Monday, January 20, 2014

Journal Cover Tutorial

I planned to decorate a new journal's cover and thought I would document it for you. So here is a tutorial on decorating a cover.

This is the ugly brown cover of a Strathmore Visual Journal.  It is shiny with all these marble shapes. It's got to be the uglies journal cover I have ever seen. I always like to decorate the covers of journal if they are not pretty to begin with.

I dealt with the shiny surface of the cover by sanding it.  I took a sanding block to it but sandpaper would work just as well. Just sand it enough to remove the sheen.

I painted over both covers with 2 coats of gesso and let it dry.

Then I layered on some Portfolio water soluble oil pastels. I added water and blended the colors together.

Next I drew in the wet areas with oil pastel and it pulled some of the color off.  I let it dry and added black in the lines and more oil pastel on top.  This was the back cover.

For the front cover I layered oil pastels with no water.  I added a hair spray fixative to both covers and I was done. The one where water was added is much smoother and the one without has more depth and texture to it.  I like them both.


  1. I love working with Portfolio oil pastels. Love the way they blend and add depth. This looks very nice Kat

  2. I love the finished cover. What was really nice for me was the easy to follow steps. You are a great teacher. Thsnk you for taking the time to create this post.

  3. Much better than the original cover! Portfolio pastels are fun to work with. I like the intense color you can get with them.


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