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!
Today is Friday which means NEW FREE YouTube lesson!!
This project was particularly satisfying for sooooo many reasons! Well, I'll just list them off so you know what they are! First all, I got to paint with my fountain pen inks. They are soooooo vibrant and juicy and satisfying (due to their vibrancy and juiciness) that I cannot even compare them to any other medium I love them so much! This is the one I use for skin color. It's DIVINE!
I can now draw hands after publishing a book on them! I can finally dive into any project that involves them and has truly opened up a whole new world of faces and characters now that I'm no longer afraid to tackle any drawing!
I spill 3 oz. of permanent ink all over my studio floor. There's nothing quite like an explosion of ink to liven things up in the old art room!
Glasses. Having the guts and courage to draw OVER and ON TOP OF a completely painted girl, is, well, TERRIFYING! But then the level of proud you feel when you actually pull it off is the BEST FEELING EVER!! So while it's scary, it's worth it!!! So my advice to you is to simply GO FOR IT.
The references I used today are so super cute!! The original reference photo was taken from Vogue Japan and I just fell in love with it when I saw it!!!
Another reason today's project was so fun was because of my little feline side-kick!! Oh Tippie!!!
So after the spill and the cat play and the juicy brushes filled with ink I was just delighted at the final outcome. Click on the video here to watch how YOU can learn how to paint glasses on YOUR mixed media girls!!
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!!!
We’ve all got at least one page in an art journal that we’re not in love with.
In today’s mixed media tutorial, I’ll show you just how EASY it is to collage, draw, and paint your way to something new, like a mysterious mistress!
I covered up an old teaching page in my journal with a layer of collage, using tattered pages from a tiny, old book I found in a Scottish thrift shop last August. They’re thin and adhere beautifully to the paper in my art journal with matte medium.
This particular journal is hardcover made by Strathmore and is a favorite of mine for mixed media projects because the paper is amazing! Since it is strong enough for watercolor, it lends itself well to mixed media art journaling. This paper has literally rocked any mixed media art supply I’ve thrown at it so far.
I started my mysterious mixed media girl by sketching a female face over my collage layer with a Blackwing pencil (like butter if you haven’t tried them). I decided to reserve my acrylic paint for the lips, eyes, and hat because I didn’t want to completely cover up my collage papers.
Click the play button below to see the whole process unfold in the short, entertaining timelapse tutorial set to swing music...Mysterious Mistress indeed!
I outlined the face using my black stabilo all pencil. If you haven’t tried it before, press play for a quick art supply demo to watch one of my favorite mixed media drawing techniques in action.
When the pencil lines are activated with mod podge, they darken, smear, and spread to naturally add shading and depth.
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!