Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Faber Castell Gelatos are a staple in my studio for creating gorgeous shading in the skin tones of my mixed media portraits. Recently I've heard a number of my students can't get gelatos in their part of the world, so I need to recommend a Faber Castell Gelaots alternative. In case you're one of these students, a beginner, or just curious about which gel crayons made it into today's mixed media art supply demo, this video is FOR YOU.
Before we get into the demo, I've got a super exciting announcement!
I'm hosting an online art class / online art workshop starting Monday, September 27th. We'll be creating the sassy mixed media portrait shown in the above photo over the course of a whole week!!
If you sign up BEFORE September 27th at this super special link, you can get 60% off. I REALLY hope you can join us!!
If we haven't met yet, I'm in total LOVE with gelatos by Faber Castell, and use them in almost all of my mixed media hamburger system projects- especially when shading faces of my mixed media portraits.
Gelatos glide beautifully over acrylic paint, and are super easy to blend with nothing more than your finger. If you've been hanging out with me for a while, you know I use them to shade the faces of my mixed media portraits instead of blending my skin tones from acrylic paints because it's MUCH faster & easier.
I was looking for 4 main product features from the alternative gel crayons I decided to test:
1. How easy they are to "dry blend" with your finger
2. What happens when a sealer like mod podge sweeps over them
3. Lightfast qualities (so your art won't fade over time)
I drew a number of small heads, painted each with a base acrylic skin tone paint, and let them dry. Then I noted which gel crayon was going to be used to shade each face to help me keep everything straight!
Once I pulled out all of the brands I planned to test, I immediately noticed just how many of them basically had the same packaging. It was a little ridiculous, especially with the gel crayons that were being marketed for kids. Some of them looked EXACTLY like the more expensive fine art gel crayons I had in my studio!
Click over to the video to see how they all compared!
I learned a lot during this demo, but here are a few quick observations:
While I was doing this test, I decided to also check a few of the Gelatos product lines out to see how they performed since I've heard people have had issues in the past with the metallic line. I tested Faber Castell Gelatos Metallic, Faber Castell Gelatos Iridescent, Faber Castell Gelatos Brights, and Faber Castell Gel Sticks (the craft/student/kids version of gelatos).
I honestly didn't have any issues with any of these and felt they all dry-blended about the same. The "brights" pack only has 1 light skin tone, so I don't really recommend this one for shading faces. There are some fun colors in the metallic and iridescent sets though!
Final thoughts: I was shocked at how well the products being marketed to kids worked! Definitely check out the demo so you can see for yourself how each brand dry blends, and reacts.
Want to learn MORE about how to use Faber Castell Gelatos gelatos for shading a face mixed media style?
Interested in learning more about my Hamburger System? CLICK HERE to binge watch the Hamburger System series on YouTube, and click here to check out the book (affiliate link) that resulted.
That's it from me today! I hope you enjoy my mixed media art supply video testing Faber Castell Gelatos alternatives!
Don't forget to sign up for my upcoming Art Deco Mixed Media Portrait Online Art Class!! Click this link BEFORE Sept.27th to save 60%!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today!! I hope to see you in class soon.
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Yes, you CAN paint a giant canvas background in JUST 2 minutes!! I know it sounds too good to be true - especially if you're intimidated by large canvas painting. I can't wait to show you this spray paint on canvas idea! It's one of my all time favorite mixed media painting techniques!! Even better... it's FAST, EASY... and CHEAP! If you're a beginner in the world of mixed media art, or just curious about how to attack a giant canvas - today's video is FOR YOU!!
It's funny - while I was filming - I took a little look around my studio and was kinda surprised to realize how MANY of my canvases on the wall started with the SAME mixed media painting technique for the background. Check out the video to see the examples up close!!
As you'll see, I work on BIG canvases all the time, and LOVE IT!!
I feel like large canvas painting is more free-ing as an artist and it's actually EASIER because I have room to spread out my ideas, and don't have to get hung up on tiny little details.
The first giant canvas painting I want to share with you up close is my pink mixed media mermaid. She's actually 4 feet tall, and was created out of two, 2 foot canvases. The background for this piece took me all of FIVE MINUTES. No joke!! That's 2.5 minutes per canvas... and DONE.
All I did was spray paint on my canvas, then I misted a second color of spray paint through a stencil sheet to create the look of underwater bubbles! SERIOUSLY!! That's it!!
The next canvas background idea I want to show you is of my dragon in acrylics. This one took just a little longer because I used more colors.
Even with adding more color- the dragon background didn't take me longer than 10 minutes to do. Can you imagine how much LONGER (and EXPENSIVE!!) this would be painting with acrylics and a paint brush?!
For my art deco painting below, I taped off a section in the background because I wanted a frame behind the couple. That part took a little longer to tape off, but then I just used a can of black matte spray paint on canvas for the backgound, and I was done. EASY!!
As I walk you through these pieces, you'll start to understand the THREE main reasons why I love to paint canvas backgrounds using spray paint:
1. Spray paint is really inexpensive - I've tried all the brands from the cheapest to the most expensive, and there's no difference. That means I spend about $3.99/can, and am FINE with grabbing the ones on sale for 99 cents. I promise you- they work JUST as well!! This is SO much cheaper than buying an inexpensive tube of acrylic paint!!
When shopping for spray paint, I suggest you only pick up cans in satin or matte because glossy can be kinda tough to work with if you plan to do any adhesive collage layering or acrylic painting on top. For some reason, the glossy cans feel like they're stronger smelling to me too!
2. Spray paint comes in a HUGE array of colors - There are SO many fun colors you can pick up to add to your mixed media projects. And because they're so cheap in a can - you can probably afford to buy MORE of them :) They also last forever!!
3. Spray paint is amazing to COVER LARGE AREAS - If you haven't tried spray paint on canvas before - you're gonna be shocked at how much real estate you can cover in a short amount of time! It takes forever to cover a giant canvas with acrylic paint. Plus, you end up getting brush strokes that may be distracting to look at. Spray paint really glides over canvas well and gives it a smooth look!
The only downside to using spray paint is if you want or need to do touch ups to your canvas background later. It can be tough to replicate what you did with multiple colors, but if you need a teeny touch up - here's my trick!!
Spray a puddle of paint into a disposable plate, bowl or cup and dip your paint brush in. Simple, right?!
When you're choosing colors to work with for your canvas background painting, you can keep things really simple and use one or two like I did for my mixed media mermaid, or if you want to show more depth - grab 3-4 shades of the same color in a light, medium, and dark for contrast.
I have SO many fun colors. This is probably only half of my stash!!
If you haven't used stencils with spray paint before, you're gonna love this!! Stencils work SO well with spray paint because spray paint dries really fast. When you mist a new color through a stencil over your previous color of spray paint - then two colors WON'T MIX! Each shade can lay beautifully right on TOP of the other!!
Do you clean your stencils after you use them? Students ALWAYS ask me this!!
I NEVER clean my stencils- I just keep reusing them over and over. Some may think this is lazy, but it actually makes the stencils work better over time this way! The paint eventually builds up a bit and in a way ends up making the stencils stronger so they work even better!
Check out the stencil below. This one is really cool! I used it to make the underwater bubbles in my pink mixed media mermaid painting.
Watch the video so you can understand exactly what I mean here. This particular stencil doesn't have a "hard line" or edge to it. It's been trimmed so the edges are a bit softer and easier to blend into a background.
STENCIL & SPRAY PAINT TIP: To avoid a hard edge showing up on your canvas, trim the edges of your stencil off like I did in the stencil above. You can also work on perfecting your spray painting technique. Try to mist your paint right into the center of your stencil.
Ok! Reay to see how FAST this process really is?! CLICK over to the video and you can see it in real time. It takes me less than a minute to cover this 18" x 24" canvas in one solid color.
For the stenciled parts, I simply pull my white spray paint out and gently hold my stencil above the freshly painted canvas. You don't want to lie it on top of the canvas because it could stick!
One of my favorite things to do with a stencil is to mist it into the corners of my canvas. I think it adds a really nice frame to whatever I end up putting into the foreground.
HOT TIP! Make sure you hit your CANVAS edges with color too. Trust me!! You'll be so mad if you come back to your art table and notice they're all WHITE!! LOL :)
I hope you enjoy this demo and find this spray paint on canvas idea just as helpful as I have!!
Have fun art-ing!!
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The podcast is called 1 Scot, 1 Not! Check us out on YouTube and here's our podcast website!
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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.