So far it’s not very pretty.  In fact, at this point it’s pretty much a disaster.  But everything I have read so far about getting started in art journaling says that the first stuff I do is going to be horrible.  Guess that theory is holding true for sure!

Here’s a picture to prove my point.

Nice curling pages. Failed watercolor and alcohol inks.

Ok, so let’s start out with a few things:

  • I bought a journal that was specifically designed for mixed media and the paperweight is the heaviest I could find.  I bought the Canson XL Mix Media 9×12 pad.  It’s 98lb weight paper that’s billed as “excellent for watercolor, acrylic, or dry media.”
  • Although I’ve painted stuff before, it’s mostly been wood-based craft projects. I’ve never attempted fine art painting on canvas or watercolor paper or whatever.  So this is my first go at painting on paper. So it’s a whole new experience in experimentation.
  • I’ve never used watercolors before.  I started with the crayons because everyone made it look so easy. (They are easy, but I didn’t get the same results I’ve seen on videos.)  I also had a kid’s set of watercolors that worked a bit better, but not great. I just bought a new set of real watercolor paint tubes, so we’ll see how that goes.  But my point is that I’ve never used this media before and I didn’t realize how much water was really involved in watercoloring.  (I added some ink on top of the watercolor to try and save things, ha!) So all that water and extra stuff added … of course it would make my paper go crazy with wrinkles and curls.
  • So I flipped to a new page and tried to lay down some gesso to create a solid base for the watercolor. Ummm… is gesso suppose to make the paper curl like this?

The blue on the right is ink that bled through from the other page and it’s still showing through the gesso.

You can see more pictures of these pages on my Flickr Photostream – Art Journal Set.

So this is just the beginning, right?  I haven’t even done any real art journaling yet – just trying to create a background to start building upon.  Maybe once I get started on adding layers of paper and decoupage and writing and collage and stuff… maybe the pages will un-curl a bit?  I don’t know.  But I’m not giving up yet – this is going to work for me even if it kills me!  This is suppose to be fun, right?  LOL!