Summer Time – A Mixed Media Art Journal Page

This new video tutorial is inspired by Leslie Wood’s lesson from the Art Journal Summer School 2016 online class available here.

summer time thumb

Watch it on Youtube or Vimeo

Supplies Used For This Project

  • Daler Rowney Mixed Media paper (my homemade journal for the Art Journal Summer School 2016 class)
  • Artiste acrylic paints in Lush Pink, Pumpkin and Noir
  • Americana Neons Fluorescent Acrylics in Fiery Red
  • Liquitex white gesso
  • Ranger Archival ink in Watering Can
  • Ranger blender tool
  • Golden GAC-100 Acrylic Polymer
  • Derwent Tinted Charcoal pencil in Peat
  • Uniball Eye Fine pen in Black
  • Dovecraft Glitter Glue in Crystal
  • A piece of plastic garden mesh
  • Plastic lid to use as a palette
  • A variety  of brushes
  • Hairdryer
  • Rag for wiping brushes (and hands!)


I started with mixing the pink and orange to create a gradient. Once dried, I added some gesso to mute the colours and used the rest of the paint on my brush to add a bit more colour (I put too much gesso!).

I used a piece of plastic garden mesh as a stencil to add some pattern to the background, using diverse media and colours.

I started drawing my summer time girl using a charcoal pencil. I like using the charcoal pencil as you can use the charcoal to get a soft effect and create subtle shadows.

I always use something cheap for a palette, this time a plastic lid. I put my brush on it so that I didn’t put paint on my table top after creating the background. I used that little bit of orange and pink paints mixed together left on the lid to mix with white gesso, and used this colour as the skin colour for my girl.
I then redefined the girl’s outline with my charcoal pencil as I lost some of the lines when painting her skin tone.

I used GAC-100 Multi Purpose Acrylic Polymer on my charcoal lines. It is usually used to mix with acrylic paint for lowering paint viscosity and wetting out solid pigment, but I like using it for activating the charcoal; it makes it look darker. It also seals it once dry, but as the polymer dries quickly, you have to be fast if you want to work on your lines. if you want them smudged or move them a bit when activating, I advise that you do little bits at a time rather than outlining the whole line and go back to it to work on it. The polymer will have dried and set your line.

I used the Lush Pink paint on her cheeks and white gesso for softening the colour and blending it into the skin tone, as well as for the white of the eyes and highlights on the eyes, face and neck.

I mixed Pumpkin paint and white gesso for her hair, and added a bit more Pumpkin paint to get a darker shade for the collar of her dress.

I used Neons Fiery Red for her dress. The paint is quite translucent so I added a second coat later on.
I mixed a tiny bit of black paint with the white gesso for her hat, and added a bit more black to the mix to paint the hat’s inner rim.

I then painted small splodges of Neon paint on her hat to create flowers. I used the excess of paint left on my paint brush to create smudges around my page. This brings the piece together as the colour is not isolated but repeated on various parts of the page. It brings unity.

I used white gesso to create highlights on her dress and her hat. There was a bit of neon paint left on the brush and it ended up on the highlight on the hat but that’s OK. I used the rest scrubbing my brush and creating shadows on the girl’s face, neck and hands. I always find using a colour like pink to create subtle shadows on the skin brings your girl a bit more to life.

I used my hairdryer to dry the page as much as I could (I have not patience for it to dry naturally!), and grabbed my charcoal pencil to outline the flowers and make some marks inside to add a bit of depth.

I started writing my journaling with the charcoal pencil and went over it with my uniball pen. I wanted to use the charcoal and smudge it after to create a shadow around the pen lines, but I found the text was not clear enough so I used the GAC-100 to activate and seal the charcoal, to make the text darker and neater.

With my charcoal pencil, I created some hearts on the background and a bigger one on the girl and activated them with the GAC-100.

I used my glitter glue to create sparkly highlights on the flowers, the girl’s heart, her eyes and bottom lip highlight.

Et voila…

I hope you enjoy this video tutorial.

Some close-ups for you to enjoy: