Art journal tutorial: how to paint a mixed media portrait

how to paint a mixed media portrait in your art journal

Painting whimsical faces in my art journal is one of my favorite things to do. They add expression and personality to my pages, and offer me a way to access my innermost reaches and bring forth a variety of emotions. Often, I will journal the emotions and thoughts that arose during the painting process while waiting for layers to dry, building up a narrative that is deeply personal and meaningful to me. And by the time I have finished a painting, I will often find either a few words or a snippet from my journal or a quote to encapsulate what was going on during the painting process.

While painting faces can be daunting to the beginner artist, there are a variety of tips and techniques that can help you improve your portraiture skills, especially if you veer towards the more whimsical face.

Mixed media faces tutorial

I’m going to show you how to create a mixed media portrait using water soluble color pencils and acrylics. I’ve explained my process in the video below, and I hope you find it easy to use these mixed media painting techniques in your own art journal!

If you’d like an even more beginner-friendly tutorial along with a step-by-step demo, take a look at my post on painting a brown skin tone portrait. I used different colors and a different technique for this painting.

Mixed media portrait: supplies list

Here’s the list of supplies I used to create this painting. Feel free to substitute with whatever colors or brands you have on hand.

Derwent watercolor pencils: Deep Cadmium, Golden Brown, Copper Beech

Camel artists’ gesso (white)

Daler-Rowney:flesh tint, indigo

Mixed media portrait mixed media painting techniques for beginnersCamel: portrait pink, permanent orange, turquoise green

Pebeo: yellow ochre, red ochre, fluorescent orange, alizarin crimson, payne’s grey

Sakura glaze pen – black

Sakura Micron – black

If you enjoyed the video, do subscribe and follow my YouTube channel – I will be adding a new art journaling video every 2nd and 4th Saturday!

Healing with art

There is so much joy and healing that I find at the painty table. It’s a joy I wish everyone could experience. Which is why I love to create mini art + soul ecourses that include curated guided meditations, journaling questions, and an art journal project from start to finish. The videos are broken down into easy to watch segments, which makes it perfect even for the most busy people to watch and create! You can find all the ecourses and sign up for one or more here.

* Note: These are affiliate links, which means that I will make a small commission on your purchase at no extra cost to you. 

Posted in Art tutorials.

I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. I love the look in her eyes. Fabulous video. It was nice listening to your voice and ideas that you had while painting her. Glad you added the materials as well.

  2. It’s a very beautiful picture. I wish I could channel that type of creativity within myself but if it is in there unfortunately I have absolutely no idea where…. I wouldn’t even begin to know what to start looking! #abitofeverything

    • Would it help if I told you that I started painting about 4 or 5 years ago, and that I was in the same place where you are now, then? It took some experimenting, a lot of ecourses, and a lot of practice, but it is doable! If I can do it, anyone can!!

  3. I love the idea of mixing visual medium with your words to create extra level of meaning to your pictures.


  4. I love how you wrote this “There is so much joy and healing that I find at the painty table. It’s a joy I wish everyone could experience.” I totally agree, since finding art I feel like a whole new world has opened up for me and I want everyone to experience that. Really enjoyed your youtube video and left a comment over there xx

    • Yes, I felt the same way when I started painting. I wanted everyone to experience it! I think there really is something about art that sets it apart from other creative pursuits like writing (or maybe I’m just biased!)

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