What does one put on the cover?

I’ve been using mixed-media sketchbooks for my art journals. I never altered the front cover of the sketchbook, I just focused on the inside. But looking through Art Journal magazine, I realized it was time to work on the covers. I have five sketchbooks that are now in need of their own covers. I got to work right away and applied two coats of gesso to cover up everything below. I like texture, so I used a brush for my first layer and a credit card for the second layer to spread the gesso smoothly, but that also provided more texture on top of the brushstrokes.

What does one put on the cover?

  • the date range
  • a title if there’s a common thread
  • design elements that you used in your pages
  • colours and a technique from the inside pages
journal cover before

Brushing on the first layer of gesso


Art Journal cover

The cover of my first art journal ©Laura Bucci

I used a paintbrush, brayer, acrylic paint, Martha Stewarts Crafts Metallic paint (bottom charcoal grey rectangle and top stripes), a Jelly Roll pen for the white cup and pattern, paper collage, and a paper stencil from Martha Stewarts Crafts collection (stripes on top). The Martha Stewart Crafts collection is available at Michaels Stores–they were gifts I received during the Michaels Blogger Event.

I particularly like the Metallic paints from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection. The grey areas in the image above look like charcoal. This paint has a really nice sheen to it.

I’m working on my second cover now…