As you can see from the first page below, even a small splash or watercolor brings a page to life. I love the way this calendar page has been done, because setting off the white lettering with the dark background looks wonderful.
The following ‘Day’ pages literally jump off the page too. Bright and vivid colors will always bring life to a page.
Whereas muted pastels and careful shading can also introduce subtlety. There is no ‘one way’ to us watercolour, so experiment with washing colour around or layering colours up so they are richer.
1. A Splash Of Emotion
A splash of color washed over writing can help convey the emotion of a moment in time, or just brighten up the page. Be careful not to use too much pigment because you don’t want to make the writing unreadable.
2. Empathize The Important
The pages of this mood tracker illustrate beautifully how watercolors can be used to emphasize and highlight.
The title blocks are instantly isolated from the inner spaces and the small detailed landscape at the top transforms the page. While on the mood tracker a similar landscape is used to ‘anchor’ the complexity of the page.
3. Using Color To Separate
Here you can see how even muted colours can separate areas of the pages of your journal.
nstead of just drawing thick dark lines, use a light pencil line as a guide and wash watercolour into the borders. Any space can be filled or embellished, and washing the colours around can create very interesting effects.
4. A Picture Tells A Thousand Words
A picture tells a thousand words, and this pair of pages proves that. It contains so many little tricks it is bound to give you some ideas.
The field of flowers could be taken from a classic impressionist painting. The detail of the flowers at the front is sketched in pencil to define the image and coloured with washes of watercolour to create depth.
In the background the unreal colour scheme gives it a surrealist feel. All of these things can be used to focus the eye, and the mind. The Ribbon Tag/label at the top and the Italic lettering all add to the detail to make a really engaging visual impact.
5. Linking Pages With Color
As you can see the portrait here shares a colour scheme with the title block on the opposite page. Although the images are very different, they are linked by the shared colour scheme. The 2 images and the purple title bars frame the pages really well. The shared colour scheme of the starry night sky and the portrait immediately give the girl an ethereal look.
6. Make It Striking
This Plant Mood tracker creates a striking focus. The watercolours are used to create depth and the shading emphasises this. The duplicated flowers give an easy frame to hold all the information you need, and the key makes it instantly readable and easily understandable. Bold Italic letters finish off this high impact image.
7. Make Your Thoughts Jump Off The Page
The bright, vivid colour splashes on this page will make your thoughts jump off the page. Here a straw has been used to blow the watery pigment around the lettering. Allowing one layer to dry and then adding more colour can add to the intensity even more. Using primary or contrasting colours against black text just makes the page more exciting to look at.
8. The Impression Can Be Enough
The Impressionist movement changed the way plants were painted for many people. With less emphasis on shape and more on light and colour, it can be an easy way to achieve a wonderful representation. This tree, full of blossom with its branches waving in the gentle breeze, brings life to what could be a flat sketch. You can do the same with any of your sketches.
9. A Wonderful Array Of Possibilities
As you can see from the wonderful Array of flowers and leaves below, the possibilities are endless. Whether you choose bright colours or pastel tones, just have fun. Try different layouts. Use the colour to help tell the story or lift the mood of the pages. Creating realistic images is great, but don’t be frightened to try other ways to achieve what you want. A dark sketch with a few tiny but intense colour highlights can create impact. Washes of unnatural contrasting colours can create a surreal feel, and muted tones can make everything appear gentle and calm. Allow your imagination to run wild and let the watercolour bring your journal to life.