I am just a fan of words...in all shapes and forms....so using book pages as part of a background is a natural for me. However, sometimes your images can get lost on the page because of the strength of the words on the book pages...so what do you do to "tone it down" a bit? Gesso.
Gesso is slightly chalky -- but is very opaque (which is why it is good for covering things up as a primer)...so you want to be a little careful how you use it or you will totally obliterate the words from your background. I have found that if you load your brush with gesso and then use a paper towel to "brush off" most of the excess gesso -- you will get a nice "dry brush" effect that softens the words or images on your background papers -- still allowing them to be visible, but not dominant.
The other thing I did on this card was to dry brush just a touch of cream color acrylic paint over the gesso -- I could have put the acrylic paint into the gesso to tint it (which I probably would have liked better -- but I just forgot). Then after that was dry...and dripped some watered down acrylic paint at the top of the card and let it run down to give a bit more visual interest.
Thanks for stopping by -- hope you are having a great week.