Lesson 20 in my LetterLove online class (given by Joanne Sharpe) is about making random painted backgrounds both in my journal and on separate papers. Then, letter a word or phrase, cut it out and glue to a decorated journal page. This wasn't one of my favorite lessons, but the exercise was interesting. First, some of the decorative backgrounds I made using paints, collage, markers, oil pastels, stencils, brayer, etc. These are all on bristol paper about 6x9".
Even though Joanne's class is drawing to a close, the videos and lessons are staying up forever, so the class is available to start at any time - whenever it fits into your schedule. It was great fun and inspirational and encouraging - got me to experiment with and work on improving my lettering options. If that's something of interest to you, check out her class and the flickr group.