The A – Z to Artful Journaling: B is for Black Gesso

Whoever invented black gesso was a genius! It’s fantastic stuff. It goes on so smoothly and covers so well, instantly turning any coloured card or paper into black card or paper. I love to use it in my journal because it means I get to write with a white pen, and the contrast between the ink and the paper is so striking. Metallics show up really well too.

If you’d like to create a spread like this in your journal, this is what you’ll need:

  • your journal
  • black gesso
  • large acrylic or multi-purpose brush
  • metallic paints such as Prima Metallic Accents
  • small watercolour brush
  • water for cleaning your brushes
  • heat tool or hairdryer
  • white gel pen
  • white stamping ink pad
  • embossing ink pad
  • silver embossing powder
  • black ink pad
  • white scrap of paper
  • black pen
  • stick glue
  • office date stamp
  • acrylic stamping block
  • Mama Makes Woodland Friends stamp set (for the sleepy fox and chick)
  • Mama Makes Sending Hugs stamp set (for the sentiment)
  • Mama Makes Weekly Wonderfulness stamp set (for the ‘Sunday’)

To start with, I coated two journal pages with black gesso. It only needed one coat. I deliberately left a scruffy white border around the outside. This particular gesso dries very quickly, but to make sure it was totally dry I gave it a blast with my heat tool. I didn’t want to gum up my gel pen with wet gesso! (Click on the images for a closer look.)

Next, I used my white gel pen to draw a dashed line all around the edge of the black area. I love the way this looks – such a contrast! Once the gel pen was dry, I used clear embossing ink to stamp my sentiment in the top right hand corner. I then heat embossed it with superfine silver embossing powder. After that, I used white ink to stamp the sleepy fox in the bottom left hand corner.





For the stars, I used my white gel pen again. First, I free-handed the larger stars, which gave them a child-like quality, then I added white dots to give the impression of distant galaxies. I really like the way the fox seems to be snuggled by the night’s sky. For balance, I also added stars and dots around the sentiment. To colour the fox and chick, I used Prima Metallic Accents which gave the image a little shade and shimmer. Finally, I stamped the date, in black ink, on a piece of scrap white paper and drew a messy frame around it. I stuck the paper down with simple stick glue.





And there you have it! I’m so looking forward to writing on this page on Sunday. What pen should I use? I could use the white gel pen again, but I’ve got lots of lovely metallic gel pens too. Decisions, decisions!

Thanks for reading! Catch you soon. xxx

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