Five Layer Challenge

Mixed media art is challenging for those of us who tend to choose one type of art medium to work with for a particular project. The challenge for week nine of the Documented Life Project was to use at least five layers on a page. In order to help make a decision of what kinds of media to use on these layers, I made a list of all the possible types of art supplies I had in the house, wrote each item on a small piece of card stock, and threw them into a box. Then we each drew out five cards that would be the type of medium used for each layer. The challenge then was to figure out in what order to do each layer. Once that was determined, we began our creating.

The cards I drew were colored pencils, stamps, embroidery, fabric or trims, and gesso.


For my first layer I used colored pencils and quickly drew some clouds and grass. The second layer was a light layer of white gesso to hopefully smear and tone down the colored pencil.

Colored pencils and gesso

My third layer was stamps. I used a couple of unique items for my stamps–a button and piece of cardboard. Now stamps have to have paint or ink to make a mark, so I used acrylic paints with the stamps.

Button and cardboard stamps

The fourth layer was fabric or trims and I cut butterfly shapes, flowers and leaves from scrap fabrics and glued them to the page. For the flower centers I used scraps of lace.

Mixed media fabric layer

When all of the fabric layer was dry, I used embroidery floss to hand stitch through the paper and fabric the details on the butterflies and added french knots to the flower centers.

Embroidery layer mixed media






The layers I chose were gesso, fabric or trim, watercolors, stencil, and marking pen. I am one that struggles with this whole layering thing. This one took me several days to accomplish. I started with gluing on some fabric with sheet music print, then when that was dry, I added a thin layer of gesso so the print would show through. My next layer was the watercolor tree. I am still very much a beginner when it comes to watercolor. Then I used a journaling stencil to make straight lines for the music staff with a marking pen. The notes are from a wall hanging my great grandpa made from old barn wood, and the song is “He leadeth me.”

5 layers mixed media


Ninja Boy:
Layer 1- Pencil
Layer 2- Crayons
Layer 3- Gesso
Layer 4- Fabric
Layer 5- String/Ribbon

Kids-5-layers mixed media


My Princess:
Layer 1- Pen
Layer 2- Stencil
Layer 3- Fabric
Layer 4- Book Paper
Layer 5- Watercolor

Kids-5-layers mixed media

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