Be The Light Art Journal Page by Carisa Zglobicki

Hi everyone! Carisa here with you today and I’m so excited to be back as a guest artist on the Ranger Ink Blog with you today! This page took quite a few twists and turns on its way to completion. Even though most of the background gets covered in the end, it all had to happen for me to arrive at a point where I felt like it was finished. I love that about art journaling – there are no mistakes in mixed media, I promise. I hope you will enjoy the tutorial.


Step 1: After I gessoed my page, I picked out four cool colors from the Dina Wakely Media Scribble Sticks set 2 (Ocean, Olive, Peacock, Lapis) dipped them in water and just started making scribbles on my page. This process really helps break the blank page sydrome because there is no thought to this…just let the colors move and blend as you allow your hand to move freely on the page. I also loved how pressing the flat side of the Scribble Stick on the page created perfect little circles. A wonderful mark that I will come back to again and again.

Step 2: I was still enjoying the blues on my page and the olive color was really overpowering so I decided to add some more blues using Ocean, Turquoise and Buff blended together with a Blending Tool through the Ladders stencil. It also helped break up all the other circle marks I had going on in the background so far.

Step 3: Here is where the page started to run away from me. I wanted to add some contrast so I pulled out Fuchsia but that was too dark so I lightened it up by adding some markers with Blushing just using my fingers. Somehow it’s just not an art journal session if my fingers don’t get involved! I continued adding marks using the smallest brush from the short handled collection alternating from Gilt and Black. I loved the marks honestly but the page had become really busy. It’s ok though because I knew what I wanted to do next…at least I thought so.

Step 4: I love the background collage papers and when I saw the doors (or windows?) I absolutely wanted to use those on my page. I thought they would break up the busyness I had going on but they didn’t quite do the trick yet. I adhered them to my journal page using the Ultra Thick Gel Medium but that really wasn’t necessary for these thin papers. I just didn’t have the regular Gel Medium on hand.

Step 5: In order to try to break up my page, I started by scraping some White Gesso down from the doors. I thought that had a cool effect but it wasn’t enough. This is where I took a giant leap of faith. I grabbed my Black paint and started blocking off the page around the window. I LOVED it and knew I was going somewhere with this page finally. I could still see all the pretty color and texture underneath the collage paper and it almost looked like stained glass. I didn’t want to cover both pages with black paint so I went for contrast using white on the other side but changed the white coming down from the windows to black to tie in the other side…while the paint was still wet, I added some marks into it. This also allows some of the color and texture to shine through.

Step 6: I love the full page of quotes and words in the backgrounds collage pack so I chose a few that seemed to go with my page – starting with the quote “We are all broken. That’s how the light comes in.” by Ernest Hemmingway. Then I felt like I needed some words to tie in the other page and went with Be The Light and Be Peace. Still not quite happy with it although I was getting there, I add some white and black splatters. At the point, I knew, this spread was done!

Here are some close ups of all the paint and texture. I love that you can still see the color and texture from the original background through the white although it is much more muted. The color also shows through the collage windows. Those splatters though, that’s where my heart gets happy!

I’ve filmed my entire process for you today which I hope you enjoy seeing me push past the ugly and into the amazing page this turned into!

Thank you to Ranger again for inviting me back to the blog to share my art with your readers using my favorite Ranger Ink products. They truly are some of my favorite mediums and I turn to them again and again as I continue my journey as a mixed media artist. I hope you all will be be inspired to find ways to work though what could have been a disaster into something that became a meaningful piece in my art journal!

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