Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
I've NEVER created a mixed media portrait by doing alcohol painting on yupo paper... until today!
In fact, everything about today's mixed media tutorial was kind of a science experiment- from trying this crazy alcohol ink paper to my trial and error mixed media painting techniques and my NEW 2 camera setup.
Love the eyelashes on this girlie? Me too! Lots of my students have shared that drawing eyelashes is hard for them, so if you're feeling the same, you're NOT alone. I created a FREE, super simple eyelashes cheatsheet for you with THREE things to remember each time you're drawing eyeashes.
Simply click the button below and I'll send it straight to your inbox!
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Today's mixed media art book review is of Mixed Media Portraits with Pam Carriker. If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm OBSESSED with creating mixed media portraits.
Flipping through mixed media art book like Pam's gets me thinking outside of my own style, and can totally inspire me to try something new, outside my comfort zone... like alcohol ink painting! If you get this book too, today's project in Pam's book is called "Yippie for Yupo."
Stay with me till the end of this video for a sneak peek at Pam's entire book!
I don't know about you, but I've worked with yupo paper exactly ONCE before today's video. LOL! So I really have no idea what to expect, which is actually kinda FUN, right?! I get emails every day asking me how to do various techniques or if I've ever tried a particular combo of art supplies.
I almost always answer with the same response! I've learned SO much just from experimenting and trying new things. You never know how something will work until you try it. So my advice is ALWAYS live and learn. You might discover something amazing and fall in love with it!
Some of the supplies needed for this project were totally new to me like these random sticks called Fantastix (below).
It didn't take me long to get what these little guys do. They feel a bit like styrofoam, and immediately soak up whatever you dip them into, just like a sponge. It was a little like I'd made my own alcohol marker here, but using it on paper felt similar to watercoloring.
The first part of this project started with laying down the mid tones of the face shading (above). In the book, Pam suggests using a light table, but I was able to see just fine without, so just used my yupo paper like tracing paper on top of a recent graphite drawing I'd done.
If you like the look of this female face drawing in the video and want to learn how to draw her with me, I've got an online art class coming up called Art Retro Rendezvous. It starts on Valentine's Day (2022), and only costs $15 (only through this special link) if you sign up to party with me before that day. There will be 10 drawing lessons spread out over 5 days!
Back to today's project!
When I first started shading this face with the fantastix stick (I *think* that's what I should call it?!), I was almost wishing for the control of my copic markers, but I tried to let it go, and embrace this new way of creating. It's definitely a bit more abstract than I'm used to.
When it was time to blend out the mid tones to create some lighter areas on the face, I dipped a fresh fantastix stick into alcohol blending solution and pulled some of the color from the left edge of the face over to the cheeks. This was a really neat experiment - again using art supplies that are totally new to me.
To put my own spin on the project, I decided to try using my pentel pocket brush to add some details on the face, since the rest of the project instruction appeared to be all about how to paint hair using alcohol inks. I didn't have the heart to leave my girl's face totally abstract, so I did a bit of doodling before moving on.
If you're not familiar with the pentel pocket brush, it's one of my favorite products to use for drawing eyelashes onto my drawings and mixed media portraits. If you'd like to learn more about it or how to draw eyelashes - I did a video about it on my mixed media channel, and another on my drawing channel.
As soon as I started adding droplets of alcohol ink onto my paper, the project took an entirely FUN turn that I wasn't expecting. How gorgeous is that blooming purple ink for hair?!
I LOVE learning new mixed media techniques and this one is really turning out cool! The rest of the project is really all about experimenting with the inks - adding new drops of color, removing some color with the alcohol blending solution, and tipping my yupo paper around to see what effects I could get from letting the alcohol ink drip and run across the page.
I kinda loved it! Although if I'm honest- it did bug me when the blooms of ink started to infringe a bit too much into the face.
Make sure you click over to the video to see how this works in acton. Plus if you hang out with me for a few more minutes after the art project- I'm doing a quick flip through of Pam's book to show you even MORE fun mixed media ideas you can try at home!
Don't forget to SIGN UP FOR MY ART RETRO RENDEZVOUS with this special link for just $15. Beginners welcome (even if you've NEVER drawn a thing before!)
Thanks for hanging out with me today!
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Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
"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.
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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.