Saturday, December 14, 2019

Galahs Christmas Party

Happiness is a gathering of Aussie Galahs having a Christmas party, wearing dress-ups made from the Tim Holtz Merry Misfits Stamp Set. Under their playground of Idea-Ology embellishments and trimmings is a holly forest grown with layers of plaster, paint and collage paper.

Australian Galahs Christmas Party 2019 mixed media art by Jenny James
This fun Christmas artwork was created over a few days as ink needed to dry and the galahs couldn't decide where they wanted to perch, or even who was going to dress up as Santa and Rudolph. Finally they decided but I still made their masks and hats repositionable, so everyone can take a turn!

Australian Galahs Christmas Party 2019 with seed lights - mixed media art by Jenny James
I love the Idea-Ology Date Dials from Tim Holtz. They make such a wonderful compact perpetual calendar when matched with a brad, backing image and a pair of tiny Idea-Ology Clock Hands. My new calendar is now hanging from a clip at the top of the artwork with a couple of Idea-Ology Christmas charms so it can be opened easily without falling off the page. Plus, it's not on the page permanently, so it can be reused for other special events throughout the year. So they're beautiful and practical :)

To finish off this Christmas display, I looped in a string of seed fairy lights along the tinsel and held it in place with Tim's little bulldog clips, also called Idea-Ology Hinge Clips.

List of Treasures Used...

- Mixed Media Heavyweight Paper, 9"x12" (for the background)
- Strathmore Watercolour Paper, smooth hot press (for stamping)
- Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Tissue Fringe (all Tim's trimmings are here)
- Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stain, Tarnished Brass (all Tim's spray inks are here)
- Distress Sprayer Bottle (all Tim's tools are here)
- Tim Holtz Splatter Brush
- Tim Holtz Ink Blending Tool and Replacement Foams
- Tim Holtz Plastic Spatula (palette knife)
- Heat tool
- Brusho Sprinkle-It, Gold, Iridescent Gold (click here for all Brusho)
- Brusho Crystal Colours (powdered watercolour paint in Leaf Green, Ultramarine Blue)
Tim Holtz Layering Stencils  (Thatched, String, Pines)
- Finnabair Art Basics Plaster Paste (all mixed media mediums are here)
- White Gesso
- Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley Ink Spray (Blue Lagoon, Island Parrot)
- Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Collage Paper (Holly)
- Ranger Archival Ink Pad (Black Soot, London Blue, Vibrant Turquoise)
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink Mini Inkpad, Walnut Stain (all Distress Ink Pads)
- Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks (watercolour paints)
- Gel Matte Multi Medium (Tim Holtz Collage Medium, Ranger's, Dina Wakley's or Finnabair, something that dries matte (not shiny so overflow is hidden), acid free, non-yellowing and has a strong hold)
- Ranger 3D Clear Foam Tape (all adhesive tape is here)
- Tim Holtz Waterbrush (Aquabrush)
- Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pick
- Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Knife
- Tim Holtz Stamps (Bird Crazy, Merry Misfits, Psychedelic Grunge)
- Darkroom Door Background Stamps (Knitting, Plaid)
- Acrylic Stamping Block
- Tim Holtz 5" Mini Snips, left and right handed (all scissors are here)
- Sizzix Tim Holtz Framelits Bird Crazy (all die cutting designs are here)
- Tim Holtz Thinlits, Village Christmastime
- Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Printed Paper (Christmas Stash 8"x8")
- Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Embellishments (Date Dials, Brad Fasteners, Journal Cards, Pocket Watch, Clock Hands, Resin Reindeer, Metal Snowflakes, Halloween Tokens (owls), Baubles, Quote Chips (Christmas, red edition), Metal Typed Tokens, Gold Micro Tinsel Ribbon, Christmas Adornments and Charms)
- Tim Holtz Distress Dry Glitter (all glitters are here)
- Winsor & Newton Iridescent Medium
... if you can't find something, sing out anytime!

All arty treasures are available in the 'Art by Jenny' online shop

How the Party Started...

Making Golden Tinsel out of Paper Fringe

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Trimmings and Brusho SprinkleIT - mixed media art by Jenny James
Starting with the Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Fringe (orange and black paper tissue fringing) and Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stain in Tarnished Brass, I made some mini tinsel. I also sprinked on the Brusho SprinkleIT Gold watercolour powder while the ink was still wet. Then to see how it looked, I added the Brusho SprinkleIT Iridescent Gold. Such a pretty sparkly shimmery dust.

The paper fringing took on the colours and water really well and although I used a fair amount, the paper didn't deteriorate much at all. Thank goodness! I had a backup plan of using real mini tinsel (aka shopbought) but I'm so pleased it worked well.

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Trimmings Paper Fringe - mixed media art by Jenny James
The above photo shows the fringing fluffed up next to the distressed and stained version. To make it fluffy, simply scrunch it up gently and roll it around in your hands. This ready to use fringing is much easier (and faster) than cutting lengths of fringe by hand!

Creating the Background...

I started with a sheet of Mixed Media Heavyweight Paper. To build up the layers so there was plenty of texture and depth to the forest background, I used Finnabair's Plaster Paste with Tim Holtz Layering Stencils.

Apply the Finnabair Plaster Paste through the stencils using a wide, flat spatula (Tim Holtz black spatula from the set is perfect for this). You could also use an old plastic card or silicon tool but the spatula has a smaller work surface that enables you to apply plaster only where you need it.

 Finnabair Prima Marketing Plaster Paste with Tim Holtz Stencils - mixed media art by Jenny James
The Tim Holtz Layering Stencil "Thatched" and "String" were used on the corner areas, "Pines" was used to grow a forest then lastly, "Code" was used to fill in any gaps.
The plaster was dried using the heat tool when extending the pattern of the forest so the trees didn't get flattened when adding more.
I recommend you apply a coat of gesso (clear or white) at this point, something I didn't do. It will help stop the ink in the next steps from soaking into the plaster.

Different kinds of texture pastes, embossing pastes and other dimensional mediums react in all kinds of ways to inks and paints. Experiment and watch what happens! Remember, its art - therefore you can't make a mistake or break anything. Simply enjoy :)

Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley Ink Spray with Tim Holtz Stencils - mixed media art by Jenny James
The next step was to add some colour. Place the background in a spraybooth or box (it saves your work surface) and spray the top area with Dylusions Ink Spray Blue Lagoon leaving most of the paper white. Spray with water to encourage the ink to move down the surface.

Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley Ink Spray with Tim Holtz Stencils - mixed media art by Jenny James
Turn the paper upside down and spray across the top with Dylusions Ink Spray Island Parrot (gorgeous vibrant green). This encourages the green and blue to mix and blend however it wants, sometimes giving you lines of drips, other times blending so much they're undefined areas of colour. Either way, it'll be beautiful.

The above photo was taken when the ink was still wet. When it dried, the ink faded into this gorgeous vibrant ocean colour with lime green patches.

Brusho Crystal Colour by ColourCraft on green and blue background - mixed media art by Jenny James
I loved the colour of the background but it needed to be darker as it was a forest, not the seaside!
I decided to use Brusho Crystal Colour watercolour powders in Leaf Green and Ultramarine Blue sprinked over selected areas (in other words, just about everywhere in the end).

Brusho Crystal Colour by ColourCraft wet after adding water - mixed media art by Jenny James
Mist water over the whole surface. Not too much but not too little... the paint needs water to release the colour but too much will make the surface boggy.
This is something that needs experimenting with too, as the results will differ with different paper, quantity of paint, amounts of water and drying time. But its fun to play :)

Using a heat tool again, I removed most of the moisture from the surface and then put it aside to dry properly.
Due to how much ink, paint and water I used, it needed to be left until the next day.

Brusho Crystal Colour by ColourCraft dried watercolour abstract - mixed media art by Jenny James
Once dry, I used a Ranger ink blending tool (with the round foams) to apply dark brown ink around the outside edge of the surface and over parts of the raised areas. Then I stamped the halftone background stamp in brown as well but it disappeared while it dried, merged with the other colours and plaster paste. Didn't matter, I knew it was there!

Loving the dark greens! To darken parts of it even more, I changed to Ranger's Archival ink pads (Dylusions' London Blue and Vibrant Turquoise) and blended ink directly to the raised areas using the actual inkpad. Normally I'd use the ink blending tool. The colours stayed visible this time.

Once this initial set of layers was dry, it was time to add dimension with tinsel, embellishments and the cast of crazy galahs.

Paper Fringe Tinsel on the dark green textured background  - mixed media art by Jenny James
The tinsel, now fully dry, was laid onto the background and glued in place using a gel matte medium. A length of Idea-ology mini gold tinsel was intertwined around the paper tinsel and also glued down with gel matte medium. I then sparingly dry brushed Winsor & Newton Iridescent Medium over the paper tinsel to enhance the gold even more.

Tim Holtz Ideaology collage paper and tinsel with a sleigh - mixed media art by Jenny James
Santa's Sleigh ... This was made from a sheet of tartan or plaid printed paper with the Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits "Village Christmastime" sleigh and reindeer template. After cutting out with the Big Shot Plus die cutting machine, the edges were inked with dark brown ink.

To create a shimmery spatter of starry spots over the background, mix a 10 cent piece size of white gesso with equal parts W&N Iridescent Medium and a splash of water. Use a splatter brush or your fingers to flick the paint mixture over the background.

To break up all the dark green, glue down torn pieces of holly, music and words from Tim's Idea-ology Collage Paper "Holly". The sleigh was glued down over the holly, angled to appear to be flying over the scene.

Making the Characters and Party Outfits...

Every party needs guests, dress ups and masks. The galahs, reindeer and dress-ups were created using the Tim Holtz Stamp Sets, Bird Crazy and Merry Misfits.

Tim Holtz Rubber Stamp Sets Bird Crazy and Merry Misfits - mixed media art by Jenny James
Each rubber stamp was mounted onto a clear acrylic stamping block and the image printed multiple times onto Strathmore's Watercolour Paper with Ranger's Archival Ink (black). I always stamp out more than I need, then I've spares to use another day!

Tim Holtz Rubber Stamp from Merry Misfits with Darkroom Door Knitting Stamps - mixed media art by Jenny James
The reindeer masks had some texture added using the spotty halftone design from Tim's Stamp Set, Psychedelic Grunge and two Darkroom Door background stamps, Knitting and Plaid.
Using Walnut Stain (dark brown) Distress Ink Mini Inkpad, ink up just part of the stamp (see the dark area on the rubber stamp above), just enough to cover one reindeer head. Press to print onto the reindeer's face.

Tim Holtz characters Bird Crazy and Merry Misfits - mixed media art by Jenny James
Cut out all all the birds using the matching Tim Holtz Framelits die cutting templates with a die cutting machine (like a Sizzix Sidekick, Big Shot or a Cuttlebug) or fussy cut around each shape using Tim's Mini Snips (fine sharp scissors). Use the same scissors to trim around all the reindeer heads, one reindeer, the snowman's hat and Santa's head.
Use the ink blending tool that still has Walnut Stain on the foam to ink around the edges of all characters and masks. This hides the white paper core, making them blend better with the background.

Tim Holtz characters Bird Crazy and Merry Misfits coloured with Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks - mixed media art by Jenny James
All stamped images were coloured using Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks with waterbrushes. You can use anything to colour stamped images ... pencils, watercolours, Distress Inks, markers, crayons and pastels. Its best to use a translucent ink or paint so the details still show through when you paint over them. A gouache or acrylic paint will cover everything as they're a solid, more opaque medium.

Tim Holtz characters Bird Crazy and Merry Misfits coloured with Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks - mixed media art by Jenny James
To colour with watersoluble crayons or art sticks ... Make sure the tip of the waterbrush is wet and brush the end of a fuschia pink Scribble Stick to collect the paint. Blend the pink onto the craft mat or paint palette to create a small puddle of paint which is used to paint the birds. As you can see, I created 3 puddles of paint - pink, grey and yellow. The peachy colour was used under their beaks.
Rudolph's red nose, the snowman's top hat and Santa's hat were coloured with Candy Apple (bright red) Distress Watercolour Marker then layered with a glitter pen.

Idea-Ology Embellishements...

Giving the guys something to play with is important for any Christmas party! Tinsel needs baubles, shiny ornaments and a calendar to count down the days to the big event.
What do you do if you can't decide which metal Idea-Ology adornments and charms to use? Colour them all... and decide later.

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology embellishments and findings being altered with silver ink - mixed media art by Jenny James
I've used all my favourites : snowflakes, mirrored stars, owls from the halloween pack, the bird from another pack, typed tokens, word banners (which I didn't use in the end), pocket watches, brad fasteners, date dials and clock hands.

The Ranger Alcohol Ink Mixative (silver) was used to colour most of the adornments, using a piece of felt, packaging from the pocket watches and a pair of tweezers. I used the felt as a brush and painted the pieces silver, using the other end of the felt to polish off excess ink after they were dry.
Alcohol Ink doesn't take long to dry so its a fiddly but quite fast process.

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology charms being altered with dry glitter - mixed media art by Jenny James
I felt the snowflakes and baubles need a splash of shimmery glitter, so they were thinly coated in Ranger's Gel Matte Medium (use a brush or fingers, whatever works for you) and dipped into the jar of Tim's Distress Dry Glitter.

Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Date Dials and Pocket Watches - mixed media art by Jenny James
The sizes of the Idea-Ology pocket watches and date dials match each other perfectly. I put together two pocket watches with the date dials inside but only ended up hanging the larger one on the artwork with the birds.

How to use Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Date Dials and Pocket Watches - mixed media art by Jenny James
To make the perpetual calendar using the large pocket watch, cut around the larger template from the packaging to use as a guide for the paper backing circles. I used a Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Journal Card and added extra layers for underneath using packaging.

To find the centre of the circle, fold the template into quarter (half, then half again). With this triangular shape, line up the curved edge onto your circle and using the retractable craft pick, carefully poke a hole in the centre of the backing paper.

How to use Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Date Dials and Pocket Watches - mixed media art by Jenny James
Piece together the clock hands, spacer (2.5mm sequins are perfect) and a brad fastener (split pin). Place the larger date dial onto the paper circle and poke the brad into the paper circle so the hands are above the date dial.

How to use Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Date Dials and Pocket Watches - mixed media art by Jenny James
On the back of the group, push back the pins and adhere tape to hold them in place on the backing piece of the pocket watch.

How to use Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Date Dials and Pocket Watches - mixed media art by Jenny James
Just before you put the front cover piece onto the pocket watch, turn the hands to point wherever you wish. At first I used the little hand as the day and the big hand for the month, but changed it to the other way round.

While the perpetual calendar doesn't move by itself, its easy to lift off the pocket watch front piece to change the hands.
I made the smaller pocket watch in the same way, except instead of clock hands I used an old dreamcatcher earring.

placement of the Australian Galahs and their friends - mixed media art by Jenny James
One of the tiny metal feathers from the earrings was given to one of the crazy birds (top right) so he could have a magical wand too, just like his feathered friend (far left) who was given a starry wand.

Finished Artwork of the Australian Galahs and their friends having a fancy dress party - mixed media art by Jenny James
Place all the characters, mirror stars, baubles, decorations and date dials according to how they make you smile.

Glue everyone and everything down (except the date dial unless you wish it to be permanent too) using a gel matte medium and add more glitter to the two wands (feather and star) as well as Santa's hat band.

Finished Artwork of the Australian Galah dressed as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for Christmas - mixed media art by Jenny James
I changed my mind about all the reindeer masks and only used the antlers! One was left whole for a Rudolf mask which has silver sewing thread tied to it (just like a real one) so everyone can take it in turns to wear it. The Santa mask and snowan's top hat are loose too. Don't forget to draw on eyes so they can see!

Here are a few closeups...

Finished Artwork of the Australian Galahs having fun this Christmas - mixed media art by Jenny James
Finished artwork closeup photo ... Aussie Galahs dressed as a fairy and Santa Claus.
Finished Artwork of the Australian Galahs having fun this Christmas - mixed media art by Jenny James
Tim Holtz Date Dial inside a Pocket Watch next to a Merry Misfit Reindeer and Bird Crazy Aussie Galah.
Finished Artwork of the Australian Galahs having fun this Christmas - mixed media art by Jenny James
Aussie Galahs playing dress-ups wearing reindeer antlers and a snowman's top hat.
Also showing the glitter encrusted Idea-Ology baubles and snowflakes with an owl ornament.

Thanks so much for reading and checking out my mixed media artwork for Christmas 2019. I hope it makes you smile and encourages you to have a go. I'm here if you need help anytime :) Have fun!

Have a wonderful, happy creative day!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Galaxy Song Art Journal Page

An art journal page for Amanda as part of our swap with the Australian Art Journal Swap group. The theme was Galaxy and adding a song about the galaxy over a beautiful image of the universe sounded simple enough... it was an adventure in itself - but still entirely enjoyable, both times!

My first attempt ended in disaster after smooshing gesso through a stencil and stuffing it all up - if I had sealed the background with fixative or gel medium first, it would have been fine. I thought the background was so pretty before I did that. Lesson learnt, use a foam blending tool not a spatula with gesso when using stencils...! Or use paint like I'd normally do...

a galaxy background made using watercolour paints by Jenny James
The above photo of my first background was made using only watercolours. It started off as a wash using blue, then add some purple. Then reverted back to my fave techniques of putting paint to the craft mat, spritzing with water, placing paper onto the ink and lifting upwards trying not to slide. I applied blue, purple and black each separately, drying inbetween using the hot air tool. Then I splattered all that black everywhere and sprayed the edges with water... then waited for it to dry again.

I made such an incredible mess on my mat, on my hands, over the paper! It was so awesome :D

I had this idea that the galaxies and stars would spiral diagonally across the page from bottom left to top right, with some of the Galaxy Song words weaving in and out of the stars. This isn't what happened. Not everything inside the head or scribbled on paper actually works out! I believe the process of creativity, whether it works out or not is what is beneficial to our hearts and minds. The end product looking amazing is a bonus :)

The next attempt doesn't quite have the same flying meteorites look about it but turned out fine and the colours look beautiful. It was created on the back of the first sheet of paper so Amanda has both versions!

a galaxy background made using Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains by Jenny James
Starting on a messy page was alot easier as I spent less time thinking of each step and more time spraying beautiful colourful inks... Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains came to the rescue!

Everything I've used is available from the shop, :) In case you were wondering!

I sprayed the whole page with water, leaving it dryish in the centre (the water and ink blended towards the middle anyway which was fine, just trying to keep it lighter).
Started with Peacock Feathers (blue), then some Candied Apple (red) and splash of Dusty Concord (purple). Then around the outside, some Ground Espresso (dark brown).
I then placed another sheet of paper over the top, lifted off again then. Before it was dry (I had plenty of time as it was so soggy! lol), I sprinkled a sparkly white embossing powder, imagining that it could be visualised as distant stars.

closeup of a galaxy background made using Tim Holtz Distress Spray Stains by Jenny James
It took a few minutes to dry with the help of the heat tool... mostly drying from underneath so as to not blow away all the powder. This pic is me waiting for the ink to dry showing close up of the embossing powder looking like star dust.

a galaxy background made using Distress Spray Stains and Embossing Powders by Jenny James
Once mostly dry, I used gel matte medium blended through Tim Holtz Layering Stencil "Falling Stars" to recreate the Milky Way. I made a bit of a mess but put blinkers on and kept going. I think next time I'd use a white paint or ink instead of a clear gel so I could see where the stars appeared!

Anyway, more embossing powder was scattered over the whole page and tapped off. I heated the page from underneath as well as on top as before. You can see I should have waited a bit longer for the ink to be more dry ... I've created a few huge clusters of stars, but they're so far away that they look squashed!

Check out the beautiful colours that are created from layering the inks. Sometimes they don't appear til they're dried completely.

adding the lyrics for Galaxy Song on the galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
I've featured a song from Monty Python's Meaning of Life... its been flying around in my head since the swap began... The Galaxy Song. Its right at the end of the movie :)
The lyrics were borrowed from the internet, restyled and printed, then sliced into strips.

The first and last paragraph I left straight, but the rest was glued down as if following the Milky Way across the page. I used Dylusions Glue Stick and scissors to stick one or two words at a time, weaving and waving as it went.

adding the title for Galaxy Song on the galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
Once all the words were stuck down, I used a white gel pen to add a shooting star, few spiral galaxies,  filled in some stars and add the title in groovy starry lettering.

adding the title for Galaxy Song on the galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
Then decided that I should emboss the lettering as well... so dragged out my embossing pen and wrote over the lettering, added the powder and heated it. Also added a slight shadow with a black fine felt tipped pen.
Then I simply had to draw in vintage fridge... at the beginning of the song, Eric climbs out of a fridge to sing the song to Mrs Brown. Totally looks like a real one hey? lol :)

closeup of the lyrics for Galaxy Song on the galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
Being a song all about time and speeding lights, I drew a pocket watch flying across the page...

closeup of the Earth for Galaxy Song on the galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
And added a tiny little mini Earth on the bottom right hand corner...

overview of the finished galaxy mixed media artwork by Jenny James
All finished. It was also going to have a tape measure but I don't know how to fit it in without covering the words. Must be the fastest page I've made but I like it and enjoyed making it. I hope you like it too!

On the right hand side are the legals :) I've embedded the video from Monty Python below, so you can all have this fun song dancing around inside your heads too! lol :) Enjoy! I love it, one of my fave songs, along with the Butterfly Ball by Roger Glover, Rainbow Connection by Kermit the Frog and Movin' Right Along by Kermit and Fozzie (The Muppet Movie).

As always, sing out if you want to have a go and need help or have questions, ask me anytime (via Facebook or Art by Jenny Shop). Kits are available, although for this one, all you really need are watercolours, spray inks, white embossing powder and splash of glitter glue. Plus the song lyrics if you want to add those :)

Happy Creative Day!

Galaxy Song by Monty Python ... Songwriters John Du Prez / Eric Idle. Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

An Urban Tapestry

This art journal page was created inside a friend's book as part of a swap for the Australian Art Journal Swap group using the theme, Nature. 

finished and cropped to a square, the artwork by Jenny James
I've created my art journal page using a sheet of beautiful rice paper from Stamperia featuring two hands inspired by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam. Together with Tim Holtz rubber stamps and Idea-Ology Collage Paper, I've grown a wild urban tapestry filled with tiny creatures.

- all arty treasures used are available at the 'Art by Jenny' online shop -

How to create layers with tissue...

using Ranger gel matte multi medium to glue down Stamperia Printed Rice Paper
Working inside the small Dylusions Mixed Media Journal, I trimmed the Stamperia Rice Paper Sheet to size and glued it down with a gel matte medium using my trusty flat wide paintbrush.

overview of gesso white wash over the Stamperia rice paper print
Once the gel medium was dry, I mixed a small puddle of watered down white gesso to use as a wash over the background areas of the rice paper to calm down the contrast of the printed words.

Tim Holtz Stamps called Urban Tapestry printed onto tissue paper using Archival Ink

For this page, I thought I'd have a play with Tim Holtz's White Collage Tissue Paper using Ranger's black Archival Ink and a few favourite stamps. The idea was that the paper would disappear into the background and leave the printed image behind.

The birds, quote and grunge spatters are all from the Tim Holtz Stamp Set "Urban Tapestry". I love the typographic style of this quote. It says :
"The creative is the place where noone else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and venture into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there any other way, only by taking risks and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself."
closeup of the printed tissue being enhanced with white Prismacolor pencil
After stamping onto the tissue, heat setting the ink and trimming to size, I then coloured some areas on the back with white pencil. The white would help the reversed and outlined words show clearer on the background.
Gesso would do the same thing but pencil doesn't crinkle up the paper or need drying time.

adhering printed tissue onto the Stamperia Michelangelo Rice Paper background
I used matte gel medium to glue down everything, both under the tissue and over it to seal all the edges.

stamping Tim Holtz birds and branches onto tissue paper with Archival Ink
The birds were also stamped onto tissue paper and heat set before being trimmed and glued down with the gel matte medium.

overview of stamped branches - art journal page by Jenny James featuring Tim Holtz Stamps
All the branches were stamped straight onto the page with black Archival ink after the birds were dry.

closeup of a bird - art journal page by Jenny James featuring Tim Holtz Stamps
Above is a closeup of how the tissue paper blends into the background. Sometimes. If you're not looking for it, you can't see it...! lol :) Still a fab technique for collage when you don't feel like cutting around every single feather, beak and foot.

Colour was applied to the birds using watercolour pencil (red and brown) and a waterbrush.
Being a translucent tissue, I was able to flip one of the birds to face the other way (perched on the hand facing left) without losing too much detail. Then coloured over him with black pencil to give his feathers more definition and darken the image.

creating the background of the page using Tim Holtz Stamps
The birds needed something to hang around with, so I stamped more branches in the black Archival Ink, then some spatters of grunginess in black and stonewalling in brown (Tim's background stamp "Slate and Stone").
The brown Archival Ink was only applied to small sections of the stone background stamp and pressed onto the page without an acrylic block, to give it a more rustic appearance.

art journal page by Jenny James featuring birds and insects from Tim Holtz Stamps
Black Archival Ink was used for all the beetles and ants from Tim's stamp set "Entomology". They're crawling all over the place!
I coloured the beetles and some of the ants with brown watercolour pencil then once dry, I drew on the white highlights and gave them a covering of Ranger's crackle medium.

closeup of wet paint - art journal page by Jenny James featuring Tim Holtz Stamps
The bees were stamped onto tissue paper using the black Archival ink, dried with the heat tool and then had their bodies coloured with yellow pencil on the back of the paper.
After being glued onto the page with gel matte medium, I painted their wings with an iridescent medium to make them shimmer.
Their black stripes were enhanced using black pen and highlights drawn on with white gel pen.

closeup of an ant - art journal page by Jenny James featuring Tim Holtz Stamps
Above is a closeup of an ant after the crackle medium had dried. The quote was made into a wallhanging with nails drawn on with black pen and brown pencil.

finished mixed media art journal page by Jenny James featuring Tim Holtz Stamps
Lastly, I blended in a tiny smattering of blue ink around some of the edges of both pages.

Thanks for reading my blog post. Hope it helps you smile and inspires you to make time for arts, crafts and creativity! Enjoy every moment :)

Happy Creative Day!

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts
Australian stockist for arty treasures from Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, Dylusions and Darkroom Door plus essentials by Sizzix, Ranger, Pink Ink Designs UK, Strathmore Paper, Prima Marketing Finnabair, Kelly Creates, Posca and more. Buy online at 'Art by Jenny' for your acrylic and watercolour paints, pencils, crayons, inks, sprays, cling stamps, stencils, paper and card, journals and planners, Distress range, Idea-Ology, embellishments, stickers, embossing powders, die cutting templates and embossing folders, craft tools, storage essentials and accessories.