Art Journal ~ Experiment (Tutorial)

Marjie Kemper "experiment" mixed media art journal

Do you ever take a break in your journal, when you really should be doing something else? I have quite a few things I should be doing today, but my journal was calling… and not even one of my small journals, this great big 9X 12 one.  I also decided to do a 2-page spread.  Talk about real estate.  So this spread measures 18″ wide by 12″ high… I should've done a canvas!

Marjie Kemper "experiment" mixed media art journal in progress

This one started out very pink. I applied gesso to the pages and then added some paint, as well as modeling paste with stencils.

Melting stamped images into an art journal

Stamping on Tissue Paper: A Trick

Next I added some images I'd stamped on tissue paper. I learned a good trick from Dina Wakley years ago… instead of cutting the images out with scissors, you run a skinny wet paint brush around them and tear them out.  This eliminates the straight ‘cut lines' scissors would leave you with and the image sinks a little better into the background.

Stamping on tissue paper - my stash for collages and art journal pages

It's kind of addictive and easy to do while watching the TV at night.  Please don't blame me if you end up like me… trying it once and then ending up with a whole box of stamped/torn images waiting for their day in the sun.

Using Distress Ink to blend color onto stamped tissue paper

I used distress ink over the stamped images.  The page color is different now because I toned down the pinks with a glaze I made using Quinacridone Gold + Glazing Liquid.

Using large letter stencils in art journals

I love these big letters.  I softened the lines on the stamped image above with the ink blending tool, but didn't do much with the stamped images on the right hand page.

Face Stencils

Using XL face stencils in my art journal (Marjie Kemper)

You know I love using stencils. Face Stencils are super helpful if you're not comfortable with drawing. This one is from Andrea Matus DeMeng (StencilGirl Products). Likewise, alpha stencils are wonderful if you aren't great at lettering. The large letters are from DecoArt Americana.

Mixed Media Art Membership Group

Have you heard about the Mixed Media Art Membership Group? It's a monthly membership that I host that includes facilitated learning through a Project of the Month (with closed-captioned video instruction), Themed Challenge of the Month, a live Zoom Create-Along Session where we all work on our art together, and lots of resources such as the Project Vault, Technique Vault and Resource Library. Best of all is the supportive and inspiring community we enjoy in our private Facebook Group and the gated private forum on the site where I host the videos and resources.  

The group is only open for new members a few times a year, so please add your name to the waiting list to be the first to know when the doors open again. Click here to add your name to the waiting list.

Mixed Media Art Membership Group

Keep in Touch

Thanks so much for the visit. If you're new to my site, please connect with me in whatever way you like:  sign up for my newsletter or find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Have a great day!



  1. Julie on November 21, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Beautiful, wouldn’t have thought to stamp on tissue paper, brilliant idea. Love the face.

  2. KELLY DANNEMANN on November 15, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I have over 176 Classes on Craftsy, This class from Marjie is my FAVORITE CLASS EVER. Love it, she is a great mentor and awesome instructor.

  3. Julia on November 13, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    I love this one! Especially the face. The coloring came out great. Thanks so much for sharing-

  4. Julie Tucker on November 9, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Sooooooooo gorgeous! LOVING the placement of the butterfly!!!!

  5. Gigi Black on September 7, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    I think your pages are great and I love the tissue paper hint. What a great idea.

  6. Deb ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art on September 7, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Beautiful journal pages Marjie, lovely colours and images! Deb xo

  7. Lynne on September 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    This is so striking, she looks amazing set against that background.
    Lynne x

  8. Janet on September 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Beautiful journal pages. I love the idea of stamping on tissue paper and then tearing the dampened edges.

  9. Emily on September 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Very cool! And I like the idea of having a box of stamped images at the ready. And it just so happens I have the perfect box ready to go…

  10. butterfly on September 4, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Wow and double wow! Very glad you took time out from what you were supposed to be doing – I’m in love with your experimental pages. The colour is amazing – the wash of Quin Gold makes the whole thing glow – and I love the butterfly image in the forehead of the stencilled woman (who is also amazing). Fabulous – a new favourite for me.
    Alison xx

  11. [email protected] on September 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

    What a lovely project Marjie. Heheheh – loved seeing all your stamped tissues. They look so great on these journal pages. Your background is just perfect for the girl you chose and love seeing the butterfly on her forehead! Your creation is peaceful but intriguing. j

  12. Julie Tucker-Wolek on September 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    This is gorgeous! LOVING the face and the colors!!!!!!!

  13. Corrine on September 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Like that box of tissue stamps torn and tattered. Time to make a bunch. Nice spread. xox

  14. Mary Elizabeth on September 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Ok Marjie, I am at work and I have several things I should be doing. But I decided to take a moment and look at the journal entry that you made (when you had several other things you should be doing) :) I LOVE this!! I love the scale of it and the luminescence the glaze gave the gessoed stenciling. Really fantastic with the bold black graphic letters and stenciled face. Wow!!! Oh … and thanks for the passing along the tip about tearing edges around stamped images on tissue paper. Gotta try that !! But for now … I need to get back to work. — Mary Elizabeth