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.
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:
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Greetings friends! Today I have a new mixed media art process video as promised. A new girl has come to life with the help of oodles of different paints, pencils and markers. She proved to be a lesson in perseverance and patience (I supposed most art is, at least when you are still new!) Some techniques worked as expected, and others, like the butterfly in her hair, did not even after several attempts. I learned that this just forces you to look at the art and your problem from a different angle, opening your eyes to new ideas.
Of course, there is always the old fallback: if you don’t like it or it is not working… cover it up! 🙂 Don’t be afraid to push a little out of your comfort zone to try new materials, techniques, colors, or subject matter. The process will teach you lessons you can take to your next piece of art, and the only way to get there is to keep experimenting!
This was my first play with Spectrum AquaBlend watercolor pencils! I don’t have much luck with fully dissolving watercolor pencil lines, so I took a wet brush to the tips of several skin tones to shade in her face. As usual, Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens (what a mouthful!) were used for her hair and eyes, and Prismacolor colored pencils and Posca pens filled in details.
Modeling/texture paste by Liquitex added some interest to the background with the help of a stencil. Daniel Smith watercolors and Golden fluid acrylics were painted in vibrant purples and blues. Doodles are a fun way to add more detail to backgrounds.
I tried repeatedly to paint the butterfly in her hair, but, ack! No luck! So I dug into my papercrafting stash and found some die-cuts of flowers and butterflies. These saved the day! I added more paint and markers to make them my own, and the piece was complete. Yay!
Watercolor Pencils (I used Spectrum AquaBlend. These are a little hard to find – I purchased mine from Hallmark Scrapbook)
Whew! I told you everything went into this art piece! 🙂 I hope this post and video have inspired you. Special thank you to Tamara Laporte at willowing.org for her teachings and inspiration. Please remember to subscribe here and over at my YouTube channel to check out future art and process videos.
Thank you everyone! I’ll catch you soon!
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Hello lovely people and happy Monday to you all! I have a message of love to share with you today, and a new mixed media process video! This started off without a plan – just collaging some old book pages and covering most of it with gesso, leaving a few words and numbers visible. I used Golden fluid acrylics in various shades of purple, turquoise, green and white along with a spray bottle and some stencils to create an interesting background.
I decided I wanted to try a portrait over this background, but after about 2 hours of fussing with it, it just wasn’t coming together so… away it went! A coat of gesso and a large sheet of scrapbook paper took care of that! Instead I took it in a new direction: a large heart with a quote I read recently that made me smile. 🙂 I got to play with my Elegant Writer pen – a calligraphy marker than activates with water, creating a wonderful inky look. The ink turns various shades of black, purple and green when wet. Watercolors, Kuretake Zig pens and Neocolor II crayons went on as well… I take “mixed media” to the limit! 😀
I tried to use opaque white ink and letter stamps to make the quote, but the ink was not cooperating so I used a Posca paint pen to write it out myself. Lettering is not my strength, but I think it came out okay! I finished it off with some doodles and it was done!
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 Travelerartwork: 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.
I hunted through an old thrift store dictionary for the words that spoke to me:
Finally, I had a sudden impulse to draw in floating glowing lanterns to surround my girl with these beautiful concepts. 🙂
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*