Art Journaling Live sneak peek tutorial with Nathalie Kalbach

Guest blogger Nathalie Kalbach is one of the fantastic four instructors slated to teach at our Art Journaling Live event June 18th in Arlington, Texas. She, along with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Dina Wakley, and Mary Beth Shaw, are part of a day-long workshop filled with incredible art journaling techniques, instruction, and fun! You may never have this opportunity again to learn from these talented artists at once, so sign up now-spaces are going quickly!

Here's a sneak peek of what Nathalie will be teaching. ~ Jeannine

When I first began working as a mixed-media artist I was living in Germany and had limited tools and supplies. To create a variety of textures and effects and achieve the outcome I wanted, I had to become inventive and use what was available and on hand, often incorporating household items. Over the years I got really good at making the most of my supplies. I call this "tooling around," and it is something that I continue to this day.

During my "Tooling Around" class at Art Journaling Live I'll guide you through many ways that the simple tools included in the workshop kit can be utilized with other supplies to create interesting, personal, and unique art journal pages.

Supplies: Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal, Liquitex Gesso (white), Liquitex Soft Body Paints, Liquitex Basics Painting Knife, Liquitex Basics Fan Brush,

  • Using a painting knife, spread some gesso over your art journal page and smooth it out.
  • While the gesso is still wet, create marks and texture into the surface (photo 1). Use a palette knife and press the plastic blade to create patterns. (Photo 2) Use the side of your palette knife to scratch lines into the gesso. (Photo 3) Use the back of your palette knife or brush to make marks. (Photo 4) Use your fan brush and lightly dab it onto the surface. (Photos 5 and 6) Use the top of your paint lid or the bottom of a jar or paint tube to create interesting patterns or texture. Let the gesso dry.

  • Dip your fingers into some water and lightly apply a bit of water to the page you just prepared. This will allow more open time so the paint won't dry too fast. Apply a thin layer of paint with a brush. For the sample shown, I used Phthalo Blue (green shade) mixed with some Titanium White, and let it dry for a couple of seconds. Then I used a wet paper towel to remove some of the paint, creating different values and revealing the texture.

  • As an option, add another color in different areas of the paint mixture. I chose Yellow Medium Azo to create a nice green.

  • Remove some of the second layer of the paint with a wet paper towel to create even more depth.

This technique can be created with a variety of acrylic paint products. Liquitex inks reveal the texture with amazing color intensity. Check out this short video that shows the Gesso Texture Technique mentioned above, using acrylic inks.

Being able to mix a variety of mediums in one project is important to me and to every mixed media artist. For this reason, I love to use Liquitex Professional Acrylics for Tooling Around techniques, since Liquitex Paints are compatible with each other. This concept can be summed up with one word: Intermixability.

Intermixability means that you can use all the Liquitex paint mediums together. For the technique above you could also use Soft Body Acrylic Paints and Acrylic Inks while both are wet. Or, use Professional Spray Paints and Markers together. See what textures you can create with the same technique, using different tools and paint supplies. Intermixibility will open a whole new world of mixed media for you.  

I hope to see you at the Art Journaling Live workshop next month, where I will show even more Tooling Around techniques.

(Note: Nathalie is a Brand Ambassador for Liquitex, but all of her ideas are her own. Nathalie says, "My love for Liquitex Brand paints began long before I began working with the company." Liquitex is also a valued education sponsor of Art Journaling Live.)


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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