The best thing about art journaling is that there are no rules! You can incorporate anything you want as long as you can find a way to attach it to paper and it can fit in your journal. If you’re into art, I could bet that you have an adult coloring book around your house somewhere. And that you’ve only used about 5 pages in it. So I’m going to show you how using coloring books in art journaling is a great way to add detailed designs to your pages without having to hand draw them. Plus, it’s a great way to incorporate the work of some of your favorite artists.
Using Coloring Books In Art Journaling | Christmas Page
I personally love the coloring books by Johanna Basford because she puts such detail into the drawings but they’re very easy to color. I chose to use her Johanna’s Christmas for this layout specifically because the pages are one sided and are perforated for easy removal. Of course, you can do this same thing with any coloring book you like!
I’m doing a Christmas specific design today, but I’ll do more like this in the future with different styles of coloring books to show you how versatile this technique can be.
- Coloring book page. My page had large ornaments on it.
- Colored pencils
- Acrylic paint
- Iridescent medium (optional)
- Adhesive roller
- Thin washi tape
I started by mixing my dark green paint with some iridescent medium to make it shimmery. This is totally optional and you can use whatever paint you have on hand. Slide a piece of paper underneath your journal page to protect the edges of the other pages, and paint the whole page. It may curl up, but it should flatten out as it dries if you’re using a mixed media or watercolor journal. Let that dry, and do a second layer to make it nice and opaque.
While that second layer dries, color in your page. I chose a page with ornaments, as they’re easy to color and cut out. I colored them in using colors that would compliment but also stand out from my background, and then cut the ornaments out carefully.
Use your adhesive roller to cover the back of each ornament with adhesive, and then press them down on your page where you want them. Here’s the first trick to help make it look like they’re actually hanging. Take a small paintbrush and the paint we used for the background. Use it to fill in the space where the hanging loop is and let that dry.
You can use real ribbon if you’d like, but I used a thin metallic washi tape. It looks like a hanging ribbon for the ornaments. Here’s my other trick to make them look like they’re popping off the page. Figure out where your “light” is coming from, and use a black or dark gray colored pencil to draw a drop shadow on each ornament. Don’t forget to shadow along the washi tape ribbon too. See the huge difference that makes? Adding drop shadows is a great way to make things pop and help a page look finished.
Here’s the completed page! Make sure to give this technique a try and use up some of those coloring books in your art journaling!