Hello everyone and happy May Day!

I am so excited to be Guest Hosting the May challenge over on Art Journal Journey this month and my chosen theme is…


When I was invited to host and choose my own theme, I quickly filled a page with so many ideas for possible themes.  I then had a hard time trying to decide on just one, but in the end narrowed it down to my top three favourites and from those three, I decided on Language.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of Language:

A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech, gestures and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original sound or gesture and its meaning. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

This month’s theme of language, can be interpreted in many ways, which gives you carte blanche to create lots of different art journal pages!  Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • use your own language, or if you can speak more than one, why not use them all!
  • language of flowers,
  • language of love,
  • language of colour,
  • words and writing,
  • books and text,
  • communication,
  • sign language,
  • gestures, symbols, icons, glyphs,
  • other systems of writing eg Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  • dead languages eg latin, sumerian, there are 573 extinct languages!
  • non-human languages (my kitty totally has her own cat-to-human communication system!)
  • fantasy languages (Klingon from Star Trek, Elvish languages from Lord of the Rings

Or show me your own “art” language – meaning the things you like to do and use when creating: colours, materials, processes, symbols that you use over and over again.  These things then become your own unique signature style and your art language.

For my May introduction page, I have chosen to make a watercolour galaxy background, which is something I still love to do. I just love to watch the paint move about, and watch it change from a hot mess to something out of this world! [icon name=”star” style=”solid” class=”” unprefixed_class=””][icon name=”moon” style=”solid” class=”” unprefixed_class=””][icon name=”star” style=”solid” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] It can be a very meditative process.  I added lots of metallic watercolour and metallic splatters which is definitely part of my art language.  Here’s a few step-by-step photos to show how it came together…

To start my page, I decided to use these Daniel Smith watercolour dot cards, which are small paint samples.  You can see me swatching out some of the latest dot cards I got in this art journal post from Earth Day. I use these little dot cards as a cheap way of obtaining lots of Daniel Smith colours and to help me to decide which colours I might want to buy in tubes.

The other reason for using the dot cards is because last week, I decided to swap the contents of two rooms around – the bedroom and the art room – which I expected would take one day and actually took three days, and so there were some days of chaos where I could not find anything, including some clothes lol.  Although three days in PJs is not that unusual these days!

I had been thinking a lot about what my page might look like and decided to go with some of my favourite things which do form part of my art language.  For my galaxy background I started off by drawing some zodiac star signs using a white Polychromos pencil.  Normally I would use a wax crayon for this but I couldn’t find any in the chaos, so had to make do with the pencil. The idea is that the wax will create a resist when you start to paint the watercolour on top.  If you want to try this, here’s a link to the star signs to draw and please use a white wax crayon for best results. I think I have Gemini, since this post is for May, and I have Pisces for me, and I have Leo, because it’s a big kitty! [icon name=”cat” style=”solid” class=”” unprefixed_class=””]

Then comes the fun part!  Start laying down colour, you can’t really go wrong if you stick to blues and purples, but also don’t be afraid to add bright colours like magenta and bright green or yellow.  My kitty came to see what I was doing.  I think she was a little confused why I was making all this mess in what used to be her bedroom lol. What have you done with my bed, crazy human? Stop messing up my room!

While the turquoise was still wet, I dropped in some magenta and then some Payne’s Grey around the edges.  You can see the wax star signs starting to emerge through the wet paint.

After that was dry, I added another layer of watercolour, this time adding some bright yellow green and some bright purple.

After that layer was dry, I added some metallic watercolour paints – you can see some of it in this photo below – the bright blue splatters in the bottom left and top right of the page.

After all of that was dry (I did use a hairdryer to speed things up a little) I added some white and gold splatters of acrylic ink.

When the ink splatters were dry, i wanted to add more stars so I used this homemade stencil and some gold texture paste.  This “stencil” is the negative piece left over from diecutting some flowers, and I thought it would make an interesting stencil.  I have already used it a few times, like on this page with some pink texture paste and with some turquoise chalk paint for this Wanderlust lesson.

To finish off the page, I chose a quote from Rumi which made me think about this language theme and our worldwide art/art journalling community, where we all understand each other because of how we express ourselves and communicate through our art and not because we all speak the same language!  I wrote it on a scrap of black card using a white gel pen. I smudged the bottom of it but this is not a permanent pen so it was easy to remove it and redraw the tilde.

Here are some closer looks at the page, which started off as watercolour but ended up as mixed media lol…

I also added some tiny iridescent stars to the page using some white glue.  You can see a few of them on the image below, some looking silver and one in the middle looking blue as the light hits it.

I drew a border around the page using a white Posca…

And while I had the pen in my hand, doodled some little asterisks (stars) around the page…

One final touch up on the star signs with a white pen (which wouldn’t be necessary if I had been able to find my crayons lol) and the page was finished.

I hope you feel inspired to join us at Art Journal Journey this month.  Language is all about communication, and I would love to see you communicate using language on your pages, in whatever form you choose. I have a lot of ideas for language-inspired spreads to share with you over the course of this month, so do keep checking back if you need some inspiration or ideas, or even just to say hi!  I can’t wait to see what you do with this month’s theme and I will be dropping by to see all your lovely creations.

Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

As always, thanks for reading!


My handmade art journal, watercolour samples from Daniel Smith, white and gold acrylic ink, black card scraps, white pen, polychromos white pencil (but use a wax crayon if you can find one!), Posca white paint pen, gold texture paste, homemade stencil, iridescent stars, glue,


Art Journal Journey – Language – May Challenge

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27 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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May 4, 2021 8:29 am

I love your page, wonderful Art.
You have chosen an exciting topic Have a nice time hosting this month.

May 3, 2021 5:51 pm

The emoji no to be in here, ????this Is script , but, i Cats share in the comment

May 3, 2021 5:47 pm

Gorgeous page???? congrats
Have a great day ??

Jo - Let's Art Journal
May 2, 2021 7:09 pm

Wow, what a stunning page! Those metallic watercolours look so amazing and I love your design with the star constellations – amazing ?. So nice to see your cat overseeing your art too. I was so pleased to see you hosting AJJ this month and you’ve chosen a wonderful theme too, I look forward to joining in the fun. Happy May and I hope you’re having a lovely weekend too! Hugs, Jo x

May 2, 2021 5:51 pm

Oh my goodness, Elle!! This page is gorgeous! Love the colors!!!! I do love the look of galaxy pages.
Such an intriguing topic, language. I do love the Elvish language and have even taken pains to sometimes translate something into Quenya (thanks to the translation sites out there). I want to learn the language of my heritage even if it’s just for me. Love all the suggestions you offered. Maybe I will try one or more of these this month.

May 2, 2021 12:28 pm

Omg I love your page, and I definitely love the idea of the challenge, I shall take a look shortly. I have taken a couple of days off blogging but I love reading them so I am back ha ha

Samm Starrs
Samm Starrs
May 2, 2021 12:03 pm

What an absolutely gorgeous spread! I love it so much. I’m going to head on over and see what this art journal journey thing is. Not that I have time to add more to my plate but I’m still very interested!

May 2, 2021 9:38 am

Elle you picked out a super theme topic for us all at AJJ this month, your inspiration page looks fantastic, I look forward to seeing how everyone interprets the theme.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx

Neet Hickson
May 1, 2021 8:52 pm

When I first saw your piece I thought it was the Northern Lights technique. That is something i cannot seem to master. You have shown an alternative way so thank you, I might just have to try that out some time if you don’t mind.
A lovely page full of colour and inspiration – thanks for all the guidance you have given to us for your chosen theme.
Hugs, Neet xx

May 1, 2021 3:29 pm

This really is a wonderful page Elle! I love that shine – perfect for the starry sky. I must confess that apart from a couple of ideas I thought I was going to struggle bit this month. Seeing that you suggested so many ideas I am now ready to get on with more pages.
So looking forward to you being host this month and sharing your lovely art.
Hugs, Chrisx

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