Mixed Media Canvas Collage Tutorial

Mixed Media Canvas Tutorial

mixed media canvas collage (tutorial) by Marjie Kemper Feb16

Hello!  Thanks for the visit.  This post was originally published in 2016.  Here is how I made this canvas which measures 18″ square and 2″ deep:

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16A

Base Layer

My base was some torn patterned tissue paper (Rebekah Meier) adhered with matte medium. I enjoyed this slow process very much. It took about a week to complete the canvas, working in stages and of course (my favorite) layers.

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16B

Additional Layers

I started layering on paint and gelatos using brushes, baby wipes, and my fingers, and then I added some torn book pages and circular collage elements.

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16I

A favorite StencilGirl Products stencil + blue paint using a cosmetic sponge (go light with the paint on the sponge… a little goes a long way!)

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16H

Here’s an early shot where some of the white canvas was still showing. And below are close-up shots after adding several more layers of paint.

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16C


I used some mesh tape from the hardware store in a few places, and lots of Tim Holtz’s new metal Idea-ology gadget gears.

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16D

Below is a combo of old and new Idea-ology. I love how it all works together regardless of when it was released.

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16E

mixed media canvas collage by Marjie Kemper Feb16F

I’ve been wanting to create some larger art for my home and am glad I went with this size.

mixed media canvas collage (tutorial) by Marjie Kemper Feb16

Online Mixed Media Art Class

If you’d like to see more of what I do with a variety of materials, check out my online class with Craftsy.  It comes with lifetime access and a money-back guarantee!   It’s called Inventive Ink: Colorful Mixed Media Effects.  Here’s a 2-minute preview video:



Thanks so much for visiting with me today. Let’s connect via newsletter or on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter.

Have a great day!



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Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. You inspired me to get busy!!!

  2. Debbie Goodrow says:

    Love this. Your descriptions are good, but I wish I could hear your thinking as you go through something like this. Decisions of what colors to use, and in which layer. Why certain colors and not others. When to add large elements as opposed to small elements, and does it make a difference of what colors to use when you make those choices. I suspect a lot of this knowledge is acquired by the many many pieces you have done, and most of it very subconscious, but I’d love to hear it!

    • Marjie Kemper says:

      Oh that would be a long-winded video! I’ll think about it, Debbie. You’re right, it’s mostly subsconscious but it’s a good exercise to think about spelling it all out.

  3. Tracy Evans says:

    Gorgeous canvas. Wonderful uplifting colours and I adore all the layered elements. Tracy x

  4. It’s so UNIQUE AND FUN Marjie. I want to say BEAUTIFUL but that’s not really the right word. Perhaps BODACIOUSLY BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL!!!! I always love mixed media on canvas.

  5. Hi Marjie…wow! there are so many luscious layers on this canvas! It must of been great to take your time and just create something that is just for you 🙂 Thanks for sharing the process.
    Dot x

  6. Gorgeous bold colors and fabulous layering! Thank you so much for sharing your techniques with us! I’m loving those gears and the TISSUE PAPER!!!!

  7. So glad you decided to share this treasure! What wonderful Layers and colors and the use of the tissue papers flourish with the gear-be still my heart-loves it! Such a talented and sweet lady. Hugz. ~Niki

  8. You did a canvas Marjie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah…. I so love seeing your fabulous work on canvas – really a treat for me. And it’s just GORGEOUS. The layers, the colors…. I love every inch of it. You always amaze me by how you just KNOW where to place everything to make it look PERFECT. So now…. I’m gonna tell you what I thought when I saw this beautiful canvas!! Mind you… I am not even an ocean type person – lakes are my thing!! BUT… for some reason… I see windows… windows from a ship stateroom – under the water. And all the squiggles and swirls and loveliness are things in the ocean as they float along!!!! And the clock is signifying that the ocean is timeless and that the folks in the stateroom don’t want the trip to end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THERE YOU HAVE IT…. Hehehheheheheh!!! I guess you get my message… LOVE LOVE LOVE your creation!!! XXj.

  9. You so generously share your talent and I thank you for it! I have so enjoyed this tutorial along with your Craftsy class that I watch over and over gaining something new every time. I love every single thing you create and I really appreciate that you make me believe I can do it, too!!!!

  10. Mmmm…I could feel the warmth of the sun on this dark, cold morning. These colors drew me in, and the details are fabulous. I am in total awe of the art you create. The circular elements are wonderful…the whole piece is wonderful! Thanks, Marjie!

  11. Absolutely stunning and Marjie, I love those layers so very much.

  12. Fabulous canvas art Marjie! xx

  13. Thanks so much for your step out process of your canvas with Tim holtz gears. I have joined you on periscope, and heard about your give away! Please include me. Thanks, Sarah

  14. Gorgeous canvas – with wonderful colors and elements.

  15. Craftissima Origamissima says:

    Bellissimo! Thanks for the video 🙂

  16. Oh I love your canvas and all the different layers and textures. I enjoyed your live Periscope broadcast this morning. I am looking forward to the next one. Have a super weekend.

  17. Watched Periscope replay. Hope to see more. Always enjoy your tutorials.

  18. Well, you know I’m a fan of texture and bigger fan of yours. This canvas is gorgeous.. those colors, the blending.. wow.

  19. Depth, texture, colour, metal, ephemera – what’s not to love?! This is sensational, Marjie.
    Alison xx

  20. Love your canvas and loved seeing you on Periscope this morning!

  21. Lovely layers and depth. Slowing down is good once in a while. xox

  22. Gigi Black says:

    I really love the outcome. Great job!

  23. Hi Marjie. I love seeing how your layers come together to create such depth and interest in the final piece. You are very patient taking a week to complete a canvas, but when I really thought about that I do too.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs Brenda xxx

  24. Sooooooooo gorgeous! LOVING the colors and the circles!!!!!!!!!

  25. I love it! I love it I do! I Must get back to my art again! Thanks for the awesome art and inspiration.