Back to the Basics-Art Journal Tutorial : “Be a Rainbow”

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Techniques Used In this Page

  • how/where to get inspiration from
  • using a palette knife to spread or “pull down” acrylic paint
  • using white space on your journal page

Where to get inspiration? 

People often ask me, where do you get inspiration from. The honest truth is everywhere. Magazine or tv ads, color schemes and packaging of items, nature, clothing ( materials). I find now that I am an artist I take more notice of the colors and textures around me. I will notice someone’s top or the advertisement in a magazine or on tv. They have artists putting these things together so why not benefit from their knowledge by using the arrangement or color scheme.

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For this page I was inspired by an eyeshadow ad. Along the side of the page they had pots of eyeshadow that had “spilled” out across the page. I loved the colors of this and I tore out the page and put it in my file folder of inspirations that are kept in my big, blue box storage system -see the video for this organization system by clicking on this link.

For more examples of where I get some inspiration please click on the video tutorial at this link

Materials Needed

  1. a palette knife- a dollar store plastic one is good enough or cut a hotel key card/gift card into different size strips.

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  1. acrylic paint- whatever you have will work fine- you will need 5-10 colors depending on how many circles you want to do
  2. a circle tracer- I have a collection of lids from everything and I suggest you start your own as they have multiple uses- from mark making on gelli plates, stamping and tracing
  3. Black and white paint pens or liner pens- these are basics to art journaling. I use Micron brand black liner pen, Uniball Signo white pen. I recently got and love,love, love Posca paint pens in extra fine that work amazingly well on acrylic paint.
  4. Charcoal pencil (watercolor pencils/Stabilio All Pencil/ Neo color II crayon) to outline and add shading
  5. Black acrylic paint
  6. Make up sponge
  7. Gesso- doesn’t have to be ‘brand’ name- cheaper brands work for what we need
  8. ModPodge or Gel Medium – Matte finish


I’ve done the work for you and organized my store by categories. Everything I chose is CreativeKady approved- I either own it OR want to own it.

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  1. Gesso the page
  2. Decide how many circles and size of circles. Also decide if you are going across the top or down the side. Pick your colors. Don’t forget you can mix colors to make new colors.
  3. Draw circles . Put some partly off the page and alter the height of them for interest.
  4. Put paint in the circle. I painted the whole circle and loaded middle with paint and then with palette knife dragged the paint downward. Then I painted the circle again. If two or three circles were close together I put the paint on all three and dragged down together so I would get some mixing. Continue circle by circle.
  5. Touch up the circles so they are covered smoothly.
  6. Touch up the pulled down color by putting some paint on your palette knife and dragging it down. I found holding the palette knife vertically worked best for this. Remember you want the pulled down parts to be different lengths.
  7. After drying, thickly line the circle with black liner pen/paint pen or black acrylic with a liner brush.
  8. Use charcoal pencil to shade left side of circles .
  9. Use white gel pen/liner pen/paint pen to add dashes in middle of black outline. Add white highlight to right side of circle. Smudge with finger.
  10. Print off your quote onto deli or tracing paper. You can stamp it onto deli paper if you don’t have a printer. You can also do your own lettering. To make sure its straight draw some lines with pencil .
  11. Glue quote on with Mod Podge Matte or gel medium.
  12. Edge page with black acrylic paint on a make up sponge.
  13. Add dots or dashes with white liner pen on letters if you wish.
  14. Join the Facebook Group           All Things Mixed Media:CreativeKady and share with others who have also followed along.

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2 thoughts on “Back to the Basics-Art Journal Tutorial : “Be a Rainbow”

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