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Introduction to Art Journaling

Lesson 5 of 6

Art Journal Focal Points

Andrea Chebeleu

Introduction to Art Journaling

Andrea Chebeleu

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Lesson Info

5. Art Journal Focal Points


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Purpose of Art Journals Duration:02:35
2 Types of Art Journals Duration:02:41
3 Backgrounds 101 Duration:41:32
5 Art Journal Focal Points Duration:37:44
6 Art Journal Lettering Duration:12:17

Lesson Info

Art Journal Focal Points

We're going to start a new set of pages this time. We don't worry about just throwing the pages first, but you might want to go ahead and put your freezer paper behind yours pages, too, teo each side just so that you protect them and get rid of these letters for now. And if you took my other class, you have some handmade collage papers. That's a great thing to use in this, but that's not what we're going to start with. We're going to actually create a collage on our art journal page. We're going to start with a background of a book, paper and tissue paper, and so in your packets, I believe you have just worn out people ask me all the time, where do you get your where you source your books? I sometimes I feel really bad about tearing up a book, but not usually if they're bound for the right not really, yeah, kind of, but not really if they're bound for the landfill anyway, a lot of libraries won't take certain books the reader's digest condensed version books or one thing that they won'...

t take old encyclopedias another thing they won't take my daughter's school got rid of all their old dictionaries and replace them on my call was, which is this moment I have taxable dictionaries. You know schools will get rid of them that there is going to talk him out, so why not turn them into art? The other really inexpensive place to get them into the dollar store? The dollar store has a great selection of, um all kinds of books, even a hardback books and for a dollar really it's a great art supply, I actually have um some old books that air kind of obsolete I'll just tear pages out another great sources phone books I mean, who really uses the phone book anymore? Really? When was the last time you looked at the phone number in the phone book? Okay, but great art supply because they're just columns of numbers and names so you terror those up the great art supply so we're going to again, I like my background to be squares and wrote security envelopes thank you, barbara I like my background to be squares and rectangles. Most of the time I'll tear these things tear my strips, but I'm gonna start on the book page by cutting the margins off and then square ish rectangle ish it doesn't have to be exact I'm going toe all alternate the direction of the pattern of the words, so they're going to be upside down right side up any which way goes you don't have enough selection out there you can through music paper in anything just this is just a black and white layer or cream and white if it's old old paper was just a black and white layer you got your tissue also the tissue on the role you could throw some of that in there way trying to leave white space against no good question kate asked they were trying to leave white space you can go ahead and cover up every square and we're going to try to do this kind of quickly because all different sizes this is kind of a medium sized probably wouldn't go to small otherwise we're going to be here forever just covering the background it's some white space is perfectly fine you don't have to cover every square inch some white space is fine trying to find my, um bullet right here way are going them down now we talked earlier about blowing the tissue down we're going to use the same technique we want the gel medium to go on the back side of the paper, the surface of the art journal page and overtop all three places to get really good contact so that's a review for some of you we're going to use that little card a little cut a piece of the gift cards as our applicator tools and if yours is not clean anymore and there's paint on it, wipe it off with a art wipe or just cut another card so don't think too much about this just lay it down, you'll be amazed at how quickly it goes. Yeah, this family not medium. This is another way tio address the blank page, so our journaling oftentimes you just wonder like, how am I going to start? I could go through and dio backgrounds every day and never complete a page and be perfectly happy if I love the process of just layering glaring, glaring, so sometimes I'm not in the mood to complete, and sometimes I don't have a word that I want to put down or phrase or anything sort of, you know, finish piece in mind, I'm just making backgrounds and it's it's a great way to relieve stress for me just to kind of I would be thinking in the background, but in the background making backgrounds, but, um, just getting my hands painting and gluey and I find that very relaxing and not having tio have a finished product in mind as I'm starting this, I find it great to flip through my art journal and have lots of options when I'm coming to it and let's just say I want o do a really special page because I've got this great new song that I really am connecting to the lyrics, and I want to do an art journal page that maybe have this lyrics on it. If I have lots of choices when I open my art journal and I don't have to think about starting from scratch, that's great. So just working in stages on my art journal pages, I rarely sit down and do a page from beginning to end, but working in stages and having lots of backgrounds already started is is great because it makes it makes the process go so much quicker. Sometimes I'll have a little piece that I need to sit, and I don't have it here right now, but if I have a little piece that I need to fit in, I can put the gel medium on the back side. But just say I was trying to fit this in right here and then I just tear it in place, all right? So let's just say I was trying to get a little bit and I'll start with a long strip oh, add the medium and then tear it off. Bigger pieces obviously cover more space at one time you guys working across two pages at one time you are yet right. If you want to focus your attention more on one side than the other two, finish one side up, that would be great, then we can go on with just a one page spread this time. Sometimes the inks on your papers will bleed like this is old. This is actual vintage ledger paper. And the ink on here is bleeding up. That's just a nice. Well, serendipity. I added some color in here that I didn't plan on, but it's okay, I just roll with it, and I often get asked, can you layer the papers? I mean, can they overlap? Yes, of course they can. Everybody have what you need. How are you liking applying this, uh, gel medium with this starbucks. Sorry, the car gets great. Yeah, little sweetie, I even use the office that page as kind of a work space, because this gel medium is going to act as a resist the other mediums that go over top. So if I use this, if I'm working on one side of the page of the time, I'll just use this other page as my workspace. Smart again, trying not to think too much, but when you get to this spot, where you've got a couple of empty places is a great time to just take whatever size you have in your hand. Lay it down over top and then holding the car down and tearing along the car just kind of charity size because almost have one side covered, almost and we talked we talked earlier about washi tape the tissue is kind of like washi tape washi tape is a great thing to I didn't bring any for you today sorry, but washi tape is a great thing to include in your there was a little piece that was holding that roll of the tissue right if you save that the great thing about washing is that it's transparent when you put it down the bad thing is that sometimes it's not sticky enough and it'll peel off so I just secure with a little bit extra gel medium so you're actually gluing the tape down which she is kind of weird but it works ok? So I've got one half of that done it doesn't really have to be dry because remember what I said about the gel medium it's like clear paint so we're going to come over this with some pain and if you want to keep going onto the side onto the other side of the page you can we're going to use these fluid acrylics next blewett acrylics are meant to be blended together most high quality art supplies are not necessarily meant to be you straight out of the bottle as the color that they are in the bottle they're meant to be to blend together with other colors so we're going to take all that we know about mixing colors and we're gonna make some colors fluid acrylics are great because they're very most of the colors are very transparent many of the bottles are marked as faras how transparent they are yeah and this is no exception at the bottom and the back in the eighty bitty teeny tiniest letters it tells you if it's transparent are opaque and some of them say ten semi transparent and semi transparent all that means to you is that if I'm layering over top of stuff like this it's going to either cover up the text or it's not if it's transparent it's going to be like I'm looking through a clear a colored transparency if you will that's the word transparent um and so it's it's not going to cover it up if I want to make them more opaque I'm going to add something like uh titanium white which is totally opaque and it's going to make a tint of that color so I'm gonna put a little titanium white that one needs to be shaken up first but a little bit of the titanium white on my palate you have there is a full layer of the gel medium over top of this is that right? Okay, just just make sure even if you have to add a little bit more over top just to be sure because this next technique way just want to make sure that everything is sealed with a layer of that gel medium I always get asked gel medium at medium uh, what's the difference, matt media matt refers tio the finnish matt refers to the finish is that matt or is a glossy hey gel refers to the consistency? Is it thick, or is it thin? Gel is thick is one would think the word gel you know, think of hair gel about that consistency there's always fluid matt medium, which comes out very liquid it's fluid and then there's heavy jail medium, which is completely thick like you're going to tip it upside down and it's not going to come out. I am going to go ahead and get this dry so one quick layer of gel, medium overtop matt, medium over top and get it dry. Sometimes I will take my pages and drive him from the back side as well. It just helps them dry. It seems like getting a little bit of the heat on the back side of the page. These dryers air much hotter than a hair dryer, too. They look like a little hair dryer, but they're much hotter and when they're so hot, if they're really close to the acrylic mediums, that will actually bubble the acrylic medium so you can't get it to close unless you want that unintended texture, which then go right ahead. But we're going to try and avoid like the acrylic fumes in here with burning acrylics so we'll keep it away from the surface I was if I can fit my fist underneath it then it's it's a good distance but when you do that you notice but it's really hot you don't keep it there too long yeah do you want it fully dried fish dry issue okay we're going to start out with a wet brush I've got my palate set up with a few different colors again the I'm using the acrylics, the fluid acrylics and I'm going to dip my web brush and um to two of the different colors at the same time and I'm gonna blend them out on the surface and you know what? You don't like something you can always take it off but I'm okay with that into the wet acrylic I'm going to stamp my depressed some texture so you've got your bubble wrap you've got the grid sometimes I do prefer the colors just straight out of the bottle you can see that the pilot turquoise in this uh quinacrine oh magenta are mixing together because there's still some of that in my my brush it's mixing together to make a very purple, which is just fine the fluid of the little bottles and then try mixing some up with the white and you'll see how that really covers up the text and stuff in the background blocks it out a little bit more with the white there's a little bit of white, this titanium white mixed in with my color damp not not like that's. Okay, just take a paper towel or ah are wipe and blotted off. We're just throwing in some texture as we're going. I should pull something else out so that I'm not doing with the same texture, but the bubble wrap seems to work really well. We did handmade stamps in a different class. This would be a great use for your handmade stamps, not so much. You know what that's that's a whole thing about our journaling is that sometimes it happens the way it's supposed teo and sometimes it doesn't and that's ok that's a pretty color. Kate, I didn't remember that I had that one pull that one out too. This one is more opaque you could I don't know if that's transparent there you go again. I'm not really thinking I'm not overthinking what I'm putting where I'm putting it, I'm just going to cover some of the background with some color we're going to get a dry and we're gonna collage with some of our handmade collage papers right over top of this oh all the dentist just cringed don't use your teeth, they're not tools for opening the great thing about these fluid acrylics is a little bit goes a long way. If I was doing this on a canvas, the amount of paint that I have on my palate here right now would cover with a light wash would cover an entire sixteen by twenty canvas. I mean, the tiniest little bit these air super concentrated just imagine you know, those those drops that you put in your water to flavor your water. Think of it in that context a couple of drops flavors your entire bottle of water. Same thing with this. A couple of drops of this really concentrated fluid acrylic paint goes a long way. Do we have a? Yeah, right right now, there's a lot. We have the craft acrylic in our bottle right here. These are great for our journaling in that they leave you with a matte finish on the surface and most of them are opaque, which means they're going to cover up the background. Okay, they leave the surface of it is matt. It is a very matte finish almost to a chalky degree where it's kind of chalky, which makes it very easy to write over with almost any type of pen we have the fluid acrylics like we're using right here. These are have a glossy or finish to them, but they're very rich, highly concentrated color they dio have kind of a sheen actually I'm looking at this one it doesn't look like it has much of a sheen some political some brands of flute acrylics do you have quite a sheen to them we have the heavy body acrylics from from art alternatives the kind that come in the tube and so that's just a thicker consistency again he's have someone of a semi gloss finish to them and then we see this a acrylic inc is the lightest weight of all of them so they go in consistency in this order acrylic egg fluid acrylic out of the bottle on the tube this is the heaviest this's the lightest makes sense is the consistency of um okay I'm like not loving the way this is turning out so I think it'll be fine the next thing that we're going to do is we're going to pull our collage papers out that we made earlier so if you at home are watching this and you haven't made your own collage papers you could tune into my class handmade collage papers on creative live here and learn how to make your own collage papers you can also um by store bought collage papers you could use a scrap of papers for this you can use any variety of pattern paper but we're using handmade collage papers and what I'm doing is just randomly cutting into high papers to find bits that I like and what I'm going to do is create a collage I'm going to do a house on mine because it's a very simple design, so I'm going to build a design on this page of a house shape. This is my background now on I'm gonna build a house if it were this simple wouldn't that be great? I'm going to build a house out of paper, just bits and pieces I'm just cutting rectangles before before I go down, I'm just kind of piece like making sure that I have enough cut I don't want to cut too much because these papers I might use for something else but always cut some strips off. I've had people sit and cut and cut and cut and cut, and then they cut up all their papers and they really don't need all of them. So that's, why I kind of just start to cut start to place things down and if you are going to do a house like I'm going to do a house, let me tell you the easiest way to get a roof on a house going to take a security envelope out of here. Here it is so this is roughly the shape, but I mean it probably build it out a little bit bigger let's just do this let's just say my house is going to be roughly this size this is the rectangle or the base of the house and I need a roof okay, so I lay my paper over top and I fold the corners in where I want the edges two b c that that's how wide I want my roof to be and then I take the top and I peek the roof somewhere in the middle now when I flip it over I can see those lines that I can cut along it doesn't have to be perfect in new whimsical is good too okay, so composition wise I'm ok I still need a little more color over here maybe my house look over here I actually love watching shows like this because as you're watching it you have no idea where I have no idea what it's going to end up like right even as a teacher I'm just telling you that right now I have no idea where this is going to end up but what's really cool is to watch the process of it and then in the end you get to see like the finished piece and oh, she changed her mind that didn't go there that went there but that's really what it's like in in this whole art journaling world is you don't have to have the end in sight when you start we're just playing we're playing with paints were playing with papers were playing with layers um that's just I think it's great it's much fun no stress and the beauty of this I really don't like it just layer just later something else over top of it there's always just so there's always more layers of paint they were my paint isn't dry it's adding lovely little layers of paint smudging over top it just saves me the work later of having to come back and way to d'oh yeah yeah the only free thought that I did is I cut a few strips of paper so that once I get going I've got enough but I didn't really spend the time to lay it out I kind of do that as I'm going I wish I could count our journal pages towards my thousand house project but they're ruling while the rule I made for myself is that they needed to be standalone pieces of art because eventually when I get done with my challenge for myself I want to have an auction an auction them off for habitat for humanity and but the whole project of doing a thousand houses was I really felt like I I love other artistswork and I emulate that's that's what you learn right you emulate other artists work so I felt like I was copying everybody else's style and I really didn't know what my style wass what did I love and so I thought you know I need to start a big project for myself and a thousand seemed like a huge number um one hundred just wasn't enough and five hundred that was just weird, just odd. So a thousand houses so I'm working towards creating a thousand houses originally started a thousand pieces of art with the house on each one and then I thought, yeah, I don't even have that much studio space toe have a thousand pieces of art, my wall. So now it's a thousand houses, a thousand houses and I really through the process have developed like, what are my favorite techniques? What is my go to what do I I love doing what really lights me up and it's been a really fun process? I'm kind of I'm not tired of the house shape. Honestly, I was going to say I'm kind of tired of, but I'm really not um and it's nice to have that limitation of saying all for it to count towards the thousand it has to be house shape now I'm not so worried about what this looks like in this phase because I can always come back and layer mohr overtop to break it up, add more interest in there, so even if it looks all the same, I'm just getting it down, ok, so I've got the house I've got the roof now want to add some more interesting little elements and if I don't like my background it's ok, I can do something else a matter of fact, I think I will senator you're absolutely right great point sarah center papers are great for this because they go down really easy with the jail medium now when you're when you're talking about sticking down heavier papers that's where your heavier jail medium would work great, you want to match the watercolor paper that would hold down this is this is pretty ok for that? Do we have anything heavier on the I don't think so this is the heaviest that we have a great thing to do is just make sure that there's enough of it on the background on the back of the paper and where it goes sometimes I'll even spritz the paper with a little bit of water if it will receive it so that it it it becomes pliable piece that you're going to stick down, I'll spritz it with a little bit of water and that way it goes down yeah, it just softens it up a little bit, you can see how it just right it just settled it down um spreads it with a little bit of water and you should be fine now this is kind of funny I'm painting over what I did before because I can if you don't like something, just paint over it so I started out with all those colors in the background and now I'm gonna come right back over it hand painted out you know I saw on that on a chat board somewhere I don't know somewhere on the internet somewhere somebody said I don't understand why you do all this layering work you you like layer layer and then cover it up and then you layer and layer and layer and then you cover it up I don't get it and really if you don't get it that's ok but the whole idea is just the process of larry so yes I layer this all with some text paper and now I may not see it now but I know it's there it's okay parts of that may show I had fun doing it that's really what matters it does and you know what if all I can see is the texture of the paper as it's layered over top of each other it's kind of patchwork there behind let's go too yes sometimes and that's why we take pictures in the process right once I got that background done with all of the text over laughed that's a great pick I didn't take it but that's a great picture tohave because that's a great first layer you couldjust collage that down on the surface and then build on top of that anything you want to build so I put some acrylic paint you guys do them I put some acrylic paint all over what I have here. It's almost dry. I want to show you because there's layer of paint behind it if I take a little bit of water and I flick it and this is just a little bit on my fingertips, I flick it and then we wait and then we wait and we try to be patient not my strong suit. Try to be patient. What? That's doing it? You can see it changing the surface of the pain. The pain was not quite dry, but it wasn't super wet. I could even take the dryer. This is going to add some insurance. I'm going to take the dryer and dry the paint around these little water flex. This helps me be patient because I'm drying. I'm not just sitting here watching and I'm actually doing something to dry it then I'm gonna take the paper towel and I'm gonna blot and I'm gonna blot and then there's some interesting stuff going on in the background. Can you see that? A little speckles that's for interesting may not stay that way but it's interesting for now, I've got these little pink and the green and things showing through from behind just little bits here and there to do like this house, I might want to add a door to match the roof security envelope. So the greatest we talked about it in handmade collage papers. My husband now saves me the security envelopes. When he opens the bills so cute, he even cut he's like, oh, look at this pattern. Have you ever seen this one before? This one's really cool, very fun. Yeah, the great thing about these gift cards is when they get all goopy, just toss them. They save the spent ones for me, you, like, befriend your favorite barista, um, when they're spent, rather than putting him in a landfill, at least in my local place, they love anything that's recycled, so they just give me bags of them, and we use them for tools. And then, when they're goopy, we throwem away.

Class Description

Art journaling is a fun, no-pressure way to incorporate creative expression into your daily life. Learn more about this enriching, expressive craft in Introduction to Art Journaling with Andrea Chebeleu.

In this class, Andrea will help you get started with:

  • Building a background and layering design elements
  • The basic theories of composition
  • Adding focal points with images and letters

Art journals are a great place to experiment and play without the pressure of completing a final “masterpiece” – when you art journal you don’t have to worry about the end result or wasting a lot of materials. Don’t like what you see? Just turn the page and start again! Start your own art journaling journey with Andrea Chebeleu in Introduction to Art Journaling.


Elizabeth Evans

Thank you Andrea Chebeleu for helping us find our own clouds in the creative process. I appreciate how you encourage us to use what we already have to listen to our imagination. Your signature in the art you created today "Be" reminded me to be in the moment and make the creative process a process not an end result. The bonus was meeting you! Have a good week.

a Creativelive Student

I didn't find this class worth the price. There are a lot better art journaling videos for free on YouTube. The instructor seems nice, but some of her comments make me feel that she's not as knowledgeable as other artists when it comes to art journaling. I would list others artists, but not sure if CreativeLive would approve. Really! If this is the first time you've heard of art journaling and you can afford to waste $25, take this course. If you know about art journaling and is a starving artist/student, look up art journaling on YouTube.