Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).


My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

38 thoughts on “Brown Dragonflies

  1. Wonderful page Jo, Dragonflies are some of my favourite insects, we have seen some amazing ones over the years on our travels. Glasson Dock looks a wonderful place.
    Can’t wait for summer to come (and summer walks of course).
    Happy weekend! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Astrid! I love dragonflies too 😁. We’ve had sunshine all day today so went for a walk along the beach, it was so cold though apparently the wind is coming from Siberia …lol 😉. Have a happy weekend too! J 😊 x


  2. Thank you for the thought of warm weather on your dragonfly page. (It snowed last night). I can see the dragonflies flitting and skimming over the water flashing their beautiful iridescent wings. It will be another 5 months or so before we might catch a glimpse of a dragonfly here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is really hard to get a good photo of a flying dragonfly, I tried it some years ago and failed too, but on your second photo I can see the dragonfly 🙂
    The page you made is so fabulous, with all your amazing techniques and details! I was surprised that you gave Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluted it with water, and that works! I have to try this too! I see nine dragonflies on your page – a good idea to remember the many you met last summer. Beautiful landscape – your photo shows it – I think it’s clear that the dragonflies enjoys to live there.
    Thank you so much for joining us again at Art Journal Journey, I appreciate it!
    Wish you a happy weekend, dear Jo!
    Rike xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your wonderful layered page and with those muted colours you got your Glasson Dock memories so well modelled on that wonderful page! It really looks like it is an amazing place and those many dragonflies can’t be wrong to pick this area as their favourite habitat ! Thank you for sharing the beautiful page with Art Journal Journey – this is much appreciated – I just followed your link and now learned that all kinds of hawkers – also this brown one in German is called “Mosaikjungfer “- so this is a ” brown mosaic maiden” in German … so a much more delicate name than hawker —lol!
    I wish you a fabulous weekend!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear Susi! It was amazing to see all the dragonflies and it brings back such happy memories when I think of them buzzing around 😁. I think “brown mosaic maiden” is the perfect name for them, it sounds so poetic and much better than hawker …lol 😉. Have a fabulous weekend too my friend! J 😊 x


  5. This is a great page Jo. You have me dreaming for one of those summer days when the dragonflies are buzzing around. I love the stamped images in brown and black and then the big dragonfly die cut. It makes a great real life feel, because there are always so many dragonflies flying around at those moments and usually they are not all the same-like your page! We had a summer day Wednesday and then more snow yesterday-and more tonight and more Sunday. So this page is really making me happy! Thanks for the shout-out too. Or should I say link-up. Happy Friday! Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 2 people

    • It made me smile thinking of you at summertime and enjoying warmer days so I’m glad you like the page, thanks for the inspiration! At least you had a little bit of warmth for a day, we are enjoying sunshine but the winds are coming from Siberia so they are so cold …lol 😉. Happy Friday and Weekend! J 😊 x


  6. I love dragon flies. They are such beautiful insects. And of course for me as a hospice nurse the Dragonfly Story is a kind way of explaining death to a child, so it is extra special to me.
    Your page is beautiful. You have me longing for summer too now.
    I have never managed to photograph a flying dragonfly, but now I know a bit more about photographing moving things, I might try, although I normall don’t go around carrying a tripod, lol.
    Have a wonderful week,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The brown Dragon fly looks awesome against the beautiful background you created. I must try using the Brusho’s in a spray sometime soon. The colours you chose work so well together,
    Super photos seeing the dragonflies in their natural habitat is a lovely to see, such a shame that these lovely creatures have such a short life.
    Have a good weekend Jo, it seems we are in for some rather cold days again soon.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I do love a dragonfly…. and I already own several stamps! Great background to your brown dragonfly, Jo. The Glasson dock area looks lovely, a great place for painters methinks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I would have been here sooner, but I’m still having phone and internet problems from the ice storm we had two nights ago. To make matters worse, my keyboard is acting up again. I’ll just stop before I get too frustrated and thank you for sharing this with us at Art Journal Journey .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful page! Love the background you created and this color palette is perfect for our Challenge! Thanks for joining us this week on Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog! Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comments! Glasson Dock is a beautiful area and it must be fun to cycle there 😁. I’ve enjoyed your theme at Country View Challenges this month, thanks! Enjoy the rest of your week! J 😊


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