Sharing my Art Journal Postcard Layout with you today! This layout is inspired by a set of Jane Austen postcards I received as a gift. I decided to add a bookish feel to the decorative elements but with a bright background that pops. The colour palette was inspired by the birds on the postcard and adds a modern touch to the vintage influences. This is episode 4 of Art Journal Chat over on YouTube, where I create the layout and talk about something from my life. This week, I talk about the time my butt got saved by a lost final exam! But here on the blog, I am sharing the tutorial.
Postcard Layout Supplies
I know that you may not have all the supplies or the exact supplies and that’s fine. For me, art journaling is about using what you have and getting comfortable with the supplies you have. I have listed and linked the supplies I’ve used. I will add substitutions in the tutorial steps.
- My Mellow Days Magnolia Mixed Media Journal
- Art Philosophy Gouache paint
- Jane Austen Postcards
- The Pigeon Letters Wash Brush (Affiliate link)
- Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Layering Stencil – Flames
- The Crafter’s Workshop Stencil Butter in Gamboge
- Pressed Resin Flowers
- Archer and Olive Wax Seal (Sold Out)
- Wax Seal Set
- Vintage European Style Figure Sticker
- Idea-ology and Tim Holtz Botanical Die Cuts (Out of Stock)
- Martha Stewart decorative stickers (discontinued)
- Sponge brush
Art Journal Postcard Layout Tutorial
I want to start with a couple of notes. As mentioned above, I use the postcard elements to decide on my colour palette. This includes a magenta purple, orange, yellow, grey and white. I decided to make the background pop and add the more muted elements on top. So with that said, let’s get into it.
1. Building the Background
Using the wash brush and the orange gouache, I add a line of paint and just start spreading it on the page. The more rough the paint lines, the more texture you add to your layout.
Once dry, I dab drops of magenta gouache paint to the page, and using the sponge brush, start to spread the paint around. I guess this is called Fresco technique?! Lol! Popular in the 90’s. I dab the paint in an upside down L shape, not focusing too much on specific placement. You can use any kind of sponge, or even your fingers to distribute the paint on the page.
When that part is dry, grab your stencil, stencil butter, and a palette knife. In the bottom left corner, place your stencil and start adding the stencil butter to the page. I love stencil butter because, a.) it sounds fun, and b.) it dries 3D so you have more texture on your page. I am using the colour Gamboge which is a lighter mustard yellow. If you don’t have a palette knife, you can use a sponge, dab gently with paper towel, use the back of a spoon, or an actual knife. You may not get the same effect as me, but you will still get an interesting texture.
Carefully remove the stencil so the butter doesn’t smudge, then, once dry, you can start adding your elements.
2. Adding Your Elements
The primary elements in this art journal postcard layout is the postcard and the florals. The postcard is easy. Once you decide on your placement, glue your postcard down. I glued my postcard down in the middle and will add elements around it. You can use foam adhesive and give your piece more dimension.
For the florals, I thought it would be fun to use a wax seal. Background: I purchased/have been collecting wax seals for the last year and have never used them. So this was the time for it. If you don’t have a wax seal kit, you can glue the florals down with a hot glue gun, or tape, and place a sticker or die cut over top.
For the wax seal, I double melted wax for the seal. I did the first pouring to hold it in place, and a second pouring for the wax seal. My wax seal is from Archer and Olive and has stacked books which I thought was perfect for this page. Once the wax is poured, gently place the seal onto the wax making sure to evenly push the wax around to get that iconic wax border. Leave the seal in the wax while the wax dries.
3. Final Embellishments
Now it’s time to add the final embellishments. This step is optional but, as a creative maximalist, you bet I take the option!
Taking some old washi, I add a strip to the top right and bottom left of the postcard. The washi tape has some mail/newspaper elements which, again, I thought was perfect for the theme.
Now we start to balance out the elements. To help the balance of the heavy florals in the bottom right corner, I add a simple butterfly die cut to the top left. The butterfly and the floral point in the same direction which gives the eye a natural resting place. In the bottom left corner, I add a vintage figure. The darkness from the sticker and the florals grounds the page, again, allowing the eye to rest from the bright background.
Then, because I’m extra, I add one simple sticker to the top right. This is from Martha Stewart Stickers from Michaels and resembles a vintage pearl jewelry piece, which works well with the theme.
Art Journal Postcard Layout Tutorial – Final Thoughts
This was surprisingly quick to pull together. I will admit that there was about a month between building the background and finishing the actual page. I do think it changed the initial plan behind the page, but honestly, I can’t remember my first idea, and love how it turned out anyway. For my May Bullet Journal Setup, I used the quote “Embrace imperfection with self-love” and I think this was it. Lost confidence once the background was done, gave it some time, and came back with fresh eyes.
All this to say, if your art journal page, painting, or bullet journal layout isn’t going as well as you expected/want, walk away and come back when you’re feeling refreshed.
I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If you recreate this layout, I would love to see. Tag me on Instagram @natashamillerletters. If you would like more art journal pages, you can check out my mermaid art journal page or my predictions art journal page.
Thank you so much for you time today! Talk soon!