Beautiful Mind – A Mixed Media Art Journal Spread

Who said that if you draw a face, you must draw facial features? I say, you draw whatever you like!

This is how I started on this new mixed media art journal spread.

beautiful mind thumbn2

Watch it on Youtube and Vimeo (free download)

I am back in my A5 Dylusions journal. I am not a big fan of the paper, but it’s perfectly fine for acrylic and craft paints, which is what I used in this project.



  • Ranger Distress Paints in Milled Lavender, Picked Raspberry, Dried Marigold, Worn Lipstick, Antique Linen, Picket Fence, Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Twisted Citron
  • clear gesso (Finnabair) and white gesso (Liquitex)
  • Pentel waterbrushes and a flat brush
  • Derwent Inktense pencil in Violet
  • Derwent charcoal block XL in Black
  • Stabilo All pencil in Black
  • Pilot V Pen (fountain pen) in Black
  • Ranger Archival Ink pad in Black
  • White Posca Paint Pen 3M
  • The Crafters Workshop stencil by Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk
  • Alphabet stamp set from Tiger shop in Cardiff (only £3!!)
  • a heat tool / hairdryer



i started by placing colours randomly on my page and blending them. I then set off to creating marks by drawing doodled flowers in a variety of sizes with my Inktense pencil, as well as some random horizontal lines, and using a waterbrush to activate the ink.

Using a stencil, I added some more texture to my background. I scribbled some charcoal lines and blended the charcoal with my finger to create darker areas. I then sealed the charcoal with some clear gesso smudged by my trusty fingers.

I dabbed some white gesso to break down darker areas and bring some balance to my background. I dried the gesso with my heat tool.

I used my Stabilo All pencil to draw a head and a neck – no hair, as I wanted to keep this very minimalist – and added some more texture around the “person” using the same stencil as previously.

I then set off to block out the colours, patterns and marks inside the “face”, using Antique Linen paint, which is like a warm off-white colour. This will enable my next colours to show faithfully, as my paints are not completely opaque. I didn’t want my background colours and marks to show through and alter my top colours.

For my face, I picked 3 colours contrasting with my background (warmer/pink colours, so I went with green, blue and lime colours for the face). I randomly dabbed them and blended them using a flat brush (no particular reason, that was the brush nearer to me!). I added some white gesso as I though the colours were too vibrant for my liking, and blended with the brush again.

Once the paint and gesso were dry, I picked my Stabilo All pencil and drew shapes inside the head, then activating the pigment with my waterbrush. I found my leaves quite plain so I decided to use a thin fountain pen to draw some thin irregular lines inside to bring more interest and dimension.

I then stamped my message on my page and, later on in the project, as I felt the letters were just floating together, I decided to ground them by underlying them (sometimes double or triple) with my Stabilo All pencil and, again activating the pigment with a waterbrush.

I also added more Stabilo All under the chin to create more shadows on the neck. I am realising that I should have done this when activating the lines in the first place (lesson learnt!) but then again, I wasn’t sure at the time if I wanted to fill the neck the same way I filled the face.

I then added some white dots along my leaves to break the background of the face a little bit and add some light and contrast. Sorry it’s off camera – the memory card of my camera was full at the time and I didn’t notice straight away (I was “in the zone”!! Lol!)

Using my ink pad, I inked in an irregular fashion the edges of my journal pages. This frames the piece and gives also a nice grungy feel to the project.

As the face background/white space felt still quite bare to me, I decided to draw some white lines, but I didn’t like the effect, so I stopped and smudged my lines to try to rub them off. You can still see them but, as Dina Wakley says, “Oops, oh well”!

Et voila…
I hope you enjoy the tutorial video and that it brings you some inspiration in your creative endeavours. Happy creating…