Samhain Journaling: Part Three [Final]

Welcome to part three of the tutorial!  Today, I'm going to show you ways to finish your journal page.  There are lots of techniques you can use in your journal, and I'll be sure to show you some others in the future.  Right now, we're going to focus on how I completed this art journal spread.  I really enjoyed bringing my ancestor to life in my journal.  I hope you do too.  It feels like a great tribute to one's heritage.

»Waning Crescent Moon, The Steps:

***Materials and Substitutions:  You'll need a paintbrush, palette knife or old credit card in addition to a black Stabilo Marks All pencil, a Faber-Castell Pitt marker in warm grey 4, a white Prismacolor Premier colored pencil, and matte gel medium mixed with Liquid Pearls in silver pearl.  If you don't have a black Stabilo pencil, then use a black marker instead of the grey Pitt marker.
  • Faber-Castell Pitt marker substitutes: any black or grey permanent marker, black paint, black colored pencil, charcoal.
  • White Prismacolor Premier colored pencil substitutes: any white colored pencil, opaque white marker, opaque white acrylic paint.
  • Matte gel medium substitutes: another type of gel medium, Mod Podge, Collage Podge, Crackle Accents, or a similar adhesive.
  • Liquid Pearls substitutes: metallic silver paint, silver liquid ink or spray ink, fine silver glitter, iridescent silver paint, silver pigment powder (sold by different brands under different names), silver ice Faber-Castell gelato.
1. Draw the shape of the moon using the a black Stabilo Marks All pencil.  Activate the marks on the page with a little water and a paintbrush.  After it's dry, go over the outline of the moon with a grey or black Faber-Castell Pitt marker.  If you're not using a Stabilo, draw the shape with whatever medium you'd like to use in black.

2. Using a white Prismacolor Premier colored pencil, draw an outline just inside the black outline you made in the previous step.  See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.

3. Mix 1 part silver Liquid Pearls with 2 parts matte gel medium.  See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.  Once it's mixed thoroughly, use the mixture to cover the moon, including both outlines.  Use a paintbrush, palette knife or card to spread the mixture.  I used a paintbrush.  After the moon was covered, I swirled the paintbrush in the gel medium mixture to add texture.  Allow it to dry for at least an hour.

»Tattoos and the Hair, The Steps:

***Materials and Substitutions: I used two different Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils for the tattoos on her forehead.  I used M. Graham and Co. Burnt Sienna heavy body acrylic paint and Golden Transparent Red Iron Oxide fluid acrylic paint for the hair.  I used Golden acrylic glazing liquid to fix the pastel in place and to create glazes with the two acrylic paints.  I also used a tracing stylus to etch the strands of the hair into the acrylic paint.

  • Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencil substitutes: another brand of pastel pencils, chalk pastels, charcoal, colored pencils, markers, acrylic paint (with a small round paintbrush).
  • Acrylic paint substitutes: any two colors of paint or markers that's the color of the hair you'd like your focal character to have.  If you're not using acrylics or craft paints, the tracing stylus probably won't work with it.
  • Acrylic Glazing Liquid substitutes--Tattoos: zinc white acrylic paint, gel medium, Collage Podge, Mod Podge, Glossy Accents, Crackle Accents.
  • Acrylic Glazing Liquid substitutes--Hair: Add a little water into the acrylic paints so they flow better.
  • Tracing Stylus substitutes: toothpick, tip of a paintbrush handle, tip of a palette knife.

1. The Tattoos:  The ancestor I met in the visualization had blue tattoos on her face, arms, upper chest, and legs.  In the visualization, I couldn't make out the exact shapes of each tattoo, so I used symbols I resonate with, such as spirals in this case.  Using the lighter color of pastel pencil, draw the symbol or symbols you'd like to add to the focal characters forehead.  Using the darker color of pastel pencil, draw along the outside of the lines you just made. See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.  I went over the lines of the symbols twice with each color.  You may not have to depending on what medium you're using.

2. The Tattoos: Using a 0/0 round paintbrush (or use one of the smaller ones you have) and acrylic glazing liquid, go over each line you made, blending it with the glazing liquid until all the lines of your symbol or symbols are covered.  See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.  If you're using Glossy Accents or Crackle Accents for this step, carefully apply the glue through the bottle's fine tip right onto your symbol's lines.  Allow sufficient time for the symbol or symbols to dry.

*****Can anyone guess what the three symbols on my painting mean together (see photo below)?  Post your guess in the comments.

3. The Hair (see photos above): For this step, you're going to need the darkest shade of the hair color you want to create, acrylic glazing liquid, a paintbrush, and a tracing stylus. See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.  I used burnt sienna heavy body acrylic paint mixed with a couple drops of acrylic glazing liquid and a size 2 filbert brush.  Etching the strands of hair can be a bit tricky, especially since acrylics tend to dry quickly.  The key to doing this right is to paint one section of the hair, etch the lines immediately after the paint is on the page, and repeat the process until all the hair is painted.  Also, make sure your lines are following the direction the hair is flowing.  Mix a little glazing liquid or water with your acrylic paint.  The thinner the paint is, the less you need to add.  Paint one section of hair.  Etch the strands in the wet paint with a tracing stylus.  Paint another section of hair, etch the strands in the wet paint, and repeat until the hair is completely painted.  Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before going on to the next step.  Clean your brush and tracing stylus.

4. The Hair (see photos above): For this step, you'll need acrylic paint in the lightest shade of the hair color, a paintbrush, and acrylic glazing liquid.  I used Golden fluid acrylic paint in transparent red iron oxide, Golden acrylic glazing liquid, and a size 2 filbert brush. See the substitutions list above for what other media you can use for this step.  Mix a drop of glazing liquid or a little water into the acrylic paint.  Using the paintbrush, apply the paint over all of the hair.  You may want to add a second coat in some areas if you want to darken certain areas.

I have several techniques for painting hair.  This is a particularly fun one because I like etching into the paint.  It adds great texture to the page without adding bulk.  I'm sure I'll show you how to do the other techniques on future projects.

»Painting the Mountains:

***Materials and Substitutions:  I used 14 colors of Neocolor 2 crayons, Golden acrylic glazing liquid, and a size 4 round brush.
  • Neocolor 2 substitutes: Faber-Castell Gelatos, water soluble oil pastels, watercolor crayons, watercolor pencils, Derwent Inktense pencils, watercolor paint, acrylic paint, gouache, craft paint.
  • Acrylic Glazing Liquid substitutes: gel medium, zinc white acrylic paint.
  • Size 4 round brush substitutes: any brush you're comfortable with that isn't too big for the space you're working in.
* A note about "glow": As you see in the photos below, I didn't fill in the area between my mountain lines completely.  I left space where the background peeks through.  This is called "glow".  I learned how to do it from Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici and Shiloh Sophia.  I really like how it looks.

Note: For each section of the mountains, I used 4 colors of Neocolor 2 crayons.  From bottom to top, I used: a) white, grass green, emerald green, and dark green [greens]; b) white, turquoise blue, malachite green, and cobalt blue [blue-greens]; c) white, light blue, ultramarine blue, and Prussian blue [blues]; d) white, periwinkle, sky blue, and ultramarine blue [blue-violets]; and e) white, sky blue, violet, and indigo [violets].  The photos above show what the Neocolor 2s look like before they're activated and blended.  The key thing to remember when adding colors in between the lines that were painted in part one is to have a light, a medium and a dark color for each of the areas between the lines.  I also used white, but you don't have to.  Use whatever colors you like.

1. Placement of Colors: The light color goes in the center.  The medium color surrounds the light color.  The dark color surrounds the medium color. If you want to use white, put it in the very center of the light color and around the moon, leaving a space between the moon's outline and where you add the white. Remember to leave "glow" if you like that effect.

2. Blending: Regardless of what medium you're using, it works best to blend from light to dark on this painting.  If you're using paint, you're going to need to work quickly and carefully.  I blended the Neocolor 2s with acrylic glazing liquid, but you can use something else.  If you're using acrylics or craft paints, you won't need the glazing liquid.  Blending Neocolor 2s with acrylic glazing liquid is one of my favorite techniques, especially over a gesso resist.

3. Finishing Touches: Don't forget to sign your name.  Adding the date and title of your journal page or spread is a nice touch too.  I used a purple .005 Sakura Pigma Micron to sign my name and write, "Samhain 2015.  Gathering of Ancestors".

I would love it if you would share a link to your Samhain journaling in the comments below.  This is my art journal spread:

Blessed be!



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