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I’m working on a 6×6 canvas for a fundraiser for my Art Association back in Beaver Dam. Here are my gratitude journal pages that have been helpful in the process of trying some things out. I will show you the finished project by the end of the week.

Community Art Project mandala process It has been interesting to only use the art journaling supplies that I brought with me to the hotel to create this canvas. I did a lot of experimenting with textures because I only had markers and watercolors to add color and I also wanted texture and a mandala. So…

It began simply enough with some stamped and stenciled words and smiley faces scattered around the canvas. I covered them with some watercolor washes to get a layer of color on the canvas. Blue and green just make me think of summer so that was where I started. I drew a purple flower with my Derwent Inktense pencil into the wet watercolor wash to see how it turned out. It seemed like too stark a contrast and I wanted to stencil some gesso over the top to add some texture to the piece.

I cut a heart shape out of some netting that a bunch of lemons came in. I tried to use this as a stencil with the gesso but that was quite a fail. So I attached the goopy heart into my journal. I have had a lot of success with this technique with acrylic paint, and it was interesting to try. Without a brayer I couldn’t figure out how to use this to make a print. It left some strange gesso globs on the canvas that left me challenged. It is very difficult to draw a mandala on top of a highly textured collage, but I really like how it looks. So I had to get creative. I added a layer of facial tissue that had soaked up a bunch of my watercolor paint and used matte medium to attach it. In the past this has provided a nice surface to write and draw on. It was too fragile to draw the mandala on the dry tissue and was still a little too textured for the kind of detailed mandala I had in mind.

I then started drawing mandalas on a variety of papers to see how I liked them. Fortunately we needed to buy a gift for a young friend and I was so happy to buy some tissue paper. I had never drawn a mandala on this flimsy stuff but it went a lot better than I expected! I’m really excited about exploring this technique some more. You can see here I attached a piece of the mandala over all of my experiments in my journal. I really like the way the watercolor pencils add depth and highlights to the mandala. I hope you have a beautiful day!