Mixed Media Ledger Journal Portrait

Nicole Austin
September 18, 2018
November 27, 2017

Nicole Austin here for another Artist Gang Tuesday post! This week, I'll show you how to create a quick and easy mixed media portrait in an antique ledger journal using a face stencil and some of my favorite supplies. Stencils are a great way to add faces to your art journal if you're a little new to drawing or if you don't like drawing faces. You can also give your stencil image a little bit of a unique look by drawing in some details and changing some of the features just a bit with a Stabilo marks-all pencil.  For the face, I used Donna Downey's Signature Stencil "Sketched Portrait."

I like using the ledger journals because the paper is thin but sturdy. It is thin enough so that I can add texture plates under the pages to create some interesting oil pastel rubbings but the paper is also thick enough so that I can add wet media like spray ink, acrylic paint, fluid acrylic and acrylic ink without it seeping through! The trick is to add light layers of wet media, fold the pages together to spread the media around AND mop up any wet areas with scrap paper. This helps dry the pages faster and also mop up any areas that might be in danger of soaking through. Have fun, play and explore! I hope you're inspired to try some of these techniques and create something unique of your own!

For more inspiration, visit:


Or come take a class with me!

In person: Art & Soul Retreats (Virginia Beach October 1-6, 2018, Portland March 10-17, 2018, Colorado Springs May 28-June 2, 2019)

or online: Luscious Layered Portraits

Supplies Used...

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I am a mixed media artist, designer and instructor from San Jose, CA (currently living in Tempe, AZ).  I believe that everyone has a unique style and desire to create and that we are born curious and creative.  Over the years, many of us are discouraged from following our creative urges but I believe it is never too late to begin (or begin again!).  My art is messy, colorful, layered and fun. I have been drawn to the creative arts since I can remember.  My first canvas was every surface in my grandma’s house: the walls, the books, underneath the marble coffee table in the dining room (she didn’t find out until years later)!  These days, I love filling up pages in my art journal with bright colors and collage paper and if I can be outside on a picnic blanket in the grass--even better!  I love inspiring others and cheering them on as they (re)discover their creative voice.