It’s official, the first page in my altered book is complete! And, in my opinion, it rocks. See for yourself:
For those of you who follow my Art Challenge posts, you may recognize the cute little owl from Week 22. I still want to use him on a canvas, and now I have a good pattern for cutting him out. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ve been having too much fun working in my art journals!
If you would like to make a page similar to this one, you can find all of the supplies you need at Paper Pals. Here’s a photo and list of what I used:
Paper: one piece each of Bazzil Basics cardstock in Blue Oasis, Ivy (the wings), and Parakeet (the leaves); brown paper bag, orange patterned
Inks: Archival (Jet Black, Coffee),Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Frayed Burlap, Rusty Hinge, Walnut Stain) and inking tool
Stamps: Dylusions Around the Edge, Stampers Anonymous Worn Text, Dylusions Dy's Alphabet, Hero Arts Clear Typewriter Letters, and a swirl border set (I don’t have the package anymore so I’m not sure what the name is) and clear blocks to put the stamps on
Additional supplies: gesso, paintbrush, scissors, adhesive (I used wet glue, but dry adhesive would work just as well), water spritzer, heat tool (for quicker drying), Pigma Micron Pen (.05 black), and dimensional foam adhesive. And of course your book to alter!
Here’s what to do:
1. Gesso the page. I just opened the book at random and got to work. You can start on the first page if you’d like, or the last, or your favorite number if it wasn’t torn out during the preparation process.
2. Create the background using Rusty Hinge Distress Ink and some water. Spray the page with water first, then apply the ink directly with the ink pad, swirling it around. These inks were specially designed to activate with water and it’s really interesting to watch. Once you get some good color down, you can take a paintbrush and spread it around, then dry it with the heat tool. Mine wasn’t quite dark enough so I spritzed it again and added a second coat. When that was dry I dipped my clean brush in some water and lightly tapped it against my finger, causing drops to spatter randomly. It creates this fun texture:
The photo on the left shows the whole page covered with gesso. You’ll notice the book text is still visible. The middle photo shows the whole page after I painted the background, and on the right is a close up of the water splatters. If you look again at the finished page you can see it poking thru in a few spots.
3. Take a strip of brown paper bag slightly longer than the width of your page and crumple it up. Stretch it back out but don’t smooth it flat; you’ll want it bunched up to make the branch stick out. Once this is accomplished, take your inking tool and Walnut Stain Distress Ink, and run it all over the top of the “branch”. It will darken it on the raised areas creating a shadow effect and fun texture. This part is optional but I think it really adds to the overall design. Let it dry (it shouldn’t take long) and then adhere it to the page. If you’d like, add a few smaller branches coming off of the main one with the same process and smaller strips of paper bag.
4. Using the four leaves stamp from Dylusions Around the Edge and black ink, stamp the bottom two leaves onto the Parakeet paper as many times as you’d like (I did three because it’s a good design principle number, but gives me six total which is an even number!), then cut around each individual leaf. I grouped them in pairs; for the bottom two sets I adhered one directly to the page and used dimensional foam squares for the other. The top set are both direct to page.
5. Using a circle punch, a lid you have laying around, or just freehand, draw your owl body on Oasis blue. I gave him a flattop for his head. Cut two wings and two ears on the Ivy green and attach to the top of the body. I drew stitch lines using Micron pen around all three pieces first; this can be done after you adhere them or not at all. Cut two circles (I used a 1” punch) for the eyes; draw on eyeballs if you’d like and stitch around the circles. I also drew a small nose on him in the shape of a diamond. Another fun option for his eyes would be adding a small button on top of the circles, or just using buttons and no paper. I adhered him to the page with four dimensional squares so he’d stand out. The options for placement are really up to you; also, you may want to add some feet, I chose not to.
6. Using a border stamp of your choice (swirls are just one of several available options) and Rusty Hinge Distress Ink, create some fun borders to frame your owl. Using brown Archival Ink and the Worn Text alphabet stamps, stamp “Knowing yourself” on the top of the page. With the same ink and Dy’s Alphabet stamps, stamp “wisdom” in the bottom right corner. Using the Hero Arts Typewriter Letters stamps add “is the beginning of” to the left of “wisdom.”
7. As a final touch to help the words stand out, I outlined “Knowing yourself” and “wisdom” with the Micron pen, and added faux stitching to “Knowing yourself.” I also shadowed “is the beginning of”. You can add more stamps to the background if you want more texture, or doodle. It’s all up to you, have fun with it! If you decide to make a similar page in your alter book, art journal, or anywhere else, post a photo in the comments section, I’d love to see it!