I have always loved painting the night sky – especially galaxies! Therefore, it is no surprise they have made their way into my journal more than once. In this blog I will show you five ways to incorporate a celestial theme into popular spreads you will most likely already include in your journal!
- Archer and Olive Journal – I am showing you examples of spreads in a few different journals, but this one is the only journal I have found that can withstand watercolour with no ghosting or bleeding. Also, the whiter than white paper is brilliant for getting the effect of a glowing galaxy!
- Watercolours – My go-to watercolours are Winsor and Newton as they offer a brilliant range of colours at an affordable price. For more unique colours I love Daniel Smith.
- Paintbrushes – I personally like to use older, frayed paintbrushes in a dabbing technique to create the texture of galaxies. These are also perfect for splattering white ink/paint to create stars. For finer details my favourites are the Daler-Rowney Aquafine brushes.
- White Ink/White Gel Pen – For creating the stars! My favourite method is to splatter Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof White, and then add finer details and bigger stars with a white Sakura Gelly Roll.
- Fineliners – My favourites are the Unipin fineliners. They’re waterproof, affordable and have a strong nib.
- Washi Tape
Layout One: Future Log
Whilst you won’t be setting this spread up regularly, a future log can be one of the most used spreads each month for planning future events/appointments. So why not incorporate some galaxies here too!? Here’s how I achieved this layout:
1. Lightly pencil in the layout to get the proportions right. I decided on boxes sized 11.5x11.5 squares, as I personally liked how this spacing looked in my Archer and Olive Journal. After deciding on your spacing, pencil in the monthly headers, calendars and event boxes.
2. With a ruler and fineliner (size 0.2), go over the pencil and line in the boxes, monthly headers, calendars and event boxes. I choose a serif font for my monthly headers, and added shading with a 0.05 fineliner.
3. Then choose a colour for each box/galaxy. To create a galaxy effect, use a more watercolour (not diluted with water) on the outside of the box, and dilute with water for a lighter colour in the middle of the box. You can also use mix the colour with white paint/ink to get this distinction if your paper is not as white as the Archer and Olive. Create the textured effect by dabbing the paint on with a frayed brush. Pro tip: if you want to ensure you don’t go over the boxes, you can line them with washi tape!
4. Finally, once dry splatter white ink over the galaxies to create stars. For the shooting stars use a white gel pen.
Layout Two: Monthly Log
Depending on what you use them for, monthly logs are a brilliant place to go a bit extra! I personally only need space for 2/3 tasks each day, so this is a layout I came up with that allows that and gives me free reign of the whole page for painting! Here’s how I achieved this layout:
1. Pencil in the calendar bar, making each day 2 squares high and 1.5 squares wide. This allows for 2-3 events/appointments each day and fits well on the page. Once happy, go over in pen!
2. Next make the galaxy sky!
a. First, washi tape over the calendar bar and create a border.
b. Very lightly wet the pages in the middle in a semi-circle shape (where the galaxy is going to be lighter).
c. Pick up dark blue paint on an old, frayed brush. Starting at the border, dab the paint on thick around the top, left and right edges. Then as you start to run out of paint, dab closer to the middle of the painting (just touching the water). You can also add more water to your brush to thin out the paint. You should get a nice gradient effect as the colour bleeds into the water. Move quickly to avoid the water in the middle drying.
d. Next add more dimensions with light blue and purple. Do this by dabbing the colours where the dark blue has bled into the water. You can also add small amounts of colour closer to the middle of the galaxy by diluting the colour and adding sparingly. You want the middle to stay quite white to really get the glowing effect.
e. Once dry, splatter white paint/ink to create stars.
3. Finally, take black paint on a medium, round brush to create the mountains.
Layout Three: One Word Per Day
I love to include this challenge in my monthly set up. The goal is to pick just one word to sum up your day. This challenge was created by @phiespoetry on Instagram! Here’s how I achieved this layout:
1. Create a border with washi tape, and then lightly pencil in the spiral vortex.
2. Lightly wet the inside of the spiral with water, and use the same painting technique as the previous spread to create a glowing effect.
3. Once dry, splatter white paint/ink to create stars. If you’re not using the Archer and Olive, you can also use the white ink to brighten the middle of the spiral.
4. Write in one word each day!
Layout Four: Planets Weekly
For this layout, I wanted to create something fun with the nine planets in the solar system (yes I still count Pluto). I was inspired by @bumblebujo on Instagram to make the planets into a bunch of balloons.
1. Pencil in the planets, the days of the week, and to-do box. Once you’re happy with the layout go over the planets and to-do box with a 0.2 fineliner.
2. With a fine paintbrush, paint the planets. I exaggerated the colours to make them more vibrant.
3. With an old, frayed brush, dab dark blue paint in a circle where you want the days of the week to go. Once dry, write on the initial and number of the day with a white gel pen.
4. Use a 0.2 black fineliner to add balloon strings from each planet to one point at the bottom of the page.
5. Optional: letter the month over the strings to fill white space.
Layout Five: Simple Black and White Weekly
This spread is super quick and easy to make. It was inspired by @liamcarverart on Instagram, who creates the most intricate and amazing nebulas. Here’s how I made it nice and simple for a quick weekly setup:
1. Pencil in the box in the centre, where you want the days of the week and the to-do box. Once you’re happy with the layout go over the box and to-do box with a 0.2 fineliner.
2. Line the box with washi tape, and paint the inside completely black. You can also colour it in with pen, but make sure to test that it doesn’t absorb white ink.
3. With a spare piece of paper, rip or cut the shape of maintains. Lay this over the bottom of the black box. Splatter white ink with an old paintbrush, getting less concentrated the further you get away from the paper guide. Dry the ink and remove the paper.
4. To create the moon, cut a circle in a spare piece of paper. Place it at the top right of the black box and splatter a good amount of white ink. Dry the ink and remove the paper.
5. Finally, with an old, frayed brush, dab purple and blue paint in a circle where you want the days of the week to go. Once dry, write on the initial and number of the day with a black or white pen.
Hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration to do a celestial theme/spread in your journal. If you have I would love to see it, so tag me on Instagram (@hayleyremdeart) and use #hayleyremdeinspired to get the chance to get your recreation featured in my stories!