It’s A New Year!


January Theme
The Blank Page and How to Face It!
January 1
Art Challenge: Book Paper
Journal Prompt: Be Your Own Goal Keeper

I wanted to greet you all this year with a little tutorial about how I created the first challenge in my art journal . . . Keeping it simple, I incorporated some basic techniques to help you jump start your year!

Supplies Used in This Challenge

Dylusions Art Journal
Moleskine Weekly Planner (if you decide to use last year’s book)
Assorted Book Paper
White Gesso
Clear Gesso
Deli Paper
Baby Wipes
Assorted Paintbrushes
Plastic Scraper (hotel room key card)
Tim Holtz Kushgrip Tonic Scissors
Martha Stewart Acrylic Paints (Marmalade, Surf, Granny Smith)
Amsterdam Acrylic Paint (Burnt Umber)
Spray Fixative
Spray Varnish
Blackwing Pencil
Blackwing Pencil Sharpener and kneaded rubber eraser
Calendar Downloads by Paula Cheney
Stamp Set by Wendy Vecchi

You can learn how all of the Art to the 5th Artists have created their Journal Covers in our new class entitled, “Cover Story.”  You can find it HERE.

Join us on The Art to the 5th™ Academy™ – a thriving “community” and classroom for “The Original” Documented Life Project™!

For more information on this week’s challenge you can find us here:
Instagram: #documentedlife #documentedlifeproject

Looking for previous challenges? click HERE

Visit our blogs: Sandi Keene, Roben-Marie Smith, Rae Missigman



Share this Post


  1. Avatar

    Thank you so much for offering this free and all the work you clearly are putting into this. A free video. You are an angel my dear.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Marie! It is a labor of love, for sure! So glad you are here to share it with us!

  2. Avatar

    Really really beautiful and inspiring!! Can you please tell me a bit more of when/how you use your varnish spray and fixative…and what the difference is?

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Hi Sherri – Thank you! Good question about the varnish . . . as a rule, if I have used water-soluable mediums like water color paints, I will use a SPRAY fixative to seal the paint. That way, you won’t smear the paints with a spray. If I use only acrylic, which dries, I can use a brush-on sealer – which is more sturdy in my opinion. Hope that helps!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      I’m so glad, Mary and thank you so much for watching and commenting!

  3. Chandra

    This is a great video! Thanks for working so hard to give the basic details. I like seeing everyones take on filling a blank page. Your quote is cool too!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Chandra – so glad you liked it. Now you will have to go face your own blank page! Good luck!

  4. Kathy

    Love it! This seems like something a newbie like myself can tackle on day one! Watching you create, not worrying about mistakes, and showing us how to ‘fix’ things, is so so helpful, and I believe that I am now ready to start messing with my own first page! Thanks so much for the inspiration and great video!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      You can totally do it Kathy! I love your attitude – you are going to do an amazing job and I would love to see a picture when you finish!

  5. Retta Fox Skiff

    Lorraine: Thanks so much for being part of the DLP. I appreciate all of the time and energy you put into it; as well as sharing your style and knowledge with the world. Your first challenge is wonderful.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Oh Retta, thank you – I am happy you are here and I can promise you, it will only get better and better!

  6. Avatar

    really loved watching your process and hearing you voice what you were thinking about as you made choices… I realized that as much as I love to layer my work, I need to be more patient with letting layers dry/cure. thank you for sharing. it’s gorgeous!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you so much Lindy – I get so impatient sometimes when my creative juices are flowing and just can’t wait for that paint to dry! It always pays off in the end though 🙂

  7. Avatar

    I am so glad I am not the only that water downs their acrylics. Many artist say "dont do it" but I like the look. LOVE your page. I like the idea of smears and antique look. So pretty.

    Not sure if anyone has told you but you speak so soft but your music is so loud that Im reaching for the volume alot. Just thought I would let you know.

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Hi Cody and thank you for the tip – I will pay closer attention when editing the audio – much appreciated! Yes, I have heard that about watering down acrylics but I say, "Rules Schmules!" Do whatever you like – it’s ART!!! 😉

  8. Avatar

    Thank you so much Lorraine for this video. I’m new to mixed media and it is really scary to start. You have made it a bit easier to start.
    I like the way you put the colors in the letters right at the end. The page just came to life when you did that!

    1. Lorraine Bell

      I am so happy you liked it Lisca – I hope you LOVE mixed media once you get over that initial fright! Be brave – you just can’t mess it up! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  9. Avatar

    Happy New Year Lorraine.
    I LOVE your double page and really like that you use Dreams instead of Goals LOL. Thank´s for this awesome video

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Thank you Tora – it’s funny how the pages morph as we work – it is completely different than what I intended it to be!

  10. Avatar

    I meant to ask what is the difference between the black wing pencil and the stabilo .? And can the st be used like the bw?

    1. Lorraine Bell

      Great question, Louise! The black wing is not water soluable like the stabilo. While you can "smear" it with water, it does not bleed and run like the stabilo. The both are awesome pencils, but do completely different things.

  11. Mary W

    Your page has no hard edges and when I saw it done the only word I had to describe it was "dreamy" which fit perfectly. Your muse was certainly leading you toward the perfect end. I enjoyed the trip!

  12. Dana O

    As a newbie to mixed media and DLP (and really just a "basic crafter") I found your explanation of process and tools really helpful. I learned a lot! Thank you!

  13. Joy

    I had the best day yesterday! I watched your wonderful, inspiring and generous videos and tutorials all day and revved up my 2015 journal in style! Many thanks!
    Happy New Year!

  14. Avatar

    Lorraine, I just want to pop in and say, "thank you" for showing how you corrected your enthusiastic gesso dilemma. It’s helpful and encouraging to see that I’m not the only one who isn’t perfect and I love how you just kept working right through that and shared your technique for "making it right." Just one more reason why I love you! Happy New Year and thank you again for everything YOU do! <3

  15. Karishma

    I just ordered tortillions for something else – would never have thought to use them for lettering. What a great idea! If you don’t mind sharing, how long did that page take you from start to finish (including drying time)?

  16. Annie Lou

    A table of contents is a great idea ……. love your colors ….. going to look for the Blackwing Pencil ….. and I love that you finger painted !!!! and that you only used a very few colors ….. thank you…..

  17. Andria

    Thank you for your video, Lorraine. You offer such clear explanations and descriptions of your supplies and your process. Such a lovely set of colors. I like the "frame" you create around your spread, and the area on the right you left for journaling your goals/dreams. "Begin" indeed! 🙂

  18. Anna

    Your work is so beautiful, Lorraine! And what a great video you made. I could listen to your gentle and soothing voice all day. 🙂 Thank you for all the time you put into it. You are all amazing! ♥

  19. Avatar

    Thank you for the videos, the new format, the tremendous amount of time you all have put into this wonderful artful community. I just love being a part of it and have learned so much this past year and look forward to 2015.

  20. Mary C. Nasser

    So lovely, Lorraine.
    Thank you for sharing your process and knowledge and experience.
    I am very inspired already. So generous of you all! Thanks!

  21. Juanita

    Great Video! As I am just starting out with doing an art journal I found this video informative and inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. Linda DeChow

    Oh wonderful blend of pastel colors. I may go for that look, myself. Nice tutorial, thank you.

  23. Jil Jones

    Great video learned a lot! Question I bought a large jar of Liquitex Gloss Gel Medium. From what the ladies on facebook are saying is that my pages will stick together if I use it. Can you tell me if this is true? Being a novice I saw Gel Medium and thought I was getting the correct item. Thank you, Jil

  24. Avatar

    fabulous quote, and thank you for talking us through, and showing us, the way you worked the page.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.