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Art journal layered portrait by creative team member Nicole Austin
Posted Jul 18, 2018


Art Journal Layered Portrait

Nicole Austin

I love working in my old vintage ledger and using it as an art journal to create backgrounds, collage papers and sometimes adding faces with stencils!  Faces can be kind of hard to draw and many beginning and seasoned artists feel frustrated or defeated when it comes to faces. But face stencils make it so much more fun and stress free!  I also like to build up backgrounds just by doodling and scribbling with oil pastels and using every color of the rainbow! It’s a great way to de-stress, relax and just let go and open up to the creative process.  Adding spray ink through stencils on top of the oil pastels creates a bright and fun resist, as oil and water-based art materials don’t mix! So you get a lovely pop of bright colors from the oil pastels. To create the face on top, I just simply added a bit of gesso after the spray ink dried.  If you use water-based spray inks like Dylusions, the color will continue to seep up through the gesso or other paint layers. I don’t mind that at all–I think it adds to the fun and unique look of the final portrait! After that comes the fun part: adding the face with a stencil and stabilo pencil.  Then I like to lightly color in the face with the oil paint sticks. These are different than oil pastels, however. The paint sticks are creamier and blendable. They also take about 24 hours to dry. I love using them to build up shadows and highlights on the face. AND they’re fun to stamp into with unmounted rubber stamps, silicone pot holders or other items that have some texture.  It’s also nice to add some collage bits, washi tape, stenciled words and paint pen marks to complete the page. Have fun! I can’t wait to see what you make!

Enjoy the video

 Products Used:

  • Stencils:  Faces 3, Lace, Flower Drawing 1, Pattern 1, Words words words, Background 2
  • Spray ink (Dylusions & Mister Hueys)
  • Oil pastels
  • Shiva Oil Paint Sticks (Titanium White, Yellow Ochre, Aliziron Crimson)
  • Gesso
  • Catalyst wedge (or palette knife)
  • Stabilo marks-all pencil (black)
  • Stabilo 3-in-1 pencils (various colors)
  • Liquitex 15 mm & Sharpie Bold water-based paint pens (fluorescent pink, aqua, red)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Makeup sponge
  • Waterbrush
  • Silicon trivet/potholder (or other texture-maker like an unmounted rubber stamp)
  • Baby wipes
  • Washi tape & bits of your own collage papers


  • You can see more from Nicole here:

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Posted Jul 18, 2018
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Hello there! I’m Shawn Petite

I’ve been teaching and creating for well over 25 years. About 15 years ago I found my art soul mate in mixed media, and it changed my life! I love the story that can be told by combining paint, texture, ink, paper and—really anything that you can imagine.

But what I’m truly passionate about is being your guide, walking with you step by step and helping you become your own hero in your creative journey.

Along my path, I’ve learned that the creating art also creates a healing space. Life can be messy and complicated and painful, but something about a paint brush can help heal your soul. I believe—no, I know—you are worthy of love, and I want to teach you to know that about yourself. Join me on this journey of art and inspiration!


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