Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
I KNOW you've seen these foam heads in your local craft store before. But have you ever picked one up and brought it home to create some mixed media art?!
These funny foam heads have WAY more purposes than you'd think :)
From Halloween decorations (heck ya - see the black widow girl in the far right below?!), to eye-glass holders (much-needed, thank you), or something that's plain old FUN to liven up a boring corner of your house!
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I've made quite a few mixed media foam heads over the years, and am excited to make a new one today! I hope you enjoy this EXTRA FUN experience on YouTube today because this entire mixed media art tutorial is step-by-step so you can join in the fun and create along with me at home :)
Use what you have and love at home! Here's what I'm using:
Click here to start the full step-by-step mixed media art tutorial in my signature "Hamburger" style!
Not sure what I mean by Hamburger System? This is my tried-and-true mixed-media layering process for creating mixed-media masterpieces EVERY TIME. Wanna try it at home with me?
Grab my Hamburger System cheatsheet and follow along layer by layer just like you're following a recipe.
I love the Hamburger System SO much, I turned it into a book :)
Feel free to grab that on Amazon if you'd like to dig a little deeper into how your supplies work, and how to combine them successfully to create art YOU love!
Back to today's project! As you can see in the first step - I'm layering tissue paper with TONS of mod podge under and on top to eliminate as many wrinkles as possible. Then, I use my hair dryer to make sure it's completely dry before moving on to my acrylic paint layer.
Once it's dry, it's time to choose the color scheme for my acrylics. Lots of my students get overwhelmed with how to make this decision. There are SO many colors in the rainbow (these are some of MY faves!!), how can you ever decide which ones to use with confidence?!
I'm SUPER literal about this decision every time, and simply look to my collage materials for guidance. I've found this to be a fail-safe way to create, and it never lets me down! Typically I pick 3 colors from my collage paper and move on!
Today I decided to zero in on a lighter variation of my hot pink because it looks a little more like skin tone to me, and that's what I'm in the mood for :)
Click over to watch exactly which brushes I'm using, and which mixed media art supplies come next! If you don't have brushes for acrylic paints, these are great - just choose what size you want. For lots of coverage for something like today's project, I'm using a big fat version, like a #20.
Stay with me till the end of this FUN tutorial because there are LOTS of SPARKLES coming this foam head's way :) She even gets a nose ring (below left!).
Go grab your supplies and come get creative with me!!
Want MORE Projects Like This?
You might just love my Mixed Media Society art club over at Awesome Art School! We'll dig deep into the world of mixed media art supplies to understand their qualities, and more importantly HOW to use them together to create mixed media art we can be proud of on canvas, in art journals - you name it! Learn more and get notified next time we're open for enrollment here!
What to Watch Next...
Wanna learn MORE about my Hamburger System? This FREE video series on YouTube has SO much to teach you!! I start at the very beginning to teach you about what surfaces you can art on, and how to layer each step of my process - just like a recipe for building the perfect burger :) Check it out!!
Need More Resources?
Hey there! Are you itching to try your hand at mixed media art but feeling a bit overwhelmed by the supplies and how to layer them successfully? You're in the RIGHT place!
I've got a solution that will make it super easy and fun for you. I call it "The Hamburger System," and it's seriously going to revolutionalize your approach to mixed media art (if it hasn't already!).
In my signature 7-step process, you'll learn MORE about your art supplies (what they do & if they play nicely with others), plus I'll teach you exactly how, and when to layer your supplies to set you up for mixed media success EVERY time you sit down to create.
Let's dive in!!
Need a Cheatsheet Before We Get Started?
I thought so!! Click the button below, and I'll deliver a 1-page, printable PDF straight to your inbox outlining each step of the Hamburger System.
Feel like you want an even MORE TANGIBLE way to understand the Hamburger System? I turned it into a BOOK so you can have the entire step-by-step process ready and waiting for you at your art table! Check it out on Amazon here.
Layer 1: Substrate
Back to today's video :) Our FIRST LAYER is super easy! It's the substrate or "plate" for our hamburger. A substrate is simply whatever surface you plan to create your masterpiece on. Canvas? An art journal, watercolor paper, altered book, or wood panel? One of the beautiful things about mixed media is there are SO many options to choose from!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
Layer 2: Collage
Collage is our second layer. It's is a SUPER FUN way to get in the mood to art, and a great way to move through creative block if you're feeling stuck or have no idea what you want to create yet.
Grab your matte medium (or any adhesive YOU like) along with a few sheets of scrapbook paper. Then rip the scrapbook paper into chunks and start gluing it to your substrate. I think collage is an awesome foundation for your piece and adds visual sophistication to your work!
Layer 3: Acrylic Paints (This Includes Stencils!)
Once you're done with the collage layer, it's time to bring out the paints! Acrylic paint is your best friend in the Hamburger System.
Lots of people ask me how I choose my paint colors for each project. Typically I look to my collage layer for inspo, and simply pull 3 shades of paint that match my scrapbook paper. Easy, right?
Once you've got your colors, add them throughout your collage layer wherever you want to jazz things up, or even cover something up that you don't like.
Feel free to experiment with different colors and techniques like stenciling to achieve the effect you're after.
Layer 4: Mark Makers
Here's where things get even more interesting. The magical mark maker layer is all about adding a focal point to your artwork. You can use any drawing tool you like—permanent or water-soluble (like the Black Stabilo All pencil I'm using in today's video) to create a foreground subject like a face, flower, or animal. No drawing skills? No worries! Many mixed media classes (LIKE MINE, in the Mixed Media Society!!) provide traceable templates to make it super easy for you.
Layer 5: Gel Sticks
Now, it's time for some serious shading. Enter gel sticks or gelatos! These highly pigmented sticks can be smudged with your fingers, creating beautiful shading effects. It's super easy to blend them to create realistic-looking shadows and depth. They're forgiving and allow for easy corrections, which makes them perfect for both beginners and experienced artists.
Layer 6: Pitt Pens
We're almost there! In the 6th layer of the Hamburger System, Pitt pens take the spotlight. These pens are fantastic for adding details, outlines, and more shading to your artwork. Their India ink pigments create rich and permanent lines, giving your composition that extra oomph. The best part? If you make a mistake or want to modify your design, Pitt pens are erasable with a baby wipe, so you have total control!
Layer 7: Sealer
You've already made it to the final layer!! Time to seal the deal! A sealer like Mod Podge ensures the longevity of your mixed media piece. Plus, if you want to remove or adjust anything you've applied with the Pitt pens, sealer makes it a breeze. Simply let that layer of mod podge dry, then make your adjustments with a second Pitt pen layer!
Not long ago I tested Mod Podge against SEVEN other sealers to see if there were any others I wanted to start working with. Check out what I learned and which glossy one I I fell in love with!
Voila! Isn't she adorable?! I hope you enjoy the Hamburger System as much as I do! It really has provided me with a structured and foolproof approach to mixed media art. It eliminates the fear of making mistakes and will truly give you the confidence to unleash your creativity!
Did you grab my Hamburger Cheatsheet yet? Here's that button again in case you need the link again!
Dying to TRY the Hamburger System with Me?!
I have SOOOO many fun mixed media projects waiting for you in my art club at Awesome Art School called the Mixed Media Society. Tons of them are "Hamburger Style" using the exact process shown today.
Add your name to the waitlist to be notified the next time I'm taking new members!
Wanna See MORE "Hamburger Style"
"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.