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Specimen A by Riikka

Media are heaven for artists and creative souls - most often the effect you achieve is not completely expected, but this is what makes playing with them so excited. Take a look at Riikka's art-journal spread below and you will surely know, what I mean :)

It seems that turn of the year makes me want to explore and play. It’s not that often I take out my art journal and do a page there but lately I’ve been using it more and more. For example, this spread started as a playground for watercolors, acrylics and inks and ended up looking like this in the end!

What I did first was to add watercolors to the spread that already had touches of acrylics on it. I used a big brush and covered most of the white pretty quickly. On top I then started to layer stamping and inks through a stencil. The whole spread was going too green for my taste so I grabbed the oil pastels and added some turquoise touches here and there to balance the things out. You see, the acrylic spots already in there were turquoise and green so I needed some more of the other color, too.

When I had the background done I started to think what to put on top. As I’m always fascinated of old photos the Ephemera pack was a great inspiration and I chose two photos and made a story with them. Before adding the layered papers to the spread I noticed that the color scheme of the background was way too bright for the vintage photos. But not to worry, tea to the rescue! I mixed tea, watercolor and Soft Matte Gel together into a glaze kind of thing and spread the whole background with it. While drying with the heat tool some lovely streaks appeared when the glaze started to pool.

After getting “him and her” in place I added a couple of embellishments and wrote the story with a Sharpie. I deliberately used rounded handwriting and wrote the lines on top of each other that the words are not readable but form a design element.

Materials from Mixed Media Place:


  1. Oh my gosh, Riikka!!!! This is phenomenal! One of my favorite spreads I've seen in a long while! The white sharpie makes me drool! Such a fabulous design element and I love your layering of the bundles of ephemera. GREAT PAGES!

  2. Your journal pages are gorgeous, Riikka. I love the background colors and I love that you wrote a story about them! I have a journal that just catches wipe-offs, extra paint - and, maybe I will try working with one of the pages to see what comes of it. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3. Love those colors and all those drips in the background. And great additions with all the layers on top. Very inspirational.

  4. A true eye-candy, the watercolour effect is fabulous!

  5. Great watercolor background and inventive use of the tea mixture!

  6. I love it Riikka, the mixture of the vibrant turquoise with the brown is absolutely gorgeous. I love the white squiggly writing too.


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