Art Journaling with Jenny & Aaron Class 2

Hi guys, Yep, it's Thursday...very late Thursday...I'll spare you the details of our epic long crazy busy day., including computer issues : / 

Let's get right to the fun stuff!! Thanks for being here!

As with last week's class, we made a video slide show. Of course on it's own it only gives an idea of each step, so we included full detailed instructions for you to follow along. In the upper left corner of each photo in the slide show you'll see a title. In the instructions we've titled each step with those same titles so that you'll have an image to match each step. You can view the video once, or twice, or more...pause where you'd like, rewind, fast it here on the blog, full screen, or on youtube. 

(There is a delay on music editing...Youtube assures us it will be tip top in a bit)

 You probably noticed right away that the pages you see here are not from my Strathmore Visual Journal. I did this spread in one of my other books of preference...a moleskine. I have only a few blank pages left in this one and I really wanted to finish it off. The pages are thin in a moleskine so you might want to reinforce them in the same way you would a marble notebook. You can glue in some heavy weight paper like card stock or kraft paper, or even collage layers of regular weight paper and then gesso or paint the pages. In the case of my book, the backs of these pages are already filled up and adorned, so my pages are already sturdy. I just needed to prep them with a coat of gesso. 

prep pages. As always, I taped the seam with masking tape.

gesso pages. And then applied a coat of gesso.

light sanding. We received a couple of comments about certain brands of gesso being chalky or gritty, or the brush strokes are heavy. A good solution for this is to give your gessoed pages a light sanding with some fine grit sandpaper. (totally optional)

mix a wash of color. We watered down some pink paint.

paint! We brushed the page with the wash...and don't worry about being neat. This is just a base coat.

lighten w/ gesso. We wanted the center area of the page to be lighter than the edges, so after the pink wash was dry on the page we then watered down some gesso and brushed it over the area we wanted lighter. let dry

gather papers. Get an idea of colors, patterns, and generally just pick some stuff you'd like to see in this spread. Most times we barely have a clue as to where the spread will end up. 

draw shape. I often like to put my focal point image within an arch or an oval. In this case I wanted my cake in an arch. So I cut an arch out of some vintage baking book pages. It's great when the ephemera has a link to the imagery. Play around with shapes...find what makes you happy.

cut out. As you can see, there is no science to my drawing and's a decidedly primitive affair. Aaron raises an eyebrow quite often over my shoulder at how non precise I am.

adhere. Brush decoupage medium onto your page, lay down shape, press down and rub out wrinkles and bubbles. let dry.

lay papers. Make decisions as to where you want to put your selected papers. It's good to lay them down and move them, and move them, and move them...eventually you'll like what you see. 

adhere papers. Adhere papers using your usual decoupage method described above.

lay papers. I usually give my arch a base. In this case I just so happened to have the perfect paper for the job. This aqua chevron print from Heidi Swapp's Sugar Chic collection.

adhere. Adhere papers using your usual decoupage method described above.

paint shapes. I'll deliberately leave blank spots on my page knowing that I'll fill it in with some painted shapes...some doodles of paint. This scallop/cloud shape is a go-to for me. Again, it's about color and vibe...not precision painting.

seal & lighten. Make sure everything is dry. Apply a sealer coat with the medium of your choice. I used matte gel medium by Golden. Let totally dry. As we did last week, I watered down some gesso to make a wash which I then brushed over any "loud" quiet them down, or mute them.

dab gesso wash. Using a clean, dry paper towel I then dabbed the wash. Again, apply the wash and dab to your own desired effect.

add color outline. Outlining your shapes with paint is a great way to add color and well as drawing attention to your focal point. I hand painted the shape of the arch using a #10 round brush. For me, there's hand painting and then there's "art journal hand painting". In your Art Journal the rule is to loosen up and have fun. In the place of precision, instead go for bold fluid strokes.

more color! Have fun with it. Do what feels right. Again, since it's "Art Journal hand painting" I didn't worry about one color going right into the last color.

speckle & splatter.  To speckle you'll have to water down the paint in your palette the same way you did with the wash. We use a #6 round brush...load it with the watered down paint...hold the brush a few inches above your page...and just tap the metal end with your index finger. Do it to your desired effect. We love speckling for it's imperfection. It's messy and haphazard and perfect in it's own way.

distress edges. We love to "distress" the edges of our pages with paint. We use colors that contrast well. Darks against lights...lights against darks. This process is very imperfect. Just dip your thumb or finger in paint and rub the very edge of the page.

bottle cap rings. Again, we love the messy, imperfect look that bottle cap paint rings provide. Just apply paint to the rim of the cap and then press down on your page.

cut out stickers. We used our very own stickers from our Scrapbooking and Art Journaling sticker collection. We designed these ones specifically for projects like this...they're left black and white so you can color them yourself. Of course you can use actual photos in place of these...a photo of a real cake...a pic of your own adorable little face ; )...or a black and white drawing that you can cut and paste. 

color them. We used a small detail brush, round # 4, and using color washes we just simply filled in the images. You could always use color pencils, watercolor pencils, or your favorite markers.

stick them. Ours were stickers, but we actually didn't use them like stickers. We did not peel off the backing. We adhered them with decoupage medium because we wanted more thickness and opacity so that the background wouldn't show through. Similar to how we backed imagery with watercolor paper last week. After adhering with decoupage medium, wait about a minute for it to dry and then seal it.

water color pencil. Sometimes when I use pink paint I like to accent it with some red watercolor pencils. I just scribble willy nilly along the edges of the pink paint. 

add water. "Activate" your watercolor pencil with a brush dipped in water. 

dab. Much like with a color wash just dab with a paper towel until you get your desired effect. It's super easy and if you correctly sealed your pages earlier then this step can be very forgiving. Take away or add as much color as you'd like. 

draw a bubble. I like the idea of a wonky thought or dialogue bubble. I drew this in pencil on a piece of watercolor paper. You can also use card stock.

paint & speckle. I applied a coat of aqua and I didn't even worry about staying in the lines. When the aqua was dry I then used a speckling effect.

cut & adhere. Cut it out and adhere using decoupage medium. Wait about a minute for it to dry and then seal it.

washi tape time! Washi tape is a great way to add color and pattern wherever your layout is lacking.

add to seam. When working in a moleskine or any bound journal, I always add washi tape to the seam. It's just my personal preference. To me it just looks right.

more tape! Wherever you think you need a pop of color and pattern.

add a word! The word hooray happens to be made from vintage game tiles that I placed on my scanner and printed. Think outside the box! 

grab your sharpie pen. I've said it a million times...Sharpie pens are great for Art Journaling. Little bits of black are always welcome in my book and fine line details add another layer of texture.

sharpie pen time! Again, it's not about perfection. Doodling and outlining the shapes and dots around the page is a great way to add more interest and texture.

faux stitching. These are the little details that make your pages special. Use a sharpie pen to create faux stitching around shapes for a sewed on look.

tiny date tag. I think it's great to date pages. I never name a specific day...usually just month and year because I know I'll come back and mess around with a spread.

a cupcake sticker! I thought that this would be a fun pop. It's actually from a sticker and stationery collection that we designed and were sold at Michaels craft stores. I layered it on top of a paper punch and a gold foil sticker.

hand written bits. Write some words and phrases on card stock or water color paper, cut out, and adhere using your usual decoupage method.

journal spot. Now is when you add your "deep thoughts" to your thought or dialogue bubble...much like my love of french fries, chihuahuas, and coconut ice pops!

Hooray! Ok, this spread was busier and messier than last week's. And I thinks it's totally fitting that it's in MY journal.  

If you have any questions please leave a comment. We are so excited to see what you guys take away from this class. We'd love to see and hear about your art journaling, so please make sure to link your blog post back to this post so we can all visit and cheer each other on. Submit your link at the end of this post and please grab the below blog badge! We hope you enjoyed this week's class. We will be back next Thursday (much earlier in the day). Happy Art Journaling!
xo, Jenny &Aaron


  1. You are just amazing!! I absolutely loveeeeeeee your pages!!!!

  2. @Julie Tucker-Wolek ohhh gosh get outta here! : ) Toooo kind!! Thanks so much!! Happy you liked it!

    It was fun! Of course I could keep going and going...I feel like there is always something to add! I just so wish the video wasn't so contrast-y. I think something happens in exporting. It didn't look like that prior to Youtube. And youtube only let's you edit one thing at a time...I've been waiting an hour for my music to "fix" :/ When that is finished ..I'll attempt the photo quality.

    Thanks SO much for popping in!


  3. Cute pages, Jenny! As always!! I accidentally added my link for last weeks page on this week. Not sure how to fix that. Is it possible to delete this one? Or maybe I should just leave it? Thanks for this class Jenny! It is so fun!
    Michelle xoxo

  4. @Rose Garden Romantic Hi Michelle! Ohh Thank you!!! Gosh I tell you, it is sorta strange sitting down to do journal pages with the idea of showing them. I'm far from in love with my own stuff, half the time I think .."gosh..why'd I do that,?" I already see so many areas that "need something" haha! Aaron and I will be working on pages this week that are in need of just a tiny bit finish them. We'll be sharing that sort of thing next week! I was going to your post to both week's posts. :)

    So happy to have you!

  5. oh this is way cute! i love the idea of a "love list" i may have to include that in my pgs this wk =)
    i love your layering! soo inspiring!

  6. @Christina Thanks for the kind words! :)

    haha yes my "DEEP" thinking bubble!! haha!!

    Can't wait to see your pgs!! :)


  7. That's so amazing. Good job :)

    I'm your new follower from wonderful Wednesday link party.

  8. Hi Jenny! I just watched the video. So much more fun that just photos. I love the way your pages edges are so distressed and I have got to get myself some of those watercolor pencils! The faux stitching is a really cute idea and I like the idea of doing a "things I love" page! What kind of Sharpie is that you use exactly? It doesn't look like any I have seen before.
    Michelle xoxo

  9. So beautiful Jenny!! I love your eye for prettiness!! Thanks for another awesome class!! xo Heather

  10. I just watched for the first time your art journaling tutorial WOW!! Your talent is beyond amazing. Loovvveee your page.

  11. Oh gosh, how do you have so many cute papers? I love your patterned papers! Makes me want to head out to the store and pick up some more... =)

    Another amazing spread! ACK I just don't know how you do it. Definitely reminds me of some of the pieces I really love from your shop. And I like seeing the stickers from your shop in action!

    Thanks for your sweet comment about my page! This is so exciting... already thinking up a plot for my next journaling!

  12. What fun and full of life your pages are....thank you for sharing and the wonderful inspiration Jenny! Look forward to more♥

  13. I linked up my second class layout the night before your third class and just now am getting to comment...I am running so slow these past few days lol I loved watching the video for this lesson. I learn so much from them. I really love your pages for this lesson. The stitching really set off your word bubble. I must try it somewhere on my pages soon.
    xo Tori

  14. jenny & aaron, thanks for inspiring me to art journal again! :)


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