Dream and Believe


I am working today in my medium Leda sketchbook. I find that this book can handle most anything I throw at it. Especially if I prep the pages before I go all crazy with wet media and collage. I am an ambassador with Leda Art Supply and I love their books for various applications but especially for collage art.

The medium book measures 5.5″ x 8.25″ – it really is the perfect size for a quick collage project. And doesn’t it look well loved? Hahaha!

Just a little impatient to get going, I selected some papers that I had prepared ahead of time with clear watercolor ground and added some color to a few. This is the placement I decided on for these two pages.

These are dense pages, but at 81 pounds I knew they needed some support. Dina Wakley is my go to with clear gesso. And a cheap paint brush to apply the gesso with – those were my basic supplies to get started. Be prepared to dedicate this paint brush to this activity. And clean it out afterwards – as best you can.

I used the brush to slop some gesso all over the two pages then used an old credit card to smooth the gesso to hopefully leave fewer lumps under the papers I would adhere. Old credit cards and old hotel room key cards – save them all to make this kind of step a lot easier.

As I added each piece to the pages, I first covered the back with the gesso. Then flipped it over and stuck it in place.

And I repeated the process till all my pieces were attached. As I put each piece down, I also covered the front with another layer of clear gesso. Paying special attention to the edges and overlaps to make sure everything was stuck down well. Then I moved this aside to dry overnight.

And I went on to prepare other pieces to add to my collage. These particular elements are from Dyan Reaveley I purchased from Joggles. com. I used various paints and inks to color them, then ran them through the sticker machine before I trimmed them. That does two things – it literally turns the pieces into stickers and by waiting to trim till after they have gone through the machine I am not left with sticky edges. That is important because sticky edges make your book pages stick together down the road and that is annoying.

I drew some flowers with my TWSBI fountain pen that i could use for fun elements. The document ink I use in my pen does not smear when I go over it with wet media. Plus all around. And links down below 🙂

I’ve been working with my Lindy’s Magical Shakers a lot lately and decided to try them as a watercolor. Just tap a little powder into the well and add a few drops of water. Easy to pick up with a paint brush and paint with. This particular palette is a cheapo one from Hobby Lobby that came with a plastic lid. I covered this whole thing up and carefully sat it on a shelf in the closet when I was done. The colors stay wet and do not dry hard, so being away from Aurora is an absolute must. I don’t know if I will keep this tray going or not but for now I like it being ready to use. And actually I probably will until I spill the whole thing on the carpet. Cause that’s how I do things.

I knew I was going to cut these out before I applied them, so I didn’t worry about coloring within the lines. I really do like the Lindy’s colors even though they aren’t as bright as I normally work with.

I mentioned my sticker machine a few lines up. I will give you a link at the bottom to where you can get one if you are interested. It is as easy as feeding your elements in one at a time and turning the knob. This paper comes out the other side. When you peel the element off – there will be sticky residue on the back side. To get these ready, I cut around each element, then fussy cut each piece out. That gave me a good solid edge with no sticky glue. When I was ready to adhere each piece – I just peeled off the backing paper and stuck it in place. Those seashells I put in a baggy and added to my collage papers to use another time.

These were the basic pieces I wanted to work with and I started looking at placement. But first . . .

. . . this background needed more color. Hahahahaha! I used several different watercolors to add more oomph.

I even used a heat gun to make some drips and runs.

I had some rippled areas where I used thin papers like those dictionary pages. I have never been very good at getting those flat. So I used an ink pad to scuff over those lines and add some texture. Take those negatives and turn them into positives.

Does anyone recognize this? No? Yes? A lot of people have been buying Lindy’s Magicals lately. If you buy a set of five they come in a tube. This is the stopper at the top of the tube. You know – the one that is almost impossible to remove. Hahahaha! I save mine and use them as stamps.

There you go. A 3 – in – 1 shot!

You can stamp some really nice circles with that little top. Them just wipe it off on a paper towel and stick it back in the drawer until next time.

I have a smaller tube I save and use for smaller rings. Those white rings in the lower left section were part of the magazine ad, so I kept that idea by adding more circles.

Once I had the background ready, I started looking at placement of elements. My goal here was to make it look like she was holding the flower. You know – the one that is almost bigger than her 🙂

When I knew where I wanted to go with this – I removed the sticker backings and put my elements into place. That’s a good start.

And it was time to add details. Things like tangling a patch of viola. And see that flower up there? No one can tell I colored way outside the lines.

I even pulled out my metallic brush pens from Zebra Pen – where I am an Artist Ambassador – and added some mark making in various places around both pages.

Other tools I used to add color: Jane Davenport’s Paint Over Pens, a Sharpie water based paint pen, Molotow Aqua Pump Softliner, Zig Posterman waterproof pens, Zig Painty FX pen, Sakura gelly roll pens and my TWSBI fountain pen. Lots of mark making fun!

And I was close to being done. For this last step, I brought out a fan brush and acrylic paints in white, black and neon pink.

Just put a dab of color down, add some water and mix it around with the fan brush. Get the brush good and wet . . .

. . . and flick it over your pages. I tap the brush against a pointer finger of my other hand. Some people tap on pencils, or paintbrushes, or just shake the fan brush. A finger works best for me. And I usually get color speckled all over my desktop, window and drapes. I just keep a paper towel ready for quick cleanup. And be sure to wash out your brush after this so it doesn’t get ruined. If you have not done this before, try it over a sheet of computer paper before you try it on your art journal pages.

And let it sit to dry. You can always add more detail later.

I will go back in later and add more tangles and probably more writing. Collage is fun and it is non-threatening. Hahahaha! There is no such thing as perfect when you work this way. Just do what makes you smile and it will be perfect enough. Honest!

Leda Art Supply
Sticker Machine
Lindy’s Magicals
Lindy’s Shakers
Clear Gesso
Dyan Reaveley’s Die Cuts
TWSBI Fountain Pen
Document Ink
Zebra Pen Metallic Brush Pens

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10 thoughts on “Dream and Believe

  1. Fabulous. In every way. Really truly fabulous!!! Thank you, Alice, for showing your process and progress through (almost) the entire journey! I have oogled but never tried any “art journaling”. Afraid. Why? Idk. But you make it so much more approachable! xoxoxo

  2. This is fabulous! A feast for the eyes! So many wonderful ideas! Thank you ?

  3. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    I have got to try this more often!
    Love everything about this!

    • thanks, phillis, I need to do it more often, too. this is something I think you must really be good at. I’ve seen some of your instagram photos that reminded me of this type of work

  4. I came to the bit about the acrylic colours & wondered what would be next…….. aha – decorating your room with splatters!! I’m surprised you don’t end up with Neon Aurora then that really would be a Borealis wouldn’t it but I don’t think Aurora would be particularly amused.

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