Friday, 4 July 2014

Songbird - an art journal layout inspired by the Eva Cassidy song

This was one of my earliest layouts, but also one of my favourites. I actually had to recreate it as I messed up the first attempt by trying to seal it with hairspray.  A word of advice about hairspray: don't!  Purchase a proper fixative made for this particular purpose instead. Hairspray does not work - or at least it did not work for me. It completely dissolved my archival ink. Just so you know!

Back to my layout: I started out by laying down some gel crayons for the background.  I've found them on eBay - they were very cheap, kiddie-type gel crayons similar to these and I just blended them with my fingers. Be warned though: you won't be able to write on top of gel crayons. If you want to do that, first you have to seal it with a thin layer of fixative (which may or may not work) or clear gesso (which works better, I think).

Next, I layered the images of the bird and music notes that I cut out of a napkin. I used gel medium to stick these down.  When working with napkins, make sure you separate ALL the layers and only use the layer with the image on it, otherwise it will separate as soon as you try to stick it down.  Be extra careful when handling the thin layers as they tear easily, especially when wet.  On the plus side, the white parts will completely disappear, leaving you with just the image and your background design showing through, as they were stamped.

To finish my page, I printed off a quote using a computer font, cut out the individual words and shaded them with gel crayons and highlighted the edges with oil pastels. I also stenciled on some white dots and added some circles and splatters with white gesso as accents.

The quote comes from an Eva Cassidy song.  You can find it on YouTube:

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