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Abstract Art Journaling with Dura-Lar Film

Project Description: Create a fun multi-layered, multi-colored abstract art journal page by building multiple layers of Grafix Matte Dura-Lar film which is perfect for layering a whole variety of mediums.

Designed by: Kate Crane

Difficulty: Easy


  • Grafix .005 Matte Dura-Lar Film
  • Acrylic Paints: Dina Wakley Media – Carnation, Olive, White, Black, Magenta, Ruby
  • Carabelle Studio Stencils: Urban Graphics, Funky Circles
  • Carabelle Studio Stamps: Grungy Patterns, Un Regard Sur Mon Histoire
  • Ranger Archival Inkpads in Black and Coordinating Colors
  • Ranger Distress Crayons
  • Posca Paint Pens in White and Pink
  • Stabilo Aquarellable Pencil in Black
  • Scraps of Old Sheet Music
  • Glue or Grafix Double Tack Mounting Film (optional)
  • Sewing Machine (optional)

Steps to Make This:

  1. First, cut the Grafix Matte Dura-Lar Film to size; it should be just slightly smaller than your art journal page.
  2. Create the base sheet by painting a scruffy and patchy layer of white paint over the page. (Starting with white paint and add the color while it is wet allows it to blend and create a pastel first layer). Move your brush in different directions, almost like cleaning your brush off on a scrap piece of paper.
  3. Add some areas of Olive green. To build a stronger color, allow it to dry and then dry brush a touch more color.
  4. When this has dried add bold areas of black. Add small amounts of paint and keep the brush dry. (Keep the color variety to 3 colors).
  5. Acrylic paint dries fast and once it is dry you can easily blend layers on top without creating muddy areas of color. Add Carnation pink as a layer in areas over the Olive green and overlapping the black.
  6. As the Carnation is a pastel shade, to increase the color add small areas of magenta and then on top of the magenta add small areas of ruby.
  7. On the second Dura-Lar Film sheet, add stencil designs which are a great way to build up pattern and texture in the background. Use a brush or a small sponge to add some black paint through a stencil or two. Focus around the areas of black that have already been painted therefore extending the black areas into the page a little.
  8. Add a few finger-painted dots to the sheet if desired.
  9. Archival inks work very well on an acrylic background. Stamp the texture stamps in black and coordinating colors in random areas around the page, but aiming for tone-on-tone i.e.: green on green, etc.
  10. Now the fun really begins! Doodling, drawing, and journaling on the third Dura-Lar Film sheet with a variety of pens and crayons really bring the page alive.
  11. White is excellent for tidying up messy stenciling and is also great for adding doodled designs, journaled words and even just loose scribbling over the page.
  12. Distress crayon can be used for adding some bold graphic shapes; again, focus on tone-on-tone.
  13. The Stabilo pencil is very dark and useful for doodling around or near to the black areas.
  14. Posca pens are very useful for journaling and doodling on the background but they are also great for adding ‘splats’ to a page. A sharp flick of the wrist results in some satisfying rows of colored dots.
  15. Matte Dura-Lar Film may look like a flimsy transparent substrate but it is in fact incredibly strong and hard-wearing. You can add in some scraps of vintage sheet music with a touch of glue, and then just ran it through a regular sewing machine.
  16. Once the page is complete it can be added to your art journal with a bit of double-sided tape or Grafix Double Tack Mounting Film. Although Dura-Lar Matte film is strong and durable it is also lightweight and perfect for layering in a journal without being too bulky.

Tips: Trust in the early layers! When working in multiple layers and a variety of mediums, the early layers can look untidy and unsatisfying. But as you add more and more layers the page comes to life. If you’re not happy with your page it’s probably just not finished … keep going!

  • Grafix
  • Your Source for Creative Plastic Films
  • 5800 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Maple HeightsOhio 44137
  • Phone: 216-581-9050
  • Fax: 216-581-9041
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