Painty Background Mixed Media Tutorial

Hi everyone! I’m loving playing with paint lately! I made this art journal page this week, and I wanted to share my process with you. All the supplies I used are linked at the end of the post.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

My current art journal is a Moleskine Art Plus Sketchbook. I prep all my spreads ahead of time by applying masking tape over the page seam, then applying gesso over the entire spread. You can also glue 2 pages together, but I find the Art Plus Sketchbook series has thick enough pages for most of my art journaling when I gesso them.

 

First I collaged a few pieces of vintage paper using gel medium.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

Then I placed random drops of paint onto the spread. I chose colors that would blend well together plus white. Be sure to choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. If you blend opposite colors, you will end up with brown “mud.” I also added drops of acrylic glazing liquid to make the paint blend more easily and to keep it from drying too fast.

I used a few different colors here: Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Titan Buff, Alizarin Crimson Hue, and Quinacridone Magenta (all Golden Heavy Body Acrylics, but any acrylic or craft paints will do).

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

I then blended the colors using a dry coarse bristle brush. I used “crosshatch” motions (basically making X’s with the paintbrush) to make for a more interesting result. I started by blending the lighter colors and working my way to the darker ones. Each drop of paint should blend a bit with the colors around it, but still have areas of unblended color. Just keep playing around with it until you like what you see. Using glazing liquid will ensure that the paint stays wet while you work.

Here’s what I ended up with. I LOVE the brushstrokes that the bristle brush leaves! Isn’t the effect gorgeous? I think it’s my favorite paint technique right now.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

After the paint dried, I collaged on some patterned tissue paper and washi tape pieces with the gel medium. Since they’re transparent, it allowed the paint to show through.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

Next I added some texture with paint to bring the whole thing together. I lightly applied paint to the end of a paper towel roll and onto bubble wrap and stamped both randomly across the spread.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

I got so caught up in painting that I forgot to photograph the next few steps! (oops) I finger-painted a few circles in a contrasting color down the left side of the page. Then I lightly penciled in the flower outline. I wanted to make sure the colors in the flower popped off the background, so I painted the entire flower with a white basecoat.

I wanted to have a little more separation between the background and the painted elements, so I made a glaze with the Titan Buff by mixing it with Acrylic Glazing. I used a ratio of around 2 paint : 5 glazing, but you can play around and decide what you’re comfortable with. I brushed it around the circles and the flower shape, blending it into the background. Since it’s transparent, the background colors still show, but they become a bit more muted to allow the elements to pop a little.

Then I painted part of the flower with Quinacridone Magenta.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

At this point, I stepped back for a while and just looked everything over. Sometimes I do this, and sometimes I don’t; it just depends on how the piece is going. I decided I wasn’t loving how green the circles were. I was going for more of a turquoise color, so I mixed some up using Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) and Phthalo Blue (Green Shade) and re-painted the circles with it. I painted the outside petals of the flower with a mix of Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow, and then I made some random painty marks with my paintbrush in different colors of paint.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

 

I painted white circles on top of the turquoise ones, painted the stem of the flower, and added polka dots to the flower with my Sharpie marker. In my opinion, EVERYTHING looks better with polka dots. 🙂 I also made some random markings around the spread with the Sharpie marker.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

Almost done!! Next I drew all the outlines with a black Stabilo pencil, then went back over them with a blending stump. This process can be a little tedious, but I absolutely love the result! It smudges the lines just enough but not too much.

NOTE: the Stabilo All Pencil is NOT waterproof, so if you’re going to be applying any wet media over it, you need to spray a workable fixative at this point.

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

And finally, the last steps! I rubbed over the black pencil lines with my finger to smudge them out a bit more. Then I added some shading and highlights with a black and white oil pastel. Last, I journaled in the scripture I chose for this piece, and I was all done!

Tracie Stroud | Mixed Media Tutorial | Painty Background

 

 

Thank you so much for following along! I would absolutely love to see anything you create using my tutorials or products. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or just to let me know you were here!

Supplies Used:


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Please consider purchasing through my links, and thank you for your support!

3 thoughts on “Painty Background Mixed Media Tutorial

  1. I enjoyed your tutorial so much. I have been scrapbooking for 15 years but am new to art journaling. I have bought lots of medias, paints, watercolors, sprays but need to get brave and practice! I love your simple directions and believe i can follow. Thanks so much.

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