Art Journaling with Fat Goblin Games Stock Art

Sarah Darkmagic - Posted on 11 January 2024

Art Journal Spread with Character ArtArt Journal Spread with Character Art
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Over the past 10 years, I've been doing a lot of learning and experimenting with different art mediums. I've shared some of the results here and if you want to see more, I post most of it to Facebook (2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020) or to Instagram. One of the things I've been doing a lot is working in an art journal which is a place for me to just play and see what happens.

I also became a patron of Fat Goblin Games on Patreon. For the basic tier, patrons get access to the stock art Rick Hershey creates for the month. My hope is to eventually start creating content for gaming more regularly again but in the meantime I wanted to just play with the amazing art he's been releasing.

My first experiment was to create a basic two-page spread using two of his characters, Baba Yaga and The Aunties.

I was curious about two things. The first is how would it look to print the line art on rice paper and collage it on top of a watercolor background. The second was what would happen if I used my Kuretake Gansai Tambi on the rice paper. I threw in a third experiment as I was working on these and that was to see how color printing on the rice paper would turn out. A quick note, I have a color laser printer and my prints aren't impacted by water, which is important for what I did. Also, the reason for using rice paper is that it's super strong while being fairly thin and, when used in collage, has some transparency.

Print out artwork to rice paper

The first thing I did was find some artwork to use. I used a bunch of files from the Fat Goblin Games Patreon as well as an image from the British Library collection on Flickr. The latter are images from books in the British Library that should be out of copyright.

I happen to use a program called Pixelmator Pro, but lots of programs will let you do what I did. I created a blank image and set the size to be the size of my paper. Then I imported the images I wanted to use and resized them to fit on the page. Once I had a good assortment, I printed it out. This helped reduce waste. I later did a second page to get The Aunties.

Experiment: Line art printed on rice paper and collaged on top of watercolor

Art Journal Spread with Baba YagaArt Journal Spread with Baba Yaga

The first experiment was the side with Baba Yaga.

My first step was to use my Kuretake Gansai Tambi to create a watercolor background. I had received the Art Nouveau set from my husband as a Christmas gift. I did this in my art journal, which at the moment is a Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Art Journal. It has a decent weight paper that is 100% cotton which helps it hold up to the abuse I throw its way. You can see some of the abuse around the edges for instance. I let that dry.

Then I cut out the character art, trying to stay fairly close to the outer outline. I use matte medium to help glue the character art down. I applied some of the medium down first with brush and then applied some on top as well.

I thought the page could use something more and so I applied the circular artwork. It's from the book Fairy Mary's Dream.

I did two things to help make it feel more like part of the page. I used the same pink that was in the background to paint the area between Baba Yaga and the broom. And then I took some brown ink to create a shadow under the character with a brush.

Experiment: Painting the Rice Paper

Art Journal Spread with The AuntiesArt Journal Spread with The Aunties

The second experiment started similar to the first. I created another background using the same colors as the first page.

This time, instead of applying the rice paper with just the lines to the page, I painted it first with the same watercolor paint set. I hadn't tried this before but I know that one of the things about rice paper is that it can be very absorbent. I found out pretty quickly that control of the colors was not easy with this method which, honestly, was refreshing. I could try out how painting with a looser style could be. I think the Aunties came out pretty decent all things considered and I'm excited to keep playing with this technique.

After painting, I let it dry, cut out the characters, and used matte medium to glue it to the page. One thing I found interesting is that neither the background nor the paint on the rice paper seemed to be affected much by the matte medium.


One of the things I want to do is start developing some NPCs in my journal, using stock and public domain art to build that out. I'm hoping to use it to eventually run a game and also create content here and potentially elsewhere.

But even without that, doing art like this has been really helping me with anxiety and stress. It felt really nice creating this.

I want to say thanks to Rick Hershey, not only for the awesome art but for being ok with this use of it.

Baba Yaga and The Aunties: Publisher's Choice Quality Stock Art © Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games
British Library digitised image from page 34 of "Fairy Mary's Dream. By A. F. L. With illustrations by the Author"

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