to using some black. But what to do with the page now, it’s so… dark… You dig through your stash of art materials and papers to see what would show up on such a black background.

Gelly roll Pens from Sakura (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
These are my favorite finds in my own stash of pens, plus that white lace tape, some glitter glue and shiny stickers stars that “pop” against all thtat black. Journaling on black is difficult without “the right kind” of pens. When I started doing black backgrounds after Michelle Ward’s prompt Come over to the Dark Side in Crusade #34 I didn’t think I would have any pens that would work on black, but after some digging I found out I had quite a few. Gelly roll pens from Sakura for journaling, white and metallic colors are great! I did a page that was kind of a test page for all the pens but also a celebration of Dia de los Muertos:

Art Journal: Dia de los Muertos 2009 (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Art Journal spread with black background: Dia de los Muertos 2009 by iHanna.

View some close ups below and read the details…

Detail: Teesha stamp (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Got a really cool stamp from my friend Marica. It’s a Teesha figure with a pointy hat, here stamped with gold colored acrylics so that it looks almost embossed (but this method doesn’t give the best print, it’s a bit smudgy). I also stamped quite a few flowers with my hand carved stamp from crusade #18 Cut it out. I chose to forget those stamps because I wasn’t really happy with my carving, but with acrylic paint they work well and I love how the the two different flowers look in gold on black! Mmm!

Detail: Writing on black (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Writing on black, trying out different pens on black acrylic paint. They just pop no matter what you write. The skull sticker is from a sticker sheet I bought because it had both skulls, flames and guitars. I’ve been using them a lot this autumn, they just feel appropriate in some way right now. Sometimes you’re drawn to certain imagery, right?

Detail: crayon cirkles on black (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
I love circles. These are made with my beloved Neocolor II crayons.

Detail: La Catrina (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
I found this well known and beautiful image La Catrina in the newspaper and glued into the Art Journal. This image is called La Calavera Catrina, it’s a zinc etching from 1913 by Mexican printmaker Jos? Guadalupe Posada. You might have seen this image before because it has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead in November. I was happy and quite surprised to find it in a Swedish newspaper!

Detail: O Death! (Copyright Hanna Andersson)
Sticker with an appropriate message for the page (it’s a quote from Virginia Woolf);
Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!

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24 Responses to Black acrylic background and popping colors

  1. Beautiful, Hanna! Great imagery mixing in with your black them!

  2. iHanna says:

    Thanks Julie, you’re sweet!

  3. pixielation says:

    The end result looks brilliant.

  4. makealife says:

    Love it, Im gonna try some pages with black backgrounds to. I love the inspiration your blog and work gives me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. iHanna says:

    Thanks for your comments – I’m so happy to inspire! Black is really cool, who’d a thought one could get so inspired by black backgrounds? But here in Sweden it’s so dark these days, it feels like a natural color to gravitate towards… though I need sunshine soon. Let me know if you post something with a black background here!

  6. Hanna – you have done black very proud! There are so many wonderful things going on here that I didn’t even notice it was a black background at first (and of course you showed us). Some terrific pen work on the black – the colors really pop. I’m happy to see you finding value in the *dark side* .
    {insert evil laugh}

  7. dawn says:

    Oh, these pages are beautiful!! I think I’m going to go do another black page ;)

  8. U2kitteh says:

    Oh, this is awesome! =c) Thank you for showing us a step-by-step of one of your creations..especially this one! I’m still very new at art journaling so it helps! You have been such an inspiration…I had never even heard of art journaling before I found your blog!
    I have to agree whole-heartedly that Sakura Jelly Roll pens ROCK! They are worth the extra money because they work on EVERYTHING and last and last. Looks like I definitely have to try some of those Neocolor crayons though…they just pop off the black background! So cool!

  9. TJ says:

    Hanna, even your skulls look like happy, ecstatic dead heads! I love that everything you make somehow radiates joy even when it begins with a dark coat of dried up black!!

  10. Genevieve says:

    You’re back!!!!

    I haven’t checked in for so long, which means I have a lot of back reading/looking to do. What a treat! I really love your blog, your ideas and you art. Thank you, Hanna. You are amazing.

    Now, where did I put that black paint…

  11. iHanna says:

    Glad you liked the pages – black is the new pink around here!

    TJ – aren’t all skulls happy? He-he!

    Genevieve – yes, I’m back! Go find your black paint and join in the fun of art journaling and iHanna inspiration! ;-) I haven’t been at it for very long, you’ll read back in no time. Glad to be back!

  12. I read this beautiful post yesterday evening (i worked in the morning then went to my evening class, full day) and i painted for 4 hours and made 5 journal pages. Inspiring post, I say. Thanks!

  13. Zom says:

    For black backgrounds, I recommend the black gesso. It is much easier to work over than black acrylic paint. You will love it!

    here are some of my journal pages on black;

  14. Marie says:

    Way cool! love it.

  15. Helena says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and I love the white lace tape in there!

  16. makealife says:

    If you check out my blog ive posted a photo of my black background art journal page, i made after being inspired by yours!!!!!:)

  17. Cath S says:

    Awesome. Love the Neocolors – can’t believe how well they pop. I have *so* got to try that. I know I have some stashed away somewhere…thanks for inspiring me to hunt them out.

  18. Stephanie says:

    The colors do pop…love the black pages and the dia de los muertos images!

  19. Aimeslee says:

    Hanna, you do that gellyroll writing so good on the paint. Love the look of your page! xoxo

  20. Chris says:

    wow! Sorry I’m late to this, Hanna, but these pages are GREAT! Love the colors and the non-colors (ha!)

  21. iHanna says:

    Thanks for your comments girls!

    Chris, non-colors are great, huh? Thanks for all your nice comments. I think the trip is a dream come true – I long for sunshine and adventure. And journaling about it!

  22. Karen says:

    Wow – the black background really makes your colours pop!
    Great pages!

  23. Nina says:

    COOL! im gonna use a black background ! :D

  24. Lea says:

    really inspiring! love it

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