More Background Text

September 21, 2009


Above: I was reading a book the other day and an artist was quoted as saying this. I decided it would make an interesting rubber-stamped text background in the current journal—which I made with Gutenberg, and the texture of the paper is visible when you click on the image to view an enlargement. (Scanner clipped the right edge off.)

The other day, as I mentioned in other posts, I pre-painted a lot of pages in my journal. Since I was still too sick to sketch it made sense to keep up with the productivity! The previous post on rubberstamped text backgrounds was so popular I wanted to share another one.

On this spread I used FW Acrylic inks again (they were already out), and started with a flat brush making strokes along the outside edges of the page spread with Indigo and Turquoise (which is sort of a cerulean blue). I let that dry and then added some full strength strokes of Flame Orange and also some splats of the same Orange—but they got a bit neutralized as I had some blue on the brush.

I left that to dry and a couple days later I was wondering "what if" so I started scribbling along the colored edges of the spread with a Sharpie Poster Paint Pen. (I picked one of these up the other day and this was the first time I used it. It doesn't have the awful smell other Sharpies have, so that was good. I didn't think it had a lot of oomph, however.)

The white lines looked a little lonely so I used a Faber-Castell Pitt Artists Brush Pen (black) to make additional scribble lines. At this time the center of the page spread remained all blank and the normal creamy paper color.

It sat like that for a couple more days, and with no end to the cold in sight, I started fiddling again. This time stamping the quotation across the spread in Brilliance metallic stamp ink. (I didn't have a color I thought would really work so I used the blue I had knowing I would paint over everything and tone it all down with a glaze of color.)

When the stamp ink dried I wet the paper with a spray of water and put a wash of Indian Yellow over the entire spread. This had the desired result of bringing a green tinge to all the blues and it also toned down the color of the type—but not enough.

I let the background dry and then spritzed the spread with water again. This time I used Flame Orange as the glaze, moving it over the entire page spread. One of the things I really liked about this was that both glazes of color went over the white lines of the Sharpie Poster Paint Pen and toned them down a bit too. In person it almost looks like the lines have been bleached out of the blue bands.

When laying in that last glaze I allowed the spread of water to be non-uniform so that there were some parts of the spread with very little water. Also as the page dried I allowed a dry brush to move over the texture of the paper and deposit a little bit more of the orange. (See the "p" area at the end of "keep.")

Now the page spread is just waiting there in my journal for the day I turn the page and have to deal with it. My hope is that I'll be over this cold, back to sketching, and be able to paint with gouache on this page. I think that would look pretty cool. (I'll post it if it turns out to be something more than a news clipping pasted in.)

Will it matter that the text gets totally or partially obscured? Nope. It will have served its purpose—added texture and color to the background of this page spread.

Note: After I posted my last "Background Text" post Roberta from "con•tain•it" wrote in and shared her take on using background text. You might have missed it in the comments section of that post. You can check it out here. What have you been doing with background text?

  1. Reply

    Thank You Roz for the link…I’m honored…you are so sweet. Have a great week, fondly, Roberta

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