Beauty and the Beast Mixed Media Art: Ever After Lesson 2

Beauty and the Beast Mixed Media Art

As you see from my Little Mermaid post, I am taking Tamara Laporte’s Ever After series, which is an artistic style development course focused around fairy tales.  We follow the lessons closely, and then we sort through our likes, dislikes, and feelings about the lesson to help us define our own style.  Credit for the composition and design of these pieces of art goes to the teachers, until we work on our own fairy tale interpretations later on. 🙂

Andrea Gomoll teaches the second lesson, focused on the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.   Andrea paints and illustrates cute girls and creatures with large eyes, innocent expressions, and lots of bright colors and layers.

She teaches techniques in watercolor, illustrative line work, collage and gel medium layering. I have learned that I am no watercolor painter…  not yet, at least!  I enjoy the look of watercolor washes and more abstract painting (I like the background and the fuzzy rose petals falling) but I do not yet know how to color in a drawing with the paints without it resulting in splotches of color.  This lesson was a challenge!

Beauty and the Beast Mixed Media Art

I am also learning that I prefer a more imperfect looking girl with smaller features rather than the cute youthful look presented here, and more painterly rather than illustration style.  I also will probably steer away from “fan art” type pieces.  I enjoy the idea of interpreting an old fairy tale, but would like to do it in my own way rather than model it after an established and recognized style.

Beauty and the Beast Mixed Media Art

I could also go into a bit of a rant about the actual story of Beauty and the Beast – as much as I enjoy the animated film as a movie, I have issues with the story and the message.  I don’t see it as a story about looking beyond appearances.  The beast was a horrible person, hence why he was transformed.  Frankly, his appearance matched his interior.   Beauty was a prisoner that grew attached to her captor.  The beast was the one that was supposed to learn a lesson – what did he learn?  A beautiful girl turned up at his doorstep.  He locked her up.  He got to keep her in the end.

In other words, I can pretend this piece of art is a different love story, else I just see it as depicting a very sad situation.

Beauty and the Beast Mixed Media Art

Despite that, this lesson was packed full of information and Andrea is a wonderful teacher.  This was out of my comfort zone but I persevered and learned so much.  Thank you, Andrea!

I’ll see you guys soon – Snow White comes next!

Art Materials Used:


The Little Mermaid Mixed Media Art: Ever After Lesson 1

The Little Mermaid Mixed Media Art

Hello everyone!  I am taking a new course which I can already highly recommend:  Tamara Laporte’s Ever After series.  Tamara and about a dozen guest teachers take you on a fairy tale art journey, and if you also subscribe to Module 2, along the way you are guided towards discovering your personal style & what makes you tick as an artist.  Before I even started the first lesson, I learned quite a bit about what I am seeking in my art.

The Little Mermaid Mixed Media Art

Tamara leads the first lesson based on The Little Mermaid.  This version is more of an empowered girl that doesn’t give up everything she is, and has a strong relationship with her female companions, including her sisters and the sea witch (Ursula.)

The Little Mermaid Mixed Media Art

This was a classic “Tam-style” painting, which as you can see in my gallery, I enjoy emulating.  I like the combination of media – water soluble crayons, colored pencils, collage.  The point of the style development course is to follow the artist’s lesson closely, so you can determine what you like/don’t like.  So, I can not take any credit for the composition and design of this piece!  However, I am already seeing the subtleties of “me” in the lessons. 🙂

If you would like to learn more about how this was created, I encourage you to sign up for the course!

The Little Mermaid Mixed Media Art

Supplies Used:

Thanks all – I’ll catch you soon!

Video: 10×10 Acrylic Mixed Media Canvas Series – #1

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

Hello friends!  I return from art and blog hibernation (i.e. spending all of my time on spring gardening, costuming, and painting fails!) with the start of a new acrylic & mixed media canvas series.  This is directly inspired by Donna Downey’s 10 10×10 Canvases in 10 Days online workshop.  If I had to pick an artist whose talent, technique and style I most want to strive towards, I think Donna would be it (though Tamara from willowingarts is right up there!)  Such beautiful use of color and combination of abstract and representational subjects in her work, and THE TEXTURE!  Oh my, I love it.  Donna has a fun, energetic and informative teaching style, making her workshops a joy.  I watched the 10×10 workshop through twice now, and likely will again to really let all of the nuances sink in.

This first canvas in my own series is, well, not actually the first one. The actual first one was painted, gessoed over, painted again, and… well, it’s still not posted here, so guess how that one is going 😉  This is technically the second, and while I still struggle with all of my art, it did come through easier.

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

The theme for this series is numbers, and a limited palette throughout the series.  Donna opted for Payne’s Grey, Teal, and Yellow Ochre for her workshop.  I swapped the ochre out with Green Gold, and find that going from a warm to a cooler color does change the feeling quite a bit, and this is leaning more towards an analogous color scheme.  Raw Umber is also used for some grunge glazing techniques.  White, black or gray may also be used.

Watch the process video below:

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

Donna’s obsession with numbers ignited the same in me, and I found myself scouring stores.  New obsessions are hard on an impulse buyer! 😀

If you are looking for number components, here are some ideas:

  • Home improvement stores:  Check the mailbox aisle.  Lots of cheap number stickers here, and bigger/heavier numbers as well if you are looking for some focal points.  I also found some stencils in many sizes in this section.
  • Dollar store:  I found sheets of vinyl numbers (and letters) with some “garage sale” signs.  Three sheets for a buck, black numbers about 2 inches (example: the “3” on this canvas).  I bought them out!  They also sometimes have alphabet stickers in the stationary aisle.  Other ideas include flash cards, playing cards, sudoku and other puzzle books, and the teaching/kids section had some “number puzzles” – foam sheets with letter and number pop-outs.  They are awful colors, but I figured they can be adhered to a canvas and painted for a super dimensional look.
  • Craft stores/Amazon:  The sticker aisle will have oodles of letter and number stickers, though check the two above first.  Chipboard characters.  Stencils.  Also check stamp sets with numbers.  The “002” tag on this canvas was created with stamps from a Michaels “Recollections” set.  I have a few number sets, and grabbed some blank tags from Staples and Amazon (Amazon being cheaper, of course) and stamped a bunch up at once.  If you have a die cutting machine such as a Cuttlebug or Sizzix, consider getting some alphanumeric die sets.  The punched out numbers can be adhered with matte medium and left as-is or painted over, which would give you a cool number background texture.
  • Target:  Try the $1-3 section.  I found some large alphanumeric cutouts here.
  • Silhouette Cameo Owners:  Cut your own number stencils in various sizes!  I use clear plastic projector transparencies to cut my own stencils.  While not super durable (they can tear if handled wrong) they are easy to cut and cheap.  Stencils are great for either paint or modeling paste.
  • More Amazon:  If the above isn’t enough, check out coat check tags and bingo sheets!

Acrylic Number Canvas Painting

As you can see from the process video, I started out arranging a few number components on the blank white background, and the acrylic paint came after, adding several layers and glazes.  Golden Fluid acrylic paint was the main supply, though I threw in some Dye-Na-Flow ink sprays, gesso, and a little bit of charcoal pencil at the end.

Stay tuned for more from this series! 🙂  Thanks all!

Supplies Used:


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Video: Acrylic Mixed Media Portrait – Chrysalis

Mixed Media Acrylic Portrait Painting - Chrysalis

Good day wonderful people! 🙂  I had a bit of a break due to the studio organization and a family visit, but I am back today with a new mixed media art process video.  A new girl has joined my portfolio! Her name is Chrysalis (thanks to a random dictionary page that showed up in the collage) and she was created mostly with watercolor Spectrum Aquablend pencils and acrylics – both Golden fluid and basic Americana craft paints.

Mixed Media Acrylic Portrait Painting - Chrysalis

You can watch the time lapse creation video below:

I wanted to try my hand at several painterly layers, and I had the idea of piling layers and designs into a girl’s hair flowing upward, and so she was born.  I try to pay attention to color theory when selecting my palette, and this time I went with a primary triad of turquoise, magenta and yellow.  These colors can make some beautiful mixes, as you can see in the spots of greens and purples on the painting, but for the most part I tried to keep the colors shining on their own.

Mixed Media Acrylic Portrait Painting - Chrysalis

I learned a few things during this process and other lessons were reinforced:
  • There is always an ugly stage (or five) where you will want to give up or you will wonder “Oh no, what did I do?!” but you need to trust the process and keep moving forward.  It won’t start to come together until you add more layers and details!
  • It is okay to dive in with the paintbrush even if you don’t know where you are going with it.  If you take too much time to plan it out, you may never go anywhere and you may be disappointed when the paper does not match the image in your head.  Have fun with your mark making and later you can bring it all together.
  • You have to be willing to give up previous layers to get to a better place.   There are going to be moments when you are afraid of “messing up” or losing a layer/design that you particularly like.  If you are still in an early stage of the painting, you may need to let it go so the whole piece can grow and deepen.  Remember, it is just paint, and you can bring something back later if you want!
  • Fine tip applicators take practice 😀
  • Golden fluids take a long time to dry when applied thickly or sprayed with water, so keep a few other in-progress pieces handy to work on in the meantime.

Mixed Media Acrylic Portrait Painting - Chrysalis

Supplies used:

Mixed Media Acrylic Portrait Painting - Chrysalis

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please consider subscribing here and at my YouTube channel, and join me on Facebook so you can see new works in progress.  Have a great day!

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Watercolor Cupcake Bunny & Art Studio Cleanup!

Watercolor Cupcake Bunny

Hello wonderful friends!  A late post today due to too much fussing with notification emails here.  If this message is brought to you by a wonky email, I’ll try again next time! 😉

I have been busy this week cleaning up the ol’ studio, so art making is temporarily on hold… as you can see, I’m sort of an art supply junkie, and I’m not neat about it!  Oh my!

Art Studio - Before

Art Studio - Before

The studio is in my unfinished basement to keep the mess and any smells or fumes away from my parrot (I’m sure you will all meet him here soon…), so it’s not quite the kind of art space you’ll see in magazines or on Pinterest.  I hope when I am done remodeling, it will at least provide hope and inspiration to others that are stuck in “unpretty” spaces.  Finished pics and a tour will be posted soon!

In the meantime, I will share a cute bunny watercolor illustration I made during the holidays for my dear friends!

Watercolor Cupcake Bunny

This little guy was sketched out and then colored with Kuretake Zig Real Brush Pens and Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons.  I then drew cupcakes on watercolor paper, filled them in with the Kuretake markers (activated with water), cut them out and (more…)