How to create layers in your art journal

I was going to show you photos of the process of me making a journal page last week, but I got sidetracked… It’s common to do that, did you know? Get sidetracked and start doing something else, forgetting your intentions. That’s why we invented notebooks. Though I hadn’t written this in any of my notebooks, so how could I remember? Well, I found the photos when looking through my folders – the mind works in mysterious ways. Here we go!

First photo first:

While creating

My art journal right now is a altered book of my favorite type. This one is called Livets mirakel translated from The wonders of life on earth It has thick pages with lots of illustrations to either use or cover up! The size is 20 x 28,5 centimeters (8×11 inches). These pages doesn’t even need to be gessoed over, they take pretty much anything without becoming bulky or bubbly! I love that.

Starting out

After adding some orange paint I cut out random images from Nancy’s collage elements and try placing them out. I might not glue them exactly as I first did, but it will be something similar looking. Each week during this month artist and blog sista Nancy Baumiller has been posting Collage Elements to print out and use in a weekly Art Journal challenge! I love her choice of images and I have been having so much fun with this, really longing to at least to this page each week! I can not believe it’s already week 4 starting now!

After taking these two “starting of journaling” photos I got involved with the process and promptly forgot all about documenting the process with my camera, though you will find a step-by-step description below! But first the almost finished page with everything glued down and ready to meet some writing:

My kind of book
I don’t know for how long I worked on the right page, but the more I did the messier it got. I wasn’t very pleased with it since it has no space anywhere – just one gazillion patterns and images everywhere. But as the comments on the Crow about group says: there sure is a lot to look at here! :-) Can you see any resemblance between this and the orange page on the first photo above?

Maybe here:

See the horses?
The horses are illustrations in my altered book! I really wanted to keep them, so I did. The rest was kind of irreversibly lost…

I love layers! I just have to share this great quote here, it’s about layers and how they can be interpreted:

Artists working in layers today represent a world that they see as existing on many different levels: on that is constructed differently by individuals and diverse groups of people all at the same time. Layers can represent different levels of meaning in the world as well as in the piece of artwork. They show how one event can color the others around it, how one meaning changes as it intersects with others, how nothing is simple and nothing stays the same. They show the randomness that causes interesting things to happen when two layers generate a third set of images that no one could have predicted…
Gwen Diehn (page 41 in her book The Complete Decorated Journal)

Isn’t that something to consider? I don’t know about the truth in that statement but I love how Diehn investigates the meaning of layers in a splendid way.

Daily Creating

Another detail image. And the finished Crow About-page week 2:

Journal page 12 Aug 08

On this page these were my steps on the way to the finished page, listed below.

The road to a layered page

1) I started with an already illustrated page and painted over the parts I didn’t want (lots of orange). Then there was:
2) Placing out images and patterned papers where I thought they would fit.
3) Gluing down the center image, the flower pot, that is made out of different images and swirly doodles.
4) Adding patterned papers and images around the edges of the page and randomly all over the place.
5) Gluing down some ribbon, fabric and transparent tissue paper here and there. Also added stickers.
6) Painting and doodling some more.
7) Finally deciding that I didn’t want any more mess and then writing all over the place too with some different pens!

I think that art journaling is one of the wonders and miracles of my life. I’ve now been doing this for a couple of years and I have a whole pile of Art Journals to look through, each page full of my authentic self! It is revealed on these pages by color choices, style, words, layout and general messiness. They are very me and looking through them is like browsing my brain or a personal photo album of mine (even though I don’t use many personal photos on these pages). This is a constant transformation of my Art Journals – and of my view of me. I get influenced by many artists on the net but try not to copy others.

My all-time-top-list of visual journalers (no special order) consists off:
Traci Bunkers, Nancy Baumiller, Lynne Perrella, Teesha Moore and Sabrina Ward-Harrison! And oh so many more that I can’t count them all! Check out my link love page if you need more to look at right now!

This is my page from week 3:

crow about week3

What do you think?

I’m not saying I always work like I’ve described here, but sometimes I do. What does your process look like?

18 Responses

  1. WOW. You are the most amazing teacher. I love how you’ve written up this tutorial and the pictures…so vibrant they just JUMP off the page! Stunning! I’ll be linking to this today!

  2. Jag gillar verkligen dina art journals!
    Du verkar vara s? or?dd i ditt skapande, men det ?r v?l d?rf?r det blir s? himla bra!

  3. i love, love, love your artwork! and your website. and your photos. and your links. and, and, and…

    it’s so inspirational! i come and look and browse and click and get new ideas almost every day. i’ve been separated from my art supplies for almost a year while volunteering in england, but am going home in a few weeks and am going to pour all the art piled up inside onto page after page after page… i can’t wait!!

    i love lynne perella, too – have you read her book “Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks”? if not, you definitely should. but i have a feeling you already have..!

    anyway, sorry this is so long – have a beautiful day and keep up the wonderful work!! =)

  4. du ?r en m?starinna p? kollage! vilken energi du har, hela tiden! jag ?r helt m?ll?s, t?nk om jag hade ens en mm av din energi, vad mycket jag skulle skapa…
    alltid lika kul att se dina uppdateringar och jag ?r usel p? att l?mna kommentarer efter mig, ska f?rs?ka sk?rpa mig.

    ha det g?tt!

  5. Oh WOW! Amazing! Thanks for showing us how you did this.

    If you click on my name you’ll see a reversible circle skirt link I added to Christmas in July. I noticed you wanted to make skirts, so I thought of you when I seen it.

    GOD Bless You and Yours and Your Creative Life!!

  6. This is wonderful as a tutorial, thank you. I recently got into journals and drawing something every day, and your site never fails to inspire me to try harder. I adore what you did for week 3!

  7. Hanna, I wish I knew about this collage sheets before ! Maybe you talked about it and I missed it ? Anyway, it’s wonderful, I love your pages !
    Cecile, in foggy France

  8. Thanks for your comments gals!

    the group Crow About is onging and made by Nancy Baumiller. You can read more about the groupe here and send her an e-mail and ask to join, she will then send you an invitation to our flickr group where you can find new Collage Elements each week to download and print! Lots of variety and fun! I love it!

  9. Fantastisk ?r allt jag kan s?ga just nu. Man blir liksom n?stan m?ll?s n?r man kikar in o ser dina h?rliga ArtJournal-sidor.

    Du.. jag funderar om du vill ha tavlan personligen. Om vi helt enkelt skulle ta o ses o s? kan jag k?pa en bok av dig samtidigt. Vad s?gs?? Om inte.. s? skall jag skica iv?g tavlan i helgen.

    Kram Jenny

  10. Indeed a wonderful interpretation of collage and layers!! I love how you showed your process and then got lost in it..which is what is intended to happen!! Love that!! Loving what your doing with the images provided! Great work dear!! Thank you for the mention!! xoxo

  11. I absolutely love the vividly brilliant colours and patterns of the left hand page in your altered book. Amazing.

  12. Hi, I just started in art journaling and I loved your basic approach. Alot of the site use expensive mediums right at the start and it will take me some time to accumulate all that. I just want to get started! What glue do you use? When I tried to right in gel pens over my glued pics it would not show up? Can you point me to some basic techniques that got you started? Thanks so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment