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Messy Marks > Bonus Lesson

marks imitate art

Hi friends! It’s Torrie here of Fox + Hazel, and I’m excited to share this free lesson from my new class Messy Marks.
In my class I’m exploring and delving deeper into mark making and how we can use those marks to further our work. Through warm up exercises and video demonstrations of 16 different techniques you will learn how mark making can transform your art from simple to complex works. In Messy Marks we will cover everything from dots & dashes to gestural lines to color theory. I cover every topic with real life examples of my own work and then walk you through the step-by-step process and theory of every technique. You will learn what makes a mark, how to use a variety of marks to create expression in your work and how to combine everything you learn into one piece of art. By the end of Messy Marks, you’ll be scribbling, dotting and drawing on every page in your art journal!

In this free lesson, we will create an art journal page transforming a found image with marks! This is a great technique to practice creating marks but also makes for a really lovely art journal page!


  • Art journal
  • Magazine cuttings or photograph
  • Acrylic paint in color of your choices.
  • Tracing paper (don’t have any? Parchment paper or any translucent paper can work!)
  • Black pen or marker
  • Reference


Lay down a paint background from the center of the page outwards. It can be loose & messy.

Find an image you like for the spread. It can be a person, an object, an animal, anything. Cut it out and glue down on top of the paint in the center.

Take a minute to analyze the image you chose and look for any lines, shapes or marks that stand out to you.

Place the sheet of tracing paper on top of the image, and begin tracing out any lines or shapes you see. It doesn’t need to be a direct copy of the image – you want to look in the negative spaces, the fuzzy spots and in between.

Remove the tracing paper and examine the different marks you made. Which ones do you like?

Now in the space around the found image on your art journal page, create marks with your black pen/marker to imitate the marks you made on the tracing paper.

Continue filling up the page with as many different marks as you can!

Messy Marks is master level course offered within the Get Messy membership.

Details, layers and marks can elevate your art journaling to the next level. Mark making can be an instinctive and natural way to add more layers and interest to your art.

In Messy Marks, you will be shown how to expand your idea of mark making and will learn to rely on your intuition to create them.

In this course, you’ll learn how to create interesting and vibrant marks in your art journal with a variety of tools and techniques. We will cover different types of marks, embracing intuitive creativity, and how to layer marks in a cohesive way. Create beautiful layers of details with various supplies such as paint, markers, pens and unconventional supplies. The course is full of real time video instruction demonstrating each technique.

Messy Marks is our first members only course! All members will have access to Messy Marks as part of their membership.

Loved this lesson? To take this class + receive access to our library of tutorials, webinars and our community join Get Messy today.

All members of Get Messy have access to Messy Marks for the duration of their membership.

Lesson Plan


Welcome to Messy Marks

Lesson 01

Mark Making Warm Ups

Lesson 02


Lesson 03

Dots + Dashes

Lesson 04

Lines, Lines, Lines

Lesson 05

Simple Shapes

Lesson 06

Unconventional Marks + Tools

Lesson 07

How to Layer Marks


Marks Imitate Art