I Am More - Art Journal Spread

Nicole Watson
August 14, 2018
December 4, 2017

Hello! It's Nicole Watson, and I'm back for this week's Artist Gang tutorial.

I don't know about you, but after a long, busy, and rough week, the best way for me to recharge is to sit down in my studio and play in my art journal. I opened my Dina Wakley journal to a page that I had previously cleaned a dirty stencil on and used it as my starting point. I had no intention of creating on the burlap page to the left, but you can see that changed. Once the paint began to spill on that page, it was all over!


First, I started by adding some dictionary page ephemera and more to the background with the same alphabet rerun stencil. I wanted to keep the integrity of some of the stencil marks and book text, so I masked off three circle areas using Donna's bubbles stencil with masking fluid.

Then, I played with color! I used three of Dina Wakley's acrylic paint colors that I knew would blend beautifully and not create mud. Using some water also helped to give the paint a more watercolor-like look. As the paint began to saturate the burlap page, I went with it and added more of the color to that side as well.

After removing the masking fluid, I added several layers of scribbles around the circles with a stabilo-all pencil, pen, and fineline applicators (filled with part paint, water, and airbrush medium).


The number three quickly became a theme for the spread.... tags, silhouettes, circles, colors, washi tape areas, and more. All of these groupings of three create harmony and move the eye around the pages.

Tag, You're it!

I grabbed three different sizes of tags and began to layer color by dipping them into my leftover paint. 

Once they were dry, I added the following layers:

  • archival ink on the edges
  • green paint through a small circle stencil
  • sprayed ink through another alphabet stencil
  • white circles with gesso using the bottom of a couple bottles
  • stamped on them with Donna's stamps (I am more & wild poppy)

I finished the tags with sari ribbon and white splatters. 

Since I wasn't sure how I was going to arrange the tags, I made more than I needed.... and, this allowed me to pick my favorites of the bunch!

Finishing Touches

After I added the sentiment " I am more than what you see," I wanted to incorporate a silhouette of a person on the burlap page, so I grabbed Donna's silhouette trio stencil and used scribble sticks on the inside. It took me a few minutes to decide where to plate the tags. Then, washi tape, white gesso splatters, and some india ink drops finished the pages.


The supplies I used are at the beginning of the video. However, grab what you have on hand, and play in your journal this week. If you need some additional supplies, you can find most of them in Donna's shop! While you’re here on Donna’s website, grab the stencils that I used

Share your art!

I'd love to see what you create. Share your art journal spreads in the donna downey : Community of Artists facebook page! Or, share on Instagram, and tag Donna Downey Studios.

Happy creating! 

Nicole :)

My website: www.nicolewatsonart.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicolewatsonart/                       

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/nicolewatsonart

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/nicolewatsonart

Supplies Used...

No items found.

Hi! I’m Nicole Watson, a Midwest girl who married a Southern boy and now lives in Houston, Texas.

Art has always been a constant for me … from collecting random bits of paper at a young age, to selling my first painting in high school, then discovering mixed media while studying art and design at Iowa State University (ISU). Other stops along my art journey include scrapbooking, card making, freelance photography, and layout/graphic design.

I enjoy the messy hands that result from creating. Mixed media allows me to discover new art forms while uniquely combining the things I love most—whether fun mediums like watercolor, pastel, or acrylic on canvas to textural elements like gesso, ephemera, and other found objects.

My proudest accomplishments this past year include completing Donna’s 48 Weeks class and binding the 17 plus pound journal that resulted, as well as finishing my Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree/Russian Studies minor as a distance student at ISU.

After taking many online and in-person art classes and creating in my studio, I’m excited to begin sharing my art with the world while hopefully inspiring others to do the same.