Art Journaling: Altered Images

alter-imagesIn my last Art Journaling Post I shared a page includeing an altered image. Today I’m going to show you what I did to the image. I use this technique when I don’t want to draw something (usually faces) but don’t want to use an image out of a magazine, either. Above you see the altered image on the left and the original one on the right.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Chose an image you want to use and cut it out. You probably could first alter it and cut afterwards, but I find it easier to do it this way, since like this, I can see the outer lines of the image. DSC02271
  2. Thin down some Gesso with water, since you don’t want full coverage but still want to be able to spot the image.alter-images3
  3. Paint over the image using the gesso-water mixture, let dry. While drying, gesso usually brightens, so you have to decide if you’re satisfied with the opacity. If not, add a second coat of gesso and let dry again.alter-images4
  4. Paint and draw over the image however you like. I started by drawing the outlines with ball pen…alter-images5then I added some shadows and some colour to the face and the hands using watercolours….alter-images6and afterwards I painted the clothes using watercolours again.alter-images7Next, I used coloured pencils for some more colour and depth and drew the outlines, lashes and pupils with black felt pen. I also added some shadows with a ball pen.alter-images8Then I stupidly thought I needed some more colour pops and grabbed my oil crayons, which are usually great (thanks, Frau Koch!) but for this, they were just too much (in my opinion) and I liked the image better without them. But that’s how Art Journaling sometimes goes, so I’m sharing this step anyway.alter-images9

And that’s it!

The only thing that’s a little bit impractical is that you can’t draw or paint over the gesso with every kind of colour. Some kinds don’t really adhere to the gesso and even with watercolours and coloured pencils you have to use a lot of colour.

Do you like to alter images before using them? What kind of techniques do you use? If you know any other techniques or have some tips for me, please leave a comment!


2 thoughts on “Art Journaling: Altered Images

  1. I’m really drawn to the first image posted here – the one with half the picture and half the altering. Feels as if it is showing the social side of ourselves and the under-side of ourselves.

    • Thanks! I haven’t thought of this before, but you’re right – since art journaling for me is a way to express my authentic thoughts and emotions, it’s really like taking a glossy magazine image and “scratching” at the surface to make it a symbol for how I feel right now. Thanks for this interesting thought!

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