Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Mixed Media Collage & Art Journal Tutorial: "Modern Day" Girl With a Pearl Earring - Hamburger Style with Karen Campbell
Hey there, creative soul! I’m SO excited for today’s mixed media art tutorial!! It’s been a while since I dove into the world of full-on mixed media with collage and ALL the FUN supplies using my favorite layering process, the Hamburger system!
I’m feeling SUPER inspired after last week’s Fun Fab version of Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring alcohol marker drawing tutorial. I got even MORE excited about turning her into a Hamburger-style project when I discovered my favorite YouTube channel (Royalty Now Studios) had created a modern-day facial reconstruction for Vermeer’s model for this painting.
If you’re not familiar with this YouTube channel - I shared it last week on my Drawing channel. They’re incredible! They take bring faces from history - either historical figures or subjects of famous paintings (like Girl with the Pearl Earring or the Mona Lisa), and “bring them to life” using facial reconstruction graphic design after studying whatever art is available on the subject from paintings to death masks, sculptures and more. This channel is fascinating and I HIGHLY SUGGEST you check it out right after this video!
I asked Royalty Now if I could use their modern version of Girl with a Pearl Earring as a drawing reference. They said of course, so she’s my model for today’s grungey, mixed media art journal spread :)
Isn't she gorgeous?!!!
*All product links are affiliate & for U.S. residents only.*
Before we get started - if you’re art-ing along with me from home, make sure you’ve got a copy of my “Hamburger System Cheatsheet.” This will serve as your guide to help you through what supplies go where AND WHEN in your mixed media layering process. It’s kinda like my tried-and-true “recipe” for creating mixed media MAGIC every time I sit down to create instead of creating a hot mess!!
Grab the cheatsheet here, or click on the button below.
My students loved the “Hamburger System” so much, that I created an entire book about it - going even more in-depth on what supplies work well together and when they should be used in your mixed media layering to avoid a hot mess.
Back to TODAY’s art project! I’m working in my hardcover Strathmore watercolor journal because it’s my fave, and these babies can totally handle any wet mediums you decide to throw at them (even collage!).
On a recent trip to HomeGoods, I scored some super cute butterfly napkins, which are gonna be perfect for the mixed media collage portion of today’s project.
If you haven’t collaged with napkins before – they're thin, thinner than paper, so a bit tricky to work with. They also add SERIOUS texture to your mixed media art! So beware- collaging with napkins (or tissue paper for that matter!) means you’re gonna get visible wrinkles poking through your piece, which I happen to love!! If you hate wrinkles, don’t reach for napkins- grab something sturdier to collage with like scrapbook paper!
When it comes to gluing down delicate collage materials like napkins, I swear bymatte medium. AND using a LOT of it both under and over your collage materials (this helps minimize wrinkles).
I also prefer to get down and dirty as a mixed media artist, and I simply use my fingers to smooth out those inevitable wrinkles and bubbles where I can. Embracing the messiness is all part of the true mixed media experience, right?
Fast forward to the inky part – I pulled out my inks and went a bit crazy on the page. The streaks from the fan brush added a unique touch that I just rolled with. Today's project was less about perfection and more about pouring my emotions onto the paper. That's the beauty of mixed media – it's a truly expressive outlet where I can let loose and make a mess and embrace the process.
Embracing imperfection is key in this process. I didn't even use a palette today and poured all my supplies directly onto the paper, with ZERO precision. The goal was to see what happens, and trust me, the results were liberating! For me, and a LOT of other artists- the art isn’t even really about the art.
It’s about WHO is behind the art and what they were feeling the day they created it, WAY MORE than the end result.
Now, the real fun began as I introduced doodles with my trusty pitt pens. They're filled with permanent India ink, allowing me to smudge them for added character.
And here's a tip – if you go overboard with your pitt pens,
a quick wipe with a baby wipe erases any mishaps.
As I wrap up this unique mixed media art journal spread of “modern day” Girl with a Pearl Earring, I'm excited to announce that this is just the beginning of a Historical Faces series I'll be running on both YouTube channels, inspired by Royalty Now Studios. I plan to bring historical figures to life in my own signature Fun, Fab style.
It's my way of making history relevant and intriguing.
A quick reminder for if you're venturing into mixed media and just getting started – be fearless. The journey may look rough along the way, but the end result can be surprisingly satisfying.
So, don't stop, keep going, and embrace the creative process.
Once the final touches with my pit pens and pentel pocket brush (my secret weapon for GORGEOUS eyelashes) are finished, my wrinkled, grungy, mixed media masterpiece is complete.
Remember, it's not about the perfect end result, but the journey and expression that matter. So, fellow artists, don't be afraid, keep creating, and enjoy every messy, beautiful moment. Thanks for joining me on this artistic adventure. Until next time, happy art-ing!!
LOVED this Video?
Share it with an artsy friend!! Maybe she's always wanted to learn how to paint or art journal too, but never taken the time!!
Here's the link to copy & paste into a text or email to her: https://youtu.be/TK8nhi2-J-I
If you're watching the video on YouTube using your phone, try this!
Loved this Project & Wanna Do MORE?
Check out the Mixed Media Society over at Awesome Art School!! It's perfect for artists of ALL levels including beginners. We're having SO much FUN over there learning about ALL the mixed media supplies and how to use them to create mixed media art we can be proud of!!
We would LOVE to have YOU join us!!
Looking for Something Else?
Hey art friend!! As you know, I'm obsessed with art. But did you also know I'm ALSO obsessed with historical art and history in general? I recently discovered a graphic artist on YouTube who enjoys bringing historical figures "to life" with facial reconstruction by studying whatever art is available to her- including paintings, death masks, sculptures, and more. I think her channel is FASCINATING, and her work is gorgeous.
She inspired me, so I reached out to ask if I could share her YouTube channel with my audience, as well as use Becca's work as drawing references. She graciously accepted! Today is the first in a series of videos presenting famous historical figures and paintings in my signature Fun Fab style!
I hope you enjoy my Fun Fab version of Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring in alcohol markers.
*All product links are affiliate & for U.S. residents only.*
Not Familiar with my Fun Fab Style?
In case you're not familiar with my Fun, Fab Style, it's my signature semi-realistic or whimsical look I give to the characters I draw. It all began back in 2015 with my very first book, How to Draw Fun Fab Faces.
I discovered I LOVED teaching how to draw faces for beginners, and quickly followed this book up with a sequel that will TOTALLY come in handy for you if you're thinking about drawing along with me in today's video, but aren't sure how to draw a three-quarter portrait.
In How to Draw MORE Fun Fab Faces, I broke down the steps of how to draw a profile and 3/4 portrait to make these views more approachable and accessible to those just learning how to draw, and those interested in expanding their range to drawing profiles from the side and/or at an angle.
Draw Along with Me!
If you'd like to draw along with me in today's video, grab a pencil and sheet of drawing paper. I'll be coloring my drawing in with alcohol markers. If you plan to do the same, be sure to create your drawing on Bristol or a smooth cardstock alternative like this.
I started this drawing off with a copy of my reference (Girl With a Pearl Earring painting), and used my 3/4 face drawing guidelines. These come straight outta my book - How to Draw MORE Fun Fab Faces, but I also offer them as a FREE DOWNLOAD in case you're interested! Simply CLICK HERE or press the button below to grab my cheatsheet, then meet me right back here for the rest of the video.
How to Use Fineliners with Alcohol Markers
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.