Words I will journal by.

Create. Learn. Try. Believe you can.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

My Wanderlust journey

Hi there folks. Many of you, like me, are enjoying the Wanderlust online course organised by Kasia and Jamie from Artist Trading Post. I'm the first to admit that I am no where near up to date with all the challenges and prompts, but I never intended to keep up with the weekly tutorials. I signed up because there were many teachers involved who I already greatly admire or would love to learn from. I knew there would be classes that I wouldn't get involved in. Life is too fast for me to explore avenues I'm not really interested in. So, I was really looking forward to this particular class with Birgit Koopsen. I love her style particularly her way of creating negative space by concealing a lot of the positive! Her work has heavily influenced my art journaling. I wasn't disappointed. It was a great tutorial. I dropped all my other projects - despite deadlines looming- and got stuck in. This is the result. I'm not wholly pleased with the end result but I really enjoyed the process.
I haven't got a laser printer so I knew I wouldn't be able to use a laser print image for my focal point as Birgit did. However, I have wanted to use this gorgeous girl image from a PaperArtsy set, designed by Clare Lloyd, ECL09, for some time So here was the perfect opportunity. Now I needed to gather supplies. I've been using Fresco chalk paints a lot recently (again by PaperArtsy) but I needed heavy body brights for this so chose to use a mix of Dina Wakley heavy body acrylics by Ranger and a few Golden Fluids eg transparent yellow iron oxide, titanium white and Titan buff. I love blending various colours to produce a background but I really enjoy using Birgit's prompt of starting with a 'mop up page'. This is great because it sort of makes your colour decision for you! At least to start with. So armed with my vintage music book that I'm using for my Wanderlust journey and an army of paint I set to! What fun.

This was my starter page. Already lots of colour and no brown!! These colours are probably Fresco chalks. Certainly that pink looks like it could be Bougainvillea - a firm favourite! But I had no worries then adding more colours on top in true Birgit Koopsen style! 
Lots of warm colours added to the existing blue on the page. I love using reds, pinks, oranges, so painted these liberally across the spread. A bit of finger dabbing along the way, just layering up and remembering to dry layers in between. Finally added a layer of turquoise and lime but tried to leave some of the music showing underneath. Not sure how well that lasted but the intention was there. 
Now here is where I deviated a little from Birgit's tutorial. I love using texture and mixing up the media. I didn't go too mad as I wanted to try and stay at least close to the guidance in the tutorial. So here you can see a cut out of one of Clare's girls, just to give me an idea for positioning, and added strips of vintage text and scraped some 3D transparent Gel medium (Golden) through a stencil across the page. This is lovely and glossy when it dries and adds a bit of shine to the final result. 
Next was the fun part. Using the same colours and some cut 'n dry, I pushed paint through a variety of stencils, also using the paint to stamp text and images all over the page. I also made use of black and 
white paint with various sizes of bottle tops/caps to add dark and light tones. Delicious. I love making a very busy background for this technique! 
My final addition, and not included in Birgit's tutorial (but learned in a previous class I took with her in Paris at Version Scrap) was to drip some pigment inks down the page. I had added some orange neocolour which I hoped the inks would resist but it didn't seem to work on this occasion. Oh well. Here I used Aladine Izink inks: turquoise and orchid. They add a shimmery lustre to the page which I love, especially where it catches on the glossy gel texture. I also added a Winsor and Newton  drawing ink: Amarillo Naranjo. A gorgeous rusty orange ink, forgetting it was waterbased, but it helped later on when I wanted to add orange to white titanium in the cover up! Which is next! 
The next step is not for the faint-hearted. Whereas Birgit stamped out various circle images to paint around, I used my preferred technique of drawing a variety of circle and sun ray shapes to maintain the layer underneath. I then stamped the girl image, all with black Archival ink.  I made up a skin tone and painted over the face to eliminate the background. Next I needed to paint over the existing background only leaving the shapes I'd drawn previously. In the class Birgit's background was very pale. I usually make my background all one colour and very dark, by using a deep blue or Paynes Grey etc. but I had a go applying mainly white with very little colour added. I didn't like it. I needed more colour. So, again using the colours I'd used so far I set about filling the spaces with a mix of white and colour. I love the surprising result when you do this. It makes the original, bright background really pop against the negative space created. I also love the way my original background transforms the hair in the girl image. Now, I needed to finish it by drawing around the circles, finishing the face, adding more stamping and finishing with some doodling, generally with black and white pigment pens. 

The face took some time! I'm hopeless colouring in faces with paint. I've watched Leandra Franich and Tracy Scott do this so easily, but for some reason, I really find it difficult. However, I persevered - but please see this as a step along a long journey I still need to take before I get close to being able to do this well.  The lettering was rushed and therefore not positioned well on the page but I had got to a point where I just wanted to finish it. I can see a lot in this that I like but I can also see areas I need to avoid next time. But I loved the journey -I'm  learning all the time! Hope you're having as much fun as I am. Thankyou so much for dropping by! 


  1. Great to see you are enjoying Wanderlust. I think you did really well with this one. I never have mop up pages... I hate mess so I never want to mess up clean pages with left over paints. And if I do I never use them...
    I am a little disappointed with the whole thing and haven't done much up to now. I signed up because of some of the teachers but haven't enjoyed it much up to now as it is so not my thing. As a reaction I signed up to the Donna Downey Inspiration Wednesday which I am enjoying so much. Anyway, great to see you are having fun !
    Corrie x

    1. Thank you Corrie. I do know what you mean. I enjoyed Kate zcrane's class and Joanne Sharp's. I also enjoyed Beckah Kruhala because I enjoy zentangling but I haven't bothered with any of the others. I've found Kasia's interesting but there is a bit of a 'beginner' feel to some of these. Having said that, I've enjoyed the inspiration of the ones I enjoy. I'd be interested in looking at that Donna Downey class!

    2. Hi Corrie, I'm so sorry to hear that you are not enjoying our class for some reason. I do understand that it may be a bit too much about art for some crafters but all we wanted to do was to open some new door for you and show you a variety in different styles so you can explore some other worlds.

  2. Hi Chris, I soooo love this! It looks fab - love how wonderfully busy your background was and the blended colours over the top look really good. Good idea to use one of Clare Lloyd's girls instead of an image transfer - she looks lovely. I'm enjoying WL too (as you know) and am picking and choosing which classes to do as well so it's good to know I'm not the only one. Xx

    1. Thankyou for such a lovely, encouraging comment Claire. The good thing about the class is that the videos are downloadable so we can revisit the ones we choose to miss for now!

  3. I really really love this - I agree about the tutorial it was excellent, and I totally intend to make time to do this one, like you I am way behind on lots of the challenges that I did mean to keep up with!! You've got some fabulous results with this.

    1. Thankyou Helen. That is such a lovely comment. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else does with this.