Blast from the Past with Briana!

Dead Pen? NO Problem! Try This Mixed Media Technique.


Have you ever heard the phrase, “All I needed to know, I learned in kindergarten”? Actually, there’s a book with a similar title by Robert Fulghum. This post isn’t about his book. However, I do want to share the idea that simple techniques that preschoolers or kindergarteners might use are fun for adults, too!

As a former preschool teacher I can tell you that even when you do a step-by-step technique, each person’s art turns out unique. Do you know why? It’s because we all have an inner artist. We all have our own way of choosing color, making marks, using our hands, etc.

So today, I’d like to invite you to try a simple preschool art technique that I was recently reminded of through Flora Bowley’s online class The Creative Revolution.

It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s meditative, and it’s surprising all at the same time!

Let’s Get Started!

Gather your supplies:

Step 1:

Use oil pastels and fill in an area on your paper.

Step 2:

Use matte black acrylic paint to completely cover what you just colored. (This can feel scary, but hold tight! It will be alright!)

Step 3:

Use a foam brush to spread the paint.

Step 4:

Let dry or use a heat tool to speed up the drying time.

Step 5:

Now that it’s dry, you’re ready for the stencil!

Place the stencil over the dried black paint.

Step 6:

Use a “dead” ballpoint pen to scratch through the stencil and reveal the colorful oil pastel underneath!

Step 7:

When you are done scratching through, remove the stencil and lightly brush off any paint and pastel residue into a garbage can.

Step 8:

Revel in the beauty of your creation!

Ideas to take it further:

  • Cut out your design and put it in your art journal with glue or thread.
  • Create a card for a friend.
  • Cut it up for collage.

Thanks for taking a look at this tutorial. I hope you have fun!


Briana of


Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau


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