Yesterday I did a bunch of beginnings in my art journal. Backgrounds. Whatever you want to call them. It was a lot of fun.
I thought I would talk you through them in the hope it might give you ideas for your backgrounds.I began with gluing down a page from a book on the right page. I used a glue stick, rolling over it with a brayer to get out any air bubbles. Sometimes I use a plastic ruler for the same purpose. The left page had writing from a prompt I did with my class the final day of the term.
Then I coated both pages with gesso. I painted with some orange and green acrylic paint (mixed colours rather than straight from the tube, so they weren't too bright) and pressed the pages together before they dried.
These pages I didn't gesso, just painted with more mixed colours. A combination of cobalt blue and light cadmium red - less blue and more red for the red-brown, more blue and less red for the blue. Before it dried, I wiped it with a paper towel to get rid of most of the brush marks and make the paint thinner - it's easier to glue stuff onto the pages if the paint isn't so thick. .
I cut out the inbetween page to make more room for collage.
These pages were similar to the first ones, except I used pages from a childrens book. In places I wiped off the gesso before it dried to reveal more of the picture. I painted the orangie colour all over and then wiped it off. It gave it a bit of retro look that I liked. After it was dry, I added a bit of the mixed blue in places for interest.More of the same.
I was liking the pictures underneath the gesso and paint, so continued on that theme. This time using cobalt blue mixed with a purer red, and putting the blue down first. Then mostly red with a little blue mixed in.
Continuing on with more pictures as part of the background. I didn't cover these up as much because they are smaller. I used the cobalt blue with sienna this time to mix my colours.
The bird is from a Christine Willcocks' painting, a photo of which was in an art magazine.
I like gesso underneath the paint because the paint doesn't soak in as quickly and I get more texture when I scrub it back. It also makes the pages thicker.