I had fully intended to make this week a picture by picture tutorial. It was a layout that took oodles and oodles of time to dry. (Picture me sitting impatiently sipping coffee literally watching paint dry!) But as this layout progressed and my frustrations grew, yeah, I forgot to snap pictures. What I did do however was learn quite a few lessons. So grab yourself a drink and let’s chat!
I am obsessed with galaxy art. The idea of all those stars and the colorful pockets of light, it’s dreamy. Oddly, if you asked me if I had wanted to go into outer space, my answer- flat out NO! Heck, I don’t even like to fly. This girl was made for ground transport only. When I first saw Tiffany’s Galaxy layout (this week’s #inspiby challenge layout), I knew I wanted to create one for myself. I watched as she herself struggled with how she wanted her layout to go. It’s all part of the process, you keep pushing through until you find yourself on the path to happy creations, so I knew what I might be getting myself into. I could have chosen an easier layout, minus all the textures and layers, but well, when I go in, I go ALL IN.
So to begin. I gessoed my page.
then I glued on a bunch of cut square and rectangle pieces from this awesome already textured with glitter bits scrap paper I had laying around.
I also happened to find this corrugated blue paper too. I thought, this lucky! It’s all going swimmingly and I’m excited. Following along with Tiffany’s process I grabbed the crackle paste next. I haven’t had much luck with crackle paste in the path, but that is most likely due to the fact that I have absolutely no patience when it comes to letting things dry naturally. (Hello! that’s why they invented heat tools and hair dryers am I right? *Wink)
I slathered that baby on thick. I’ve heard that thicker paste layers create bigger cracks. Can you guess what I did next? If you say broke out the heat tool, you would actually be wrong this time! I set the project off to the side and actually let it dry overnight. (Yay me!) When I came into the studio, a.k.a. my craft room, the next day, I had gloriously yummy cracks! I was beyond thrilled! It’s all working just as I had planned! Knowing that I love having colors peeking out from behind the blacks of my galaxy, I used some liquid acrylics. (Daler-Rowney: fluorescent yellow, waterfall green, galactic blue, moon violet and Liquitex muted pink, yellow orange azo)
Look at those cracks! I seriously could have stopped now and been a happy, happy lady, but that wasn’t a galaxy so I pressed onwards. I added some stars using a stencil and some texture paste. It was hard to get the stars to form correctly due to all the textures that were already on the page. I let it go with the thought that it could be abstract right?
Now here’s where things went sideways. I started with black India ink, dripping it from one side of the page and holding my journal up so it would run over the whole spread. It wasn’t giving me a dark enough coverage, so I added black gesso with a paintbrush around the outside edges. I really like how the black gesso ‘flattened’ the paint as it dried matte as opposed to the shimmery acrylics. It still wasn’t there yet so I sprayed some Lindy’s Stamp Gang Screamin’ Banshee Black and Dylusions Black ink spray. Well, that created a mess! I got splats all over the ‘white space’ that I had been trying oh so hard to preserve. I grabbed for the white gesso and painted all around the outside. (Of course this was once those sprays were dry, but really, it doesn’t matter because they both started to move with the gesso and it gave me gray!) At this point I was pretty sure there were fumes coming out of my ears. I know you are supposed to enjoy the process of art, but sometimes shit just gets frustrating! I grabbed for the heat tool to help dry that first layer of gesso, and low and behold, my heat tool died!
Sometimes the universe speaks to us, and when we don’t listen it screams. Apparently, I was just supposed to walk away for a few and regroup. Obviously, a Michaels trip was in order. This page was taking much longer than any of the other Inspired by challenge layouts. Sometimes, that’s ok, but when you have a weekend getaway planned with your hubs (first time in I dunno how many years, like seriously, it’s been so long I can’t even count!) you just want to get stuff done and in a timely manner. After a said trip to Michaels and a new (yet not the one I would have preferred to buy but just needed to have to finish the project) heat tool, I was ready to finish off this layout!
Without going into crazy boring details, what came next was trial and error times one hundred. Layers and layers of building to get to where I was mostly happy. I used some Copic white paint to splatter on the stars I used these gorgeous fish stamps from Carabelle and had some netting from honestly, who knows where and glued it all down with matte medium and foam tape to give it some dimension.
I have always loved this quote and when I first started my galaxy I just knew it was going to be this quote with fish in space, because truthfully what could be cooler than giant fish in space? Thanks for sticking with me through this week’s challenge.
While this week’s challenge was just that, a challenge, I really did enjoy myself and even learned a lesson (or two, or three!). I hope you enjoyed created your Galaxy inspired layout! I would love to see your art and follow along with your art journey so be sure to follow me in Instagram @happilywego and I’ll follow you back! You can also catch me on my new Facebook page and also twitter!