Creating Physical Texture in Art Jouralling

My new book 101 Mixed Media Techniques have inspired to take different mixed media elements and explore them in my art journal.

As I read other artists books and watch videos, I’m beginning to approach my art journaling in a different way. It feels more organic and, rather than planning a page in my mind from start to finish, I’m having more fun with the materials and allowing them to show me a direction.


Jane Davenport, an artist I adore, talks about journals having a ‘connective tissue’ and when I heard this idea, it stayed with me. Not all my pages need to be finished as I start them and I am looking at my journal as a complete book, with each page following into another.With these ideas in mind, I decided to focus on building physical texture in a few pages and explore different materials.

First Page

In my first double page of my Dylusions journal, I used modelling paste on one side, swirling the end of a paintbrush into it as it dried. I then dripped PAV glue across both pages, which took a while to dry. I used my heat tool to speed the drying process up a little, and then used a wide brush to paint over the surfacing using my current favourite Dylusions paint pots.


I let this page sit for a few days as I was stuck with where to go next. I got out some oil pastels and using the black, started lightly sketching around the main shape where the modelling paste had dried. This began to look almost like a skull, so I just followed this idea and created a shadowy face. I painted around the dried glue and a kneeling figure appeared in a sort of cloak. This was quite a strange page for me to do, I struggled giving up my control over how things should appear. It is quite creepy too! So I decided to call this page The Nightmare.

Second Page

For the second double page, I started with Tim Holtz tissue paper and used a matte medium to glue it down. I then sprayed with water and Dylusions sprays, making it run across the page for an interesting effect. I used some different stencils and sprayed them with while and black sprays. As I’m interested in different flowers at the moment, I started sketching out some Gerberas (I love them!) in white pen and coloured them with my amazing Inktense pencils. As the paper was already quite heavy with paint, sprays and matte medium, when I added water, some of the colours started to run together.


I sketched out this beetle guy as well and just developed the page intuitively, dripping some acrylic liquid inks across the page and adding a new material, Ranger Texture Paste. I love this stuff, its really easy to use and adds interesting texture to the page. I used it with star and flower stencils. Lastly, I embossed some leaves onto the page using some copper embossing powder.

Endless Possibilities

I think the main thing I found doing these pages was not to be afraid to try something and it not work out the way you hope. Not everything you create is going to be amazing and that is OK. I also enjoyed pushing myself outside my comfort zone and exploring new techniques. I want to explore adding more texture in my work, by layering and combining materials. Texture gives depth and complexity to an image, making it tactile and vibrant. Below are some other pages I have been working on this week, indulging my love of flowers and trying ways of broadening my style.

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