DIY: Art Journal Techniques with Katie Smith

Hey everyone, This is Katie from Punk Projects and today I am taking over the Adventures in Making blog! Last year Rachel guest posted on my blog sharing a peek at her art journals so today I wanted to share a peek into mine! More specifically, a couple of fun techniques I like to use.

I love drawing and painting people in my art journals, but some days I’m feeling a bit lazy or I want to do something different, so I grab a magazine and pull pages from it to use. I like to cut around some of the people/models in the pages and use them in my journal, but being an artist I like to alter them a bit.

Today I want to show you 2 ways to alter cut outs from magazines.

1. Gesso’d and Doodled.

If you want the look of a hand drawn person but perfer to trace this is a good technique for you! Start by finding some people or objects in your magazines and cutting them out.

Next glue your person down onto your journal and paint over it with a light coat of gesso. Most gesso’s dry slightly transparent so you will be able to see your cut out underneath and easily trace it.

Once your gesso is dry, take a black marker and trace your cut out. If you can’t quite see through the gesso in places, use your imagination! It won’t be perfect, but that’s okay! The result is a fun, doodled look and can even be colored in as well!

2. Packing Tape Transparency

I like using this technique when I have a fun background I don’t want to completely cover up. You will be able to see a bit through the magazine transparency.

Start by covering your cut out in clear Scotch/packing tape. Depending on the size of your cut out, you may need to use multiple pieces of tape, which is fine. Just make sure the edges of the tape pieces slightly overlap each other.

Next soak your cut out in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. This will wet the paper and make it easy to peel up.

After 2-4 minutes pull it out and flip it over so the backside is facing up. Use your fingers and rub the paper off. Be gentle, but persistent and you’ll remove all the paper and end up with the image on the tape transfer!


Do you like to use magazine cut outs in your art journals? Do you have any other favorite techniques?

Thanks for letting me share! If you get a chance, come stop by my blog for more crafty inspiration! I’m hosting a free 8 week craft challenge this Summer and I’d love to have you join!