Technique Thursday - A mark making tag by Donna Gray.

Hi everyone,

It's Donna here today and I shall be sharing with you the 'secrets' of my mark making!! Or is it doodling? Anyway, whatever you call it, it's really fun and I owe a big thank you to my lovely teamie Sue who suggested I did a tutorial on this when I was stumped for an idea ;)

Get ready as it's quite a photo heavy post. I've tried to reflect most of the process but to be honest it is very organic so it's just a case of doing what appeals to you. I don't think there is any right or wrong way of doing it...just have fun!

What to do:

I always start with a size 8 manila tag which has been coated with a layer of black Gesso. I absolutely adore creating on a black background as it really makes images pop.

Now for the paints, I used Fresco paints as they're nice and chalky and give a really matte finish but I equally love Multi Surface paints from That's Crafty! too, it's just personal preference really. If you don't have either of these paints then use the acrylic paints you have, it will be fine :)

I start by finger painting a single colour randomly across the tag. You can use a brush but by using your fingers it forces you to be more loose in what you're doing. Also it takes you back to being a child again and that isn't a bad thing is it?!

Now comes the next layer and colour of paint, you can see it's overlapping the blue shade in places.

Finally I apply the pink paint. Just make sure you leave the middle of the tag 'empty' as this is where your main stamped image is going to go.

This is the white paint I use for the middle of the tag, once again a chalky paint which is also applied with my fingers....just keep those baby wipes handy!

This roughly what it should look like after you've applied the white paint to the middle, remember it doesn't have to be perfect. As you can see below, I went back and applied more white paint to the tag.

For my actual mark making I tend to use a paint brush for very basic marks or mostly my own hand carved background stamps. If you're just starting out and not sure then there are some fab stamps in the Textured Feathers set which are perfect for this to get you started. For my main focal point I've selected a leaf from the beautiful I Love Leaves set.

I stamped the images with black Archival ink, the tag is now starting to take shape nicely isn't it ;)

Now here comes the really fun park...the Posca pens!! I LOVE these beauties, the white pen is never out of my inky little hand lol.

So here you can see I selected just 4 colours to be starting off with.

Okay so let the mark making/doodling begin! This is so totally random as there really is no set pattern or style to this is as it's purely about what you enjoy doing. Just have fun and work your way around the tag.

You can see in these next couple of pictures how the mark making is progressing and how I tweak things slightly while I go along.

Getting nicely filled up now with the yummy colours.

Nearly finished here but still a few more tweaks to go especially on the left side of the tag.

When I've decided it's finally finished, I edge the tag with a black ink and add a ribbon.

The beauty of this is it will be different every single time you do it and it really is the most relaxing way to create a little bit of individual art. You can use stamps but still put your on individual mark on it :)

Stamps Used:

I Love Leaves

Textured Feathers

Hope you like it and I've inspired you to try it
Donna xx


Gorgeous Donna. Tracy ❤️
Sue said…
This is wonderful Donna, and you make it look so easy. I really need to try this technique xx
Lia said…
Wow, so colourful and original!
Lia xx
aussie aNNie said…
Fabulous Donna, thanks for the mini tut.xx
Dorthe said…
Oh sweet Donna, it really is a joy going through your tut- with the many photos, showing your professional doodling- yes it is- such perfect little marks and drawings , I love this with so many things happening on your tag- Hugs Dorthe - xx
Bibi Lindahl said…
Gorgeous tag, Donna! Love how you add so many lovely doodles in different colours, very striking! Thank you so much for the tutorial! The photos help a doodle newbie like myself! ♥ ♥ ♥
Susanne Rose said…
Amazing tag Donna!!! Love your marks!
Love your tag and your doodling is fabulous ❤
BiglietTerrya said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
BiglietTerrya said…
Love your amazing tag, your doodle and explanatory tutorial!
Thank you very much for I have a new need .. stamps and uniposca 🤩😊
Thank you so much everyone, I’m so glad you enjoyed my mark making 🙂
Donna xx

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