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July 2018 - how did i create this layout?


Premier Senior Member
Hi everyone, I am kicking off our 're-construct' series where Marianne and I will go through the steps of how we actually created a layout. Some of you have already nominated some layouts (from this thread HERE and this month I am starting with a layout that was nominated by Maaike entitled I AM ENOUGH . Maaike was also interested in learning more about the art journaling style.

Let me say right off that there is no RIGHT way to do art journaling. It is one of those styles 'that anything goes'. At its most basic interpretation, it is using ART to EXPRESS your thoughts or emotions. By art I mean images that would symbolise how you are feeling........for instance a sun to express happiness, a heart to express love and rainy sky for sadness. But having said that we all have our own ways of expressing ourselves and the one thing I love about Art Journaling is that there are NO RULES!

If you want to add a photo to your page then do it, if you want to add text, that's okay as well. The one thing that I feel is the most important part of any AJ page is that it contains something of YOU in it. So if you add an image it should be something you identify with, that has meaning for you. It doesn't have to make sense for anyone else looking at it! Or it could be a particular colour that is significant to you, or a particular embellishment, whatever it is, you need to own it and you shouldn't worry about it making any sense to anyone else. :) We ALL look at art differently and we ALL will interpret something differently.

Well the first thing I want to say about this layout is that there isn't much to it! Honestly! There are only 14 layers which, for me, is not a lot at all! lol!

Another thing I want to explain upfront is that the steps below are NOT EXACTLY as I carried them out when I was creating the layout. As you know yourself, you sometimes add papers or embellishments, only to get rid of them as they just 'don't work' with the idea you have in your head. So in order to try and explain my process I have divided the layout into four parts, and take you through how I created them.

So let's have a look at how I created this.

The background consists of 3 papers blended together plus that awesome sketched face by LiLi Wee Designs. In the screenshot below you will notice that I have used one paper below the sketch layer and the other two above the sketch. The paper on Layer 4 was only added after I had added all the paints and scribbles, which demonstrates what I said above, that these steps are not exactly as I had originally scrapped the page.

Layer 1 - is at Normal blend mode and 100% opacity

Layer 2 - sketch is a PNG file so I kept it at Normal blend and 100% opacity

Layer 3 - changed blend mode to Multiply and left it at 100% opacity. I added a layer mask and used a black airbrush soft brush to hide parts of the paper as I wanted the white area of the paper on Layer 1 to show through more.

Layer 4 - I kept this at Normal and at 100% opacity and added another mask. All I really needed from this paper was the colour streak on the left hand side and some of the mauve colour in the top right area, the masking shows what I have hidden using the black brush.

These layers appear above the Background layers. Again, when working with paint I will sometimes add a lot more and then delete the layers if I am not happy with them as I progress, so these layers are just what I ended up with. I also play around with blending modes a lot so make sure to always play to see what results you might end up with.

Layers 5 & 6 - I used these paint splats to add some colour to the page and in both instances I left them at Normal blend mode at 100% opacity. I added layer masks to control just where I wanted the colour to appear.

Layer 7 - again I left this paint splat layer at Normal but I lowered the opacity down to 89%

Layer 8 - this is a transfer from the M3 kit. This is at Normal blend and 100% opacity

Layer 9 - this a duplicate of layer 8 and for this layer I changed the blend mode to Color Burn and lowered the opacity to 55%

On top of the paint splat layers I wanted to add some scribbles, just to give the page a bit more grungy-ness.

Layers 10 & 11 - these scribbles were originally black but I changed them to white as I didn't want to detract from the word art on the layer above. Both layers are Normal mode at 100% opacity ( the lines were very fine which is why I duplicated the layer, just to 'thicken' them a bit).

Layer 12 - another scribble which I kept as black, again I left it at Normal with 100% opacity

To finish off the page I wanted to use two word arts but they looked a bit strange being the same colour so I changed the bottom one to yellow. I tried a few colours and used the Color Picker to try some out from the rest of the page, the yellow one was the one that stood out for me.

Layer 13 - changed WA to yellow and added a small shadow to it. This layer Is Normal at 100% opacity.

Layer 14 - I kept this WA layer black and used Normal at 100% opacity.

*Note: While I used two word arts on this page, I positioned them close together so that they would form 'one thought' and as I wanted to use the bottom one as the title for the page I used a different colour to not only separate them but also make the yellow one stand out.

Of course you don't need to add a border around your page if you don't want to, but with this one I felt it needed some 'space' around it.

To do this I went to the top of my layers and used the Stamp Visible technique to merge all the layers together, SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+E This is totally different to merging layers together using CTRL+E.

Next I added a new layer beneath the the merged layer and filled it with white (or use another colour or you can use a paper as well).

On the merged layer I dragged a corner of the layout to make it a bit smaller and then I used the Centre and Middle Align tools to centre the layout on the white background.

To finish off I applied a shadow to the merged layer and it's finished. :)

If there is anything more you want to know just holler!! xx
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Senior Moment Specialist and Administrator
Staff member
Thank you Ona for all the work that you have put into this, it's FABULOUS!!


Supreme Senior Member
Ona this is amazing I have learnt so much more about A.J. Thank you so much for all the step by step details..xxx


Alchemist of Art
Challenge Host - May
Wow! This is fantastic. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into this. xxxxx


Esteemed Senior Member
Thank you Ona for the trouble you have gone to in making this tutorial. Your deconstruction of your layout is fantastic and has certainly given a lot to think about. Thank you again...


Supreme Senior Member
Challenge Host - May
Ona, thank you very much for the fabulous step-by-step detailed instructions and screenshots!


Supreme Senior Member
Challenge Host - May
Ona, thank you again for the fabulous step-by-step instructions and screenshots! It must have been very time-consuming for you to deconstruct your layout.
I scraplifted your gorgeous page because I already have LiLi Wee's addons. I do not have the May 2018 Mixed Media Monthly so I added paint from the Lilypad collabs.



Premier Senior Member
Oh this is fabulous and I love your take on the it Grace! Glad you liked the step by step and so happy you tried it out!!!


Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - May
Fabulous tutorial....it has give me a push to use photoshop again ♥♥♥


Senior Moment Specialist and Administrator
Staff member
Just letting you know.............you can also find this tutorial in the TUTORIALS section of the site. The link is at the top of this page.