Layered Art Journal Pages: Block Printed Tissue

by Judy Gula

Layered Art Journal Pages: Block Printed Tissue

by Judy Gula

When I am creating pages for my own art journal, or those for the round robin journal exchange currently going on within our JAMs group, I prefer to work on several pages at a time in steps. In previous blog posts (e.g., here and here) I showed you some of my techniques to create backgrounds for pages. A great way to build in layers and interest is applying printed tissue paper to your painted backgrounds..

Of course there are commercial prints available, and I do use them, but most times I love stamping plain white tissue paper using my wooden printing blocks and whatever paint I have handy in my studio.

Supplies to create block printed tissue

Above, you will need wooden printing blocks, a dense foam mat for a stamping surface, tissue paper and your choice of paint.

The block printing/stamping techniquess are the same, whether you are printing fabric or tissue paper:

  1. Apply paint to the wooden printing block with a sponge.
  2. Lay the tissue over the foam mat and then place the wooden printing block down and press once.
  3. I usually stamp my block once and then apply paint again to continue, but sometimes you can get a ghost print too by pressing the block again on a different area of the tissue without reapplying paint.
Apply paint to the block Apply paint to the block
Dab the entire block with paint, but do not overapply Dab the entire block with paint, but do not overapply
With tissue on the mat, place the block down and press firmly and evenly With tissue on the mat, place the block down and press firmly and evenly
Block printed tissue Block printed tissue
Various block printed tissue papers Print a bunch of tissue sheets at one time. It\'s a quick process and they are wonderful additions to your collage stash!

A new trick I recently learned is to apply the tissue paper to the journal page using gel medium instead of using matte medium.

The gel is applied with a stiff bristle brush: first to the back of the tissue, then after the tissue has been placed in your journal or on your page, then applied over the tissue to seal it. After the gel medium dries, the tissue is translucent, and you can see through to your painted background.

In the past I had used matte medium and would get frustrated with the tissue frequently ripping as I applied it. I have found that when I’ve used the gel medium, that didn’t happen.

Block printed tissue paper adds translucent color and texture

Also, when you are applying the painted tissue, don’t worry about creases and wrinkles. For one, it’s next to impossible to place the tissue with no wrinnkles, so there’s no point stressing yourself out about them. For another, creases and wrinkles add texture — and texture is good! You can see both the translucency and texture in the above closeup of one of my pages.

On the below page (click for a larger view) I first used a stencil to apply the turquoise circles, then when that was dry, I applied a yellow paint.

Block printed tissue on stenciled art journal page by Judy Gula

The next layer is the stamped tissue paper — the blue circle with stars (this is the WB310 Star Field wooden printing block). Notice that you can see through the blue to the background. I applied some bits of our Web Weave Ribbon at the same time using the gel medium.

There is still more to do with this page, but again, we are building in layers! Here are some other pages that are at the same stage that I’ve created using printed tissue paper.

A combination of commercially printed tissue paper and block printed tissue This page is a combination of commercially printed tissue paper (the black and white floral) and block printed tissue (the large leaf) over a stenciled background
Art journal pages with block printed tissue

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