Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Creating UNITY with Repetition

Hi! Today I'm talking about how to create unity in your art journal pages by repeating your favorite elements. If you follow The Documented Life Project, you'll know that our May challenge is all about my fave techniques...Touchy Feely (Texture) using modeling paste. Let's pLaY!!

Here's my supply list overview:
Gelli Arts® - Gel Printing Plate
Art journal
Modeling paste
Yummy colors to play with: 
Media Fluid Acrylics from DecoArt Media:
  • Pyrrole Orange
  • Quinacridone Red
  • Cobalt Teal Hue
  • Banana Cream (this one is by Americana)
+ small dot of Titanium White
+ small dot of Dark Grey Value 3

Stencils to hoard (oops! I mean to 'use'):
Alphabet Spaghetti
Snake skin
Deconstructed Floral Bouquet

Creating UNITY with Repetition

Repetition, one of the Principles of Design, is helpful when you're layering. Repeating elements (shapes, lines, colors, textures, etc.) creates unity within a work of art + helps you keep control as you build up layers.

Here are 3 tips on how to make this work:

TIP #1// Limit yourself to 3 or 4 stencils + colors, repeating them all over your page/canvas.

TIP #2// Play with a variety of sizes.

TIP #3// Overlap elements. (Use deli or tracing paper add extra dimension.)

Remember, once you master the rules, you can break them mugs like a #BOSS!

My process: 

  • First, I decoupaged a yellow + orange monoprinted scrap onto my journal page.
  • Then stamped with the Alphabet stencil; outlined certain areas with pencil.
  • Glued a piece of deli paper tagged with my graffiti writing - making sure to overlap some of the Alphabet stencil + pencil marks.
  • Finally, I applied paint with my fingers into the Deconstructed Floral Bouquet stencil. Wipe away some paint with baby wipe.

MarticeSmithART-Creating UNITY with Repetition
Creating UNITY with Repetition | collage by Martice Smith II

Oh look, there's more!

Here, I spread a very thin layer of modeling paste through my snake skin stencil. I played around with the ratio of modeling paste + water vs. modeling paste + glazing medium.  
My goal was to experiment to produce a translucent effect.

Ooooh weee!
I like the mixture of glazing medium the best. (The texture of the modeling paste softens up compared to the mixture of modeling paste + water, which produced teeny tiny air bubbles with no raised areas.)

See how the magenta peeks through the gray? That's because I used a glazing medium!
I know you just wanna reach into the screen + touch it, don'tcha?

MarticeSmithART-Creating UNITY with Repetition; detail

...and of course, more hand-lettering ;-)...

Notice that I incorporated 3 variations of my hand-lettering:

variation #1: I wrote directly on the surface of the page with a black ink pen.

variation #2: Using the handle end of my paintbrush, I scribbled into the acrylic paint while it was still wet (gray area).

variation #3: I used a black Sharpie to write chunky letterforms onto a scrap piece of deli paper.

Great way to repeat the same element, in different ways. We're creating UNITY!
MarticeSmithART-Creating UNITY with Repetition; lettering details

What kind of things do you intentionally repeat in your mixed-media collage works?

(If you're not sure, take another look at a few of your journal pages to find them, then come back to share a link in the comments so we can check 'em out, too!)



  1. I love your handwriting, Martice. And glazing medium? I know what to use my coupon on this week!

    1. Thank you, Anjuli! Oh my goodness, yes, glazing medium is awesome! It completely changed the way I work with acrylics.

  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Stephanie. Glad to have you stop by :) If you try this tutorial, I'd love to see your work.


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