Monday, March 7, 2016


Hello everyone!

At Creative Carte Blanche, we're all about discovering and embracing your own creative voice and style.

I've recently been working on some art journal pages with that idea in mind.  Sometimes we get so caught up in a new really cool product or someone else's style that we try to imitate it.  And we may have fun with that but we don't feel fulfilled.  That is your OWN creative voice telling you that the art you are creating is someone else's ... not yours.

That is why it's so important to experiment and play with different mediums, colors, styles and designs until you find something that really makes you happy.  Oftentimes that means you need to step outside of that "safe zone" where everything becomes easy and repetitive but not fulfilling.  When you find that artistic vein in your life's blood that makes you happy, you will have NO DOUBT that you're onto something special that brings you great joy.  THAT is when you know you're on your own artistic path.

So now, I'd like to share with you the art journal pages I've been working on and hopefully they will speak to you, too.

While I didn't photograph every step in the process of creating these pages, I will be glad to share the steps with you and the products that I used.

Most of the products I used were DecoArt.  I am on their Media International Design Team but I also love their Media products and use them quite often.

I began with plain art journal pages and sketched the area where I would have my hands breaking through the bricks.  These art journal pages are made of a heavy manila paper so I did not gesso them first.

Next swiped a baby wipe and some DecoArt Media Dark Grey Value 3 over both pages minus where I had sketched for my hands breaking through the bricks to be.  This dark background would serve as mortar between my bricks.

Instead of first using DecoArt Media Modeling Paste to create more distinct and dimensional bricks, I simply used DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste.  This stuff is awesome! It has a gritty feel, like real brick.  I've often first used Modeling Paste and then brushed over it with the gritty Texture Sand Paste.  But today, I just scraped the Texture Sand Paste throug the Bricked Stencil using a palette knife.  Let it air dry thoroughly and immediately clean your palette knife and stencil so as not to ruin them.  

When the bricks were completely dry, I chose random bricks to add a second layer of the Texture Sand Paste.  To do this, I simply used a small brush and brushed on a thick layer so that those bricks would stand out, creating more interest on that brick wall.

Here is where I got so absorbed that I forgot to photograph the process.  Sorry about that!  When the bricks were completely dry, I first wiped over busted out area of the wall with a baby wipe and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey.  Then I began adding color to the bricks with a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cadmium Red Hue and Burnt Sienna using a baby wipe.  This gave a nice brick red hue.  Then I added random areas of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Oxide to give some of the bricks a different hue.  A little more of the Cadmium Red Hue and Burnt Sienna combination followed by touches of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff to give a weathered effect.  Then a little more of the mixed red hues.  I just kept playing with it until I got the brick colors I liked.  

After I achieved the color of brick that I liked, I began adding some shadows around the raised bricks using a black Stabilo pencil and my Detailer Water Brush.  I also added some shadowing to the center of the pages and a little around the edges of the pages.

I found some clip art hands online that I liked so I sized them to fit my pages and printed them out on an inkjet printer.  Next I brushed DecoArt Media Matte Medium over both sides of the hands, letting them dry inbetween.  This sealed the hands so that I could paint over them.  Once I painted them with DecoArt American Flesh Tone Paint on the hands and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver and Medium Grey Value 3, I let that completely dry.  Then I drew over the black lines of the hands using my Permament Black Pens.  I brushed over the hands again with Matte Medium to seal them and then glued them onto a piece of heavy cardstock.  Next I cut them out and they were ready to add some "handcuff chains".

I also had created more bricks by scraping the DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste through the brick stencil on a piece of heavy white cardstock.  Once it was completely dry, I added the brick color as I had done on the book pages and cut out around the bricks.  These would later be used for even more dimension on the art journal pages.

I created the chains using some of Tim Holtz' Link chain, a couple of jump rings and some some wire.  I clipped the chain onto the jump ring and then added a piece of wire that would stretch onto the back of the hands.  Here, I taped and glued the wire in place and added some adhesive dots to hold the hands and bricks up off of the art journal pages.

Here you can see the construction of adding the handcuff chains and the adhesive dots to the back of the hands.  

The chains were glued in place using DecoArt Media Matte Medium.  It is a wonderful glue and dries clear.  So, I just brushed the Matte Medium where I wanted the chain to lay, then laid the chain in place, brushed away the excess glue around the chain as much as possible and let it throughly dry.  In this photograph, the Matte Medium is still wet but in the final photograph, you cannot see any of the remnants of the Matte Medium around the chain.

While the Matte Medium was drying around the chains, I added my extra bricks by adding adhesive dots to the backs of them and gluing them in place.  I also added a dot of Glossy Accents to the bottom of the dots right before I pressed them in place just to give them more reassurance of sticking in place.  Then I used my black Stabilo pencil and the Detailer Water Brush to add a bit more shadowing around them.

Finally, I added the words "BREAK OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE" using Permanent Black Chisel Marker.  I made up my own graffiti style letters.  I may add more words on the opposite page at some point but for now, I'm happy with how the pages turned out and they will be a reminder to me to always keep playing, experimenting and discovering new things that make me happy on this art journey.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're getting outside of your comfort zone!  How else will you ever know what you might be missing???


  1. Oh my gosh! I LOVE THIS!!!LOVE the message! You go have such a gift with these products and I am so loving seeing you break out! Awesome!!! the brick looks amazing!!!

  2. Those bricks are just INCREDIBLE Candy - they seriously look real and the dimension is AMAZING - it really looks like there is a hole.... WOW. And your graffiti writing is just so kewl. REALLY REALLY FABULOUS journal art. We ALL need it hanging in our studio/workspace - for sure. Especially me!! SUPER FINE creativity seen here today! XX j.

  3. Candy! You have knocked it out of the park with this spread! Your creativity blows me away! Love the way you think and your tutorials showing how you do everything. You Rock DecoArt!

  4. Love your break out pages Candy. Both the techniques, images and messages are very powerful.
    Hope you are having a good week.
    Hugs Brenda xxx

  5. Oh wow.. this is really cool ! Amazing Candy!

  6. Wow!! Let me say that agaiin - WOW!! This is a fantastic spread - so creative - thank you so much for the tutorial!!
    Wonderful job!
    Sandy xx

  7. Fantastic! Love the wall... so darn clever!

  8. Excellent job with the 3D Candy!! You really "rocked" or "bricked" it! Very cool spread, thanks for taking the time to share your steps!
    Jackie xo

  9. I'm addicted to bricks and walls maybe because i became an architectural draftsman yeeeeeeears ago. Your page speaks to me. Not only for the crafting path. It's something i say to my assistants everyday. I believe in them and they only need to break out .... and have self - confidence.- Great page Candy and the colours of the bricks are just as well realistic. xoxo

  10. Your first few paragraphs are very powerful Candy and has made me think long and hard - so thank you for that! I have to keep going back to the brick wall, it is incredible, it looks so realistic. The hands in the chains and the graffiti are outstanding. I think I need a canvas on my wall with those words - lol! You are such an inspiration..... Anne xx

  11. This is wonderful, and I absolutely love this page. You hit the nail right on the head with this one, Candy!

  12. Wow Candy! What a fantastic art journal spread! I love the 3 D brick wall! I want to reach out and touch it! Your writing looks like real life graffiti! Thanks for the never ending inspiration!

  13. Such amazing details on your journal pages Candy x the brick wall is so realistic and I love the way you have the hands breaking through the wall......very cool!
    Sending you my best wishes
    Annie x

  14. This is really effective candy such a great idea,

    Lucy x

  15. what a fab way to come out of your comfort zone! this pages are absolutely strong and wonderful! love every detail, background is amazing! Barbara


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