Acrylic Portrait Painting: Fearless Art & Expression

Fearless Art Portrait Acrylic Painting

Hello everyone!  I hope you are having a fantastic week!  Today I am sharing an acrylic painting that was inspired by Annie Hamman’s Fearless Expression lesson in Life Book 2016.  This was an exercise in just diving in, playing and having fun, experimenting with new colors and strokes and not being concerned about the end result.  To not be so precious with the painting.  If you have a child – switch out with them, let them take over for a bit and don’t be afraid of them “messing up” your work!

If you don’t have children, like me, then switch out with your inner child!  Go at the painting with the intention of just “seeing what happens” if you throw paint there, or try out that crazy color…

I have to tell you – when you let go of that worry and that need to be precise and churn out a masterpiece, WOW!  It is liberating, and FUN!

Fearless Art Portrait Acrylic Painting

I did sketch this girl out beforehand, but she formed her own personality as the paint was applied.  Artist’s Loft and Liquitex acrylic paint were used to add layer over layer.  I am still new to acrylics, so this was a small challenge for me, but going into it without fear was a big help!  I stopped when I started to get too fussy, and returned later when I loosened up again.  Posca paint pens in white and black finished up the details.

I dig her bold fiery hair.  🙂

Fearless Art Portrait Acrylic Painting

Supplies used:

Fearless Art Portrait Acrylic Painting

This was a fantastic lesson in the journey of letting go, and I will certainly be doing it again!  Experimenting with techniques and colors we wouldn’t have tried otherwise is also a great teacher.  How many opportunities do we miss because we are too afraid to try?

Thank you for stopping by today.  Go and grab some paints and paper or canvas and just dive right in and see where it takes you!   I’ll see you all soon!


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Zen Doodle Butterfly – Letting Go & Bringing In

Butterfly Zentangle Mixed Media

Happy Friday, wonderful people!  Today I have another completed Life Book 2016 lesson (thank you Tamara!) – a zendoodle butterfly drawn with a Posca Pen on a Dye-na-Flow ink background.  I put 3 cool-tone primary colors into little spray bottles, and sprayed them around.  Some water spritzes also helped the color move.  It coats the paper easily and blends into secondary colors beautifully!  It is waterproof when dry.

Trailing behind the butterfly is a stream of fears and negativity I’d like to let go of, while she is flying towards a bright sun of positivity.  It’s a wonderful healing exercise!

Take some time to ask yourself:  What do you want to let go of this year?   What do you want to bring into your life?

Butterfly Zentangle Mixed Media

Zen doodle (Zentangle) is a fun and relaxing method of doodling repeating patterns in divided spaces in your drawing.  Circles, stripes, spirals, diamonds, checkers – just about any repeatable pattern can look good here!  Just remember to vary how dark each section is (use different amounts of black) to keep them looking distinct.

It is easy to do, too!  This is my first full zen doodle drawing!

Butterfly Zentangle Mixed Media

Supplies used:

I hope everyone has lots of artsy things planned for the weekend! Make it a happy and positive one and I’ll catch you all soon! 🙂

Butterfly Zentangle Mixed Media


DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links are used where possible. Thank you for your support!

Wisdom, Learning, What Matters

Wisdom Mixed Media Art

This mixed media art piece was inspired by Melody Ross‘ lesson near the beginning of Life Book 2016.  The task was to celebrate all of the wisdom you have accumulated throughout your life through the good times and the bad.  I strayed quite a bit from the steps of the lesson, but it was a beautiful exercise in realizing what I have come to learn is most important in life, and what matters to me.

The steps for this piece closely follow the Happy Traveler artwork:  Layers of collage, paint, Neocolor II crayons, gesso.  The sketched girl is colored with Neocolor II as well (Salmon, Flesh, various browns and pinks for the hair), Kuretake Zig Real Brush Pens for the hair and eyes, and colored pencils for additional shading.

Wisdom Mixed Media Art Closeup

I hunted through an old thrift store dictionary for the words that spoke to me:

  • Love
  • Create
  • Artist
  • Joyous
  • Change
  • Persevere
  • Relax (My word of the year!)
  • Kindhearted
  • Compassion
  • Honest
  • Adventuress
  • Patience
  • Virtuous
  • Friend
  • Strength
  • Nature
  • Fearless
  • Worthy
  • And on the box itself: Wisdom and Wish

Finally, I had a sudden impulse to draw in floating glowing lanterns to surround my girl with these beautiful concepts. 🙂

Wisdom Mixed Media Art Closeup

I am still very new to portraits, but she seems sweet enough for me!  I do need to work on my values/contrast though (an exercise in that will be posted here soon!)

Take a moment today and think about the wisdom you have gathered throughout your life.  Even through hard times, we come out on the other side understanding a little better what is meaningful to us, and how we can surround ourselves with more positivity and happiness.  <3

Thank you for sharing a moment of your day with me.  I hope you stop by again soon!  Remember to subscribe here or at my Facebook page to see new art. 🙂  *waves*

Wisdom Mixed Media Art Closeup

Supplies used:


DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links are used where possible. Thank you for your support!

Word Of The Year 2016: Relax…

Mixed Media Art: Relax.  Breathe.  Enjoy

Hello friends!  This is a super fun and easy mixed media piece that celebrates my mantra for the year (and beyond!)…

Relax.  Breathe.  Enjoy!

So often, we get caught up in the end results rather than enjoy the process and the journey.  We worry that we aren’t good enough, or that it is taking too long, or that people (or worst of all, ourselves) won’t like what we make.  The inner critic rears its head too often, and it twists what we enjoy into something stressful or hurtful.  We get frustrated, and we walk away.

I spent years in this mindset, and as a result, I created very little.  I would enjoy others’ art.  I would research the heck out of different techniques and buy all of the materials… but then I froze when I sat down to actually DO it.  The few times I did start, I was immediately flustered and unhappy with the result.  Of course I was – I expected to create a masterpiece right off the bat, and I wasn’t appreciating the pure fun of playing with paints and pens and brushes!  I was focused on what I thought the result should be.

Does this sound familiar to you? 

Mixed Media Art: Relax. Breathe. Enjoy - Detail 2

I’m going to sound like an infomercial for a second here when I say… I will share the secret with you! 😉   Psst… come closer…  okay.  Here it is.

RELAX!  You are good enough.  You are worthy.  You can create.  We all can create!

BREATHE!  Art is a process, not a destination.  Every time you pick up your materials, you are learning and evolving.  Allow yourself the freedom to play, to learn, to experiment, to make crazy works of art without trying to beat them into “perfection.”   They are all stepping stones in your journey, and every single one is necessary and beautiful in its own right.

ENJOY!   Art is fun!  Play with your paints and your stamps and your stencils.  Get your hands dirty!  Laugh at happy accidents.  Look at all the pretty colors!  And when you’ve gone as far as you can with a piece… grab another sheet of paper and do it again!  And again!  And never stop.  Why on earth would you stop? Look at all the fun you’re having! 😀  If your inner critic taps you on the shoulder… reply with “Yeah, yeah.  I’ll work on that bit next time.  Now let me get back to it! *throws paint around*”

Mixed Media Art: Relax. Breathe. Enjoy - Detail 1

This was created on 11 x 14 hot press 140lb. watercolor paper.  Layers of collage papers (scrapbook paper, dictionary pages, sheet music) were adhered with matte medium.  Caran d’Ache Neocolor II crayons, acrylic paints, stencils added color and some letter stamps filled in the sentiment.  Hearts were also cut out of paper to use as DIY stencils with some spray inks.  Gesso was used on the background and in the hearts to mute the bright colors.

Mixed Media Art: Relax. Breathe. Enjoy - Detail 4

Supplies List:

Mixed Media Art: Relax. Breathe. Enjoy - Detail 3

Do you have a word of the year, or a new outlook on life or your art?   Please share it! 🙂

Many thanks to all for reading today.  I hope to see you soon!  Have a wonderful day!

Thank you to Tamara Laporte (willowing.org) and Life Book 2016 for the inspiration, motivation, and guidance – both for this piece of art and the positive outlook.  <3


DISCLAIMER: Affiliate links are used where possible. Thank you for your support!

The Happy Traveler – A New Art Journey Begins

Happy Traveler Mixed Media Art

Hello lovely people!  With this piece, I am embarking on a new journey of art, self discovery, and self love and care. 

Can I inspire all of you to join me?

Let’s let go of perfectionism, the inner critic, the need to have it all immediately go just the way we want.  Every step of the process of learning is valuable and can be a joy.  Every time we pick up a pen or a brush, the experience brings new knowledge and more tools (literally and otherwise!) to get closer to where we want to be.

How awesome is that?

All you need to do is start, and keep going.   You will get there.  Enjoy the process of creating art, of putting a piece of your wonderful soul down on paper or canvas.

HappyTraveler_closeup1

This piece represents a brave traveler with her animal friends and soul guides that will help her on her journey and remind her that she is loved and worthy, and she should keep forging ahead.

This design was inspired by the first Life Book 2016 lesson by Tamara Laporte (willowing.org).  Tamara is a wonderful, inspirational teacher, and I recommend you check out her Life Book course – a year of lessons featuring her work as well as over 20 guest teachers.  🙂

HappyTraveler_closeup2

Layers of collage, paint and pencil helped create this girl and her friends.  Supplies used on this piece include (some are affiliate links – thank you!):

HappyTraveler_closeup3

Thank you for spending some time with me today.  I hope we can journey together again soon!  Please consider subscribing here or at my Facebook page if you would like to see more art or hear about my upcoming process videos and tutorials.  Have a wonderful day! <3