Art Journaling With Gouache: Starting a Creative Practice | Imani S. | Skillshare

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Art Journaling With Gouache: Starting a Creative Practice

teacher avatar Imani S., Artist & Designer, Life Draft Ink

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 4m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:15
    • 2. Class Project

      2:09
    • 3. Why Art Journal

      3:25
    • 4. Intro to Materials

      7:47
    • 5. Color Theory

      7:13
    • 6. Why Gouache

      1:51
    • 7. 12 techniques

      5:50
    • 8. Lettering

      6:43
    • 9. Starting a Creative Practice

      2:37
    • 10. A morning walk

      7:02
    • 11. Journaling

      7:46
    • 12. In A Rush

      4:11
    • 13. A Hike

      4:47
    • 14. Conclusion

      0:53
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About This Class

This is an introductory course to starting a creative practice with Art Journaling using Gouache.

Who is the class for?

This class is aimed towards students with little to no experience in art journaling. However, students who already know art journaling and wants to learn about gouache as well as students who are already familiar with gouache but would like to start an art journaling practice will also benefit from this class.

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Why is the class is useful?

This class is useful because it will teach you an invaluable skill to add to your self care routine.

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Materials
An art journal

Gouache

Paint brush

Paper towel/ Rag

Palette

Water

Household Items

 

Resources

Handout with information on Gouache.

A template to practice color theory.

In-depth list of art journaling materials.

Breathing Technique: 4 Square Breathing


In This Course, You Learn…

How to pick the right tools
The basics of color theory
How to use Gouache
How to find inspiration from life and translate that into an art page

And along the way, you will become familiar with:

Starting your own creative self care routine

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Imani S.

Artist & Designer, Life Draft Ink

Teacher

Hello! My name is Imani from Life Draft Ink. I am a born and bred New Yorker living in San Jose, California at the heart of Silicon Valley. My background is in Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Psychology fields which inspire my work. I also take inspiration from a wide range of sources, including places I traveled to and lived in, vintage illustrations, nature, the people I meet and old films. I mainly work in gouache, watercolor and ink. 

If you are an organization working with foster care and homeless youth, I provide free workshops. More information can be found at www.thecreativerootsproject.com. I started this project with the belief that every individual should have access to creative self-expression, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi guys, my name is Imani from Life Draft Ink. I'm an artist born and raised in New York and currently living in California. My background is in biochemistry and Neuropsychology. I've been an avid art journal-er for the past 14 years. Early in my career, when I was working with clients, I saw the positive effects journaling and art had on their personal well-being. Today I'm going to show you how you can start your own creative practice using an art journal. The medium I'll be using a gouache because of its versatility. Unlike acrylic and oil with gouache, you're able to leave your project halfway, continue on with your life and restart where you left off. In this class, you'll learn how to pick the right tools for your practice, learn the basics of color theory, as well as how to use gouache in art journaling techniques. At the end, you will have a class project where you'll use two techniques to create an art journaling page of your own. Noise variance is needed, and anyone from an artist to a health care professional looking to introduce a creative outlet for themselves or their clients could benefit from taking this class. Art journaling is a great tool to have in your self-care routine. It not only helps you be more creative, but you'll also be more self-aware, less stressed, and even have an opportunity to create amazing memories. When my first art journal was published in a magazine, I was on a road trip from Portland to New York, and I got to see my art all across the country. My favorite moment was seeing it at Barnes and Nobles in Manhattan, since it was always a childhood bucket list of mine. I'm so excited to be partnering with Skillshare to teach this class, and I can't wait to see where this journey would take you. So let's get started. 2. Class Project: Hi, guys. Welcome to the Skillshare class. Before we get started, I wanted to talk a little bit about the class project. At the end of this class, you'll be asked to make your own art journal page using two techniques that you learned. This exercise is really to show you what the thought process is from start to finish. It's very important that you go through this. Even if you think you messed up the page, I want you to work through it, stick it out and finish. Don't be scared of making mistakes. Mistakes are actually a way to add character to a page. I chose this project because I wanted you to see this class as a journey instead of the destination. I know it sounds cliche, but stay with me. The destination is getting our journal page done. But the journey is learning what your creative practice looks like. What works for you, what doesn't work for you, and basically tailoring it into something that you can make part of your life consistently. The two techniques gives you a little bit of structure, but please feel free to add any other technique you feel like. I know when I first started art journaling, it was overwhelming seeing all these techniques and tools being used. That's why I try to be a minimalist as possible when I started off and then build on it. You could do the same or you could just dive right in if that works for you. What I want you to remember for this class is just to have fun. Take a moment for yourself and really use this time to ground yourself and to connect with the practice because you'll benefit from that the most. Before you start this project, just take the time to go through each lesson at your own pace. I would suggest that you practice these techniques in your journal. Later on you can cover this up or choose to keep it as a reference. But it is really important that you become comfortable with using the tools that you picked out. After you're done with your project, you can upload it onto the project gallery on Skillshare. See you in the next lesson. 3. Why Art Journal: Before we get started, let's talk a little bit about why we should keep the art journal. You can use the class download to take notes and follow along. Studies have shown that visual journaling or journaling is an empowering experience of telling without really talking. This is important because it helps you express your thoughts, feelings, and situations that may otherwise be difficult or impossible to express. Combining art and journaling enriches our life by allowing us to understand a little bit about our feelings and gives us access to new knowledge about what type of person we are. It also helps us spend some time on the right side of our brain, which is responsible for our cognitive functions, such as processing visuals, shapes, patterns, and your emotions. Let's start off with defining what an art journal is. An art journal is defined as a book to record visuals and verbal thoughts and ideas. It can include paintings like we're going to do with gouache. You can also make collages using the ephemera that you collected in your travels. You could also use photographs to record memories. You can write and draw in your journals, just like Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci did, where they sketched and wrote down their ideas and thoughts. You could also include quotes and poems. You could use non-traditional materials like dried flowers, printmaking, and even use fabric. The possibilities are endless and you could include literally whatever you want. There are many benefits for art journaling. One of the main ones are that it helps you understand who you are. It also provides a really great creative outlet, especially if you have artist block. Another benefit is that it helps you work through your ideas and problems. Most importantly, it's a safe space of your own. A place you could come over and over again, whenever you need a break, whenever you feel like you're running on empty, you could come here and it's a guaranteed place. We can let go of all the external stressors and really focus on getting your personal well-being in check. It's an excuse to play in a place with no rules and create without fear of being judged. It also helps you create a self-care routine where you can dedicate some time for yourself. Studies have shown that art and journaling has been life changing. It can affect everything from how you cope with stress to your physical health. Whether you're playing around or being introspective, keeping an art journal is something I'd encourage you highly to do. 4. Intro to Materials: Before we get started on the materials, I want to be clear that you don't need all the supplies that I'm showing you. The most essential items is that you have something to write on, something to write with, and gouache. If you already have watercolors, you could just buy a tube of white gouache and mix it in. A good place to start is picking out your journal. Since gouache is a wet medium, you're going to want some thicker paper. I would recommend Mix Media or Watercolor paper. If you have thinner paper, you could always paste two pages together, you could also use gesso to make the pages a little bit thicker. Ask yourself a couple of questions. If you like working across the whole page, you might not like spiral bone books. If you travel a lot or don't have that much space, a smaller size book might be better if they're always outside and don't have access to tables, a hardcover book might be better than a soft cover books. You can also be Eco friendly and re-purpose old books. You could bind your own books using scrap paper. This can be from magazines, old book, watercolor pads, card stock, basically anything you will get your hands on. After you collected all the pages, cut them all into size. You can stop here and staple the top or you can fold the pages in half and create a booklet. After you're done stapling the pages, you have your own art journal. Next, let's talk about gouache. There's so many different types of gouache. I would recommend something that's comfortable in your price point. You don't have to buy all the colors. The best things that I learned is buying the basic palette that comes with the three primaries and then usually black or white. With the primaries, you can mix almost any color that you would want, and this is a great way if you're interested in trying out different brands without breaking your budget. Gouache usually comes in tubes, pants, and jars. To use gouache, all you have to do is mix it in with some water. The more water you use, the more transparent is going to be, and the less water that you use, the more opaque it's going to be. There are two types of gouache. Regular gouache can be reactivated with water once it's dried. Acrylic gouache on the other hand, you won't be able to reactivate it once it's dried. However, you could dilute it while it's still wet. For this class, we'll just be using the regular gouache. Something to write with is a very personal choice. You can use your fingers, you could use homemade tools. You could even use old makeup brushes. Basically anything that will make a mark. For me, using brushes has given me a lot of creative freedom to make what I want. A medium-size round brush with a pointed tip is a great tool to have. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just make sure that it has a steady tip that's firm. I usually use a size six to eight prom brush. It's versatile enough to create tiny dots, lines, washes, and shapes. If you will invest in some more brushes, an angled brush and a detailed brush are great to have. I will pick the size of your brush depending on the size of your art journal. If you tend to work in larger books, I would recommend some bigger brushes. If you tend to work in smaller books, medium to small brushes would work great. See what works for you and what doesn't work for you. This is all a learning process. Another brush that I like to use is a water brush. These brushes are portable and easy to travel with. These brushes have water wells within them and basically you just fill it up and squeeze the barrel to release water. You could also fill it up with ink to take it on the go. You also need water. I usually use two wonderful warm colors and one for cool colors. Another thing you need is a rag or a paper towel. I would pick something that's thick enough to absorb all the water. Your palette doesn't have to be anything fancy. I will recommend something with a white background. So you'll see what colors you're mixing. Clips are great to have to hold down the paper. Artist's tape and washy tape are great to create borders and glue and double-sided tape is great for pasting down memorabilia. Another thing to include our pens and pencils to make lined metallic pen is great to create accents on a page. A white pen add highlights and dimensions. It's always useful to have a pencil on hand to do sketches. Finally, a black ink pen to write with. You could use gesso to make pages thicker. The beauty of gesso is that you can apply it to any surface and even use it to add color to a background. Stencils are great to have for some quick patterns. You can look around your house and see what other materials inspire you. In the next lesson, we'll talk about color theory. 5. Color Theory: Color theory is both the art and science of using color. It's fascinating because colors can have a psychological effect. Since colors based on perception are I see something and the data from that is sent to our brain. But what we're actually seeing is light reflecting off the object in different wavelengths. Light is then picked up by the receptors in the retina. This part of the eye has three receptors for colored light. With D3 color receptors, we're able to see more than a million different shades of color. Our feelings about color are very personal and there are rooted in our experiences and our culture. In art journaling, you can use colors as a way of visualizing your emotions. For example, using warm colors like red, orange, and yellow, you can convey feelings of happiness, passion and enthusiasm. Cooler colors like green, blue, and purple. Those evoke emotions of relaxation and calm. Understanding of color theory is helpful. It shows using the three primaries, you can make any color that you want. This is great if you're on a tight budget and can't buy a lot of colors. Or if you're traveling and you need something compact. Let's start off by making our own color wheel. You can do this by using a compass and drawing a circle, and then dividing it into 12 equal parts. You could also use a circular object and trace around it. Another option is using the template I included in your workbook. You could print it out on watercolor paper or trace it using a light box or your window. You'll need the three primary colors, blue, red, and yellow. Start by mixing in a little bit of water to your blue. You want this to be the most opaque shade. Now pick up a little bit more water to dilute the blue. You'll start to see the paper underneath and how translucent the guash has become. Let's do the same thing with red. When you're doing this, try not to pick up more color. The last of the primaries is yellow. Now we're going to start mixing colors with a clean brush. Pick up some red, wash your brush, and then pick up some blue. You'll start to see a beautiful shade of violet. With a clean brush pickups some red and yellow. This gives you orange. Picking up some yellow and blue gives you a beautiful green color. These three colors are called the secondary colors. That's because we mixed two primaries together. Next will combine a primary and secondary color to get a tertiary color. With a clean brush pickup, some red, and mix it in with the orange. This gives you a beautiful red orange. Next, pick up some red and violet. This makes the color red violet. Mixing violet with blue gives you a beautiful blue violet. Mixing in the primary color blue and a secondary color green, gives you a beautiful blue-green. You can make a gorgeous leaf color by combining green and yellow to make a yellow-green. The last tertiary color is made by mixing yellow and orange to get a yellow orange. Besides the primaries, having a black and white is a great addition to your toolkit. You could try and mix them black by combining the three primary colors, but it comes off a little bit brown. You can see that here when comparing them side-by-side. A great way to learn about color is doing color studies. For this exercise, I'm going to pick red, but you can choose any color that you like. Start off by making a swatch of the original color image, some white and black to get Grey. Now I will add that little by little to the red. You can see the color changing progressively as I add the gray. Adding Grey to a color changes this tone. Next, we'll talk about red and white and how they interact. We'll start the same way by making the swatch of the red. After cleaning your brush, pick up a little bit of white and add it to the red paint. Keep progressively adding white and making swatches. Adding white to a color produces a tint. You can see the amount of tints that were making with just white and red. You can make many shades of red by adding black. Practice mixing different colors. You can also desaturated color by adding a small amount of its complimentary color. Complimentary colors are across from each other on the color wheel. When you combine and mix them together, they cancel each other out. When you place them next to each other, they create a strong contrast. You can see these colors in nature. Mixing red and green, purple and yellow, and blue and orange would all give a dull color. Try to see what other color mixes you can make. You don't need to know all of this by heart. You can note down the color mixes that you made in your journal. Make a note of the mix of colors that you used. This way you can always reference back. The most important thing is to play with the colors. Once you have colors came to you like it will help you get over the fear of a blank page. Now that we learned all about color, let's move on to why we're using guash. 6. Why Gouache : Why gouache? Gouache is a water-based paint, and is also known as opaque watercolor. Much like watercolor ink and acrylic, gouache has a considerable history going back over 600 years. Gouache is derived from the Italian word aguazzo, which means mud. Gouache and watercolor chemically have the same components. They're both made out of natural pigment, water, and a binding agent, such as gum arabic or dextrin. What makes them different? Compared to watercolor, gouache has larger particles of pigment. The particles are so tightly packed that there's less space for light to slip through, and that's what makes gouache opaque. How come gouache can be transparent as well? When you look at all paint on a structural level, they all consist of color particles that are suspended in a medium. For oil paints, the color particles are suspended in oil; for acrylic, they're suspended in polymer; and for watercolor and gouache, they're suspended in gum arabic. Since gum arabic is a water-soluble binder, you can add water and dilute the paint to create transparency. Gouache has the opaque qualities of acrylic and oil, but with the easier clean-up. It has the water solubility of acrylic without drying out and ruining your brushes. It also dries mat, so it's very easy to scan. Besides the quick clean-up, it's also travel-friendly. Gouache sits on the surface of your paper, so it's very easy to do different techniques and textures. In our next lesson, we'll learn about 12 techniques you could use with gouache. 7. 12 techniques: Gloss is a very versatile medium. The paintings that you can make can take many different appearances depending on your style and what techniques you use. Today you'll see 12 techniques using gloss. Divide a page into 12 squares. The first technique is called a flat wash. A wash refers to a layer of color that is somewhat transparent. This is accomplished by using a large amount of solvent with a little bit of paint. Typically, washes are applied over a large area for painting to help create a background and build layers of color. A glaze consists of applying a transparent layer of paint over another layer. Glazes can change the chroma, value, hue and texture of a surface. Just make sure the first layer is thoroughly dried before you apply the second. You can use salt to create some interesting effects on gloss. The salt crystals soak up the liquid from the gloss paint and create areas with less pigment so you can get this beautiful effect. Apply the salt while the layer is still wet and let it dry completely before you brush to salt off. You could use different size of salt crystals to get varying backgrounds. The wet-on-wet technique involves laying down a thin layer of water and then picking up some paint and just dropping it all over. You can add different colors to create a beautiful background. Sgraffito or [inaudible] involves laying down an opaque layer of paint and then etching to create a design. Just be sure not to make your gloss layer too thick because it has the tendency to crack or peel off the paper. Dry brushing allows you to see your brush strokes in a painting. How you do this is by picking up some paint and rubbing most of it off on a paper towel or your rag, and then start making brush marks on your paper. The cling wrap technique starts off the same way as wet-on-wet technique where you lay down a layer of water and then you paint. With the cling wrap, what you need to do is scrunch it up and then place it on top of the wet layer and let it dry. After it's dried, you can remove the cling wrap and you can see some beautiful edges and textures. The gradient technique is great for making landscapes. You can make a color gradient either by using one color that's concentrated more at the top and then diluting it down with water as it moves down or vice versa. You could also use two different colors and blend it in together. You can also mask your background by either using tape or rubber cement. Lay down the masking tape in any design you want, and paint a couple of layers on top. When you've removed the mask, you'll see the layer underneath and the beautiful pattern you created. Another technique that you can use is a sponge. Use your sponge to apply colors either directly onto the page or on top of the stencil. You can use two colors on the background to make it a little bit more interesting. The last technique I'm going to show is splatter painting. Splatter painting is a technique that has been made famous by Jackson Pollock. It gives your painting a more dynamic, energetic, and interesting feel. What you do is add a little bit more water to your gloss and pick up a generous amount of paint. You can use a brush to tap the paint onto the page for some fun and random droplets. You can use different colors to create some beautiful effects. You can use these techniques by itself or you can combine them onto a journal page. In the next class, we will learn about glittering. 8. Lettering: Today we're going to take a look at Hand Lettering. Hand Lettering is a form of drawing to create decorative letters and fonts in your art journal. This may seem intimidating at first, but it's actually pretty easy to learn. You'll need the right tools to get started. You can use a piece of paper or your art journal. You'll also need a brush of your choice and wash paint dustbin watered down to an inkling consistency. I would also recommend a ruler to establish straight lines to practice on, and a pencil to draw these lines. The basics of lettering focuses on two primary strokes, the upstroke and the downstroke. In a downstroke, the pen is coming towards your body and you're applying pressure to create thick lines. In an upstroke the pen is going away from your body and you're releasing pressure to create thinner lines. If you're not going to do too much lettering in your journal and just want to know the basics then full lettering is an awesome way to go. You can make beautiful letters in three simple steps. Step one, write the words in your normal handwriting. Step two thicken the downstrokes. Step three, after you're done with the outline, you can come back with some brush and fill in the shape with the brush. If you want to know a little bit more about hand lettering, you can practice these basic strokes. Start by making downstrokes, but light pressure. Now increase the pressure on your brush and make thicker downstroke so your hand gets used to holding a brush and practicing with different pressures. Next, alternate the thicker and thinner downstrokes. Learning the difference in the pressure is a skill that is learned with consistent practice. Now let's do a combination of up and downstrokes. Let's do some overturns where you start off with a thin upstroke and transition slowly into a thicker downstroke. A tip is to go all around the transition between up and down, very slowly. An undeterred is basically the reverse. You'll start off with the ticker downstroke and then slowly transition into a thinner upstroke. One thing to make sure is that you have enough paint on your brush. You might have to reload frequently. Loops and swirls are a great way to create flourishes, which are decorative strokes that can be added to a letter to provide movement. Ovals at sometimes they are the toughest to practice. You could do it in the traditional way, where you basically start in the middle with a thin upstroke and then slowly transition into a thicker downstroke. Once you reach the bottom, start releasing the pressure on your brush, then slowly transition back into a thin upstroke. It can also stylize your letters. I like making my O's with a loop at the top. I start off at the top with a thicker downstroke and then end with a thin upstroke. If you want to get a little bit more advanced and practice more hand lettering, what you can do is use your ruler and make two guidelines and practice making consistent strokes. There's also some basic hand lettering terminology that's useful to know. Ascender is the part of the lowercase letter that extends above the mean line, like h, b, f, d, l, and t. The cap height, is the guiding line that establishes the height for all capital letters. The mean line determines where all the non ascending lowercase letters and the x-height establishes the height for all lowercase letters. The baseline is where the entire word or phrase sits on. The descender is the part of the lowercase letter that extends below the baseline, like p,q, j, y, and g. Now that you're familiar with the terminology, you can play around with defines to create beautiful effects in your hand lettering. For this exercise, we're going to be playing around with the x-height with the regular handwriting to create different look. We'll first start off with all the lines spaced out equally. This looks like a neater version of your handwriting. Next, we'll increase the x-height, this creates a more exaggerated look. We can also decrease the x-height to create a more compressed look. You can see how all three created different looks, even though it's in the same handwriting. You can practice spacing out the other lines to create more effects. You can use this to add words, quote, and poems into your art journal. In the next class, we will start talking about how you can set up your creative practice. 9. Starting a Creative Practice: Now that we talked about the basics of art journalism, let's talk about starting your own creative practice. What you creative practice looks like. It's completely up to you. Ask yourself some questions about what you like. Knowing what you like and don't like, steers you in the right direction for cultivating a creative practice. First thing first, find and setup a space that you feel calm and relaxed in. Nothing impacts your behavior as much as your environment. It doesn't have to be big or fancy. It could be a spot on your couch, a chair in your kitchen table, a room of your own, or a spot at your favorite coffee shop. What matters most is that you feel comfortable and inspired. Find tools that you like and feel comfortable using. I get inspired to create by working with beautiful supplies that make me happy. I like to display my supplies and make them part of the decor. If you don't have a lot of space, find a spot to keep all your tools organized and ready to go. If you're always looking for your supplies, then you're less likely to enjoy the process and start creating. Along with having an inviting workspace, as well as the right tools your mindset is another important thing to remember. An easy way to start your practice is by doing some breathing meditations. If you downloaded the worksheet, you'll have access to a technique called the Foursquare breathing. You start off by taking a deep breath through your nose for four seconds. Next, hold your breath for four seconds. Exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Always be kind to yourself. There'll be days where you don't feel like starting your creative practice and that's okay. Odder that feeling. There'll be also days where you all you want to do is art journal all day. When you kinder to yourself, you begin to trust yourself more. Eventually, this will become second nature. In the next few lessons, I'm going to show you examples of creative practices that I like to use. 10. A morning walk: Going on a morning walk, is a great way to clear your head, and start a creative practice. Walking mindfully, while scanning, observing, and taking in beauty, all stimulate pleasure centers within the brain. Also, there's an increase in blood flow to the medial orbital frontal cortex. This region in the frontal lobe, is involved in decision-making. Activation in these parts of your brain, leads to an elevated state of consciousness, well-being, and better emotional health. After my morning walk, I set up my workspace. For this journaling page, I'm going to use washi tape to make a border. I'm going to mix blue and white, with a little bit of red to create a periwinkle color. After the background is completely dry, I start working on my next layer. Since there were so many flowers blooming today, I'm going to make some flowers. I start with mixing some white gouache, and making some ugly-looking blob. You don't have to be precise, the more variation you have, the better your page would look. When you're making the white blobs, try to make each one as unique as possible. Your brush strokes create a beautiful pattern. When you first start off your art journal, try to make simple and repetitive patterns that you can easily learn. After the white gouache is completely dry, I mix some red with white to create a pink. I'm adding the pink to the middle of each flower, by gently touching the page with my brush. While that's drying, I'm going add some blue and yellow to create the green for the leaves. I'm making a leaves by gently touching the tip of my brush onto the page. You don't want to use too much pressure. Adding layers of color creates dimension. To give the leaves a little bit more depth, I'm going to add a little bit of white to the green. I'm using my detail brush, to add in very thin lines using very light pressure, I'm mimicking the veins on the leaves. Using some black, I'm going to create some steaming using my detail brush. You could also use a toothpick to make tiny dots. Let all the layers completely dry before going on to the next step. For this page, we're going to add some lettering. The quote I'm using is three lines. I'm going to have one word in each line. Starting from the middle of the page, I'm going to mark off three separate areas. You don't have to be this precise. You could always eyeball it. Next, I'm going to take some very opaque white gouache, and color in those lines. The reason I'm doing this is to give a background to the lettering. Since gouache opaque, it's great for layering and these types of techniques. I wouldn't be able to do this with watercolor. It cut out some vellum paper to give it a little bit more dimension. After gluing it down, I'm gonna take my detail brush and some black gouache and start lettering. Using a pencil, I did a light sketch of how I wanted to letters to look. Using a steady hand, I'm going to lightly trace over the letters. I'm diluting some pink gouache, and using it to create a light border around where pasted the vellum paper. This gives it a shadow effect and helps it blend in with the page a little bit more. You can peel off the washi tape very slowly and you'll see the very clean border that you made. And you're done. 11. Journaling: Today we're going to start off our practice with some journaling. Practicing journaling has shown to keep your memory sharp, improve your immune function, reduce stress, and even boost your mood. When you put your feelings into words, you are activating your prefrontal region, and seeing a reduced response in the amygdala. The amygdala is a component of the limbic system and it plays an important role in emotion and behavior. It's the region of your brain that acts like an alarm to activate the biological systems that protect the body in times of danger. When you journal and put these feelings into words, you hit a break in your emotional response. While the amygdala becomes less active, the region in your brain that's associated with thinking in words and emotional experiences become active. This region is called the right ventral lateral prefrontal cortex. Even journaling 15-20 minutes a day helps your brain regulate emotion. We're going to begin with the journal prompt. Take them time to write down ten things that make you happy and then assign some colors to them. After you're done journaling, use the emotion that you felt the strongest as your background color. I'm mixing red, yellow and white to create a range of warm colors. You can see mixing directly on the page creates a gradient of gorgeous colors. Next I'm using empty spray bottle and adding in some red and yellow to create an orange. Add some water and shake the bottle to mix all the colors together. You can use the spray to create some spotter effects on your page. Next, I'm using a lot of water to dilute some white gouache. You want your gouache to have a liquidy consistency. Using an old toothbrush, I'm going to dip it in the paint and create some spraying effects. You could also use a straw to create some splatter effects. Once this layer is completely dry, I'm going to use some more colors to represent my emotions. I'm just using my medium round brush to tap some color onto the page. This is a great exercise if you feel overwhelmed with emotions. Another way to do this journaling page is to write down all the emotions that you're feeling. You can then assign a color to each one. You'll be able to see these colors on your journaling page and identify which emotions are the strongest. After I added all my colors, I'm going to go back in with my straw and add a little bit more yellow to the page. You can also use your brush to create some splatter patterns. To make a dripping effect, I'm going to move the whole journal around while the gouache is still wet. After letting all the layers dry, I'm going to go back in with the white unit ball pen and start creating a little bit more dimension. If you don't have a white pen, you could also use the detail brush and some white gouache to make def lines and dots. Feel free to use any design that you want. You could use polka dot dashes, lines, deeper patterned, anything really goes. I'm going back in with my detail brush and some black wash. Next, I'm using my round brush and some yellow gouache to create some more patterns. Layering multiple colors and adding different designs create a lot of interests for the eyes. Continue adding layers to the page till you're happy with it. While my layers are all drying, I'm going to use some black wash and do some hand lettering. I'm writing my letters in a separate piece of paper and then cutting them out. I'm just going to add some black around the border of each letter. After playing around with the layout to see what I like, I use some glue to paste it down. You can see what else you like to add on the page. You're done. This is a great way to end a stressful day. 12. In A Rush: Each of us experiences stress in life. Life gets busy, and we forget to take care of ourselves. An overabundance of stress can not only be damaging to your mental health, but also your physical health. Our journaling 50 minutes a day or just one hour a week has shown to reduce stress, and increase your overall well-being. I'm making a small journal page today, since I don't have that much time. This is where small journals come in handy. You can finish your page really quick, and you don't need that much time. For the background, I'm mixing white and red to make this bubblegum pink color. After the background is completely dry, I'm using a stencil and a sponge to layer on some white wash on top. I diluted the white wash, so it will show up really light, almost blending in with the background. I love stencils because you could create beautiful pages with little to no effort. I'm placing in the stencil randomly across the page just to create some interest in the background. I don't want this to be my focal point. I dried some flowers from a bouquet a friend gave me. She has a beautiful flower garden, and was kind enough to pick out these beautiful purple bell flowers. I wanted to save them, so I dried it between two pages of a book. You place the book under something heavy until it's pressed flat. Now I'm going to use some glue, and paste the flowers in no particular pattern. With each flower you can think of one thing you're grateful for. A gratitude journal is another great way to keep a creative practice. Every morning, you can write down three things that you're grateful for. Studies show that writing a list of positive events at the end of the day also has the benefit. Is shown to reduce stress as well as have a calming effect. The timing of when you want to write is up to you. You can have the creative practice where you write these things at night, and in the morning, you add journal. It's all up to you. I also decided to add some dried leaves as well to give the page a little bit more character. If you don't want to use dried flowers, you can also use magazine clippings, [inaudible]. Anything you want to paste in. After you're done pasting in the last flower, leave your book open so it can completely dry. And you are done. A quick, easy page that didn't take too much time. 13. A Hike: Going on a hike mindfully is another way to start your creative practice. Start by paying attention to each step, bringing your awareness into your senses. Feel the contact of your foot as it touches the ground, noticing your body moving through space. Research shows that meditation, including sensory exercises, slow down certain brainwaves, which are associated with the feeling of calm and relaxation. Once I come home, I finished the page by adding some color to the sketches I made. I'm just mixing in a little bit of yellow and red to get the color of the poppy that I like. Later on, I'll create some highlights in shading to give it a little bit more dimension and depth. When you're doing this, just remember that you don't have to be precise. Just fill in the shapes loosely. Next, mixing some blue and yellow with a touch of black to create a green for the leaves that will complement the orange of the poppy-flower. I'm just using the detail brush to create some tiny long lines for the branches and leaves. You don't want to use too much pressure. Just like we learned in lettering, the more pressure that you put on the brush, the broader your strokes are going to be, and you want some delicate and fragile strokes for the leaves. Now that the first layer is dry, I'm going back in with some darker shades of orange. This is to add a little bit of dimension and interest. You can lay it down wherever you feel like there should be a shadow. I decided to use a unit ball pen to create the statement of the flowers. Even though in an actual poppy, the statement is a shade of orange, I'm using my artistic license to add a pop of white, to add a little bit more dimension on the peach. Finally, I add my dried flower from the hike to the page. I'm using some decorative washy tape. With the pen, I'm just going to add the location and the date. This way I'll always remember it, and we're done. 14. Conclusion: Congratulations to you guys.You finished the class. Let's recap what we learned. We learned how to use gouache and all the tools that you need to start your own art journaling page. We also learned how it's important to keep a creative practice, not only for a creative outlet, but also for your overall well being. You also learned about color theory and how you can express your emotions to using colors. Using only a limited amount of supplies, you were able to create multiple techniques to create a beautiful art journaling page. I hope you enjoyed this class and got a chance to post your journal page unto the project gallery section. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. If you want to learn more, please stay tuned for my other classes. Happy journaling.