Monday, August 1, 2011

Tutorial - Toning Down Busy Patterned Papers with Gesso

Sometimes I look through my paper stash and wonder what I was thinking when I bought some of them. Not so long ago I would've just thrown these particular papers away or donated them. But since I've been introduced to the mixed media world and products like gesso, I've discovered a way to save some of these paper horrors. The sample I've used for my tutorial is certainly not the worst in my stash but I did however feel that the pattern was a little bright and busy for what I had in mind.

Patterned paper
Step One: Gather your supplies. Cut your patterned paper down to size.
Step Two: Add some stencil glue to your mask, leave to dry and then place your masks on you patterned paper. It is advisable to have your page design planned before you start so you know where to place your masks to best compliment your design.
Step Three: Paint a layer of gesso over your mask pieces. You may also want to paint other areas of your patterned paper, depending on your page design. You can add random strokes in alternating directions for extra texture.
Step Four: Using a sponge, paint some reinker diluted with water onto the areas of the paper covered in gesso.
Step Five: You may want to add a second, third or even more shades of reinker. I used spiced marmalade, aged mahogany and vintage photo. Try and paint around the masks carefully.
Step Six: Once the gesso has completely dried, carefully remove the masks. You could go back and apply some inks with a small sponge to the outline of the mask. I went back and added more of the spiced marmalde reinker where I felt I had too much aged mahogany.

Go ahead and have a another look through your paper stash, I'm sure you'll find a few candidates perfect for this technique.
I also want to give you a quick close-up of this adorabloe fabric flower I made using some orange tafata. Simply cut a strip if fabric, fold it in half, sew the edges together using a running stitch and then form a spiral starting from the centre outwards.


  1. You made it beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Wendy, what a great idea, thanks so much!!!!

  3. Alright Wendy I'm going out to buy Gesso. I love what you do with it, but this one really did it for me. Again thanks for sharing and inspiring

  4. I have spent the last 2 days pouring over your blog. You have amazing creative talent! All I said as I saw tutorial after tutorial and one beautiful layout after another was wow...Wow..WOW!
    The first things on my scrapping shopping list have been changed to Gesso and Molding paste!

  5. What a gorgeous page. I love gesso SO much! And the way you did the reinkers too. Looks fab.

  6. fantastyczny blog, cudowne prace! Cieszę się, że tutaj trafiłam - pozdrawiam!