Last week my good friend, Kristin Van Valkenburgh and I swapped backgrounds and challenged each other to create foregrounds on top!! Here is the background that I made for her...
It is sooooooooo easy!! Just grab your favorite spray paints and some stencils and you're good to go!!!
And she made a gorgeous background for me as well!! Well this week we each had the challenge to create some magical on top!!! This was for sure a challenge! I did a test on the background she sent me and I THOUGHT it was permanent. So I proceeded to slap on some ink but then discovered quite quickly that the background was, very much, totally water-soluble!! If you're new to mixed media you may not know that water-soluble means that when you add any liquid (in this case, inks), that underneath layer is sure gonna move!!! And move it did!!!
I've learned long ago that mixed media art is more or less a matter of problem solving and so that's what this project became! Watch here to see how I was able to overcome the watercolors mixing in with my inks on top! If you could learn from my trials and errors, than it's a double win!
Plus you get to see the little added bonus character that showed up along side my magical watercolor mermaid!!
After you're done watching this video you should DEFINITELY go and check out Kristin's video!!! You would not believe the ADORABLE little creature that showed up on her canvas!! Omgeeee!!! Here's a tiny sneak peek!!! Isn't it the cutest?! The craziest part is that I challenged Kristin to incorporate something sparkly into her project. She ended up having these little hexagonal mirror stick on thingies that were the EXACT same size as the chicken wire fence stencil I used to create my background. Say whaaaa?!! are the chances of her having those...on hand??
I still can't believe it!!
At the end of the day, the most special aspect of this collaboration was that we both inspired in each other, a new sense of curiosity (what do I do with this???), creativity (I have these mirrory thingies!!), and friendship (that was sooo fun, let's play again!!).
So while we are still in a period of uncertainty and COVID-19 strangeness, we were able to create a connection from the comfort and complete safety of our homes, even though they are 3,000 miles apart! If you are in a fun Facebook Group (and if not, come join mine!! www.facebook.com/groups/awesomeartschool) and can "meet up" with some others, virtually, maybe you can suggest a collaboration just like this one!!
It's a great way to spark YOUR creativity and make a friend! What a beautiful way to spend a day. ❤️
My super creative student and friend, Karina Aguirre, sent me this super cool background that she made from acrylic pouring. That's when you intentionally ooze a liquid acrylic mixture down over a flat surface and let it do it's magic!! It creates all these cool designs and textures over the surface, designs that would never be possible with a paintbrush or any other tool! She sent me two designs. Isn't this so cool??
I haven't had time to play or do anything spontaneous and fun for FOREVER so I was SO EXCITED that last week I finally found time to do just that. I found this adorable cat sketch on Pinterest and the rest is history!! I ended up making this super cute mixed media cat in just a few minutes!! The best part is that it only called for a hand-full of supplies: just Gesso, a Stabilo All pencil, some Mod Podge, Pitt Pens and then DONE! Click the play button to watch the whole kaboodle!
Each Friday I publish a free video on YouTube related to drawing, mixed media or art journaling. Well in today's video I am going the extra mile and bringing you a full blown, 1 hour, real time lesson on how to paint this ridiculously absurd trio of....EMU's!!!
I'm so proud to say that the page was painted with paints from my Signature Collection over at Jerry's Artarama. Even though I have 2 kits (one for Fairy Faces and one for Whimsical Animals), these Silly Emus were painted with paints from the Fairy Faces collection, lol!! That's the beauty of art I guess, at the end of the day, can you REALLY put paints into a single category?!
But back to the "emus"...I know what you're thinking..."What in the WHAT?!"
In addition to laughing my head off while painting this (for obvious reasons, I mean, look at the guys little face!!!), I ALSO ALMOST did not pull this off!! I really didn't!!
Do you know how much pressure there is to teach online? Knowing that thousands of people may be laughing hysterically and NOT with you? But AT YOU?
I know we ALL struggle with feelings of not being good enough or talented or creative enough to finish our art pieces from time to time.
Today you can see me struggle as well. I hope by watching you'll know that you're not alone!!!
I don't want to spoil too much of the ending but suffice it to say I do get some help...
Thanks to the 5 page sheet of Bob Ross encouraging words, and my own Kick-in-the-Pants suggestions (and if you're lost, it'll make sense when you watch the video), I was able to - mid way through (minute 41 to be exact!) - get back on track and keep going until this ridiculously fun art journal page was created!! PHEW!! THANK GOD! lol!
Don't believe that I almost can't finish this?? And that I'm totally mortified? I kept all of that on the video so you can see THAT I STRUGGLE TOO!!! And oh man, did I struggle. And laugh!!! But yeah, struggled.
Hope you get lots and lots of great takeaways from today's lesson, but mostly I hope you take away that we are all students, it's okay to laugh at your own struggles and that it's important to give yourself permission to mess up and HAVE FUN! Like I did!!
Press Play below to get your weekly dose of inspiration and FUN!!!
You made it to the Hamburger Series Finale! I’m assuming you know what that means by now 😂 😂 😂
I know, it MAY have felt like we were done last week. We already sealed the beautifully detailed pitt pen doodling layer with mod podge.
That should be it right? Not quite…
You know I’m a HUGE mod podge fan, but as the final layer in mixed media painting on paper, canvas, or wood… this isn’t gonna seal the deal.
In today’s video, I’ll demo not one, but NINE artist vs. craft grade varnishes to show you which ones will do the trick, and which ones will last a lifetime when you are ready to protect all the layers of your mixed media your finished masterpieces.
One amazing product will EVEN make your artwork look more vibrant than it already does (I know - I didn’t think that was possible either!).
This same product (hint: by Liquitex), EVEN got me to fall in love with a gloss finish, when I’m typically a matte girl. Just check out this project, soooooooo smooth and shiny with it's final coat on!
In today's video we will try out 5 products you can pour and brush on, and 4 that come as spray varnish.
I’ll teach you how to apply varnish to protect your art journal pages to keep them from sticking together, and how to varnish a painting, when it's done.
Which varnishes are stinky? Which one takes forever to dry? Which one is JUST right?
Watch the video and find out!
I know I am!!
This is week 7 of 8 in my Mixed Media Hamburger System series on YouTube!
In today's video I'm teaching you the EXACT method I use for adding shading, drama AND details to ALL of my mixed media projects!
AND we're gonna FINALLY help the mixed media girl I left sitting on my art table last week to grow out of her ugly phase! 😂😂
And sweet Jesus she was ugly so how nice it is to make her beautiful after all this time! lol!
This was her after last week...
And this is her now!
A little bit of transformation there, AMIRIIIIGHT?!
And, magically, the ONLY product I used to make her go from ugh to aaaaaaaaah!
Are these Pitt Pens by Faber-Castell.
And, of course, my favorite product in the whole wide world, Mod Podge.
They come in a variety of nibs. Personally I love the big brush version - but the nibs don't matter as much because all of these babies are filled with the same, juicy india ink. It's glorious for mixed media painting and glides beautifully over a dry coat of mod podge.
In this video, I'll demo blending skin tones with faber castell pitt pens, and will show you two of their most MAGICAL features: they are easy to blend, and are actually ERASEABLE (for about 30 seconds!). If you lay down color you don't like or if you feel like your mark didn't land in the right spot, you can wipe it away with your finger or a baby wipe while the mark is still glistening!
But that's not all!!
This mixed media "Hamburger" series has already been so helpful and fun for so many people, that I've compiled ALL my brains and tricks and tips and techniques into a 70 page published paperback!!! And yep, it's now available on Amazon (affiliate link).
So if you've ever craved a little bit of a plan, something to take away the mystery of mixed media. I got you.
Stay tuned for next week's final episode (number 8) all on varnishes!! See you then and Merry Christmas!!!!
I have an OBSESSION with Mod Podge.
It’s one of my absolute fav mixed media art supplies, and I buy it by the gallon and use it in 99% of my mixed media projects!
Even though I use it all the time tons of students still ask me if there are artist grade equivalents to Mod Podge that can be used to seal the acrylic layers in their mixed media art journal pages and canvases. And THAT is a GREAT question!! Especially if you are creating art to last the decades or even centuries!
I thought I’d answer with an art supply demonstration of 7 ADDITIONAL sealants and mediums so you can decide for yourself which looks like the best fit for you!
To demo the differences, I created 8 mini canvases using my tried and true mixed media “Hamburger System.” I must confess, I LOVE THEM!!
Here you can see them after I completed the first layer of ink and made them ready for their first layer of sealant!
After my ink layer, I added a few scribbles with my Stabilo All pencil (so I could test how well the sealant reacted with a super watersoluble supply like the Stabilo!), then tested one of the following on each canvas:
Here you can see the full line up! Any products you recognize? Any that you don't? What do you think will work as well as Mod Podge?
Here's the line up of vases after having been tested with each product!
I must confess, I love them!
I'll give you a hint...
One of these mediums TOTALLY surprised me and one I was COMPLETED DISGUSTED by.
Watch the full video to see!
Stay tuned for next week's conclusion to the Hamburger Series!
As per usual, I've been a busy beaver! Since 7 short days ago I've released 3 brand new, real-time tutorials and one fun timelapse! I've also been to Seattle and Vancouver with my husband and 3 kids, and as I write this, am nursing my sick 13 year old back to health excruciatingly slowly! We landed from the airport at 1 a.m. this morning and my poor boy, Billy, has been throwing up every hour on the hour, since 3 a.m. Oh the joys of parenting. Oh my poor poor boo.
On a brighter note, here's a pic from our trip!
In Seattle, we spent a day forging knives from horseshoes...how cool is that?! Its so much harder than it looks, but our knives actually came out really well!
In the art land of my life, and prior to this 10 day long trip, I was scurrying to complete all the videos and lessons that would be released in my absence. Lessons for the Mixed Media Society and Fun Fab Drawing Club are released the first of every month, so those lessons were all done and edited before we departed on the 24th of September.
Mixed Media Society members this month got a real-time whimsical girl lesson!! This is hands-down, my favorite type of project to teach! Awesomely enough, I picked out (what I thought was) a really cool color scheme made up entirely of Lukas Cryl Studio acrylic paints. Not a member of the Society at AwesomeArtSchool.com but still want to peek at the lesson? No problem! Today's free YouTube video is a time-lapse of this very same project.
The Fun Fab Drawing Club members learned how to use the Stabilo All pencil to make really, seriously, layered and dimensional faces! (psst...there will be a timelapse version coming up on that one too if you want a sneakier peek!)
But wait there's more!
I WAS vacationing last week as well and didn't have time to churn out a fresh new blog post so I'm including last week's project here now. It is similar to that of the Stabilo All project because the entire portrait is rendered with only a single instrument and water. This time, instead of the Stabilo All pencil, I drew with an Elegant Writer. (affiliate link)
If you haven't heard of this before, it is a Calligraphy marker you buy at your local crafts store or online. While made specifically for lettering, the chisel tip (available in quite a few different nibs) is filled with the most unusual ink inside! It goes on black like a regular pen, but when you add water to it, it somehow magically melts into a gorgeous array of blues, grays, purples, greens and even pink!!
You'll want to watch this video for sure if you've never seen this pen in action! The beauty of THIS tutorial is that it is Real-Time so no sneak peeks here! Yep, you'll be getting the full monty of fun. Click play to enjoy! Better yet, pick up a pen and draw with me!
I know you already know how much I love mixed media and this months lesson in the Mixed Media Society gets right to the heart of all that goodness!!!
First we start with the inspiration...
I honestly don't know what I love more in this picture. The illustration from Anne Keenan Higgins, the cocktail napkins or the Complexion Set by Prima. Well my love for those I can absolutely expound upon before I go any further. Watch my short and sweet product review on those babies here.
Ok but let's not get too too sidetracked here.
Back to the project!!
So first things first, we have a wee drawing lesson...
Scared to draw? No worries, I got you! I've included the full size PDF in the Mixed Media Society Classroom for this project, that you can print out and trace directly onto your art journal or canvas so you can cruise right along!!!
Then we grab our scissors and get to work!
Adding all these pics makes me so excited all over again for this project, it's taking everything in my power to sit in my chair and finish this blog post and not go running down to my studio to throw some paint around!!!!
Now where were we? Oh yes, just about to throw some paint around!!
A little watercolor and off we go!!!
At this point, I confess, I get a bit carried away with the project...so much so that I forget to take pictures for a bit! At least the whole fabulousness gets captured on video, in real time, so you can art along with me!!! Phew!
What's that dreamy sparkle? You ask?
Only Sparkle Mod Podge, BUT OF COURSE!!!
I can't believe you couldn't have guessed that already!!!
Here's the mess and project in it's full glory!!!
Dying to give it a go!!!! Please do! I'll even throw in a FREE 30 day trial so you can have a go without costing you a penny. Click here to start the party!!!! You won't regret it, your fun awaits!!!
As you may or may not know, every Friday I release a new tutorial or inspirational art video on YouTube.
Today I am posting something quite different.
Today I talk about a much deeper topic, what art means to me and what it means to you.
Does the act of doing art take away your emotional or physical pain? Allow you to escape for a short while? Help whisk you away to your happy place? Remind you of what it feels like to be a carefree 8 year old again? Me too.
Watch this week's video to learn more about how I'm hoping to use art that I teach through the Mixed Media Society to address these very important issues for the thousands of students I meet through my school.
What is the Mixed Media Society? Watch the video below and find out.