Scrapbookers: Take Your Creativity to A New Level

Doodle Therapy - Pink Sorbet - Patricia Kay

There are thousands of beautiful background pages for scrapbooking.  But, if you're a seasoned pro or looking for a new approach, why not create your own?

Sometimes you have a special page that needs a unique and special background that you just can't find.  If you follow some of the techniques that I outlined in Meditative Painting and Recycled Art, you will end up with a collection of your own original art to use for your backgrounds and embellishments.

I love to paint layered background-type paintings as a stress reliever and meditative practice.  Some I leave untouched and others I use for paper mosaics or other art projects.

For this post, I'll focus on three ways to use your meditative paintings to create your own original art.

The example above was created by using a simple painting technique with acrylic paint on smooth Bristol paper.  See Meditative Painting for more information on what you will need, the how-to's and painting style choices. 

Doodle Therapy - Blue Energy - Patricia Kay

The paints were thinned with water to create a transparent watercolor-like glaze.  A basic horizontal brushstroke from edge to edge was used, letting it fade and intensify sporadically.  Alternating orange and raspberry, layer after layer, blended the colors.  Multiple layers can be used until the desired effect is achieved.

Or you can try something like the example to the right, using a fan brush with a swirling brushstroke.

Don't worry if it doesn't come out exactly as you expected.  To me, imperfections are perfect as they are.  But, if you are not satisfied with the results, you can use the mosaic method, which gives you the option of cutting away the offending flaw.

If you are satisfied, you now have a page that is ready to use without cutting it into paper mosaic tiles.  If you used a paper smaller than 12x12, you can mount it on a coordinating, solid color sheet of your choice. 

For the paper mosaic technique, cut the painted paper into various strips, squares or punched shapes.  In the example at the top of the page, the painting was cut into 1 inch squares, along with 1 inch and 3/4 inch circles, glued onto Bristol vellum.  It was then mounted on a coordinating color.  You can use it as is, but if you want to cut down on the thickness and weight of the page, photograph it and have it printed.

To make this design more ideal for a scrapbook page, I would add squares to cover a larger area or use the squares for smaller design areas to create different sections or elements on the page.  This example is just to give you an idea of how to create a mosaic pattern from your painting.

You can also cut larger sections to create panels, borders or accent elements. 

In the example below, the same design used at the top, was photographed and cropped to create yet another version of the original painting.  Using the camera's software, it was given a cool tint and the contrast was then softened to to give it a lighter quality. 

Once you have finished altering your photograph of your painting, you may want to have this printed at a copy store to ensure that the ink doesn't fade or smudge.  Just ask for acid free paper.

Doodle Therapy - Pink Sorbet Tic Tac Toe - Patricia Kay

For the page further below, have fun dabbing paint with various sized fluffy, round brushes to create a page full of circles and dots.  By using thinned paints as glazes, a more luminous look can be achieved.  You can create bold and bright or light and airy designs that reflect your mood and personality - all in a simplified technique.

Try your hand at creating your own background papers for photos that need something unique or customized.

When you're ready to start, take yourself back to the time and place where you were when the shot was taken.  Bring back those memories and feelings and then select your colors that express those memories.

Recreate those feelings in your brushstrokes - just follow your creative impulses.  Dab, streak or swirl the paint in whatever feels right.  If it doesn't come out exactly as expected, keep it for another day.  You'll find that anything you create in this way will be just the perfect choice for what you will need somewhere down the road.

On the other hand, if you can envision it potential and beauty cut and designed into a beautiful mosaic piece, you will see that it is exactly as you intened it to be.  
Doodle Therapy - Puffs - Patricia Kay

Continue creating your own original art for your scrapbook pages so you have a collection to choose from.  Your pages will truly stand out as uniquely and distinctly you.

Looking for more inspiration?  Try painting your pages to music.  See my post on Drawing to Music.  And don't forget to keep up or start your Daily Doodle Journal to keep those creative ideas flowing.

Happy Doodling!