Art Journaling 101: Textures

Hello friends!  Welcome back for the next installment of my Art Journaling 101 series.  Today we’re talking about adding textures to your art journal page.   Adding texture gives your page dimension and almost a 3D look.  There are many brands and kinds of texture pastes to choose from on the market.  The good thing is that you don’t need all of them!  I have only a few select that I love and use in different ways.

Art Journaling 101: Textures

I’m sharing with you some of my favorite techniques for adding texture, but we won’t limit ourselves to only using paste.  I’ll show you also how to add texture with found objects!

*This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions and recommendations are my very own.

  1. Gesso – This is a your staple texture in your art supplies.  You know to use it as a layer on a new canvas or page to help give it some “teeth” for your paint to hold on to and be more vibrant.  But, did you know that you can also use it to add some texture to your page.  When you add brush it on, you can add it in a thicker layer and leave some brush lines.  This does require a longer drying time, but the effects are great when you add paint.  Recently, I added gesso to a canvas through a stencil and when painted the detail was phenomenal!

Art Journaling 101: Textures










2. Modeling Paste – This texture comes in white or black and thin or thick.  I will often add paint to the white paste to use with stencils.  You can create just about any color paste this way, the key is adding only about 10 – 20% paint, too much paint and your paste will be too watery.

Art Journaling 101: Textures

Even if you use just white paste, you can still add paint by spraying some ink and letting it drip through the texture as seen below.

3.  Crackle Paste – Another great paste is crackle paste.  It comes in white, but as you can see below, I often mix it with paint for a great effect.  The key with this paste for the right amount of cracks is letting it dry naturally, don’t rush it with a heat gun.  To highlight the cracks even more I will often use a colored antiquing cream from DecoArt.  It’s designed to get into those cracks and when you wipe away the excess, just enough color is left.

4.   Tissue Paper – We all have tissue paper laying around from presents, but did you know you can use them in your art journal for texture?  You can layer it on top of gesso or use gel medium to adhere it.  Adding color to it is easy with paint, spray inks or even rubbing oil pastels on it.

Art journaling 101: textures by source

5.  Lace Doily – I recently found some paper lace doilies at the dollar store and they are perfect for absorbing ink and layering onto a canvas or page.

6.  Cheese Cloth – This is a material that’s easy to find in hobby stores and can be easily layered onto a page using gel medium.  Like the tissue paper you can make it as flat or as lumpy as you want.  It also absorbs paint or spray ink easily.


7.  Stamping on Paste – This is a technique that I want to start using more.  If you have some larger rubber stamps that have a larger detail on them.  Simply spread the modeling paste onto the page in a not too thin layer, let it dry for a couple of minutes, then with a stamp that has been lightly spritzed with water, press down firmly into the paste.  This will leave a wonderful impression that can be painted or spray inked. Linda from the website Friends in Art has a great tutorial on this!  Tip:  make sure you clean your stamps immediately after using so the paste does not harden and ruin stamp.  You can also use the end of a paint brush to carve out your own design on the paste if you don’t want to use your stamps.


I'm sharing with you some of my favorite techniques for adding texture to your art journaling! #artjournal #texture Click To Tweet

These are just a few techniques that I enjoy using, but I’m sure there are more.  Do you have any techniques you use to add texture to your artwork?  Please share it with us in the comments!


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