Vlog: New Moleskine & Kuretake Brush Pens and Markers!

Have you ever discovered a new clothing store, walked in, and said, “Now this is my style?” Everything in the place just screams your name, and you’d turn the store into your closet if you just had the cash to buy it all out? Well, that’s how I feel about art supply stores. I don’t really care to shop for clothes, but paintbrushes, acrylics, pencils—now that’s my style! And that’s exactly what happened when I’ve discovered Jet Pens. I finally put in an order and received a bit of a haul!

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EmK’s Jet Pens Art Supply Haul

The main reason that I purchased these supplies is because I was able to try some Kuretake brand pens and markers via my Art Snacks subscription, and was extremely pleased with those supplies—especially the Kuretake No. 7 Brush Pen that came in my June 2016 Art Snacks box. This haul included 16 Kuretake Zig brand brush pens/markers. I chose to pick up a small set of the Clean Color FB markers, a supply that contains water soluble ink, which makes for a lovely addition to my mixed media art journal pages. The other main part of my haul was a group of  Kuretake black brush pens, which is a curated selection by the Jet Pens website as a “sampler,” i.e. different styles of pens made by the  Kuretake company. They have a few of these “samplers” on the site, but the Kuretake Brush Pen Sampler was the one the that caught my eye. And finally, I also picked up a pen case…because it was green and adorable and I’m just a wee bit ridiculous.

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Jet Pens Kuretake Black Brush Pen Sampler

In the video found in this post (or HERE on YouTube), I swatch out all of the pens and markers, share the secret of what makes my new pens case so awesome, and tell you the difference between each of the black brush pens found in this small collection. I also share with you my preferred technique for using the Clean Color FB markers, and proudly show off a pretty terrible portrait that I attempted to create in my new sketchbook. This video should be especially helpful for those of your curious about Kuretake brand supplies!

Jet Pens doesn’t sell exactly everything I’d like to keep in my closet (or rather, studio), but I’m a sucker for most of the things on the site. The pens, markers, pencils, sketchbooks, ink, and, well, you get the idea! I’ve been frequenting it for about two months, building up a “wishlist,” one of my favorite things about the site. But I also really appreciate that the website has a blog in which the posters create guides, how-to articles, and compare and contrast multiple tools available on the site; I’m all about research, and the Jet Pens blog makes it easy. I had read some of the blog posts before ever looking at the available supplies, and think it’s a pretty great resource for the curious artist. No, I’m not being paid to say this, I’m just strangely passionate about the statistics and facts concerning art supplies.

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Are you a Kuretake or Jet Pens fan? If so, leave me a comment and let me know what pens, markers, or other tools that you love! I’m always trying to find the next great supply!

Art From May ’17 Vacation

finally got around to photographing all of the art that I created during the wonderful vacation that I took in  May! This first image is of many different spreads that were (mostly) created while en route during my trip. For occupying myself during the car ride, I took my Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers (click HERE for my review), some black pens, and a small set Copic markers to pair with a Moleskine sketchbook. The four spreads below are the result of sitting in a passenger seat for about 24 (nonconsecutive) hours with those limited supplies. All four of these spreads are in my 5″ x 8¼” Moleskine journal.

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Art Journal Spreads in Travel Moleskine

Besides the small bag of art supplies and Moleskine journal, I also took a larger bag with many more mediums and journals. Among these other supplies were: watercolor paper and a small watercolor journal, my altered book journal, acrylic paints, Jane Davenport’s watercolor palettes, multiple waterbrushes, several Pitt pens, a white gel pen, a bag of collage material, gel medium, black & white gessos, and matte varnish. It sounds like a lot, but I knew that a week up in the mountains with no internet, tv, or cell service would be difficult for me when night fell—there are only so many books this night own can read! (I read three, by the way, or about 3000 pages of a comic series.) The first night in our rental property, a yurt, I played with Jane Davenport’s watercolor palettes, the Bright Palette and the Neutral Palette. The watercolor of a Buddha statuette is what came about that night, inspired by the motif of the yurt.

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Small Watercolor Buddha

I was also  inspired by the feminine faces that Jane Davenport in known for, which cover the majority of the packaging found on her supplies. Being an artist who very rarely does any kind of portrait work, I decided to attempt to use Jane’s watercolors to paint a face of my own. The image below was my attempt. Though the portrait is slightly overworked, I absolutely love the effect that I created in the pupils. This was done by dropping in some white (“Unicorn”) paint while the black (“Raven”) watercolor was still puddled up and wet. I definitely don’t hate this little half portrait for it being my first attempt at using Jane’s Neutral Palette!

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Small Watercolor Half Portrait

After getting my paints wet, I decided later that week to work with them in an experimental fashion inside of my favorite art journal: my altered book. Knowing that this spread would be created mostly with watercolors, I covered the majority of my spread with white gesso. Being a lover of found ephemera, I also adhered some tissue paper that was wrapped around a blouse, which I had purchased earlier that day. Journal pages that include something tangible from my life—like the tissue paper—are always very special to me. The image below displays the journal spread in progress and remnants of the tissue paper.

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Work in Progress of “Spread These Wings”

As you can see, I had a large wooden table in the yurt to work on, and I spread out on it for 5 wonderful days! I wouldn’t say that I accomplished an incredible amount in that time, but for my first vacation as a working artist, I’m quite pleased with the quantity and quality of my finished pieces!

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“Spread These Wings” Art Journal Spread

Have you ever taken your art journal on a trip? What supplies did you miss? (I so very much missed my collection of fluid acrylic paints.) What supplies were you thankful to have taken? (Those Mermaid Markers were pretty great for me!) Let me know in the comments below!

Live Recap: Our Wilderness

After an accidental two week long hiatus from this blog, I’m returning to you with a bombardment of posts! Hurrah for filling up you email/blog feed with artsy goodness. (But my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.) Since I’ve been gone, I’ve been obsessively playing with my new Daniel Smith watercolors—a medium that just doesn’t fit among the pages of my art journals. With the holiday last Sunday, I also didn’t engage in a live stream, causing my only scheduled journaling time to be neglected. It’s rather difficult to post about art journaling when one is not art journaling. However, I did host a live stream this past Sunday, and the following photo is of the page that I began during that stream!

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“Our Wilderness” Work In Progress Art Journal Spread

Usually, my spread’s meanings are influenced by the imagery that I use and the color schemes that come about organically. However, this page was directly inspired by a single piece of collage imagery—a picture of two silhouettes at the edge of a canyon, looking out into the long stretch of stone. You see, the husband and I are going on vacation soon, and I have reserved us a stay in an isolated yurt among the mountains of a faraway state; it’s no wonder an image of a couple in the wilderness would speak to me on the cusp of our private adventure! The natural colors of the landscape determined my color choices as well, a collection of browns and greens. It’s a combination that I may not have otherwise used. The following photo is of this spread, after about two days of work, as I struggled to get myself away from watercolors and into an art journaling head-space.

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“Our Wilderness” Completed Art Journal Spread

I was able to test out a few new supplies in this spread, including the Mermaid Markers from the new Jane Davenport series. The colors used in this spread include “Seaweed,” “Siren,” and “Reef,” which are two green colors and a brown. The set of Mermaid Markers includes a piece of paper that discuss the contents of the brush markers, stating that the ink is a dye base (rather than pigment) and are not lightfast. While I have no issue using products that are not lightfast within the confines of my journal pages, it was a little disheartening to see that the markers—which cost over $3 a piece at $40 for 12—cannot be used in any for-sale artwork due to not being lightfast. Please note that this is not something stated on the exterior of the packaging, and—at the time of this post being published—not disclosed on the two exclusive websites that sell the product. The “Siren” color can be seen in the photo below, used to outline the silhouettes in the collage imagery.

“Our Wilderness” Closeup of Left Bottom

Like some of my other liquid ink markers, the colorants in the Mermaid Markers bled up through the acrylic paints applied over top of the marks even though the marks were dry. In this case, the acrylic paint that I used was the Liquitex Professional white gesso, so I feel very confident in saying that only a very thick coat of paint would be able to hide the marks made by these markers. Although I wouldn’t call this a “con,” as it could be used very effectively as a base layer beneath gesso and paint, it’s definitely not a “pro” when it happens unexpectedly. I will, however, be playing with the Mermaid Markers quite a bit, especially during my vacation, as they are wonderfully portable colorants and complement my current infatuation with watercolor. You can see the bleed-though of the “Siren” color in the white icicle shapes in bottom right corner of the image below.

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Our Wilderness” Closeup of  Right Bottom

I didn’t mean to neglect my blog duties, and even though this post is coming out Wednesday evening instead of Monday day, I want you to know that Wednesday’s usual Freebie post will still be coming out this week, just a day late! I sincerely thank you for sticking around while I found my footing earlier this month, and want to remind you: I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST on my Instagram, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

 


Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase  the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership, without any extra cost to you. You support this blog and my ability to continue making awesome content through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Jane Davenport website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Live Recap: March Art Snacks & “Embracing New Waters”

I’ve been doing a live stream on Instagram (@emmykait) once a week for a month now, and the experience of sharing my art journaling process has been amazing! Being live on the internet is a totally new experience for me. Although I found it nerve wracking to do my first live session, the art journaling community on Instagram is so friendly and supportive. I don’t believe that I could have picked a better site to do live streaming through! I have met some genuinely talented and kind individuals though Instagram since going public with my profile in April of 2016, and with risk has come reward!

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Setup for Instagram Live Streaming

Yesterday’s Instagram live stream (3/12/2017) consisted of unboxing my March Art Snacks subscription box, and of creating an art journal spread from beginning to almost completion. For this live stream, I was working in my smallest art journal: a pocket size Moleskine brand sketchbook with 111 lb cream colored paper. This month’s Art Snacks box held the following items, as shown in the image below:

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Art Snacks Subscription Box Contents for March 2017

I was very pleased with the contents of this month’s Art Snacks, which was valued by the subscription company at a total of $32.05. After opening and testing these supplies on camera, I used the watercolors and paint brush to coat the top half of my spread; I also drew randomly with the pencil on the pages. After using these these supplies, I decided to try to finish creating the art journal spread using only supplies that I had received in this and other Art Snacks boxes! With the exception of my collage material, my favorite matte medium (Golden brand), and some grey acrylic paint (also Golden brand), I succeed in this personal challenge. The following image is of what the art journal spread looked like by the end of my live stream!

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“Embracing New Waters” Work In Progress

Even though Instagram only allows it’s users to stream live for an hour, it’s possible to go live again immediately. When my live stream automatically ended, I was tearing my collage material, about to affix it to the spread.  I came back online for a few minutes, though, as I was in the process of adding the collage elements and wanted the live broadcast to end with my journal spread being close to finished. Although I absolutely loved the results of my journal spread as created during the live stream, I didn’t deem it finished. I prefer to alter any collage material that I use, and also wanted to add some black lines to the page. The image below is of the spread after I altered the collage material and added more details to the pages. I would now consider it finished! It is titled “Embracing New Waters.” Aside from the Golden brand paint, all art supplies pictured have come from Art Snacks!

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“Embracing New Water” Completed, Surrounded by Art Supplies Used

As you can see in the images above and below, I added a lot of detail to the swimmer pictured in my collage material. I added outlines around the body in white and black. I then mixed the Terra Rosa watercolor with some of the gray acrylic paint to create wild wavy hair, using the red and black markers to detail. The boldest addition to this spread is the thick black lines radiating from the image of the girl, highlighted with white watercolor paint, which was not diluted, but rather straight from the tube. The inspiration for these expressive lines comes from a tutorial by the talented Julia Thomas via the Get Messy blog!

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Center

This spread came together in about an hour and a half; I could not have completed it so quickly were it in a larger journal. I also like to use this Moleskine for live sessions as it can comfortably fit within the view of the camera without loosing much detail onscreen. I have used my larger altered book journals during past live streams, and will probably continue to do so on occasion, but find this Moleskine becoming my go-to for art journaling during these hour long stream sessions! Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive parents that watch a lot of my live streams, so I get frequent feedback on what works and what doesn’t. (What I mean to say is that my parents think I’m cool—but they’re also pretty cool, so I’ll take the complement.)

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“Embracing New Waters” Completed, Closeup of Left Side

Hopefully, you were able to join me for this week’s live stream, but if you weren’t, fear not! I will be streaming every Sunday at 8 pm EST, working in my art journal for all to see! I hope that you can join me sometime, and I especially hope that you’ll be making art with me, chatting about how awesome art journaling is, and letting me know if you have any questions about the many art supplies that I seem to be hoarding. Also, feel free to drop me a line by commenting here on the blog with any questions—or just to say hi!

If you’d like to read more about Art Snacks, check out my blog posts for the unboxing of the following months from 2016: May, June, August, and October. All you have to do is click the month mentioned, and you’ll be there!


 

Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.

Giveaway! 1 Year of Get Messy & Watercolor Set

To help me start off my year right as a Creative Team Member for the beautiful community that is Get Messy, I have been been granted the privilege to host a giveaway for an entire free year subscription of Get Messy to a lucky random winner! To make things even more fun, I’ve decided to also giveaway a set of Prima brand watercolors!! The watercolors that I discussed last blog post (click HERE to read) have made me so happy, and I really want to give another individual the opportunity to work with them! This giveaway is totally free and taking place on my Instagram. Details below!!!

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So how do you enter?
• Set 1: Go to my Instagram page.
• Step 2: Follow me @emmykait and @getmessyartjournal.
• Step 3: Like the photo that says GIVEAWAY! (It looks just like the one above.)
• Step 4: Comment on that photo by telling my your favorite art supply.
• Step 5: Wait until I announce a winner on Wednesday 25 January 2016.

This giveaway is located on my Instagram: @emmykait and admission will end 23 January 2017, 11:59pm EST.


PS: I am now an affiliate through Get Messy and am able to receive a small payment in return for you becoming a Get Messy annual member. By clicking the link above and purchasing an annual membership, you are supporting me and this blog—and I am beyond thankful if you choose to do so! That being said, I know that not everyone wants to jump into a whole year membership, so no hard feelings if you just want to try it out for a month. The community is awesome though, and I really think that if you enjoy art journaling, you’ll love being a Get Messy member too! Here is a review that I wrote about the community before becoming a Creative Team Member of affiliate. The site also offers a free class for you to get a taste of the things offered in the community. You can check out the Get Messy official Instagram, and see if that doesn’t get your creative spark…well..sparked!

 

ArtSnacks Unboxing: October 2016

ArtSnacks is a company which ships a small box containing 4 to 5 different art supplies and 1 piece of candy to your home each month. The box also includes a Menu, which explains what each art supply is, and a sticker with the ArtSnacks logo; any other items are entirely promotional.

It’s Inktober and I was thrilled to get this month’s ArtSnacks box! The ArtSnacks company advertised about pairing up with Inktober founder Jake Parker to release a specialty box (which I did not order), so I was hoping that the company would stick to the theme of inking; I was not disappointed! This month’s box was was very much ink themed, including: bottled ink, a paint brush to ink with, a black brush marker, and a white gel pen. Using these items would allow me to create that day’s Inktober drawing.

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Contents of the October ArtSnacks Box

This month’s box included many items that are considered high quality brand name, and was a pleasure to open. The ink, advertised as special edition, is from Liquitex‘s special release Muted Collection. I received the pink version, and the color is like a desaturated magenta. The company also offers this ink in: grey, turquoise, green, and violet. The Copic Gasenfude nylon brush pen was the second (and just as impressive item) in this month’s box. I was excited to play with this marker, but found myself unsatisfied with the results, being someone who is not practiced with a brush marker. I’ll need more practice before I can give an honest review of the Gasenfude.

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October ArtSnacks Supplies In Use 

The third item, a Uni-Ball Singno Broad gel pen, will make a great new addiction to my art journaling, as the only gel pens that I use are Gelly Roll. The Uni-Ball gel pen is not light fast, but that is my only complaint, and I’ll run this pen dry for sure! The last supply in the October ArtSnacks box is a watercolor paintbrush, included for artists to use with the Liquitex ink. I was not impressed with this brush as a watercolor brush, but found it to act much more like an acrylic brush. I was sent the round 4 of the Lauren Series 4350 by Princeton Brush; it did not hold a lot of liquid, though it did keep a great shape. It will be a versatile addition to my collection, but after receiving two brushes from ArtSnacks of this brand, I don’t think I’d buy it on my own.

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October ArtSnacks Menu

 

October’s ArtSnacks box also included the ArtSnacks Menu, the pencil/pretzel ArtSnacks brand temporary tattoo, and a Sour Punch rope candy. ArtSnacks values the 4 art supplies at a total of $25.94. I like the items in this box, and am especially happy to receive bottled ink, as it’s one of my new favorite supplies to play with in my art journaling. I would probably buy the Copic Gasenfude at least once on account of the brand’s superior reputation, but cannot say rather or not it will become a staple in my supply collection. The gel pen is a buy-again, and I’m glad to receive it, as I’m unwilling to purchase gel pens out of my comfort zone as gel pens are hit-or-miss for me. I don’t believe the brush is worth $5.75, but I’m cheap so my opinion doesn’t really count here.

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Art Created with October ArtSnacks Supplies for Day 3 of Inktober

Click the video below (or go here) to see my unboxing of August’s ArtSnacks—and stick around to the second half in order to see my application of each supply for my version of the ArtSnacks Challenge!

You can see my first ArtSnacks unboxing from May by clicking HERE, and see my unboxing for the month of June by clicking HERE, and check out August’s unboxing HERE! If you subscribe to ArtSnacks (or any other artsy/craftsy monthly subscription box), tell me about it in the comments: I’d love to hear your input!

Note: This ArtSnacks subscription is out-of-pocket for my household. I am not affiliated with ArtSnacks nor any of the brands shown in this video or discussed in the blog post. I have received no payment or gifts to participate in this ArtSnacks unboxing. Yet. That being said, if you work for any of these companies, please feel free to get a hold of me and send me free stuff. Seriously, though, I’ll take what I can get.

April Art Challenge

As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am participating in Roxanne Coble‘s April Art Challenge, which is a thirty day challenge consisting of prompts for drawing and making art in general. I recently purchased a watercolor Moleskine sketchbook without any plans for it, but was sure a need would arise. With my discovery of the thirty day challenge, I decided to grab my new Molskine and jump right in!

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Large Watercolor Moleskine w/ NeoColor II Crayons

I’ve found my niche with watercolor, being a fan of NeoColor II water soluble crayons for several years, but have never sought out watercolor paper before now. The majority of my watercolor art happens layered on gesso or acrylic paint, so I’m genuinely excited to color my drawings in this book! This Moleskine is technically the “large” watercolor sketchbook, measuring at 8 1/4″ x 5″. Honestly, I would tend to disagree with that assessment, but I use books about twice the size (or larger) for my average art journal.

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April Art Challenge, Day 1: Bones

I partitioned most pages to fit four sketching dates per spread. This format allowed for me to pre-title each date, acting as a reminder of the  prompts for the following days. Some dates I’m thrilled about, including the prompts of: “crystals,” “something with wings,” “teeth,” “skeleton key,” and “villain.” That being said, when it comes to “song lyrics,” and “historical figure,” I’m still at a loss. But, it is called a challenge, after all…hopefully I’m challenged and not just stumped when the time comes.

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April Art Challenge, Days 2-5

Feel fee to join me in this challenge, I promise it isn’t too late! You don’t need a sketchbook or fancy pens; printer paper and a pencil will do just fine. Roxanne is welcoming people to post their drawings on social media using the hashtag #aprilartchallenge. You can also tag her on Instagram by using @bybun. Let me know if you decide to do this challenge by leaving me a comment. You can also leave a link below to your Instagram post or Facebook post, so that we can all take a peek at your inspired sketches.

WIP ‘Head in the Stars’

The spread I’m sharing  with you today is a work in progress in my art-art journal.

Art outside of my journals is unlikely to occur off of a canvas, but every now and again I want to create without the dedication that either of those two projects demands. When I turn to a sketchbook, it’s usually for making small drawings that end up on my ATCs. However, sometimes I’ll use my sketchbook if I want to create with watercolor and believe the imagery to be too impersonal for my daily journal. Last week, I sketched a cartoon-esque face some in my sketchbook. The line art was incredibly basic, but the coloring required 3 different types of paint: watercolor crayons; water brushes, pre-filled with pigment; and diluted acrylic paint.  The portrait ended up so colorful and fun, but was created as a time killer and went hidden between the pages of that sketchbook.

My art-art journal has a few spreads that are nothing more than colorful backgrounds, which I’ve painted on whims. When I rediscovered my portrait, I decided that it belonged someplace more treasured than just my sketchbook. I lined the image with a large black marker to create a line for cutting, and trimmed her down to size. I tested the face against blue, yellow, and gray-scale backgrounds, but discovered the piece looked best on a vibrant backdrop of pinks, purples and teals! Securing the portrait came as a struggle, though, and I found some of the face pealing away as I used my paintbrush on the sticky surface of drying Modge Podge. (Invest in brand name gel medium, kids!)

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It was an unfortunate accident, but I was able to creatively hide the tearing of my poor vibrant lady. The first thing I decided to do was actually cover up the blemish with other imagery. I dug out an old star shaped hole punch, some hand painted paper, and went to work! I punched out enough stars to not only cover the tear, but also enough to scatter around the art journal spread. After adhering all of the stars in clusters around my pages, I then diluted white craft paint and let it drip from the top of my journal. just to make sure all accidents were covered.

I’ll keep you updated on this whimsical spread. Until then, happy arting!