Painting Background After Pen Work

Hope Journal, spread 2

Here is the supply list of what you need to paint your background: 

  • Acrylic paint  in the colors of your choice ( I prefer Golden Fluid Acrylics)
  • Acrylic Matte Medium
  • Paper towels
  • Palette
  • Water container
  • Paint Brushes
  • Cosmetic Sponge or something to stencil with
  • Punchenella, stencils, doilies, or other stencil making items
  • Protective covering for table/work area
  • Spray Bottle for water
  • 2 oz paint spray bottles in colors of your choice
  • Toothbrush (optional)
  • Journal Pages to paint backgrounds on 

In this following video I demo of the background for the second spread in the HOPE JOURNAL:

The password for the video is: background

Here is part 2 of the demo:

The password for the video is: background

2nd spread detail






  1. Ana

    Great lesson. It’s helpful to see how you paint the edges holding the brush a certain way and softening with water. A special bonus is watching how doilies can be used in place of stencils and how to find unplanned shapes where the stencils can be used. Really enjoyed this lesson.

    • Thank you Ana. So glad you have found this lesson helpful.

  2. susan

    Enjoying the lessons. Do you do lettering before using
    the medium?

    • Thank you Susan. In general I try and do as much lettering beforehand as I can because the paper absorbs the ink well and it doesn’t smear with the Pitt or Copic pens even if I put medium over it right after I write. BUT I still write over medium or paint and then will layer with medium, paint etc. The risk of smearing does increase with the layers of acrylic medium or paint, but it’s usually not much of an issue for me.

  3. Silkina

    Valerie, will the matte medium lift/interact with distress or delusions ink sprays? It appears as if you choose a 3 color theme & use that throughout the entire journal. So my question is would it be too jarring or less cohesive if I chose a color palette like all cool or all warm colors and used a different combination on each page but stayed within the, let’s say cool palette throughout? I’m new to art & journaling so I’m still learning about color. Finally, did you get your color wheel from Blick?
    Respectfully, Silk

    • If the inks are not waterproof, they will bleed, life, and interact with other wet media including matte medium. The best way to find out if the matte medium works with what you have is to do sample tests. Certainly, you can use whatever colors you like. If you are hesitant to try it first on the watercolor paper, make a few strokes on a plain piece of paper and see how you like it. Yes, I got my color wheel at Blick 🙂

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