Mixed Media Art Journals | Tara Mercer | Skillshare

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Mixed Media Art Journals

teacher avatar Tara Mercer, Mixed Media Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Mixed Media Art Journal Intro

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Collage & Paint

    • 4. Technical Difficulty

    • 5. Adding Colour

    • 6. Extra Touches

    • 7. More Extras

    • 8. Finished Page

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About This Class

Find your inner artist.  Work with me step by step to create a beautiful page in your art journal. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tara Mercer

Mixed Media Artist


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1. Mixed Media Art Journal Intro: Hi there and welcome to mixed media art journals. My name is Tara Mercer. In this class we're going to walk step-by-step through my process of how I came up with this page. We'll talk about collage and different art mediums will talk about working intuitively and finding that inner artist. So you can do this class one of two ways. You can either curl up with a hot cup of tea and just enjoy take-away a couple of tips and tricks. Or you can gather your goodies and join me for mixed media art journals. 2. Supplies : Alright, this is a place that we have for this class or whatever you happen to have at home, whatever you want to use to make this journal pages? Absolutely fine. I'm going to be working in a handmade water colored journal that I made in a previous class called bookbindings For our journals. And my papers sash is just a whole combination of dictionary pages, book pages, scrapbooking paper. I have a tea bag and some cardboard. I've a music sheet, craft paper. There's some wrapping paper in there. It's just whatever I have. I liked the neutral colors to start my collage width, but you can use whatever you've got. My other tools are going to be my heat tool. And then I have some baby wipes and some Delhi sheep to uses the pallets. I have a couple of paintbrushes and a pallet knife. I have a bucket of water for my paintbrushes and then I just have a water bottle of water, spray bottle of water. Then for my glue, I'm going to use just plain old map medium. And then I have some just one hand. For ME paint. I'm gonna be using a titanium white and Liquitex basics and a tightened bef in Golden fluid acrylics. No reason just what I have on hand sticking to my neutral palette. I also have BY fine liner which is filled with Golden's high flow acrylics. And then for by colors, I'm going to be using some Karen dash, new color to water-soluble crayons, but I'm only using three colors in there. I also have on hand one of my favorite tools, which is my blacks to below pencil. And then I also have a regular 4B pencil, and I also have a micron pen in black. And last but not least, I have a couple of alcohol inks that I'm going to use to splash on some color at the end. Once again, if you don't have any or all of this stuff, just use what you've got. You don't have to go out and buy anything new. But I hope we'll have fun. So let's get started. 3. Collage & Paint: Going to want to cover up this seam because I don't want my glue seeping down into the pages and sticking everything together. And because I pierced holes in it, I definitely want to cover that up. So I'm using just a regular golden matte medium that I've put into a smaller container and I have my regular paint brush. And I'm just going to start off by ripping and tearing pages and covering up that centers seems to start with. And I'm just going to put down a layer glue for matte medium. And you could use whatever you've got if you've got mod podge or anything like that, I just make sure that it is permanent once it's dry and have a little bit left over at the bottom. So I'm just going to take one more smaller piece and put that down as well. And now basically all I'm gonna do is I'm just going to intuitively use these papers and goodies in my stash. And I'm just going to build up my background with really no thought process involved in just putting stuff down because I think it might look at their speed the video up and we'll see you when that's done. One other thing you should be starting to think about as you start this process is maybe which format you want to do your background in. In, are you going to do a landscaper? You're gonna do portrait. Are you only doing one page as opposed to are you doing the whole thing? And if so, where is your focal point going to be? I really love a cruciform pattern. So I'm going to, or, sorry, a cruciform composition. So I'm going to basically somewhere around thirds, but the rule of thirds cut into a line here and then probably a line across here. So in doing that, I'm going to focus a lot of my pages there. But I'm also not going to forget about over here as well because that is still going to need some visual interests going on. So I've saved my 90 pound watercolor paper for last because it's my favorite and I love it to go on top. And I love this one because it has some texture to it. And then it gives you this really great doubled edge that always, and then it always picks up the paint and the ink later really nicely. And then also pucker is a little bit because it's only 90 pound and I just love all of that extra bit of texture and goodness it leaves behind. So I am now going to just put that sporadically throughout as well. Yeah. Okay. Okay. So I've glued down all of my pages and I think I'm done there. Now what I want to do is I'm going to want to dial it back a bit. So I really love all the interesting things that are going on with all of the different textures and words going in different directions and colors and all that kinda stuff. But now I need to tone it down a bit and make it and bring it back to from being so chaotic. So to do that, all I'm gonna do is take some regular just so and I'm just going to use my finger excuse me. And then I'm just going to not necessarily cover everything up because I do want to have some of that peeking out, which is why I'm using my finger and not a brush. You could even use a scraper to scrape it on. But this will get into some of those Mixin crannies, just not all of them. And then I can decide as I go what I want to be seen and what I don't. So again, I'm just this is just some visual interest in the background. Because I'm going to keep adding layers and I'm going to have, I'm going to add more color at some point too. So I really want this to be more cohesive background. And we did not just so our page. So when we add paved later, it will be effective by whether there is matte medium or just so uncertain parts as the paint will react differently. Now I have added just so to most everything, but you can still see text peeking through and you can still see the texture of the paper. And you can still see some of the color. I'm gonna come in with more, more paint in a few minutes, but I want to dry this layer first. So I'm gonna hit it with my heat tool. And always remember when you're using your heat tool to keep it moving at all times, don't ever just leave it in one place because it will burn and it will bubble. And I don't think that that is very good to breathe in, nor is it going to make for a good project when you're done. My just those dry and now I want to add some more paint. And I'm going to be using a student grade Liquitex basics white just because it's fairly thick, but it's not too thick and sticky. And it, I really like this brand for just playing around a journal width. And then I'm also going to be using my golden fluid acrylics and tightened buff. And only because I don't happen to have that one in this color, no rhyme or reason to it. You will find that there are a little different. So u, because one is much thinner than the other. But there, but this one has a decent amount of pigment. And this one is nice and creamy, so they go well together and a little goes a long way for this one. So I want to have a baby wave ready because this going to get messy. Again, you can use your paint brush for this if you like. It's completely up to you, but I like to be able to dab my finger in and just play around and there's no rhyme or reason to it. And because I did not just so my paper first or use a lot more math media when I was putting down or back pieces like our first layer, my paper is sucking up my paint quite readily and a meeting or a bit than I anticipated. So I'm going for a very neutral base before a start adding color. And I think I've got it with what I've got here. I've got a little bit of the Titan buff going on and you can see that. But then I have more white. And it's all blended in a very haphazard way. But I can still see lots of texture coming through. And I can see a little bit of the text poking through and some of that background stuff is peeking through. So that's always good. The watercolor paper does this, has these little, little holes almost in it, but it then it pucker is a little bit and you get that lovely edge and stuff like that. And you'll see later when we start adding more paint and scraping paint on that difference and how that catches the paint and stuff. It's very, very cool. So let's hit this with the heat tool and then we will come back and start adding our color. 4. Technical Difficulty: So I had a little technical difficulty while taping this, and I had to take this section from a previous video that I had used to practice with. But the idea is just the same. I took some corrugated cardboard I had lying around and I ripped it apart to reveal the ribs. I've left a little bit of the paper on for texture. And I'm just going to make an interesting composition with it. Glue it down with my map medium, first with my fingers, and then I'm going to grab my brush and make sure that it's good in saturated and stuck down really well. Once by cardboard pieces are stuck down really well, I want to get out my white paint and I want to use that to dial back the darkness of this cardboard a little bit. I don't want to fill it in and I don't want to cover them up completely, but I do need to dial back that darkness a little bit. I then also went in with a pencil just as I think it's a 4B pencil. And I just added some lines to enhance my composition, which you'll see in the next video. 5. Adding Colour: Alright, are pages Dyson dry and ready for some color? I am going to be using some neo color to water-soluble crayons from Karen dash. And in that one I've got a brown, a Prussian blue, and the label says purple, but I would consider it more of a medium magenta. I then in Inc's I have a fellow Blue, a burnt umber, and a quinn magenta. I have a water bottle and a baby wipe and a tissue ready to go. And then I have a little dish where I have mixed up some glazing medium and some water, so it's quite runny. And I'm going to use that with my crayons. Because the crayons are permanent when you use them. I have instead of just using plain water, which would then I could move them again later. If I use this mixture instead, it should make them permanent. So off we go when I want to start with is I want to start with this section here. You can see I've got a lot more of the Titan buf there than I think I want. So I'm actually going to go in with some white paint and dial that back just a bit because I'd rather have it more white because I'm envisioning putting more pink silver here with some blue. And I don't think the burnt umber or sorry, the Titan buff is going to go as well with the, with those colors as the white. Well, I'm envisioning more of a pastel type look right now. And so again, the white is, and it's gonna go better with that in my opinion than the Titan bef. Well, so I'm going to hit that when my heat tool, just because I want it to be dry eyes. Let's take some of our brown crayon. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to add it into, around some of these the raised parts of where the watercolor paper is and get into the edges and the nooks and crannies to give kind of a grungy look. So all I'm doing is I'm just kinda sketching it along the edges. And this brown, once you, well, you'll see it definitely has a warm, almost a gold tone to it. Reminds me of a raw sienna more than a number, but still looks good. And I basically just wanted into the nooks and crannies. So you can't even really tell I've done a whole lot there, but there's a little bit going on. They really like that, that grungy look that it adds. I'm gonna be doing a back and forth of adding color, taking it away, drying, coming back and doing more. And it's just a it's just a dance of back and forth and putting down what you think you might like. And if you don't like it, removing it, and then if you do like it continuing and you just keep going back and forth. So now that that's dry, I'm going to introduce my stub below, which you didn't talk about earlier. This is just a water soluble black pencil crayon type tool. And it, again is water-soluble, is well and it just adds a really nice grunge. The problem sometimes can be that it's very, very stark and it's very, very dark. So to begin with, I'm just going to use it sparingly, but it really found that, that Brown is just a little too orange for what I'm going for. So dull it down a bit with some of the black, which I'm using that same watered down glazing medium in order to make it permanent. So there is what we've got so far. I'm still a little tacky up here, but that's okay. We're gonna keep going. So up here what I'd like to do is I am envisioning some pink, but the magenta is such a strong color that I want very, very little. So I'm gonna add a dot to my palette to the right of my, of my page instead of directly on. And now you have, there's two ways you can do this. You can dab it on and move it around and then scrub it away. Which is nice. It gets into the nooks and crannies as well. Or you can take and you can spray a little water and you can put it in that way. And so it's not quite as strong. Spread it around a little bit. So it's just adding it where you think it might look good. And remember that when we talked about how our paper isn't just sewed in, it's going to react differently to the undecided paper as it does to the muscle. And it will not be removable once it's soaked into the paper or so, you gotta keep that in mind. So if you don't like that that unsure witness of that, then I would suggest you just saw the whole thing before you get going. But it's completely up to you. It's all a personal thing. So now, I'm happy with that right now I will be adding more to this page, but right now I want to move over and work on this side a little bit. And I want them to go together. So we want to do some more of that over here to the pink is just so strong. Looks great, so strong. Alright. The other thing you can remember to don't forget is that if you don't like it, you just add a little bit more white paint on top and hide it. Nothing is like end of the world as far as I'm concerned. Okay, so now I want to add some blue and they don't know that I want to add necessarily increase now, but I think I want to go in with the neo color crayon and see what I come up with here. So back over here where this is going to hit it with the heat tool for a sec. All right, so I again want to grab like I did down here with the texture. I went and grabbed some of that texture. Okay, so unlike you, how that's looking at so far, nothing very drastic or fancy going on, but just some nice little addition of color and nothing to start yet. And now I wanna go back and I want to do some of this again with by two, with my Brown And my black. And I want to add some more interest on here as well. So that again, these two pieces look like they go together or this spread looks like it matches from one side to the other. Alright, again, nothing too drastic, but just little subtle layers of color. So I'm just bringing it up gradually. I tend to go really fast and then I kind of go back and I'm like, Ooh, too much too fast. So I'm, I'm learning as I go as well that sometimes you just need to take it slow. They tend to be very impatient. So I'm just going to continue on adding color, taking it back, putting it in and just dancing back and forth. Okay. Yes. So so I'm really liking this orange, pink, brown thing going on here. Really, really liking that sum adding more pink than I normally would. But I just loved the way that all the colours are reacting together and giving me some depth and some interests. And it's really starting to come together. Really, really enjoying all of this texture at all of these different lines and stuff. Great fun. Okay. Okay. So really loving how that was locking. It's no rhyme or reason to. It is just what I like. So you just gotta keep playing and pushing the limits to what you usually do in order to find out the new things that you like. And so now we need to figure out what we wanna do next. So I think what I want to do is I really wanted to find this line here, these lines. And the pencil isn't quite cutting it. So this is a good time to practice. Some other things that you wouldn't normally do. Maybe for me, it's get out of my comfort zone a little bit and try new things. And so what I'm seeing is that this is very defined rectangle here. And there's some interesting stuff going here. But I now need to kinda bring it to gather. So I think here I'm just gonna go for it and I'm going to really lead down some of this stuff below. And just going to use some water to start with and see what I think he is doing it with the water. If I don't like it, I can go into baby waving, get rid of it if it's too stark. No, I think I like that. So I am going to make it permanent and I'm gonna go across here. And I'm going to use my, my permanent now with some extra water to get that wet. Look listed below x really neat with water. We're going to redo that section. I'm not happy with that one. The other thing that we can do now with our similar is to make a puddle of it. And I like to add some splatter. This is going to dry very faint. It's not gonna be very noticeable or it off that go, but will it get to begin to us? So we have some, some more definition there. And we have some splatter now we just have to let the splattered dry. And the patient me, I'm gonna hit that with my heat tool. They're my spiders are dry and by colors are fairly dry. I guess there's a couple of web spots stove, but I've got lots of pretty color down. I've got some darks and lights. Although it's all very calm and quiet than Pass Delhi and nothing drastic going on. But I'm still really, really happy with it. So what I'd like to do now is I'd like to add some white to it to bring back some of that weight. And now I'm gonna do that is I'm going to take my white paint again and my curved palette knife, the one with the, I find it easier for scraping with one that connects stays up off the, off the paper. And so now I've just stuck my palette knife in so that I have some on the back. And now I'm just going to drag it and catch some of that texture. And I'm going to go across because I don't wanna do it all in the same direction. I think I'd like a little bit more. I really wanted to have some on these riches to define them a little bit better. And this is a great time if you're not happy with an edge. Not quite what you want. Maybe you don't want your lines coming right to the end. Now's a great time to scrape on some paint and put those, put it back. So you have an edge again. So there, so now we have some white on there. And now we just need to let that dry. 6. Extra Touches : Okay. So my paint is fairly dry, dry enough anyways for me to continue on. And what I've decided I want to do is I want to add some more color to this dark line and not make it just black. So I'm gonna go in with some blue. And hopefully, so now I'm going to use a paintbrush because I don't think my fingers are going to get in there as well as like some more of that, that gloss gloss that we've been using allowed banks to pips. Yeah, that looks, that's bad. And some interests there. Especially like this. Black with the blue, it's very dark and I really like that. Let's do a little bit here to just ticked out a little further. Yeah, I think that's something better. And I think I'm going to add some more paint on here. Really make that call. So not a whole lot of difference there and a little bit more interest, a little more color going on. Then no honest saying think of just about done with this page because I don't want to go a whole lot further in that. I'm going to overdo it or racket, because that for me is always a thing. I tend to go too far and then canceling it back. And so I'm trying to calm down a little bit and just make some nice peaceful pieces, which doesn't necessarily always work. But I'm happy with this one and they think I'm going to add a word. But first what I'd like to do is there's a few more finishing touches just to make it really, really like splatter and they're really like some white scripty stuff. So for the splatter, I am going to use my crayons and do that same thing with the water. And they're darker. And another nice thing you can do too is you can take and let it set a little bit and then go in and dab it up and you just get the faintest little hint that it was there. And it almost looks like you get the round part like the speckles. So I really like that part to those ones are good. Okay, so now I'm going to take my fine line applicator, which has a needle tip. And then it is filled with Golden's high flow acrylics in titanium white. And what I'm going to do with this is I'm going to turn it on its side. And I'm going to squeeze all the air out slow and get a bunch of bubbles. And that white at the end is permanent. It's old paint from before. So with it's pressed in and on its side, I'm going to just do some random scribble. So I'm going to start up the side. And I'm gonna come across and do the same thing. And these are just all personal things that I do in my work, but you certainly don't have to. I just liked the way that it looks. And then once that is dry, between now and then, I will decide if I want to do this same thing in black, but I think I might have enough blood going on there already. But do you think that I am going to want to dark and my ad does a little bit so well that drives, I'm gonna decide whether or not I want to add some dark around the edges. So we'll be back. 7. More Extras: Great. So my weight is dry. Ish not all of it obviously, but most of it. And while that was drying, I decided with my word I figure I want to add is I wrote the word trust, just on another piece of the watercolor paper that we've already used. And this is completely optional. I just decided kinda partway through that it needed a word because why not? And so now I just want to decide where I'm going to put it. And I think I want to put it right there and think that'll look good. And I don't mean that medium OAT. I'm just going to put them down. Something didn't separate, so it's kinda dark and messy, but that's okay. Could have been that I just did it too quick and didn't let the paint or sorry, the pin set before a added will moisture to it. But that's okay. And in fact, now that it's done that and it's looking less stark, I will go around and just darken up around the edges a little bit. Let's add a little bit of pink just to make it all go together. Alright, so that's where we're at right now. And I think all we're missing now is like we talked about maybe darkening the edges. And then I think I want to add a few splashes of some alcohol inks in that pink blue family. Think I'm not going to do the like around the outside because I still want this to be a very calming piece. And I think if it was too darker on the edges, it might get dark and broody and that's not quite what I'm going for. And trying to trust my instincts and my instincts are telling me to not do that. So for our final step, I think we're just going to add some alcohol inks. Have a this is the Adirondacks lights and it's Tim Holtz product, cloudy blue and shell pink. These are quite old, so I don't know if these specific colors are available anymore. I don't think the Adirondacks themselves are available. They do know that Tim Holtz is still making inks. So you just have to look around and see what you can find. But the other part of that too is that if you don't have any of this stuff, use what you have on hand. You don't have to buy anything special. And you could even take and water down the ink that we used earlier and add a lot of water and sprinkle that on instead. And that would work just fine or do like we did with the black and the brown and use your crayon because that will definitely go. So you don't have to have all of these fancy things and I just happened to have them, so I might as well use them. And now In for a penny, in for a pound, let's just try it and see what happens. My dad that up fairly quickly because I don't want it to be so bright, trying to make a nice quiet peace and that was a very bright pain to use. But once I have stepped it up a bit, it's quite pretty and adds a little bit of pop. So let's try that with the blue. Same thing, dab it up, because you can always add some more. Let's do that. They're referring it to crazy. And well, I think we're going to call that page done. 8. Finished Page: So one thing I think we should all do is we should sign our work and date it, at least for these types of ones that are just for our own personal growth. I especially want to know when I did this one so that I can look back and when I flip through and see when I did that. And I'd like to see that I'm moving forward as my as my pages progress. So I'm just going to stick that in with a little bit of matte medium. I have today's date on it. And I'm not going to bother putting any on the bottom, are on top. I'm just using the map medium as a glue. So you could even just use a glue stick if you've got one on hand. And then I normally sign in in red ink, but I don't have one handy, so I'm just going to do my usual signature. And there you go. Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed our class and I hope you took away a few things that you'll find useful. And if nothing else, you'll start listening to your inner artist and trusting your instincts for the art that you do. And just make art for the joy of it because you love it and for no other reason. Thanks again. See you soon.