Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Scrapbook paper backgrounds are my GO TO for the mixed media art I create on canvas or in my art journal! Before I get into WHY - I want to show you some of the effects you can achieve with various types of collage material - in case you're new to the world of collage or creating mixed media backgrounds!
In the pic below you'll see a closeup view of one of my favorite mixed media collage projects from my book, Mixed Media Magic. See the wrinkly, raised bumps of texture? That happens when you collage with NAPKINS in your bottom layer!
Some people LOVE this kind of texture in their art (I'm one of them!!). From a distance, the texture in the background is very prominent. You can see the wrinkles and bumps from my napkin pieces. This is a look I was going for on purpose in this particular painting.
Some people aren't into this bumpy goodness, and that's ok! YOU do YOU!!!! In case you're one of them... here's what collaging with TISSUE PAPER can do in your mixed media art backgrounds!!
See the typewriter words smack dab in the middle of her face? That is a ripped piece of tissue paper! Tissue paper will give you a transparent effect in your collage, which I also LOVE!!! You can definitely see there are some bumps and wrinkles up close, but it's more chill than using napkins like I did in the previous piece. From a distance, the tissue paper texture is VERY understated...
The next example I'm going to show you is a piece I started with a collage layer of torn scrapbook paper pieces!
Look closely at the background of this mixed media girl painting. You'll see there are 3-4 sheets of scrapbooking paper that were collaged into my first layer of this canvas. I like to rip palm sized chunks from papers that have the same color scheme going on. It's SO easy to find matching colors with an assortment of patterns because ALL the craft stores sell these giant books of gorgeous sheets with repeating color schemes that are totally designed to be used together!
Personally, this is my FAVORITE collage material because you really DON'T get any wrinkles at all! This type of collage creates a smooth surface that is PERFECT to paint on. That doesn't mean it will create a "boring," or texture-less background.
Take a look at this painting close-up! As you can see below... there are pretty subtle, raised edges from each chunk of scrapbook paper I used. And I have to say, I'm OBSESSED with this look!! I really feel like it adds a layer of sophistication to my art. You can achieve some VERY rich, complex backgrounds that really pull your eye around the piece as a whole, and make it interesting to look at- both from a distance, and up close!!
In today's mixed media tutorial, I've got a FULL-LENGTH, FREE art lesson for you!! I'm showing you my EXACT mixed media collage process using scrapbook paper so you can play right along with me at home.
I find this process works amazing on canvas boards, wood panels, or as an art journal page or spread. It's a little harder to do on pre-stretched canvas because the middle of a pre-stretched canvas isn't super sturdy, so you have to be a bit more gentle.
When you do collage work, you add a lot of pressure to whatever surface you're working on, and I don't want to be precious about anything- so I reach for something like a canvas panel, because it's more substantial (AND they are super cheap!!).
Here is your supply list for today's project:
Go grab your supplies and meet me over on YouTube to get crafting with me!!!!
CLICK HERE or press the play button below when you're ready to start!!
💜Product Links listed may be affiliate. I only link to products that I have personally used and tested and love! I may receive a few pennies if you purchase through these links, but no worries, there is never any cost to the consumer for doing so!
I love a simple mixed media art project!!
This one is quick and easy and trust me, ANYONE can do it (even YOU!).
All you need are the following supplies:
Also, if you have been wondering when to choose matte medium instead of mod podge for your mixed media art projects, THIS VIDEO is A MUST WATCH!
So grab your supplies and meet me at your art table and press play!
there's so much fun to be had!
I'm about a week away from celebrating the release of Vol 2 of Learn to Draw Art Deco Style and I couldn't be more excited. One of the most fulfilling art activities that I do is coloring the drawings that I create. In the book, I'll teach you how to draw this dapper dude and his sweet pup!
But more fun than that, I show you how to use a combination of watercolor markers and colored pencils to create super realistic clothing. I also use this same technique to color many of the dresses that appear in Vol. 1! So there are a lot of takeaways in this lesson.
So come back in time and bring your sense of adventure! And let's color him together!
For this activity I'm using my favorite watercolor markers by Winsor-Newton but any brand will do (and there are lots! Think Tombow, Arteza Brush Pens, Ecoline and more!!)
You can learn more about watercolor markers in last weeks video.
But to follow along and learn how to render clothing, watch today's! It's so cool to see your drawings come to LIFE!
Time is flying by!
My kids go back to school on Monday (virtually), my 16 year old is 2 weeks away from getting his driver's license (shriek!) and I've just finished up work on Vol 2 of Learn to Draw Art Deco Style.
It's a BIG week!
Here's a peek at some of the projects inside Vol 2!!
I've had many many requests to include more animals so there's lots of furry friends including this next book!
Here's a peak at 2! (oooooh make sure you have images enabled on your email so you can see how cute they are!)
And here's one of a super sleek car.
Why why WHY are cars not made like this anymore?! I don't even LIKE cars, but cars this sexy are too good to pass up!
But as much fun as the furry friends and cars, I really enjoyed drawing the house furnishings!!! And cocktails!! And handsome mens, oooooh MAN there are sooo many things in this new upcoming book!!!
But BACK to mixed media, as this is why I'm writing today!
If you're anything like me, you have WAY more art supplies than you actually use. Or need. Or both.
Wouldn't it be awesome to know the EXACT bare minimum of supplies to use to make the MOST awesome projects?
Well that's what's covered in today's video!
It's a list of the most important supplies. I hope this video helps you sort out what you have and also helps determine all that you DON'T need to use OR to buy!! Especially in light of the world's uncertainties.
I also hope that it sheds light on how much you can do with so little!! You'd be surprised!
I'm also answering a lot of questions I get about managing smear control from highly reactive products like the Stabilo, best surface prep options, sealers, paint markers and MORE!!
This really is an info PACKED video so if you have questions about Mixed Media supplies I highly recommend a watch! Click the play button below to be on your way!
Travel back in time with me and learn to draw and color 69 fabulous and authentic Art Deco style projects! Sharing my Quadrant Method secrets for the first time in print, Karen leads you through each project with crystal clear step-by-step instructions so you know exactly what to draw and how to blend, shade and color to perfection. Watch your drawing skills soar and see fashion figures, jewelry, clothing, faces and features come to LIFE!!
And now you can see the entire book!! ENJOY the sneak peek!
Drawing Proportions of the face in the correct way is what takes your drawings to the next level. Most importantly, it takes your "off" looking faces, and turns them into something beautiful!!
I know sketching a girl is fun and you CAN make your work look beautiful on your own, but when you USE drawing guidelines - it makes a world of difference!
In today's sketching tutorial, I'll show you HOW to draw facial proportions correctly for a whimsical face (SECRET: it's all about that THIRD EYE but also so much more...). I've created a simple cheatsheet to make this easier for you.
If you've been paying attention to my recent uploads on YouTube you'll know how obsessed I've been with these Fountian Pen inks!! My vintage bottle collection hasn't slowed down either (sorry wallet!!). But I love "shopping" for my favorite color on my ink shelves!!! Check out this fancy new bottle I discovered on Etsy!
In today's video I am seeing if PanPastels can work over Fountain Pen ink to make a mixed media portrait! I used my beloved Noodler's ink in my favorite strathmore watercolor sketchbook and was pleasantly surprised by my experience!
"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.