Art Journaling with a digital scrapbook template

I've got a really fun tutorial for you by Captivating Sista Heather that will show you how you can make an Art Journal style page from a Digital Scrapbook Template!

A few of you have mentioned to me that feeling of not knowing when enough is enough on an artsy page, or that fear of starting with a blank canvas and composing your own pages from scratch, so this is a great starting point and is a real fun way to make an artsy page!

Heather has been scrapping and rubber stamping for almost 20 years and found digi three years ago, she delved into art journaling in all forms within the last twelve months and is delighted to share this tutorial with you!

Art Journaling with a Digital Scrapbook Template by Heather

I often find scrappers who have been doing traditional digital scrapbook pages asking me, how can I do both traditional scrappy pages and then let go of all the "rules" to do art journaling too. I think the hardest obstacle to jump over is letting go of all those "rules" and just letting your canvas speak to you.

I found that the easiest start to trying art journaling is to use a traditional digital scrapbook template and turn it into an art journal base. It's really easy, there are just a few notes I want to share with you on how to really translate the template into something less traditional and more artful. I find that Rachel's All Stacked Up templates and especially the All Stacked Up Backgrounds translate really well for creating that art journal look and that first step of letting go of those inhibitions that are holding you back from being "artsy". You can find all of Rachel's templates here and in the archive attic.

1.Choose the template you want to use and open it in your scrapping software. I use Photoshop CS5, but I believe all these steps translate well to other programs too. I'm using Rachel's All Stacked Up [Backgrounds Vol 07].

2.The first thing I do is turn off all the styles. To do this I highlight all the layers, right click on a layer and click on "clear layer style" in the pop up menu. Now you see a flat template.

3.I start at the bottom background layer and work my way up. The first thing I'll do is choose a background paper and place that above the background layer. I am using Rachel's You Are Strong [Art Journaling Kit].

4.Working my way up the layers palette, I start replacing the "brushwork" prompts in the template with brushes either from the Mish Mash series or some of the ones included in the kit. I find that Rachel's overlays are also really fun to use to replace the "brushwork" layers.

5.Art journal pages tend to have lots of paint layers as a base so for the "stitching" prompts in the template I'm going to actually replace them with more paint because stitching on art journal pages are usually on top of all the paint layers so I don't want to place stitching on my page quite yet.

6.Now I've reached the point in the template with paper layer prompts. Rachel's new brushed and blending masks would be awesome to replace those papers. I'll position the blending masks in the same position as the paper prompts, then "hide" the paper layer prompts from the template and then clip painty papers to the blending masks. I'm primarily using Mish Mash: Blend Me Stash 02 [Blending Masks] and I also used the Blueberry Blush [Mixed Media Papers] for clipping to the mask.

7.OK, I feel like I have a good background going and I've gotten to some of the smaller papers and element prompts in the template, there are a few things I like to do with them. I usually replace them all with painty goodies or paper pieces. Here is where I'm going to show you how to turn a paper shape into a painted shape. Because the paint is translucent you can't just clip it to the paper layer like you would a piece of paper, so you have to "cut" the paint into the shape of that layer. Here are my steps:

  1. Move your paint over the top of the paper piece layer, in this case it's a small little banner that I'll be creating with the paint.

  2. While holding down the ctrl/command button click on the banner layer's thumbnail, make sure you are clicking on the actual "picture" of the banner, rather than just the layer in the palette. You will see that your banner now has marching ants around it.

  3. While your paint layer is highlighted in the layers palette and you still have those marching ants in the banner shape, click ctrl/command+J, this makes a copy of the paint layer but only within the marching ants.

  4. Hide your original paper prompt layer from the template and your original paint layer and you should only see the new "painted banner" left.

  5. Continue to replace similar layers with paint or ephemera.

8.When you come to another shape from the template that you like and you want to "paint" that shape, you can also clip a very "painty" paper to the layer, but be sure you don't add any shadowing since you will want it to be flat like you had painted it onto your background. I did that here for the bunting shape, and Rachel's Mixed Media papers are always so perfect to do this.

Continue working through your template and replace your layers with more painty goodies.

9. Now that I've gone through all the layers from the template and replaced the papers and element prompts with paint and paper pieces I feel like I have a great base for my page. Now you can start journaling or find a song title or quote you want to use.

10. Using a mix of fonts and alphabet stamps add your title, quote and/or journaling. Rachel has great sets of Alphas in her Mish Mash Alpha Stash series. She also has great journaling strips and quotes in her art journaling kits that will hopefully spark your mojo. I like to use messy handwriting or typewriter fonts for journaling.

Voila! You've created an art journal page using a template!

Here is the original template that I worked with . .

And here is my finished layout! . . .

Have fun creating with the tutorial, don't hesitate to leave us a comment or ask any questions, we can't wait to see your creations!

Heather