My favourite technique for applying paint to my journal pages is incredibly simple. All you need is some acrylic paint and an expired credit card or gift card. You don’t need gesso for this technique. It doesn’t matter if your journal paper is very thin, because the scraping method we are going to us means it is quite a dry technique. In fact, it can make the page a little stronger. I use this in my Moleskine journal which has really thin paper and never have a problem.
There are a couple of reasons I like to use paint on my journal pages like this:
It is easy – you don’t need fancy tools, brushes, techniques etc
I love colour and this is a fun way to add it to the page
I love the way the paint is unpredictable when applied in this way – it creates a messy, textured look that is never perfect and is quite interesting
It adds another layer to thin paper which is good for using ink stamps over (otherwise they often show through the page)
The paint is dry almost immediately so I can get to writing – no need to wait for it to dry
Watercolour is a really fun paint to use and there are a lot of amazing techniques and skills you can learn. I don’t really have the patience!
I just like to play with colours and shapes until I get a background I like. Here’s an example:
I approach how I use gouache in much the same way – just play with colours and shapes until I find something I like. Sometimes I do this in an altered book for a bit more texture and interest in the background. You can see the colours are quite a bit more vivid than the watercolours:
Other Easy Background Techniques
Using Gelatos or Neocolors you can create a really simple colourful background to write over. Simply scribble on the page and use a wet wipe to smear the colours. You don’t need to gesso the page first, because this isn’t a very wet technique. Here’s an example:
This is a very simple technique and is totally dry. All you need are the pastels, your fingers and a tissue.
Have a go experimenting with some of the background techniques above and see which ones you love! I’d love to see your pages or hear your thoughts.