The Emerald Casket

Lessons Learned in Texture

My daughter called me yesterday and said, “I wish you didn’t have to work. I feel like having an art day…” My daughter never feels like like devoting a day to art. Ever. So, you know what I had to do. I sped around my work room gathering supplies in a huge carryall and ran across the street to her place before she could change her mind.

And then, we both sat there for the longest, looking at our art journals (she’d only finished one page at that point), and wondered what to do. She’s a little intimidated with “starts”. I completely understand. That’s how I feel when I’m staring at a blank page at the beginning of new story. I’ll be sure to take pictures of what she worked on because her pages look wonderful! But here are the two I worked on.

This first one was mistake piled onto mistake that I covered as best I could with tons of paint! After I’d blotched up the page with color I couldn’t do anything with, I wiped off as much as I could and used a stencil to make the red pattern you see with acrylic paint. I love red. I love Indian jewel boxes, which all that crimson reminded me of, so I cut out flower petals from an old edition of Little Women whose pages are disintegrating, covered them in Mod Podge and washed them with purple acrylic. That wasn’t enough bling, so I got out the gold leaf paint and began “accessorizing.” Then it was still missing something, so when I got the book home last night, I glued on some cheap jeweled cabochons. Eh. It’s colorful, which I like. Has texture, which I also like. It’s just not very good. Texture can only hide so many flaws.


I went the exact opposite direction color-wise with the next one. I started with texture, using modeling paste pressed through the same stencil. Then I used watercolor to make a background and drip through the molding. I’m not very good at watercolor, but I found just the right brush to make flower petals and went to town making blossoms in the colors I dripped down the page. I finished using Micron pens to sketch the stems.


I like the flowers. But not the molding. The texture overwhelms the very simple painting. So next time I sit down to paint, I’m going to paint the flowers all by their lonesome. But that’s the purpose of the journal—figuring out how the paint works and practicing techniques. So I count yesterday as a successful day and had fun with my dd, too!

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