Painted Circles Tutorial


Supplies:
  • Paper ~ I prefer to use paper that has text on it to add texture behind the painted circles. Dictionary pages, book pages, sheet music all work well, especially vintage for the added aged look.
  • A variety of colors of acrylic paints, plus black and white ~ any type will do from craft to tube.
  • Wet Wipes ~ lots of them! You will use them often if you paint with your fingers as I do.
  • Plastic lids or jar lids to use as circle stamps.
  • Straw broom bristles or a toothbrush to spatter paint.
  • Shipping box large enough for your papers to sit in. (Optional for paint spattering)
I have found over time that I get the best results when I use my fingers to paint my circles. As an added bonus it's quite relaxing and fun!

Step 1:
Load a small amount of paint on your finger and rub in a circular motion on your paper. I tend to rub until the paint has worked into the paper to the point where I can see text peeking through. *Note: I make bunches of pages whenever I am painting to use up the paint on my palette (styrofoam plate). I then have them ready to use and at hand for background pages, journaling spots or decoration.



Continue adding paint in circles all over your paper. Use any extra paint on your fingers by adding it to other circles. I do this very randomly, putting colors together I may not normally use together.




Step 2:
Once you have your base circles painted begin adding colors to them randomly, making half and quarter circles on the edges. You can also layer colors on top of each other. Do this step until you have added multiple colors to each circle. Again, I do this randomly and rather quickly, I don't give a lot of thought to color placement or even to the color wheel, I just put lots of paint and colors together.




The top two circles on the paper on the right (lower photo) give a comparison between a finger painted circle and one painted with a paint brush. In all honesty I'm not too fond of any of the circles at this phase of the process. But it does get better!

Top right is painted with a brush.
Step 3:
It's time now to add highlights with white paint. Again using your fingers add dabs and stripes of white paint to various parts of the painted circles. Let some blend in so that it just lightens the paint beneath it and let some sit on top of the paint and stand out. Don't overdo the white as it is meant to be highlights to add texture and depth.






Step 4:
Pour a good amount of black paint on your palette/plate in a circle large enough for your largest lid. Try to have a few lid sizes ranging from just a bit larger than your painted circles to a mid size and a smaller one. Dipping a lid in the black paint start adding rings on top of your painted circles. You can get a few rings out of each paint dip. They will vary in thickness of paint but that will add to the depth and variety of rings on your paper. Paint 2 or 3 rings on each painted circle allowing them to overlap and be varied in size.





Step 5:
This is your final step! Spray or drop just a small amount of water onto the black paint left on your palette/plate. Dip broom bristles tied together or a toothbrush into the black paint. You don't want a lot of paint or to have it too watered down as you do want some control over the amount of spatters and the size of your blobs. I use a shipping box with the flaps taped open to lay my papers in and keep paint from spattering all over my studio on things I don't want paint on ~ like my walls or window blinds! Tap the bristles or toothbrush over parts of your paper to leave random paint spatters and blobs, making sure you get some in the centers of your painted circles. Do this until you have an amount you are satisfied with. 






Your painted circles are now complete! You could also add white paint rings and spatters in addition to or in place of the black. From here it's endless what you can use these for. Use them as back ground pages or partial background pages. They can be cut out or punched out and used as page borders, accents or journaling spots. You could decorate the front of an envelope with one and place a mailing label on top of it to decorate snail mail. Have fun painting your circles!

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at marybrack@gmail.com.







90 comments:

  1. Very well written tutorial for your method of painting circles. I love circles too & so far have not given them a try but I think I will now!!! Thank You for sharing ♥

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    1. I hope you have lots of fun painting circles, Paula. It's like therapy for me!

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  3. wow, I cannot keep my butt on the chair now...off to create!!! Thanks so much!

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  4. I use lots of circles but I don't think I've ever painted them with my fingers. I love the variety you've achieved by doing it this way. I must go and try it out...

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  5. Thank you for posting this clear - and colorful - tutorial! Do you let the paint dry before adding the next color?

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  6. Wow, I love your circles and I will certainly use your tutorial... Thanks for sharing

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  7. From FB to Flickr and now to your blog, I am truly inspired! Thanks so much for this great tut, I have a ton of old books and more than plenty pages to use with my art journaling!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    XoXo,
    Kristal

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  8. Oh I just love your circle! Great tutorial! I tried making circles with a paintbrush but I see now how much prettier and natural they are using your fingers. Thanks for the great tutorial! I'll definitely be making more!

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  9. This is such a perfect tutorial! I've been trying to figure out how to do stuff like this, but could never really grasp it until I read your tutorial. Thank you so so much!!

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    1. Jenn, I'm so glad it helped and you enjoyed it. Have fun painting circles!

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  10. Thank you so much for this tutorial! Well done! We will all be loving our circle art!

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  11. Colorful fun!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!! ♥

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  12. Love this tutorial. Glad I was persistent enough in scrolling thru the DL!

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  13. Love, Love, Love! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Shawna! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  14. Thank you for this!!! So simple and yet so beautiful!!!!

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  15. These are just so fun. An art pal was doing a great job playing with this technique yesterday and found the link for me. So much fun.

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  16. Love your tutorial Mary, thank you so much

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  17. GOING TO TRY THIS RIGHT NOW. Thanks so much. I'm so excited. Thank you!

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  18. Thanks for sharing! This is a great tutorial! I can't wait to try it!

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  19. oooOOOOooooo thank you so much for sharing!!! I love love love these circles and willl use your ideas in my creations!!!

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  20. BEST tutorial ever- thank you :)

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  21. Your circles are so pretty!!

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  22. This is so cool. I'm trying this tomorrow beings it's midnight !! :)

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  23. what do you use to get paint stains off fingers? I find this technique so relaxing....great art therapy! Mary, you're the best!

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  24. For the first time ever, your fantastic tutorial has made me think that I might be able to create some real art! Thanks for taking the time to explain things so clearly and for the lovely photos. I can't wait to have a go myself x

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Judy! Create away! You can do it! :)

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  25. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing, I'm in love with circles!

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  26. Thanks for putting this together. I'm gonna try it.

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  27. Thank you so much for sharing this Mary..! I made digital collage sheets using your tutorial so I've linked to your blog here:
    http://minerva-levinston.blogspot.com/2014/06/circles-and-hearts-all-just-for-you.html

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Minerva! I visited your blog post and love the digital version!

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  28. I love this thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to try it ASAP!

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  29. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I just had a wonderful time playing around with the circles. I am new to art journaling so it's fun to learn from great tutorials. Thanks again!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed painting circles, Laura! And enjoy art journaling. It is such a great source of relaxation and renewal.

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  30. What a cool idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  31. Thanks so much - I am spending an "art" day in my studio today and remembered this tutorial - glad I was able to find it again - going to experiment using magazine pages as background and then folding to create "Mennonite envelopes"!

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    1. Have fun! I'd loved to see what you make!

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  32. Found your tutorial yesterday. Made some circles today. Used them in an art journal page today. Completely inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing!!
    --Tif

    P.S. Here's a link to the art journal page: http://tmatthewsfineart.blogspot.com/2014/09/art-journal-page-91414-circle-girl.html

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed painting circles, Tif! Thanks for providing a link to your blog. I loved your page and your blog!

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  33. Thanks to your terrific tutorial, my plans for the afternoon just changed. I'll be spending the next few hours going in circles and getting my hands really messy making art for my Documented Life Journal. .

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    1. Have a great time painting circles, Martha!

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  34. This is such a well explained tutorial Mary, thank you so much for sharing. Would you mind if I shared it on my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/heartyourartpage - and website http://heartyourart.com (as a link to your site)? Of course , I totally understand if you say no.

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    1. I don't mind at all if you share this as a link back to my site. Thanks!

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    2. Thank you Mary, I'll let you know when I've posted it. <3

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  35. Mary this is the THIRD time I have come back to this tutorial since you shared over in DLP LOL - Love it. Thanks!

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    1. I'm so glad you're having fun with it, Jewels!

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  36. Fab tutorial! Love the tip re using leftover paint..... I usually just slop it on the nearest paper or cardboard, your idea is much better. Thanks.

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  37. thanks so much for all these explanations : it's bright !

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  38. Hi there! I LOVE these so much, I was wondering if I could purchase one for my blog. Please send me an email - kristen@kristenbakercoach.com
    Thank you!

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  39. I do love your circles. The instructions are wonderful. Thank you sooooo much.

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    1. Thanks Jan! So glad you enjoyed this. :)

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  40. Love this! I want to make them and then convert them for digital scrapbooking though!

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    1. I would love to see how they turn out in digital, Hummie!

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  41. Great tutorial Mary! Love circles...will have to try this.

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  42. I so want to have a play with paint at these but also fancy having a go digitally too :) thanks for the inspiration! x

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    1. Bernie, I would love to see what you do with these digitally!

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  43. This is a great, easy to understand tutorial. I finally got around to making my circles and look forward to using them in my art.
    Thanks!
    Teresa

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  44. Just read your article in the Journaling mag and so have looked at your blog. I'm new to journaling and the circle tutorial seems a great way to get going. Thank you and god bless your work.

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you visited. :)

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  45. Great tutorial! I am so glad I found it and can't wait to try this!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Connie. I hope you enjoy making painted circles. They are addicting!

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  46. This is such a cool technique! Totally going to give it a go!

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  47. very cool and so beautiful have come from shannon green & cat hands videos but had to see the original!! gorgeous and as someone said so simple but yet so stunning!

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