visual journal techniques

These are two of the samples that my sister made in her journal after I showed her some mixed media techniques during her visit.

This first one is of a photo that I took of an angel statue in my mother-in-law’s garden. I printed it out on a transparency to show my sister how to layer images over images, or images over text. We decided to go the simple route and lay it over one word, “faith”. The nice thing about working with transparencies is that you can move it around here and there and play around with the layout and composition before committing yourself. We then framed the transparency with aluminum tape that you can buy at a hardware store. We scratched in words and scribbles and wiped on india ink to age the tape. We painted on the page with acrylic fluids using titan bluff and zinc white to blend the piece onto the journal page. Then with my handy pigma pen, I drew lines for her to write on at a later date.

The little lines of dots on the aluminum tape was done with one of those rotary thingies used for making lines when cutting out your patterns for sewing. (I think! I don’t know how to sew, so I don’t know what the thing is called or what it’s actually used for). I picked up that embellishing tip from Karen Michel.


The page below is also in her journal. We taped in a photo transfer using masking tape around the edges. I had shown her how to do one of those quickie photo transfer using gel medium. And this was actually the leftover part. We both liked it a lot and decided to use it in her journal.


I love journals that are bursting at the seams with art and words and images and memorabilia. My personal journals are mostly filled with words, but I do incorporate a lot of these techniques in them as well.


  1. The journal pages inspire me; you guys must have had a great time together. I wish all of us bloggers lived on the same block; I am always wanting to share ideas and visit and have studio dates. Wish you were close enough to join our local encaustic group. Your encaustics are awesome.

  2. wow i just love your encustic wall i want some of your art i’ll have to go about getting some :)amber

  3. Thanks so much for explaining how you do stuff! It’s frustrating when I come across pages that look really cool, but then can’t figure out how they were done.

    Really like the pages; looks like your sister is off to a great start!

  4. I am from Chicago, IL, as well and I am very interested in making my own journals to sell. I was wondering how someone can get into this. . . for example, besides making the journals, where would the best place be to start? Is there any tips you can give me that may point me in the right direction?? Thank you!


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