GET MESSY – Season of Seasons – Part 1 -Altered Book Cover

After 3 months devouring every issue of the Brush Magazine and having a peek into the Get Messy website (, I finally took the plunge and joined in.

This season’s prompts are about Seasons. I decided to have separate journals for each Get Messy season prompts, so for this very first one, I’m facing my fear of damaging books (because they are sacred) and I am making an altered book journal (YES!!! Finally!).

This first video is showing you how I am decorating my cover. The original book cover was covered with handmade paper (click HERE to watch the tutorial on how to make the collage paper; the tutorial for covering the original book cover is a lesson from my online class Easy Collage Class, free and exclusive to all CAF Club members – click HERE to join; it’s free).


Get Messy Season of Seasons - Altered Book Cover

Watch it on Youtube and Vimeo (free download)



  • Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers (basic set)
  • white gesso (Liquitex)
  • waterbrush
  • heat tool
  • Uniball Eye Fine Waterproof pen in Black
  • Faber Castell Big Brush pen in Black
  • Posca paint pens in Pink, Light Orange and White (PC-3M)



Using my Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers, I started by painting my leaves – green/turquoise for Spring and brown/yellow for Autumn. I also added some pink buds to my Spring leaves to bring a popping colour to the page.

I then used a lilac mermaid marker to roughly colour my background. I went over the spine and a little bit on the back cover to create continuity and flow.

On my back cover and on the rest of my spine, I used a blue mermaid marker to represent the cold of Winter, and created a very imperfect snowflake (I most definitely need practice with these for me to be ready by winter!), as well as half of my background. With my brown mermaid marker, I created a bare tree, which I then later on covered in places with white gesso.

The top part of my back cover I chose to represent Summer, symbolised by bright pink roses and bright green leaves. I used a nude colour to colour in my background as I wanted something neutral to let my roses shine.

After adding gesso to my tree to create the effect of snow, and to my “snowflake” (to blend it better), I cleaned my fingers on my background. As I quite liked the effect, I decided to add bits of smudged gesso on my front cover as well (background as well as leaves, to create some smooth highlights).

I quickly dried the gesso with a heat tool and used a waterbrush to activate the ink from the markers. This enabled me to fill in some of the blank spaces on my elements and backgrounds, so that it creates a slight and irregular gradient.

I then outlined my elements using a waterproof black pen, creating more details. I like scribbly lines as they give a grungy effect and it doesn’t show if your lines are not following your elements properly.

Using my Big Brush black marker, I wrote my title on my front cover, dried the ink and used my trusted Posca paint pens to create some dots on my lettering. I also outlined the lettering very loosely, using my beloved scribbly lines, with my white paint pen. I think the lettering pops out from the background and the elements much better that way. While I still had my white paint pen on hand, I created some more highlights, font and back covers, and added some heart doodles and journaling at the back, as well as a title and dates on the spine.