Grungy Vintage Art Journal Spread with Lindy’s Sprays and Embossing Powders

Hi friends! Preeti Datta (Dutt Preety) on the Lindy’s blog today to show you step by step how to create a Grungy Vintage Art Journal Spread using Lindy’s Gang Sprays and Embossing Powders.

Art Journalling is a wonderful way to express your emotions and hone your artistic skills. There are no mistakes and since the pages are for yourself, you can push the boundaries and create whatever you like. In this spread, I wanted to combine the softness of feminine pink colors with the strength of darker greys. It is a feminine spread but with the twist of a steampunk vibe. It is always fun to combine different styles of mixed media and make something unique. I will share some simple tips and techniques on how to create a grungy vintage look using relatively few supplies.

Basic Process

To begin, apply heavy white gesso to the pages to prepare them for mixed media work. To build the background and composition, adhere collage paper and strips of washi tape to the pages using gel medium and then cover everything with a coat of clear gesso. Washi tapes often have a resist surface so covering everything with clear gesso makes sure that the coloring we add later will be uniform.

To create background texture, apply heavy white gesso through a stencil onto the pages. You can use modelling paste or 3D gel medium or impasto paste, any kind of texture paste which holds its shape once stencilled. (I prefer heavy white gesso because it is easier to clean intricate stencils when it is used instead of other texture pastes) While the gesso is still wet, sprinkle on Bratwurst Brown Embossing Powder and heat emboss it. This creates a great bubbly textured look that will resist any water-based mediums we add on top later.

Now comes the fun part, adding colors. Start by lightly spraying the pages with water and then using a brush, apply Cocklebells Coral Starburst Spray. Let the color flow, drip down naturally and create a sense of movement.

Next, introduce the second, more vibrant color Hibiscus Rose Flat Spray. Also, apply some more of the previous Cocklebells Coral Starburst Spray to intensify the colors.

Next, it is time to bring in some depth by introducing the dark shades. Wait for the pages to partially dry, still being a little moist and then using a brush, apply Screamin’ Banshee Black Shimmer Spray to some of the areas. (Since the pages are still a little moist, the colors blend well but if it was sprayed with water or if the pages are too wet then the black will go everywhere and overpower the piece.)

Once the pages are completely dry. Then, we start to add the vintage look. The colors need to be toned down, blended and softened. To do this, take a little heavy white gesso on your finger and apply it onto the pages. Be patient and go all over the pages, slowly, blending the heavy gesso around the sprayed areas and a little over them as well. You may need to go over some areas a few times but always use very little white gesso to start with. Since the sprays are water-reactive, they will colorize the white gesso into a soft pink and create a dreamy, blended look.

Next, introduce the vintage brown colors, spray the pages very lightly with water and using a brush, apply Steampunk Sepia Starburst Spray and Gossamer Gold Moon Shadow Mist to some areas.

Again, wait for the pages to dry and then we tone down the colors as we did earlier. Apply a little heavy white gesso over the pages using your finger. (It is easier to blend the gesso onto the pages using one’s finger instead of a brush and there is more control over how much product is applied.)

Next, we create background interest by stamping. Stamp with your favourite stamps onto the background using archival inks. (We use archival inks because the are permanent). Also, darken the edges of the pages using the same archival inks and a blending foam. This helps frame the pages & gives a finished look to the spread.

Now, we prepare the elements for layering. Heat emboss some of your favourite die cuts (cut from thick cardstock) using Lindy’s Magic Moon Pearls Embossing Powder. This embossing powder is truly magical and very special. When heat embossed, it gives a cream color to white surfaces and grey color to black surfaces, so basically, you get two for the price of one! Here, I wanted grey and cream colors both, so I die cut some pieces in white and some in black and using just 1 embossing powder I was able to get 2 different looks. Isn’t that amazing! I really love it. Also, I always use Lindy’s Gripper for holding the thin die cuts and chipboards while heat embossing. It is my most used and favourite tool. It helps to avoid burnt fingers and securely holds thin, tiny pieces that tend to fly away.

In the end, gather all the elements for layering. Create a visually pleasing composition by layering all the elements including die cuts, gauze, a vintage photo and word stickers. Distress the edges of the vintage photo and stickers using brown archival ink. Adhere everything using a strong glue. To finish, create ink splatters to lend cohesion to the whole piece. Create white splatter using a fan brush and watered down white gesso and also create some ink splatter using Lindy’s Gossamer Gold Moon Shadow Mist, Hibiscus Rose Flat Spray and Screamin’ Banshee Black Starburst Spray.

Here are some photos of the finished Art Journal Spread…

Lindy’s Products

Other Products 

  • Tim Holtz Word stickers, Collage paper, Design tapes & Vintage photos; 13 arts stencil; Prima Finnabair Heavy White Gesso, Clear Gesso & Stamp; Tacky Glue; Scrapman Dies; Versamark Watermark Inkpad, Dovecraft Heat Tool and Ranger’s Archival Inkpads.

Thanks a lot for your precious time
Stay Blessed!

Preeti Dutt

I'm Preeti from India. I love paper crafting and mixed media. I enjoy making clean & simple as well as grungy vintage projects. Playing with colours is my happy place.

2 thoughts on “Grungy Vintage Art Journal Spread with Lindy’s Sprays and Embossing Powders

  1. Love the colours and the use of the white die cuts over the top of the grungy layers x

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