Texture Two Ways

by | BLOG


Hi there, welcome to the Get Messy Art Journal public blog. I’m Tanyalee a former creative team member, and long term “Messy Artist”. I am here today to show you how to use texture in your art journals. And not just texture using layers. We will experiment with texture pastes as well as layers using stencils and paint.


  • Art Journal
  • Texture paste
  • Stencils (home-made or purchased)
  • Paint (watercolour, acrylic or whatever you have at home)
  • Acrylic inks
  • Palette knife or credit card
  • Paint brushes
  • Collage papers (tissue paper, magazine pages, gelliprints etc)


For the first technique I will be using a gessoed page of my junk journal. I’ve added the gesso so that I can use wet mediums without the risk of the paper warping and absorbing too much liquid.

I am adding texture paste (in this case plaster paste) straight through a stencil. Be sure to clean your stencils quickly after using pastes through them otherwise they will be gummed up over time. Once the texture paste is dry, I am going to add some crackle paste to show another type of texture.

My next step is to glue on some tissue paper with matte gel medium for another type of texture. The beautiful thing about tissue paper is that is disappears into the background like it was always meant to be there.

Now for some colour I am using watercolours to create drips. The teal matches the tissue paper perfectly, and it always goes perfectly with indigo. The watercolours I am using are from QoR, and they are just so pigmented, they are my new favourites if you want to invest some money into watercolours.

My final step is to add some journaling which I have done off camera because I felt it was a little personal, but I used a messy writing technique where I wrote over the top of each line to create an abstract hidden journaling section.

The second technique I am going to share involves paint layers, collage and stencils. It will be a colourful background that makes the stencil pop.

For this spread we will again start with a pre-gesso’d background just to cover up the existing page and to reinforce the paper. Then you can get started with your acrylic paints (or any other medium you might have on hand) and make a blended, abstract background. This technique is the first texture layer. You can also add acrylic ink drips for another texture layer.

Once the paint is dry, start adding collage papers for yet more texture. I’m using offcuts and pieces that were sent to me by a fellow art journaler. I like to use gel medium when I collage as I like how it seals the papers to the page.

Next I have used a Dina Wakely face stencil that looks great with black paint on the colourful background. And then I blend the leftover paint into the background.

Ink splatters are my go-to technique. I make them so often my page doesn’t feel finished without them.

And the last step is to add some phrase stickers as the journaling component. You could easily write your own, or leave it off completely.

Action steps

Grad your art journal, paints and texture paste and experiment with texture. It’s a beginner’s technique that looks far more detailed.

Thanks for watching my tutorial today, I hope I have given you some ideas for using texture in your art journal. I love the dimension and interest these simple techniques add to my art journal spreads. And by adding a few stencils to your stash, you can use these tips as a basic recipe for your art journaling arsenal. Each stencil and colour palette will create a completely unique spread.

I’d love to see your work, so share your pages with me on Instagram, I’m @tanyaleekahler.


Tanyalee is primarily a mixed media art journaler who is beginning to dabble in works on canvas and other substrates. You may also know her as the face behind the newly published Brush Magazine – a project that has been a dream of hers for some time. She has always been a creative type, starting with sketching cartoon characters as a young girl, right through to now where she work as Graphic Designer and Social Media Consultant. Tanyalee strongly believes that everyone can make art and be creative, you just need to believe in yourself and follow your instincts. Getting messy with paint (and she means messy – she LOVES to use her hands rather than brushes) is like therapy to her. When times are tough, she get stuck into her art journal.