Monday Top Tips # 5

Top Tip As promised….giving two for the price of one!

#1 – Whenever I can, I love to recycle. Lately, I have used leftover sushi containers for my painter’s pallet. They are small, cute, and have a lip so the paint doesn’t leak out. They are perfect and they last a very long time.I have used the one on the top for a several months now. It is like a gift that keeps on giving.

#2 – Who needs to buy expensive stuff when you can make your own art supplies? Found object art is on the rise and when money is tight, I look around to see what there is lying around the house. The challenge of looking around the house and in my studio for found objects curbs my urges to run off to the local Michael’s and “blow a bundle”.

The other day I bought some small white erasers at the dollar store. I took one(shown below), drew a pattern, and carved it using an Exacto knife. You could also use lino cutting tools if you felt more comfortable.  It was just a pattern that I made up on a whim and will try to use in my journal over the next couple of weeks. I think it would actually make a nice border with multiple prints.Here is what it looked like after I printed it. I used a stamp pad from the dollar section at Michael’s so the entire project cost me just over a dollar(the erasers come 3 to 4 in a package).
I never really planned that it would turn into hearts!

Hope you enjoyed the tips today. I am adding a few website addresses that you can check out if you want to make your own eraser stamps.

Have a great evening!


Monday’s Top Tips #4

Clean hands warm heart

Before using any kind of paint or artist material try an Artist barrier cream such as this one sold by Windsor and Newton. (Many other companies sell their own version)

Picture taken from

it is a “Lightweight, non-greasy silicone-based cream easily rubs into the skin to form an invisible barrier that protects hands from artists’ materials. Messy digits clean easily with soap and water and irritating substances won’t penetrate the skin. Pleasantly scented, it contains an emulsion of waxes, glycerin, and natural oil, which also condition the skin.”

Comments about Windsor & Newton Artguard Barrier Cream: (from website)

“Stops paint adhering to skin. All paint washes straight off with soap and water, including phthalos and cadmiums in oils, and acrylic paints. Doesn’t feel as though you have anything on your hands once it’s applied – I can’t stand normal barrier creams or hand creams because they feel slimy or sticky.”

Keep your clean up to a minimum and try it!

Monday’s Top Tips – #3

Which Journal is the best to work in?

It is ONLY Monday and the week is proving to be a busy one!                                                 I will give a quick critique of the journals I bought a month ago for the Tip today.

New journals

Journal #1

This journal is approximately 6″x 9″ and has a craft cardboard cover it is made by Beci Orpin. It has manilla coloured pages which are very smooth. They took the acrylic paint quite well, but did not like things glue to them. This is the painting I completed on the first page as a trial. If I was to continue using this journal I would paint on every other page and use the pages in between strictly for journaling. I am not sure how the pages would hold up to a double-sided paint treatment. Here is my test page. (which is from an earlier post)

Rainbows – by Heather Gailey 2012

Journal #2

Canson Multi-Media Journal

This mixed media journal is made by Canson and was quite a good buy. The pages are heavy with a bit of texture. They did well with both collage elements using glue and acrylic paint. The cover is very stiff cardboard and could be painted or collaged afterwards. The only thing that worried me about this journal is that there is a perforation along the inside of the page near the coils. I suppose it is for ripping out pages you don’t like, but I would be worried about pages coming loose in the long-term. I would continue to use this sketchbook for art journaling. Here is the test painting I completed on the first page.

Hidden Feelings by Heather Gailey July 2012

Journal #3

This sketchbook did not fare so well for my test. The cover as you can see is very flimsy and mine has ripped already. It appeared at first to be plastic, but upon further investigation it is only a thin piece of shiny lightweight card stock. The paper inside is very thin and did not take paint or collage elements very well. The paper curled and the parts that were glued, buckled. I had to leave the book sitting under a heavy book over night to make it lay flat. I think this would be an ideal book for sketching or colouring, but not for anything to do with paint. Two good things that drew me originally to this particular sketchbook were the acid free paper and the size – 8″ x 8″. I would not continue to use this sketchbook for art journaling. Here is the picture I painted as a test on the first page. You can actually see the paper buckling.

Love is Power by Heather Gailey July 2012

 I haven’t told you what my fave sketchbook is to work in yet. That will have to wait until next time. Until then…what is YOUR favourite sketchbook to work in? Leave me your answer in the comments.

Monday’s Top Tip #2 – Gesso is the Anthem

Gesso is the Anthem…Boy, you’re so handsome

As important as an Anthem is to a country winning a gold Medal in the Olympics…as is Gesso to art journaling.

Always use Gesso (either black or white) to prime your pages before you paint. It gives a good base (tooth) to accept the paint and stops the paper from absorbing too much and wasting your materials. Use especially for acrylic paints on both paper and canvas.

What is Gesso?

Definition taken from the Golden site is as follows:

“GOLDEN Gesso is a flexible, ready-to-use ground that prepares the surface of a substrate to accept paints and provides tooth to promote paint adhesion.”

I couldn’t have said it any better. : )

Here is a good video I found on You Tube explaining how it can be used. Enjoy!!