DIY Mixed Media Portrait On Reclaimed Wood

How to Paint Mixed Media Faces



Today I am sharing how to create a mixed media portrait on scrap wood.  This project involves layering acrylic paint, distress ink and paper with Mod Podge for a unique and personal piece of art that is all you!  Some of you may be thinking, “but I can’t draw or paint”.  Yes you can.  Last year at some point I ordered a video from Cloth Paper Scissors Called All about Faces, with mixed media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.  This fantastic workshop helped me overcome my fear of creating faces, and drove home the fact that we may not all be able to draw realistically, but we can all draw and our art will get it’s point across!


Mod Podge Matte

Foam Brushes, Watercolor brushes size 0, small and med round

Gesso and Brush

Scrap Wood

Collage paper scraps

Acrylic Paints:  Titanium White, Titan Buff, Burnt Sienna, Red, Black, Aqua, Blue, Green Used here

Distress ink Pads Walnut and Antique Linen


Background stamps

White Gel Pen

Graphite Pencil


All About Faces with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer


Paint scrap wood with gesso

I cut a scrap piece of 3/4 inch plywood into two 12 inch squares and painted a layer of gesso on top of each.  Let dry.

Mod Modge Mixed Media Art

Cover gesso in thin layer of Mod Podge, then adhere random collage papers in coordinating colors.  Cover papers with layer of Mod Podge and let dry.

Brayer paint onto background

Run a smooth or textured brayer through 2 colors of acrylic paint that coordinate with your background papers.  I used green and Titan Buff.  Randomly run brayer over papers to create background interest.  Add one or 2 drops of alcohol ink in to leftover paint and brayer in different areas.    Let dry.

Mixed Media Techniques

Sketch outline of object.  Fill in skin  and clothing with acrylic wash (water plus paint) and dab with paper towels to reveal paper underneath until you are happy with the look.

How to Paint faces

Paint in the details as shown and let dry.  Outline with fine detail watercolor brush and  black acrylic paint.  The video linked above gives great tips for face painting, but basically use 3 colors; light, medium and dark for creating the dimension.

DIY Mixed Media Portrait Tutorial @savedbyloves

I ended up tearing strips of washi tap and filling in the arms and skirt.  I used distress stain to color the skirt.  I stamped “Love” with black acrylic paint.  The lettering around the head I did with size 0 paintbrush and black acrylic paint.  Play with hand lettering on scrap paper to get the feel for it.

More mixed media to come!

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