Art Journaling Mixed Media Techniques Review: The Photo Method

Photographs are one of my favorite things to collect. They are memories that will last a lifetime shared by loved ones. I am personally big on recording history and making it fun at the same time. It is also wonderful when you can share with your children their lives from the beginning.

The photo method allows you to decorate your art journal background page with photographs and memories that you have collected. There are many techniques you can use when using photographs. I will cover a few here.

The first rule in using photographs as a background for your art journal page, is that you need to release any tension you have the about altering the photographs themselves. To help do this, I recommend scanning your photographs before you do anything to them so that you still have an original photograph. Now that you have that back up in place, you can let go and began to alter your photographs.

One technique you can use is to take sandpaper and sand the edges of the photograph. This may sound scary but remember you have already protected your originals by scanning them. You can stop with the edges or you can sandpaper everything but the central image. Once you’ve done this, you’ll notice that you can take paint (either watercolor or acrylic) and color lightly over the photograph where the sandpaper has touched the picture. This gives a great effect and by using layers of paint you can really highlight the central image and create an original art journal page.

Another technique to use is bleach. This requires a quick touch because you do not want to over bleach your pictures. Grab a container and put it in the sink. Pour in one part bleach and one part water making sure to be conservative on the bleach. Wet your picture with water and then dip it into the solution. Leave it in the container and scrub lightly on the edges that you would like to see the bleach. Make sure you use gloves because bleach is not friendly to your skin.

Once you have achieved the level of bleaching, quickly take the picture out and rinse it off with water. This will stop the bleaching process. You’ll find it interesting how the colors from the photograph come to the surface with this process.

Still another technique to using the photograph method is to cut out around the central figure of the picture and glue it to the page. Do this with several photographs and you can make a collage of pictures. Once they have been glued and are dry, take a black or colored pen marker and outline the figures. This makes your photos “pop.”

These are just a few techniques you can use in the photograph method to make your art journal page come to life. I recommend trying at least one at these tips to see if this is something that you would like to incorporate in your art journaling adventure.

Source: Personal experience