First of all, I feel obliged to say that, while I’ve done several courses on watercolours, I’ve never done a course on acrylics, so everything I know I’ve picked up from watching Youtube or experimenting myself.
I like to use acrylics sparingly in my journaling – to create interest, accents and finishing touches. In the photo on the left, I’ve used acrylics on top of a watercolour background (created with Aquamarkers) to make the number 20 and the flowers at the bottom. Here’s how I did it:
Firstly, I chose three acrylic paints that I thought would work well with the background: a pink, a green and a light blue. I use Docrafts Artiste Acrylic Paints which are inexpensive crafters’ paints and do a brilliant job. They come in a wonderful range of colours and effects, and they’re not too heavy for the tomoe river paper I journal on. (And yes, that really is the insert from a box of chocolates you see before you. I use odd bits of plastic packaging as pallets for acrylic paint because they’re cost-free and it doesn’t matter if I let the paint dry on them – I was going to throw them away anyway!)
Secondly, I took my three colours and mixed them with some white acrylic paint to make them lighter, as I didn’t want them to stand out from the background too much.
Next, I took a cheap brush and painted on the date in pink. These acrylics are not particularly opaque so you can still see the background through them. If I’d wanted to hide the background, I could have applied another coat once the first one was dry, but I was happy with it the way it was.
Finally, I used the acrylic paints to make a bunch of circles on the other page. Once the paint was dry, I took a fineliner and drew on some swirls and stalks to create a field of whimsical flowers. I also decorated the date with swirls to give the numbers more impact.
Another thing you can do with acrylics is apply them through stencils, by stippling them using a brush with only a little paint on it – otherwise known as dry brushing. You can also scrape them across the page using any kind of spreading implement, such as a pallet knife or even an old credit/giftcard.
One thing to consider when using acrylics, is will the pen that you write with, write over them? It’s probably worth testing it out on a spare piece of paper before committing it to a spread.
This is just one way to use acrylics in your artful journaling. Do you use acrylics like this? What other effects have you achieved with them?
See you in the comments!
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