Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Art Journal Page - Underwater Library

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy StoryThis art journal page was created for the theme "Book Art". The artwork seemed to have a mind of its own at times, but like all good stories, had a happy ending.

My underwater world featuring adorable crabs, narwhals and bubbles of text was created using Tim Holtz Collage Paper, vintage book pages, Distress Inks and Paints, matte gel medium, Spray Inks, string, Finnabair stickers and a variety of stamps by Tim Holtz, Dylusions, Jane Davenport and Darkroom Door.

In the Beginning...

Choose 2 contrasting blue paints (I used Tim Holtz Distress Paint in Peacock Feathers and Tumbled Glass). Drip small amounts of both colours onto the surface. You don't need much if its a fluid paint.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Using a seasponge press lightly everywhere all over the page, covering the whole surface but at the same time, leaving speckles of white areas here and there.

If you don't have a seasponge or a coarse sponge, scrunch up a dry piece of paper towel (kitchen paper) so it has a rough, random appearance.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Next, spray or splatter the surface with Dylusions Ink Spray in both Lemon Zest and White Linen.
Mist with water to blend (it breaks up the blues) and then spray or splatter Dylusions Ink Spray in London Blue.

Lightly press paper towel over the whole page to reduce any puddles of excess ink. Some puddles you might want to leave as they'll dry eventually. Our paper towel has wavy lines embossed, so any marks left behind would look like waves.
Alternatively, select another sheet of paper and press over the whole surface - this gives you a second background to use another day.

Sprials shown in the photo above are created using a thick black foam stamp with light blue Distress Paint (Tumbled Glass). In hindsight, white would have looked better as the blue appeared to blend into the background (it was too similar).

Leave to dry for a few hours or a few days... time depends on availability and how much paint / ink was used! While waiting, create all the scenery and characters.

Creating Characters...

I'm not fond of ripping up books, even ones I don't like so I'm grateful to have been given a few pages as part of a swap. Stamping out text, script and sheet music with an Archival Ink beforehand would give the same effect.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Using a blue coloured pencil, I drew dozens of scribbly circles (bubbles) and a daisy (which was turned into more circles). Use a regular, non-soluble pencil so it won't disappear if it gets wet.
Each circle was cut out by hand with scissors. Use up the page by drawing more circles and cutting them out. All leftovers were kept to one side (they get turned into rocks and seaweed).

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
I don't have a before and after photo of the stamped narwhals, crab and books ... but this is how they were made :
- Stamp the narwhals and crab in black Archival ink onto readymade pages or stamped paper.
- Stamp the Open Book and pile of books in brown Archival ink.
- Cut out the animals using fine pointed scissors and dust all edges with Distress Ink (Walnut Stain, dark brown).
- Blend grey Distress Ink (Pumice Stone) over the abdomen of the Narwhals (making sure to leave their fins clean).
- Blend Distress Ink over the page sides and spines of both book images using a warm brown and very dark brown Distress Ink (Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso).
- Splatter lightly with water, then once dry, blend Black Soot roughly around the same areas to give a mottled, rugged look.
- To give a vintage look to the pages, lightly blend over brown and grey ink before gluing in place.
- Once the books are dry, give them another blending of ink to deepen the colours.

Set all elements aside while finishing the background. Don't throw any bits out just yet!

FYI, the stamps I used were ... "Narwhal" by Jane Davenport, little crab from "Under the Sea" by Dyan Reaveley, both books are from Darkroom Door (Bookworm stamp set and Open Book frame stamp).

The Background...

The background should be dry by now. To make it more like an ocean, print with various stamps using a mid green Archival Ink Pad (for the illusion of undergrowth and seaweed).

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
The writing you can see scattered across the page is the background image from the Tim Holtz Entomology Stamp Set (the gorgeous insects collection).
The halftone dots across the base of the page is from Tim's Psychedelic Grunge Stamp Set (one of my faves, it has such groovy textures).

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Using a gel matte medium, I glued down torn pieces of Tim Holtz collage tissue "Melange", a beautiful design, full of butterflies, moths and music.
You don't have to worry too much with any of Tim's collage tissue papers, when glued down in this way the design remains the focus while the opaque paper seems to disappear into the background.

To make rocks and seaweed, fussy cut and tear the leftovers you put aside earlier into strips and odd shapes.
Glue down using the gel matte mediums and then add the crab, books, narwhals and bubbles to the page.

Thankfully the gel medium takes a little while to dry so you have time to move elements around until they're where you want them. Don't forget though, that tissue and vintage paper is fragile when wet!

Leave to dry, overnight if you can... with so much glue and paint, it might take a while! At this point in my page, I wasn't fond of the colours... but thankfully once dry, it was more olde worlde than grey grunge!

Adding Details and Other Elements...

Using Walnut Stain Distress Ink or dark brown watercolour paint, add shadows to the crab, rocks and seaweed with a paintbrush.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
The quote on the right hand side are from stickers by Finnabair (Sentiments Sticker Book) and says "Give a Voice to Your Story".

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Add Ranger's Glossy Accents (a 3D shiny varnish) to edges of most of the books (not all) and other areas to give the impression that they're all wet.

For a mini bookmark, add a tiny paperclip from Tim Holtz's Idea-Ology collection tied with a Distress Ink stained piece of muslin.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
The narwhals had a pretty glitter glue on their horns then a splash of Glossy over the top.
The crab was given shiny eyes and had his book dunked in "water" aka Glossy while all the bubbles were coated with Ranger's Gloss Texture Paste.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
The above photo shows the whole page so far... just when I thought it was finished. But then I had a delivery in the shop of a whole new collection of arty treasures... Tim's groovy Idea-Ology Baseboard Dolls and the gorgeous Transparent Wings! The page didn't feel finished anyway! lol :)

Finishing Off...

I simply had to use the Wings and Baseboard Dolls somehow, so chose the one seated and gave her wings so she could fly!

To make the ocean coloured string, I started with a yellow one and stained it using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink Pad. Tap the ink pad onto the craft mat. Loop the string into a curl and smoosh into the ink on the mat, then spray with water. Move the string around in the puddle of watery ink. Wipe up the excess ink or the string will be too soggy.

Add a 20 cent piece sized puddle of gel matte medium to the craft mat and mix in the string until it is coated with the glue.

While the glue (gel matte medium) is still wet, curl the string around and around on the page to represent waves in the sea.
Being a matte medium, it will dry clear and blend into the background. If you used other kinds of glue, they may remain visible even after they're dry.

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
Dolly's Transparent Wings were coated with iridescent glitter glue underneath so the veins of the wings weren't covered. Her dress has splashes of Glossy Accents (it got everywhere).

How not to add Dolly : I glued the doll down with gel matte medium... then lifted her to add the wings, then lifted her again to add the glitter glue to the wings... then once more to add the ends of string underneath. I don't recommend this "technique" but luckily she's a tough dolly and didn't hurt her a bit!

Its a better idea to apply glitter glue to the wings and let it dry before adding the wings onto the doll or the page.
When staining Paper Dolls or Baseboard Dolls, decide on a colour before starting because it doesn't come off again!

artwork by Jenny James featuring Book Art with an Under the Sea Fairy Story
So here it is... my finished art journal page. Click the image to view bigger. I always find it interesting to see how the artwork changes with every layer and element added.
For me, this is a little friendly crab telling stories and sharing books with his fairy and narwhal friends while hanging out in an underwater library. Maybe its a poetry reading!

Thanks so much for visiting and checking out my journal page. I hope it makes you smile too!

Have a wonderful, happy creative day!
:)
Jenny

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