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.