Art Journaling Inspiration: Greys and Red

A strange grinning figure with a sort of church tower on her (or his?) head. Shapes of tall buildings and lots of stripes.

These are elements that regularly appear in my art journals. Armed with black, white, gray and a touch of flaming red, I show you how I make this art journal page in my this video.

Stencil Brush

I cut a silhouette of a doll out of paper. I use that silhouette as a mask and stencil the shape with a round stencil brush in gray and black paint. This technique I repeat with rectangular shapes, that will become apartment buildings later.

Gel medium

Matte gel medium by Liquitex is what I use to paste paper shapes onto the art journal page. This gel medium is my favorite. Once cry it it is 100% colorless and you can work with different media on it very well.

Once everything is dry, I draw the linework with a dip pen and Indian ink. I doodle, scratch, hatch and make stains.

Dark Red

Cadmium Red Deep is a beautiful red color that I often use. It is  very opaque for a red pigment. I color the doll’s lips and make small marks with this red. (I regret to tell that Cadmium is super toxic, so I will have to replace my beloved paint with a good Cadmium hue color in the future…)

Personal language of symbols

I use an old toothbrush – tools do not have to be expensive – to spatter titanium white acrylic paint. With my Molotow acrylicmarker I draw tally marks. The tallies, squares and X’s are part of a personal symbolic language that only I can read, and firmly refuse to explain. Well, that that is allowed in art journaling! 🙂


With graphite and white pencil, I add extra depth and contrast to the page.

Art Supplies used:

  • Grey Lokta Paper from Nepal (Lamali)
  • Scissors
  • Stencil Brush
  • Big flat brush
  • Matte gel medium (Liquitex)
  • Black Indian Ink (Talens)
  • Dip pen
  • Acrylmarker (Molotow, wit)
  • Pencils

Acrylic paint in the colors:

  • Taupe (Paper Artsy)
  • Carbon Black (Golden Fluid)
  • Titanium White (Ara)
  • Cadmium Red Deep (Ara)


With love,
Marieke Blokland


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