Friday, April 21, 2017

Welcome to Life Documented Week 17 With Nicole

Hello and welcome to week 17!  I'm happy and honored to be the guest for this week's post.  This week's weather was hotter than I'm used to for spring and had me wishing for some rain!  So I fully embraced this month's optional theme (April showers) and searched for a quote about rain that I could interpret into art!

Monthly theme: April Showers
Prompt: Illustrate a quote (Earth Day Bonus prompt: use recycled materials)
Technique: Drawing and shading a face (mixed media)
Quote: "I love the rain.  I love how it softens the outline of things.  The world becomes softly blurred and I feel like I might melt right into it." -- Hagumi Hanamoto

I love to draw mixed media portraits in my art journal and I thought this would go perfect with the quote.  I thought it would be fun to try to make the portrait appear to be melting or blending into the background.  You can choose this quote or any quote that speaks to you and illustrate it in any way. Or you can just make a mixed media portrait and add any quote or words (or no words!) as you like.

The supplies are pretty simple and I find that it's best to use whatever you have on hand an improvise!  I also like to use a lot of recycled materials as often as I can (Happy Earth Day!)


+Art Journal (or whatever you are using at the moment, preferably with mixed media weight paper--I'm using a Dylusions 9x12" Journal)
+Spray Ink (I've used Dylusions After Midnight and London Blue)
+Acrylic Ink (you can also use watered down acrylic paint.  I've used FW ink in White)
+Acrylic Paint Pens (I've used Sharpie waterbased in white and black and Liquitex in fluorescent pink and bright aqua green)
+Watercolor pens (you can also use watercolor, acrylic ink, or spray ink--just something that is a little more watery in consistency.  I've used Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers in Byron Bay, Coral and Jellyfish)
+Oil Pastels

+Stabilo marks-all pencil (black)
+Waterbrush (or a brush and water cup)
+Ranger Mini Mister
+Acrylic Paint in Warm Beige
+Your favorite black pen (I've used Dylusions paint pen in Black Marble)
+Recycled paper (Anything from the recycle bin, junk mail envelopes, etc)
+Washi tape
+Black ink pad
+Gelli roll Moonlight pens

Step One: Create a watercolor background

Add splashes and pools of color with the Mermaid Markers (or watercolor) on one side of the journal spread:

Spray water with the Mini Mister over the watercolor areas or add water with your brush to get the color to spread and drip a little:

While the page is still wet, close the journal and smash it closed so that the ink from one side transfers to the other page:

Step Two: Add more marks to the background

When the background dries, add oil pastel marks to the background where you want to draw your portrait (right) and mark the lines where for the calendar on the other side (left):

Make some marks with the paint pens (or acrylic paint) on one side of the page, and close the journal to transfer those marks to the other side (the red blotches below).  Use spray inks through stencils in random spaces on both pages.

You can tone down the intensity of the color with white acrylic ink drops.  Drop a few spots of white ink (or watered down acrylic paint) onto one side of the journal spread, close the journal and smash pages together to transfer the ink to the other side as well.  When that is dry, add washi tape or strips of the inside of business envelopes (or any patterned paper of your choosing) to add the lines for the week:

Step Three: Add the month, week & days

I used a Technique Tuesday stamp set to stamp the month across the top, Balzer Designs Days of the Week stamps for the days of the week, and Balzer Designs Large Numbers for the days.  First stamp the days month and days of the week:

Color in the days with Gelli Roll Moonlight pens:

 Stamp the days:

Add any additional doodles, stamps, marks or color in anything as needed.  I've added outlines to the numbers with the Moonlight pens, as well as added designs around the days of the week:

Step Four: Add your portrait

With your stabilo marks-all pencil, draw a quick portrait over the busy background (I've also added marks with the fluorescent pink and black acrylic paint pens):

Trace over the stabilo pencil lines with a waterbrush (or use any brush and water), concentrating on the hair area, blending those lines together really well to darken the hair.  You can also add more lines and water them down as needed.  The stabilo pencil is water-soluble (meaning it activates when water is added).  If you don't have a stabilo, you can also use a watercolor pencil or other water-soluble pencil or crayon

When that is dry, blend in small amounts of the acrylic paint to the face with your finger (use just a little drop at a time, as a little will go a long way.  The less you use, the more transparent this layer will be, which is a nice way to still see the background peeking through).

Try to avoid the stabilo pencil areas, as they will re-activate when in contact with the acrylic paint.  However, it is helpful for pulling in shadows to the face a little bit at a time.  Shadows can be dragged down a little bit from the eyelid down the sides of the nose to give the nose dimension.  You can also add a little bit of water if you need to pull the shadows out a little more:

Continue until you have covered  the entire face, except for the eyes, cheeks and lips:

Add details with the face with the paint markers.  Here, I've added color to the cheeks and lips with fluorescent pink and blended in with my finger:

Brighten up the eyes by coloring in the whites of the eyes with the white acrylic paint pen, and coloring in the iris with the bright aqua paint pen.  When those areas are dry, go in with the white paint pen to add highlights to the pupils, cheeks, bottom lip, forehead, chin, and the bride and tip of the nose (blend with finger):

Step five: Add in the quote and any finishing touches:

Once the portrait is completely dry, write your quote over the top.  What's great about the acrylic paint over the portrait is that it seals in any of the oil pastels or other media that might usually clog up my pen.  I've used the Dylusions paint pen which writes really well over dried acrylic paint.  I've also added some rain drop stamps over the entire spread to tie in the theme and the quote:

I hope you've enjoyed this week's prompt and I hope this has given you some inspiration for the week!  I'd love to see what you've created!  I'm new to the facebook group, but you can also find me on my blog at: and on instagram (@kinueko).


  1. You've made a great job of this - so inspired by it all. Fabulous face <3

    1. Thanks, Lynette! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. What a gorgeous spread. You are amazingly talented.